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Old 11-06-2015, 05:29 PM   #1
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Default Ford E350 Uhaul to Race Hauler conversion - Low Budget Totter Home Build

For those of you that have done such a project your input is very welcome.

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..

What It will be used for:
This will be used for Motocross and to Tow my race 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 the boat around the pits and to a from the crane area.

The Truck:
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. (Big Bonus)


What I'm looking for:

I would like the back shop area to have a small NASCAR hauler feel with lots of cabinets, stainless steel counters, rubber floors, overall a clean professional look.

Couple examples:





The inside or lounge area will be in darker brown cabinets with lighter brown cloth, or basic earth tones. But this can change.

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Old 11-06-2015, 05:42 PM   #2
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Outside:

I will cut in a couple windows up front in the lounge once I'm sure of where they will go, but I just drew a couple in the art just as an example.

I want the "Hauler" to look like a RV, not a U haul or work truck. Once the conversion is finished I can register it as a RV, but I want it to look like a RV. Plus I don't want the Police messing with me, if your towing a race boat they say your a race team 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











Lean toward the Silver, Gun metal / Black..
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:44 PM   #3
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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 a big concern, I need enough room to carry all my spare parts, tools, radios, intercoms, video, helmets.. all that crap.

We travel with 3 so I would like each person to have there own bed in this small space.. 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.




Restroom:
Every race site we visit is on the water (its boat racing after all) so they have shower / bathroom on site. But I would like to prep a small 2ft x 3ft room for this unit. If my wife wants to ever take this camping, it will be needed.. but then again every camp site has showers/bathrooms... but its best to build the room and just and use it as a closet / storage.




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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Old 11-06-2015, 05:51 PM   #4
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step one was removing all the metal brackets in the cube..



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.




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.

I used 2x3 for the walls thinking that extra 1" of room would help..each wall was bolted to the floor, screwed to the walls and ceiling. I than tied the corners together with truss locks to help reduce twisting.




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Old 11-06-2015, 05:55 PM   #5
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I used a thin 1/2" insulation board to bring the lounge 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.







The bathroom / closet

I used a mobile home shower board on the walls, if its ever used as a shower the water wont damage it (much)


and the door was installed.
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:03 PM   #6
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For the passenger side rear I'm using wall mounted black garage cabinets that are supposed to take the hot / cold weather change pretty good.

Most all stock ATV fit between a truck wheel well (4ft), I wanted a little extra room in case we have a wider than stock ATV parked in the shop area.

So the 12" deep wall cabinets worked great.


I made a tow kick, wrapped it in the coin rubber flooring and bolted it down, I than stacked the cabinets till I found a configuration that worked for me. Also I hung some coin flooring on the back wall above the cabinets. I'll use this space to hang spare props for the boat.

I would also like to use Aluminum "L" angle in all the corners, I think that will be a nice clean look and much more durable than wood.

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Old 11-06-2015, 11:54 PM   #7
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Good start, I think your living quarters is going to be real tight though. Work looks good, and you will appreciate the insulation when the sun is beating down.

A lot of the toy hauler 5th wheel trailers use the back garage as sleeping area with fold-down bunks. You might consider the same.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:45 AM   #8
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Wish we had more room to work with, but I'm limited to the 14ft box (3ft attic) - I needed 8ft in 7'8" in back to fit dirt bikes or the 4x4 ATV

I did look at the larger 24ft trucks, but I thought the length would be a negative maneuvering around city streets getting to the race sites, the height overall and step height getting in and out, plus the extra money to operate kept me in the smaller truck.

As far as room.. I raced the past few years out of a Ford E250 Extended cargo van, so this should feel like a mansion.
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:28 AM   #9
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little teaser of the trim work going around the cabinets and counters. My wife actually suggested that I weld, grind and finish each seam so you cant see them.. way to OCD for me.
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Old 11-14-2015, 03:26 PM   #10
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Wow, looks great.
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Old 11-15-2015, 12:02 PM   #11
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Looks good!have you done any graphics on the outside yet?
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:51 PM   #12
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Nice work. Just be aware of your gvw with the mods and cargo. It adds up quickly.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:51 AM   #13
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No graphics yet, that will most likely be done last unless some indoor shop space opens up this winter.

As far as weight.... the mods wont be light, but they will still be far, far less than loaded cargo. So its a wash...


Last week I had my underground powerline running to my garage shorted out.. so the truck was placed on the back burner till I ran a new line and re-wired ...


I'm using 1"x1" aluminum channel as trim. Works great, looks good and not much more than "wood"



I took the left over rubber flooring and used in to the walls to help reduce scuffing and normal wear and tear. Plus it looks good I thought..




The tool boxes still have lots of trim work to be done so they dont look like tool boxes just stuffed under a work bench, but I did get the counters installed. I was going to go with stainless steel till I seen the price.. I punted and used sheet aluminum over 3/4 plywood.




More trim -
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:52 AM   #14
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To trim out the door I used a 2" aluminum flat stock used for a carpet to hard surface transition. Little difficult to cut, but I used a hand grinder to fine tune it.




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Old 11-18-2015, 10:48 AM   #15
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Little more work from last night. I built the outlets into a shelf trimmed out in 1 x 1 aluminum. Same as before - 3/4 chip board with .32 aluminum sheeting.

The vans 120v power is now finished. I can run the rig off a small Genny, or I can plug it into any household outlet.







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Old 11-18-2015, 06:21 PM   #16
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Nice work, I like the clean look of the alum angle trim.
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:44 PM   #17
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That is really shaping up nicely! You do great work.

We had a '79 E-350 extended that we used for all of our hauling and road trip needs. It had a 460 V-8. The old joke was very apt: "it would pass anything but a gas station!"…even with a load.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:34 AM   #18
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I bought some cheap LED Tape lights off ebay ($16) and aluminum channel from amazon ($50) 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 everything
in between.. you can even buy a pulse puck thing that can be attached
near a speaker so the lights fallow the beat of your music.



[youtube]
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:36 AM   #19
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I found the plastic storage bins like the NASCAR rigs use on Ebay, pricey.. but worth it. 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.



But while looking online I found this plastic case from 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 or maybe GoPro camera box once I cut a piece of carpet for the bottom.




Over all not bad. Every company make there tool boxes a little different so 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, but offer lots of storage for stainless steel hardware, pumps, impellers, wire..etc.

1/2 the price...
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:03 AM   #20
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I use these in my garage...probably not right for you (since you can put stuff in a drawer), but these have reconfigurable slots (move the plastic dividers)...and the lids are helpful for me, so that everything doesn't go all over when i drop them.

Amazon: Plano Molding 974 StowAway Organizer Rack

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