Astro van build

Important announcements that everyone should take a moment to read. Site news, updates, and the latest AstroSafari. Discuss the cabin from the headliner to the carpeting of your Astro or Safari van. Topics include door panels, and seat belts or the dash and carpet, trim, and seats. Talk about your center console, seats, door handles, upholstery, steering wheels or any other item in the cab of your van.

Anything to do with the outer exterior of your van. Discuss all body modifications and repairs including fenders and bumpers, hoods and grilles, or doors and windows. All body related things like body panels and handles, wipers and roof racks, mirrors and trim. Discuss the system of springs, shock absorbers, and linkages that connects your van to it's wheels.

The suspension is the the system contributing to the vans handling, and keeps vehicle occupants comfortable and isolated from road noise, bumps, and vibrations. The engine forum is where all of our engine discussion and conversation takes place.

Talk about engine diagnostics, adjustments, modifications, performance and care. Motor tuning and repair to gain horsepower and fuel efficiency. Topics regarding exhaust systems beginning at the headers down the pipes and through the catalytic converter and the mufflers and exhaust tips. We can also discuss emissions, performance cat back exhausts, or any exhaust related topics. Transmission and drivetrain related components.

Discuss automatic and manual trans repairs and performance or talk about driveshafts or rear-ends and differentials. Diagnostics of 4-speed, 5-speed, or even 6-speed transmissions. Lets talk about brakes and brake performance. Disc, drum, anti-lock brakes ABS.

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Discuss brake components like the pads, rotors, calipers, shoes. Pads can be ceramic, metallic, or other. Rotors can be standard, cross-drilled, or slotted. Discussion about wheels and tires also called rims and rubber. Tires come in low profile radials, all-terrain passenger tires, sport or off-road tires and even swampers or mud boggers. Talk about backspacing, aluminum or alloys, inflation and wear. Topics regarding the climate control in the cabin of the van.

Discussion specific to electric components of vans. Category for alternators or batteries, starters and ignition parts, anything 12v and electrical issue like fuses, circuitry, wire, terminals, switches, connectors, bulbs, relays, and wiring. Voltage and amperage diagnosis. Discuss towing and trailers and plows, or overdrive and hitch towing capacity GVW and tongue weight for heavy loads.

Van Life Essentials: 28 Top Picks for Campervan Gear

This is the place for tow hitches, receivers, and trailer wiring as well as snow plowing. Talk about audio systems and mobile video, navigation systems and GPS, car alarms and security systems. Discuss auto competition with amplifiers, subwoofers, sound quality, and SPL. Share wiring schematics or discuss color codes.Please read our disclosure and privacy policy for more information.

You are apt to forget something during your first foray living in a van, and I hope this list of van life essentials helps! I no longer have to deal with food ruined by melting ice, let alone race to a store to grab new ice. A portable refrigerator should be on your van life packing list as it allows you to go off-grid for days. This volt fridge is energy efficient, too — mine only comes on for about 10 minutes per hour.

You can connect it to a portable solar generator, an inverter tied to your solar system, or a cigarette lighter.

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We prefer a propane stove to butane because it runs perfectly at low temperatures. We often use it in conjunction with our pressure cooker to make fast meals right inside our campervan. This is one of our top van life essentials for cooking fast and easy meals while living in a van.

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It cooks food very quickly, which means we use less propane! We love our pressure cooker so much we have one in our van and one on our sailboat. We love using backpacking bowls in our campervan because they are really easy to store! These MSR nesting bowls barely take up any space, and are made with high-quality stainless steel. These MSR alpine plates go hand-in-hand with our nesting bowls above. These small stainless steel plates are portable and environmentally-friendly.

They are versatile and lightweight, made with dent-resistant steel. These lightweight camping sporks are great for both backpacking and as one of many van life essentials for your van kitchen. We keep two of these on hand at all times.

When cooking inside our campervan, we use wooden cutting boards on two stools both to chop our veggies and to set our hot stove.

