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2006 Express 3500 campervan project

Old March 3rd, 2019, 7:39 AM
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Lightbulb 2006 Express 3500 campervan project

And so it begins...
Self conversion of my 2006 Express 3500 minibus to a campervan - on a budget! Time constraints will make this a long term project, but I hope to get out before Autumn this year. I will update with progress photos, and of course will be scouring the forum for ideas along the way. I have selfishly pinched ideas from StanVan & [email protected]Black'95 for the base build, and add my touches where possible.

Right, were's my cup of English tea?!

My Chevy in its previous life - Formula 1



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Old March 3rd, 2019, 11:01 AM
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I am looking forward to following your project! Mine was a long term project also. It took me over a month to build my kitchen unit and get it to conform with the profile of my van interior. Maybe I can even pinch an idea or two from you as I am always looking for way to update and improve my van. Keep us posted with lots of pictures.

Last edited by Black'95; March 3rd, 2019 at 11:53 AM.
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Old March 3rd, 2019, 8:55 PM
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I got a 1994 G-20 conversion van with 100k miles. Someone took all the back seats out. I had to put in a steel cabinet for tools and hardware. By spring I will have new window blinds, a power inverter, rear auxiliary battery, extra cigarette lighter jacks, cpap, fishing rod holders, factory radio from a Camaro with CD player, and maybe a few other things. I will be watching your post for ideas to borrow.
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Old March 4th, 2019, 12:08 AM
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Here's another thread to draw ideas from. Ron (Teamuir1) doesn't get in here much lately, but I think you'll dig it.

https://chevroletforum.com/forum/exp...es-done-85622/

I'll see if I can get him in for a visit.
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Old June 13th, 2019, 12:35 PM
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Default campervan: check out chevy roadtrek..

chevy express 3500 body, interior customed by roadtrek canada. it's sold in US and canada. there are lots of ideas for u do it your selfers. they've figured out what refrig, toilet bed etc will work... good luck !
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Old July 12th, 2019, 2:16 PM
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Cool Ottoman bed FINALLY installed!


Originally wanted to have the Ottoman as a side lift. But due to the lean of the 2nd row seat back, I had to go for aportait, rather than landscape lift.


Fork lift supports fitted. Once i have the batteries in the front compartment, I will put in another mattress base crossmember


Forks engaged!


Mattres base fitted. Chock is keeping the Ottoman struts compressed until I get a mattress on it.

Ottoman lifted to max position, allowing access to batteries, etc underneath

Ottoman lifted to max position, allowing access to batteries, etc underneath

Rear drawers yet to be fabricated.

It's been a very long spring and summer... work as always, gets in the way! Way too much time thinking, thinking and thinking.. dimensions, location of support bars, location of electrical items, location of storage. Cobbled up lots of ideas then hit it in a day with lots of free timber. Finally got the Ottoman struts in this afternoon (when I should have been working!)
My idea is to have the whole Ottoman bed frame removable, so I can load haul if needed. At the front under the bed base will be two leisure batteries, and all associated parts; inverter, solar panel controler, relays etc. All the cabling will have QR fittings onto the LH front side of the base, to allow the frame to get in and out.
At the rear will have two flush fitting drawers for storage.
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Old July 12th, 2019, 3:26 PM
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Always nice to have a forklift , what does that weigh ?
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Old July 12th, 2019, 3:42 PM
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Hope that forklift is readily available. The interior panels will not go back in with the bed in place. I had to have my rear A/C worked on, and they needed my bed gone. I built mine to come out. It does take about 30 minutes, but no forklift is needed.

But it does look good.
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Old July 12th, 2019, 4:35 PM
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A lot! Even heavier once i get the battery and electrics in the front end. Once complete I will weigh the whole lot and let you know.
It is very much a "version 1" build. The timber was all free, and this is my first project, so trying to do it as cheap as I can. I've no doubt that I will build a light weight "version 2" bed frame in the future, but this will suffice for now. When complete, I will clean all the wood up, and cover with cord carpet for a better finish.
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Old July 12th, 2019, 4:39 PM
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Originally Posted by StanVan View Post
Hope that forklift is readily available. The interior panels will not go back in with the bed in place. I had to have my rear A/C worked on, and they needed my bed gone. I built mine to come out. It does take about 30 minutes, but no forklift is needed.

But it does look good.
Thanks Stan, always listen to your sound advice.
However... after i took the photos, I put the interior panels back in, with the bed in place. Bit of a fiddle but not too bad. Originally I was going to have panels fabricated up with louvres cut in for the rear AC inlet (otherwise the air in would be sucking on the mattress). I want to fit some storage along the sides, so will give this more thought.
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