4x4 Sunrader Build Out

Update #5
Up next, Maxxair roof fans. These are going to be a great upgrade from the standard roof vents. The fans have 10 speeds and it also has an automatic mode where you can set a temperature and it will adjust accordingly. They're also bi-directional so they can pull air in or push out. With two of them in the Sunrader it should create great circulation. The installation was fairly straight forward on these. After removing the old vents there was a fair bit of cleaning to do with the old butyl tape but nothing too terrible (we're becoming palette knife ninjas). The holes on the Maxxairs didn't match up with the original vents so we did have to drill some more holes but it was all easy stuff. Then when we screwed them all in, went around the edges with Sikaflex, and covered each screw as well. On the interior we had to wait to do the trim piece until after we installed the ceiling (more on that later).
Removing the original vents and cleaning up the left over gunk.
Prime photo opportunity.
Old vs new.
All cleaned up.
Drilling new holes.
Sikaflex to cover up screw holes. We also went around the border with it.
Inside view.

Maxed out the photos so that's it for now! More information and photos can be found on this process over here: http://www.boundfornowhere.com/blog/2017/build-out-week-6
Update #6
So fiberglassing is done. Clearance lights are done. Air vents are done. The next big project is paint! Scary and exciting all at the same time. First though, we took care of a few small things. We sprayed Amelia down only to find that she still had a bunch of leaks. She was leaking from her tail lights, the city water hook up, the rear hatch door, and the rear side windows. Oh boy... We had plans to replace the tail light set up anyway so we weren't too worried about that. The city water hookup we never planned on using anyway so Mak, with her new found fiberglassing skill, took care of that hole. For the rear hatch door we replaced the seal. The old one was tired and just wasn't doing it's job. We couldn't find anything quite like the old one so we bought some "D" seal instead and it worked like a charm. It fits nice and tight and it's not leaking. We had just reinstalled ALL the windows so it was pretty disappointing to see those ones leaking. However, they were leaking from the seal of the window to the frame, not the frame to the fiberglass. After doing some research we discovered this seal was called "glazing bead". We ordered some and it fixed the leaking. We ended up taking all the windows out except the front ones (they were too much of a pain to put in) since we were painting and replaced the glazing bead. We also started installing some insulation, we got this stuff called Thinsulate. It came highly recommended to us for both sound and temperature. It's actually the stuff that goes in a lot of synthetic down jackets.


New seal for the hatch door

Fiberglassing over the city water hookup

Fresh paint on window frames

In order to get the Sunrader ready for paint we had to remove all the old decals. We did this with a drill and an eraser wheel. It worked like a charm!

Eraser wheel glory

More info on these projects and more can be found here:
Update #7
Painting time! ... Well not quite. First there was some additional fiberglass work to fix imperfections in the fiberglass. Might as well since we are going through the trouble of painting!

All the blue tape shows imperfections we fixed. o_O You'll also see in the first one that some of the raw fiberglass has gotten primer.

Rather than spray, we used a method called rolling and tipping. Spray would give a nicer/shinier finish but we just didn't have anywhere we could paint it that way so we opted for this method. The same technique was used for the primer as seen in the pictures above.

With the priming done we gave everything a good light sand, wiped her down with tack cloth then simple green and acetone. Then we masked everything off.
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Update #7 (continued)
We used boat paint and primer for this. Throughout the process we've taken a lot of cues from the boating/sailing world as their stuff has to be durable and water tight.

Mixing the paint up.

Rolling and tipping.

Starting to come together!

Finished product!

In all we did three coats. After the first coat we had a little "oh ****" moment where we got scared cause it didn't look great, but with each coat the result got better and we're really happy with how it turned out. It's a vast improvement over the raw patches of fiberglass that were showing before!

Video of the painting process:

And more specific details of the process can be found here: http://www.boundfornowhere.com/blog/2017/build-out-week-8-9


Expedition Leader
I keep thinking you need to put the name "Amelia" on the front where it used to say "Sunrader" - Sort of like the name on Ken Kesley's bus "Further"

Update #8
With the painting of the camper done we moved on to some of the "trim" pieces. Things like the fenders, roof rack, and ladder. We previously painted the ladder with some Rustoleum truck bed liner and it started flaking off almost immediately. We wanted a tough truck bed liner for these pieces so we did some research and got Raptor Liner. It's certainly more expensive than the Rustoleum but the quality is exponentially better. We did have to get a spray gun for it though, which just opened up the door for even more fun!

Testing out on a box before diving in.

Overall it was a quick process and it dries in under an hour.

When the Raptor liner cured we set to work installing the bars back on the roof. We added some Yakima crossbars and the SUPDawg as well. The SUPDawg is for the surfboards and the other half of the roof will have a box for some extra gear.

We installed the fenders with rivets and then painted the rivets black with some Q-tips and black paint.

We also needed to put the windows back in so we gave the frames some fresh paint. Then we applied butyl tape and installed them.

As always, more information/pictures can be found on the blog: http://www.boundfornowhere.com/blog/2018/build-out-week-10
Update #9
Next up, awning installation! We got an 8' Fiamma awning because the ARB wouldn't work for our needs. We had an ARB on our van and it was great but you have to be able to reach it to unroll it and on the Sunrader it's too tall for us. With the Fiamma you only need it's stick thing and you can unwind the awning. Which is also great because it's a one person job now. To get it on the Sunrader we had to drill holes in the side of the body and do a few dry fits to make sure everything was in the right place. We added fiberglass support blocks on the inside to help disperse the weight and spacers on the outside to give it some needed distance from the body. We were dreading this project because we thought it was going to be a total pain but it actually went rather smoothly and dare I say, easily.

The before picture

Dry fitting so we can identify bracket locations

Spacer for the brackets. One has two blocks because at the front of the body it slants inwards.

Epoxy-ing the blocks for weight dispersion in. You can see the holes in the body have already been drilled. After the epoxy cured, we drilled through the fiberglass blocks too.

Installing brackets.

All done!

So far this thing has been a dream. Really excited to have it installed and looking forward to using it! More details on the install can be found here:
Update #10 Decals
Amelia had a set of greyscale stripes on her originally but we had to remove them to paint her. We loved the retro feel of the stripes so we wanted to recreate them. Before we painted her, we took her to a local vehicle wrap shop so that they could take measurements of the original design. We also decided to change the color from grayscale to what we call the "sunset" stripes. This was the other color scheme on Sunraders.

Original stripes

Removing stripes on the cab and cleaning up in preparation for the new decals.

New stripes!

Super happy with how it turned out. We will be adding back in a few more decals like the "4x4" and a "Bound.For.Nowhere". Also, thanks to a great suggestion here we are looking into getting "Amelia" painted by a friend who does pinstriping on the front panel.
Sorry for the long delay in updating this. Since the last time of posting we finished the Sunrader and sold her. There's a lot to unpack to really explain it all but I'll start by finishing the build. For the sake of ease I'm going to just post the videos. The last video showed us painting and this one goes into resealing the windows, adding the Maxxair roof fans and more:

As I said, we finished the whole build so if you want in depth reading on the whole process with LOTS of pictures and diagrams you can see it all here:
Sunrader Build Blog Posts

This is a picture of her all finished the first night we spent camping in her
Going to add in this video as well before getting back into photos and some explanation. This way the videos will be caught up to where I am in the photos on the thread.