Project GRUMLINER Interior !
Open floorpan as much as possible.... a dual purpose use design with workbench/bunk. Enough "kitchen" to meet RV registration rules. Dedicated "wet bath" (toilet with shower) large enough to be able to actually USE IT. TV, DVD, Adequate Sound system. Furnace. Hot/Cold water. Electricity. LED lighting. Warm feeling interior, better insulation than the last truck.
This truck is an 86" wide truck with dual wheels. As such, there is only so much space you can get between the wheel wells. This photo looks into the drivers rear corner where I put a seating bench that pulls out into a twin size bed. There is a lot of "temporary" stuff on this project, like the temporary wire shelf that will be eventually replaced with some cabinets and that rats nest of wiring in the head on the right that got hooked up just to make a trip.
I dont have any photos, but the 1981 bodied trucks had more vertical aluminum studs to attach the walls to. This one, an '82, only has two vertical studs in each rear panel section. The only way I could trust anything to STAY attached, was to first bond and screw solid oak vertically to those two studs, then attach 4" wide pine boards horizontally to the hardwood. Lots of PL400 was used to make sure this all sticks tight. Over the top of those strategically placed horizontal boards, I attached luan ply for a test fit. Once I had the luan fit proper, I pulled it all loose to add my in wall wiring. I decided to keep things minimal with only a few 110v outlets in necessary places. With that figured out, I was able to fit 2-1/4" of pink foam into the major cavities, then spray foam all the gaps. When the foam set up, I shaved off the extra and screwed the walls back in. This trucks walls are now TIGHT ! In the end, I liked what I ended up with, because I now have ZERO screws that can carry cold, or frost up into the truck in winter.
I dont know how many times I tried to draw that darn sliding bed in CAD. It looks simple, but required some thought to make it right. In the end, I didn't get it exactly right and will remake it someday. The part I will change is to put a 2-3 degree taper on all those boards so that they slide away and seperate a little easier when you pull it out.
The two inch foam can be used on the bed if you need a quick pull out sleep, but I also have picked up a twin sized air bed that fits perfectly. The foam does seem to be soft feeling as the boards allow it to settle in between the slats. When i decide to use the air mattress, the foam can be relocated to act as mattresses for on top of the workbench you see on the left, or even under the left workbench on top of the wheel well box. Remember, this is not intended to be a traditional "motorhome". This is set up for a couple of guys to go to tractor shows and swap meets. Since this photo, I have sewn up some 1" nylon into a net similar to what you see in a race cars window, to keep the person on that workbench. So far, everyone who sleeps up there has been quite comfortable with a good view of the TV.
The bench does tilt up to allow access to whatever ends up under there.... If necessary, I can dedicate this space for mechanicals like an air conditioner or propane heater... again, if need be. There is the same amount of room on the passenger side though shallower because the box is not made as high as the bench side is.
The floor was the first thing in the truck. I created a framework of 1-1/2" firring strips to suspend 1/2" plywood, and in the openings, I filled them with 3/4" pink foam. I kept the sheets loose from the truck until all was fit, foamed all the cracks and crevices then finally glued the assemblies down to the aluminum floor with PL400 and just a few screws to hold it in place. I will mention that where I used that new PL400 (urethane) to glue wood to aluminum ???? You gave to CHISEL the wood off if you goofed up. It sticks incredibly well as long as the aluminum was clean.
The above shows the "workbench". At this point, it is temporarily screwed up, but eventually, it will be hinged to the wall so it can be folded up for more room. You can see the wheel well box underneath. This too works for a bunk if necessary. With the boxes, I end up with about 40-1/2" between the wheel wells.
Looking forward down the drivers side you can see the start of the "kitchenette" shape on the left and the "head". The kitchenette will contain a cheapy "dorm fridge" because it satisfies RV titling requirements (though I will likely use a cooler the most), a microwave, a countertop and sink. Should be room for some storage too. The good news is that it will be completely removable if necessary.
