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Old 06-27-2016, 10:33 PM   #31
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Also, for you Ford guys, can any of you tell me what the rear door opening is? I thought I read somewhere that the height may be too short for a motorcycle to fit in. If that's true I'm definitely forced going for a GM van but if it's not then I still have more options.
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:14 AM   #32
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I bought a van today, a 2011 Chevy Express. Not diesel, not 4x4, but it was in good shape, low mileage, and the price was nice. First thing to do is decide if I want to sell 3 or 4 of the seats back to the dealer.

Next is figure out how I want to outfit the interior. I don't see any dirt paths in the immediate future but trackday season is going to resume in August so the plan will be to get a motorcycle chock set up and figure out how I want to install a fold-down bed.

Even more immediate, I'll need to get some adhesive vinyl to block out the back windows for privacy and make some screens to keep out bugs. We'll start sampling van camping at any of the NF campgrounds if possible or maybe one of the beaches if anyone has any recommendations.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:31 AM   #33
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I applied super dark window tint to all of the rear windows; they were factory tinted dark already...can still see out but it's tough to see in.

I also made insulating window inserts from a sandwich of headliner material/refletix/headliner for camping in the cold. I keep one or two of those installed all the time on the driver side rear windows. Storing them can be tricky though....

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-10808-13.html
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:39 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder View Post
I applied super dark window tint to all of the rear windows; they were factory tinted dark already...can still see out but it's tough to see in.

I also made insulating window inserts from a sandwich of headliner material/refletix/headliner for camping in the cold. I keep one or two of those installed all the time on the driver side rear windows. Storing them can be tricky though....

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-10808-13.html
I was thinking just white adhesive vinyl to also repel some heat in the summer, but will check dark window tint too. I'm digging the reflectix sandwich. I was considering that window insulation after seeing it in every long-term RV in Orangeland but never knew what it was called. I'm likely to copy you.
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:40 AM   #35
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Member PMcypress here had some really nice canvas window covers fabricated at a place called Laguna canvas........They were really well made.....would be interesting to have a set made with reflectix inside.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:01 AM   #36
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I've seen some pretty good moto movers vans with 'the camping at the track option'. Check out ADVRider.com, I think that's where I saw some cool builds.

With the $$ you saved not buying a 4x4, you can build the hauler of your dreams!

I'd start by listing the things I need, by priority, what i call 'gotta haves' at the top, then 'nice to haves' at the bottom.

A bed that folds down from one wall would be on the top of my list. An external fuel jug holder, spare batteries and 110v inverter, a sink/wash basin for Navy showers and teeth brushing, room for a mountain bike (pit bike) as well as the moto. Loncoin rubber floor, recessed D ring anchors, wall anchors, room for an easy up, maybe room for a small Honda generator.

I saw some pre
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:28 PM   #37
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It's been a while since I updated and I haven't been able to make much progress due to a time consuming motorcycle sale, clearing out my storage unit, and a trip to visit family. I'm finally getting back into the build this weekend.

The dealer was more than eager to buy my seats and I sold him rows 3-5. I kept the second row for seating but I'm beginning to have second thoughts since I'm leaning toward finding a fold-down seat out of a conversion bed and mounting it in the 2nd row area. I'm just starting a hunt for one of these but would like to know if anyone knows of a good source for one. I'm likely to search junk yards but I have this feeling conversion vans are a rare find these days.

I yanked the carpet and cleaned out all the sand and junk that got under yet. I'm trying to remove the seat mount rails for the rear rows but discovered a panel that runs under the floor that blocks access to the nuts. Not sure how to go about this since I need the holes to mount my motorcycle chock.

Speaking of, my Pit Bull trailer restraint system arrived. The great thing about this motorcycle transit mount is there is no need for a chock, D-rings, E-Track, or straps. Just need to mount to the floor, but the old seat mount rails need to go first.

For now I'm just going to use an air mattress since I can leave the second seat in place and just inflate the mattress on the floor in the rear area.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:47 PM   #38
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As of today I've removed 4 of the 5 seat rails. 2 run under all 4 rows of rear seats, the other 3 are short and only support the 4-person 5th row seat. The short ones came out without much fuss; a little observation and a lot of patience & finger strength got those loose without having to remove the heat shield/stone tray. The long rail on the driver's side came out without much fuss either, it just required the same patience and pain tolerance in my fingers while turning a box wrench.

The long rail on the passenger side is another story. There's something like 13 nuts on this thing running the entire length of the van and most of them are hidden by the heat shield or in some cases behind the heat shield and a frame cross member, so no chance of accessing them from below. This requires cutting the seat rail in half lengthwise and drilling the bolts until I can pound out the shafts. Not the neatest work but I have little choice, and it's worth it for a flat floor. I have three more bolts to go which I'll cut out tomorrow.

Next will be the new interior and I can't wait to get that installed. I will post some progress pics soon. Not much has changed despite the amount of time I've put into this so far so I'll wait till something exciting happens to post them.

After that I'm looking into lift kits. At this point I'm fairly sure 4x4 is way down the road when I can have the room to build my own kit, or maybe I'll buy someone's already-converted van when the economy tanks. But for now I'm pretty sure a lift, a locker, and 33" ATR's will do the job.

2WD/lift is more likely and Boulder Off Road has re-released their kits for GM 3/4T and 1T vans, but I'm not too impressed by it, or parts of it anyway. It has poly lift blocks for the rear axle which I'm not fond of, but the upper control arms and spindles look interesting. I'm looking into how it all works and I'll need to get a hold of them, but I'm also going to look into the possibility of building my own lift. I'm not sure if the front suspension crosses over with the pickup/SUV line, but if it does I'll see if I can spec a better kit somewhere else. I know this is primarily a Ford site but if any of the handful of GM guys could chime in with your experience I'd like to know what your thoughts are. I'll check some of the other threads too.

I see a lot of the same names over on Expedition Portal and I'll sign up and ask over there too.
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