2002 E250 Moto/ camp/ kid hauler build

Gat

New member
#1
I've always liked the idea of a moto hauler/ minimal camper van and it's slowly becoming reality.

I've usually had a station wagon or some type of van in my vehicle lineup but this is the first full size van. Here's my old GMC Safari which had the Overland 2” lift on it and 235/75/15 on Caprice 9C1 rims :




I picked up this E250 from work when its life as a service van was complete. It's a rust free 2002 E250 with the 5.4 with about 194K on it. It had a full shelf/ drawer setup and a cage with door behind the front seats. I sold the shelving set up which helped to cover the cost of accessories for the van.
So far I've upgraded the stereo and speakers, installed a hitch, vent visors, tinted the rear windows and added USB charger in the dash. I've also blacked out the bumpers and grill, changed out the turn signals and added some Hella FF50 driving lights. Here's how she sits now.


Here are a few pictures of it in dirt bike hauling mode.


The rear rail is from Harbor Freight and works great for my XR400R.


Over the past few months we've gotten the bug to add some seats so we can family camp and only take one vehicle (5 kids and all the gear/ bikes can be a lot. Here we are after arriving at our site last week :


We looked at the different options to add seating to a cargo van. Originally we were looking for Sprinter seats but nothing was available locally so we started collecting parts to add OEM Econoline seats/ mounts and belts. This turned out to be more of a pain than we originally thought so I made some calls to upfitters in the area and found some 2015 Ford Transit seats and rails. We purchased 2 doubles and one single to get the required 7 person capacity.

Below are the pictures of the install. The row of doubles can be mounted forward or rear facing. We started by mounting the rails to the floor/ sub structure of the van. We used grade 5 and 8 hardware and made sure the bolts went through the cross members of the body. Once the rails were down we covered the floor with Harbor Freight anti-fatigue mats and then cut 3/4” plywood to fit around the rails. On top of the wood we've cut outdoor carpeting to fit the area and now only the mount bars show, the rest of the rails are below the floor surface.








The next step will be to do some interior cleanup which has started with interior door panels :


We plan to add some additional LED interior lights and USB power sockets in the rear. We're also designing a quick knock down bed when it's just the two of us travelling.

Updates to follow but they may be slow as life is busy!
 
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#2
That looks really clean! I like the seats facing each other like that, too. How has the addition of the floor effected road noise in the back of the van?
 

Gat

New member
#6
Thanks everyone,

I have noticed a slight decrease in noise from the back but with everything else still open it's not huge. I'm hoping the panels I made for the doors will help a little more.

I am on ADV as well, that's where I first got the bug for this build!

The Transit seats are working very well and I was happy how easy the install went. I spent some time digging around the internet to see if anyone else had installed any but couldn't find anything so I was flying blind.

I installed my door panels this week and they all fit well. I added pull straps to the latched doors to ease closing from the inside.
 
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#7
Good job on that. Almost looks like a nice car with the Sprinter seats, carpet, and door panels. Never would have guessed an ex utility van. Will follow this thread as I plan something similar but a Type II ambulance instead as it will be a dedicated bike and 4 person hauler. Will see what you do for bed though as I am trying to figure that out myself and think I might just have drop downs in the back which means bikes out or center seat bed conversion so bikes can stay. Probably go the latter as easier and does not affect cargo area. Also seen a cab area bed for vans so might consider that too.
 

Gat

New member
#9
Looks good, is that a commercially sourced strap or just webbing doubled over? Exactly what I need
The straps are webbing doubled over, punched and a 10mm grommet installed. I then used a 5/16-18 x 1" button head bolt and a 5/16-18 palnut/ captive nut that fit in the door and lined up with a pre-drilled hole. It almost seems like Ford knew what I needed to do!
 

Gat

New member
#11
Added a bed

It seems that we've accelerated our slow build... We're hoping for a getaway this weekend and decided at 8pm that we need a bed and added storage. A quick run to Home Depot and by 11pm we have a bed. If the bed works well on the trip I don't think we'll build a more permanent structure. The ease of setup and removal of this design will really help with converting from camper to hauler.

We have two heavy duty bins set up for storage between the wheel wells that we have holding up 3/4" plywood. The bottom of the centre section (approx. 19" wide) has blocking to hold the bins in place. Each side board is 27" long and hinged to the centre piece. The platform is 40" wide and is currently holding (2) twin size bunkbed/ daybed mattresses. Even with the mattresses in place the side boards can flip up to access the bins.





 
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Gat

New member
#12
After 1200 miles over 3 days we love this van even more. The bed was very comfortable and worked well for the two of us. We slept in one rest area on the way down and in the National Forests (Daniel Boone and Hoosier) on the way back.



Based on this trip here are our next mods :
Flip out back windows (purchased and waiting to install). We need more ventilation in the van and at this time we're not up for cutting a hole in the roof.
Added charging station (USB) in the back near the bed (being planned)

On our way home we stopped at the local wrecker and picked up the following items during their 40% off sale (all this for under $90!).
Two flip open back windows
Replacement console (ours was cracked)
Side door with opening window
Newer style grill