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Old 11-07-2015, 08:43 PM   #11
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Re: home-built safety concerns

Screws. Sportsmobile uses screws. There is the occasional L bracket with a bolt into the floor, but everything upwards of those few is held on with screws. Countertops, wall panels, just regular old screws in pressboard.

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Old 11-08-2015, 05:25 AM   #12
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Re: home-built safety concerns

Originally Posted by Viva
I think this is an interesting topic. Sure, maybe no van is perfectly safe, but why not at least try? Or, at least be aware of how things stand (some people may not be and may just assume all is good).

In boating there is much info shared about ways people secure things. If anyone in vans isn't into it, I can understand that. On the other hand, I'm interested, so maybe others are too?
Also agree with this, in all aspects. Perhaps looking how aircraft storage/securing is handled can also be a source of ideas too? Much the same as with boating things not fully secure or "held fast" can/do become missiles during collisions or even just daily driving. I've lost count of the number of times something I thought was secured in place wasn't there after a quick brake stop or unexpected bump in the road.

On that note it might not be a bad idea to begin a thread where the most likely devices or appliances to be collision issues are cited and better ways to secure them during transit?

No offense to SMB or other RV converters/builders but rarely have I seen an interior that inspired a feeling everything was securely installed and prone to stay put---that clear access of flying debris to the front seats a bit disconcerting.

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Old 11-10-2015, 08:17 PM   #13
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Re: home-built safety concerns

I'm with OP on this one. To not at least make it a part of your thought process is silly.

It's true that typical RVIA-certified construction isn't going to survive being rear-ended by an 18-wheeler, but there's also a minimum line that I wouldn't dip below for either a homebuilt or a commercial built.

Seating is a big part of the safety system for surviving any accident, so my bench-seat/bed is an RVIA-approved part and is bolted-through the body in six places and backed with 3" backing plates at each. My rear seatbelt reels are on OEM mounts, and the inner mounts are through-body and backed by a piece of 18" x 2" x 1" c-channel steel. As cheap and convenient as it would have been to build a rock-n-roll bed using some plywood and reproduction Westfalia hinges, I just wouldn't have felt safe strapping my daughter's seat into it.

I have similar concerns about the mounting of fridges, etc. for some folks. There are plenty of rigs in my area that have 70+ pounds of loaded ARB fridge bolted to a $350 fridge slide, but then attach that slide to the top of a drawer carcass with a half dozen 1/2" wood screws and call it a day. By comparison, when I mounted cabinets and a bed platform, I tried to design everything so it ties into existing OEM seatbelt or seat-mounting points. Wasn't that much harder to do, but required a bit of forethought.

The fact of the matter remains that one of the down-sides to a home-build is that there's only one person responsible for getting the details right.
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Old 11-15-2015, 03:24 PM   #14
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Re: home-built safety concerns

As passenger in a Jeep JK that rolled off a hill the chainsaw in the back ripped thru the top and out of the vehicle I'm a believer. We will never be perfectly protected but a few bolts thru the floor on a bed frame and anything else you can do sure can't hurt. I think I'll give my current setup a good once over before our next trip because it is so easy to get sloppy. Even a mag light flashlight to the back of the head may not end well. It's amazing how much damage is done to cargo in a wreck and lashing it down is no joke.
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:55 PM   #15
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Re: home-built safety concerns

There was recently a SMB on the Anchorage Craigslist that was being sold for parts. From the photos it looked like it had rolled. The interior SMB cabinets, etc., we're all pulled off their mounting points and laying scattered about. I don't know for sure what the van's story was, but it obviously was in some sort of accident.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:14 AM   #16
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Re: home-built safety concerns


Even a dog can become a missile. We have a friend who was very badly hurt when a rear ender pushed her 55 lb dog forward and hit her in the head. Both dog and mother injured severely.

The construction hard had sitting on the rear window package shelf is just asking for trouble. Usually stowed directly in line with the driver's head.

Eyes open folks, eyes open.


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Old 11-30-2015, 09:13 AM   #17
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Re: home-built safety concerns

I think I may have stumbled onto a solution. The Friday13th van has approved ford upfitted captians chairs (insanely heavy duty and insanely heavy.) toward the back of the van and the cabinets are directly BEHIND those seats. No way those seats give under the load behind them without the back of the van being entirely pancaked.

Prime time put those in.

Also spare bumpers help in crashes up to 30mph so they would lower injuries at 40mph+ crash. But that's not claimed by the company.

I'll post pics of the cabinets with the seats in the van RSN
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:21 PM   #18
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Re: home-built safety concerns

You might consider using a custom built welded metal framework for all your cabinets that is then bolted securely to the floor. Then bolt all wood to the metal framework. With the framework providing the structural strength the wood can be much thinner/lighter.

Place the folding bed longways and directly behind the drivers seat so in an accident it would just hit the back of the seat and wouldn't have space to accelerate. Building this way you find that there are almost no screws, except for some trim pieces, but everything is bolted together.

A side benefit is total weight is reduced and it makes it easier to disassemble and reassemble if access is needed. This would by no means be crash proof but I think it's an improvement. That and always driving the van like it's a van.

If only there was some guide as how to build it this way ...
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:32 AM   #19
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Re: home-built safety concerns

WVan: ^^^^

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