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Old 12-21-2012, 11:07 PM   #11
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Awesome ! Another Step Van Convert !

So, you have noticed that perhaps us "Steppies" have no real home when it comes to forums. You have your HDT and MDT sites, your schoolbus sites, coach sites, sportsmobile sites, sprinter sites...... No dedicated forums for STEP VANS !!! Oh well. We'll just hang out where ever we can as long as we can. My first step van intro in a forum was over at cheaprvliving.... They do have a "truck" section there.

Any how, it looks like you have a great start there. What do you have behind the seats, 14 foot ? Looks like you have a 125" wheelbase model.... I'm guessing you have a 350 chev with an auto ? I happen to love step vans over many other vehicle options. I started one this summer too. This one is the 4th Step I have owned, and I currently have two. Quite the rugged bodies they have in comparison to some other options out there.

You were talking water and waste tanks.....
I kicked around my options for water and holding tank issues too. I decided to go with a 21 gallon fresh water tank because it was the largest I could fit on the passenger side in front of a frame mount storage cabinet I have ahead of the rear wheels. I selected the largest ABS waste tank I could fit on my drivers side, leaving just enough room in front of it for an additional "hot tank", a super insulated tank of about 10 gallons that will be heated by Solar, Engine coolant via heat exchanger, and perhaps even a coil I can drop into a charcoal fire starter or fire pit when necessary. The hot tank is primarily for showers,,,,, I decided on a wet bath.

Your question about the tank being inside ? Well, if Your going to try to WINTER in that truck, it would get difficult to keep things warm under the truck, so inside IS the best option there. However, you know just how huge that space is under the truck outside of the frame rails and it is essentially the perfect spot for tanks. I figure I can use my truck in the winter all I want, but just would have to change my habits a bit by carrying all water inside where it is warm. Porta-pot would be fine as long as I keep the heat on. Then at least in summer, I can go back to using the frame mount tanks. It'd be a lot of room burned up inside with the tanks in there full time. Easier to alter habits for the winter.....

My holding tank is INTENDED to be a grey tank, but it has the regular 3" dump/slide valve in case it turns into a combination grey/black tank. As a grey only, I can dump it right here at my house with a garden hose into my sewer drain. As a black tank, its always a trip to the dump site. Having two tanks (black and grey) looked rather space consuming for the amount of room I had, so one tank it was!

I opted to go with the new Oval style Thetford Curve porta-potti. So far, it's been very nice. Even the wife likes it. Much taller than some of the square ones, and with a 4 gallon flush / 5 gallon waste capacity, its been surprising how long it goes before its full. I figure this whole aspect (grey tank only/portapot) is easier to deal with for the short trip/weekend use my truck is intended for. However, I will be leaving a 3" access port to the grey tank in the the floor of the shower area, so, if absolutely necessary, I could empty the porta right into the frame mounted waste tank.

Looks like your doing great ! Don't skimp on the insulation ! Can't wait to see more photos of your progress.

If you want a look at my project, you can find it here:
http://www.data-cut.com/grumliner.htm
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:20 AM   #12
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by grummy
Awesome ! Another Step Van Convert !

So, you have noticed that perhaps us "Steppies" have no real home when it comes to forums. You have your HDT and MDT sites, your schoolbus sites, coach sites, sportsmobile sites, sprinter sites...... No dedicated forums for STEP VANS !!! Oh well. We'll just hang out where ever we can as long as we can. My first step van intro in a forum was over at cheaprvliving.... They do have a "truck" section there.

Any how, it looks like you have a great start there. What do you have behind the seats, 14 foot ? Looks like you have a 125" wheelbase model.... I'm guessing you have a 350 chev with an auto ? I happen to love step vans over many other vehicle options. I started one this summer too. This one is the 4th Step I have owned, and I currently have two. Quite the rugged bodies they have in comparison to some other options out there.

You were talking water and waste tanks.....
I kicked around my options for water and holding tank issues too. I decided to go with a 21 gallon fresh water tank because it was the largest I could fit on the passenger side in front of a frame mount storage cabinet I have ahead of the rear wheels. I selected the largest ABS waste tank I could fit on my drivers side, leaving just enough room in front of it for an additional "hot tank", a super insulated tank of about 10 gallons that will be heated by Solar, Engine coolant via heat exchanger, and perhaps even a coil I can drop into a charcoal fire starter or fire pit when necessary. The hot tank is primarily for showers,,,,, I decided on a wet bath.

Your question about the tank being inside ? Well, if Your going to try to WINTER in that truck, it would get difficult to keep things warm under the truck, so inside IS the best option there. However, you know just how huge that space is under the truck outside of the frame rails and it is essentially the perfect spot for tanks. I figure I can use my truck in the winter all I want, but just would have to change my habits a bit by carrying all water inside where it is warm. Porta-pot would be fine as long as I keep the heat on. Then at least in summer, I can go back to using the frame mount tanks. It'd be a lot of room burned up inside with the tanks in there full time. Easier to alter habits for the winter.....

