Say hello to Onyx! Onyx is a 2018 RAM Promaster 2500 with a 159" wheelbase. Built by Dicot Designs for full-time living or weekend adventures, this van is fully equipped with the amenities to make this a true home away from home. Built by a van-lifer and woodworker, this van is the perfect synergy between utilitarian functionality and intentional design. The design for this van was inspired by aesthetics found during a summer day at the Japanese Botanical gardens in Portland, Oregon, and many of the functional elements were inspired by the year I spent living in a previous build, Gypsum. So many of the vans out there look incredibly similar, boring and sterile. I wanted to build a van that felt warm, unique, and spacious. Onyx achieves this and more. The components of the van are listed below, but there are a handful of unique design features which I will mention here: French Cleat Walls: The walls are made of poplar and feature a french cleat system - a common storage solution in woodshops. The van comes with various french cleat boxes with are mobile and can be moved anywhere on the van’s walls. These are great for storing everyday items such as plants, your phone, keys, dish soap, wallets, etc. Their design allows them to stay secure to the wall, so you don’t have to worry about them moving around while driving. Shower and Toilet: Van showers are a luxury, but so many showers make vans feel cramped. This van was designed with a long bench that doubles as a shower basin. Simply remove the cushion, open up the bench, and you’ll find your 2.5 gallon Dometic cassette toilet. Remove this from the showe basin and you’ll be able to raise your shower rod and curtain to the ceiling, where it can attach to four hooks. Next, unscrew the head of your kitchen faucet and attach the extension hose that allows your kitchen faucet to reach the shower basin. Underneath the sink you will find a switch that turns on the 12V hot water heater, and you’ll be showering in no-time! Plus, set-up and tear down take less than a minute. Easy peasy, and no precious space is lost! Shoe bin: An often overlooked storage solution in vans. Shoes need to be accessible near the sliding door, and ideally they are out of the way. The slide out drawer near the sliding door has four compartments for shoes, and can fit two pairs of boots. Even better, if you’d rather not store shoes here, you can remove the internal dividers, and it simply becomes a larger drawer. Laundry hatch: Perhaps the one thing no one thinks of when traveling in a van - where do I put my dirty clothes? Conveniently nestled underneath the bed, the small door hatch in the bed partition opens to reveal a laundry hatch, which features vent holes to the inside of the garage area, allowing your dirty, sweaty clothes to have a dedicated storage space. Now that that’s aside, here are the various components in the build: Vehicle: -2018 RAM Promaster 2500, 159” WB -5,800 miles, basically new -Tow package -Cruise control -Navigation -Backup camera -ULTRA Motorsports Toil Black Painted rims -Equipped with winter tires - Bridgestone Blizzaks, 225/75/16 -Large roof rack can comfortably fit tons of additional gear. Electrical -300 Ah ReLion Lithium Batteries with room for expansion -200 Watts Renogy Solar Panels -Renogy MPPT 40A Charge Controller -Blue Sea Systems Automatic Charging Relay -Blue Sea Systems 12V Fuse Block -Blue Sea Systems ANL Fuses -Renogy 3000 Watt Inverter -Blue Sea Systems 120V AC Circuit Breaker -Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor -Tidy electrical organization allows for easy monitoring and maintenance Water -28 gallon fresh water wheel well tank from PNW Conversions. -Water tank gauge provides the real-time level of the water tank, so you don’t have to worry about running out of water. -Shurflo strainer, water pump, accumulator and silencing kit to reduce noise. -Ball valve drain for easy winterization of the water system and tank. -50 Foot fresh water hose for easy tank fill. -Aqueous 12V Hot Water Heater. -9” deep, scratch resistant sink. -5 gallon gray water tank with 12V switch for easy dumping. -Water system is easily accessed in the cubby in the rear of the van, along with the fresh water hose. Dining: -Two zone induction cooktop. -Dometic CRX 110E with 3.8 cubic feet features fridge and freezer areas, with enough space to last you a week's worth in groceries. -Large, sealed butcher block countertop for easy prep. -Deep sink for easy cleanup. -Large 31” x 18” Lagun table easily stores behind the driver’s seat and attaches to the bench, making it accessible to the entire bench, an extra counter space, and a tabletop for the passenger seat. Storage -The structure of the van was built using ¾” and ½” baltic birch plywood, a hardwood plywood superior in quality in terms of its strength and durability. (This isn’t the Home Depot stuff)! -Six spacious upper cabinets with gas struts, soft close hinges and adjustable ball bearing catches to ensure your belongings don’t fly when driving. -Three large drawers with Blumotion soft close drawer slides and ball bearing catches offer plenty of space for all your pots and pans and food for the road. -Large sink cabinet has plenty of room for two trash cans and various cleaning supplies. -Bench features slide out shoe drawer, with removable partitions to become a larger drawer if needed. -Bench also features a unique corner cabinet, maximizing the available space of the bench, offering another spot to stash gear. -Large garage has a clearance height that can accommodate bikes, including a large frame mountain bike. -Two large cubbies in the garage for extra gear above the water tank. Comfort -Passenger and driver seats are both on swivels, opening up the living area to seat four comfortably. -MaxxAir Fan Deluxe with remote control, providing various speeds and multi-directional. -Webasto AirTop Evo 40 with Rheostat control, professionally installed beneath passenger seat to help you stay toasty on cold winter days. -CR Laurence T-Vent Window allows for great ventilation when cooking. -CR Laurence Bunk Window in the bunk area allow for airflow throughout the van. -Memory foam short queen size mattress, means you can sprawl out with your adventure partner. -Three zone lighting - 1st zone controls the main channel of LED’s in the ceiling, the 2nd zone controls the outer channels of the LED’s in the ceiling, and the 3rd zone controls the lighting under the upper and lower cabinets. -12V reading lights above the bunk area make winding down at night easy. -Light and fan controls are located directly next to the bed, making it easy to adjust lighting while in bed. -VanEssentials insulated window covers for all windows within the van. -Curtain rod installed, giving the option of adding a black-out curtain if wanted. Let me know if you have any questions at all! You can find more videos and pictures on my Instagram (@dicot_designs) or my website dicotdesigns.com.
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