Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Van Converted To Carry All My Windsurfing Equipment

In the middle of last year i managed to get my first van :-) as my Ford Escort estate was becoming too small to transport all my gear to the beach. I managed to pick up a 1998 Long Wheel Base Hi Top Peugeot Boxer Van. I decided early in my search that the van i was looking for had to be a long wheel base so i could fit everything in easily and a Hi Top so you can stand up easily inside the van when getting changed so it was a bonus that i found the exact size van i was looking for. It was also ply lined so this would cut down on the cost of materials needed to convert the interior. Since i got the van though it has constantly been in use either travelling to events or transporting bikes for my dad's bike restoration company so i haven't had the chance to finish the interior and as it wasn't needed for anything this week and the current spell of lack of wind i decided to get it finished.

My first job in the interior was to remove the plywood of the walls of the van so i could insulate the walls. I also decided the wooden floor was in a pretty sorry state so this was removed to be replaced. I got some 12mm Plywood from the local hardware store and using the old floor as a template cut the new plywood so it would fit the floor of the van and installed the new floor. I then got some rolls of loft insulation and fitted these to the walls of the van and reinstalled the old plywood walls that i removed. The main reason i insulated the walls was to reduce a bit of road noise but also help keep the heat in the inside of the van as i intended to sleep in the van at events to help reduce costs. I then got some linoleum used for floors in houses to cover the floor to help keep water of the wood and make it easier to clean. The linoleum i got looks like metal checker plate which has fooled alot of people into thinking i have put a metal floor into the van and i think it looks really cool in the van. As there was no panels on the inside of the doors i made some from 6mm Plywood and installed these on the doors of the van

For the racks for my board i decided to use lengths of 2" x 2" which i got from the local hardware store. First i installed 4 lengths vertically with a brace inbetween them for strength and i then installed 4 lengths horizontally for the racks i will put my boards on. These racks can be removed when i am using the van to transport bikes.

I decided to utilize some space near the back of the van for storing my mast extensions. I got some tool clips, attached these to the wall of the van at the back of the van so i have easy access to them

On the opposite side i decided to utilize the space there for storing my deck plates and got some 6mm Plywood and cut some slots into it for storing my deck plates

As the van is wide enough for me to sleep width-ways without my head or feet touching the sides i decided to use what space was left in the van and build a base for a bed with a shelf underneath for storage. I got some 2" x 2" lengths of wood from the hardware shop and first built the frame for the bed. I have made sure there is a cut out in the frame so i have space to get changed in the van. I will make up another section of MDF on a frame to support it to fill up this gap to put a mattress on when i want to sleep in the van.

And then i installed this into the van, securing it by screwing it the the floor and walls and made the shelf and top from 12mm MDF. On the shelf you can see the two 12" sub woofers for my sound system.

As you can see from the next photo's with all my kit in i can carry everything i have to the beach now and will not have to pick and choose what i take anymore. This will also be great when going away on road trips as you never know what you will need.

You can see in the next picture the cut out in the shelf so i have space to get changed in the van.

Finally as i love my music when i am driving and i will be doing alot of miles travelling to and from events i made sure the sound system was up to scratch by installing a Pioneer Head unit with 2 Pioneer 6 1/2" three way speakers in the front and 2 Pioneer 6 x 9" three way speakers in the back with two JBL 12" sub woofers connected to a JBL amplifier for plenty of bass.

I hope someone can use some of my ideas when converting their own windsurfing vans and if you need any advice please get in touch

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