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GMC Savana 2500 Build Thread

Cool van! I did a very similar thing for similar reasons. I needed something to haul a motorcycle but also get off road and camp. I'm still picking what I want to do inside but the suspension is done.

About gearing, I had a very positive experience with Unitrax in Anaheim. I installed a 3.73 with a full Eaton Detroit Locker and I think it came out to around $1100 for the work and they were done in just a couple days. I highly recommend the locker and would also recommend a winch for insurance.

Here's mine early on when we drove up Main Divide Road from Silverado

 
Weldtec makes fender extensions that taper to make a little more room for tire clearance up front. They just got the molds done a couple months ago and they fit nicely. I don't have a recent pic with them on but would say they are worth it with bigger tires.
 

Traveling_Strong

New member
Cool van! I did a very similar thing for similar reasons. I needed something to haul a motorcycle but also get off road and camp. I'm still picking what I want to do inside but the suspension is done.

About gearing, I had a very positive experience with Unitrax in Anaheim. I installed a 3.73 with a full Eaton Detroit Locker and I think it came out to around $1100 for the work and they were done in just a couple days. I highly recommend the locker and would also recommend a winch for insurance.

Here's mine early on when we drove up Main Divide Road from Silverado

Thanks for the information! I'll have to look them up the next time I'm in Anaheim. By the way, isn't your van on the Weldtec website? It looks great.
 

Traveling_Strong

New member
The spare tire bracket has finally been installed on the stock rear bumper. I originally ordered the bracket from Voodoo offroad. However, their design didn't allow for the rear door to open. I waited a long time for them to come up with a revised design, but it never happened. We ended getting the part from Aluminess. I must say that I am surprised with how sturdy it is.
TIRE1.jpg TIRE2.jpg
 
Yes, that's my van on Weldtec's website along with several others now.

I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts on the Aluminess tire carrier. I have one and am underwhelmed. It bounces and rattles over bumps and their latch is definitely not built with off road use in mind. I'm looking into reinforcing it out of fear it will fail.
 

Len.Barron

Observer
I have one and am underwhelmed. It bounces and rattles over bumps and their latch is definitely not built with off road use in mind. I'm looking into reinforcing it out of fear it will fail.
I've looked at them a half dozen times and considered purchasing one, but, I just look at the upper unsupported area at the right side of the tire and thing...man that's gotta move/vibrate like crazy on any semi-rough surface. Some type of reinforced stand off latch mount on the door itself (with some backside load spread plate) could really help that out... I like the idea of picking up the existing door hinge structure though..
 

Traveling_Strong

New member
I have really agonized over what to do about a bed. The goal was to have sleeping accommodations for 2 and still be able to haul 2 dirt bikes. The fold down beds I have seen are about $500.00 each and I needed 2 of them. Instead, I purchased 2 plastic folding tables that were $40.00 each. I mounted them to the wall and got some foam cushions. Surprisingly, the bed is really solid and two bikes easily fit in the back of the van.

BED 4.jpgBED1.jpgBED2.jpgBED3.jpg
 

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Traveling_Strong

New member
Do you have a picture with two bikes in there? I fit one without issue but haven't had a need to fit two. I assume it gets tight.
Two bikes fit easily in the back of the van. You could even fit a 3rd bike if you faced it the opposite direction. Here is a picture before I mounted the beds.
van-bike.jpg
 
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