Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
1999 Astro Dirtbag Mobile
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
May 21, 2014
mike
Itís no sprinter, but sheís mine.
Hereís my 99 Chevy Astro Van with a few upgrades and build outs. When I got her she had 30K miles, this guy that lived on a boat had been using it for storage. Now it has a little over 100K. I started by gutting everything out of the back and putting in plywood and cheap carpet.

1999 Astro Van
1999 Astro Van


Inside I have a twin size bed I built out of scrap wood and then through an Ikea mattress and costco foam topper. My sitting area is a crash pad and under the bed youíll find cloths bin, med bin, couple food bins and my quidebook bin. You can kinda (red light) see my inverter (1200w) with some cords coming out up high.

Sitting Area
Sitting Area


Bed Side
Bed Side


Bed Empty Side
Bed Empty Side


Bed Empty Back
Bed Empty Back


Uptop is all my climbing/camping/backpacking gear as well as 100w of solar and of course my bike.

Top Of Van
Top Of Van


I bought all my solar system off amazon:

Battery Cables $22
Solar Panel Kit $185
Terminal Rings $5
Inverter $85
Deepcycle 35AH Battery $76
Inverter Cables $10

I kid you not, I drilled some holes on my roof, ran all the cables, plugged the holes with some silicon and everything worked perfectly. I was amazed. The only piece I have regrets about is the battery. Itís ok, but go bigger. My 35AH can (at night time, not charging) run some sweet ikea LED strips all night, charge my bose mini dock, charge my laptop and extended battery, charge my cell phone and thatís about it. Totally enoughÖ unless you have a few days of bad weather and bad sun. This is what Iím going to get soon:

125AH Battery

The best decision I've ever made (as a van owner, I guess not being a corporate ass hole and moving into my van was the best decision I've ever made).

Newest upgrade, passenger chair swivel and I found a bay-view curtain rod.

Inside With Swivel
Inside With Swivel


Front Swivel W Curtain
Front Swivel W Curtain


Found he curtain rod at Lowes that was really adjustable and easy to hang with a few of those bendy gear ties. The swivel I bought from some truck supply web site and had to pay someone to drill and weld it to make it work. Both are worth every penny and all the hassle with the amount of new space I have.

Last but not least, my kitchen.

Kitchen Empty
Kitchen Empty


Kitchen
Kitchen


Back Of Van
Back Of Van


Double burner coleman and a yeti. For God sakes, if youíre gonna live in a van, get a yeti. My stove is connected to an 11 pound propane tank that I keep pretty far in the back since that will last forever.

Hope you like her.

FLAG
By Tristan Higbee
From Cambodia
May 22, 2014
Me on a mixed route Crisco and I did in Rock Canyon.
Looks great. Thanks for sharing.

I didn't know what a Yeti was, so I looked it up. For everyone else as ignorant as me, it's apparently a high quality cooler.

FLAG
By RocknRone
From Idaho
May 22, 2014
me
That is one of the coolest vans I've ever seen.
total cost?

FLAG
By Ben Dueweke
From Kalamazoo, Michigan
May 22, 2014
Hey,
Funny enough I have almost the exact same van. It's a 99 Astro that is white with those same hubcaps. It has windows in the back though.

Anyways, where do you live with this van? I noticed you don't have any insulation. I'm asking because I want to tear out the interior because it's ugly but I'm worried It won't be suitable to colorado winters.

FLAG
By ChanVan
May 22, 2014
hello
She's a beaute! Did you insulate it at all?

FLAG
By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
May 23, 2014
mike
Tristan Higbee wrote:
Looks great. Thanks for sharing. I didn't know what a Yeti was, so I looked it up. For everyone else as ignorant as me, it's apparently a high quality cooler.

Thanks man, also cool thing about the Yeti is it can handle dry ice. Basically a freezer.

FLAG
By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
May 23, 2014
mike
RocknRone wrote:
That is one of the coolest vans I've ever seen. total cost?

Total Cost Estimate

Van 5000
Solar 400
Bed and Kitchen Materials 500
Swivel 350
Yeti 350
Bike Rack 200
Cargo Top Carrier 250

Total 7050


Thanks RocknRone!

FLAG
By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
May 23, 2014
mike
Ben Dueweke wrote:
Hey, Funny enough I have almost the exact same van. It's a 99 Astro that is white with those same hubcaps. It has windows in the back though. Anyways, where do you live with this van? I noticed you don't have any insulation. I'm asking because I want to tear out the interior because it's ugly but I'm worried It won't be suitable to colorado winters.

I did't do any insulation because of space. My original build had a bed that converted into a queen for me and my ex. I hit my head on the ceiling every night. Maximizing every inch was my priority. Especially for bed height. Measure the tallest thing that needs to fit under so you have head room. As for warmth, ya it gets cold. I have down booties, down comforter and a 15 deg bag. I was plenty warm in Yosemite for the winter this year with snow. If I had a bigger van, I'd insulate everything. One thing that I still might do next winter is put something on the floor so my feet stay warmer.

Astro for life!

FLAG
 
By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
May 23, 2014
Nice rig and thanks for the price breakdown. I had no idea you could get a solar system on a van for that little.

