Inspecting, cleaning, & reviewing the pieces of my custom camper van after 2 years of adventureMay 29, 2021
this past september marked the two year anniversary of moving into my van dora and man what a two
yearswe have had together dora and i have traveled a whopping 41,000 miles round trip across the united states so many times i have lost count we have driven through all sorts of scenery and lots of country roads along the way, we've camped in some pretty spectacular spots and our fair share of not-so-glamorous spots too, we've even taken our first international trip together when we crossed the northern border and we made our way to Whistler because we haven't been alone on this journey either thanks to Dora's roomy interior we have had the pleasure of sharing the excitement of our
adventures with friends and family along the way i am very excited to announce that i have partnered with a radical company call omaze to bring you an even more amazing giveaway for a chance to win your very own
custommotorhome da built by pros not built by me and also help support a really cool cause check out omaze. com slash sample today we're gearing up for another
adventurewith my friend chance as we get ready to head west for some respite from the winner but before we head out we need to give dora some TLC because well lately she's been been a bit neglected. well i have my friend chance here and chance and i's first order of operations is to clean dora all over so she looks perfect and stretched out and then we need to set up the organizer so we can fit the chants but what they care about is I'm going to take that opportunity to check out the truck because it's now been two
yearssince we did this build and I get asked a lot about how things have held up so I'm going to walk you through a lot of the major parts of the build and talk about how it stood what i think about the parts we used and how they are performing today if i would recommend them but we have a lot of work ahead of us because i'm not going to lie it's pretty gross in here check this out.
I haven't done anything to keep this place clean in a long time. Transplant a noodle here. I don't know where this came from or how long it's been there, but things seem to be growing. on that, so I think the water situation is going to be particularly icky. I've yet to look at that and then another thing that's particularly disgusting is this fan back here. I hadn't realized it, but there's the dead bug in this. It's really gross dude you're going to be bummed if you hit your head on the chance be careful bro this van is designed for short people and you're not a short person that's not what you signed up for when you you showed up, huh? ok i think first order of operations is we need to empty the whole van, get everything out of the van and then we can give it a full vacuum, a full clean and after that we can worry about set up so thank you guys. ok, this is a very rare look at a completely naked dora.
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inspecting cleaning reviewing the pieces of my custom camper van after 2 years of adventure...
There's nothing inside that you can see through and it's great to see him naked because I can't see him like that. In fact, I can walk right through it. I think we're ready to start working on
cleaningthis up. Now that we've got it all stripped down and out of the way, I guess a good starting point for today would be to talk about the Dora itself and how it's held up over the last couple of years. Dora is a 2500 Ram Promaster with a high top and long wheelbase. At 159 inches, she's a pretty big girl, a fact that becomes all too apparent when you wash her.
I chose this particular model for several reasons the first being that I felt this was the Goldilocks size for me big enough to fit my bikes inside and still have plenty of living space and small enough to be able to park in a normal parking space on top of this the overall shape of the promaster is one of the most DIY friendly vans thanks to its boxy nature in straight lines all good we got off the top layer of dirt now we're going for the bottom first round didn't look any cleaner dora is a front wheel drive truck and has been averaging around 15-16 mpg with full build overall dora is still in great shape mechanically with the only maintenance i've had to do outside of Standard oil changes which are two factory recalls that were fixed quickly and without issue. my grandfather teeth ask me this question all the time and yes i am still very happy with my choice for the first truck build i think if i had to do it all over again i would have to make a tough decision between another promaster or investing more money in a beefier 4 sprinter rig, but i'll stop right there so i don't risk hurting little dora's feelings.
Luckily you don't have to worry about hurting little dora's feelings and that's a good thing because as I mentioned I'm partnering with omaze to give away a brand new
custom4x4 speedster rig with 80,000 customizations for those of you who haven't heard of omaze , you are a really cool company that partners with creators like me to give away giveaways like this all the time raising money for charity very well a lot of you guys on the channel have messaged me saying how amazing it is to have such an amazing truck with the one that I can go out and have such great adventures and well, now is your chance. and you don't even have to go through all the hassle I went through buying the van building it going through all the setup crisis you don't have to do any of that the event will come to you already built if you go to omaze.com forge sampler and done 10 se will reply to you for a chance to win your very own custom
campervan the best part of all of this is that we will also help raise money for a really worthwhile charity called the access fund whose mission is to preserve public lands protect areas climbing and restoring affected trails across the country a mission I think many of us in the community can get behind, so for a chance to win your own custom
campervan and help support a truly worthwhile cause head over to an omaze.com slash sample with its exterior looking shiny and new now it's time to turn our attention to The Interior Bring It Back Facing One of my favorite mistakes I made when buying my truck was moving up on one that came with the factory floor option even though I didn't want to pay the extra money for it, even though I almost did away with this floor entirely when we started building thankfully we came to our senses and left it in the van this flooring has been an absolute dream in the van not only has it held up amazingly well to heavy use and abuse over the last two years with just a couple of chips here and there to show it off but as you can see here it also makes
cleaningup any spills or sweeping up debris an absolute breeze the only downside like any other hard floor is how cold it can get but that was easily fixed with the addition of a rug that, unsurprisingly, also needed a good cleaning, what do you think mate?
