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Old 06-01-2009, 04:46 PM   #1
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For a while now the wife and I have been thinking of building our own rv from a 18-22ft Grumman step van.We like the low floor height and cheap cost.The floor plan we have been sketching out allows for a queen size bed for us but only a possible sofa for the guest or kids.

So I am thinking, what if we scored a cheap pop up and cut off the pop up section, like right below the bottom of the unit where the beds fold up into the body...Then mount it up on the roof of the step van, cutting a hole for access using a ladder. Right now im thinking of using latches outside on the roof to keep it clamped down.

We would only use it when the teens wanna come out with us. Most step vans we see have a roof height of 10 feet so we have some room up there..With only 7 feet across on the inside we don't wanna use any flip down bunks inside other than the sofa.

Any input suggestions are welcome.
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97 INT 4700LPX/unibilt 63" sleeper with small sink,toilet,microwave,16kBTU heat and Hotwater. On a custom air ride frame
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:26 PM   #2
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no no no!....take a pop up trailer and tow it along when the teens come along....they will be away from you some and won't keep you up all nite with the radio-cell phone-Ipods-talking about boys and sex and a hole lot more that kids do these days....piece of mind has it's advantages.......cutting into the main structure of a step van will cause you some problems with flexing....with aluminum bodies there are a thousand things to consider before you start cutting.....geofkaye
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:28 AM   #3
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Towing isnt an option fo us.We will be always towing our rock crawler with us. 20ft trailer and about 8500 lbs.
Parking is also an issue..We stoe the trailer at my job with the truck on it.Adding a stepvan and a popup would be pushing it
If the aluminum body needs support maybe building a frame to support the roof with 1 1/2 dom tubing.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:33 PM   #4
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Can you say "top heavy",...I've driven a couple of box vans & found that they were not well suited to cornering in stock form. Can't imagine what the extra structure & weight of a pop-up would do. Might be ok if you limit speed to 10mph in a turn.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #5
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....they are made to do city delivery's and not much more...suspension is poor at best-needs to be upgraded either way.....I'd suggest new springs and shocks before anything else....only advantage is that the body is re-usable and made to almost aircraft specs in the past-[who knows today].....UPS has a rebuild facility in the south somewhere....they also use a lot of fiberglass parts now as well as sheet plastic fiber roofing....UPS is the leader in that product area....I'd contact them for specs before you start the project.....might save you some grief-and $$$... I have seen a few over the years...underpowered and ugly but for the DYI'er they will work....most are re-powered with diesel or propane around here all are automatics and slugs....heater is a joke and A/C is non existent....we used to call them "portable fishing cabins" and "hunting lodges on wheels" as most were on the river bank or in a private parks.....Matt Gray[he was a black cop with the county] had one and he had about $50k in it over 15 years....went up in flames b/c of electrical overload [yeah, sure Matt!]....had to fight the ins. co. for a year to get a check.....and the "fight" is getting more prevalent in this economy....If you have a loss expect to have to go to court.....geofkaye
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:17 AM   #6
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I know they dont corner like a race car but i will be towing a lifted woods truck on a trailer so thats not an issue.I tow really easy and stay under 70 mph. Hopefully i will be getting one with a gm 6.5 or 6.2..Ive seen a few 7.3 powerstroke vans but they are priced high..A few fuel tweaks and a properly sized turbo and a meth kit it should be fine.

We will be getting a pop up for the camping parts so hopefully we can use the top portion for the loft.I may also make oine with a turtle top and custom canvas from a regular conversion van.. Utilizing linear actuators to raise and lower it with simple relays, limit switches and the like.

As far as reinforcing the rest im pretty capable of that.

Im looking at dhl trucks and fed ex stuff as well as private owners..I wouldn't touch any ups stuff..
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