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Sleeper Sleeper: Toyota Sienna Campervan Build

Discussion in 'Quitters' Club' started by Boyink, Jan 31, 2021.

  1. Feb 25, 2021
    durangotang

    durangotang Member 2021 Sponsor

    Not Western CO
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    Sounds like your big debate is whether to set it up like a traditional van build vs a traditional teardrop trailer layout with the rear galley. No correct answer there. Test it out both ways with some totes and duct-taped cardboard construction, you'll find that you like one more than the other.
     
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  2. Feb 25, 2021
    Jw60

    Jw60 Perfectly Within Tolerance 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Sedalia MO.
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    Make sure your battery has a vent tube and there is likely a grommet in a low spot you can drill thru to vent and if it has a trailer aux fuse I would tap that to charge the house battery.
     
  3. Feb 25, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Yea - thats the plan as soon as the weather gets warm enough to enjoy the process. I've seen front kitchens, side kitchens, rear kitchens with bed in front, and rear kitchens under a raised bed that goes all the way to the rear of the van.

    I don't see us wanting to cook inside all bent over or while sitting. Ducking under the rear hatch seems to make the most sense.

    I'm going to do some testing to see if I even need to charge the house battery from the car. If all we are running are fans, I might be able to find a battery that we can charge before leaving and then use a charger on it once we get back.
     
  4. Feb 25, 2021
    durangotang

    durangotang Member 2021 Sponsor

    Not Western CO
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    If you are really just running fans and some LED lights, I would see if these setups would meet your needs. You can get 12V chargers for the tool batteries so they will charge while driving, then use those 4aH or larger batteries in the inverter to run the electrical. Takes up almost zero space and can also be used to power tools/fans/lights/etc that use the same batteries.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Feb 25, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    12v fans...12v lights...I'm not seeing a need for an inverter?

    But yea, I'm looking at all the "portable power stations" on Amazon. Last traditional 12V battery I put in the Jeep was ~$120 from Walmart, so spending roughly the same on something for the van makes sense.
     
  6. Feb 25, 2021
    durangotang

    durangotang Member 2021 Sponsor

    Not Western CO
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    I gotcha... most small fans/lights can run off of USB, so those were really the plugs I was looking at. The inverter is just a bonus I suppose.
     
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  7. Feb 25, 2021
    bigbendhiker

    bigbendhiker Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    Even a smaller Jackery type power station would work well for your needs and it would provide a 120 volt outlet if needed. You could also add a small solar panel to charge it. You'd be surprised at what you might like to power or recharge, phones, tablets, lights, fans, etc.
     
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  8. Feb 25, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    The goal is 3 nights. I figure a battery should last that long. What sucks about solar is then you have to park in the sun. Great for batteries, horrible for comfort.

    I see few surprises lurking for what we'll want to charge - after 8 years on the road I have a pretty clear vision for this setup.
     
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  9. Feb 25, 2021
    givemethewillys

    givemethewillys Been here since sparky ran it. 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    I wish they had a laser measured mat for a CJ5:beer:
     
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  10. Feb 27, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    2021-02-27_1455.png

    Seats all out.

    The biggest challenge I'm finding is how to use that recessed rear trunk space wisely, while building a chuckbox over it. I have a set of super comfortable Zip Dee camp chairs that lay nicely in that well.

    I had intended to attach the chuckbox to a platform bed, but if I kept them separate I might be able to set it up with a bed that will slide forward enough to allow the entire chuckbox to hinge forward.

    Other ideas?
     
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  11. Feb 27, 2021
    Jw60

    Jw60 Perfectly Within Tolerance 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    Slope the floor and kick your feet up / always park on a hill?

    I think if you're cooler fits there it would be best. Any air mattresses around you can throw in there for mock up?
     
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  12. Feb 27, 2021
    givemethewillys

    givemethewillys Been here since sparky ran it. 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    Water tank, house battery, emergency supplies? Things you would generally not need immediate but you want to have on the trip?
     
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  13. Feb 27, 2021
    Zoomer

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    Could you make it such that your under bed drawer goes in past the well, hinge the bed base over the well such that you can have access to it for cooler or other storage?
     
  14. Feb 28, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Problem with putting a cooler down there is then I can't put anything on top of it - otherwise I can't get into the cooler or get the cooler in/out. It's actually lower than I'd like the cooler. The bottom of that trunk space is at my shin level. I do have a twin mattress to throw in.

    That's the way I'm leaning. For water I was looking to use one of the 5 gal. jugs with a built-in spigot and going gravity fed into a container under it (like the video I posted earlier).

    If I put a tank down there I'm looking at a pump and separate fill. Not insurmountable, just more complexity. But I could keep the water up higher and still put the house battery and other stuff in there. I see other people accessing that space by removing drawers or having shelves that aren't fixed.

    Not sure. At this point I'm planning a kitchen chuckbox that will sit over most of that well, but the bed will probably need to extend over the well 8-10" as well.
     
  15. Feb 28, 2021
    Jw60

    Jw60 Perfectly Within Tolerance 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    It Looks like a good paper hauler at this point.
     
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  16. Mar 1, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well...spent a couple hours in the garage yesterday with a tape measure.

    I can't make it work putting the bed in front of the kitchen or the kitchen in front of the bed. There's 8' to work with at the floor level but as you move vertically between the body angling in at the rear and the seats angling back at the front, a lot of that space goes away quickly.

    Maybe if we were shorter and smaller people. Or if I wanted to mess with a bed that folded or slid back, which I don't.

    I think I'm going to go with the basic floorplan this guy did in a Honda Odyssey. It basically puts the bed on top of everything, which leaves enough room between the bed and front seats at the front to sit there with your feet on the floor:



    I don't need it to be as modular as he did, so won't do all the interlocking boxes.

    And yea, it does put the cooler down low in the rear trunk space, but he made a drawer that pulls out over his cooler, and I think we'll have a smaller cooler than the one than he was using.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  17. Mar 10, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

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    After much consideration I ordered the cooler last night - an Engel 25 with 21 quart capacity. We were able to compare it to Yeti, etc at Bass Pro and liked the size/shape better. Not to mention the price ($50 cheaper than similar capacity Yeti).

    Not 100% sure where this will go yet but needed it to build the bed around.

    51ttReirNEL._AC_SL1000_.jpg
     
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  18. Mar 10, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Also spent a couple hours looking at porta-potty solutions.

    Not sure what to do there - all the 5 gallon bucket-based products had reviews saying the seat was too small for men.

    Cassette toilet reviews all mentioned leaking. Or building up pressure that relieved itself (heh) when you go to flush.

    Other offerings all mentioned thin plastic construction that didn't support heavier users (and I'm pushing a weight I'm not proud of these days).

    Might end up just DIYing something.
     
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  19. Mar 10, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
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    My neighbor has an off-the-grid cabin up along the Clarke Fork River, and every spring he asks me for a some sawdust for his upcoming season. He usually takes enough to fill a bucket or two. Last year I had a 55 gallon bag ready for him. I’ll be curious to see if he asks again. :D
     
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  20. Mar 10, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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