Newbie here just posting

Introduce Yourself…

I’m from southwest Pa and I’m 70. Picked up a 1999 Ford E350 shuttle bus to haul my gold wing trike and to sorta live in while traveling. It needs a ton of metal work under the floor. Frame is good but side Chanel’s and side down tubes for the walls are some what rotted out. But I was a metal fabricator and welding for 30 years. I have all the metal and a welder so I got that covered. The plywood floor is 2/3 pulled out so only have 1/3 to go. The side, back Chanel’s replacement then floor and then down tubes. Then cut out the back and build a drop down ramp to load the bike. All in in total cost will be about 5 grand to get it on the road. That includes the cost of the bus it’s self.?

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I have a similar interest, 71 NY and like to exchange van build ideas.
Nice vehicle for the build out/Goldwing transport. Sounds like you are creating a combo mini toy hauler and camper RV. Decades of welding experience is a tremendous asset. That doesn’t appear to be a trade that artificial intelligence is going to eliminate anytime soon.
Like to know what other living necessities and comforts you are installing in the vehicle.
I have a Chevy express 3500 extended passenger van. My biggest challenge is I must have a way to take a short shower in the van which is what I am currently working on. In the process of installing a 40x24 utility sink/tub, under carriage 11 gal gray water tank, IsoTemp slim-15 glycol water heater and associated pump, faucets and fresh water tank below the tub. Prefer not to use public facilities.
Have a rough in placement for the battery system, refrigerator, cabin heater and air conditioner, propane cook top (all which can change as I get into this).
Hope to continue the dialogue.

Ez. Nice to meet you. You are talking about a shower. I really won’t be living in my van except while on the road. I plan on using Loves truck stops for my shower needs while on the road. My half sister has used these and is picky as hell. But says that for like 10 bucks you can use them. She says the ones she has used are cleaner than hotels that she has stayed in.I’ll shower every other day and either sponge bath or use those hospital wipes on the off days. As for rest rooms I’ll use road side rest or truck stops. I was n the military for over 20 years so I’ve used primitive facilities before through 2 wars. No big deal for me. I’ll be using 2 5 gallons plastic new gas can one for fresh water the other for gray water under a cabinet inside. Drain when needed. I have an older tent trailer that I’m taking the 12 volt/ 120 volt/ propane reefer out of with the cabinet that it sits in. Has a sink and 2 burner stove. I’m taking the roof air conditioner off and installing it on the roof of the van it has a heat strip built in. I plan on mounting a generator on the rear tubular bumper I’ll build on a hinge so I can swing it out of the way so I can lower the ramp.I’ll build a single bed right behind the drivers seat to sleep at night. Other than that I think I’ll be good to go. Here is my e mail address so we can send pictures as we go along on the build if you want. .

Nice to share the van build experience. So much information and equipment to unpack on a van build project like this. Precisely the reason why my previous camping has been in a travel trailer, full equipped that I just buy, hitch to my van and go.
Now I am into this van life project and to suit my particular needs, I will need to do considerable research and build time. Yes, it is nice to know that there are public facilities. This is my humble attempt, to some small degree, to distance myself (not completely) from contemporary culture. RV and van life seems perfect for me at this time of my life. It also brings back hippy “on the road again” roots. The technology available to the RV industry today is extraordinary and I want to enjoy it while I still have my health and mobility.
Now to the van build. I do not have the interior space you have so I will mount my gray water tank under the van. I made a cardboard model of three different size tanks and now I have to install plumbing fittings to make sure everything will fit. Will either use a tank from or a tank made for a Mercedes Sprinter van. ClassAcustoms has a large selection, rectangular space saving tanks a surprisingly low prices.
Will be in touch with photos as I get the tub and tank installed.

I get you not wanting to use public facilities. I was just say it doesn’t matter to me. Yea as for the build. I’ve been buying stuff for the past year of things I’d like to have plus stuff I need. The instrument panel is crap and instead of trying to trace down all the wiring or having a new gage system rebuilt I just got new led gauges and I’ll wire it in myself. Biggest thing is metal and floor replacement and build the ramp. But I plan on taking it out west mid July. So as soon as the weather breaks it’s all hands on deck to finish it up. Outside looks like crap but I’m not worried about that this year. I’ll just classify it as a rat mobile. Inside and dependable motor is all I’m concerned about at this point. Send me your e mail and I’ll shoot you some pics once I get started. It will be soon tho. Good luck

This video showed me how to repair a rust hole in a vehicle. Thought you may find it helpful.

Also regarding rust I just discovered Fluid Film to spray on the undercarriage, frame, rocker panels and in the door cavities. Not only does it retard rust from spreading it 'creeps" into the hard to get places not sprayed. Wish I had known of this stuff 10 years ago when I bought my van.

Do not know anything about the dashboard instrument panel. I did replace the resistor modules on my dash and rear passenger blower motors. Only a few blower speeds worked. Now all the speeds work. Nice convenience.

I was planning to go upstate, Roudout Valley campground Accord NY, for 2 weeks mid April but I am dragging my feet on the reservations because I want to get my tub and gray water tanks installed and hooked up. If the gray water tank takes too long to come in I will go to the campground as I cannot do much without that. may take 4 weeks for the fresh water tank/s to arrive and I do not know how long the Mercedes Sprinter gray water tank will take to get here.
Will send you some pictures as soon as I get something significant accomplished.

Sorry it took a minute to get back to you. AS or the dash panel, everything either doesn’t work or is faulty. It’s just easier to replace with single guages and retire. I have more wires shut of taped off that I’m not going to trace as I have no idea what they are for. The lights inside I’ll just replace with LED and rewire through a relay and switch. The most important thing over the next month is getting the metal work done. Weather depending because I’m working out side. My target goal is mid July for the road trip to Idaho for a few weeks. I’ve done body work before and welded in panels that. Need replacing so no worries there. Not my favorite thing to do but with the inspection laws in Pa it a must. So I’ll get it done. Ok nuff for now talk at ya later.

Good to your plan is underway. Regarding rust, I have only one area to do, the rocker panel under the drivers door is rusting so I will have a new one welded in before I mount my waste water tank close to that door. Only had relatively minor rust issues as the16 year old Chevy express van has been garaged.
I also want to replace my rear ceiling interior passenger lights with LED. They all work as designed but they are not very bright. I want to disconnect those rear ceiling lights from the starting battery and connect it to my house batteries which I did not select or install yet. Want to get through a hot and cold water delivery system with a shower tub before I work on the electric assemblies. I have installed the 40x24x14"high tub behind the first bench seat. (which converts to my bed). Having a passenger van, as you do, it is fairly easy to remove the side panels and run wires, insulation, sound deadening material etc. behind the factory molded plastic walls.