Hi All - Long time coming, we got a van!
Not named as of yet, but will update as possible.
This one will be built out with 9 seatbelts to haul a large fam plus friends, pets and toys. Have an idea to let it sleep 2-4.
Roof rack coming, ladder. Has front and rear hitches.
Will design and build a slide out kitchen in the boot.
Sounds like your going to be upgrading the suspension to accommodate your “crew” + all their gear. When we were young and camping with the parents my father installed a home made roof rack for the top of the station wagon - 4x8 plywood board with three seatbelts mounted in the front half (gear all stored on the back which serves as the backrest). Belts did little other than something to hold on to for three kids on the top (5 of us all together so we had to switch out occasionally).
Some of my fondest memories came from those rides -no streets, just logging roads throughout Northern California. Got real good at holding our breath to keep from inhaling all the dust from the logging trucks passing by.
Yeh, comment was mostly just in jest.
BUT... 9 kids probably gets you close to 1,000lbs (depending on age & size), add in the parents, food and beverages for all, gear & toys for all, your camping equipment, +++, It adds up quickly.
Also guessing because of the kids you are very safety conscious. With that much added weight, and your new center of gravity (since 2/3rds of that weight will be picked up by the rear suspension) when loaded - driving any windy roads may have you considering beefing up the rear for some additional stability (add a leaf, air bags, etc). But all this is pure speculation on my part...really just wishing you all much fun! Those memories last a lifetime for all involved.