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I worked out of a van for a couple of years. Theres good and bad to it. The sliding doors - I had a dude working for me turn over a bucket of urethane glue that leaked all in the track. They're lucky I didn't leave them out there (about 40 miles from home). Aside from that, I loved sliding doors, being able to chuck stuff in and lock it. The downsides are you hear and smell everything back there. My gear isn't particularly smelly or rattly these days but when I had the metal racks, things banged around, vibrations, squeaky noises, and ... ugh. Anyway - its a mixed blessing. For me, a crew cab pickup, 6.5' box with a nice cap with boxes in the sides and a ladder rack is really hard to beat.
Sounds like you had cheap metal shelves and bulkhead

I don’t hear or smell a thing in my pro master. Nothing bangs,clanks, or squeaks. That was simply drive me nuts. I even insulated and sealed my bulkhead

I carry tons of tools, gas cans scaffolding, bricks etc etc

IMO vans are great, My van has dual sliding doors and I set up the drivers door to access all of my power tools from the outside. Basically a storage bin that is only accessible from the outside


David
 

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The Dude
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Sounds like you had cheap metal shelves and bulkhead

I don’t hear or smell a thing in my pro master. Nothing bangs,clanks, or squeaks. That was simply drive me nuts. I even insulated and sealed my bulkhead

I carry tons of tools, gas cans scaffolding, bricks etc etc

IMO vans are great, My van has dual sliding doors and I set up the drivers door to access all of my power tools from the outside. Basically a storage bin that is only accessible from the outside

David
They weren't top of the line shelves / cabinets but they weren't crap grade either. The bulkhead was metal, and perforated. It wasn't one of those sealed up plastic jobbies - but that would have been nice! Keep the stanks out, and A/C in! It was mostly tools and crap bouncing around making the noise, and the installer did kind of a **** job and it squeaked whenever the frame flexed. I did manage to find that and isolate it with some rubber and lube but it was never as quiet as having a completely separate box.
 

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They weren't top of the line shelves / cabinets but they weren't crap grade either. The bulkhead was metal, and perforated. It wasn't one of those sealed up plastic jobbies - but that would have been nice! Keep the stanks out, and A/C in! It was mostly tools and crap bouncing around making the noise, and the installer did kind of a **** job and it squeaked whenever the frame flexed. I did manage to find that and isolate it with some rubber and lube but it was never as quiet as having a completely separate box.
Not a single squeak or rattle

I don’t have a picture with it loaded up with scaffolding, I’m doing a larger project and all of my scaffold is unloaded and left on the job but normally I have at least eight scaffold frames and there as well with planks




Here you can see the insulation and the sound deadening material, it’s not 100% complete yet




Normally leaning up against the right side is my scaffold frames and the planks slide underneath the false floor

It’s a messy right now, I was too lazy to organize it before I took the pictures




David
 

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The Dude
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Well, all that scaffolding, ladders, and tools are bound to be rattling around a bit - but it doesn't matter since you can't hear it through that nice insulated bulkhead! My old van rode pretty rough too, Good suspension that doesn't beat the snot out of you probably helps too. The sprinters I've driven all rode better than my van by a pretty good bit. All packed in there nice and tight helps a lot I'm sure, it looks like the van was built around the gear ;) Excellent job!

Hard for my old eyes to see - is that built out of unistrut?
 

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Well, all that scaffolding, ladders, and tools are bound to be rattling around a bit - but it doesn't matter since you can't hear it through that nice insulated bulkhead! My old van rode pretty rough too, Good suspension that doesn't beat the snot out of you probably helps too. The sprinters I've driven all rode better than my van by a pretty good bit. All packed in there nice and tight helps a lot I'm sure, it looks like the van was built around the gear ;) Excellent job!

Hard for my old eyes to see - is that built out of unistrut?
Not unistut but 80/20 pieces, it’s extruded aluminum that you can cut, bolt together and customize any way you want, the side door setup with the tools was designed and secure enough to climb on as a ladder to get to the roof to get the ladders off the ladder rack so I don’t need a stupid outside mounted access ladder

The scaffolding is secured with a ratchet strap and is rock solid, no movement, Hell I could take that thing off routing and the scaffolding wouldn’t move

Ladders and other stuff has a bungee cord to keep it secure and rattle free

I did spend a pretty fair amount of time laying it out and making sure everything had a way to be secure while driving. I rode in my buddys van that was a rattle trap And knew right off the bat there is no way in hell I could drive a vehicle like that if I got a van


David
 

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The Dude
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Bungees and ratchet straps take most of the rattle out, but they don't get it all. What it doesn't get, that insulated bulkhead sure will though! It's a really nice setup, I've always liked the side door toolbox thing. Having it double as a roof ladder is something else! It really shows how much time you spent on it - everything has a place. I was hauling big buckets of adhesives, paints, and crap like that, which is why I could smell it, and I did have a crappy steel bulkhead with perforated holes instead of a window.

I don't haul anything like that around anymore. Network equipment, wire, and computers aren't that filthy, stinky or rattly - its all boxed up, and the tools are relatively minimal too. I've got my sparky bags, a couple of soft totes for cordless gear, and a plastic tub for random crap, a few more plastic tubs for random materials, a couple of ladders, and they're all fiberglass so not too bad. Vehicle 1 is going to be pulling double duty for a while as a family cruiser so white minivan with no bulkhead and a reasonable roof rack should get me. I don't letter vehicles either, so it'll probably end up being the wifes kid hauler, and maybe the older kids first car. Gotta shame them on that first one right? Can't put him in a powerful or fancy car, he's gonna have to impress the ladies other ways!
 
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