Cummins Canoe (A Stepvan Story)


Got the second coat of paint done and let it dry for a couple of days, nothing special. But now we can start throwing things onto the exterior!

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We replaced the rubber for the rear door stops. Because, you know, you never want to reuse old rubbers.

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Cleaned up and painted all the exterior hardware.

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Even got the new exterior lights on!

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Wow, these things are super bright! They will be wired 2 lights per switch, so you can choose which of the three sides you want on.
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I do have link. Here you go. I got the 3000K lights. They have an awesome gasket seal on the back of the light. Unfortunately, they leaked water inside. The water comes in through the hardware holes for the bolts. Added an o-ring to the mounting bolts and that seemed to fix the issue.



Since the paint has been dry, we kept mounting stuff to the outside.

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Using a 10' ladder to get to the roof all the time is going to get old. So we mounted these awesome folding steps.

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Now it's super easy and convenient to access the roof for things like cleaning the solar panels or having a picnic up there.


Paint all done, all exterior stuff refinished and reinstalled! with all that done, we'll be able to start insulating and covering all our access that we don't require anymore.

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She is actually semi-presentable now.
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Insulation is in full swing!

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Started with the rear wall. The space was 1.5", give or take. So we started with a layer of 0.5" foam, cutting it super exact to the space required.

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Lots of little bolts and bumps and brackets to fit these to. My OCD was exploding.

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One layer done.

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The second layer of 1" fit super snug inside this aluminum angle framing! Another technique used was overlapping the seams.

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And finally taping all the seams.

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Snug as a bug! Took all day to do just those two sections. So glad we're not doing the whole van in foam. That would take weeks to do!
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The time has come. After much mental strain, anxiety, and attempts to delay, the roof needs some holes. The roof is one giant sheet of aluminum. Way too pretty to mess with, but we must push forward!

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Gee willy these fans are expensive! But boy do they sure work great. We got a simple, in the middle grade version. None of that silly electronic remote mumbo jumbo. But one of these paired with just another roof vent should be plenty for our needs.

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Cut the interior ceiling out and removed the old insulation.

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Just for giggles, let's see how much of a difference a little insulation makes.

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Safe to say we won't have a heat problem from direct sunlight.

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Got some scrap wood cut down and framed out both ceiling spots.

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Oh boy, that's it! No turning back now!

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This hurts to look at, I hope it doesn't rain today...

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Very glad we framed these holes out. Very strong and stiff to walk around.

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Got the proper self leveling sealant and pre-drilled all the holes.

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And just like that, fans are in!


Everything I read says they are kinda required. Some people even install them in the walls. I can't give up that precious wall space though. You just gotta measure 8 times and bite the bullet, cutting into the roof.


Finally in expo white.
I like the build, it’s gonna turn out great.
In regards to the goofy non overdrive transmission, I am aware that in some medium duty auto transmissions they electronically lock out the overdrive to intentionally reduce speed. I think this is done because the tires are not rated for the speed overdrive would allow.

I would look the speed rating(and date code) for those tires.
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Thanks! And you know, that is a really good point about the tires and road speed. What better speed governor on a manual transmission than to just remove a couple of gears!


Things are rolling right along with interior business.

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On the way home from work, scored this sweet countertop for next to nothing!

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Got the ceiling insulation all squared away.

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Sometimes you can't score good deals. Been trying to source some used material that would work well for the van build. Couldn't locate good material, so we had to bite the bullet and purchase a dozen new sheets of birch plywood. Oh gee willy, that was a hit to the wallet. ?

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On a positive note, a neighbor donated a can of wood sealant. We sealed the back of all the wood that will face towards the insulation, in case as moisture does get in the walls, the wood will have a chance. Also, we need more horses.


I know, I know, everyone wants to see the interior in and done. But we still have prep work and preventative maintenance to do first!

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Had about 25 holes like this in the floor. Most were from self-taping screws that the bakery had done to mount all their racks and such. Bimetel corrosion between the steel screws and aluminum floor was not pretty. Note to self, don't do that when doing the interior build. We felt it was a good idea to clean up and weld shut.

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Oops. So I had a box of 4.5" sanding discs, and a 4" angle grinder. Right thing to do would be to go buy the right discs or grinder. The smart thing to do is to remove the safety guard. Now to be fair, before I started, I held it in my hand and thought last minute that this was a terrible idea, especially to use in tight corners. So hey, at least I put gloves on.

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Got a new pair of clean gloves to put over bloody hand and got back to work. Welds aren't pretty, but it'll more than do.

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Once ground down, it's like they were never there.

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Had a bunch of adhesive stuff to remove also.

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Also noticed an issue with one of the wheel wells. Maybe it was from the 600 pounds of plywood that was leaning on it the other day? They are welded on the outside. So we'll just weld it from the inside.

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Clamped it back to shape and welded it back.

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Got everything cleaned and caulked up.

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Added these angle brackets to the middle of the stock pocket door housings to stiffen it up to the bulkhead wood framing. Now when we mount our plywood interior, the aluminum won't be so flexible.

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Caulked as much as we could. Ignore the blood stains, they aren't from the victims that came for the "Free Candy", I promise. ?

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