Mounting a composite camper box on 4x4 E350 chassis

ScottPC

Active member
Just doing some research on the best way of mounting a rigid composite camper box on a 4x4 converted E350 Cutaway chassis. Any examples, contacts or resources would be appreciated. I'm thinking there is there some sort of subframe or rubber/spring bushings that would isolate the box from the vibrations, twists and flex of the Chassis.
 

Deshet

Adventurer
I have seen some extremely complex mounting systems on the forum for boxes.

As I look at my 4x4 fuso (flatbed and dump bed) and my lmtv and some western haulers, it seems like two schools of though exist. New school seems to want an independent suspension for frame mounted boxes.

No one worries about a pickup truck bed flexing or a steel reading box.

My 4x4 F450 box truck doesn't have anything that allows the box to moved separately from the frame.

The suspension should be moving, not the box.

I am sure many will disagree but look at some larger commercial 4x4 vehicles. Most have little to no movement of the box.

I hope that this helps
 

Deshet

Adventurer
I think the independent living area suspension was born in Germany.

Reach out to your manufacturer and see what is required.

I believe that my truck box was built by unicel and it doesn't flex. The box will outlived the truck and it's a 7.3 diesel
 

Deshet

Adventurer

Seems to be aimed a trucks with frames that flex. But like I said I don't see a frame for the flatbed of my 4x4 fuso sold new by Mitsubishi.

Ford E350 is a solid frame with very little flex
 
Excellent question and likely the subject of much disagreement to come - I hope someone like Andreas at Total Composite will chime in as I’m also considering a E series cutaway.

What I will contribute is that the current Transit cutaway build that Total Composite has and that is also on my short list does not have any pivot or springs between the composite habitat and truck chassis.

Yes, I’m sure that does affect the frame suspension’s off-road ability but I’m not trying to build a rock crawler.




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Jonnyo

Observer
i m not sure how the E series compare to the Transit but i have a transit chassis cab that as the extra lengh 178'' wheelbase. (16 feet long frame behind the cab) i tested the flex i would see on this frame and none that i can really mesure. it s like a brick. so the box can be bolt direct with no other special mesures.

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cobro92

Member
Andreas at Total Composites has actually built a composite camper on a transit chassis cab. Not sure if he used a flexible mounting solution but he should know.


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Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
Will you have a large pass through into the box or will the box be separate like the Transit above?
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
The Transit and E series are two different frame designs. The Transit (same as the Sprinter cab chassis) has a boxed frame that virtually has no flex. That's the reason we selected the Transit as our personal vehicle. It saved us overall height, cost and weight!
There is not much info out there on the frame flex with the E series. I would imagine very little flex as that platform has been used on countless RV's without any known issues other than the typical build quality garbage. In any case, I'm not saying you don't need to calculate for frame flex, I'm just saying it can't be much.

As far as the statement goes about zero frame flex on the Fuso.... I would be very careful! The fuso frame is extremely soft and flexes at the same rate as a Unimog. An empty cargo box can handle some of it, but cut some holes for windows and doors and you will see complications. Then there is the interior outfit that could suffer from the torsion.
 

Attachments

ScottPC

Active member
Will you have a large pass through into the box or will the box be separate like the Transit above?
It would have a large passthrough, how the box connects to the cab is a consideration too. If it's better to allow the box to be isolated from the frame and cab, then some sort of boot may be needed. I think the only way to really know what would work best is to know how much an E350 flexes after a 4WD conversion and suspension upgrade. I've contacted one of the 4wd conversion companies for their assessment.
 

Bbasso

Expedition Leader
E-series frames have plenty of flex!
Park on very uneven land and the doors will rub and sometimes not open/close.
And then take a look at the bumpers to body.
Better yet, put one tire on a forklift, raise and watch the spaghetti wiggle.

I've experienced and seen this personally.
 

DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
Solid mount in rear, 4 captured spring mounts, 2 per side. Entire frame rail bares the load. Only voodoo is spring rate. 3 and 4 point mounts introduce point stresses that need real modeling analysis and thought. Lots of voodoo
 

ScottPC

Active member
Solid mount in rear, 4 captured spring mounts, 2 per side. Entire frame rail bares the load. Only voodoo is spring rate. 3 and 4 point mounts introduce point stresses that need real modeling analysis and thought. Lots of voodoo
So what you're saying is I need to find a witch doctor to solve this?
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
E-series frames have plenty of flex!
Park on very uneven land and the doors will rub and sometimes not open/close.
And then take a look at the bumpers to body.
Better yet, put one tire on a forklift, raise and watch the spaghetti wiggle.

I've experienced and seen this personally.

Is that for the regular van or cab chassis? Those are two different animals.
 
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