Ford E350 Uhaul to Race Hauler conversion - Low Budget Totter Home Build

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11/6/2015 10:19 AM

With all the bike builds, garage builds, trailer set ups..etc. I have yet to find a Cube-Truck build on Vital. So I'll post my weekend project. I have posted this build on a couple "RV" sites but they dont understand the MX mentality as to why I want such a large shop, or so much work space... pinch

If anyone has done such a project your input is very welcome or if your thinking about doing such a thing subscribe to this thread.

I have googled countless internet pages on "Uhaul to RV conversion" and figured a fleet maintained Uhaul would make a great hauler/RV camper for towing from race to race.

FIRST: This build will most likely take a few months, if not more. I only have 1 day a week to work on it, so sorry if the progress is to slow..

This will be used for Motocross and to Tow my boat to and from the races.

I would like something that will sleep 3, have a small restroom (or closet) dinner and comfortable.
The back needs to have lots of storage and still have a wide enough floor space to hold a larger 4x4 ATV that will be used to tow theboat around the pits and to a from the crane area.

Now the donor Vehicle - (2K)
Ford 1999 E350 Uhaul (std. 200k)
Engine - V10 (runs strong, shifts strong)
Body - 14ft Box with 3ft "attic" and the body has no rust.

Mechanically she is pretty strong, plus I race boats with a guy who owns a performance car/truck shop and can fix most anything. (PLUS)

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11/6/2015 10:23 AM

I want the "Hauler" to look like a RV, not a Uhaul or work truck. Once the conversion is finished I can register it as a RV, but I want it to look like a RV, not a old Uhaul. Plus I don't want the Police messing with me, if your towing a race boat they say your a race team.. and the truck must be registered as a commercial vehicle cost much more for plates $$

I have 4 basic color / graphic ideas I designed at work. All are cheap (500-600) , use standard vinyl and can be cut and installed at home.

#1 Red / Blk
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#2 Orange / blk
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#3 Black/Gun metal
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and #4 Tan / burgundy
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#3 or 4 is what I'm leaning towards - Simple designs that look pretty cool.

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11/6/2015 10:29 AM

The inside is laid out to scale, or really close.. The rear shop area will hold a 4x4 ATV that's used to tow the boat from the pits to the crane. Storage is the key, I need enough room to carry all my spare parts, tools, radios, intercoms.. all that crap.

The attic will sleep 1, the dinette / sleeper can sleep 1 (or 2) and I'll have a fold down bunk above the dinette that will sleep another.

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I like this clean industrial look, but I'll go with Black / gray.
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For the front 2x3ft shower / toilet combo area I found these little marine units. II'll rough in the space and prep-it, but I wont go buy one till I'm sure I'll need it as most sites have facility's.,
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11/6/2015 10:41 AM

The rear shop will have stainless counters, stainless pull out cabinets with lots of storage for nuts, bolts, tools, radios, life jackets, helmets and normal race stuff. The front wall will also have a small kitchen area to prepare food with a microwave.

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Boat and hauler drawing - smile

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step one was removing all the aluminum channel and rubber bumpers that protect your stuff during a move.

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I than found some really thick and cool "coin" rubber flooring that was cut and placed over the whole floor. I know Home Depot sells a diamond plate rubber floor, but I saw this is a NASCAR rig and liked the looks.
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I than installed the ceiling in the lounge area with a 1/2" insulation board under the sheet of shinny white plastic board. Than we build the rough wall in place bolted to the floor and screwed to the walls and ceiling.

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11/6/2015 10:47 AM

Now the fun part, enclosing the "lounge" - sure makes this small space feel even smaller. But maybe that will change when the windows are cut in.

I used a thin insulation board to bring the walls out flush with the upper and lower aluminum tracking. I than covered it with 1/4 OSB. I was not sure if someone might lean into the wall panel and push into the foam so the 1/4 OSB gave it a little more strength.

I personally think any insulation is not needed, but I needed to raise the wall surface out 3/4 so its lighter than 3/4 plywood

I also started pre-wiring - I'll run a 220 to the back shop area and a few 110v lines up front.

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Now that the front is sealed up I finished off the inside of the restroom (closet) area. I used a PVC decorative panel and the prefabricated trim pieces with a 24" doorway *(yes its small)

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11/6/2015 10:52 AM

For the passenger side rear I'm using black garage cabinets that are supposed to take the hot / cold weather change.

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The rear of the box walls will be covered in the white shinny board with the coin rubber flooring on top of that. I also ran the rubber flooring up the custom made tow kick.

I'm using wall mount cabinets on the side to give me a little extra room for wider than average ATV's


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11/6/2015 11:10 AM

Where did you get your cabinets from? Looks great! I have a similar converted rig.

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11/6/2015 11:32 AM

Justin345 wrote:

Where did you get your cabinets from? Looks great! I have a similar converted rig.

