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Old 04-23-2018, 08:50 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
Hey Santiago! How is your Ram van to Class B conversion coming along? Well, I hope. Any photos you can share? Inquiring minds want to know....
Hi Dale, good to hear from you.
Well, it took the 2018 goldish colored van 5 months to arrive. Picked it mid February just before we headed out on another overseas trip. Poor van, sitting on our driveway thinking it was abandoned. We will be home in two weeks as it's a 6 week trip.

We changed the design, yet again. So when we get home I will take design over to CAD so all details, components and measurements will be nailed down leaving just build. We think this will ensure a successful outcome. It's how I used to do in my other life as an engineer. The design build process is the most fun. If only Kim would stop taking me places.

This trip we cruised 7 days at the Galapagos Islands, toured Ecuador another week, toured Peru another week. Then Manchu Pichu. Am at Santiago Chile as I write taking a 23 hour bus trip to northern Chile tomorrow morning to spend a week at the Atacama high desert driest spot on earth with moonscape scenes.

Then bus back to Santiago for balance of trip taking excursions to near by places. We had flights within Chile but airline strike forced us to take scenic bus trip.

So Dale. I wish I could say we were making progress with our van build but Kim has other ideas.

Will be happy to share the build with you, the forum or anyone interested. Once I have enough content, I plan on putting it on a site.

Thank you for asking. When I am home I read the escape forum just about daily as it will always be part of my life. To this day I still learn new things reading the forum. Never too old to learn

Bed time, we have our backpacks ready for subway ride to Santiago's main bus station in the morning.

Take care.
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:12 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
Hey Santiago! How is your Ram van to Class B conversion coming along? Well, I hope. Any photos you can share? Inquiring minds want to know....
Hello again Dale,

Still in South America, Santiago Chile once again after taking the 23 hour bus trip to the northern part of Chile near Argentina, Bolivia and Peru border. Spent almost a week there, 4500 meters -27deg C at sunrise. Santiago is warm !!! glad to be back.

As to photos, all I have now is when we picked up the van days before we left the U.S. When I get around to create a Wordpress for the build, I would be happy to share that link with you via PM here or generally if anyone else is interested. I know I must share what I do with all three van forums as they have helped me immensely. Will take questions and certainly advice and feedback as I am still learning.

Take care.
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File Type: jpg Santiago at Promater Delivery.jpg (157.7 KB, 67 views)
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:11 PM   #43
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You may want to reconsider the moniker “stealth” as you are fooling very few people.
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:43 PM   #44
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You may want to reconsider the moniker “stealth” as you are fooling very few people.
You are not having a good day are you?
I will reconsider nothing.
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:23 PM   #45
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Hi Santiago- love that color! Looking for a used RX350 in what they call satin cashmere metallic. Anything but contractor white for the van if it were me.

My $.02 on the stealth thing: my son got rousted in his Econoline E-150 van in Santa Cruz, but it is a semi-beater 1999- in contractor white. He didn't make a move when they were pounding on his door and saying "I know you're in there!"
Still got a ticket, which of course he fought and finally received a nice letter "In the interest of justice we are voiding the ticket".

At Mammoth one cannot be overnight in a vehicle anywhere in city limits, however we usually see a Sprinter van in one of the parking lots when we pull in early to park our rolling warming hut.

There is an art to stealth camping; lots do it and others would never think of it.
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:54 PM   #46
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Hi Ross, good to hear from you.

It is unfortunate that 7 months after I started this thread, this subject is brought up now. After all this time Dale was kind enough to ask me how am I doing. I responded.

I am well aware of many municipality rules for quick overnight stops while on the road, I am very familiar with most all options available to those of us that are not camping, loitering or just hanging out. As I have said many times our goal is to tour not camp. If we wanted to set camp, we would make reservations long in advance and incorporate that into our travel schedule.

If Dale is interested in how Kim and I accomplish our goal of touring North America, I will communicate with him via PM and/or email. I certainly don't need to hear that I am trying to fool others.

My regards to Susan. As soon as I get a break, we will drop by to say hello.

Take care my friend.
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:58 PM   #47
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Santiago, by now you must be touring in the van. Does it meet your expectations?
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:20 PM   #48
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Santiago, by now you must be touring in the van. Does it meet your expectations?
Hi Viajante,

Nice of you to ask.

