The MUSEROAMER Project (Part 5) The Ultimate DIY Overlanding Expedition Vehicle!
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The MUSEROAMER Project (Part 5) The Ultimate DIY Overlanding Expedition Vehicle!


We set off to build the expedition vehicle of my dreams from the ground up with a $30k budget. We documented every aspect of the build from the design process to all the hardships along the way. To be honest, this was one of the most challenging projects of my entire life but the final product exceeded my wildest dreams. Watch as we build an incredible vehicle for Season 3 of the Tiny Home Adventure series. This is the MUSEROAMER Project. On the last episode of the Tiny Home Adventure the interior layout started to take shape. Our ceiling fans and AC went in, we finished putting the box together, we cut out the hole for the pass through, and finally mounted the camper to the truck. Alright so, we’ve got the pass through. We’re trying to water seal everything so I’m going to try to apply the accordion boot, which will act as a gasket between the two. Since the frame is going to articulate different than the body of the truck, we need to make sure that when it all flexes it has enough room to move and not rip the seal out. That’s what I’m going to work on now, hopefully it comes together the way I had envisioned and not the way that everybody told me not to do it. We’ll see. The pass through was a critical feature for me on this project. My inner council Ashley, Mark, and Josh all advised me that I should not do it as it could lead to some major issues down the road and may end up being more complicated than we expect. With how much more challenging almost every aspect of this build has been than expected, I thought maybe they were right. But I wasn’t willing to compromise now. So what we did is fabricate two identical pieces of aluminum with the pass through cut out so we could attach our rubber accordion boot to the lip of each piece. This took a little finesse but the whole thing came together easier than expected which was a first for this project. Alright so we finally made it to Redpoint Woodworks. This is Rance, he runs the joint. We have some beautiful wood back here. We’re super excited to have him help us make these countertops. Tell us about what you do man. Most of what I do is I’m known mostly for live edge furniture. I do all kinds of furniture, everything from selling slabs to cutting down trees, to processing and then finish off and make beautiful beautiful furniture. That’s mostly what I’m known for. Man, some of this stuff you have in here is so pretty I cannot wait to see what we come up with on these countertops. I’m so excited I love this stuff man. It’s going to be awesome man! Sweet let’s do it! Thanks man! I have always been fascinated with raw slab counter tops and fine woodworking. Although I’m very aware of the unnecessary added weight, the aesthetic was well worth it for me. We started off by laying down a counter top template we had made at the shop on a giant piece of sycamore. We ended up using this one piece of wood for both our dinette and the kitchen counter tops. Then I spent several hours planing it to our desired thickness. Once planed, we cut out both the kitchen and dinette pieces to size. Rance was cool enough to guide me through the process. I also learned that this wood grain phenomenon is called medullary rays. Then we sealed the cracks with a special glue. We left the slabs with Rance from Redpoint Woodworks to be finished and stained and we headed back to the shop. Our wall thickness is thicker than what the faceplate for these windows will accommodate. We have to get kind of creative and create these frames so we don’t see a bunch of weird stuff on the backside of the window. We’ve created this sort of keystoned design. It’s a little interesting but I think at the end of the day it’ll be the best finish that we can possibly create so let’s do it! My approach was to create a custom trim to accommodate the 3 inch wall thickness. We glued and pinned the custom trim into place and then bondo-ed and sanded flush. Our pre-paint finish looked like this. After a bunch of rounds of bondo because I suck at bondo even though I’ve been doing it for hundreds of hours at least on this project it feels like we’ve got it pretty dang close. We still need to install the windows and are going to need to backfill those holes once everything is fully installed but we’re going to get our first coat of primer down on top of all this stuff right now. It should look a lot better once that happens. I’m real excited about it. For our solar panels we partnered with AM Solar. These guys are awesome. We told them exactly what our needs are and they had a couple different options. We ended up going with the 175 watt zamp panels and they were able to set us up with absolutely everything we needed from cables to mounting brackets to waterproof boxes. We really didn’t have to think much about it we just told them what we needed and they sent us everything, really clear and concise directions, and it should go together pretty quickly. This kits awesome everything kind of just attaches to the roof. I’m going to mount each panel individually and run the solar cable to a junction box and then we have everything through down into the cab where it needs to go. Just cleaning up the footholes. Sweet, good job! For this phase of the solar all we had to do was attach the panels to the roof and wire the panels to a junction box. We got all the solar wrapped up, it came with this super slick little box here. Super easy to wire, waterproof. Honestly the whole set up took us probably an hour and a half to install, wire all three panels, at least on the outside, we have a few more things to do on the inside. Surprisingly easy, I’m psyched. I’d highly highly recommend AM Solar, this isn’t an ad, they did give us the panels but the kit they sent us and the customer service it was all so easy and so streamlined. I would recommend this to anybody who wants to put solar on their house or on their RV because they give you everything, the directions were so clear and just all around nice people. Thanks AM Solar you guys rock! Right now while we’re trying to get the rig finished instead of driving about 50 minutes to and from Park City we’ve just been sleeping in the rig. Just on sleeping pads and sleeping bags that way we can get an extra 2 hours out of the day. Not super comfortable, but something you’ve got to do to try and get this thing done as quickly as possible. We’re way behind schedule. I know Ashley would much prefer to be in a nice comfy bed. Just doing what it takes to get it done. Are you okay? No! Let me see. Babe your eye looks fine. It does not look fine! I can’t see out of it all the way! Move your hand so everybody can see. I’m going to punch you in the face so you have an eye that looks