Another E350 build thread

Hoosier Daddy

Observer
Hey witt, great van you picked up and sounds like you have serious plans to put it to good use. I am van shopping myself and wondered if you you could share your thoughts on the sliding door. I have heard to stay away because they won't clear the rear tire when doing larger rubber. Obviously the offset of the wheel plays a large part in this equation, but can you tell me if yours still clears, and by approximately how much?
 

BIGVAN

Lead Recon Team
Hey Mat, My current Van has a slider. The sliding door has less squeaking and rattling than the barn door type. It is also easier to use in everyday life like in parking lots. The barn door type will give you options like Sportsmobile uses like a box or table on the inside of the doors. As far as the slider clearing the rear tire, it will open all the way but just touch the tire sidewall with the stock rear axle and 285/75/16 tires max. If you install the 2” wheel spacer kit, use wider tires, or have a wider axle built, you need to have the slide hinge lengthened and moved forward in the door. The best guy I have found to do this is John at Northwest Quadvan. A higher lift suspension will also give you enough room. If you don’t mod the hinge and use a wider rear end, the door will open approximately 2 ½ feet, Still enough to get in and out but not the best setup.

:smiley_drive:
 

Hoosier Daddy

Observer
BIGVAN,

Thanks for the feedback. I agree about sliders. I used an Express van as my shop vehicle before I bought my Excursion. I really missed having one (man that sounds weird), that's how I ended up searching 4x4 van stuff. My van will be my daily, and I had the same experience with a slider in the past, parking lots etc. so it's good to hear the specifics. It's going to be tough enough to find the right van, I just wanted to know if I could keep my options open to these. :victory:
 

BIGVAN

Lead Recon Team
Matt, forgot one more thing ………… As of last year “Bushwacker” discontinued the right rear fender flare for the sliding door (Lower profile). The one for the barn door type is the same profile as the other three flares so the sliding door hits it. You can still find places that have the slider style flares in stock if you want them.

:coffee:

 

witt

Adventurer
Sorry I missed the question about the sliding side door, but it seems like others' comments pretty much cover it. I have 31" tires on mine, and the door just hits the tire when it opens. The door does open fully, I'll just have to be careful not to try to move the van with the door open!
 

witt

Adventurer
On Saturday we drove up to see the van (at Colorado Camper Van) and plan the next phase. We spent about 2 hours with Derek (and even got to meet his new baby!) drawing lines on the floor in sharpie. Here's a brief summary of the interior we have planned, starting at the rear and working forward:

  • Rear storage area - all interior furnature will start 18" from the back doors
  • Dinette or U shaped seating area with table, convertible to bed
  • 36" high cabinets along the driver's side with sink and space for stove on top
  • Full-height closet and slide-out pantry right behind the driver's seat

Eventually we're planning to add a cabinet on the passenger side right behind the door opening and in front of the dinette that will house a refrigerator. The fridge will slide out into the door opening so that it will be accessible from inside or outside the van.

Some pics:
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Looking out the front of the van. Derek is building a kid's bed that will be right over the driver/passenger seats, and accessed by a removable ladder. There will also be removable netting that should prevent any nasty falls. This feature is what really sold us on CCV. This means we will have dedicated beds for all three of us and won't have to convert seating areas to beds every night*

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The poptop without the canvas installed. Derek has moved the motors so that they move up and down as part of the top. Apparently that gets you a wider bed.

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Passenger seat removed. We're also planning to install a third seat between and slightly behind the driver/passenger seats. We were hoping that we'd still be able to access the rear of the van from the inside, but the center seat takes up pretty much all of the space, and getting to the back will be possible but will involve some climbing (and may not be possible at all with a child seat installed.) We were hoping that the center and passenger seats would swivel, but there's not enough room for that. We think we will be able to make the center seat swivel by sliding the driver and passenger seats all the way forward so that they clear the front of the center seat. Probably something we won't do unless it's raining and we're in for an extended period inside the van.

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Below the poptop out the back of the van.

*Yes, our other car is a Prius. Yes, it made it up the road to Derek's house. No, it is not lifted, locked, etc. :)
 

witt

Adventurer
The van is taking shape! Derek and Liz delivered it to our house in Denver on Thursday!

We absolutely love it. There's a ton of room on the "second floor" where beds for the three of us are, and overall the interior feels more roomy than I thought it would. The center seat for Quinn didn't come out exactly as I had envisioned - because the engine intrudes so far into the cab, the middle seat had to be set back more than I wanted, which blocks off part of the rear, leaving a "dead space" that's difficult to access between the kitchen cabinet and the back of the driver's seat. The center seat is to the right of that space, blocking access. We're still trying to figure out how to use that space.

The van is pretty basic right now - we'll be adding to it over the summer. The next things we need are a rear tire carrier so we can have a fullsize spare, and a house battery.

We weighed it again yesterday. It's now at 3880 front, 3700 rear, and 7580 total. So the poptop and the interior furniture added almost 1000 pounds. Looking at the list of remaining things we need (want?) I'm starting to understand why it's so hard to keep these things under the GVWR!

We're leaving Tuesday for the expo with the van. Hope to meet many of you there!

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McZippie

Walmart Adventure Camper
Like the 3rd seat placement. Bet after you use it you'll find that having son close by while driving will outweigh any storage inconvenience.
 

witt

Adventurer
Yeah, I think you're right. The first time we put him in that seat he was grinning ear to ear - he loved sitting up high, and up front with mom and dad.
 

witt

Adventurer
Just in case anyone is interested in the weight thing, the van is now at 3880 front, 3700 rear and 7580 total. That's with the CCV poptop, the center seat, and some basic furniture. I've been trying to estimate total weight, and I think it's going to end out at or slightly above GVWR.
 

BIGVAN

Lead Recon Team
Just in case anyone is interested in the weight thing, the van is now at 3880 front, 3700 rear and 7580 total. That's with the CCV poptop, the center seat, and some basic furniture. I've been trying to estimate total weight, and I think it's going to end out at or slightly above GVWR.
Yea, they normally are ......

:smiley_drive:
 
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