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Saguache Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:14 am

As soon as my Burley A-arms come in, I'm lifting Zeno. For a 2WD van he's going to stand a bit taller than normal (not that he doesn't already) and this is going to make a bit of space down below. I'm thinking about the possibility of adding some additional stowage there, like the cargo boxes you see on this LT35. Has anyone else done something like this? Photos (the images on this LT were taken at night)?


wyomingriviera Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:56 am

Are you lifting it because you want ground clearance? or are you lifting it to make storage room under it?

pnwkayaker Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:58 am

Das Mule (Dasmule.com) will soon begin offering their cargo cages that are located in the same spot. I saw an earlier version installed in a Syncro that shiped to South America and they are very nice.
They are a little bit shallower than the boxes in your picture (sit flush with the rails) but for a Syncro that's great because you don't loose ground clearance,

joseph928 Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:42 am

wyomingriviera wrote: Are you lifting it because you want ground clearance? or are you lifting it to make storage room under it? :bay_blue: WHY! I like the rack on the roof . More storage less cost and by far more ground clearance . Even 2wd are great off road why would you want less clearance! :D

vw7266 Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:04 am

How much crap do you want to carry that you actually need a storage space underneath...

I alway revel in the fact that I dont need tons of stuff thats why I own a vanagon and not a huge RV

IdahoDoug Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:13 am

I understand the uniqueness of stowing that way - including the lower center of gravity of a vehicle you are lifting and thus making more dangerous in emergency handling. But it just seems like hard-fought storage that could be easily accomplished elsewhere. The container will need to be seriously dust and water proof, and whenever you are accessing it, the box will be coated with road grime. In an offroad situation, it is a serious loss of ground clearance - far more than the height gained in a mild lift. Finally, it will be expensive storage because it will be virtually custom made.

By contrast, roof storage is removable when not needed, above the road grime zone, cheap, easily accessed, won't affect ground clearance, and provides many more configuration options.

I know that wasn't the question, but just throwing it out there.

joetiger Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:06 am

Semantics aside, there was a guy either here or on the Vanagon List a few years back put a welded a metal box in that spot underneath the sliding door.

It was secured with bolts and grommets through the floor I think. It was only about three inches deep as I recall, but probably 1' by 3'. He used it for tools. I haven't been able to find a photo of it, but it was cool and appeared to have very little effect on ground clearance.

ETA: I realized that it was the "A Vanagon For All Seasons" website, one of the greatest ever, and it's GONE! What a drag! :(

IdahoDoug Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:54 am

Yeah, I loved that storage box, too. My reaction to it would be a place to keep things you're not going to need except for a situation. Such as a spare part, etc. If you're loaded to the gills and heading out on a trip and out of storage, then you've likely got the floor busy already. So accessing under floor stuff means moving things to get to it. But I thought it was a terrific idea and solves my issues above regarding ground clearance loss, and dirt since you access it from the van.

Good call pointing it out, but bummer it is gone. This underfloor location was also used on that amazing Syncro thread where they installed a reinforced roof rack that electrically raised and lowered so the poptop was usable even with hundreds of pounds were up there.

DougM

Saguache Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:18 pm

joetiger wrote: Semantics aside, there was a guy either here or on the Vanagon List a few years back put a welded a metal box in that spot underneath the sliding door.

It was secured with bolts and grommets through the floor I think. It was only about three inches deep as I recall, but probably 1' by 3'. He used it for tools. I haven't been able to find a photo of it, but it was cool and appeared to have very little effect on ground clearance.

ETA: I realized that it was the "A Vanagon For All Seasons" website, one of the greatest ever, and it's GONE! What a drag! :(

My primary motivation is to build external storage for my rolling tool set and spare parts I might need to carry. I saw the stowage on that LT35 (which I have been drooling over since it was posted) and thought that its actually kind of a nice idea. Plus if you limit the box depth and width to fit in the area below the slider and to not exceed the frame you don't lose much in the way of clearance. Would be even cooler if the door opened on the stowage and then a tray with all my tools rolled out, but that's just me dreaming.

