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Lexus LX470 Rear Cabin Conversion...

PaulJensen

Custom Builder
Lexus LX470 Conversion - Part 1


Mike Hiscox handed over the keys to his daily driver along with pile of stuff and a wish list...What follows is a short story of the transformation...


(above) Time to start...


(above) Mike wanted the rear cabin to be a light duty camper...Sort of...



(above) The starting point...There needs to be a bed that allowed a full size man to sleep in the rear without removing the seating behind the driver...There needs to be a cold water sink, water supply and grey water holding...There needs to be a 12VDC refrigerator...There needs to be a battery, inverter, power distribution panel, 12VDC and 115VAC, shore power plug-in and connectivity for a future winch...Storage is always nice, so the goal was to get as much as possible...The final request is to have it be removable in the event it gets converted back to factory issue...Say what...???...


(above) The key to it all is to find a way to get a bed to fit over the rear seat when it's folded over...I need to think about that one...


(above) The first thing to do is get out all that doesn't need to be in there...First out was the carpet and floor hold-downs...Next was the plastic wheel-well covers...


(above) As stripped out as I need it...


(above) The carpet was used as a pattern for the base cabinet...I'll figure out how to partition it as I go along...


(above) My plan is to build a box that will fit between the wheel wells and house the components, and the remaining space will be storage...I like to use 1/2" Baltic birch plywood... I use a portable table saw with a dado blade to cut the box joints...Simple, easy, strong...


(above) The box height is determined by the height of the rear seat folded over...The bed somehow needs to be at least that high to go over it...


(above) Once the box is in place, the sides can be designed for optimal use...The sink will be on the driver side and the fridge will be on the curb side, up forward...The battery and inverter will be curb side, down low...The drinking water and grey water tanks are behind the driver side seat...The box drawer is accessible from the rear...


(above) Like that...I fitted the drawers with uber heavy duty drawer guides...Rated at 300 to 500#...Why not...???...

More later...
 
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redthies

Renaissance Redneck
That's pretty good use of space! I built a segmented drawer system for my LX450 to house all my carpentry gear. I would show up at job sites with everything I needed to do high end millwork. The organization it allowed always seemed to impress people. The OME suspension allowed the LX to carry it all with ease. Not great for the fuel economy...
 

98roamer

Explorer
:wings: So glad to have something to look forward to on my morning web surfing. The bar has been set, not to put too much pressure on you. :D
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
Paul as always I am impressed by your skill....
but I have a few questions:
How will the fridge be accessed?
It looks like it opens from the middle of the rig towards the pass side and that means trying to reach in from the pass rear door but the fridge door might hit the roof. At a min I would recommend a fridge door mod that allows side opening.

Same sort of question on the sink?
Can you access it while outside the vehicle or only when inside?

Having done a couple of sleep inside setups on small rigs I think the ability to access fridges, sinks and other eating/washing stuff while standing outside the rig is super important.

You are doing a great job and I am watching closely as I am about to start by 70 suburban interior.
 

PaulJensen

Custom Builder
How will the fridge be accessed?
It looks like it opens from the middle of the rig towards the pass side and that means trying to reach in from the pass rear door but the fridge door might hit the roof. At a min I would recommend a fridge door mod that allows side opening.

You have it right...The ref. turned out to be 4" taller than what it was supposed to be...It is a ceiling scraper...Mike wanted access from the back seat and from the rear cabin and this is how and where it works best...Tight spaces usually mean compromising something, in this case it's easy, natural access...

Same sort of question on the sink?
Can you access it while outside the vehicle or only when inside?

My suggestion was to place the sink for in and out access, but Mike felt that for his needs, the place where it ended up was best...
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
Lest anyone be confused, the truck is a 2005 LX470, same as a 100 Series Landcruiser, as opposed to an LX450, which was the upscale 80 Series.
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
Having done a couple of sleep inside setups on small rigs I think the ability to access fridges, sinks and other eating/washing stuff while standing outside the rig is super important.
FWIW, it's easy enough to reach both the sink and the fridge from outside through their respective passenger doors. Also, the hinged fridge top opens wide enough to give easy enough access. If there was any reason you needed complete access, the lid comes off quickly.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
Good to know your desires Mike as it is your rig after all.
The fridge lid mod is well documented on Mud and I almost did it to my Engel and I think I still have the part around unused if you want them. Having a side hinge lid on that fridge means no roof contact and a much better life :)

I am sure it will be a great interior and my questions where based on my experiences, I have no doubt Mike that you & Paul have put alot of thought into your buildout.
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
The fridge lid mod is well documented on Mud and I almost did it to my Engel and I think I still have the part around unused if you want them. Having a side hinge lid on that fridge means no roof contact and a much better life. :)
Thanks for the generous offer, Lance. I'll let you know after I get back from a ten-day southwest Utah trip. Leaving tomorrow AM.

I understand the advantage of the side hinge and really don't know yet if I'd prefer it. That mod gives you great access from one side but poor access from the other. The way I oriented my fridge, I have mediocre access from both front side and rear. By the time I'm back, I should know whether the limited swing due to the roof contact seems like a bigger PITA than not being able to get at it well from both fore and aft.
 

PaulJensen

Custom Builder
Lexus LX470 Conversion - Part 2


(above) Sink cut-out...Driver side...The faucet is a simple, single lever bar faucet found at Home Depot...


(above) At a restaurant supply store I found a variety of stainless steel pans...Mike wanted some trays for storage and these seemed right...I'll cut into the top of the cabinet and have them be drop in and pull out for access deeper into the wheel well space...You can also see the partitioning down low for the inverter under the fridge and the battery just behind it...


(above) Four gallon drinking and grey water containers...


(above) Water pump...


(above) The connections are easy... Pull the tanks forward a bit and unscrew the connections...The waste water connection changed later as you'll see...(As you are reading this Mike is driving the completed conversion on his way to Utah)...


(above) The bed zone...Mike thought I could do something with heavy duty drawer guides to have the bed platform slide forward over the folded seat...There were multiple complexities doing that way, so I went a different direction...


(above) Hinged plywood...You can see that it is in two sections...Ceiling height necessitated that...The nearest folding section rest firmly on the folded over seat...Solid support...Without that it wouldn't work ...The smaller hinged section is unsupported as shown, but seems to be sturdy enough if the foot of the sleeping bag goes there...Later I made a simple support that fits in the finger-pull hole...


(above) Access panel for the inverter / battery / storage...


(above) Back in the shop...Cut-outs for drop-in trays and electrical outlets are done...The inverter is on the bench, over on the right...I put a narrow hinged door over on the left side for more access to storage space in the wheel-well...


(above) Another view from this side...


(above) The view from the driver side...The sink is placed and ready to have the rear flange trimmed flush with the rear edge of the cabinet...I'll show details of the sink later...It's a 4" deep stainless steel "steam tray" purchased at the restaurant supply store...A hole was drilled for a drain and a piece of copper tubing was soldered in...

I put an "accumulator tank" in the water supply...It is some kind of an air bladder thing that provides more consistent water pressure and is easier on the water pump...Later I found out that if the electrical system is shut off and the water pump is disabled, the accumulator tank still provides about a half quart of water...Nice...


(above) Far from a simple design...Especially when you remember that it is designed to be removable...

More later...
 

ersatzknarf

lost, but making time
Wow ! Another amazing project :D
Just when I thought the Jeep had tons of features in a very small package, you guys go and up the ante ! :chef:
Amazing. This is going to be very, very nice :sombrero:
 
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