The Core Build

All builds start with a core.  This is often the first step of a full build, but can also be a stand alone project allowing the customer to pick up their van after the core work is done.  There are many reasons for this type of incremental approach to a van build:

    • A DIY customer may like the idea of having Roost’s professional installers do the bare metal vehicle work, allowing them to focus on other portions of the build more suited to their talents and available tools.
    • A van owner may prefer to do their build in multiple phases, whether for budgetary or scheduling reasons.
    • It can also be helpful to take an incremental approach, allowing a new van owner to use the van a little before making decisions about the final layout or placement of key features.

We work hard to meet the diverse needs of our clients.  Our core build system has been carefully designed to maximize flexibility, versatility, and forethought.  This allows for a cohesive core build solution to accommodate an incremental build process.

 

Core Build Details

 

Below is a list of each element of a typical core build.  Click each one for more details and basic pricing information.

1 - Core Electrical System

About: 

The first step is to run the core electrical system.  It is critical to do this comprehensively and properly, prior to the installation of paneling or other build components.  Our system provides a plug and play approach to accommodate the vast majority of applications and uses, as well as anticipating potential future needs and upgrades.  The core electrical system consists of a central control panel, typically located at the C pillar on the driver side.  We route and run appropriate gauge wire throughout the wall cavities very carefully addressing proper shielding and bind points.  We run all the wiring between the primary control panel, charge points (CP), and end use points (EUP).  All existing EUPs are connected to the control panel, and all future or anticipated end use points are capped and coiled in their respective positions, ready for easy access for later connection to the integrated system.


Standard Package:

  • Integrated Control Panel:  The control panel is the hub of your electrical system.  It contains a properly fused distribution block for all end use points, switches for user controlled devices, quick connects for charge lines and battery bank, and basic AC/DC outlets.
  • Charge Lines: We install a shore power plug for external connection to shore power, run a charge line from the alternator, and a charge line from the solar panel egress point (egress and exterior wiring not included in this phase of the build).
  • End Use Points:  Appropriate gauge wire is run from the fused distribution circuits to the end use locations.  This includes lighting, awnings, bunk heater, and several strategically placed auxiliary connection points for misc. future use.  There are dedicated ports for pump and fridge which is typically wired directly from an adjacent kitchen cabinet.  However, we also run an auxiliary kitchen power line to the passenger side as an alternate location of the kitchen cabinet.

 

Base Pricing:

  • $3250 – Sprinter 144″
  • $3550 – Sprinter 170″ or Transit 148″ (Non Extended)

 

Included in Base Price

  • Main Panel with fuse blocks, fuses, etc.. at driver or passenger side C Pillar
  • User Control panel with switches.
  • Inbound charge line runs (alternator with inline fuse, shore power, and solar)
  • Shore Power egress and new plug
  • Main panel AC Outlet, standard DC outlet, and 4 USB charge ports.
  • All wire, caps, connectors, and fuses for above.

 

Options and Addons:

  • +$400 for Extended version of 170″ or 148″
  • $50 – Per Extra DC Outlet
  • $75 – Per Extra AC Outlet
  • $35-60 – Per Extra Wire Lead (Varies based on wire gauge)
  • Varies – point to point speaker wire runs, or other auxiliary lines for cameras, exterior lighting, etc.)
  • Varies – Custom (non C Pillar) main panel location.

 

2 - Insulation & Sound Suppression

About:

Quality insulation and sound proofing is very important to the comfort and enjoyment of your home on the roam.  Though often overlooked, good sound suppression not only gives you a more quiet night sleep, but also helps to dramatically reduce the white road noise while you are on the move.


Standard Package:

We apply 80 mil, mass loaded vinyl to most exposed metal surfaces (typically 70-75% coverage).  We fill all cavities in the chassis walls, rear door, and slider door with 1.5 3M Thinsulate or Havelock Wool.