We've got a lot of snow on the ground right now otherwise I'd take my tool kit and lay it out next to the van to see how well it might fit, as-is. Sure would be nice to get some of this stuff out of the cabin and living space. Ever had a can of WD-40 spring a leak in your cabinets? I'd even be willing to give up a little clearance if I could keep that smell out of the wood and carpet.

Lower center of gravity and distribution of weight (left and right) are also nice benefits to doing it this way.

To answer the couple of questions about the pending lift, I'm lifting Zeno because a) the springs and shocks I have on there now are shot and need to be replaced and b) because the additional clearance will be welcome considering some of the places I like to go. Plus the slightly taller vanagon looks pretty damn cool in my opinion.

buildyourown Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:03 pm

I intend to build an underfloor box in Das Mule doesn't come thru with an affordabel option I like. I think it's the perfect place for heavy tools, spares and recovery gear. It's low, it's centered on the vehicle, and it offsets the driver's side weight of a westy.

Steelhead Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:08 pm

What are the dimensions of that space? How about a long ammo can (already watertight) that snaps up there? Something like this?


http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-120-MM-Mortar-Military-S...4ab1396c9d

held up with some lockable tension latches?

Saguache Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:20 pm

Steelhead wrote: What are the dimensions of that space? How about a long ammo can (already watertight) that snaps up there? Something like this?



Awesome idea, I've already been looking for smaller boxes for the bumpers, but if I can find a long box that is oriented correctly I might have a cheap, bolt on solution.

jackbombay Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:42 pm

Steelhead wrote: What are the dimensions of that space? How about a long ammo can (already watertight) that snaps up there? Something like this?

Done and done, my van had one under the slider, virtually undetectable to all but the most discerning vanagon eye if it is painted black.

IdahoDoug Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:56 pm

That is a superb idea. Would be great to know what size/model ammo can fit so nicely up there so someone wanting to do the same could find on on eBay or similar and know it's the right one.

Mounting it on those scissers arms would be SO cool. You could release it and pull it straight down for easier access.

Great thinking, JB!

GrindGarage Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:38 pm

jackbombay wrote: Steelhead wrote: What are the dimensions of that space? How about a long ammo can (already watertight) that snaps up there? Something like this?

Done and done, my van had one under the slider, virtually undetectable to all but the most discerning vanagon eye if it is painted black.

Come on no pics????

Saguache Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:51 pm

jackbombay wrote: Steelhead wrote: What are the dimensions of that space? How about a long ammo can (already watertight) that snaps up there? Something like this?

Done and done, my van had one under the slider, virtually undetectable to all but the most discerning vanagon eye if it is painted black.

Pictures senior, we require the photographs.

Steelhead Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:53 pm

jackbombay wrote: Steelhead wrote: What are the dimensions of that space? How about a long ammo can (already watertight) that snaps up there? Something like this?

Done and done, my van had one under the slider, virtually undetectable to all but the most discerning vanagon eye if it is painted black.
Mark- Not surprised you figured that out already. Of course, not all of us have the world's greatest army surplus store nearby (like that warehouse you've got in idaho falls).

jackbombay Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:08 am

The ammo box was actually the work of the previous owner, 2 metal straps and bolts held it up in place, not bad to remove, but I actually never used it as we just didn't need that space.

The ammo can that steelhead posted a pic of looks like the one, but as I don't own the van anymore I can confirm the dimensions right now, but I did send the current owner an e-mail asking for the dimensions so I will post up when I hear from him.

The ammo can really did fit the space just right, it hung down ~1.5" below the rocker on that side of the van, but the propane tank hung down further on the drivers side so there was not really any loss of ground clearance.

XXX/Rx/RnR Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:31 am

I've got a hydro-flame furnace mounted up in under there on my bay. Don't use it much in this neck of the woods though. Might remove it and put in a row or deep cells. We all need more space for bolt ons and options. Beware of exceding the angle of your cv's doing your lift. I had to up to 930's.

DASMULE Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:00 am

We are fine tuning the CAD models for our under van storage NOW. It sounds like most people are interested in using them primarily for tools. We are also considering a water storage container as an accessory that would fit in the exact space.

Interested to know what all of you would love to be able to use these under van storage spaces for -- the idea is to make a product that people actually want and will use!



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