It looks good, it feels good, but most importantly it smells good right after the general cleaning of the truck. Now it's time to get to the heart of the matter, taking a look at the specific parts of the truck's build that need a deep clean, starting with a particularly disgusting find we made earlier in the day oh my gosh check this out done that's so gross oh take it off so this tank here is the gray water tank how it looks down there gray man that would be nice that's so is a vintage 84 i'm a little nervous about what we're going to find in those where it comes from our drinking water it's pretty clean as below look there's still water in here let's see what that looks like i think d rink this is gross there's something in the drain so this could be what it's smelling like i don't know what it is that but that's gross we have to clean this up while chance and I continue to deal with this mess let's talk about my thoughts on this most recent addition to dora two major decisions that i faced When adding the sink it was first what size to choose and second what actuation method to use personally i thought going bigger was a no brainer my sink is 15 by 20 by 10 which gives me more than enough room to do the dishes without the water getting get everywhere or the more common route of just leaving the dirty dishes in the sink to do it later as for the pump, i decided to go mechanical to have one less thing drawing from my battery and went with the foot pump so i could pump water while still using both hands both the foot pump and the sink have held up amazingly well without a single problem along the way and so if i was going to do this again i would still go for the same setup if you thought the worst it had already happened, you would be wrong because next we are going to take a look at my max air deluxe fan that hasn't had a single cleaning since it was installed two years ago, oh it's so gross, oh my goodness all right now it should come out right away look at this it's so gross oh there are two dead bugs so I'll open it up oh everything is so gross oh my gosh. there are certain people who know who they are this just kills them a little bit inside for those of you who don't know i have the max air deluxe fan and am a huge fan of this fan it worked perfectly for me.
I found out you know it was recommended online when I was doing my build and it has kept me very or cool enough on hot nights and keeps the airflow working great. It has worked fantastic. I haven't had a single problem. with this it doesn't use a lot of energy and i really like the fact that the hood is adjustable so that when it rains i can just drop it down and make sure no water gets in because you know my head is directly under it so yeah i'm a big fan of this. I would totally buy it again.
I recommend getting the adapter that goes on top. which i found if you are installing one of these it really helps, this belt was a lot dirtier than i thought it was going to be, who knew i needed to clean it more often than every couple of years. We're going to stop by and look at the solar panel and clean it up so that Dora gets power from this single residential 300 watt solar panel. Thank you very much Todd, my friend who gave it to me during construction. two years this combined with the alternator in the car that recharges the batteries when I drive has really served me well I don't think I would go for something bigger in the future I haven't had to do anything in the last two years the connections below Overall we are very happy with my solar setup on the van in Dora.
The final piece of my roof setup is the actual roof racks that my solar is mounted to. I spent a lot of time researching this and there are tons of options but I'm actually very happy with these van tech I ended up with, not only are they one of the most affordable but they were also very easy to install using the pre-existing mounting points in the truck and therefore no drilling required now that we're done with the exterior items let's go back to the interior starting with what is possibly my favorite part of our entire build so let's start in the garage here with these slide out trays which were an integral part of this build allows me to get the most out of the garage on this tray there are four boxes that hold different things i have a bike box a camping box a box of hit winners and a misc and in this we stagger three different bikes We used four 500 pound slides, these were expensive and a bit hard to find but have worked so far. or very well, so it crashes both in and out.
I was having trouble blocking it, but apparently it wants to work when on camera. I think the main wear that I'm seeing on these trays is on the wood, so you can see that the wood has started to splinter on the side, but that's what you know. it's really smooth on the inside and out let's see if the other one is as good and it still slides perfectly I'd say it's man those are in almost as good shape as when they were new overall I think that was a great win and I'm excited about That, the key to unlocking the full potential of the bike tray are these amazing bike stands, these are the HM driveshaft of the rocky stands and have been an absolute dream to use thanks to the extra height they provide.
I was able to squeeze three bikes into a single 19-inch wide Tray and with the super nifty clamping mechanism, getting the bikes in and out is a breeze. I get a ton of questions about these stands so I went ahead and put a link to them in the description below along with a bunch of the other
piecesI'm talking about today for anyone who wants more info, below let's take a look to bed, to bed,as many of you know it's just a two piece platform it's attached by these piano hinges in the middle both of which are working totally fine so the bed folds in half like this and you can see that I have my amazing free lift sampler The red heart is getting stuck in the sticky wall below here the wood is wearing a bit I have noticed this edge takes a lot of abuse because there is something that happens when I am pulling on this string and then I push the thing too soon I jam it in the trim before it can get to the rest stops that are supposed to be on so yeah I mean definitely taking a little bit of abuse here in the corner not something that's going to affect the functionality of it I'mI'm not really concerned here the high density plastic is everything works great I think that was a really good idea instead of having wood on wood in there which I think may have been It had worn over time, this plastic is really working well here. on the stand and down there so this rope has been used from the get go and I think this is probably the most worn out of the whole bed setup because you can see it's starting to fray a lot that it could have to change this though I think this solution offers the best of both worlds, giving me the biggest bed possible while also having access to the most living space.
