July 6, 2020

We're back! Thank you for your patience during the move.


PLEASE READ (click)

Herbie's Astrolander/ZMB build thread

This forum section is only to be used if you have an Astro or Safari van that is set-up to camp out of.

Moderators: Rileysowner, Fire Cakes

User avatar
Herbie
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 640
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:45 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

C/D pillar utility rack

Post by Herbie » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:11 am

A quick update, now that I've finished the build on my utility rack that spans the rear quarter window between the C and D pillars.

Image

The primary motivator for this was to relocate some of the weight from the forward end of the pop-top. In years past, I've overloaded the front end a little bit by putting the slide-out solar panel and recovery mats on the forward rack. The goal was to make these things easy to each by standing in the open forward door area, but the side effect was that raising the pop-top was significantly harder, due to the extra weight way out on the long lever arm of the hinges/top. As a nice bonus, the TRED recovery mats are now even easier to access, without the precarious tip-toes reaching from the passenger door. (Yes, I'm short.)

Image

The bottom rail is aluminum L-track that's fastened via a host of RivNuts through the body skin. Skipping to the end, you can also see I've added a pair of right angle "tabs" that let me sit the recovery mats up on the rack so I don't have to hold their weight while I thread in the eye-bolts that hold them down.

Image

The top part of the rack is more complicated. Like most of my projects, I started by mocking up in paper. This helped me figure out how to get all the bends I'd need to match the curve of the top and get these two "arms" out from underneath the pop-top.

Image

Then I moved onto steel. This bracket connects to two of the holes that go through the roof for the pop-top hinge on the drivers side. These are secured into a thick backing plate with tapped holes that is bonded to the roof on the inside.

Image

The arms protrude out from the body, and are connected by another piece of L-track. I couldn't use RivNuts here because there's a second piece of sheet metal at an angle behind the outer skin here (from where the "wall" and "roof" panels were joined at the factory) - so it would have been hard to get a clean seat on the nuts. (I'm glad I suspected this would be the case and eventually double-checked by drilling holes on a junkyard van body.)

Image

You can see that the hold-downs are 5/16" stainless eye bolts. I used a pair of nuts to jam a fender washer at just the right depth along the bolt threads so that they tightly hold the mat to the rack without protruding too far through the back. I could have used the supplied TRED mounting plate that gives you a pair of protruding "studs" to mount the rack on, but then these would be sticking out all the time, and I wanted this to sit fairly close to the van when I don't have the mats mounted.

Image

Obviously I have plenty of real estate for mounting other tools. It's nice to not have to try to stand on the rear tire to get my shovel down anymore.
"My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
2003 Astro AWD Astrolander/ZMB - GTRV Top Transplant, 4" OLV Lift, NP233 T-case, evolving interior
1995 Safari GTRV Organ donor - gutted and gone.
Image

User avatar
Herbie
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 640
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:45 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Water System Updates

Post by Herbie » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:46 pm

I'm long overdue for some updates!

Rather than wrestle with trying to remote-link a dozen images here (since I keep failing at that), I'm going to just post a couple teasers and point you to my blog entry:
Image

Image

Image

https://chooseadventures.blogspot.com/2 ... rades.html
"My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
2003 Astro AWD Astrolander/ZMB - GTRV Top Transplant, 4" OLV Lift, NP233 T-case, evolving interior
1995 Safari GTRV Organ donor - gutted and gone.
Image

Astrophysics
I sleep in my van
Posts: 860
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:23 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Herbie's Astrolander/ZMB build thread

Post by Astrophysics » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:09 am

Herbie,

That is super. A water pump and outside shower. Very nice.
I put a Road Shower 4 gal pressurized Black colored aluminum tank up on roof rack. I pump it to pressure with bicycle pump.

AP

Astrophysics
I sleep in my van
Posts: 860
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:23 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Herbie's Astrolander/ZMB build thread

Post by Astrophysics » Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:57 pm

Hi Herbie,

Here is a photo of my roof mount solar shower black aluminum tank with hose and spray nozzle.

AP
Attachments
IMG_3221.JPG
alum solar shower, hose, nozzle roof mount 2003 AWD

Post Reply