My 1971 Am General m109a3 RV build

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fpchief

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I looked at them and I will look into it. The roof has a very slight spot of surface rust and it doesn't look like it went through. I'm going to inspect it more closely when I get inside the box more. And might have to take some panels out. On a side note, The floor is perfectly solid and straight with no rot which is nice.
Good!!! On mine, water ran down and disintegrated the metal under the wood floor. Ripped all out and replaced with double layer of 3/4" marine plywood. It was alot of work. You are in a much better situation no doubt.
 

muthkw25

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Good!!! On mine, water ran down and disintegrated the metal under the wood floor. Ripped all out and replaced with double layer of 3/4" marine plywood. It was alot of work. You are in a much better situation no doubt.
Yeah I have read multiple guys builds where the box needed to be gutted and started new. I'm trying to avoid that at all costs.
 

montaillou

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ICECO dual purpose fridge
I've been considering a SunDanzer, I've read that it's very efficient.


I've done a lot of research on electrically efficient appliances. I got a Wisco countertop oven. I'm not sure how much off-road travel I'll be doing, but I don't want to shy away from any. Don't know how any of these appliance will fare in rough conditions, I guess I'll find out. Right now, I'm thinking about how to secure everything.
 

muthkw25

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I've been considering a SunDanzer, I've read that it's very efficient.


I've done a lot of research on electrically efficient appliances. I got a Wisco countertop oven. I'm not sure how much off-road travel I'll be doing, but I don't want to shy away from any. Don't know how any of these appliance will fare in rough conditions, I guess I'll find out. Right now, I'm thinking about how to secure everything.
Right I haven't figured out all the details yet. I was wondering about securing the appliances myself. I just want the items to be secured safely.
 

montaillou

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I just want the items to be secured safely.
There are handles on the side, but I don't know that they are strong enough for tie downs. I think maybe an exoskeleton built around the item, at the very least a frame built around the bottom with strapping. It also might be prudent (or not) to open the appliance up and see what's inside. For instance, the fridge/freezer will have a compressor and maybe this might need to be secured better though anything designed to be picked up and moved will probably already have something going on in this area. I was thinking for smaller items, cabinets and padding - buy big blocks of foam and custom form them around items. My list of appliances include the fridge/freezer, countertop convection oven, induction hot plate, hot pot, & toaster. The oven might be a little over the top for some, but as I plan on living in this for maybe months at a time...
 

muthkw25

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There are handles on the side, but I don't know that they are strong enough for tie downs. I think maybe an exoskeleton built around the item, at the very least a frame built around the bottom with strapping. It also might be prudent (or not) to open the appliance up and see what's inside. For instance, the fridge/freezer will have a compressor and maybe this might need to be secured better though anything designed to be picked up and moved will probably already have something going on in this area. I was thinking for smaller items, cabinets and padding - buy big blocks of foam and custom form them around items. My list of appliances include the fridge/freezer, countertop convection oven, induction hot plate, hot pot, & toaster. The oven might be a little over the top for some, but as I plan on living in this for maybe months at a time...
I want a fridge, microwave and air fryer. Plus ac/heat. Then a tv & DVD player. Trying to keep it simple but comfy.
 

muthkw25

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Today I didn't get to do much working on the truck. I removed the driverside Jerry can holder. I am not going to use it and it gets in the way.

The 24 volt system works but need a new circuit breaker on the outside of the box. Bought a new one and should be here end of the week.

The truck also came with the 110- 2 prong power cable. Dad and I are working on wiring it up so we can test the electrical system on the truck. Plan is to replace the bulbs for the 24v system and the 110 with LED bulbs.


Question:. Does anyone run an additional ground with their m109a3 when hooking up 110 power?
 

