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Old 01-18-2023, 05:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2022
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Cabinetry and Weight Capacity (Express, Econoline)

Hey folks - Long time lurker, first time poster. Seeking advice/guidance on dual barn door van build ideas.

I've got a Chevy Express with barn doors on both sides of the van. Having double doors on both sides opens up some really interesting possibilities with cabinets. As such, I'm working on some ideas for mounting cabinetry to the doors themselves.

Before I mount anything too heavy, does anyone know the weight capacity of the barn door hinges?

One of the things I'd like to mount on a door is a sink & grey water tank. The grey water tank could be any size, but ideally would be 5-7gallons to minimize the need for constant emptying. I think I'll put that on the driver's side on the rearward 40% section of the door. That will swing open and also be an outdoor shower station.

On the passenger side 40% door, I'd put the kitchenette. It would swing open and also be useable outside. On both sides of the van, the frontward 60% portion of the door will be a flip down table with pocket storage in the door cavity.

Any good ideas or resources for pulling this off?

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Old 01-18-2023, 05:46 PM   #2
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Keep in mind that "anything" cabinetry - especially MDF - open and exposed to the elements will get pretty much trashed by wind - rain - sand - etc., over the months, years. Interested to see what you come up with - keep us posted -

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Old 01-19-2023, 07:45 AM   #3
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Yeah. Very good point. I'm trying to make the cabinets out of extruded aluminum (80/20), and sealed baltic birch. They attach to the doors via plus nuts and maybe t track hardware. Not quite sure on that part. I want it to be modular such that I could unbolt and swap the cabinets to add more/different storage, kitchenette or office space. I'm in broad ideation stage so throwing everything out there to see what sticks.
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Old 01-19-2023, 09:25 AM   #4
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Location: Evergreen, CO
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If you're keeping your van low/stock, it'll probably work. I had thoughts of doing the same but once a van is 4x4 and on 35s, it really raises things up (more so on the solid axle conversions, GM IFS should stay lower).

Food for thought as we're laying out our interior as we speak, but sometimes flexibility comes at the cost of complexity. We're just going to pack a foldable table, and our main stove will be our camper stove, so it's real easy to cook outdoors vs indoors. Not a big deal leaving the sink in the van, or just doing a normal camp wash outdoors then dumping the grey water in the van.
'06 EB 350, Advanced 4x4 (soon to be MG), 6.7 Cummins + Allison, 24" bubble top. Bright yellow. The rumble bee.
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Old 01-19-2023, 01:29 PM   #5
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Good observations. On this vehicle the lift options are pretty limited. It's pretty much already on the biggest tires possible for the AWD and IFS (265/75r16). I'm going to put a 2.5-3"body lift on it for better clearance with the tires. To your point, I'll need to double check height, and probably add a drop down/fold out table at an outdoor appropriate height.

The cook top will be induction and not built into the cabinetry, and I use an instant pot extensively. I actually stay in cities a few times/month (otherwise I'm at trailheads, ski hills, rivers) and being able to comfortably cook inside with minimal outside visibility is nice. With the doors open however, and a drop down outside table, I can set up in a state park or such without having to break out and setup all the gear. I've got all the camp tables, water jugs, pop-up tents, etc. It just takes a solid 15-20min to set-up and take down. I really like the idea of tightening up the kitchen experience for quick deploy/breakdown.
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Old 01-26-2023, 06:54 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2019
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If I had a dual barn door setup I'd be really tempted to make a slide out with a kitchen in it, like this guy:


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