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Old 01-06-2019, 09:56 AM   #1
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Considering A New Build and Seeking Opinions

Good morning Forum!


I am strongly considering selling my 2014 EB350/V10/4x4/CCV Top and starting a build similar to this gem that Chris posted a couple of weeks ago:





Perceived Pros:

- Brand new van cutaway with V10 and six speed
- I would do a 12' box (vs. the 10' on the build in the video) and would have lots of space with flat, clean walls floors and ceilings to build off of
- Full standing height throughout

- Hard sides (we live and camp predominantly in grizzly country)


Additional Potential Pro:
- I enjoy buying, selling and building



Potential Cons:
- Added height would create a bit (or a lot) of a wind issue. I really don't have an idea how much of an issue this would be
- My main concern is reduced safety during travel for my (2) young children. My current setup is a 4x4 EB350 passenger with a CCV top. For the rear seating I have built a floor system that includes L-Track bolted through the floor (and through frame whenever possible). I have Sienna seats mounted to the L-Track with Unwin's and Expovan's seat adapters.

I recognize that essentially all of these builds have in some way degraded the structural integrity of the vans (whatever level there was) and I would like to take reasonable measures to protect my children. I would likely use the same floor attachment system/seat combo if I did a box van build; do you guys feel like this would put my children at unreasonable levels of risk? The only other thing I would do for increased (perceived) safety would be to sprayfoam the entire box which creates some level of rigidity.



Thoughts please and thanks!
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:17 AM   #2
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Biggest thing that I read is protecting the kids in case of rollover. Make sure your seats are secure and they have belts that would not let them come out. Also to consider is anything in the van that could go flying around and injure someone.



Many of those cutaway boxes have wood floors. Not ideal for bolting seats through. make sure you have some steel to bolt through or to. I made 1/4" oversized backer plates where all my rear seating bolted to. I also tried to overlaps doubles seams on the van body to prevent can opener effect.



Just my thoughts. After that it's all about defensive driving and staying alert.



I do love the idea of those cutaway boxes. Such a great way to build. One reason I love my passenger van is the windows. Kids can look out. I always see them daydreaming out the windows and talking about what they see.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:34 PM   #3
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That would be an awesome build, but as mentioned, secure (forward facing) seating for the kids is vital, and I would think a very high quality suspension would be second. That is a lot of weight (tall weight), so a quality suspension that keeps the rig under control for all circumstances is a requirement.




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Old 01-06-2019, 01:49 PM   #4
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Just keep the rig you’ve got and look at getting a small towable camping trailer. You’d be taking up any of the added floor space of that box with bolted in seats for the kids anyway. There’s some great off road capable, rugged campers that are available these days. We might be headed to an RV show next weekend, just for something to do, as we just got a Lance travel trailer to tow behind our rig, I’ll post up any interesting new campers I see in a separate thread.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for all of the great feedback guys! As mentioned, I definitely have some safety concerns about going to a box van.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor3633 View Post
Thanks for all of the great feedback guys! As mentioned, I definitely have some safety concerns about going to a box van.

If you provide Chris at U-Joint your contact info, you can ask him if he'll forward it to the box van owner and maybe you guys can chat.




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Old 01-08-2019, 08:22 PM   #7
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If you want the extra room but don’t want it to pancake in an accident or tip over you could get a basic cage fabricated(for box) and have a removable bar that goes behind seats during travel with an offroad 5 point harness attachment
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:42 AM   #8
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Out of curiosity and given the height, why wouldn't you consider a hi-top Transit? This is definitely a much cooler looking build, but, wouldn't a high top Transit offer the metal floors for the seats and better roll protection? It'll be some time before we're on to our next van ourselves, but we're looking for a similar set of features (standing height, safe seats for kids, more space, gas engine, etc), so would be certainly interested to know your view.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:28 PM   #9
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I have an 04 EB with a fiberglass high top and I really like the head room but don't like the "add on" look it gives the van. Then I saw the Armadillo High Profile van body. They are kinda costly at about $10K uninstalled (I think) but you get the height of sprinters as well as egress and ingress ease.
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:36 PM   #10
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Yeah, what about a Transit MR(mid roof)? Walls are pretty vertically flat.

Talking about safety, E-Series with a fiberglass high-top isn't high on that list, since most of the roof structure has been removed. Rollover could prove to be a dire situation.
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