Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

van racking

UKchippie's picture

van racking  (post #193446)

After dreaming about a organized van for years I am almost there.

All the racking has been sourced from good old ebay over the last 5 months and has involved me driving around Southern England picking bits up. 

Most of the racking is made by 'Bott' and has been adapted to suit my vehicle, a 'Nissan Interstar', the locker unit had to have the back cut off with a grinder, I left a 1" flange on the back of unit so that i could pop rivet the back to the sides. the shelving unit over the spare tyre has also been cut to fit. 

My plans for the van include the following

  • Installation of leisure battery which will be charged by the alternator and will be trickle charged by a small solar panel on the roof.
  • New 12v volt zoned lighting in back of van.
  • 12v-240v 1000w inverter to run battery chargers, lighting, secondary alarm for rear of vehicle and most important a COFFEE MAKER to be built into the locker unit.
  • Installation of speakers in rear of van.
  • Additional set of dead locks to all doors.
  • Move spare tyre onto roof rack and install more shelves in its place.
  • Non slip rubber flooring. 
  • Soap, barrier cream and hand wash dispenser. 

My three daughters spent 2 hours on Saturday in the back of the van cutting various items in the vice and drilling holes in scrapes of wood.

I am looking forward to my baby son swinging a hammer for the first time (well away from the van).

Nice work chippie! (post #193446, reply #1 of 8)

Nice work chippie!

Do you have bigger photos? (post #193446, reply #2 of 8)

I'd like to put these in the magazine if possible, UK chippie, can you email some higher-resolution pictures please?




Dan Morrison

Bigger photo (post #193446, reply #3 of 8)

have sent email to you Dan



MY VAN (post #193446, reply #4 of 8)

I was just thinking some might like to see what I did to my van too.

I bought the van with a standard Adrian Steel package: two driver side racks and one passenger side rack and a bulkhead. But I never liked how it bolted throught the floor causing the floor of the van to rust. So I pulled it all out, ground away the rust, welded the holes shut, and repainted the whole floor.

Next I sandwiched common 2x lumber between a 1/8" luan bottom and a 1/2" BCX top to construct a sub-floor network that would house my levels, straightedges, and squares - precision tools that always seemed to get needlessly knocked around in the back before. I made the framework custom to fit the van quite snug so I wouldn't need to bolt anything through the floor and care was taken to locate some 2x beneath the mounting holes of the racking. After installing the subfloor in the van I glued commercial carpet to the top and began installing shelves.

I installed the stock package as before then added another Adrian shelf against the bulkead. Next I welded piano hinges to the driver's side shelves and bolted on some sheet metal doors that are secured closed using rubber ball latches. I also constructed a small metal cabinet to fit in the leftover space behind the driverside racking. The main carcass is just riveted at the bends and tack welded thenI made the door out of some expanded metal I had laying aound and some cage channel that I bought. Welded piano hinge and ball latches just like the other shelves.

On the back of the passenger side rack, I made a gear hanger using a scrap of channel iron welded to a couple of old u-bolts.

Then in front of the same rack I bent up some galv sheet steel to make another shelf to house oversized cases. No welding on the galv steel, just angles, hems, and pop rivets. A couple of eye bolts and a bungee keep the cases in place.

Lastly, I took the van to the local car electronics shop and had remote door locks installed. This was a major improvment in security as I use the locks much more now that I don't need to fiddle with a key everytime I want in. Whereas I used to keep the back unlocked all day while at the job, now its so much less hassle that I only unlock it when I need into it. I keep one remote on the key ring and the other in my tool belt. Later I think I will remove the lock/unlock pull-pins at the top of the doors and install wire mesh behind the windows. My remote lock installer/tech informed me that I am lucky to have not purchased the van with the factory electric locks since all a thief needs to do to unlock the whole van is remove two scews from the passenger side tail light and connect the two door lock wires found inside. I guess this is quite common.

Also planned in the future is to add lighting to the rear that is wired to a jamb switch in the rear and side doors. Then I would like to design and construct some sort of laptop stand for the cab. In due time.

hope you guys like.


van1.jpg196.65 KB
van2.jpg141.66 KB
van3.jpg144.65 KB
van4.jpg148.32 KB
van5.jpg162.68 KB
van6.jpg167.21 KB

Your Van (post #193446, reply #5 of 8)

Nice set up, I have just purchased more drawer units and a laptop safe for my van, so I need to rejig my set up and i am thinking i might copy your under floor storage setup idea.

i will post pics when it is done, hopefully in the next few weeks, watch this space.

UKChippie (post #193446, reply #6 of 8)

I know it wouldn't effect you with the extra tall van but I must admit that with the shape of the rear door opening in my Ford van it does make it more difficult to get sheets of plywood in. The opening is sloped, allowing 49.5" in the center but only 47.75" at the sides. Fortunately I don't often haul many sheets inside. Just an FYI for anyone else wanting to copy the underfloor plan.

But as an extra bonus, it really quiets down the road noise. I insulated the unused cells around the perimeter of the level slots before applying the top layer of plywood and since the racks sit on carpet instead of the metal van floor, they don't squeak or rattle anymore.

Do you happen to own "The Toolbox Book" by Taunton Press? A real nice van setup in there too. I especially like the custom bulkhead and have been thinking about copying it some to make a cabside laptop stand/desk/file cabinet. One thing about Ford, they sure don't provide much convenience for the driver.....only one cupholder, an ash tray, and a big bin to collect clutter.

Please post pics of your underfloor storage. I wish more people would show their set-ups.


Dreamcatcher (post #193446, reply #7 of 8)

I don't own the the book, but the bulkhead sounds like a clever idea, 

Anything that deadens road noise is a serious bonus, the winter has been harsh this year and I am very tempted to insulate the bulkhead with a multi foil insulation and then cover in fabric, it will help to keep the van warmer on dark cold mornings as well as acting as sound deadening.

I have not even got a cup holder, been thinking that the cab will be my next job, the current set up is a independent drivers seat and a small bench seat for two passengers, considering removing the bench seat and replacing with a single and building a storage area.

i could not agree more with regards to more people posting their van and trailer set-ups, its great to see what clever ideas others have worked out. 

So come on guys, show off your set-ups. 




Great Van! (post #193446, reply #8 of 8)

You might have a second career in construction van design.