 

Base Pricing:

  • $2200 – Sprinter 144″
  • $2450 – Sprinter 170″ or Transit 148″ (Non Extended)

 

Options & Addons:

  • +$400 for Extended version of 170″ or 148″

 

3 - Interior Mounting System

Mounting system after paneling installed

Mounting system before insulation and paneling installed

About:

The foundation of our modular approach to van building is our Interior Horizontal Mounting System.  This provides a permanently accessible, strong and secure mounting point most van build components and accessories.  Components installed to our mounting system can be installed, temporarily removed, or re-positioned without the need to remove paneling or drill additional holes in the ribbing or pillars of your van.  The smooth slide action of our system allows for precise positioning of components, whether to flush mount two or more cabinets, or a precise gapping between them.  Most components can be removed or replaced in minutes with simple tools.


Standard Package:

Installation of our upper and lower mounting system to the interior of the van.  Includes ceiling support brackets for increased strength and flex mitigation.


Base Pricing:
 

  • $2000 – Sprinter 144″
  • $2350 – Sprinter 170″ or Transit 148″ (Non Extended)

Options & Addons:

  • +$350 for Passenger Vans with Rooftop AC Unit
  • +$300 for Extended version of 170″ or 148″
4 - Ventilation

About:

Vent fans are important for proper ventilation


Standard Package:

Cut rooftop egress, install and wire vent fan.  Water tight seal, and re-paint interior trim ring black.  Can be installed in forward, middle, or rear location.  One is typically sufficient, but some customers prefer two for maximum ventilation.


Base Pricing:

  • $895/ea. Installed – MaxxAir 00-7500 Vent Roof Fan with remote control.
  • $825/ea. Installed – MaxxAir 00-6200 Vent Roof Fan (no remote)
5 - Upper Wall & Ceiling Paneling

About Paneling In General:

This phase of the core build gives your van the finished look and is one of the most exciting transformations in the build process.  Our signature paneling work is practical, beautiful, and affordable.  In fact, this is one of the main reasons DIY customers bring us their vans from hundreds and even thousands of miles away for the core build phase of their projects.  Once the core electric, mounting system, and paneling is in place, the van will maintain a finished look throughout the remainder of the build process, and/or future modifications.  Simply put you should be able to finish the build, as well as make future modifications without ever needing to dig back down to the bare metal walls again.

Upper Paneling:

Upper paneling consists of the wall above the window or window pocket line and includes the entire ceiling.  It also includes the upper portion of the rear and slider doors when applicable.  By far the most common option is Carbonized Vertical Grain 3-Ply Bamboo, finished with Osmo PolyX.  We also offer fabric wrapped Baltic Birch.

It is also during the upper paneling process that we address ceiling lighting.  We will replace factory lighting with new LED puck lights, and will add 3-4 new user controlled puck lights (assuming your build also includes core electrical work and panel).

Please note, if you have a passenger van with a rooftop AC unit, there is a considerable additional labor charge for the work required to accommodate the AC unit and ducting (see below).

Base Pricing – Bamboo (Most common)

  • $3350 – Sprinter 144”
  • $3685 – Sprinter 170″ or Transit 148″ (Non Extended)

Options and Addons:

  • -$400 for Fabric Wrapped Baltic Birch
  • +$450 for additional labor for passenger vans with rooftop AC unit.
  • +$450 for Extended version of 170″ or 148″
6 - Mid Wall Paneling

About Paneling In General:

This phase of the core build gives your van the finished look and is one of the most exciting transformations in the build process.  Our signature paneling work is practical, beautiful, and affordable.  In fact, this is one of the main reasons DIY customers bring us their vans from hundreds and even thousands of miles away for the core build phase of their projects.  Once the core electric, mounting system, and paneling is in place, the van will maintain a finished look throughout the remainder of the build process, and/or future modifications.  Simply put you should be able to finish the build, as well as make future modifications without ever needing to dig back down to the bare metal walls again.

Mid Paneling:

Mid paneling consists of the wall area within the window or window pocket line.  The most common option is fabric wrapped Baltic birch, but many customers choose to extend the bamboo down into the mid area as well.