I find that I rarely raise the bed when it's just me in the van. said this feature really shines when I have someone else in the truck with me like I will for this trip allowing us an extra foot of ground space to maneuver around it well so this is one of the last additions to the 5k truck monitor that everyone is so excited that there was no denying that having a large monitor here would help me with my work. The real question was whether or not we could safely mount it in the build video. I showed you all how much time we spent making sure the mount was strong enough, but that was only half the battle, as we also spent a lot of time figuring out the optimal way to safely secure the monitor while driving, so we need a place to attach a bungee to secure all this and i have one of the original tie downs from the van build so its going back to the van to secure a screen its come full circle two years later its back there so hold dear life here monitoring the monitor we have devised a prototype to secure it in place and we are on a shaky gravel road trying to figure out the worst case scenario to make sure it doesn't rattle this is a yoga block for people like me who are not really flexible but use t is when you don't like to put your hip on the ground and it's going to be very useful here i think it's good dude boom dirt wow no v to nowhere i think that's the best thing we came up with that's the ticket and now you've got this D-ring here for no reason this idea of just securing it using the friction of the top and bottom has worked without a hitch and, what More importantly the mount has worked great and yes I see I can watch movies from bed.
I know I see a lot of you guys commenting on that you better think I like looking at this now that we need to get the van empty to do the next ones but we're going to do a quick quickie because I know they will have people out there wondering I would say the unsung hero of my entire build and the first thing that was installed in the truck is this workbench, it was never intended to be the focal point of the build but it has lived here since the beginning and has evolved I don't know Yes I would recommend people put workbenches on the trucks, but for me, someone who can't build something custom, I don't think I could have planned it better.
Another integral part of the early build of the truck was this arb cooler. This is the 81 Quart version and it is known for having one of the lowest battery drains, it requires very little power to keep it running and I can guarantee it is extremely reliable as well. the past yes i have a fingerboard here no i can't use my fingers as you can see it's tilted so no matter what you try to do your fingers slide i can use the jugs though i'm glad i did that It's fun here to be able to do some pull-ups some you know hang your legs and stuff on the swivel seats something very common in all truck builds I essentially chose to do both I'm so happy I did it every time someone is on here how the opportunity is going to be its really essential to be able to have both turn and open and they have worked very very well i haven't had to do anything with them so i started with a 100 amp deep cycle battery per hour now I have twice the battery power and so far it's been phenomenal for what it's worth I thought the 100 was ok I could get away with it um I'm pretty happy with the 200 now so probably won't add another, so to Now we are going to something that everyone wants to know. never talk and it's and it's right down there we need to go take a look outside the truck so I know y'all were skeptical about this when I added it y'all were writing in the comments it's like oh you're gonna have an accident it's going to fall off it's going to go off the road you know all that and you know i got news for you the thing is super solid this thing is never going to come off for those of you who don't know i put a giant piece of pvc pipe down here i have a big 8x10t outside tent that sits here like it actually sits there because i never use it i think i took it out like three times but yeah it's a very convenient way to store stuff a lot of people keep fishing poles fish into something like this but yeah so far it's been totally fine and would do it again in a heartbeat it still feels like yesterday me and my friends were staring at this empty shell of a van wondering what the hell we've gotten ourselves into m etido. true we had no idea what we were doing but somehow it all worked out and to this day i couldn't be happier with dora with some final touches our work is finally complete and dora is looking like new after moving in and get Dora is officially ready for the road trip one more time but before I head out there's one last thing I've been wanting to do for a while now it's a bit behind schedule but it's pretty hard for me to get things in the mail so that i've been to a place this year i f they finally sent me something really special i'm going to be honest i never actually planned on getting this board but during the filming of this video and thinking about Dora it's quite funny they both feel like if I've been with Dora for a long time because of all the really cool adventures we've been on, but two years really seems like it's gone by so fast too.
I am incredibly grateful to be where I am and I am here living life on the road outside of Dora is my dream naturally I think of you a lot when I think about it because this was through a community project dora would never have happened without you , my fans, my community coming together and helping me make this all possible way back when I'm much closer to this hundred thousand mark than the 500,000 we're at now, this will serve as a forever sign that you know of where we come from boom that's pretty radical someday in the near future we will hit that million of your bscriber mark you mark my words and it goes right there so be aware everyone in the future put stickers on this wall avoid this area ok that's all for today guys thank you all for watching and hanging out with me while we get Dora back. new and most importantly thank you all for being here and being a part of this journey whether you've been here a long time with Sheila or you're new to the channel and recently subscribed I can't tell you how much .
I appreciate it anyway, I'll see you again soon and until then, you know what to do.
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