Well it was handshakes all round as Roy finally self-converted. Here’s how he did it.
I have owned a 2001 Aero City Runner for 2 years now and during that time, like many I suspect, I have toyed with converting it. But each time I was not convinced I wanted to lose the space within the van, did not really have a need for a sink, and also I wanted to retain the ability to carry 7 passengers, also not knowing where I would store the seats once removed.
After searching without success on line for a “storage box” that would fit on the rear seats when folded down I opted to build one myself. My criteria was to be as light but sturdy as possible, removable, to fit on the rear seat when folded down but not to obstruct my rear view, to be able to store all my camping cooking essentials etc and the big challenge, to be able to access it all from either inside or outside the vehicle.
After searching on line, as I intended to build it using 12 mm ply wood, I found a company selling 12 mm T trim which was essential for a good finish. At £20 for 10 meters I thought this was a good price.
As mentioned earlier my biggest challenge was gaining access to all items, as due to the size I knew I would need to include shelves to maximise storage. Gaining access from outside was simple as I included 3 doors giving me easy access, however when in the vehicle, on a rainy day for example I needed to retain that easy access. This was achieved by adding a double lid on the box and shelves on hinges. Then I could open one side only and remove items from that side, placing them on the other lid therefore allowing me to flip the shelf up to access items below, both lids are supported by gas struts. The only way to fix the struts was via the sides of the middle compartment as otherwise the struts would impinge on the shelf flipping up. Here’s a few photos of what I did.
I have also added a drop down shelf on the front of the box which provides a sturdy shelf for cooking, washing up on etc from the outside on a warm sunny day.
Since completion I have also constructed a “cup cupboard” above the window as I had all the materials following my initial purchase (2×2.4m ply board and 30 meters of 12mm T trim)
To finish off the cup cupboard I added an LED strip light plus a twin USB charging port coupled with a volts meter so I can monitor the leisure battery health.
Come and find me at one of the Bongo meetings and I will be happy to show you around!