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Yea, that through the B-pillar routing to the CCP is pretty slick. Not sure I am comfortable (yet?) with the possible compromise in pillar strength. (Not saying is necessarily a problem though). That spot is a highly visible area in my design that I would like to keep "clean" if possible as well a maximize the clearance. 🤷‍♀️ Decisions, decisions ...
I’m slightly weary of it as well, particularly because my audio system installer was the one who originally drilled two of the holes and they’re a little close to eachother for my taste.

but I think if you only had one or two holes (for a 4/0 wire and something else) that structurally it will be totally fine. There is a lot of boron steel in that pillar, and the main reduction in strength would likely be crushing vertically, so as long as I don’t roll over and land vertically on the roof I’m going to say it’s fine on my build. I have a a ton of aluminum extrusion, including directly behind the b pillar, so I’ll bolt that though into the pillar and consider that stronger than stock.

@Brandon see post #35
 

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I agree with other comments about being able to balance out the weight of the water tank with other stuff. My approach was that wiring is much easier to place (and then reposition, when your needs change) than plumbing, and for plumbing the smallest number of joints and the shorter the piping runs the better.

So, our freshwater tank is under the van alongside the gas tank, with the on-demand pump also underneath and in-front of it. I fabricated a cover out of a sheet of ABS (my go-to material) to protect the pump and under-van plumbing from mud, gravel etc. That positioning also made it possible to fabricate a hidden fill-port out of the exterior trim piece directly under the gas tank fill port - it's on Page 3 of my build thread:

Multi-use Adventure Van Build | Ford Transit USA Forum
 

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2022 T350HD #11000 Avalanche Gray
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I’m slightly weary of it as well, particularly because my audio system installer was the one who originally drilled two of the holes and they’re a little close to eachother for my taste.

but I think if you only had one or two holes (for a 4/0 wire and something else) that structurally it will be totally fine. There is a lot of boron steel in that pillar, and the main reduction in strength would likely be crushing vertically, so as long as I don’t roll over and land vertically on the roof I’m going to say it’s fine on my build. I have a a ton of aluminum extrusion, including directly behind the b pillar, so I’ll bolt that though into the pillar and consider that stronger than stock.

@Brandon see post #35
After reading that post I think I will just go around the B-Pillar like GregoryX did. I have no kids to worry about and I can always box it in if needed. I will be doing an inverter just like he did for charging also.
 

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2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
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Our floor can be removed - and has been - to route cables and plumbing. Seems like that sort of solves a lot of the problems; so long as it's serviceable, that makes locations for electrical and plumbing focused on other concerns. Ours is secured by the side walls holding the 3/4" ply in place. Could put bolts all the way through, but it hasn't seemed necessary.

If unable to make the whole floor removable; I'd target making cross-channels that are removeable. We have one between our living area and garage - level / flat with the living floor and carries a bunch of cable back-and-forth that can be easily accessed by taking up that piece. Our front floor panel is pretty easily removable once the galley is out - or just moved back into the garage. That's the route the cross-rig plumbing takes.


I think it's easy to over-think the plumbing situation - especially as it gets more stuff involved (tanks, shower, etc). And the weight on tanks... what a mess!
  • 31-gallon gas tank means a ~200 pound variation there (mid-ship-ish driver's side);
  • 18-gallon / ~140-pound fresh tank passenger side slightly inboard (inside galley)
  • 13-gallon / ~100 pound gray tank passenger side outboard (inside galley)
  • 20-gallon / ~160-pound fresh tank driver's side under mount
  • 5-gallon / ~40-pound gray tank driver's side undermount
~600 pounds of variable!

Some inboard more than others; all of it between front and rear wheels (at least). How does one plan perfectly for all that? I think it's a best effort and not to be too over-thought). Just /try/ not to put all the static (batteries and other heavy stuff) on the /same/ side as all the variable (fluid) stuff. And have a plan for moving the electricity and water back-and-forth as necessary. 🤷‍♀️
 

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Making the floor pieces removable essentially means it isn't sealed from water intrusion, which would concern me. Spill even a small portion of water (or have a water tank/plumbing leak anywhere in the van) and you might have to rip everything out to prevent mold and dry it out. My friend had a small water leak in her van, and by the time they found it (1 day later) it was too late because her floor wasn't completed sealed. Mold grew, and she had to rip everything out of the interior to remove and re-do the floor.

I went the route of glueing everything in (every layer), filling the ribs, and basically triple sealing it on all sides. Great stuff around the edges, epoxy on top of the greatstuff (and entire floor) when installing 1 piece sheet vinyl (waterproof) and silicon on the edges to make a "bathtub" with the van metal walls. All edges near slider and rear doors sealed with polyurethane and covered with angle and vinyl wall base. No water is getting under there, and I never see any reason I'd want to remove the floor otherwise. It's super solid and should last the life of the van. Perfectly flat and will never move either. I wired in some extra wires across underneath the floor for further expansion (and I have a DC distribution box on both sides, and AC outlets/wires both sides). I can always add extra plumbing or wiring through the walls/roof ribs if I really need to if I somehow need more cross-van routing in the future. But as I said all my water and plumbing is one one side of the van (driver).
 

