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i'm looking to do a kitchen galley component in the rear and a stowable elevated three section bed platform that will provide under platform storage and use a 6" tri-fold memory foam mattress. idea is that i can easily install and remove each component. plan to produce material list, dimensional info, and build guide when done to share.

has anyone here done a camper conversion for your pac?
 

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:surprise: I think you're the first.

i'm looking to do a kitchen galley component in the rear and a stowable elevated three section bed platform that will provide under platform storage and use a 6" tri-fold memory foam mattress. idea is that i can easily install and remove each component. plan to produce material list, dimensional info, and build guide when done to share.

has anyone here done a camper conversion for your pac?
 

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Do it sound very cool!
 

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I don't know why in this country we can't have a Westfalia anymore. Would love it if any car company would have the balls to bring them to the US. I would be all over the Mercedes Marco Polo if it ever came to the US.
 

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This solution might not win any awards for elegance (the owners are experimenting and sharing their experience), but it looks like a reasonable setup for something that doesn't alter the vehicle itself all that much:


Certainly it's not comparable to a true purpose-built camper conversion, but for anyone who only wants the camper functionality part-time it might provide some good ideas. I'd actually be interested to see a commercial 'kit' that integrates a lot of this into modules that can be installed and removed on demand.
 

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Clicking around YouTube reveals there are quite a number of 'minivan camper conversion' videos (many Dodge Caravans) so the above video turns out to be just one of many. For anyone with DIY skills there are a lot of useful tips out there. One concern I'd have with many of these, however, is what happens in a collision. That's a lot of mass getting tossed around or slammed forward if it isn't properly secured. It's all fun and games until the fridge lands in the front seat...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
video and construction prints of my set up

This dropbox link has my "blueprints" and video (one speeded up with campsite set-up pics added at the end. the other video slower speed sans campsite pics).

Not shown (and I will add a pic to the dropbox next week) is how I fasten the system at the two metal attachment points at the rear cargo door to prevent forward sliding in case of a hard braking event.

Install takes 5-10 minutes from stowing the 2nd and 3rd row seats to being ready for gear.

I'm 6' tall and can sit cross legged on top of the 6" mattress and still have an inch or two headroom clearance. The mattress is a FULL size Millard Tri-fold (4.5" foam + 1.5" memory foam) and it is unbelievably comfortable for two adults. I indicated it as a TWIN in the video but it is a FULL which I had to trim to a 48" width.

We like the set-up and will be spending six or so weeks touring this beautiful country next May.
 

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Ok, im looking to do a fairly large camper build. Anybody have any updates from above? lessons learned? Mine will be a large rear kitchen complete with sliders and storage, as well as a fold out full size bed. Hopefully all goes well!
 

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Hello All,

I am also looking to convert the Pacifica to a camper. Mostly for one sleeper with the option for two at times. My plan is to remove the middle seats for the storage space. The 40 side third row would stay up while the 60 side third row would be folded flat for bed space. I plan to make the platform from 80/20 aluminum after a few test runs with wood.

Has anyone taken the second row seats completely out yet?? I am just getting started but have big plans.
 

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Hello All,

I am also looking to convert the Pacifica to a camper. Mostly for one sleeper with the option for two at times. My plan is to remove the middle seats for the storage space. The 40 side third row would stay up while the 60 side third row would be folded flat for bed space. I plan to make the platform from 80/20 aluminum after a few test runs with wood.

Has anyone taken the second row seats completely out yet?? I am just getting started but have big plans.
Ive taken them out a few times. Pretty easy. You need to make sure they are slid all the way forward before you pull the release tab. That took me a while to figure out. I also have to move the driver and passenger seats pretty far forward to get the middle seats all the way folded flat. But once you do that, pull the cord and pitch them forward. They are heavier than you think, so lift from the back of them as you pitch them forward. But once you figure it out, they come out super fast.

Since Im here, Im about half way done with my build. I have the main box done and fitted. I should have the slide out and sink done in the next few days. Ill post pics when I can.
Cheers!
 

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How goes the build Fireresq21?

I just laid down a few amazon equipment mats on the floor for now and ordered weather tech window shades. They are a bit awkward but the fit is awesome! You can hardly see them in the rear windows through the existing tint.

I am going to start my bedframe this week out of wood for now but will do 80/20 aluminum once I work out the kinks.
 

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It goes good.
main box is built and multi-hinged bed plate form are all cut and work well! I’ve started on the dual slider tray and got the initial sizes cut.I’ll post some pics in the next few days. I’ve got the mattresses on order and the water pump supplies.
 

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How goes the build Fireresq21?

I just laid down a few amazon equipment mats on the floor for now and ordered weather tech window shades. They are a bit awkward but the fit is awesome! You can hardly see them in the rear windows through the existing tint.