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montaillou

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Trying to keep it simple
Sorry to say, but what you're talking about may not be simple. How were you planning on supplying the power? The HVAC unit will probably be your biggest draw. If you're gonna use a generator, you can probably use a mini-split system. If you don't want to use a generator, it starts getting complicated and/or expensive really fast.
 

muthkw25

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Sorry to say, but what you're talking about may not be simple. How were you planning on supplying the power? The HVAC unit will probably be your biggest draw. If you're gonna use a generator, you can probably use a mini-split system. If you don't want to use a generator, it starts getting complicated and/or expensive really fast.
I plan on having a generator, As I do more research I will change the setup.
 

cbrTodd

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I second the suggestion to inspect the roof / ceiling very closely before building out your RV interior. I had mine completely stripped out in 2013 and thought I had the rust issues fixed. The whole inside got sanded, holes patched, floor replaced, rust ground out / neutralized, etc. I found out that one of my patch panels leaked during a camping trip last fall, and in the tear down over the winter I've found that it had much more rust inside than I thought was possible. The all-metal interior holds in moisture better than you would think, and spreads rust everywhere. The attached picture is from last month, and all the surfaces pictured were clean and in good shape when I primed them in 2013. At a minimum, I would recommend pulling out the light fixtures and checking for surface rust on the bottom side of the roof. Pulling out a few roof panels would be better.

If you use an RV power cord / plug system and ground the truck to it, then you shouldn't need another ground if plugged into grid power. If you are running off a generator, the generator should be grounded per its instructions.

20200429_215011.jpg
 

fpchief

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On your a/c....I had a window unit on the front like some have done...decided that it is in the most vulnerable place for limbs, etc... I know you could build a shield like peashooter but I decided against it and removed it. Sealed it up completely just as I did the center windows on each side. The windows of these damn things are an atrocity and I felt alot better when i raised the blackout cover over the hole and sealed it up. Did the finishing work on the inside to seal it up good.

More on the A/C....I did all the math and budgeting for using a mini split with batteries and yep it can be done but it gets into the $1000's real quick. What I have decided to do is get a smaller portable a/c with heat and build my counters around it. Requires a drain line and a vent both of which are no problem.

This way, it is protected and cost is minimal. I bought a champion inverter 3500w dual fuel generator and it is good to go for all power needs when solar is not enough.

If you need pics of the braces and so forth in the walls, just ask. Several of us have taken these damn things down to parade rest. You really need to know where some of the braces are before boring holes in the sides and so forth. Running along each side about 3' high is a piece of flat steel that is 1/4" thick that could ruin your day if you were planning on using that area.
 

muthkw25

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I second the suggestion to inspect the roof / ceiling very closely before building out your RV interior. I had mine completely stripped out in 2013 and thought I had the rust issues fixed. The whole inside got sanded, holes patched, floor replaced, rust ground out / neutralized, etc. I found out that one of my patch panels leaked during a camping trip last fall, and in the tear down over the winter I've found that it had much more rust inside than I thought was possible. The all-metal interior holds in moisture better than you would think, and spreads rust everywhere. The attached picture is from last month, and all the surfaces pictured were clean and in good shape when I primed them in 2013. At a minimum, I would recommend pulling out the light fixtures and checking for surface rust on the bottom side of the roof. Pulling out a few roof panels would be better.

If you use an RV power cord / plug system and ground the truck to it, then you shouldn't need another ground if plugged into grid power. If you are running off a generator, the generator should be grounded per its instructions.

View attachment 798876
Wow.
On your a/c....I had a window unit on the front like some have done...decided that it is in the most vulnerable place for limbs, etc... I know you could build a shield like peashooter but I decided against it and removed it. Sealed it up completely just as I did the center windows on each side. The windows of these damn things are an atrocity and I felt alot better when i raised the blackout cover over the hole and sealed it up. Did the finishing work on the inside to seal it up good.

More on the A/C....I did all the math and budgeting for using a mini split with batteries and yep it can be done but it gets into the $1000's real quick. What I have decided to do is get a smaller portable a/c with heat and build my counters around it. Requires a drain line and a vent both of which are no problem.

This way, it is protected and cost is minimal. I bought a champion inverter 3500w dual fuel generator and it is good to go for all power needs when solar is not enough.