Passenger Vans:  Most passenger vans will have factory molded hard plastic around this area, and we almost always recommend retaining it.  Our mounting system is designed to not require removal, and therefore most passenger van builds require no work in the mid paneling section.  The savings in the mid paneling area, tend to more than offset the additional cost of the rooftop AC work of the upper mounting and paneling area.

For empty window pocket, our default base price includes simply paneling over this pocket area.  However, many customers request inset pockets and/or fabric wrapped transitions in some or all window pockets.  This involves a little extra labor to create an inset panel to go into the window pocket, providing an extra couple inches of interior van width on both sides.  This is most common in the rear bed area.  When choosing inset window pockets, you can either have us fabric wrap the transitions, or leave them painted metal (in most cases the latter looks great).

Base Pricing – Fabric Wrapped (Most common)

  • $2450 – Sprinter 144”
  • $2995 – Sprinter 170” or Transit 148” (Non Extended)

Options and Addons:

  • +$300 for Extended version of 170″ or 148″
  • +$500 for upgrade to Bamboo
  • +$295 per inset window pocket
  • +$195 per pocket for fabric wrapped transition of inset window pocket.
7 - Lower Wall Paneling

About Paneling In General:

This phase of the core build gives your van the finished look and is one of the most exciting transformations in the build process.  Our signature paneling work is practical, beautiful, and affordable.  In fact, this is one of the main reasons DIY customers bring us their vans from hundreds and even thousands of miles away for the core build phase of their projects.  Once the core electric, mounting system, and paneling is in place, the van will maintain a finished look throughout the remainder of the build process, and/or future modifications.  Simply put you should be able to finish the build, as well as make future modifications without ever needing to dig back down to the bare metal walls again.

Lower Paneling:

Lower paneling consists of the wall area below the window or window pocket line.  The most common option is coin wrapped Baltic birch, but the lower paneling options also include fabric wrapped or bamboo.

Base Pricing – Coin Wrapped (Most common)

  • $1550 – Sprinter 144”
  • $1750 – Sprinter 170″ or Transit 148″ (Non Extended)

Options and Addons:

  • +$200 for upgrade to Fabric Wrapped
  • +$400 for upgrade to Bamboo
  • +$200 for Extended version of 170″ or 148″
8 - Flooring

About:

Though flooring is a common element of a core build, it is not always necessary.  Many vans have a perfectly suitable factory floor.


Standard Package:

If a new floor is needed, we will typically remove the existing floor, and build the floor from bare metal up.  That consists of 100% coverage of 80 Mil mass loaded vinyl sound deadening material, 1/2″ baltic birch sub floor, 1/8″ minicell insulation, and coin flooring


Optional:

Many customers who want to keep a factory floor, would prefer to have us add sound deadening and/or minicell insulation.


Pricing:

  • Base Pricing – Full Floor
    • $2650 – Sprinter 144″
    • $3350 – Sprinter 170″ or Transit 148″ (Non Extended)
  • Base Pricing – Add Sound Deadening and Minicell to Factory Floor
    • $  995 – Sprinter 144″
    • $1200 – Sprinter 170″ or Transit 148″ (Non Extended)

Options & Addons:

  • +$400 for Extended version of 170″ or 148″
Common Add-Ons
 

There are a couple build components that we do not consider part of the core build, but are commonly added to the core build for a variety of reasons:

  • Bunk Heater:  Though we pre-run the power cord for the heater in the Core Electrical System, if the customer wants the thermostat integrated to the main panel, they will want to install the bunk heater at the same time (allowing us to run the cabling for the control unit before paneling).
  • Bed System:  Typically this is added to a core build when a customer is doing their build in multiple phases either for budgetary or scheduling reasons.  The bed adds a lot of functionality in the interim.
  • Storage Cabinets:  Similar to the bed, a way to add a little functionality during the interim phase of a multiple build process.

 

Whatever the reason, individual components from the Main Build line of products can be easily added to a core build.