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If side to side weight distribution and the variation in water levels is a big concern, putting the tank between the wheel wells eliminates that issue. Depending on what water is used for then grey tanks are less of an issue but there would be ways around that if one was so inclined. But yea, it isn't a Miata , nor should it be driven like one. Jinba Ittai Funny thing is I am more concerned about COG and I plan to place the water tank and batteries on TOP of the wheel wells of my high roof van, since helps a lot with packaging. 🤦‍♂️ But at least no lift kit/big wheels, roof rack/solar panels/fixed awning/mad max lights. 30K "analysis" of my L/R weight is it should be pretty balance and can be fine tuned by where some stuff will be stored.
 

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As to the native weight distribution of the vehicle: The gas tank is located towards the centerline of the van and is somewhat offset by the exhaust system and even a bit by the further outboard by the sliding door. BTW - pretty much all of that weight is located between the axles, so a good percentage of that weight differential will be carried on the font axle.
That must be something new, On a early model Transit the gas tank is clearly on the drivers side with the driveshaft in the middle and the exhaust on the passenger side.
 

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That must be something new, On a early model Transit the gas tank is clearly on the drivers side with the driveshaft in the middle and the exhaust on the passenger side.
gas tank is located towards the centerline
Towards the centerline does not equal on the center line. Sorry if my statement was not clear.
Product Rectangle Font Schematic Parallel
 

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My transit has the 25 gallon water tank and 6 gallon water heater installed across the van, under the east/west bed, just in front of the rear axle. Ford specifies placing heavy cargo just forward of the rear axle, so this works well. The sink is located on the passenger side, with the sink drain pipe angled downward under the bed to the gray tank under the driver's side floor. The shower is located behind the driver's seat so that it can also drain into the gray tank which is located in the large underfloor area on the driver's side next to the gasoline tank. All plumbing lines are inside the van cabinets or under the bed for access and to help protect against freezing. Hope this helps...
 

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All total 600 pounds of electrical equipment on the passenger side centered on and just forward of the rear axle, This has since been reduced to 350 pounds total.
A 70 pound refrigerator plus all cabinetry is mounted on the drivers side. No water system. It was originally hoped that a full tank of gas would help to balance this out from side to side.
Five years later and this has not caused me any problems, The heavier weight of the build was made it stable in all wind speeds encountered so far, I once drove across the front of a low pressure front tornado passing within about a mile of it. I watched a semi truck get blown over in front of me.
 

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2022 T350HD #11000 Avalanche Gray
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
All total 600 pounds of electrical equipment on the passenger side centered on and just forward of the rear axle, This has since been reduced to 350 pounds total.
A 70 pound refrigerator plus all cabinetry is mounted on the drivers side. No water system. It was originally hoped that a full tank of gas would help to balance this out from side to side.
Five years later and this has not caused me any problems, The heavier weight of the build was made it stable in all wind speeds encountered so far, I once drove across the front of a low pressure front tornado passing within about a mile of it. I watched a semi truck get blown over in front of me.
How was your electrical system 600lbs?
Lead batteries?
 

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My shower will be on the left and kitchen on the right so I have to put water lines under the floor. Not sure how I'm doing the floor yet so maybe I can make the section over the water lines removeable. I would be using a single piece of pex so I would hope it will not leak. If I end up building my own bed and not using a MOAB bed I could run the water lines under the bed. This may be a better and cheaper option.
a solid section of pex should be absolutely fine from a leak perspective, but being low in the floor it might be difficult to drain if you need to winterize in your climate. I avoided that just for that reason and kept all my water on one side and ran high lines with low drain points for ease of draining.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
a solid section of pex should be absolutely fine from a leak perspective, but being low in the floor it might be difficult to drain if you need to winterize in your climate. I avoided that just for that reason and kept all my water on one side and ran high lines with low drain points for ease of draining.
Did not think of the winterizing part. Good thought
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Six 110 Ah agm batteries at 70 pounds each, Plus 50 pounds of steel securing them to the floor.
A 50 pound inverter.
Ouch. I think my 600ah will be about 130lbs.
 

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Ouch. I think my 600ah will be about 130lbs.
Five years ago it was do it yourself build your own lithium batteries, There was no Battleborn.
Five years ago almost everyone on this forum had AGM house batteries, a high quality Agm will last ten years so here I am.
 

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Five years ago it was do it yourself build your own lithium batteries, There was no Battleborn.
Five years ago almost everyone on this forum had AGM house batteries, a high quality Agm will last ten years so here I am.
About how our last rig was as well: three 8Ds - 255Ah AGMs - at ~80 pounds each, IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Five years ago it was do it yourself build your own lithium batteries, There was no Battleborn.
Five years ago almost everyone on this forum had AGM house batteries, a high quality Agm will last ten years so here I am.
I’m sure those build your own we’re not cheap back then either.
 

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My kitchen and most cabinets are driver's side. I have a 3 can jerry can water system, plus an insulated cooler (BruMate) for drinking on the driver's side, and can store extra cans in the back. Electrical to balance needs to be on passenger. However, this meant my snowboard storage is necessarily driver, which is slightly annoying since I have to open both doors to get to it. Something to consider. It's easier to access the passenger side of the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
My kitchen and most cabinets are driver's side. I have a 3 can jerry can water system, plus an insulated cooler (BruMate) for drinking on the driver's side, and can store extra cans in the back. Electrical to balance needs to be on passenger. However, this meant my snowboard storage is necessarily driver, which is slightly annoying since I have to open both doors to get to it. Something to consider. It's easier to access the passenger side of the rear.
I have thought about the rear door thing but we are building ours for full time living or at least extended living.
So the garage will have whatev we think we need. Bikes will be somewhere. I’m thinking vertical on a rack on one of the doors but we will see. I will try to balance as best as I can.
 
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