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Old 02-24-2015, 11:18 PM   #1
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Getting Started... RB, One Bench, One Bed. Think RB-42.

Hey everyone. So, I'm new. I've been reading a ton, searching a ton, looking at builds a ton... But I'm not seeing what I need. I currently do not have a van, but I'm about to buy one. The biggest problem is this will be my only vehicle, so I don't want an EB. I must have a huge bike rack on the back, as I carry bikes almost every time I drive anywhere. The combo of an EB and a 4-Bike rack would be too much.

The plan is to buy a newer, low mile E-350 and have it built into a RB-42; however, I'll need a bench and a bed to start with while I save up. So, have any of you guys seen a good example of a platform bed in place of the last two benches of a RB, while leaving the one forward bench in place? I'm beginning to wonder if that wont fit in a RB.

Also, I'm too tall to sleep perpendicular. I'm 5'11". I need the proper bench because my son is in a car seat. Captain's chairs would be best, but for now probably not in my budget. I'm looking at vans in the $18K range. Any advice would be super helpful!

Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:33 AM   #2
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Re: Getting Started... RB, One Bench, One Bed. Think RB-42.

Have you thought about installing a penthouse top or a CCV top when you get the van? That way you can leave the bench(es) in and sleep up top while you figure out what kind of downstairs layout you want.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:45 PM   #3
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Re: Getting Started... RB, One Bench, One Bed. Think RB-42.

Well, here's an update... I bought a '12 EB V8 with 66K. It has a sliding side door. Black paint. It's not what I thought I'd own going into this, but I can't ever see me having the space I need in a RB. I'm sure I'll hate the extra 20" when I'm boxed into a parking lot, but I'll probably enjoy that room a whole lot more often when it's filled with my wife's crap.

I will do a PH for it, and was always planning on that. For now, I'll have to wait. I can only afford the van itself, and major upgrades will have to wait.
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Old 03-01-2015, 04:26 AM   #4
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Re: Getting Started... RB, One Bench, One Bed. Think RB-42.

Because I now own one each RB & EB for my work only vans I can't ever see going backwards to just an RB. Yeah the extra 20" is massively handy and really turns into much more useful space than I ever imagined along with being a bit more of a challenge to park but like most things learning to adapt to that isn't a big stretch or all that much work.

Of course I'm never concerned with ground clearance or steep approaches nor parking anywhere but areas where there's plenty of maneuvering room.

Hope to see some photos of you new van and its progress along the way.
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:35 PM   #5
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Re: Getting Started... RB, One Bench, One Bed. Think RB-42.

Congrats on your van!

We're a family of three, and like you, we wanted a van with forward-facing passenger seating on a limited budget. We were lucky to find a 2011 RB V8 with one bench seat and a poptop already installed. I know you've got an EB, but at least so far, we haven't found ourselves wanting for extra space. Then again, we come from tent camping stock, and all of our stuff used to fit in my Prius.

Though we might eventually convert to an aisle, we like our current set up. Our bench seat is in the middle position, which gives us a nice seating / conversation space in the middle of the van when we swivel the passenger seat. Ours is a window van, and we'll be installing a platform bed at window height to maximize the space for sleeping crosswise.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:28 PM   #6
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Re: Getting Started... RB, One Bench, One Bed. Think RB-42.

We have a 2012 5.4 that we built from scratch. The sofa rolls out to a bed and we have a small pop up shelf that holds an extra cushion for my 6ft2 body. We put all of our bikes inside the van. We have loaded 4 bikes...2 MTB, 1 CX, and 1 Road. The photo below shows that load. those MTBs are 29ers. I can't imagine having my bikes outside the van.







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Old 03-30-2015, 06:57 AM   #7
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Re: Getting Started... RB, One Bench, One Bed. Think RB-42.

^^Yeah, looking at those bikes, I wouldn't leave them outside, either!
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Old 04-05-2015, 11:20 AM   #8
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Re: Getting Started... RB, One Bench, One Bed. Think RB-42.

Tupelo - what do you have covering the back windows? Does it snap into place? Nice set up BTW!

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Old 04-06-2015, 06:15 PM   #9
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Re: Getting Started... RB, One Bench, One Bed. Think RB-42.

Thank you

It's double laminated vinyl, same stuff you'd use for upholstery. In black and yes it snaps in place. I just roll them up when driving and they tuck behind the sofa back.

I've been toying with making another one for the pop out side window. But instead of being full vinyl just use it as a framework for the snaps, but have screen door material sandwiched in there and have a nice screen. I haven't got that far yet.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:24 PM   #10
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Re: Getting Started... RB, One Bench, One Bed. Think RB-42.

And it looks like your rear platform for the bikes could serve double-duty as an emergency backboard for first-aid cases... (that's what I get for taking that wilderness first aid weekend course... everything looks like an improvised medical device now :-)
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