All prices are in Australian Dollar (AUD)

The van will have 3 gas components inside, the hot water unit, the cooktop and the gas box itself. I’m allowed to mount the gas components myself provided they comply with Australian gas standards, but I’m not allowed to run gas lines and fit them off.

I bought my instantaneous gas hot water heater from Camec in Brisbane Australia. The unit automatically turns itself on and off by detecting flow of water when you turn on a hot water tap. Hot water will supply my shower and my sink.

My gas box is custom made for the Sprinter because it contours to the curve on the side of the van. It houses up to a 4kg gas bottle inside, and is made from fiberglass. It includes a lock to install and an un-sealed door to outside, so there isn’t a need to put a vent on the door.

Gas Conversions

1kg of LPG gas = 49Mj

4kg of LPG gas = 196Mj

My hot water unit in theory uses 0.63Mj of gas per minute. If I have a 2 minute shower per day that is 1.26Mj per day. Roughly allowing for the gas cooker and rounding up lets say I use 4Mj per day.

In theory a 4kg gas bottle will last me 49 days. Obviously a real world test is the only way to know for sure, and I’m guessing it will be around 1 month per gas bottle.

Price Breakdown

The Products

Instantaneous Gas Hot Water Unit – AU$890 – CAMEC

Camec Gas Hot Water Unit

Hot water unit specs plate

4kg Sprinter Gas Box Storage – AU$280 – DIY RV Solutions

Gas Box Storage

Installation

1. First I measured up the best fit for the gas box relative to my surfboard.

Measuring gas box

2. Then I eyed up how the gas box is actually going to fit on the side of the van and measure the gas box dimensions itself.

Eye up the gas box

Measuring gas box

3. I measured up roughly on the outside of the van to get an idea of how it would fit visually.

Measuring up on the van

4. Then I did my best to transfer these lines to inside of the van, then marked out and cut the dimensions inside.

Cutting gas box inside

Cut out inside

5. I drilled a small reference hole to measure on the outside.

Measuring inside

drilling reference hole

6. I measured accurately from the reference hole, and had to use the sliding door gap as a straight verticle edge reference to get the measurements square.

Measuring gas box square 1

Measuring gas box square 2

Measuring gas box square 3

7. Once measured up I cut it out with a grinder and hammered the parts the grinder couldnt reach flat with a hammer.

Gas box cut

Hammering gas box

8. I measured up and cut out some of the subfloor with a sabersaw so the gas box could recess in.

cutting subfloor 1

cutting subfloor 2

cutting subfloor 3

cutting subfloor 4

9. I filed the burred edges and tested the gas box would fit before painting it with rust protector coat.

Filing burred edges

Testing gas box fits 1

Testing gas box fits 2

Testing gas box fits 3

10. Next I measured up the hot water system internal cut out and cut with a grinder.

Measuring HWS internal

Cutting HWS internal

11. I am using 35mm x 70mm cut offs of pine as a base for the hot water unit.

Eyeing up hot water unit

12. I marked out the top and side of the box then drilled 2 reference holes through the external metal.

Marking out internal hot water

drilling reference hole for hot water

13. I used these reference holes to measure up the cutout.

Measuring hot water outside

Measuring hot water outside 2

Cutting hot water outside

14. Then I screwed down the timbers for the base with 65mm batten screws.

Screwing down timber base

15. I checked that the box fit, then pre drilled and screwed in the top 3 screws first. Then I predrilled the rest of the holes.

screwing in HWS

screwing in HWS 2

16. I cut a small timber strip for the top 3 screws to offer extra support.

Timber stip HWS

17. I taped around the box flush with the edges, then applied Sikaflex Pro around the whole internal edge. Once you’ve pushed the box in, and neatened up all the edges with a wet finger, take off the tape for a neat finish.

Note: If you get any Sika on the black plastic strip of the van, use a dry rag to remove, not a wet one.

sealing HWS 1

sealing HWS 2

sealing HWS 3

sealing HWS 4

18. Once happy, I covered with taped up glad wrap and built some extra timber supports to hold firmly in place.

Hot water unit covering

Hot water unit support

19. Back to the gas box, I marked out 3 holes for the door hinge and pre drilled them. I then eyed the hinge up on the box and marked and pre drilled on the box.

I tapped these holes on the box with screws, before applying Sika Pro to the hinge and securing the hinge to the box.

Gas box hinge 1

Gas box hinge 2

Gas box hinge 3

Gas box hinge 4

Gas box hinge 5

Gas box hinge 6

20. I then repeated this process for securing the door on the hinge.

Gas box hinge 7

Gas box hinge 8

Gas box hinge 9

Gas box hinge 10

Gas box hinge 11

21. I grinded the protruding screws flush with the fiberglass, and sealed them with Sika Flex.

Gas box hinge 12

Gas box hinge 13

22. I used the tape trick, then adhered and sealed the gas box to the van (purely with Sika Pro).

Finalising gas box 1

Finalising gas box 2

Finalising gas box 3

Finalising gas box 4

23. I measured and cut the hole for the lock with an 18mm holesaw. Then I used a piece of aluminium angle for the catch and secured it down with Sika Pro.

gas box lock 1

gas box lock 2

gas box lock 3

gas box lock 4

gas box lock 5

gas box lock 6

24. I cut 2 bits of timber to wedge underneath the gas box to support the weight of the gas bottle, then I secured them with Sika.

I also applied Sika to the backside around the gas bux on the inside of the van for extra support.

gas box final 1

gas box final 2

Congratulations, now you’ve installed the gas box and hot water unit!

Gas box complete

Hot water unit complete

Price Breakdown

Back to top

Some of these prices are discounted either from bulk buy or trade price. All prices are in AUD$

Item Quantity Cost Total
Camec HWS 1 890 890
4kg Gas Box 1 280 280
Sikaflex Pro 3 17.18 51.54
Sika Nozzles (3 pack) 2 2.18 4.36
Total 1225.9

Ep.6 Sprinter Van Conversion | Gas Box + Hot Water Unit

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