Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-20-2014, 01:21 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 577
Re: Anyone do major body modifications?

Originally Posted by carringb
Chance - have you ever seen the ELF? If was a front-wheel-drive version of the E450 with an ultra-low floor in the rear by using IRS. I think one could make a really nice camper conversion.

I don't know that it would offer any real benefit over a Ducato, other than more capacity and much lower purchase cost (considering Ducatos can only be bought new).
Actually, I did see a fleet of those as airport shuttles about 20 years ago while traveling on business somewhere near the east coast. It was a mid-size airport but can't remember where.

When I was building my homebuilt about 9 years ago I looked into the drivetrain they used to see how hard and expensive it would be to convert my van to FWD so I could drop the floor just like they did. I figured my wife and I could easily walk around inside a van if the floor was dropped to within a foot of the ground or thereabouts.

As I got into detail design and evaluated the complexity of the project, and associated compromises, I decided (applying the 80:20 rule) that I could drop the floor just behind the rear axle so we could stand and have access to the rear-half of the van at a small fraction of the work and cost. Sometimes I regret not going for the entire project, but in reality it was probably a smart move on my part to limit the scope.

During design I also considered stretching my E-350 extended van so I would not only have more room to convert into a camper, but also so I could run the extended 3-piece driveshaft low enough to drop the floor more than what is normally done with a handicap conversion. That seemed easier that converting to FWD but I don't have the room to work on a van 24-ft long. My home garage isn't that long so I would have had to rent an off-site work area.

Like I said before, I was just curious to know if these kinds of projects ever get off the ground. Considering some guys on this forum don't hesitate dropping a diesel in a Ford, install roofs, and so on, it seems odd that I hadn't seen any major body modifications like those described above. Maybe it's just too expensive for what you get. Or perhaps it's more room than many need or even want.

Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 05:29 PM   #12
Senior Member
carringb's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 5,085
Re: Anyone do major body modifications?

Here's some more inspiration for a major body modification!

2000 E450 dually V10 wagon
carringb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 08:32 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 577
Re: Anyone do major body modifications?

carringb, by major body work I didn't mean something as big or complex as building a complete custom body. That's more than most of us could pull off. An example I was thinking of was replacing the sliding side door of a ProMaster with a single swing-out door like the ones used on crew cab chassis. That would make it more like a conventional RV door; which as far as I know isn't offered as an option for full-body vans.
Attached Thumbnails

Chance is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:21 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.