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Sleeper Sleeper: Toyota Sienna Campervan Build

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

  1. Mar 29, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    I made a bit of progress over the weekend - but not enough to take a picture of.

    Front 1/3 of bed is framed out. Next is to add the flip-up legs but I didn't have the right bolts or screws to attach them.

    I added a rear side to side brace at the rear of the van just inside the lower lip of the hatch. I'll need that to support the pull-out drawer.

    Somehow I came out with less space for a drawer than the build in the video I'm following. Either the older Toyotas had different dimensions or I misread their plans - but I'll have enough space for a 6" high by 18" wide by 37" deep drawer. Enough to mount the cook stove, a water basin, and storage for cooking utensils.
     
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  2. Apr 1, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Got the front 1/3 of the bed installed last night. Flips back for access to storage, or pull the hinge pins to remove it entirely to haul something big (or put the 2nd row seats in).

    Front legs flip back out of the way.

    Turned about about 76" long - so just 1" longer than a fullsize mattress.

    Going to get the foam ordered today - I think I'm going with 5" super firm. With my extra poundage lately I don't want to bottom out while tossing and turning..;)


    2021-04-01_0824.jpg


    2021-04-01_08242.jpg


    Cooler access has gotten a bit tight. We'll try to use it this way, but otherwise I'll build a base to lift it up to just under the rear of the bed and we'll just have to lift up the rear lid to get to it. I'd gain some storage back that way too.

    2021-04-01_08253.jpg
     
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  3. Apr 2, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Just ordered the mattress from Foam Factory, Inc. - Storefront. Actually ordered 3 custom-sized cushions to match the size of the three platform sections. 5" high density foam wrapped in Dacron was ~ $250.00 shipped.
     
  4. Apr 2, 2021
    shadetreetim

    shadetreetim Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Riverside, Ca
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    Nice project. You should get a lot of enjoyment out of that. Both planning the modifications and using the van.

    Lady Shadetree and I have a VW Vanagon we camped in for years. It has the weekender interior, which means no kitchen like the Westfalia's have. As each trip was taken I kept thinking of the best ways to modify and build our setup.

    I eventually settled on a removeable kitchen that stored in the van as three separate 1 foot tall boxes, that stacked up and locked together outside the van. Adjustable feet allowed me to level the boxes regardless of terrain. The kitchen boxes housed the stove, utensils, collapsible pots, plates, cups, and some food. I built it in three 1 foot tall boxes because the rear seat made in to a bed, which left 1 foot of space under the bed. My van camping goal was always to be able to make out the bed with everything inside the van, without having to move things around too much, so we could easily pull over anywhere to sleep. Many Love's truck stops provided overnight sleeping.
    [​IMG]

    In addition to the "kitchen" we evolved to a 35qt 12V Engel fridge. Eventually I put solar on the roof to keep the house battery charged, but ran it on many 3 day trips with a single 110AH Deep Cycle Battery. I never installed an inverter, preferring to buy everything that would work on 12V. Inverters use energy converting to 110V, which in the case of my laptop, just got changed yet again to 19V DC. Lots of wasted energy there. Online I bought a 12V to 19V adapter for my laptop. I wired a 60A Continuous Duty Relay to charge the house battery while we were driving. In the Vanagon, the main battery is under the passenger seat and not very accessible to run wires to, so I came off the battery terminal on the starter, to the relay, and then to the house battery. The relay allowed the house battery to be independent of the van's battery when camping. The relay and house battery is under the rear seat, with no vent, and no problems. Been there for years now.

    You have limited space and the biggest limiting factor is height. For years we camped in the van without a poptop, but eventually I added one. It made being inside the van so much more enjoyable. Nothing beats van camping in my opinion. You can go anywhere and travel unencumbered by a trailer. Currently we are camping out of a toy hauler, but that's because we want to take the Jeep with us as we camp in the desert. But I miss the simplicity of the van camping trips we took.

    We had a port-a-potty we kept in the van, and I bought one of those changing tents, pictured earlier in this thread, for when we were camping in the desert. Still, we used public or campsite restrooms wherever we could.

    Utah
    [​IMG]

    Sedona
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Apr 2, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Kitchen looks great! Probably past my woodworking skills.

    I think I'm going to get started on the drawer tomorrow. We'll see how well I can do with circular saw and jig saw.

    Doesn't have to be Instagram-worthy, just functional.
     
  6. Apr 3, 2021
    Jw60

    Jw60 Perfectly Within Tolerance 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Sedalia MO.
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    Mike you should see about weighing the old seats and take out items to compare to the new.

    Is that a 2x4 framework?
     
  7. Apr 3, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Might be interesting, but it's not like I'm going to re-do things if we come out heavier...;)

    Yes, 2x4 framework with 1/2 plywood.
     
  8. Apr 3, 2021
    Jw60

    Jw60 Perfectly Within Tolerance 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Sedalia MO.
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    I expect you have plenty of capacity but i think you could get away with generously notching the end 2x4 for more storage
     
  9. Apr 3, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    You mean the lower side to side one, just over the bottom of the hatch lip?

