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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I would start a thread to share updates as I try to convert my 2005 Odyssey EXL to a mini-RV.

I have been watching lots of youtube videos and I keep coming back to the way that Jucy has setup their vans. I like the way they leave the back seat in place and are able to provide an indoor comfortable seat and table that becomes part of the large sleeping area. Other videos have covered important issues like lighting and ventilation.

At this point, I have just gotten the van and am doing some maintenance and basic measurements before I proceed.

Hopefully in the next few months I will have something more than just an idea and I will share here.
 

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How's your van conversion going? I'm just starting in on my temporary campervan conversion. I want to be able to return it mostly back to normal. I, too, am trying to replicate a Jucy with the kitchen in back, double third row seats in tact and bed conversion inside. I'm trying to figure out how to use the floor storage (carousel) between the front seats and where the second row of seats would be before I build a "coffee table" box which will serve as storage and bed support. I'd love to hear what you've done or are planning.
 

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How's your van conversion going? I'm just starting in on my temporary campervan conversion. I want to be able to return it mostly back to normal. I, too, am trying to replicate a Jucy with the kitchen in back, double third row seats in tact and bed conversion inside. I'm trying to figure out how to use the floor storage (carousel) between the front seats and where the second row of seats would be before I build a "coffee table" box which will serve as storage and bed support. I'd love to hear what you've done or are planning.
should have added that I have a 2006 EX-L
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hello and glad to hear someone else is considering a conversion like this. I haven’t gotten to far along. Still trying to work out some issues since I got the van. Latest is repairing a roof seam leak and removing some electronics by the drivers kick panel that I suspect are corroded

as far as the conversion is concerned I am planning on creating the bed with a 4” thick couch type foam cushion that I have onhand. Will make the box from 1/2 inch plywood and a frame fro 2x3. The box itself isn’t going to be very large but I am planning a pull out drawer on both sides
The underfloor storage is underneath where the box will go but I am going to try and set this up where I can still open it. It doesn’t seem deep enough for any battery storage but maybe some electronics can go there eventually go there
i plan on doing the bed first and seeing how well using it for an overnight trip works. From there probably a kitchen and alternate power source will follow
My goal always has been to make it relatively easy to turn back to a passenger van when needed
I will post some measurements I came up with In next few days
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't have much knowledge about reversing seating besides what I think is already obvious that these seats have a sliding track, whose upper half is welded to the seat frame and lower half welded to the "feet" that are bolted to the floor. The parts can be separated at the track, probably with some effort, but there is no guarantee they will mate 180 degrees nor that the track is level to the ground. If you were able to reverse the seat it might be at a freakish angle (the seat bottom might be kicked way back or forward and that is not adjustable). There is probably nothing a fabricator that has welding skills couldn't do, but then you also need to figure out what to do about the airbags for the passenger and if anyone considers this street legal.

I am going to add a series of white board drawings later of what I have in the plans so far for this conversion to provide some components with rough numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The plan is to have a bed 48” wide (width of 3rd row) x 52” long
Including the back seat depth that gives 72” of total length
All my pictures show a 9” cushion. That should be 8 inches
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the bed will consist of 3 sections of 22, 8 and 22 inches long by 48 inches wide
The box is 13” high on the front by the drivers seat and [email protected] high on the backside. The floor slopes
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the seat cushion on the box is 4” thick and attached to a 1/2” plywood base. That base will be mounted on sliders so it can side until it contacts the back seat. At that point it will have a 2” overlap with the box for support
Under the seat is a removable tabletop
Drawers are planned to extend from either side of the box

the other two cushions that make up the bed are attached to each other with hinges. Each also cushion on plywood. The larger 22x48 cushion is hinged to the box so that 8” overlap when it is rotated flat onto a bed
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the seat folded has a small backrest
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
With the weather improving and some other fixes getting completed, I am going to start the conversion. Looks like I can put together the basics with a couple sheets of 1/2 plywood and a handful of 2x3s. More to follow.. including pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
After trying to work this out on paper I decided to build a cardboard prototype

the picture is purposely rotated to show how it would be oriented in the van. After placing it in the van there is not enough room to move the seats back so I need to adjust a few things. Will post again with a better picture
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I finally made the transition from cardboard to wood. I used 2x3 kiln dried studs for the frame and 1/2 plywood for the surfaces. I wound up using some boards I had cut for corn hole boards and they weren't really all that flat. Probably couldn't have found much better in the big box stores, but nice flat plywood would have made this a much cleaner build.

In the end I have something that isn't perfect but works. I struggled to get the dimensions correct and reduced the height of the seating platform twice by breaking this down and cutting the 2x3s and plywood backing. Nothing beats having something you can put in the van and sit on for size.

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The picture above shows the seat flipped on its short back side. The short side will face the rear and the side covered in plywood will face forward. I made this a little more complicated so that there would be an opening (in the plywood panel) where the door opens for the under floor storage. The final design doesn't really allow much access, so in hindsight that access opening was wasted.

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A better view above shows the seat in its correct position with the van front being to the left. The seat portion of the plywood cover sides rearward toward the back seat on 22" drawer slides. It still needs to have a support added for the end of the seat so it has something to rest on when it is fully extended.


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Two more pices of plywood added to make the full 48 x 52 platform. The pieces are 22 (seat), 8 (backrest) and 23 (seat back). The backrest and seatback are connected with a full length piano hinge. The backrest is attached with two standard door hinges to the frame

Folded flat
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and folded up like a chair
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still lots of work to be done. 4" high density foam cushions were purchased. Need to make cushion covers. Additional front and rear supports are needed for the platform overhangs. Need a mount to the middle seat mount rails on the van's floor and finally add some drawers and clasps to keep things together while moving.

Also had to cut some slight notches in the backrest bottom as it hit the passenger seat track bottoms. Lost maybe an inch in a few spots.

More hopefully soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will be honest that driving cross country in a van that has 200K miles in a generation that has known transmission and upper engine vulnerabilities has me concerned. The van is also new to me, provided by a friend for this project. I plan on taking some shorter trips and fixing problems as they occur. I know others have taken these vans much further so with some preparation and a little good luck, I should be OK.
Also, part of the design is that this can be easily removed and put in another van if the one I have isn't worth repairing. There are lots of lower mileage LX vans that have a better track record.
I think the benefit of a versatile minivan that gets good mileage trumps the comfort and cost of a motor home.🙂
 

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I've camped and slept in my 2019 EX many times on the cargo deck I built, using a queen sized memory foam mattress cut to fit the wheel wells. I agree with you Frontporch, the costs of owning a motorhome don't seem worth the trouble when I can sleep in my minivan. The only problem for me is that here in TX, it's way too hot to sleep in a van without AC for 6-7 months of the year. In other parts of the country, like the CA coast, that's not a problem at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It has been a slow go and I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet. There are still lots of things I want to do including ventilation and possibly an additional battery. There has been some progress and I can't say I have too many regrets with what I have done. Will post some pictures later.
 

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Is there anyone getting transit to make a DIY camper? Are there any people buying them to use as work vans, cargo haulers, passenger vans, or is everyone getting them to try their own hand at making a campervan?
I don't want to threadjack, but these guys specialize on the Transits;
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
don't want to threadjack,
Even though you were replying to an earlier somewhat off topic post I like to see those kind of conversions. My focus here is a use what you have (existing odyssey) and make it still a passenger and material hauler. Something the professional conversions are not. And I am cheap as well so it must be at a reasonable cost
 
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