My holding tank is INTENDED to be a grey tank, but it has the regular 3" dump/slide valve in case it turns into a combination grey/black tank. As a grey only, I can dump it right here at my house with a garden hose into my sewer drain. As a black tank, its always a trip to the dump site. Having two tanks (black and grey) looked rather space consuming for the amount of room I had, so one tank it was!

I opted to go with the new Oval style Thetford Curve porta-potti. So far, it's been very nice. Even the wife likes it. Much taller than some of the square ones, and with a 4 gallon flush / 5 gallon waste capacity, its been surprising how long it goes before its full. I figure this whole aspect (grey tank only/portapot) is easier to deal with for the short trip/weekend use my truck is intended for. However, I will be leaving a 3" access port to the grey tank in the the floor of the shower area, so, if absolutely necessary, I could empty the porta right into the frame mounted waste tank.

Looks like your doing great ! Don't skimp on the insulation ! Can't wait to see more photos of your progress.

If you want a look at my project, you can find it here:
http://www.data-cut.com/grumliner.htm
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:18 AM   #13
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by grummy
... us "Steppies" have no real home when it comes to forums...
You cab be "stepnuts" here. We might learn from you as well.

My daughter has wanted a Grumman stepvan ever since she saw one in the movie "Sneakers". She has since shifted over to wanting a mid sized dognosed skoolie to fulltime in.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:19 PM   #14
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by grummy
Awesome ! Another Step Van Convert !

WHOA! I've never encountered such excitement! I'm happy to have something that's fun and unique. I'm not overly vain, but it's nice to have an interesting rig.

It's 19' total, about 14 feet of usable space. Not a lot, but it'll work. 350 auto, yep!

I was surprised with as much height off the ground how little space there was under the floor to mount anything. Going inside won't be too bad - we've got a 15 gallon single tank and we'll just need to keep an eye on it. Thankfully it's a short vehicle, so driving to a dump station is way easier than taking a bus out. We're going with a city water feed only for now, but can expand to a water tank if we have to. Just starting with the basics - figure we won't be boondocking much in the beginning.

Great to see another step van fan! I wasn't one, until I bought this, but now I love it. Very cool vehicle. Another bonus is the food truck industry is big right now, so unloading it would be easy, but a shame to do.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:00 PM   #15
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Just for the record --- We had the very first meeting of the Houston Area Skoolie Chapter yesterday evening! Met with Chris (The Rice University Blue Bird Project)...at Colin's place (the excellent, all aluminum Chevy Step Van) and looked over what he was up to. He is most fortunate to have a lovely lady-friend who can mig-weld (what else could a guy ask for in a woman!?)

They have a good start insulating and putting down flooring and are working on the black/gray water system. Meanwhile, Chris has made some progress de-rustifying the floors in the Bird (a process all Skoolies can most likely relate to). And me...I haven't had a chance to even visit my poor baby for weeks. Too busy working at paying her bills.

After looking and chatting, we headed over to a local joint affectionately known as "reHAB" for some tasty beverages and a little more bus & truck talk but it was Wednesday and once the house band cranked up, conversation got put on the back burner.

Was great to meet these folks and we plan on staying in touch.

In fact, it occurs to me that it could be very beneficial if this Forum also had some form of regional boards where Skoolies could trade local info and plot similar get togethers. If anyone else is interested in something along those lines, maybe we could get the folks who put this wonderful place together to add something like that. What'cha think?
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #16
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
... In fact, it occurs to me that it could be very beneficial if this Forum also had some form of regional boards where Skoolies could trade local info and plot similar get togethers. If anyone else is interested in something along those lines, maybe we could get the folks who put this wonderful place together to add something like that. What'cha think?
There's no one near us. Sometimes Chadluc blows thru (a good description). As for traveling, we can't do any right now. Bad weather and need to spend any extra $$ on the conversion. I want to be insulted completely before it gets too cold for too long. After insulating/finishing galley, my next "project is to get the bus ready for traveling (minor repairs, rewire the tow lights, tag/title/insure). I get one week PAID vacation. Thinking of heading over to the Gila Cliff Dwellings near Silver City and basing the bus inRockhound State Park for a week in September. We would drive the Jeep where we want to visit. All this depends on how much $ I can save up.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:35 PM   #17
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Colin and Allie were indeed considerate hosts. Their project is really interesting - I strongly suggest checking out their blog where they have lots of pictures. It helps when you have good bones - their Chevy step van is just a handsome vehicle to begin with. When they're done, it will be an enviable machine. OK, even more enviable.

The Rice semester is just starting up, but we'll be back onboard Cargo Space tomorrow, continuing the interior prep for paint and the new plywood subfloor.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:11 PM   #18
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
In fact, it occurs to me that it could be very beneficial if this Forum also had some form of regional boards where Skoolies could trade local info and plot similar get togethers. If anyone else is interested in something along those lines, maybe we could get the folks who put this wonderful place together to add something like that. What'cha think?
Seems like a good idea! It would be nice to have travel suggestions (where to go, camp), parts trade/for sale, local meetups, etc.

Great to meet both of you. I need to get over to see both of your projects - both sound pretty dang cool.
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