Box Truck conversion and roof weight capacity

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Box Truck conversion and roof weight capacity

Post by PitterPatter » Mon May 14, 2012 10:23 pm

Anyone know of some resources for box truck conversions. We purchased a 14' Ford Econoline 350 two years ago and it's time to start increasing its usefulness. Thinking of reinforcing the roof with expanded metal to create a space to store bikes for transport and then convert to a viewing platform on playa.
Also curious if others have done something similar - pros/cons, ideas welcomed.

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Re: Box Truck conversion and roof weight capacity

Post by TomServo » Mon May 14, 2012 10:43 pm

Well, if they're anything like the roofs on a 53' Dry Van, I'd build a solid structure inside the cargo, might as well pull it out and use that instead of the truck. I had to climb on my trailer, to tape up a hole..and did so gingerly, trying to place most of my weight on the wall and cross beams. May have actually caused more damage in the process. You can get away with reinforcing it for bikes, I'm sure...but I'd use all that valuable space, to haul up a separate viewing platform.
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Re: Box Truck conversion and roof weight capacity

Post by gyre » Tue May 15, 2012 5:43 pm

Depends on the truck.

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Re: Box Truck conversion and roof weight capacity

Post by trilobyte » Tue May 15, 2012 6:09 pm

That roof's probably not going to be load bearing without a lot of work. Especially if you're thinking viewing platform, since that almost always results in scenarios where more people than you expected will be up there sometime. We've got a Chevy cargo van and had similar interests a few years ago, we went the road of a monstrous steel roof rack that was welded directly to the frame of the vehicle (at the base, with the posts coming up through the roof). Totally over-engineered and now I can't park it in a garage, but plenty strong enough to use for anything from gear haulage to art car to observation deck and beyond.

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Re: Box Truck conversion and roof weight capacity

Post by Foxfur » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:13 am

Post and beam the inside. Use 4x4's is affordable.
Otherwise use a strongbacked 2x as a truss joist (t-back a 2x perpendicularlly centered on the joist) and slap jackstuds under it on the sides secured to the existing verticals. Use liquid nails on everything before nailing and it wont come apart in transit (or ever).
Then go nuts and use the roof as an observation platform. Post some 4ft verticals around the outside of the top and string up some rope.
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Re: Box Truck conversion and roof weight capacity

Post by motskyroonmatick » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:24 am

Buy a roof rack for it. The kind carpenters and plumbers use. Should work well for both applications.

Something like this.

There are probably roof racks made for the brand and size of the box you have on your truck. A little bit of research or a trip to a work truck aftermarket accessory shop might give you what you need.
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