New Build, Completed May 2023. Was converted to sell or rent out. I am an organized person and have detailed writeups for the build so please read everything before messaging with questions. Chances are I answer it in here. I did this conversion myself and although I do not have an LLC with a company name and therefore cannot advertise this as a “professional build” It is important for you to know a little about myself. 1: I have over 20 years of experience in construction and never in those years was anything less than top quality craftsmanship expected or accepted. 2: I have my HVAC contractor license and owned and operated my own HVAC company until 2021 when I sold it. My knowledge of mechanical and electrical is extensive and it’s an area that I am proficient. 3. I am also ASE certified in diesel engines and was a professional mechanic for 7 years in the Army and for an International Trucks dealership. I mention this because of the mechanical and electrical section of this write up. Quality work is the only work I perform.
This van runs great and strong. Lots of power to this awesome little Turbo Diesel engine. It can comfortably cruise 80mph down the highway and gets an average of 20mpg while doing it. Best I have ever got is 24mpg on a family trip fully loaded. I’ve only towed a trailer a few times with it with loads under 2,500 lbs but it towed it with ease up and down hill and I would not hesitate to tow much more with it. These engines have a great reputation and with it being a 2006 its pre-emissions change and therefore doesn’t have all of the same problems the newer diesel engines have and gets great mileage.
This is a pretty hot item obviously, so if you are not serious and ready to purchase a van conversion, please do not inquire. Thank You.
* Insulation: Roof is insulated with wool mesh from factory, Walls are spay foam insulated with fiberglass bat insulation anywhere glass is located to eliminate condensation issues. Floor has factory insulated paint and noise dampening materials. After years of camping in an RV even in the mountains during winter, there is no doubt that the insulation in this is far superior and adequate for winter or summer camping.
*Construction: QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY!!! All materials used for build out were high quality lumber and cabinet grade plywood. No veneered materials used. All cabinetry was glued and nailed, and installed similar with proper vibration rated screws to ensure longevity. (We have all seen the pictures of peoples van cabinets falling down while driving do to improper construction, that will not be the case for this build)
*Flooring: Factory sealed and coated 1/2” Plywood, covered by 1/2” cabinet grade plywood as a subfloor. Finished flooring is vinyl stick flooring (Upgraded, double layered with shiplap lip to ensure no separation) and was installed with additional 3M contact adhesive to ensure it will last the life of the build. Custom built galvanized and painted thresholds. Galvanized was properly stripped and sanded and painted with an enamel to ensure no scratches in the paint.
*Plumbing: 30 Gallon fresh water tank. 10 Gallon grey water tank. All plumbing was ran in freeze rated 1/2” PEX with SharkBite* brand brass fittings, and crimp fittings. YoungTree 3.5 GPM dc water pump with automatic cutoff and additional manual cutoff switch. 120V, 3 gallon water heater. Low flow residential grade faucet for indoor sink. Plumbing can be the biggest headache and therefore the plumbing on this build was overengineered to ensure no emergencies while traveling.
*Outdoor Shower: Residential grade faucet with upgraded low flow RV shower head (has amazing pressure). This was designed so that a curtain can be stretched between the rear doors for a private outdoor shower.
*Appliances’: Roof mounted Advent 13,500 btu quiet a/c. Installed additional hard start capacitor and potential relay for easy start up on low power situations. Electric heat kit installed as well for convenient electric heating. Techomey, 12V DV absorption Refrigerator with lock for traveling. Camco 5.3 gallon Portable Toilet with built in fresh water tank and black water tank. 2 burner glass top propane stove.
*Electrical (AC): Residential 100 Amp panel installed with residential breakers (RV panels and breakers are dangerous and prone to failures) 30 Amp Shore power connection port with 15’ RV cord. 2 wall outlet circuits ran in 12/2 MC (this is aluminum armored conduit to protect from potential nails/screws to be accidentally ran into a live wire. This wire is what is required to be installed for commercial buildings per 2018 Building code and in my opinion should always be installed in RV’s.) Kitchen circuit is protected with a GFCI. All outlets are residential tamper proof outlets.
*Solar System and DC wiring: Once again I would start this section with Quality, Quality, Quality!!! Every connection is properly crimped and sealed with heat shrink. All wiring is properly sized for current and only high quality stranded automotive copper wire used. This is a Renogy solar system. There are (2) 100 Ah Renogy AGM deep cycle batteries(total 200Ah), Renogy Rover 20A Solar Charger, Renogy Pure Sine Wave 2000w Inverter, Renogy 20A DC to DC charger, NOCO Genius 10A A/C smart battery charger, Renogy Bluetooth Module (so you can monitor charging and consumption from you smart phone) and a Renogy 200 Watt portable(suitcase style) hard solar panel with 20’ 10AWG charging cord (solar charging port next to shore power connection) This system is designed to be able to park under trees (in the shade) and run the solar panel out away from the van for charging. This is an added benefit because you can adjust the panels with ease throughout the day to optimize charging without having to move the Vehicle. It also gives you full access to the roof rack for storage. All electrical is properly sized and protected with fuses/breakers. The batteries can charge 3 ways, 1: through the AC charger when hooked up to shore power 2: Through the DC to DC charger while the engine is running 3: By solar. DC fuse panel with blown fuse indicator is located in rear and clearly marked per circuit.
*Roof Rack: Custom built heavy duty roof rack. Constructed from 11 gauge steel. No ladder, it was intended to use a telescoping ladder as it is safer.
*Towing: E-Trailer Class III receiver hitch installed and Curt Multi-function Power Tail Light converter installed.
*Safety: Fire Suppression System(bomb) installed in electrical compartment. Carbon Monoxide detector installed.
*Extras: Rear camera wired to come on when the running lights or headlights are turned on, with a display in the rearview mirror. This way you have real time picture behind you while driving or backing. Aftermarket front speakers. Aftermarket Stereo with Apple Carplay, and 8” touchscreen display.
This vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition. With the history of this Mercedes diesel engine, there is no doubt this engine will be running strong well past 350,000 miles. Everything has been properly maintained and repaired since the vehicle was new. Vehicle was purchased new by a Church in Central Texas who made sure it was properly maintained by a local Certified repair facility. All oil changes, filter changes, ect. were performed as scheduled. I purchased this vehicle in 2021 (second owner) and continued proper maintenance. Had a weird electrical issue last year that ended in the entire starting/charging system being replaced by a mechanic shop but ultimately found that the issue was related to a problem in the ECU. This is listed below in the description of mechanical work performed.
*Mechanical/Maintenance: 70,785 miles- Replaced fuel filter, EGR Valve, and replaced wiper blades. 71,835mi- Replaced engine oil and filter. Replaced transmission oil and filter. 72,250- Replaced all 4 tires at Discount Tire with Michelin 60,000 mile tires and road hazard insurance. 72,425 Replaced transmission case connector (common issue on these vehicles). 76,469mi- Replaced headlights and refinished headlight lenses. Replaced MAF and MAP sensors, and air filter. 77,260- Replaced turbo resignator, checked turbo turbines, replaced charge air hoses, replaced intake charge air o-rings. 77,423- Replaced Battery, Alternator, and starter. 77,891- Replaced ECU through Module Experts with lifetime warranty.