New to 4m - just got a Ford Quigley - Thoughts on van build?

Hey guys,

I just signed up and am stoked to be joining the community of motorized vegabonds and explorers.

I just bought a 2008 Ford e350 super duty, extended wheelbase last Friday and am chomping at the bit to start building it into a camper van.

Right now it's completely gutted minus some random electrical and a weird heater box system that I don't think works... that and spray on foam insulation. All I know about the vehicle is that it lived in Arizona and was owned by a company, fleet maintained. I have a suspicion it was used by the boarder patrol b/c one of the other chevy quigleys I was looking at buying was said to have been used by them and the interior of that chevy looked identical (foam, metal plate on floor, fan on roof, modified radio antena).

Anyway, in terms of modifications for a fresh vehicle my list includes:

1. upgrade audio and stereo of the vehcile - install back up camera as well
2. install badass full grill off road bumper
3. build in cabinets, a bed and storage
4. figure out solar panels, electrical, etc.
5. install fan in roof
6. maybe upgrade the suspension
7. 33" tires
8. What else am I missing right now?

What do you guys think about the biggest priorities in terms of a camper van buildout and where are areas that I should splurge on and where are areas that I can skimp on in terms of $$ invested? My main goal being I want to take a 1 or 2 year sabbaticle from work and travel the country while I'm still young and single.

One question out of the gate that I do have - does anyone know if the Ford F350 parts for like bumpers, fender flares, misc farings, ect translate to the ecoline van or are they completely different? I've been calling around a few companies about the offroad bumper and it seems fairly custom and incompatible compared to the F350 truck.

I'll post up some pictures of the van this weekend. It's been a busy week at work.

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My van started its’ life exactly like yours. Border patrol owned.

It no longer looks like that now.

Complete exterior and interior build out.

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My van started its’ life exactly like yours. Border patrol owned.

It no longer looks like that now.

Complete exterior and interior build out.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

That's cool - I mean government owned vehicles are well maintained. Did yours come with the weird heater / AC box in the back? I have no idea how it works, I'm tempted to keep it if I can get it to operate, but I can't figure it out from the front console controls. The dealer told me that unit would have cost a few grand to install and probably several hundred to uninstall, but that's dealer talk ... I can't find any name brand or part numbers on the heater / AC box either ... hmm I'm stumped.
Yup, exactly what I had and it was floating around like that too.

I had a PH poptop installed and complete interior built so I just tossed the unit.

My rig started its like in SoCal and the Govt bought it at a local dealer. I still have the active hour use clock running.

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Nice - that's a legit rig. LOL my ride has the active hours clock also on it. I haven't looked closely enough to see if it's running or not, it's right next to the

How did you get rid of the AC / Heater unit? I was going to take it to a mechanic and have them replumb the cooling and AC lines. The box is really big and bulky definitely takes up valuable realestate in the van during a build.
#6 on your list - go to Agile Offroad in Southern, CA (or have them send you the parts) for their RIP kit - made my Quigley go from "do I really want to drive this thing?! to loving it :)
That looks like an aux AC unit, not a heater. I'd definitely keep it! Very nice to have AC in the rear of the van. Not sure if it's a Danhard or not. Should be some manufacturer's name on it. If it's at all like the Sportsmobile "Starcool" (which is an older version of an aux AC unit made by Danhard), it's likely tied into the stock AC system and runs on 12v while the engine is running. Does it work when you turn on the AC? There may be a remote switch somewhere to turn it on.
Just a bit of advice for those using former BP vans. Those are used for transporting illegals from out in the middle of nowhere to detention centers. I would use a good antibacterial disenfectant throughout the back of the van. Not to be paranoid but there are a lot of people with very contagious diseases like TB, hep, hiv, and more that are often injured and bleeding transported in the back of those. Chances are with the time frames involved any virus or bacteria would be dead but better safe than sorry.

As for the AC it should work. Its a big policy issue that all transport vehicles have functioning hvac in alien areas. The AC may not work upfront for the agent (not required by policy) but the detention area will.

Mods please dont take this as any political statement its just meant as a safety warning.