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95 AWD camper van

184502 Views 1580 Replies 62 Participants Last post by  tenantny
When I bought it in the fall.


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Lumpy said:
..Yours looks more "Recreational" instead of "Ominous". The more yellow version does not balance as well with the black trim.
I agree, I was just saying that in my head I'd pictured something between that khaki color on the Ford Raptor and the khaki color mandated by the DOE for high desert buildings. More of a tan with a green/grey tint then a green with a tan undertone. It's just rattle can spray paint so I'm not worried a bit and think it turned out great. Plus, Josh acts like it's what he always dreamed it would be and it's his choice so we're good to go. I'm completely happy with it.
Previous owner was a "free spirit" and lived it for a while.

Nice build man! looks really good, I like the color with the black lower trim. :thumbup:
:rofl: read my mind!
Just don't look at the carpet/walls/ceiling/chairs with a UV light ;)
scorean said:
We'll figure something out with the roof.. it's got that weird hump in the middle that we'll likely cut out and make it a more uniformed sweep. We've talked about making the raised cap more of a blended light olive to tan to grey. The flat surface would be easier for solar which I've got him reading up on thin film flexible panels and wiring. Told him I wasn't buying the hardware until he could put together a technical presentation to explain how it all works.
One of the issues with Flex Panel is you glue it down to the roof. If it fails it's a Pain in the @$$ to replace. They aren't as efficient as Panels and the wiring looks like Crap if not done right. My Van has a 16" tall topper, I've lifted it 3" and have yet to get cool AT tires but that will only raise the roof height more. I have limited options. Your Roof is nice and Low Profile. I'd consider Making a custom roof rack and incorporate your Solar into the Rack. The Rack can hide the panels so as to add stealth and avoid theft of panel/s. It could be fun project.

Looking great! My plasti-Dip may be removed soon for some bed liner paint. Just need some nice days since the van is too tall for my garage.

Looking forward to your Swing out Tire Rack. Also I would love to see and hear more about your "Basement" Will it be locked? What's going in to it? How will you access it? More, more, more.... :)

Best of luck I'll keep an eye.
I've kicked around ideas for the tire rack - mostly where to mount it. The original idea was to come off the bumper like jeeps but I think it makes more sense to use the hinges on the left rear door. I've got an aluminum ladder to mount to the right rear door that doesn't block the license plate too bad.
srdragonusa said:
Looking forward to your Swing out Tire Rack. Also I would love to see and hear more about your "Basement" Will it be locked? What's going in to it? How will you access it?
Thanks for the encouragement, suggestions, and interest! As for the basement.. it's essentially just a box where the spare tire used to be. The front left corner has a notched section to box around the left rear upper shock mount point. We could have made it deeper but didn't want to limit our approach and departure angles. In hindsight, we could have made it 4"-6" deeper and never missed a beat. It's used the same as a garage or basement in a house. Storage for stuff you need but don't need all the time. I use it for a tool box, camping gear, 2 weeks worth of long term food storage, a water filtration system, tire chains, tow straps, pry bars, a few spare parts, etc etc. It's only accessible from inside - just sits under a plywood lid that's level with the interior floor. I'll get around to sound deadening it and carpet someday.
The plan is to expand the basement concept with a second bin running parallel down the right side of the driveshaft from the front subframe to around where the right leaf spring hangers are mounted.
I am going to check my friends Astro Work Van. The Cargo Work vans have a metal Bumper with a plastic cover just on top as oppose to the full plastic cover on my passenger Astro. I'll take measurements and see if I can fabricate (or get a friend to help Fab) the swing Rack.
scorean said:
... Previous owner was a "free spirit" and lived it for a while. She's a nice girl that's getting her life on track and is about to be a momma. I send her regular updates on the progress.
Would the name of that "free spirit" possibly be " voltsmith " ? EDIT: Did not see the earlier mention. :shrug:
No wait ... you mentioned it's a girl. Oh well, thought it was a small world after all...

:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:

The stock metal bumper under all that plastic isn't half bad Paul, that's what is on the BatVan here:

Just some square holes along the top for the pad to sit in, other than that it's pretty clean looking with matching paint (bedliner). If you wanna add a swing out, you will want to reinforce it a bit... not sure how well it would work with the dutch doors hitting the mount...

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I took my cover off and thought the same thing. Only problem with mine were some nasty rust holes one either corner. Still weighing options.. as for the swing out, the doors were the main reason for looking at the hinges as the mount points. Much easier and no obstruction considerations to design around.
That came out looking great. Seriously.
I was thinking TurnNBurn's setup just on our stock Bumper. I could reenforce with Gussets on the inside maybe to add vertical strength. Or just get a huge square tube and cap the ends.
sixsix said:
... that "free spirit" ...

... No wait ... you mentioned it's a girl...
I was never quite sure. I'm still not.

sixsix said:
... that "free spirit" ...
... No wait ... you mentioned it's a girl...
FYI - it was the OP that mentioned HIS "Free Spirit" ... etc.

scorean said:
... Previous owner was a "free spirit" and lived it for a while. She's a nice girl ...
That van looks amazing!
I love the tire to lift ratio... but... its probably a noob question since I don't see any one else asking... hows the clearance with 32" tires and 3" lift (was it?)?

From what I read, I ended up going to a 4" to fit 30" tires, but would have loved to go bigger on tire! Too late now, but I'm just dying of curiosity here about how it all fits together for you!

32's will probably not fit very well without some serious hacking to way more then just your bumper fascia and the back of the wheel well. And even then will likely rub. I could probably squeak in 32's into my setup but since my van goes off road pretty often it would rub more then I am interested in finding out. Food for thought, the radius of the wheel well is 33inches.

Paul- That's all my bumper is, a 2x8 piece of rectangular tube with the ends capped. Cost like 37 bucks at a local steel supplier. Then just weld the latch and hinge on, and figure out how your tire is going to mount and call it a day. My setup is very simple, took like 4 hours of planning and measuring. Maybe 2 hours of actual welding
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