(Another) E350 Uhaul to Race Hualer conversion - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking (Another) E350 Uhaul to Race Hauler conversion build

I have googled countless internet pages on "Uhaul to RV conversion" and many links lead me to this site. So I'm looking to share my build and gain on some of your personal do's and do not.

The Vehicle -
1999 E350 Uhaul (std. 200k)
Engine - V10 (runs strong, shifts strong)
Body - 14ft Box with 3ft "attic" and the body has no rust

The usage - Towing my race boat, 4x4 ATV (inside hauler), pit area and sleeper on the road for long trips.

I have used "Box Trucks" in the past for Motocross so I figured this would work great for this application.






Last edited by 2 Trick Rick; 10-28-2015 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The graphics will be Metallic silver, Gun metal and white.. nothing fancy that shows "racing". I have been pulled over before in Michigan for running a race team vehicle not correctly registered.




The inside is laid out to scale, or really close.. The rear shop area will hold my 4x4 ATV that's used to tow the boat from the pits to the crane.

I found a 2x3ft shower / toilet combo if needed in the future but every race site is next to a marina that has facility so it will be storage until I feel its needed.

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.

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Old 10-28-2015, 11:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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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 with a microwave.



drawing to scale or really close of the boat and hauler.




Not going to lie, this is going to be a few month build as I work to 7pm every night so not much will get done during week-day hours.
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Step 1 was removing all the old Uhaul hardware used to strap down cargo.





I used a heavy rubber button style floor in the back and carried to the front. At some point I'll carpet the front over the rubber. This should help reduce road noise.



I attached 3/4" insulation board into the roof, than plastic and covered it with a shinny water resistant board. The areas that the boards butted up where covered with a custom trim part made from 1/2 x 3" plywood covered with a tan velvet.

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Old 10-28-2015, 12:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you're going to try for an "I'm not racing, just camping" look you might want to mount some downriggers on the back of that boat and a trolling motor on the front!
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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#1 - where is the info on the boat?

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This should help reduce road noise.
#2 - It appears you are adding a pass-through between the cab and the box. Have you picked what seal?
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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#1 - where is the info on the boat?



#2 - It appears you are adding a pass-through between the cab and the box. Have you picked what seal?
To answer 1 first: Info is very difficult to come buy. Last year I watched a offshore race from Dubai and saw these little suckers ripping around. The are 24-25ft in length, powered by 225 ETecs and run around 100mph. For this past season I ran a Mercury 200xsROS engine, I'll be swapping to a ETec next summer if I have the extra $$$.

I jumped on facebook, started e-mailing people "tagged" in the photos till I found someone who spoke English. He than put me in touch with the manufacture and I bought he previous years race boat. It was shipped from Istanbul Turkey and now in my garage.




#2: I'll be using an aluminum L channel on both sides with a rubber gasket in between to reduce noise, allow small amount of movement and keep water out. (simple drawing I just did attached) - if this wont work I'll get a gasket from the semi company in Ohio.

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Old 10-28-2015, 02:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Step 1 was removing all the old Uhaul hardware used to strap down cargo.

I'm not familiar with what Uhaul for tie down rails. Do they have holes in the for hooks, or were they just spaced off the walls?

Wondering if they wouldn't be a cheap alternative to E-track for the plain walls in my enclosed trailer. (Michigan was mentioned, I see a Michigan plate. Are you from Michigan? Still have your pile of rails?)

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Old 10-28-2015, 03:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Rick, Welcome to Pirate

this (and the boat) sounds very interesting
keep the updates coming
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm not familiar with what Uhaul for tie down rails. Do they have holes in the for hooks, or were they just spaced off the walls?

Wondering if they wouldn't be a cheap alternative to E-track for the plain walls in my enclosed trailer. (Michigan was mentioned, I see a Michigan plate. Are you from Michigan? Still have your pile of rails?)
Yes I'm from Michigan, Chesterfield to be more precise. They were rubber sleeved aluminum rails spaced an inch or so off the wall with aluminum blocks and I no longer have them.
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yes I'm from Michigan, Chesterfield to be more precise.
23 mile and D.W. Seaton by the Salt River golf course.

