Hi everyone, I have taken a lot of information from this forum over the last year and appreciate all of the helpful posts!
Last year, my wife and I bought a 2012 E-150 passenger van to make weekend adventures easier for our family of four plus two dogs. We are not planning a van conversion with kitchen, bathroom etc, just a more outdoor-capable passenger van for weekend trips around Arizona and California.
So far, we have removed the second and fourth row seats and replaced the fourth row with a DIY sleeping platform between the back windows. We also added a tow hitch (mainly for our bike rack) and replaced the factory stereo with an LCD carplay unit.
Our plans for the van are:
-Roof bars and hard shell roof tent
-Easy to clean floor (possibly loncoin or vinyl planks)
-Easy to clean/durable seats or seat covers that don't collect dog hair
-Cushion/cover for the sleeping platform (right now it is just a hand-cut piece of memory foam covered by a sheet)
-Suspension upgrade and/or wheels/tires (the van survived 20+ mile trips on dirt roads this year with stock suspension and highway tires, but is very shaky)
-Install backup camera (has anyone installed on the bumper and run wires under the vehicle along tow hitch wiring rather than on the license plate frame with wires inside the van?)
-If possible, easier to remove second row seat (right now, all seats bolt through the floor, a quicker install/removal option for the second row would be helpful when family visits)
If anyone has recommendations in the Phoenix, AZ area for upholstery shops (for seats/bed cover) or mechanics for vans (for suspension/general maintenance), I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you for the great information and community!