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Old 01-20-2013, 11:17 AM   #1
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Looking for suggestions on rebuild...

Hi,
I have a retired 1997 E350 News van with a Quiggley conversion that I am repurposing as a "Fun Machine".
On the drivers side, I have two outside access compartments that housed an aircompressor/generator in one...and an HVAC system in the other.
The one that I am struggling with is the larger one just behind the drivers door. I want to keep this relatively labor and cost low if I can...so, I am thinking about just covering the open hole with diamond plate and riveting it in place. The thought of doing all the sheet metal work, and welding etc, is a bit daunting. Function is much more important than looks....
The other option I have thought about is to replace the large open hole with a smaller, well built aluminum box from another simular van which would give me outside storage which would be nice. I would frame this out with diamond plate to cover up the gap around the box. By doing this though...it would cut into the area behind the driver's seat where I would like to have a refridgerator and cooking area.
I am looking for ideas on how to deal with this. I would appreciate your thought(s).

Thanks,
Steve.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:13 PM   #2
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Re: Looking for suggestions on rebuild...

...I hear torches poppin' all over forum-land
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:09 PM   #3
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Re: Looking for suggestions on rebuild...

Maybe consider a propane frig? Although it would be too lucky if the hole was in the right spot.

Here's our propane frig and tank access doors.

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Old 01-26-2013, 07:01 PM   #4
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Re: Looking for suggestions on rebuild...

Good idea on the propane fridge...thx. I think for me though weighing cost and functionality, I will be going with a portable AC/DC fridge.
At this point I suppose I will remove the box that is there, and diamond plate the entire hole! Might look strange, but should be effective...
Still open to ideas...thanks in advance.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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Re: Looking for suggestions on rebuild...

looks like a good place to store a propane tank. You could make your diamond plate cover a hinged door and put a rack inside to hold your tank if your going to have any LP appliances.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:18 PM   #6
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Re: Looking for suggestions on rebuild...

That is a good idea and have been thinking about it. Doing the sheetmetal fabrication is a bit beyond my capabilities. I will be taking it by a place soon to get their ideas and approximate cost.
Would you suggest a removeable propane tank...or one that is installed?
I think I would need one that lies down instead of what I think of as a portable(5 gal?) stand-up version....
I expect my requirements will be for a small heater, and a one burner stove...
Thanks for your thoughts...
Steve.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:59 PM   #7
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Re: Looking for suggestions on rebuild...

Don't know if you care but I think there is a reason for the tanks to be mounted in a vented inclosure or kept outside. Possibly ask a RV manufacture what the rules are. Propane is heavier than air and you would probably want a good bottom vent. Same with a propane detector, it should be mounted low inside the vehicle. Not that I haven't worried about them but I've carried those little canisters inside... never a large tank though.

You can always break it up into more than one section.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:13 PM   #8
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Re: Looking for suggestions on rebuild...

looks like the whole bottom left side of the compartment is open. If so he would only have to add a vent to the upper part of the door to meet the codes for ventilation. As long as the compartment isn't open at all to the inside of the vehicle. Then just fashion a retaining system to hold the tank and he would be good to go.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:25 PM   #9
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Re: Looking for suggestions on rebuild...

I agree and if he got a horizontal tank the upper space can still be used for a number of things.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:41 AM   #10
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Re: Looking for suggestions on rebuild...

That is a good idea. The horizontal tank would be easier to mount too and that would leave some nice storage room.
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