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Old 09-13-2017, 08:05 PM   #1
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I am new, and happy I found this site

I have been coming back to this site every now and again for the past year, since before I bought my 2014 extended E-350. I have seen enough cool build threads and information here to know I had to join. I will be doing what you'd call a home build, because I can't afford a full-blown SMB. Also, my floor plan will be closer to what you'd call a "Transformer" because my van will see a lot of daily driver and cargo van duty.

My use case is pretty similar to some others I've seen on here...I like a simple, walk-through floor plan with the ability to load at least one full size motorcycle in the back. The goal is to be able to load up and go on a trip on short notice without too much effort, because all the gear and supplies I typically use will be already in the van.

Coming from a pickup truck I already appreciate the ability to load and unload the van as time allows and shut the doors, knowing that rain and prying eyes are not landing on my valuables.

Anyway, I hope to help some others in return for the advice I will receive, and eventually contribute lots of useful information.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:56 PM   #2
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Welcome bud let's see pics of van/moto
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:19 AM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome. The van exterior is nothing special. It looks like any other passenger Econoline and I'm going to try to keep it that way. It was used as a shuttle before I bought it so it came with a lot of seats that I got rid of. I kept just a few, which have shoulder harnesses, so I can bolt them down wherever I want and I was able to remove all the seat belts that were attached to the van body.





I want to avoid an expensive, ad hoc fit-up of the van, where I buy a bunch of stuff I find out I don't need or can't use, and have to rebuild every other fixture to make something work. I'm using the van as-is for awhile so I can learn my preferences and plan accordingly.

Here is my main motorcycle -- a KTM 990 Supermoto R. Very fun bike. Some things are easier to do while its on its side, like removing the shock, and the polypropylene fairings don't care.



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Old 09-14-2017, 09:32 AM   #4
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The best advice I got when I started my build was to wait to work on the interior until you go on a few trips and figure out how you want it to function. The inside of my van looks very similar to yours where it is just a floor and some seats. I got the advice from my older brother who is working on his 3rd complete overhaul of his interior at this point...

Were the seat belts you removed gray by chance?
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:42 AM   #5
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Nice bike and van. Nothing better for a moto nut than a big van. Racing enduros is what got me into vans. I spent many a weekend in an old Chevy with one bench seat moved forward and 2-3 KTMs in it. Over time I realized what great little campers you could make out of one. I don't ride these days (too busy with kids etc.) but I look forward to something about like you have sooner or later.

I really dig the layout you have now with the single seats back and to the sides. Perfect. You have the right idea. Take your time and see what works. As far as a moto van goes, less is more.

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Old 09-14-2017, 10:43 AM   #6
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BenJJ: That's hilarious about your brother. That reminds me of my brother who built a hot rod. I swear he bought 2 or 3 of everything at some point. He really built about 2.5 cars but ended up with just one.

For several months after I got the van, I was in analysis paralysis thinking about an elaborate build with all the bells and whistles. Once I got on the internet and started seeing all that inspiration, I got really carried away with my ideas. I realized I would end up not being able to use the van for a long time, and thousands of dollars later, I would probably have built something that I hated. So, I've taken it camping a few times, loaded some bikes, slept in it a lot...just seeing what works. My first priority is figuring out a wheel chock setup that will work. Then, I need to get my bed off the floor.

And yes, the seat belts I took out are gray. Why do you ask?

86Scotty: It sounds like you had a lot of fun with your bikes and vans! Now that I'm seeing your username, I remember that about a month ago one of your album pictures was on the "random album photo" section at the top of the page and I clicked through your album (the blue van). I was thinking of doing the same thing you did with your house batteries -- making a bracket to mount them to the frame under the body.

When I decided to buy a van, I thought I would do the partition wall behind the second row like so many moto vans have. But I quickly realized I loved being able to move from the driver's seat to the back of the van without setting foot outside. The people who build their vans that way say the wall is necessary to keep gasoline fumes out of the passenger area and to protect the occupants from the bikes and equipment flying forward in a crash. I see the point, but I don't think it's the only way. A solid mounted wheel chock and secure tie-downs, and good driving, should prevent the bike from flying forward. And fumes...I've never noticed them. Also, I don't plan on sleeping in my van while the motorcycle and gas cans are inside. I will have to unload those first and then make my bed.

Do you have any opinions on the partition wall philosophy?
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewMoto View Post
And yes, the seat belts I took out are gray. Why do you ask?
I picked up a tri-fold bench seat/bed and some captain chairs that have some grungy tan seat belts. I want to get them reupholstered in gray and was keeping my eyes open for some gray seat belts to match. I might be interested in buying them if you would want to sell them and they would mount to my chairs.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewMoto View Post

Do you have any opinions on the partition wall philosophy?
I'm with you, for a moto van keep it open and leave it for living space while the bikes are out. For me they were always out and under an EZ-up (weather permitting) as soon as we hit the paddock. I've never noticed a gas smell on any bike that didn't have a problem. Of course, on the way home dirt bikes are going to be smelly but so is everything else including us. I'd go for a roof vent or opening windows instead of a partition. Get one of these and you can leave it open and running even in the rain.

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Vents-an...gaAj3GEALw_wcB
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:22 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice, Scotty. I do plan on installing a fan -- just not sure what the best approach will be for me. I haven't decided if I'm willing to do roof penetrations, and fan placement would be coupled with roof rack plans (solar panels, too), which I haven't figured out yet. If I wanted to avoid cutting through the roof and headliner, I was thinking of making a removable panel that covers the driver side 2nd row pop-out window, mount the fan in the panel, and pop out the window when I want to be able to run the fan.

Ben, sending you a PM about seat belts.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:28 PM   #10
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That's a good idea. I'd probably do a rear window though. Find some aluminum sheet the same thickness as the glass and install a fan in it, black out the rest to more or less match the tinted windows. That's what I've thought of doing anyway. I called Maxxair customer support when I was thinking of this one time and asked what they thought of a vertical install and they said they thought it would be fine but couldn't really approve/guarantee it or whatever since it hadn't been done. I think it would be fine.
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