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Old 02-01-2021, 12:16 AM   #1
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New (to me) Zombie Apocalypse box van conversion

I had sold my scruffy 1977 Elkhart/Ford Class C in late 2019 -- the prior owner missed it and was happy to take it back with all the restoration I had done on the rotted interior (and I was glad to send it back to somebody with more mechanical skills than me to keep it running.)

But I missed having a camper and discovered and bought this unique Penske box van conversion from a guy in Salt Lake City who restores and rents vintage pull behind trailers. He builds one of these conversions every few years for his own use, then sells them to build the next one with new ideas. This one, based on a 2006 GMC Savana 3500 chassis, has everything I need. It's designed for total boondocking with 50 gallon water and waste tanks and dual 23 gallon propane tanks plus genset and solar.

He insulated the box and installed birch plywood wall with a light oiled finish, plenty of nice big windows, 480 watts of solar for the lighting and water pump, Onan 5000 watt propane genset, 50 gallon water tank, gas water heater, full aluminum and fiberglass custom built shower, Thetford porcelain "throne" (both are behind the curtain beside the bed) and a nicely equipped little kitchenette. The bed is Murphy style and folds up against the window wall so the back can be used for cargo -- overhead rear door is intact and insulated with foam and upholstered. Came fully furnished and equipped -- I just sewed new upholstery covers and curtains all around (the originals were black and white tiki bar theme -- not my groove.) Instead of the usual rooftop AC the builder puts standard room window units above the cab behind the custom spoiler. Clearance for the unit is 10' 2" with the only thing on the roof the flat solar array.

The builder did a super job on this and everything is expertly fitted out. Even has a pull out gas barbecue grille built into the entrance side, just behind the man door.

The big draw for me was the full rear door so I can use it as a toy hauler. The builder put in vinyl tile for the back half of the cabin. I can carry even my longest kayak inside, just walk it up the pull out ramp instead of having to wrestle it onto a car roof rack. I've hauled construction materials in it already and even helped a friend move a motorcycle (the builder placed several heavy duty eyebolts around the floor for load tie downs.)

I took 2 short and one week long trip with it in the Fall and just put it in indoor storage for the winter. Hoping to take it on extended trips to the Northeast and then West this Summer. Drives and handles like a dream. I even love that the builder kept the Penske sunflower yellow. The rig gets attention everywhere I go and everyone wants a tour.
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Old 02-01-2021, 12:21 AM   #2
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More interior shots and the rear opening.
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Old 02-01-2021, 04:32 AM   #3
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Great looking repurpose of a vehicle.
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Old 02-01-2021, 09:11 AM   #4
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Congrats on the new rig! Be safe, have fun, and keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 02-01-2021, 09:33 AM   #5
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That's really cool. Good use of space. Does the builder have a You Tube channel or anything? Would love to see some more of his ideas.
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Old 02-01-2021, 02:23 PM   #6
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Congrats on a good looking rig.
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Old 02-01-2021, 04:19 PM   #7
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Enjoy it.
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Old 02-01-2021, 05:22 PM   #8
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Super nice!
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Old 02-01-2021, 05:48 PM   #9
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If everyone wants a tour of your new toy charge them a dollar each and you’ll make some gas money while satisfying their curiosity.

Looking good to me!
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Old 02-02-2021, 10:14 AM   #10
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Jergle: The builder is Todd Anderson and his website is velcrostrip.com. He still has some photos up of my rig and details about what he put into it (the 2006 GMC "Armageddon" truck) on the page.

https://velcrostrip.com/06GMC2.html

His specialty is restoring cute vintage tow behinds which he sells. Also apparently has a fleet of them that he rents. Business was good this year, he reported, with so many people choosing to safely isolate themselves and family in a self contained travel "pod" with so many places closed or sketchy due to contagion.

I was glad I had the camper this year since it enabled me to travel without having to share rest rooms or eateries with strangers. And when I visited kin and friends in other states I could just camp out in their driveways and not have to put them out accommodating me.
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