    If so, that one needs to be there to support the drawer that I'm fixin' to get started on. Bought the materials today and the slides came in earlier this week.

    IMHO we'll actually have more storage than we'll need - at least until we add kayaking or biking gear. The challenge is keeping it accessible.
     
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  10. Apr 10, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Got the kitchen drawer in today. I've never built a drawer before - pretty happy with how it came out. I'll be adding some dividers yet.

    With the drawer out the space under it is easily accessible - I'll figure out some way to organize dry food in that space.

    You cant see it in the photos, but in front of the cooler, up on the higher floor space, is room for our Zip Dee camp chairs to slide in. They are big for #vanlife but super comfortable.

    2021-04-10_1707.png 2021-04-10_1705.png

    Video:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CNgEp2AhvyW/
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
    bigbendhiker and Jw60 like this.
  11. Apr 10, 2021
    durangotang

    durangotang Member 2021 Sponsor

    Not Western CO
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    Looking good
     
  12. Apr 11, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    I got the mattress foam earlier this week. Test fitting it this AM - I think just the front section needs to be trimmed back 1.5" to preserve some of that precious space between the bed and front seats. Otherwise it fits in nice, the bed is easy to make, and there is enough height/space to sleep with everything closed up.

    2021-04-11_0802.png 2021-04-11_0803.png
     
  13. Apr 12, 2021
    jzeber

    jzeber Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Morgan Hill, Ca
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    Looking good.
    My wife decided she didn't want to sleep in our GMC. I can get a full 4'x8' sheet of plywood in the back and figured it would be plenty big. Anyway with the money we are saving in gas by taking my VW CC we are going to spend 4 nights in hotels on our trip to Co Springs and back.
    VW 30-32 mpg
    Denali 12-15 mpg
     
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  14. Apr 12, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Hotels do make sense for many trips.
    I never liked the finding of them and the paying for them. And our last hotel stay resulted in an arm and legfull of bedbug bites...:cry:

    But, with this setup we aren't above overnighting in hotel parking lots...;) Hospital parking lots might be another potential.
     
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  15. Apr 14, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Super simple way to hold the rear "hatch" open:

    boyink-portfolio- - 1 (2).jpg

    After way too much time overthinking how to carry water this is where we ended up. I wanted to get it in front of the rear tires for better weight distribution. I didn't want to mess with a water pump, or have to heft 5-6 gallon jugs in and out. This way we can buy water anywhere and just rotate jugs out as we use them up. I'll have one of these on each side. I can attach them to the floor in places where the 2nd row seats attached to.

    boyink-portfolio- - 2 (2).jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  16. Apr 17, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    • Trimmed up that front cushion, 1.5" makes a big difference in the accessibility of that space.
    • Put all the cushions into a "bedbug" mattress encapsulator (plan b after getting a $800 quote for slip covers). Seems to work - I can still flip the ends towards the middle, but the cushions will stay together to sleep on and it all looks tidier.
    • I gave up on keeping the rear seat belts. They were just too much in the way, so I removed them with a utility knife and unbolted the upper anchors. Next owner can hit a JY if they want belts there again.
    • I used some hose clamps to secure the milk crates to the floor. They aren't rock-solid, but I couldn't figure out a better way without adding pokey things that might puncture the water jugs.
    • Stocked the kitchen drawer with $25 worth of Dollar General spatulas, tongs, whisk, knives, etc.
    • Ordered a fire extinguisher, a frypan/sauce pan set with removable handle, and bags for the potty from Amazon.
    I have a roll of Reflectix and hope to get going on the window plugs tomorrow.
     
  17. Apr 19, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Woke up Sunday and just couldn't stay home. Or sit in church. Took off on a 5 hour road trip down into the Bull Shoalz area of Arkansas instead. The cooler was empty and it was banging around in that space at different times.

    Got home and put together this frame for it to sit in to keep it in place.

    2021-04-19_0758.jpg
     
  18. Apr 24, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Made Reflectix window plugs today. I didn't do so well on the windshield though - that window curves every which way and is a huge chunk of glass. Ended up ordering a WeatherTech custom-fit shade for that window.

    Next step is to glue fabric to the Reflectix. I did that in our fifth wheel and it worked well. For the van I'll do black on the outside, and something fun on the inside.

    Also installed a fire extinguisher in rear where we could grab it from either the bed or the rear hatch.

    I bought a combo smoke detector/CO2 detector but it's a residential unit. Between all the location installation restrictions I'm not sure it'll work out. Probably should have looked for an RV unit.

    2021-04-24_1610.jpg
     
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  19. Apr 26, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Got black fabric glued to the outside of the Reflectix panels - pretty much just looks like a deep tint job when installed now:

    2021-04-26_1322 copy.jpg

    2021-04-26_13222 copy.jpg

    FWIW I like this approach better than curtains because we can stow these under the bed when not in use. I didn't want hanging curtains in such a small space. I've seen people attach fabric panels but these are super quick and easy to tuck into place.
     
  20. Apr 26, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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