Ford E350


I read in another post where Luthj stated something to the effect that you better look at a 1,000 hours for the build, I have not added up my time spent but I know and can feel it's starting to mount. But hey it's a hobby and you get to feed many things out on the road!




Not only is the hours adding up but also it has taken over a lot of space from the garage and spilling out on to the patio! Here we're in the process of making our own cushions. After a trip to JoAnn's Fabbic store (I think I've been there six times already) and spending about $240 this is starting to be my second most costly item in the build right behind my tires!



Using a mattress from a folding Ikea bed it came with a cover that zipped over the foam which is a full 5"'s very nice bed foundation for the van, we're ending up with 3 cushions one being full length of 78" x 25" and then on 52" x 23"and the small one that will be removed when using our table area 26" x 23" or close to full size bedding area.

In the photo's you will see the steps being prepared the foam being cut to size using a elec knife, the cover glued to the foam where needed and a 1/4" backer board for the support and then outdoors cloth a heavy grade for seating and to hold the cushions together.



In our budget build we're staying well below our goal of $7,700 in a goal to be able to show anyone can have a great travel vehicle. In asking about having cushions made for us the quote was $975. They may have been a little nicer but hey we pull the covers tight using a hand stapler made sure the coverings were straight and the end product looks great (to us)!



The cushions are starting to add color, in this photo the two larger cushions will always be in place as seen, just the smaller one will need to be place at night, should be able to install in less than a minute. As I've stated before we got to see this system in place in another van in Moab, if your following our progress we never used any of the leading sound control pads like "Dead Kat, Lying Dog" or other such products. Most of our sound control in Harbor Fright shop tiles, Fiberglas and Closed Cell insulation with the window covers being backed with the Auto Carpeting than the bed mounted 12" above the floor covered with 5" of heavy foam the road noise is lower than my GMC Yukon! Outside of the bed mattress I have only paid about $60 and it is a nice comforting sound, heat control and look for a budget build.



Hope if your thinking of a budget build your enjoying this thread, our van is mostly done and we are taking off on our third outing in a couple of days with this van. We may be different in we like to explore Urban as well as rivers and back country, So with our style we know that a High or Pop Top would be a waste for us. We park in parking garages and even large tires would be a waste and a handicap, again for us! I saw in some ones posting that their Van was a part of them, this is so true for us as well. So as we load up our Motor Bikes to explore Cincinnati's older area's this coming week, we hope to find a great camp site along the river, enjoy a great meal and maybe catch a little wild life. With Art being in the eye of the beholder, life is the Art for us, hope your able to enjoy your choices as well.

mohave 110.JPG

Hope you get to take the road Less Traveled! , even if your like us and just 2 wheeling around the world!

And enjoy the Art of others!

I'll try to post the balance of our build when we return as well as share all of the added items that we feel make it a great traveler along with the time we've spent and the money to make it happen, hope your able to stop back by!



Engineer In Residence
Yep, its about the journey the conversion allows, not the build itself. I like the color by the way. Very cool. :sombrero:



Nice 5 night trip out in the van more for a shake down than anything, all worked very well as she is set up, the fan-tantic fan cover on the new vent pops up when driving at speeds of 60+mph, when looking at a way to adjust I found that there is only one flat prop bar on the left side of the vent and none on the right side. My older vent (GMC) had support bars on both sides, This one has no adjustment to be made that I can find/ this would be a concern to look at before installing, maybe other models from this company still have adjustable support rods. We needed to duct tape it in place for freeway driving.

The total trip was just over 1,000 miles with about 1/2 on the x-way and the balance on two lane highways with no back road traveling, The air was used just about 100% of the driving time. The 5.4 had the needed power and preformed great at highway speed as well as stop and go of the city.

Driving at about 74 mph on the freeway and topping out at about 55=58 on the two lanes, average mpg was 13.7, this was hauling 37 gals of water and about 700lbs of gear including the motor bike.

Finding fields for night use-age was easy with only one paid campground, Again making the van a very useable form for road travels (We're traveling without dog nor child), the added water, gray tank with the refrig and added batteries make the job a bit easier. The table and grill make diner time with a glass on wine enjoyable and the van takes less than a minute to set-up for bed!


The cost of a simple snap!


When you really start to keep track of what it cost to build a simple travel van and the time to make it happen it may scare ya a bit! I'm starting to add all of these records up and I was put back a bit when I saw that just these simple snaps cost $42 to hang the drapes/window covers.

The $42 itself may not seem like a lot but than you see the 4.5 hours for install of them.

Finding a van where most of these task are done to a fairly acceptable standard may be an easier and more cost efficient than I may have thought, when we read that 1,000 hours of time and just $5,000 for a wall kit, maybe the craigslist buys are cheaper than one may have thought!


New member
I recently installed the least expensive Fan-tastic fan. I have experienced the same issue, as you. It's well over a 100* degrees here. First time out I was beginning to think that the Ford van's A/C was failing.
At the next fuel stop I noticed the vent open. All the cool air was being sucked out the vent :( I cranked the plastic vent handle until it spun on it's shaft.
Guess I'll try your duct tape suggestion.


I'd call Fantastic fans. Excellent customer service.
My fantastic vent stays shut, btw.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I'd call Fantastic fans. Excellent customer service.
My fantastic vent stays shut, btw.

I have a new cover on it's way! You were spot on they are easy to work with. As I had stated I used their vent in my past van an it was a great product. Thanks for your input!



All of the window covers are in place, this last trip the daytime temps were in the ninety's and this process worked very well,


The side door green bag system puts suntan lotion, bug sprays and other outdoor needs within reach while outside,


You may note that the sink and base is a little lower than most and also on the door opening side, this is for two reasons. Your able to stand outside of the van and wash your hair and do a general clean-up after a hike and such, it also is where all switches for running the power items (RE: Fan, water pump, lights for easy reach weather in or out of the van, Water is up and running!


The rack above the frig with the wood dowels makes handling dishes easy and in reach while holding them in place while on the road, placement here provides access from the outside as well as inside,


Shows placement of cassette stool out of the way while not in use, simple rubber strips keeps it from sliding while driving,

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