The short answer is that we started the build, despite a late factory delivery earlier this year. Add to this the fact that this year we set a record for being away from home and that was frustrating as it kept interrupting workflow, ordering parts, etc.

We have one last trip coming up in November, our fourth in 2018. So far three planned for 2019. As a result I see the van being 20% complete by end of this year. Aside from out of country distractions, the main problem is that being a unique high end camper takes a lot more time than most DIY van conversions. Remember, our goal is to live in it for months at a time year in year out for as long as the van or us can take it. There is so much to see in North America, from Fairbanks to Key West, we intend to spend the next decade, or more, seeing all of it, in as much comfort as a 20 foot class B van can deliver.

Sooner or later I will put together a website describing the build for anyone interested in borrowing ideas. We do have high expectations and know this camper will will not disappoint. Our conversion material costs will be on the high side by design. Labor is free of course, in this case labor of love.

Lastly, we intend to start using the van as soon as the bed and house electrical is in place but close to home meaning the western states. Yes that means taking a cooler along and real camping stuff like butane stove, etc. Not till all appliances and cabinets are in will we start crossing the country.

Stay tuned, I haven't forgotten my friends here.
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:21 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santiago View Post
Hi Viajante,

Nice of you to ask.

The short answer is that we started the build, despite a late factory delivery earlier this year. Add to this the fact that this year we set a record for being away from home and that was frustrating as it kept interrupting workflow, ordering parts, etc.

We have one last trip coming up in November, our fourth in 2018. So far three planned for 2019. As a result I see the van being 20% complete by end of this year. Aside from out of country distractions, the main problem is that being a unique high end camper takes a lot more time than most DIY van conversions. Remember, our goal is to live in it for months at a time year in year out for as long as the van or us can take it. There is so much to see in North America, from Fairbanks to Key West, we intend to spend the next decade, or more, seeing all of it, in as much comfort as a 20 foot class B van can deliver.

Sooner or later I will put together a website describing the build for anyone interested in borrowing ideas. We do have high expectations and know this camper will will not disappoint. Our conversion material costs will be on the high side by design. Labor is free of course, in this case labor of love.

Lastly, we intend to start using the van as soon as the bed and house electrical is in place but close to home meaning the western states. Yes that means taking a cooler along and real camping stuff like butane stove, etc. Not till all appliances and cabinets are in will we start crossing the country.

Stay tuned, I haven't forgotten my friends here.
Hi Santiago . Good to hear from you ! Yes definetly interested in your build ! Pat
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:54 PM   #50
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Hi Santiago . Good to hear from you ! Yes definetly interested in your build ! Pat
Yes Santiago, Very Interested!
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:22 AM   #51
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Good luck Santiago....keep in touch.
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:25 AM   #52
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Hi Santiago, glad to hear you are still around; often wondered how you were doing. Count me very interested to hear about your van build. Finally got my 19 this Spring and loving it for my current style of travel but totally understand your choices. Will you be at the RTR this January? I plan on attending, need to get out of this Miami heat
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:50 PM   #53
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Hi Santiago,

Not sure if you'll see this but I just stumbled upon your dated thread. In 2016 we bought a Sandstone Promaster 3500 extended, diesel, and had Van Specialties in Tualatin build it out to our specifications. We love it. We live in Anchorage AK and use the van in lower 48 to explore, visit family, hike, bike etc. We usually head south October and April during the shoulder seasons (we love winter when the snow is good).

We are purchasing a 21C, not to replace the van, but to accommodate our summer adventures here in Alaska. The novelty of the drive to and from AK wears off, and we'd rather spend our time adventuring vs. driving. The class B is our preferred mode for extended road trips and boondocking. The agility has taken us places you simply couldn't go with trailer. Here in AK the trailer will serve us well as we envision fewer moves, and we already have a suitable tow vehicle. Only concern is we'll get spoiled by all the extra space!

Anyway, just so you know there are others of us out there who can switch up the tools for exploring.

Cheers, Rick
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:17 PM   #54
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Santiago is very resourceful and would be great to see what he did with his Promaster after his mods to the 21 he had for a short time. Susan wants a Class B to roam places not suitable for our 21. Got me thinking we might get a van & part with our current TV. Thanks for posting.
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