My (soon to be 4x4) Red Cross ERV Build and Adventures

Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
Looks like a great trip!

After living with the truck anything you’d do differently? Do you feel the side door is worth the space cost?
I was thinking I’d just use the back doors and install one of those flip-down RV step systems.

My wet bath will be where your side entry is, then the area in the back can be used for a couch/ bed plus room for a bike or two....
I don't think I'd change a thing at this point but I have a ways to go before finishing. I kind of need the side door because I plan on carrying a motorcycle on the back. However, when the bike isn't on there I do see myself using the rear door more than the side door. With the platform back there it's nice place to hang out. I am glad I kept the big window and put the door on the drivers side. I thought it might be weird having it on that side but it hasn't been an issue.
 

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Abitibi

Explorer
The main downside of having the door on the driver's side is you can't pull over on the hwy and relieve your bladder in the open while still standing inside your van ;)

Sent from my SM-G973W using Tapatalk
 

marret

Active member
The main downside of having the door on the driver's side is you can't pull over on the hwy and relieve your bladder in the open while still standing inside your van ;)

Sent from my SM-G973W using Tapatalk
Haha, I recognize that statement. ;)
 

Konacoffee

New member
Aloha Rebuilder : I would like to thank you for All the pictures and information you give us on this form…
you see about 2 months ago I purchased a ERV to do a overland build out , I live in Hawaii and my son lives in
Arizona, where we are doing the build ,soon I hope.. your pic & info. Is very helpful in my planning..
Thank you KonaCofffee🤙😎
 

Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
More wandering.... This time MN, SD, WY, ID, MT, ND. I'm really liking the iOverlander app for finding free campsites. Found some great ones on this trip. The ERV did pretty good but I did have a few breakdowns and I have to track down a squeak that's somewhere in the back. I think it's the water tank moving against the insulation. The break downs were 1. the vacuum pump seized up which fried the serpentine belt. Luckily I was near a friends house and I was able to get the parts within a day. Breakdown 2 was the screen filters in the fuel tank got clogged which can starve the engine of fuel (obviously). I was able to fix it temporarily by disconnecting the fuel line at the pump and blowing the diesel back through the filter which got me a few hundred miles before it did it again but that wasn't sustainable so I found a shop in Powell Wy to drop the tank and really clean the filters. It took me 5 tries to find a shop that was willing to work on it which was frustrating. Turns out most shops are mysteriously 3 weeks out when you tell them you have a diesel van. Anyway all good now and I made it the remaining 2500 miles with no problems. 3500 miles total and lots of time to think out this and future projects....


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motovan_mn

New member
Hello from a fellow Minnesotan! Well, my wife is born and raised but I just moved here 😁 Loved getting caught up on this thread. Good to see there are plenty of places to get out and about here. Mostly been riding the metro MTB trails but would love to break out the dirt bikes and find some 4x4 trails as well. Perhaps we'll pass each other on the road one day...
 

Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
Hello from a fellow Minnesotan! Well, my wife is born and raised but I just moved here 😁 Loved getting caught up on this thread. Good to see there are plenty of places to get out and about here. Mostly been riding the metro MTB trails but would love to break out the dirt bikes and find some 4x4 trails as well. Perhaps we'll pass each other on the road one day...
Welcome to MN. Plenty of "mountain" biking around but not quite as much for the dirt bike. Gotta go north for that. Lots of good trail riding up there. I'm putting both on hold for a bit after breaking my hand this spring down in Bentonville. Finally able to work on campers again so that'll be my focus for a bit. Hit me up if you want some help finding places to ride.
 
Another MN mountain biker checking in here. Cyuna, Tioga both are my favorites to ride in our state. I really enjoy the build! Your craftsmanship puts mine to shame. I live in a giant red ford transit, you can't miss it out on the trails. Sorry to hear about the hand, I hope to see this build continue.
 

Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
So this is happening.... I looked into a few available 4x4 conversion kits but decided to make my own based on the stock F350 coil spring setup. The main advantages, I see, to the coil setup are the ability to get a newer front axle (2013-2016) with bigger brakes and generally lower miles than anything available with leaf springs. I picked up a 2015 Dana 60 with 75,000 miles and 14.30" disc brakes and plan to re-gear it to 4.10 to match the rear and take a mix of off the shelf parallel 4 link parts and a few custom made parts to make my own setup. There seems to be a lot of mystery and voodoo about converting E-Series vans to 4x4 so I guess I'll see how hard it really is.....

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iggi

Ian
Looking forward to your progress. I've been pondering a 4x4 conversion as well. I've certainly preferred the ride of my coil sprung rigs but I also appreciate the point that Chris of Ujoint makes regarding having more flexibility in front axle placement with leaf springs.
 

Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
Looking forward to your progress. I've been pondering a 4x4 conversion as well. I've certainly preferred the ride of my coil sprung rigs but I also appreciate the point that Chris of Ujoint makes regarding having more flexibility in front axle placement with leaf springs.
That's another reason I'm making my own setup. I can place the axle where I want and I'll be using adjustable 4 link bars, instead of the stock radius arms, so I'll be able to fine tune the caster and wheel placement. Death wobble seems to come up a lot when talking about coil springs but I'd think with strong mounts and correct caster, steering and track bar geometry it shouldn't be an issue. Guess we'll see....
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Looking forward to seeing how you make out with your conversion. More and more vendors are dropping support for older E series rigs. I’m starting to feel that it my circumstances were to change, and I decided I did want to convert my ‘97 rig in the future, I’d be following in your footsteps.

:D
 

Rebuilder

Builder of Things That Interest Me
I've been busy working on the brackets to mount the parallel 4 link 4x4 setup. The 4 link bars are from Skyjacker but I had to make the rest. I should have taken more pics but hopefully you get the idea....

I found this rec tubing scrap at my local steel yard for the 4 link brackets.

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Milling in some clearance for the 4 link rod ends...

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This is part of the bracket the attaches to the frame...

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The 3 holes line up with the 2wd radius arm bracket holes and the rest is for the 4 link brackets.
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The frame is flat on the bottom which is nice but it has a little bend in it so I had to make the brackets match.

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This is the first mock up so I'll finish weld everything once I know it'll work.....

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Up next is the track bar bracket and steering linkage. I test fit a pair of 2.5" lift F350 springs which I think might work but I won't really know until I get the tires mounted and figure out the ride height. Tires are on order so I should figure that out soon...
 
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