This GSI folding camping table is a van life essential. It fits neatly in our back hatch, right next to our ARB fridge! The container folds to flat when not in use and then puffs up when full of water. A lot of people with larger vans will choose a different sleeping setup than what we have. This super warm REI Joule sleeping bag is what I use to stay warm on chilly nights while living in a van. This 3-season mummy bag is water repellent with breathable fabric panels.

So many people living in a van love sleeping on a memory foam mattress. Nothing is better than a cozy blanket to wrap around yourself when reading a book while living in a van or sitting outside with morning coffee. These awesome blanket are made with the same warm synthetic materials found in premium sleeping bags and puffy jackets, and are durable, waterproof and resistant to odors.

We all know how important it is to stay connected while living in a van. A cellular signal booster is especially important for van lifers who will be working while on the road. We have a cell booster from WeBoost which has totally changed our lives while traveling in the campervan. Check out our review below:. Verizon has really good coverage all over the United States.Used Chevrolet Astro for Sale 3. Overall Rating. Track Price Check Availability. Chevrolet Astro Buyer's Guide.

Owner Reviews. By Rating. Overall 4. You don't need to worry about replacing a timing belt, because it uses a timing chain. The one I have has been beat up pretty good, but is still running well. It seems not too hard to work on the van yourself - especially underneath the vehicle. The Chevy Astro van's motor is known to last forever. Drove to Oregon and back right after I bought it - an hour after I bought it.

Quite a lot of room inside. Strong motors - that last a long time. Easy to find parts. Great for road camping, just hop in the back and fall asleep at a rest stop. Good gas mileage for the size of the vehicle.

Modern, yet not too hard to work on.

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Hard to work on the motor itself because of space. Some parts wear out quickly. Not very good gas mileage in the city.

astro van build

Not really enjoyable to drive. A big vehicle, depending on if that's a bad thing to a person.Search titles only. Search Advanced search…. Four Wheel Drive. Camper And Trailer. Project Vehicles.

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astro van build

Search forums. Members Current visitors. Log in. JavaScript is disabled. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. Thread starter Herbie Start date Apr 26, Herbie Rendezvous Conspirator. Well, after more than a year of lurking, reading, and even some spending, its about time I got a build thread going for my little project. This project really got kicked off early in while my wife and I were expecting our first child.

A friend was telling the story of his nieces and nephews who, at five to ten years of age, had decided that "camping sucks" and that they would rather be home with their X-Boxes, etc. Determined not to have my little girl fall into this trap, I immediately knew I needed to start getting her out camping sooner, rather than later.

Now I used to do a lot of backpacking, but my wife is a city-girl, through and through. Once you've been alone on a bluff somewhere at dawn, sleeping near noisy neighbors in a campground loses its appeal. Somewhere along that line was when I stumbled into the Expedition Portal, and I've been researching and planning ever since.

Last edited: Jun 11, Their pricing is a bit more than Sportsmobile who won't work on an Astrobut not completely out of line. General availability of funds see above re: Newborn babyand some trouble getting in touch with them and getting the information I needed, however, soon had me looking for alternatives.

Not long after getting the van home I paid a visit to a local friend who runs a company called 3Dyn. I've done a bunch of work with them on other projects, so I know all about their expertise on molded composites including building some parts for the SpaceX private spacecraft effort. We talked a bit about what I wanted and not long after he shot me these:. Last edited: Apr 26, Choosing a van to convert into a camper is arguably the most exciting part of the build. Other questions you might consider when shopping around — do i need 4-wheel drive?

What cargo van has the best MPG? Windows on the back, sides, or neither? Check out some of the available camper vans for rent use the search box to type your city, a particular model, year, etc. Well, easy cowboy, because finding a cheap and mechanically reliable van to convert into a camper van takes patience and diligence.

Offers in Southern California where we bought ours differ greatly from just over the state line in Arizona. It has high miles, but the engine and transmission were recently replaced, and frankly, we were willing to take the risk.

That being said, your situation may be quite different.

