Red Cross ERV 4x4 camper build


Builder of Things That Interest Me
That is quite a difference! There wasn’t too much in the back besides a bed and a sink. The boxes must be built differently between the different manufacturers. I plan to remodel the inside this summer and strip everything down to the studs, I’m curious to see how they built it.
Yeah that will be interesting to see the difference. I look forward to seeing your build. You're off to a great start.


Addicted to Espresso
Ah cool. An ERV build. I think these are the best boxes to build out. Ive been looking to convert one too. Thanks for posting your info about the 4x4 conversion. Doesnt sound like it cost a whole hell of a lot.
She’s back from the shop! It’s much bigger that I could have imagined but I like it. Rock hound did a killer job. On the way home I noticed the rear tires rub when I hit large bumps so I’ll fix that with the sawzall but besides that it’s perfect.
Just got it back from alignment at cal suspension in Salinas, Ca. After many phone calls they were the only shop I could find locally to be able to get an alignment done on something as tall and heavy as my van. They were quick and super willing to answer any questions I had.BE9893AD-FD06-4C8D-B0AD-559117068045.jpeg
In case anyone else needs rear sway bar links to go along with their Ujoint kit the Skyjacker SBE305 sway bar end links worked perfect for me.340651E8-B420-4BC3-B285-746F034729CD.jpeg
I figured out why my rear wheels were rubbing, according to Chris at Ujoint I ordered rear leaf springs for an E350 instead of an E450. In hindsight I should have specified that I had an E450 chassis when I ordered the kit. You can clearly see that the rear axle isn't centered in the wheel well like it should be. rear axle.jpeg
Oh well, I'll take this as a learning experience and hopefully someone can avoid making the same mistake as me. Luckily, Chris had some spare E450 springs sprung for my weight and they should be here by the end of the week. I'm so happy I didn't have to wait the 7+ months for Atlas to build new springs. One of my buddies has an E350 that he wants to convert in the future so hopefully the springs I ordered by mistake wont be sitting in my garage for too long.
In the meantime, I installed a Diamond Eye 4" exhaust, Bellowed up pipes, EGT and boost sensors for my Edge Insight CTS3 and I also put the interior back together. She's starting to look like a camper again.


Curious if your ERV came with a catalytic converter? After crawling around under mine, it looks like mine is straight piped with a muffler.

I ask because I was also considering a Diamond Eye exhaust but it didn't seem worthwhile if I'm already catless.
Curious if your ERV came with a catalytic converter? After crawling around under mine, it looks like mine is straight piped with a muffler.

I ask because I was also considering a Diamond Eye exhaust but it didn't seem worthwhile if I'm already catless.
Yea, mine had a cat and the exhaust was old and beat up. Supposedly the 4" exhaust should slightly lower EGTs and increase fuel mileage but I haven't noticed anything to write home about. It definitely changed the sound for the better in my opinion but if my exhaust didn't need to be replaced I would have just kept it as is.


Well-known member
This generation of ERVs came with 4.63 gears in the rear and since you cant get a Dana 60 front axle in 4.63 I planned to regear to 4.10 and spec the front axle the same but Chris noted that I could run 4.56 in the front since its close enough to the rear without causing any issues and with larger tires my rpms would be brought down to something more highway friendly and that's what I ended up doing.
So you will be running 4.63 in the rear axle, 4.56 in the front axle..... ??

Maybe it can be done in low traction situations but that is a BIG spread. My 1970s F250s all came with a 4.10 D44 front axle, 4.11 D60 rear axle....
Off road, gravel, forestry road all was good. 90% of the time I was empty. But hit pavement or even tarred road surfaces and the transfer case would HOWL..... you knew you could not run in 4WD on a hard surface.

Given you will NEVER be empty. You will be at a full 100% of GVWR.... I would match both axle ratios. Fully loaded 4WD will kill tire life. Something has to slip when the tires are turning different speeds.

Ford Owners Manuals TOLD you to shift out of 4WD with 4.10/4.11 ratios you had to back up for 15 feet to remove the driveline bind on the transfer case. With 4.56/4.63 you'll need to back up a quarter mile to remove the bind.

You are doing awesome work but I worry about the axle ratio spread..... Technically in 4WD with tires turning different speeds in low traction like on ice,,,, 4WD could lead to a loss of control.
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Good to know! I plan to replace the rear axle in the future and I’ll address this issue then. I don’t plan to use 4x4 unless it’s slick or loose so I think it’ll be manageable. Thanks for the heads up.

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