I have seem many rigs that used painted home cabinets, or those cheap white laundry room cabinets. I found these garage cabinets at Menards pretty cheap. They look great with the black / silver colors and seem to be built pretty good. one thing I do on most assemble yourself cabinets is to use wood glue to help them from twisting or warping.


Xtreme Garage Cabinet Systems

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11/6/2015 1:01 PM

That's awesome I have to u hauls and I was thinking about doing one of them like this

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11/6/2015 7:52 PM

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11/7/2015 5:22 AM

2 Trick Rick wrote:

I have seem many rigs that used painted home cabinets, or those cheap white laundry room cabinets. I found these garage ...more

Thanks! Those are priced very reasonably and look great. I may end up with some of those slim cabinets myself.

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11/8/2015 3:25 PM

2 Trick Rick wrote:

I want the "Hauler" to look like a RV, not a Uhaul or work truck. Once the conversion is finished I can register it as a RV, ...more

A soon as I saw these renders I'm hooked.

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11/8/2015 5:33 PM

Looks nice, man. I can't wait to see how it turns out. Someday I want a box van and I'll likely do the same thing, although definitely not as in-depth as you are doing.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

11/10/2015 7:57 AM

Thanks for the kind words..

This is a little teaser of the trim going around the toe kicks, cabinets and counters. My wife actually suggested that I weld, grind and finish each seam so you cant see them.. way to OCD for mePhoto

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11/12/2015 8:05 AM

Wow. Subscribed!

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11/16/2015 7:15 AM

I needed to run new power lines out to my garage and bar room last week so van work was placed on the back burner..


More aluminum trim.

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I used left over flooring on the walls to help reduce scuffing, and also trimmed out with 1" aluminum channel.
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door trimmed with 2" aluminum

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I was going to do the counter in Stainless steel until I was given a price..($$$), so I used aluminum instead.
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11/16/2015 8:30 AM

you've done a really nice job!

It looks as good as some of the big show haulers you see.

What do you plan to do for lighting?

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11/16/2015 8:36 AM

I set of LED's hooked to a battery and another set hooked to 120v. I also want to run those LED's that change color and pulse to music around the top for pit party's at night.. maybe a disco ball and removable stripper pole off the back (and yes, I'm serious...)

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11/16/2015 8:37 AM

couple more of the counters.

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11/18/2015 7:03 AM

The large work counter is now finished and trimmed out. Just like the others I used 3/4 "chip" board and a thin sheet of aluminum keep the cost way down..



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11/18/2015 7:06 AM

RB Components has been a great source of inspiration.

http://www.rbcomponents.com/

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11/30/2015 7:03 AM

I used some cheap LED Tape lights off ebay ($16) and aluminum channel from amazon to attach them to the walls.

The channel has a nice frosted white lens that helps soften the lights. The lights can be changed from White, red, blue, green... and all in between.

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12/7/2015 8:23 AM

while looking for plastic storage bins like the factory rigs have I found them to be pretty pricey and kind of thin and cheap. One of the best prices I found was 112 bins for $116.00 (free shipping), right around 1$ per bin.

Not really bad, but considering the size of the bins I would need a couple hundred bucks worth.

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I found this plastic case at Harbor freight for 8.99 with 20 removable plastic bins. Thats .45 cents each, seemed a little thicker, a littler deeper to hold more parts and has a Plastic case I can use as a goggle box once I cut a piece of carpet for the bottom.


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Over all not bad. Every company make there tool boxes a little different. I used skid plate foam cut around the back and one side to fill in extra space and to keep the boxes snug. These are just 4 draws, the hardware looks large because these boxes are my "Boat racing" draws. Lots of large stainless steel hardware, pumps, impellers, wire..etc.

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12/7/2015 8:32 AM

Awesome job on the van! I would love to build something like this. How is the living area coming along?

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12/7/2015 8:36 AM

Once the back is complete I'll start on the front, other than insulation, walls and the bathroom I have not even touched the sleeper yet...

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12/7/2015 10:40 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/7/2015 10:48 AM

Can't believe I'm not the only one got carried away with alloy trim & coin pattern rubber mat.
I've been doing a conversion as well, a panel van a bit like a Merc sprinter, you have bags of room there, looks very good, keep up the good work !.
It's taken me over a year to get nearly done, just doing bits on weekends it is very time consuming but worth it.
I wish I had done one years ago.

I have the lights, water tank, gas hob etc & electrics all done & working now

I've some pics,

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12/7/2015 10:58 AM

Some pics from the start


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12/7/2015 10:59 AM

Looks excellent!

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12/7/2015 12:25 PM

Man, these are really nice. I am subscribing, cant wait to see the final product.

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2013 CRF450R Factory Connection revalve, All stock.

12/8/2015 3:30 AM

This thread delivers. Your converted uhaul makes my 7x14 trailer look like a Baltimore slum.

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