The "Head" is located where it is because there really isn't many other options for it unless you wanted to block the back door access. In this location, it also acts as a headache rack. I spent some time thinking about holding tanks,,, whether I should use a black and a fixed toilet and a grey for sink and shower drains, but in the end, I concluded that a single "primarily grey" tank would be best along with a porta-potti. I picked the Thetford curve and its working very nicely. The rounded shape allows for a little more toe space in the room. The room will need to be "formed" properly and epoxied or fiberglassed into a wet bath at some point. I installed a 39 gallon tank under the floor outside the drivers frame rail, and the placement is such that I was able to put a 3" plug hole straight in the doorway. IF I can figure out how to retain that access port/drain location, It will be possible for me to empty that porta-potti > IF I HAVE TO < into that grey tank (of course then it is no longer grey).
Directly under the potti, there is plenty of room for an insulated "hot tank". I might have to make this tank in order to make it fit such that I can insulate it all the way around with at least 2" foam. It will be heated by a heat exchanger from engine coolant, and have a bung hole welded in so I can also add an electric heater element. I'm thinking that I might be able to keep the water hot enough for a day or two. Thinking outside the box and with the right plumbing, I could make a small charcoal fired water heater or even a coil to drop in a campfire to reheat it.
You can see a little bit of the ceiling in the photo. The truck came with an aluminum skin riveted to the cross beams with 1-1/2" of fiberglass insulation already up there. I decided to leave that all intact and run 3/4" firring strips spaced about 12" apart from front to back. The "troughs" created pathways for any wiring in the ceiling, and before putting the luan over the top, I filled all the spaces with 3/4" pink foam and spray foam. This is not as much insulation in the ceiling as I would like, but I still have the opportunity to add additional insulation under the luan. At minimum, there would be 1/2" open cell foam glued to the luan, covered then with an attractive cloth. That may or may not be enough. I will decide that in the future.
I installed 12 small 12v under cabinet halogen lights into the luan and swapped the halogen bulbs for some LED lights I bought on ebay. They are really cheap when you order them from a china ebay seller, and I ordered various types so I could decide which ones I liked best. This has worked out very well !
In the top corners between the roof and the sidewalls, I am leaving a large gap to act as future wire troughs from the front to the back. I will fill those troughs with traditional fiberglass insulation, then make some sort of "crown mouldings" that have a recess for some indirect lighting. I found some LED strip lights on ebay from a chicago seller. They are a little over 8 feet long, but he also sells 16 footers. These lights are INCREDIBLE ! They are super, super bright and are dimmable with some really high quality IR and or RF remote dimmers he also sells. Can't wait to get that far !
On the dash you can see my "car radio".... one of my old Sansui home receivers. Let me tell you that THIS is how you "light up" a box of this size ! People are always shocked when they hear the volume and quality of an old Sansui.... Beats spending thousands on a traditional car stereo system. I will fit this into the project somewhere..... I might even stack two, use the amps from both and the pre-amp from one. Makes for a real "party barge" when I bring along a pair of Cerwin Vega D9's !
Looking down the passenger side, you can see that I mounted a 32" flat screen with a swivel mount, It slides out and aims back for perfect viewing. I am yet undecided what will actually go under the TV area... I have been thinking about an "end table" that hides a pull out cooler and a nice swivel chair next to that. We will see when I get there.
Up front, I built an overhead console and two storage cabinets on each side of it. The sides are not very deep, but storage space is storage space. The forward facing right side over head cabinet will contain the surround system and DVD player. Above the passenger door, that cabinet will my electrical panels/ breakers/ fuses for all things "up top".
I found a photo of my awning from the day I was sewing it up. It is made from 1" conduit. I have my own upholstery sewing machine and spent a few years in automobile interiors, so i just sewed up my own tarp out of some silver tarp material.
At the time of this writing, I am much farther along. The rear doors have been converted to a ramp/patio. I hope to continue to update these pages as soon as I can take some more photos.
If you care to comment, or share YOUR thrill with Grumman Vans, feel free to email me with "Grumliner" in the subject line.
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