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Old 07-24-2014, 09:09 PM   #1
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Attach Cabinets to the van...how'd you do it? Does it work?

The title says it all. How'd you attach cabinets inside your van? Have any good pictures or links? Are you happy with it? What would you do differently? I'm looking for something secure, silent, and hopefully simple. Bolts, brackets, etc etc etc. I wanna know everything. Lay it on me!
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:11 PM   #2
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Re: Attach Cabinets to the van...how'd you do it? Does it wo

In VivaLaVida, I made it starting from the floor with vertical 3/4 inches plywood plates bolted on the floor and to the floor/lateral and top body members with pocket screws. Then by bolting the cabinets to the vertical plates also with pocket screws. It's really solid, no brackets needed, after more than 10'000 miles of dirt roads often quite rough and real rock crawling, no rattle or squeezing nose, nothing moves.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:39 AM   #3
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Re: Attach Cabinets to the van...how'd you do it? Does it wo

Pschitt's method is no doubt a good one. I've seen his van and it is very solidly built. I'll give you Sportsmobile's method just for reference as well. They use huge L brackets bolted through the floor spaced a few inches out from the walls, which are bolted through the standing walls of the cabinets and other furniture. These L brackets are big, as in 1 inch wide by about 6 inches tall. They are clearly visible in the center of both of these pics.





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Old 07-27-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
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Re: Attach Cabinets to the van...how'd you do it? Does it wo

i know for our van specialty build it is actually, IMO, structurally a part of the van at this point. The frame work is 1"x1" square steel tube that is bolted through the floor with backing plates. I really don't think any of it would be moved one bit in any sort of high speed incident.

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Old 07-28-2014, 04:40 AM   #5
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Re: Attach Cabinets to the van...how'd you do it? Does it wo

As Thom mentions anything installed has to be considered potentially as ballistic and secured accordingly.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:41 AM   #6
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Re: Attach Cabinets to the van...how'd you do it? Does it wo

Since my E250 will have to serve double duty as a cargo van and weekender, I'll integrate aluminum aircargo tracks into the floor and bolt down the cabinets (flightcase style cabinets) to the tracks.
I had a similar solution on the roof of my Nissan and mounted the roof rack and RTT to it and never had an issue, even off road.
Big advantage is, I can switch from camper to cargo mode in 15 minutes and use the tracks to secure the cargo with the proper fittings.





Example



No tools needed to fasten or unfasten the cabinets

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Old 07-28-2014, 02:42 PM   #7
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Re: Attach Cabinets to the van...how'd you do it? Does it wo

My van started out as a 15-passenger extended low-roof van, so when I removed all the rear seats there were many factory mounting points available that where integrated to floor structure.

I built cabinets (and I'll say a little rough since woodworking isn't my strength) that bolt to the floor only. There are a total of three separate units, two on driver side and one long one on passenger side. The bottoms are out of 3/4-inch plywood and bolted to floor at numerous locations each.

Once cabinets were in final location I drilled small pilot holes from below the van to mark where holes needed to go. I then used at least 3 or 4 (12 mm ???) bolts each to bolt them down. Only one bolt went through van floor and I backed it up with small plate and washer on back side. I haven't had any problems over about 8 years of use in part because I built the cabinets rather heavy duty. But I figured at the time that as long as I added less than 500 pounds it wouldn't make much difference anyway. If I were building a new and lighter van with more cabinets I'd try to make them lighter. Also in a new high-roof ProMaster or Transit with upper cabinets supporting from floor isn't a viable option.

One thing I like about my simple build using modular construction is that removing cabinets is easy -- at least the two that don't have power and water connections. If needed I can have them out in minutes -- not that I've taken them out that often. Just a couple of times for various reasons.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:34 AM   #8
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Re: Attach Cabinets to the van...how'd you do it? Does it wo

Great ideas. We're trying to make everything fairly modular so we can get to anything if needed. The track system is pretty sweet but we'll probably bolt through the floor. We're also thinking of coming up with some sort of stem system for the wall panels. Probably not a good explanation but a way we can unbolt and slide them off to rework any wiring or insulation.

Is stainless recommended for going through the floor?

-John
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:48 PM   #9
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Re: Attach Cabinets to the van...how'd you do it? Does it wo

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnandMandi
G
Is stainless recommended for going through the floor?

-John
Stainless is fine.........it won't corrode. Keep in mind that stainless fasteners typically have lower tensile strength than alloy steel fasteners. If you are concerned with fastener strength, you can always go larger, although 99% of the time DIY folks over design with fasteners.

Here is a brief comparison of common fastener material tensile strengths:

316 stainless, very corrosion resistant, relatively low tensile strength (around 70,000 psi or less)
18-8 stainless, less corrosion resistant than 316, cheaper, more sizes available, similar tensile strength as 316 (plenty corrosion resistant for use on the van)

Low carbon alloy screws & bolts around 70,000 psi tensile strength
Medium carbon (Grade 8) screws & bolts around 150,000 psi tensile strength
High carbon alloy steel screws and bolts 170,000 psi tensile strength
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:06 PM   #10
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Re: Attach Cabinets to the van...how'd you do it? Does it wo

Thanks. I'm thinking more corrosion resistance for under the van but not married to the idea of stainless.

-John
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