FLAG
By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
May 24, 2014
mike
caughtinside wrote:
Nice rig and thanks for the price breakdown. I had no idea you could get a solar system on a van for that little.

Ya man, every day I'm pretty stoked on how much free power I have. I'll never not have one now.

FLAG
By Royal
From Henderson, NV
May 24, 2014
Free Willy (Salt Point)
way to rig an awesome set up at a impressively low cost!

FLAG
By Zirkel
From Bishop, CA
May 24, 2014
Owens Gorge.  Mt Tom in background.
Dream machine. Thanks for posting.

FLAG
By Willie Wilson
From America
May 24, 2014
How's your experience with the yeti cooler been? Sounds like you love it in your op? Do you buy blocks of ice for it, if you do how long does a block last?

FLAG
By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
May 27, 2014
mike
Willie Wilson wrote:
How's your experience with the yeti cooler been? Sounds like you love it in your op? Do you buy blocks of ice for it, if you do how long does a block last?

Block ice is what I always look for. If it's cold out a block will last me about 10 to 12 days and hot about 6 or 7. If I really have something I want to stay cold I'll wrap the cooler in a sleeping bag. Thats a huge help.

FLAG
By Doug Wolfe
From NJ
May 29, 2014
By Tristan Higbee
May 22, 2014
From Thailand

Looks great. Thanks for sharing.

I didn't know what a Yeti was, so I looked it up. For everyone else as ignorant as me, it's apparently a high quality cooler.

It's probably the next best thing closest to having a refrigerator but it's big $$$$$ I bought one used and it still broke the bank. Worth every penny though.
Here's a tip for ice blocks Tupperware in a chest freezer

FLAG
By Peter nichols
May 29, 2014
i'm looking into getting an old astro and turning it into a living space...thoughts on all wheel drive?

nice set up.

FLAG
 
By Ian Stewart
May 29, 2014
Nice work!

I've heard the Yeti's are pretty badass, but if you ever get sick of ice and have some coin lying around you could try out an ARB fridge: store.arbusa.com/Fridges-C11.a...

I'm currently working on a camper van myself and that's the direction I took. Using a similar 100W panel + 65AH deep cycle battery + battery isolator to charge the spare battery with the alternator, the math tells me I *should* be able to run the fridge (50qt) without external power for quite a while. We'll see if that's actually the case when I'm done though...

BTW, battery isolators are pretty cheap (<$30) and easy to install. Throwing one in might be enough to ensure that you never end up with a fully dead house battery. I was able to find space in my engine bay for my isolator so the van internals weren't affected at all.

FLAG
By Ryan N
From Palo Alto
May 29, 2014
RJN
Nice rig. What are you using your inverter for primarily? I'm in the market and afraid to go with a cheap in price one as I fear it affects the quality. Do you have it hooked to a switch or an ignition switch?

FLAG
By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
Jun 12, 2014
mike
Peter nichols wrote:
i'm looking into getting an old astro and turning it into a living space...thoughts on all wheel drive? nice set up.

Hey Peter, the AWD is not a true AWD. You really only have 2 wheels driving at any time. The most hard core roads I've been on were some pretty wash boarded roads near the Red in KY and it did awesome.

FLAG
By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
Jun 12, 2014
mike
Ryan N wrote:
Nice rig. What are you using your inverter for primarily? I'm in the market and afraid to go with a cheap in price one as I fear it affects the quality. Do you have it hooked to a switch or an ignition switch?

My astro was pre-wired to have my alternator charge my additional battery but it never really worked well. Someone told me that an alternator was not great at replenishing a large deficit battery and would never be ideal for anyone really using a house battery as I do.

FLAG
By Jared Moore
From Tahoma, CA
Jun 12, 2014
Cover
I've seen this van...and the owner, neither of which are impressive. Pretty cool troubler, though ;)

FLAG
By Logan Hamilton
From Ca
Jun 20, 2014
Ahhh what a great climb! <br />
Hi love your van! Im curious did you install fuses on your solar rig? Im just installing one on my truck. Also if you have any pointers let me know. Thanks

FLAG
By seandoe
Jun 20, 2014
looks great! Just got a 2004 Astro, looking to do something similar. I might have to hit you up for some advice.

FLAG
By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
Jun 25, 2014
mike
Logan Hamilton wrote:
Hi love your van! Im curious did you install fuses on your solar rig? Im just installing one on my truck. Also if you have any pointers let me know. Thanks

Logan, I did not install a fuse although my inverter called for one in he installation. I think it said to put one in the ground wire and that didn't make sense to me so... ya. No problems since. Only advice I would give is I didn't buy all the expensive connectors and it didn't matter. One thing someone recommended to me that I didn't think about is to do all electronics in 12v. When I convert to 120v I guess I am loosing power and you can find most of what you need that opporates on 12v.

FLAG
 
By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
Jun 25, 2014
mike
seandoe wrote:
looks great! Just got a 2004 Astro, looking to do something similar. I might have to hit you up for some advice.

Hit me up! thecornyman@yahoo.com is a good way. Astro for life! Highly recommend the front seat swivel. :)

FLAG
By Logan Hamilton
From Ca
Jun 25, 2014
Ahhh what a great climb! <br />
. Just got mine all hooked up and workin. Bought a larger marine battery. Thanks for the info!

FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>