similar. We don’t need screens on the windows! Mosquitos don’t get me! We were sleeping last night, I think this is some of our best content by the way, we were sleeping last night and Ashley got bit in the eyeball, I think the actual eyeball, by a mosquito. She woke up, felt her eye, and started crying. So I just left and gave her some time. I’m glad that this is going as well as it is because I was in a lot of trouble a half hour ago. You’re still in a lot of trouble! Last night when the mosquito bit me you were like “you’re so dramatic”. Dramatic?! My eye doesn’t open! Babe this is for children! Good! Let them see what this is like! Don’t look at it! Anyways her eye is pretty swollen and she’s upset and I’m in trouble. Alright, today is a super super exciting day although it might not look it. It’s rainy, it’s gross. We worked last night well into the rain. We’re taking the beast on her maiden voyage. We’re heading to Vorsheer. We’re going to get our underbelly boxes built, our back boxes, our spare tire mount, roof rack, ladder and a couple other things. We’re driving about an hour south and I’m a little scared. It should be alright. Things a beast, we’ll be good. Super psyched! We made it to Vorsheer, that drive was kind of terrifying. Josh was following me, apparently my odometer said I was going 55 but I was actually going 70. I was trying to go slow. With the bigger wheels I didn’t make the calculation in my mind. We’re at Vorsheer, they’re going to help us with a bunch of boxes. They do some super rad stuff, we’re going to check out their shop here. We’ve got Josh, we’ve got Davin. We’re having them build us some boxes so as you can see these are crazy crazy nice. That’s so slick! Their specialty is these off-road style camper trailers. Kind of makes me bummed I just spent all my time building a monster truck where I could have just had something like this. These are super cool. We’ll have to get them both out together one of these days and put them both to the test. Davin spent a bunch of time creating this awesome 3D model of the rig itself, the boxes, we’re just going to go through and troubleshoot a handful of things to make sure we’re all aligned and on the same page. Today we’re working on doing the edge banding on our drawer and cabinet faces. We’re using birch plywood. Which you can see has this end grain which won’t disappear with paint. What we have to do is add edge banding to it which is this stuff, glue it on, get it all perfect, sand it down, and when we paint it it’ll look all beautiful. Ashley and I are going to teamwork that today. Priming went really quick, now we have to sand everything down and then flip these over, get another coat of primer on and then we’re going to paint everything else up. We’ve been cranking today, it’s already almost 8 o’clock but I’m going to try and get at least one of these benches pretty much in. I still need to go to Home Depot and grab some more wood but I’m excited. Building these damn benches has been so much harder than I thought. I started at the wrong side, everything ended up being off. I had to pull what I had done out, trash the piece, cut a new piece, got all this nice and edge banded. Basically we need the face frame and everything else to line up flush here so it’s a clean seam. I decided I started my whole right angle from here and then just kind of working around so that’s the important part. If I have to silicone or trim or shim some of this stuff on the inside there’s going to be cushions here, and nothing is perfectly right angled. The refrigerator is a little off from square. Just kind of improvising but I think I’ve got a good system figured out. This whole project has been so much trial and error, start somewhere and realize I did it wrong. Pull it apart. Do it again. Do it right. I’m really liking how it’s coming together. Knock on wood. Who knows I could throw a temper tantrum and light the whole thing on fire. I’m at that point in this build. Coming together! Gotta keep pushing! Before I could start building the other bench I need to finalize the face board for the passthrough, which would also act as an electrical chase. Got the face frame installed, now we need to get this bench in and then hopefully start on the floor. It’s optimistic but, hey I found this corner clamp. What a game changer! So much easier! Before I was wrestling with all this crazy stuff. This is already done. Feels great! Finally we got the benches built, our dinette area. I’m going to explain how this all lays out. So this bench is going to have our furnace in it. And also have some additional storage, the furnace doesn’t take up this whole space. Because of the elevation of the table we wanted to bring everything up by 6 inches so when we’re sitting we could enjoy our nice window. For our feet to touch we had to bring the floor up 6 inches and we’re going to have a pretty heavy table right here so we needed to make this really strong. We turned that into this additional drawer space. The reason it’s these weird two boxes is it’s more functional as far as storing things efficiently not just a junk drawer, and secondly so we have this structural member for the leg of the table to rest on so there won’t be any bowing in here. This box gets kind of crazy. There’ll be a panel here that’ll be covered by the cushion. It will also lift up and disassemble like this so we have access to our entire electrical compartment. We’re going to have all of our batteries, our inverter, our converter, fuse panels, bus panels, kind of the brains of the operation should live in here. We’re also going to have a nice vent and maybe a circulating fan to keep this space cool and limit everything. We’re really trying to utilize every square inch of this project and of this vehicle. All of our electrical runs through up here and back down through here. This is going to be my edit bay. Stove, water heater, sink. Storage. More storage. Bathroom, shower, toilet. And our beautiful refrigerator which is installed. Feels great. That’s where we’re at. On the next episode of the MUSEROAMER Project we install our floor, pick up our raw slab countertops, finish the pass through panel, start moving out of our current apartment, Don’t let him fool you he has the most stuff, his side of the closet until recently was pushing up into my side. He has so many clothes and they’re mostly GoPro t-shirts. install our countertops, the truck gets painted and wrapped, and more! Thank you so much for watching! If you want to keep up with our most recent adventures make sure to follow us on Instagram. Massive thank you to the friends and brands who made this dream possible. If you have any questions we would love to answer them. If you found this at all entertaining or informative we would love it if you could please share and subscribe. Thanks for watching!

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