Oct 5, 2019 update to the Ford E-250 project car

Project Van: Lights, Awning, Table

We’re working on turning this $2000 van into a do-it-all machine that can tow a car to the track, then serve as a mobile workshop and hotel room for the weekend.

We've told most of our van's story at this point, but looking back there are a few odds and ends we haven't covered. Time to fix that. 

Fuse Box and Solar Panel

How do we power all of the 12-volt accessories we've added to the van? We've been down the road of splice onto splice onto splice before, and it's not a great way to power lots of stuff. So for this project, we instead ran one fused wire from our battery to a boat fuse box mounted near our van's side door, and power everything from that. It keeps the wiring simpler and safer. It's also where we plug in our solar panel when we're stopped. 


Like any good RV, our van needed an awning, since shade is awesome while at the track, and even better when camping there. After dismissing expensive, complicated RV awnings and hating the experience of lugging around pop-up tents, we added a handyman’s ladder rack and bolted an ARB Awning to it. These awnings are really popular with the off-road crowd, but work perfectly for our van, too. 



Nobody working on a car in a dark paddock has ever said: "Darn, there's just too much light around here!" We added an RV dome light to the van’s roof, and LED light bars on the outside to light up camp. We also installed a 12v fan over our bed, and a few extra 12v power outlets to run phone chargers or anything else we could think of. We bolted a rechargeable Maglite to the side of the driver’s seat, making it easy to grab a flashlight whenever we need one.


We wanted to be able to carry extra passengers, and have a place to sit when camping. We grabbed this pair of seats from a shuttle bus for $100 on Craigslist, then bolted them down to make a dinette in the van. We made the table out of scrap plywood and E-track fittings–it's easily removable or adjustable without tools. We normally only keep the rear-facing seat installed, since having the second seat installed means we can't fit 8' sheets of plywood in the van. 

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View comments on the GRM forums
CyberEric HalfDork
10/5/19 11:52 a.m.

Man, this is getting more “wow” all the time.

Does the bed fit behind those seats or do you have to keep the back one removed?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
10/5/19 1:48 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

The bed fits behind them, but the Decked drawers require the rear one to be removed. 

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