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Old 06-19-2022, 03:20 PM   #1
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Weight distribution…! Educate me please

I started to clean up the van and clear the whole interior. I noticed that most of the weight is n the driver side. The water tank, the electric components, AC unit, fridge and microwave. On top of that, there is the 3 passengers seat. The only heavy component I was able to see was the black tank under the van. Which if you haven’t used any water, it would be empty.

If I keep going forward with this van, I would like to think it’s safe to follow the same design for weight distribution?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 06-19-2022, 07:41 PM   #2
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Our older E150 had that issue. It visibly leaned to one side. But it was too lightweight in general. Just keep the total weight well within the GVWR and maybe add a rear sway bar.
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Old 06-20-2022, 12:41 AM   #3
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Just keep your distribution in mind when doing you build the van out.
Keep the water tank between the wheel wells or just forward of them. Offset it to the side of less weight. If you change the battery location perhaps you can shift it to the side with less weight as well. If you have a relatively blank slate it'll give you some options.
What motor is in your van?
Some diesel vans (6.0L) have nearly 100lbs worth of starting batteries hanging on the passenger frame rail. 7.3L has one on that side.
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Old 06-21-2022, 09:06 AM   #4
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Aside from weight distribution, I've noticed that a lot of DIY van conversions seem to ignore weight altogether with thick, heavy wood planks for walls and ceilings, 2x4 and 3/4" MDF, etc. I've often wondered how many of them are overloaded before they add any of their "stuff".
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Old 06-21-2022, 09:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saline View Post
Just keep your distribution in mind when doing you build the van out.
Keep the water tank between the wheel wells or just forward of them. Offset it to the side of less weight. If you change the battery location perhaps you can shift it to the side with less weight as well. If you have a relatively blank slate it'll give you some options.
What motor is in your van?
Some diesel vans (6.0L) have nearly 100lbs worth of starting batteries hanging on the passenger frame rail. 7.3L has one on that side.
The dodge van currently has the 360 (5.9 I think) but not sure if I’ll keep that engine. I do want to keep the lay out for 4 or 5 travelers.
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Old 06-21-2022, 09:12 AM   #6
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Aside from weight distribution, I've noticed that a lot of DIY van conversions seem to ignore weight altogether with thick, heavy wood planks for walls and ceilings, 2x4 and 3/4" MDF, etc. I've often wondered how many of them are overloaded before they add any of their "stuff".
Weight is definitely something n my mind since there is the possibility I will do a diesel swap. Smaller engine but same horse power.
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Old 06-21-2022, 12:56 PM   #7
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As someone mentioned earlier many vans are not evenly weighted from the factory. In a perfect world is to find a shop or truck stop where you can get the weight on each wheel.
Get it weighed with a full tank of fuel.

That gives you the starting point info to help with your design. If you have some latitude in your layout you can make some adjustments.
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Old 06-21-2022, 06:00 PM   #8
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Stock extended vans with the original tire size had a tendency to overload a single rear tire even when under GVWR. Rear fuel-tank vans especially (I think around ‘97 they moved it midship).

Going with a slightly larger tire can help as well.
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Old 06-22-2022, 07:28 PM   #9
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Aside from weight distribution, I've noticed that a lot of DIY van conversions seem to ignore weight altogether with thick, heavy wood planks for walls and ceilings, 2x4 and 3/4" MDF, etc. I've often wondered how many of them are overloaded before they add any of their "stuff".
That’s not just DIY vans, many company/RV built vans use less that optimal material, simply due to price and ease of install.
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