Oh I have built a nice box in the rear, got some 1/4" red oak plywood years ago cheap, less that luan costs now, so I made 2 runners one on each side, put a 50" wide wall between them 30" from the rear, so the spare tire is boxed in the rear, I just made another 50" wide wall for the front, it's to be 14" high, plywood on top, and maybe a futon mattress on top to sleep on. I'm going to add a stereo system, so far I have a 6 1/4" component setup, then picked up a Pioneer system on sale, came with a pair of 6 1/4" and 6x9" speakers, the big stuff is in my other van waiting till this has the space ready, either my pair of RF HE2 12's or the RFR 15", not made up my mind, an alternator upgrade will be mandatory. I have an event in October, so I gotta get that bed done, been waiting on insulation, so I can cover the walls before finishing my framing.
way cool, this is my current system.. not happy with the MTX subs and debating whether to replace em with some better 12" subs or just one really good 12" sub rated for about 500wrms..
System Config: 2-way Active
Head Unit: Kenwood KDC-X597
Amplifier: MB Quart OA1100.5
Tweeters: Vifa BC25SC06-4
Midrange: CDT Audio CL-5
Subwoofer: MTX TNE212D
My stuff is power series, and power hungry, I don't think anything is as good as it used to be, my 15 is a Rockford Fozgate Power series competition sub, max RMS is 800 watts, back when the 800 watt amp made by them bench tested pushing 1100 watts, got one of those, back in the 90's, like 1992. The HE2 12's, they take a lot of power too, I'd love to put 4 SVC 10's in my van, those that just don't require such a big amp, I don't crank it up like I used to. My 2 12's worked the bolts out of the back windows, you could watch the walls of my van move as if it were breathing, I have them 4" from the back doors firing into them, using the space as if it's another port, a properly built box, one done to the speakers requirement, then tuned for the frequency desired, mine is 35 HZ, it makes all the difference in the world, these prefab boxes are a disgrace since all speakers aren't equal. Invest in a quality pair of speakers, then have a box built by a reputable shop that knows what they are doing.
The 15" fires up, and is ported to the rear, needs rearranged to fire to the rear, replace the top and cut the face, but thinking of putting it in another box, under my bed, needs a builder to design it to my space. https://imageshack.com/i/f7m1wuj
So I get back from the camping weekend and call the garage that had just replaced the engine and told them about the engine codes. They said they would call me back. After a couple days and not hearing anything I just drove the van down and dropped it off. Next day I get a call from the garage owner. He hems and haws a bit then tells me that one possible reason for the codes is problems with the catalytic converters. They've tested mine and both have failed. New ones are around $800 each.
Did you ever have one of those moments of absolute clarity where you can actually see into the future? I had one right then and I'm betting some of you who have been in a similar situation have had one too. I'm going to spend a lot of money on this and it's not going fix the problem with the codes.
To be clear, I've no doubt the converters need replaced. The whole exhaust system had me worried for a while. Having dropped around $4500 on the new engine It just hurt to spend another big chunk of change. I really had no confidence that this would clear the codes and would have made a good bet that they had just hooked up something wrong on the engine rebuild.
There's a British saying, "In for Penny, in for a Pound." I was definitely already in for a penny so might as well go for the Pound. Told him to go ahead and replace the complete exhaust system.
Back up on the rack.
Notice the bulge between the muffler and the "Y". It's a flexible fitting that the old exhaust didn't have.
One of the old catalytic converters was so far gone it rattled.
Pick up the van after it's done and pay the bill.
Bet you already know how the rest of this goes. Start the van and drive downtown for some carryout. Get the carryout and hop back into the van and guess what. The engine codes are back. Wasn't surprised. Disappointed but not surprised.
Drop the van off the next morning. The entire conversation went like this. "Codes are back."
Took them a few more days but after a couple false leads, they got it figured out. A couple vacuum lines on the engine had been hooked up wrong. One added benefit is I got the emergency brakes fixed for free.
So I bring Hal home to this.
Say "Hello" to my new barn. You know all those tools I've been collecting as this build has progressed? Well the mill I had delivered via huge tow truck caused the garage to reach critical mass. Had to do something. Hence the barn. I had the builder do a modification to the original plans so Hal could fit inside.
There's not enough room in the barn for both the van and and everything I want to put in there but I can use it to work on Hal off the street. With the barn being built, and me paying for it, at the same time as all this was going on with Hal it sometimes felt as if I was just hemorrhaging cash.
That being said, van does run real nice now and I'm back to using it for trips again.
And on the bright side, when I bought the van in 2009 it only cost me $2500 while the Penthouse I had SMB install cost $5000. So for once the van is now officially worth more than the Penthouse top.
Thanks for the report. One thing I might mention is that a lot of aftermarket exhaust pipes are plain steel instead of stainless like the original system. Exhaust systems last a really long time these days. My '02's system is just fine except for a rattling heat shield that I have to track down.
Good luck with Hal, and it's good to see him on the road again.
Ever since Saturday Night Live did a comedy bit on “Living in a van down by the River” (pretty funny, I thought), some people figure that traveling/living in a van is one step above desperation. But if a person doesn't have a problem with small spaces, you can turn a cargo van into a nice little micro-RV that’ll go just about anywhere.
My E-150 is equipped with wi-fi, lots of photography gear, a mountain bike, an inflatable kayak, a comfortable chair and bed, stove/cooking gear, a toilet, and a solar system. I wash my body (just like you would your face) with a soapy microfiber cloth, using a plastic dishpan for a sink and gallon jugs of water refilled at Glacier water machines. It may not be conventional, but it gets you squeaky clean.
I’ve been van camping for a year now, in the western U.S., and I wrote a book about putting my little camper together. I took a “casual” approach to the interior, so it’s not so much “house-like” as it is practical and reasonably priced: Build a camper van
Read the complete build thread, awesome is all I can say!! Thanks for all the time you have put into this thread, there is a ton of information here that will be very useful for me as I am getting ready to do my own conversion. Glad Hal is back on the road and you are enjoying time camping. Thanks again for the documentation!
You're welcome Forganator, Haven't been posting much about work on the van since I've spent most weekends living in it this summer. Always wanted to bike the entire C&O Canal (184 miles) so I did it twice using the van as a mobile base camp.
Count me among those glad to see Hal back on the road, fulfilling its original mission. For those of us who've followed this thread it was disappointing to think the engine/exhaust issues might be the end.
There's a lot to be learned about building a E-Series out into a camper plus a few of the ideas are just good sound practices too, applicable to even a very basic built out.
BTW did anyone else notice this thread has been viewed in excess of 200,000 times so far?