Thread: Unicell Van Build Idea

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Music City USA

    Default Unicell Van Build Idea

    I have the opportunity to purchase a somewhat rough 2005 Ford E350 SRW 12 foot "Unicell" van for a cheap price. Basically for what the "Cell" is worth. The van itself is a 5.4 equipped van with 240K on the clock with a "supposedly" replaced engine/transmission in 2012. The van runs and drives good and was fleet maintained from a heat/air company. The exterior of the van is a "4" at best due removal of the wrap which removed paint from the bottom of the Cell and the van itself. The interior has finished walls and a solid wood floor.

    Unicell vans start life as a van Cab/Chassis with the cell added. This cell has the 2 rear opening doors rather than the single lift rear door. There are no side doors on a Unicell. The UniCell bodies are fiberglass and well built. A 6 foot + height man can stand up on one easily. Here is a link to the company website:

    The van I am looking at is 2WD. Plan would be to put a 2WD Lift kit on it along with bigger wheels/tires and call that good. A critical part of this is my ability to use this "high mile" van as I am NOT looking to remove the cell and install on another chassis.

    I have attached a picture of what the van I am looking it is like. This picture is from the Unicell website.

    This all leads to my question:

    What do you all think about building this to a light duty camp/off road van?

    I look forward to your responses!
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Remember "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts"!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Victoria BC
    I have seen those converted. I'm sure it can be done. Cheers, your supplier for European designed fiberglass sandwich panels and accessories.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    I saw that one listed today too. I'm not looking but do work in Nashville. Let me know if you pick it up and need a wrench partner.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Kinda high mileage, while I've been known to buy high mile rigs... they are diesel.
    Name: Rob.
    2001 E350 EB HT PSD w/ a bunch of stuff.
    Had three other E350s...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Southern Alberta
    Just bought one of these a month ago. They seem to very well built and would say they have great potential as a camp/light off-road unit. Itd be great to see another unicell project.
    Mine is a 03 7.3 diesel and has the two rear swing doors as well. It will be getting 4wd and will be a sort of sport/multi night rig. Removable kitchen pod, heat, fold down bunks etc. Main use as a year round moto/snowbike van.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Redondo Beach
    I was actually looking for one of these before I came across a conversion van I couldn't pass up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    So Cal
    I used to have vans, but in a van, you are always wanting a few more inches of space here and there. (or a couple of feet.)

    I'm surprised that there aren't more box van builds on here. I think that a 12' SRW box vans with a Weldtec lift would make a great Expo vehicle, for not a whole lot of cash.

    The miles are a little high, but you can drop in a new or re-built engine every 150 k miles, and be back on the road in no time.
    Last edited by Woodstockz; 01-02-2018 at 11:27 PM. Reason: Grammer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    SE PA
    I did something similar.

    After working out of regular vans I knew the wasted space and building issues of them. I decided to go with a 10' box van on the Chevy chassis. Ended up with a 12' one. I wish Chevy did the 12' box with the Express Extended wheelbase. That would be the perfect rig.

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