Herbie's Chevy Astrolander/ZMB Build Thread

Money might be tight, and you may be looking to live in your new camper conversion van full time, for years of adventuring. In retrospect, I do wish that I had shopped around in nearby Arizona, where there are a lot of folks trying to get rarely-used cargo vans off their hands.

Know your budget, and be sure to take the van to a trustworthy mechanic for an inspection before handing over the cash. I brought two different vans for inspection prior to settling on Jean-Claude Van Ramboth resulting in having to politely tell the owner that since I needed reliability, I was no longer interested.

Now, the real camper van conversion begins. Are you living in your van? Make the bed the top priority and plan everything around that. Is this your adventuremobile and you need to keep gear like a mountainbike or surfboard alongside you? That takes a little more thought. Check Pinterest for inspiration and ideas on layouts and designs. How do you plan to go to the bathroom?

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When we started our camper van conversion, we had little to no idea what we were doing, what our options were, or what gear to buy. Have something in your build you can't live without? Send it over and we'll add it to the list! E-mail: peter buyitforvanlife. BuyitforVanLife is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

Try Before You Buy! You might as well make sure you like driving it. Cook some meals. Read a book. Work on a computer. One or two nights in a rental can save a LOT of time thinking about your inventory. Jot down some notes! Take pictures if you think it will help with your electrical planning.

Recommended items for The Build Featured. Load More Follow on Instagram.Please read our disclosure and privacy policy for more information. Do you want a high-top van like a Mercedes Sprinter conversion or Ford Transit, a small van like a Promaster City, a cargo van, or an old minivan like a Chevy Astro van?

The choices can seem endless. I hemmed and hawed, dreaming of a fancy Sprinter with no way to afford it. Then, I started seeing Chevy Astro vans popping up in my various van life Facebook groups. What was a Chevy Astro van? I really had no idea, but vaguely remembered it from the s. Turns out there are several different types of Astro vans, and as I started browsing Craiglist, Autotrader and Facebook Marketplace, I fell in love.

Chevy Astro vans were built between the years of and They were sold along with the GMC Safari. Both vans are nearly identical with different names and branding, so in my search, I looked at both.

There are Chevy Astro cargo vans, passenger vans and conversion vans. There are normal back hatches or Dutch Style back hatches. Outside companies took over the Chevy Astro to make conversion vans, or luxury minivans. A Chevy Astro conversion van makes the perfect camper. It has the width of a full-size bed and easily fits two people. This is the actual Craigslist photo I saw. I immediately know I needed that van! I set up and saved search parameters on Craigslist for cities across the United States.

astro van build

A Chevy Astro Conversion van with only 57, miles, sitting in a garage in Sacramento. So, I did, and the owner actually held the van for me until I got back to the Bay area, and drove my little Chevy Cobalt to Sacramento to test drive the van. I fell in love right away.I think it should work fine and you will save a lot of money doing it your way. My only concern is the rear shackles. The front end is a standard control arm type and you already will be raising the body evenly.

The shackles may give you the drag race look where the rear end is higher than the front. Registered: Jul Feedback score: 2 Leave feedback Total ratings: Rate this member Report this Post PM twofatguys posts Member since Jul Two items have you within 2 dollars of 50 bucks.

astro van build

Cheaper may not be better in all cases. Though, I agree this is going to be a nice project to watch.

Why I chose a Chevy Astro van for van life

But either way it will look a lot better. Don't take corners too fast, my stock Astro felt like it was gonna tip over when I owned it, I'm not sure some extra height would inspire much confidence in me. I believe they are fwd but not really sure. All of them are rear wheel drive with the standard straight axle rear end. Interesting project you have. Last lifted van I have seen, has a older Econoline.

Would that not create a "wedge" shape between the frame and body space in the front and no space at the rear? If so, that would mean that you would need progressively shorter spacers. OR, are you using the body lift evenly around the frame AND shackles in the rear for more lift in the rear? I am NOT trying to flame by any means, just trying to understand how that would work It is not a full frame. Astros have always been unibody. Hmmm, I didn't catch that at first.


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