I want to come over and see the project/boat.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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23 mile and D.W. Seaton by the Salt River golf course.

I want to come over and see the project/boat.
Sunday I should be around working on the Cube, Boat and yard if the weathers nice. I'm on Jefferson, 1/4 Mile down from Cotton Rd on the water. With all the toys in the driveway I'm easy to find.. lol
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Last night I roughed in the walls. I used 2 x 3's for the extra 1" of room.. lol. Boards were attached to each other with deck screws, than each junction around the door frames have been interlocked with nailing plates just to help reduce twisting and pulling.



Lower framing was attached to the floor with self tapping 3" bolts. I kept the rubber under the wood to reduce squeaking and did the same on the walls.



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Old 10-29-2015, 11:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Just might make it there, thanks !
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thinking about a pass-through into the cab?
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thinking about a pass-through into the cab?
I think he is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michigander View Post
...#2 - It appears you are adding a pass-through between the cab and the box. Have you picked what seal?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Trick Rick View Post
...#2: I'll be using an aluminum L channel on both sides with a rubber gasket in between to reduce noise, allow small amount of movement and keep water out. (simple drawing I just did attached) - if this wont work I'll get a gasket from the semi company in Ohio.

Probably what's drawn on the front wall in this pic
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Last edited by mwilliamshs; 10-29-2015 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
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good stuff.

Are you going to drill through the floor and secure your framework to the chassis?
if it's like the big ones there will be an angle iron flange the box is bolted to. You can drill it, it's not hardened, and run big boy bolts. i'd be worried that self tappers would pull out of the floor, there's not a lot of material in there since it's built like a cardboard box.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Seems like you'd want a more compliant gasket than that. I've seen that interaction move quite a bit. The box is bolted to the frame and the cab is on rubber mounts, combine that with frame flex from towing and you might have issues.
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thinking about a pass-through into the cab?
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I think he is.

Probably what's drawn on the front wall in this pic
Dammit! I fail for scrolling too fast!



Add a couple of covered outdoor receptacles. Assuming you'll be using either generator or shore power when at a race....and have shore power when parked at home. They're useful both for the build and for a ton of later uses both at home and while camping.
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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All good ideas - I have done a few walls with the self tappers before like this on similar projects, but a couple bolts wont hurt so I'll run a few before I seal up the walls.

I looked at the models that already have a cut-a-way. Those have the same rubber mount cabs with a firm mount between the box and van with no problems that I'm aware of... but nothing is set in stone yet, so the more ideas the better.




( Ford with Cut-a-way)
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:27 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Are you thinking a ~4' wide cutout?

Flush up on the drivers side with the front of your cabinets...
Passenger side dinette will lap into the cutout about a foot--or make a flip-up seat/base like some old slide-in cabover pickup campers used so you have more space to move in and out, but can flip the seat up to have more at the table, or to have a full-width bed.

Also realize that the cabinet right there and the dinette base are in arms-reach of your cab while driving. I don't know if you drive long distances, but consider hinging those cabinets for accessibility while driving, even if it makes them slightly less convenient in camp. This would be a great spot for a refrigerator. If you don't drive long distances, disregard.
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Old 10-30-2015, 03:58 PM   #22 (permalink)
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imho with the "extended" Van cab you have there is probably no need for a full size opening to recline seats
so a narrow passage like the one pic you posted may gives you more wall space to use for other things ?!?
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:04 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I like the open feel of the larger cut out.

Far as travel, 99.99% of the time I'll have the throttle man and mechanic with use.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:35 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:44 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Now the fun part, enclosing the "lounge" - sure makes this small space feel even smaller. But maybe that will change when the windows are cut in.

I used a thin insulation board to bring the 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 thing 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.



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