If you need pics of the braces and so forth in the walls, just ask. Several of us have taken these damn things down to parade rest. You really need to know where some of the braces are before boring holes in the sides and so forth. Running along each side about 3' high is a piece of flat steel that is 1/4" thick that could ruin your day if you were planning on using that area.
Thank you very much. I was planning on running an inside air conditioning unit. I don't like the air conditioners on the outside and the rear exhaust vent is a great place for that. I would need to drill a hole for the vent line. And my plan is I wouldn't be having the air conditioner/heater on while moving. Only when stationary. I can open windows when I get to my destination and then turn on the AC or heat depending on the situation. Things may change in the future the more I get into the project. I'll def have more questions as I work on the inside of the box.
 

montaillou

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For heat you could also go with a mini wood stove, like this one:

This thing is a little bigger than a loaf of bread and is designed for boats. I'm planning on using one and installing it in the same area where the shower will be - It'll be on a stand and I'll also put down a welding blanket for safety. Figure I can break it down, remove the exhaust pipe, seal it off and store it when it's not in use. There are other tiny stoves out there, but the Neport is probably among the smallest, and you just won't need anything big for the size of your camper.
 

muthkw25

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For heat you could also go with a mini wood stove, like this one:

This thing is a little bigger than a loaf of bread and is designed for boats. I'm planning on using one and installing it in the same area where the shower will be - It'll be on a stand and I'll also put down a welding blanket for safety. Figure I can break it down, remove the exhaust pipe, seal it off and store it when it's not in use. There are other tiny stoves out there, but the Neport is probably among the smallest, and you just won't need anything big for the size of your camper.
Good idea. I will look into it.
 

fpchief

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Plan on cutting a hole for a maxxair vent. Worth every penny...moves alot of air. And I really like that mini wood stove. Just not needed down here....one problem I dont have to deal with is extreme cold.
 

muthkw25

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Made some great progress in the last few days. Power cable is made and using the original large 2 prong 60amp cord for 110v. Installed all LEDs in interior lights as well as the 2-24volt lights with leds. Whole box inside is LEDs.

I also purchased a new air filter from power driven diesel "dust bowl" model. Filter flows better, is synthetic and truly reusable. Filter should have a much better cfm as well. It is a 5.5" inlet and 7" long. Sits perfectly and attaches great. If you cut the bowl out of the bottom of the filter housing you could get more air flow or get the 9" long filter, I chose to not cut out the bottom so it has support sitting inside.

Next I found out the box on the m109a3 might be a m185 box. Found the tag and thought it was interesting, I'm sure many vans had either or box.

I removed the pioneer tool kit. I have no need for it on the truck. If I use it, I'll put it on the shelter. This makes it much easier to access the spare tire and if I move the spare tire it will be needed for a generator box or storage box.

Removed old reflectors. Truck will get 8 brand new ones.

I then decided that I want to finish the inside cab before working on the rest of the truck. Didn't want to paint the outside and then get dirt and crap from the cab so I figured I'd start inside and go out. I taped off all the windows and windshields, I removed all data plates. I purchased new stainless steel hardware for the dataplates, got a new turn signal switch, shifter boot covers, and a new black shifter handle. I was told it was used on REO m35a2s. Not sure exactly if that's true but it looks cool and looking cools 90% of it.
 

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muthkw25

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I then removed the seats today from the cab of the truck. Those are heavier then I suspected. I ordered new monroe 66104 shocks for the seats because they were both worn out. I then went to town all day sanding and Cleaning and priming. I got the whole cab cleaned and primed today. Plan is to do the bedliner in the next couple days after the primer sets and cures and put it on the driverside and passenger floor. I'll then get some horse mats from tractor supply to put down to protect the floor. Cab hasn't been this clean since probably 1971 haha.

Question for anyone on this thread, what type of fire extinguisher do you run and where do you put it in the cab? I want to run mine between the seats on the support beam for easy access.
 

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peashooter

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If you ever plan to use your truck at a campground, you may want to read my lesson learned here on dealing with GFCI electrical outlets

oh, and i agree with others comments on rust. May as well deal with it now. I tried to get by with partial fixes twice and ended up tearing everything out twice. And the windows are a pain, i found a good deal on NOS windows so i replaced them.... now they are a bigger pain than the original ones. Everything was custom fit it seems back then, not much is quite a simple bolt on. Keep it simple, do it right and dont assume the military design of the blasted vanbox is thebest way to go.
 
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