I am going to start my bedframe this week out of wood for now but will do 80/20 aluminum once I work out the kinks.
Sorry this took so long, but here are the pics! Its about 90% done. Just took the family out to Joshua Tree and it worked great. The wife and 2 girls slept inside, I was banished to tent camping. The dual sliders worked great and made life so much easier.
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This is inside view. With the top bed support out. Both sliders fully extended (bottom one about 80%). Storage bin front / right of picture. Water area past that. Some storage behind sliders

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Here is the bed support. 3 hinges total. Closest seam hinge is on other side. This allows a Z fold (accordion style) Once its Z folded I can lift it to gain access to storage areas.

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Here are the second row seats (both used for kids). You can see the bed support Z folded. This is Road Configuration. The box goes pretty much right up to the back of the seats (as they are all pushed back far). The seats folded down like this will support the head of the bed support. You can adjust the seats back and forth to find the sweet spot to get the most support.

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here is one up, and one down.

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Here is the second slid out. I used coffee table hinges for the lid. This creates a great flat spot for food prep, dish wash, or whatever. Its basically the camp kitchen now. Everything we need fits in there. Used dollar bin organizers to keep everything from sliding around. magnetic strips for the knives and such. The first slide out is about 80% out. I did buy a real nice folding table horse that has fully adjustable legs. The sliders I bought were already expensive for the 40" ones, and I didn't get the real nice ones. The added support from the table horse under the first slide out is perfect to support everything. And you cant barely see it when in use. The further slider has plenty of support once the lower slide is supported.

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As you can see the front is still unfinished (for looks), but is fully functional. The blue toggles are the slider locks.

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Here is the lower slide out. You can see our stove for size purposes. There is an area behind that I left open for the propane bottle and food staging. Basically we just put everything on a cutting board and then laid it across the slide rails. But you could also maybe make a small box here for additional storage?

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Here are the sliders with the lid down. You can also see the bed support. Where it hinges, the idea was to have it be able to lift to gain access to the water area. However the shape of the rear of the van wouldn't allow this. I will need to either cut it down to shape, or some up with something else.

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Here is everything closed up. I have 2, 3L water containers. Here I will be installing the water pump and an expandable sink head. I will then be able to pull out the nozzle and turn on the pump for easy dish clean up. . . and kid showers! You can also see the double blue toggles. The bottom ones release the first slide, and the upper ones release the second. You can also see both second row seats are up and the bed support Z folded.

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Here is how we traveled Dual twin Millard foam pads fit perfectly together for sleeping. We threw a sheet over them and blankets and all were happy!


Some take aways for me.
  • I had to build 2 chocks for the rear of the box. The van floor slopes away and leave about a 4" gap. Using the chocks really supports the whole box well.
  • I bought some quick adjustable legs I will put on the bottom of the box at the front. This way I can lift it up just a 1/2" or so. The sliders clear the van no problem, but this will make it smoother.
  • Don't cheap out on the slides. They are expensive, but get the ones that can support 500 lbs. The cheaper version I bought I can tell are struggling to hold the weight.
  • I used MDF for everything. Super heavy. Its a pain in the ass to get in and out. I take the sliders out first, then its a 2 person job to lift the box. If I had to do it over, Id buy nice sturdy (thinner) ply wood.
  • Im going to put some finishing touches on the front so it looks cleaner. And maybe paint it.
Let me know what you think! Love all feedback. good and bad!!
 

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This is so awesome!! Thanks for sharing, beautifully executed project. Plus you can move 4 people. Very cool!! What are you doing for power and battery? Say, to power some lights, or have the electric AC or heater running?
 

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I’d like to hardwire an inverter in the rear extra battery and get some solar going eventually. But we are a headlamp family. So I didn’t even plug anything in. The doors were opened and closed 100 times with the kids, and I started the van once to ensure a good charge. I do have some LED rope lights I planned on using but never did. But those just plug in to the 110 outlet on the passenger side.
we also bought a pretty slick battery fan for the inside. And we ordered these cool magnetic bug screens for the windows. So we can have them open and keep The bugs out! They just smack on to the outside of the van.
 

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Awesome build. I didn’t realize you had the hybrid version. But with a family of four you need the seats. I went with the gas version and plan to remove the 2nd row seats for storage space.

Did you leave the 3rd row in place or remove that for storage? If you removed how did you cover that open space or does the box just hang over it?

Congrats on the build it looks like you have all the bases covered. How did the ventilation go? That’s one of my big concerns.
 

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So the 3rd row in the hybrid still Stowe’s. Which is awesome. So nothing to worry about there.
thanks for the kind words 👍🏻 I think as a first version it turned out pretty good.
we cracked the front windows just a hair and used a large sunscreen on the front. I’ve ordered some exterior magnetic bug screens to help with that. But it wasn’t a problem where we were. I also got a sweet battery operated fan just in case. I’m also making sun block inserts for the inside to Black it out. Not that the kids sleep in anyways! Haha. But we can try!
 
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