Nissan NV Stealth Camper: Coming Together

Looking in Cargo Door at the Bed.

Looking in cargo door at the bed.

WICKHAM CP, FL—With the heart of the van installed and beating nicely, the rest of the pieces are starting to fall together.

The solar components—the batteries, controller, inverter, and distribution panel—are all tucked away under the bed and (mostly) behind the forward yellow dresser that acts as a bed support.

Solar stuff behind driver's seat. Bed raised for access.

Solar stuff behind driver’s seat. Bed raised for access.

A squeaking on the roof while driving—which I feared was a solar panel ripping off—turned out to be the back two “spare” supports (not solar) which I had mounted next to each other and were rubbing. That was an easy fix and verifying the panels were still screwed down tight was quite a relief.

The bed is attached to the wall and on hinges to allow easy access to what lies below, and the two dressers I stole from my parents’ old condo are anchored down to the sides and the rear.

Looking toward the rear. Refrigerator will be mounted in the gap to the left rear.

Looking toward the rear. Refrigerator will be mounted in the gap to the right rear.

All the drawers on the dressers (13 of them) are secured shut with latches and catches to keep them from spilling their contents while en-route.

Shelf & Storage & Water Dispenser. Walls and roof are still bare until I decide what to do with them (later).

Shelf & Storage & Water Dispenser. Walls and ceiling are still bare until I decide what to do with them (later).

A wire shelf and square storage boxes hang over the window on the rear passenger side, along with a 2.5 gallon water dispenser. For the Fall run, I’ll make do with gravity to provide water flow, but I expect I’ll want to install a water pump once I’m satisfied with the layout.

For a sink, I’ll just be using a large Tupperware container, mounted on the dresser and under the water dispenser and held in place by magnets (at least that’s the plan). I want a sink/container with a watertight seal so that if I can’t dump the waste water out the door where I’m at, I’ll just seal it up and dump it later. When I do settle on a final floor plan, I’ll install a sink and drain, so the Tupperware will be just a cheap and temporary work-around.

I still haven’t decided on the bed mattress. I know a lot of people use furniture foam, but that isn’t… twinging me (doesn’t feel right), so we’ll see. I’m leaning toward a doubled over gel-foam mattress topper, but I’m open to suggestions.

I’m also waiting on my refrigerator. I returned the one that wasn’t functioning to Home Depot, and ordered a new one from Amazon (since HD was out of stock). If this one doesn’t work, I’ll just go with a 5-day cooler and blocks of ice and save a ton of money.

As I was driving around today—with everything secured and functioning properly—I noticed I was feeling really good. For no particular reason, I was really happy.

Though I have no clue exactly where I’ll be going first, I’m getting excited about going there.

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10 thoughts on “Nissan NV Stealth Camper: Coming Together

  1. looking quite busy in there, wayne. i’m guessing you’ll not be going in and out of the rear doors much. i’ve been camping all my life and find inflatable mattresses to be most comfortable. try a feather topper for ultimate luxury and warmth.

  2. “Though I have no clue exactly where I’ll be going first, I’m getting excited about going there.”

    Where am I goin’?
    I don’t know
    Where am I headin’?
    I ain’t certain
    All I know
    Is I am on my way

    – Paint Your Wagon (I’m On My Way) Lyrics

  3. Wayne, looks great!! I love the reusing of all the old furniture!! One comment though; I can’t really see where you are going to put the fridge, but the compressor fridges MUST have a lot of ventilation. All the heat is exhausted out of the one spot and if it doesn’t have a lot of area to dissipate you can easily overheat the compressor drastically reducing its life. I always tell people to be certain to give them more room than you think they need.

    But since I cant see the area I can’t really be sure, just a general comment.

    Great work!!

    • Thanks Bob. There will definitely be enough room in front of two of the three vents. The third I may have to cut a “chimney” into the insulation of the van wall, but I’m hoping that will be enough (especially with the other two vents). I’ll keep an eye on it.

  4. Hello Wayne, Justa thought, but have you considered one of those high quality chaise lounge cushions, the kind you would put on your deck or by the pool? It might be quite nice as well as small enough to fit nicely, and you could also put some of the memory foam on the top. Some of them are quite sturdy and might make a nice base for your topper. Happy trails! Meg

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