Cargo Van Conversion V2.0 – Features

version 2.0

NOW THAT WE ESTABLISHED OUR DESIRES FOR THE DESIGN OF OUR VAN, WE HAVE TO TRANSLATE THAT INTO ACTUAL FEATURES IN OUR FINALIZED VERSION OF THE BUILDING PLANS.

We have the freedom to amend any aspect of the conversion during the actual build, but for now we’ll concentrate on the components that determine the specifications of the new cargo van.

  • Bed
    Storage of large items, like bike(s), would necessitate an elevated bed, which in turn leads to a higher roof vehicle.
    rv bike storage
    bike storage
    bike storage
    bike storage

  • Shower/Toilet
    Again height is a determining factor. Having said that, I still have to figure out how and where to incorporate one into the design, in addition to finding the materials to built one.

  • Water Tanks
    Some or all of the drinking, waste and/or black water tanks will have to find a place underneath the flooring, within the chassis of the vehicle. Accessible space may influence the choice of cargo van.

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  • Heating
    Heating is not of primary concern, yet should be include as some point in time. Most popular are the Mr.Heater or the catalytic heaters; both with limitations on safety and ventilation. A better solution would be an Eberspracher, but diesel is not available.
    propex heater
    Propex HS2211 External Gas Air Heater
    A similar solution is the Propex that uses propane as it’s fuel. Advantages are that propane use for heating, cooking and perhaps a refrigerator, will reduce the total electrical load substantially and thus minimizes the solar requirements. On the other hand, there is the additional cost and the added safety considerations. My preference would be a solely electrical setup.
    propane-tankAdding propane would also entail additional undercarriage space for a sizable tank.
  • Solar
    Weight of the panels has been a worry for all vehicle models. As the newer flexible panels tend to have similar properties with substantially less weight, this now is a non-issue.
    semi-flex-solar-panel
  • Garage
    These taller vans don’t fit in your standard 7 ft. garages.
  • Personal Preferences
    Then there are these features I like in a new Van:

    • Low Floor – for ease of entering the van.
      Dislike: Low clearance.
    • Front Wheel Drive – Has always meant better handling.
    • Standing Room Interior – Minimum 6ft.
    • Windows – Make the van livable, but diminishes stealthiness.
    • Ford Transit has a better reputation in Europe than Ram ProMaster (Ducato).
    • Sufficient roof area to install 3-4 solar panels.
    • ½ or 1 Ton model for increased load capacity.

No cargo van currently on the market, complies with all of my preferences, so ultimately it’ll be a personal choice.

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