I am not a van conversion professional or professional handyman. This is a documentation of my experience and you should make your own decisions on how to build your own van, and seek professional guidance if you are unsure. This blog post also contains affiliate links, so if you click a product link and buy from the merchant, I will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not. Buying through my product links is the best way to say thanks if this blog post was at all helpful to you.
I built the tray to be 5′ long despite the sliders only being 4′. This means that 1′ of the slider is still in the van while fully extended. The walls are 4″ high, and I secured everything with 2″ and 20mm corner braces and wood glue.
To attach the sliders I put an 1/8″ ply down under the main tray, and attached the sliders to vertical strips of 3/4″ ply, and then to the tray.
I secured the side pieces to the van floor using the corner braces on the inside and outside.
I left just enough room between the two sliders for 2×4 supports for the bed frame.
Two of these large containers fit perfectly to store our climbing and outdoor gear.
We ended up mounting the second fork mount on a 2×4 to elevate the axle high enough to be over the 4″ wall on the side. This also helps separate the handlebars a bit. Here we also see the rubber mat installed, which I also used on the other tray below the containers.
2X4 and/or 2×2
1/4 ” ply, 1/2″ ply
I built a platform based on the height of the storage bins. I used scrap 2x2s and 2x4s to frame between the vertical 2x4s and the 3/4″ wall, and then made an additional support that aligned with the end of the bed.
Because there was also no vertical support in back, I created one here as well. I decided to set it back about 1′ from the back of the van so that I could still open the rear gearbox (Remember that the trays do not come out all the way). That said if the skis are in, it is still hard to open that box. I also lined this 1/4″ ply top with rubber, since the skis will be wet and might gauge at the wood alone overtime.
I then used the same process to build the layer on top of the skis.
On the inside of the van I used scrap 1x3s, stained and sanded off, and then finished with shellac to create a worn look.
I wired an LED strip light in back, as well as a 110v outlet.
The area above the skis holds a container with off-season clothes, the jack for the car, a toolbox, and the collapsing ladder to get on top of the car.
WHAT IS IN THIS POST? This is the main post, where I have links to pages that cover my DIY campervan conversion on a new 2019 Ram Promaster 3500 159 EXT Wheelbase cargo van. It contains my process, materials used, and things that I think would…