24" Hightop Express Rear Build-out

Len.Barron

Observer
Yep; something very much like that. I saw a picture of one on an express that was made from aluminum square tube, it was a larger plaform but had the drop down built into it...was just wondering if someone else had run across it. Not a huge deal, it's not a complex piece to build either way..
 

FlipperFla

Active member
A couple things I'd like recommendations are:
  1. a good 30amp shore power receptacle set up, (I have a 30amp shore power extension cord from the motorhome)
  2. ideas for portable air conditioning (my girlfriend isn't as heat tolerant as I am) when we have access to power
  3. awning reviews, I'm leaning towards the Fiama F45.
I have a 2000w Ampeak inverter left over from a previous pop up camper I had, I'll probably repurpose it..
A good place for electrical hardwire is Blue Seas Systems. Good choice for porta pottie with the 5 gal tank. I mounted a 5500 BTU AC in my rear window. It is mounted with a fiberglass blank and custom cover. Living in Fla it is a must if you want to camp in the summer. For your water system you might want to look at marine washdown pumps like I have with a 6 gal removable water bladder so I can fill it just about anywhere. You might want to reconsider the awning I went for a sunshade canopy. IMO the reason I went with the canopy once it was set up at the campsite it was good to go for the entire time. With the awning everytime we wanted to go somewhere we would have to hassle taking down the awning and leave everything at the campsite exposed to the weather. Then coming back and setting everything up again. Good luck with your build! Looking good!510245510246
 

Len.Barron

Observer
A good place for electrical hardwire is Blue Seas Systems. Good choice for porta pottie with the 5 gal tank. I mounted a 5500 BTU AC in my rear window. It is mounted with a fiberglass blank and custom cover.
I'm running Blue Sea switches for my battery system, I agree they make good stuff. With the 24" top I have some space on the backside that I played with the idea of a small window unit...if not that then I'll probably put at least one max-fan back there. I'm already just shy of 10ft tall so putting a roof unit on top of that isn't what I want to do..
 

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FlipperFla

Active member
I'm running Blue Sea switches for my battery system, I agree they make good stuff. With the 24" top I have some space on the backside that I played with the idea of a small window unit...if not that then I'll probably put at least one max-fan back there. I'm already just shy of 10ft tall so putting a roof unit on top of that isn't what I want to do..
Even the roadtreks are using small window units now, a friend of mine bought one. What they did was mount the unit completely inside the upper galley cabinet, so ther was nothing external, cut vents in the side wall of the van the way you see some of the heater vents on the side! I just helped a friend mount one above his rear doors, he has the higher top like yours, fit perfect. So this way he still has both his back windows. If you deside to use a window unit I found the smaller units use a plastic bottom plate for a frame. When you go up in size the units have a metal plate. What I did with my unit was completely dissassemble it before I installed it. Replaced all the sheet metal and mounting bolts with stainless and thru bolted where I could. Then I thrubolted a 1”x1” steel angle across the bottom plate for a secure mounting bracket.
 

FlipperFla

Active member
Even the roadtreks are using small window units now, a friend of mine bought one. What they did was mount the unit completely inside the upper galley cabinet, so ther was nothing external, cut vents in the side wall of the van the way you see some of the heater vents on the side! I just helped a friend mount one above his rear doors, he has the higher top like yours, fit perfect. So this way he still has both his back windows. If you deside to use a window unit I found the smaller units use a plastic bottom plate for a frame. When you go up in size the units have a metal plate. What I did with my unit was completely dissassemble it before I installed it. Replaced all the sheet metal and mounting bolts with stainless and thru bolted where I could. Then I thrubolted a 1”x1” steel angle across the bottom plate for a secure mounting bracket.
Dont forget to get a smoke/ carbon monoxide detector!
 

Len.Barron

Observer
I'll probably modify the lower ducting some...the upper ducting will do most of the work...and it too will get relocated a bit during this project.
 

Len.Barron

Observer
rough cut out of the butcher block galley counter top (girlfriend request) and mounting of both bed/booth structures and galley cabinet. Quick fit up of fresh/gray tanks and 700w microwave. I'm also going to put one of the chinese diesel heaters under the porta-potty mount.
I went with a simple mounting system for all the tube structures, just some angle mounts and shot riv-nuts into the floor.
 

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Len.Barron

Observer
Caught the plague from the guys at work last week and that slowed me down a bit but over the weekend I got back at it, diesel heater is now installed but still needs fuel pump connection(need to buy some fittings) an wiring. It fits well under the porta-potty stand and still allows room for TP/chemicals. Also fabbed up and installed the water pump/accum mount plate, shot some riv-nuts into the bulkhead stiffeneres and this fits nicely behind the galley cabinet. Water tanks are just in with a temp strap now but this offset orientation allows for access to where the dump valve will be for the gray (upper tank) and still good placement for the drain (need to get a 1.25" p-trap and some other fittings at Lowe's today).
 

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brian94ht

Chateau spotter
I'll probably modify the lower ducting some...the upper ducting will do most of the work...and it too will get relocated a bit during this project.
You might find that similar to the Ford e series, the AC comes from the ceiling and the heat comes from the floor. So the upper ducting is only doing "most of the work" if the AC is on. YVMV "your van may vary"
E series have a flapper that directs the air either way, often its broken....
 

Len.Barron

Observer
E series have a flapper that directs the air either way, often its broken....
Yes, mine has a motorized flapper, it's working so I can throttle/bias upper and lower flow; I'm going to do a single large lower discharge duct (just behind/above the wheel tub) and continue with the upper duct that I have (just relocated a bit higher to get it out of my sight line at the galley counter/sink.
 
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