Step Van build

First of all let me say thank you for everyone that posts on this form I really appreciate all the knowledge everyone shares it is truly a blessing thank you .

I purchased a potato chip truck with a diesel V8 automatic transmission runs like a top all aluminum 25 feet bumper-to-bumper as an 18 1/2 feet long by 7 1/2 feet wide interior space. I want to turn the vehicle into a hot cold wash soft wash commercial and residential pressure washing vehicle , I plan on adding a bathroom for when nature calls and I’d like some help with the equipment build out incidentally underneath the truck there’s two spaces on each side that are approximately 38" x 10’ long that I can mount water tanks generators or anything underneath the truck to clear the inside however I can also mount them inside because there’s plenty a room I’d be interested in any anybody’s feedback if anybody else is done this ? could anyone offer some suggestions on equipment all layout etc. thank you so much. My email is

What the GVWR of the truck and how much does the truck itself weigh? Need to know that before you can decide anything. In other words, how much payload can it haul safely?

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I’m a fabricator for a food truck company that builds almost exclusively step vans like this. I think it’s a great idea, but would be curious how much the insurance would be and depending on weight you may need a CDL.

As long as those check out then you’ll just want to design a layout that is efficient for you. Be mindful that the walls and ceilings aren’t typically designed to hold a lot of weight without reinforcement.

How much building/fabrication experience do you have? Do you plan on making cutouts on the side to access hoses or just pull out the back door?

Like I said, I think it’s a great idea, just takes a decent amount of planning to do it right. Happy to help as much as I can.

Thanks Racer, I think it’s 10,000 lbs based on the plate info. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks Zen, I used to own a marketing and customer fab business in Ohio that built concession trailers and took semi trailers and turn them into a full-scale kitchens. But that’s all in the past now that I’m living in NC. I do have several friends that weld and fabricate that will help if I need but I would appreciate any direction you can offer.

I was thinking of mounting the Water thanks , Chemical tanks, Generator from the frame underneath and making cut outs in the sides for hose reels. Mounting the hot wash inside with pressure washer and venting through the roof.

After much research I found that everything could be mounted on a skid and then slid right to the back of the truck with the hose reel’s coming out the back doors. I I appreciate any guidance and insight that you could offer ideas what have you I’m trying to make it as simple as possible so I can get this thing up and running over the winter time in North Carolina and hit the hit the ground running I intend on doing hot wash and cold wash I want to do as much commercial work as I can and residential .

Thank you

Yep. I’m excited to see you do this. I’ve always wondered why more people didn’t use these. Big, roomy, easy to drive, carry decent weight, especially the dual rear tire ones.

Anyway, did some research but can’t find what the actual weight of the truck itself is. But see the GAWR #'s, those are the front and rear axle weights. So I’m guessing you could easily carry 4500-5000 lbs in there. Make sure you have good brakes on it though. Play with your layout on paper first.

Are you going to coat the floor with anything. Be sure to keep slide thru door closed when traveling. You don’t want 50 gal of bleach coming into the front seat with you.

You’re going to have a boatload of room. Got me wanting one now, lol. Have fun and keep me up-to-date with pics.

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Thanks brother, the floor is aluminum tread plate already I’m considering insulating the walls and covering with FRP. Once I draw it all up I’ll send the design to you. I appreciate your input, hope 2017 is a great year for you.

Hey Zen, once I get the design done I’ll forward it to you post it on here for your review currently trying to figure out the equipment there so many different options that I’ve been doing a lot of research and quite frankly I’m over loaded at this point but I’ll get there I’ve been reading reviews on a hot wash systems and software systems , hose reals, tanks and all. My buddy told me about a salvage yard for RV’s so I’m going to check it out and see what I can find to use. If I mount the water and chemical tanks underneath I will have room small bathroom and maybe more for overnight work .

Awesome, I think the tanks underneath is a great way to use that space as long as you have a good way to monitor water levels and fill/drain.

Kecsupplies and pressuretek have been recommended by others as a good source of equipment. They are the ones I’m planning to buy from.

Can’t wait to see the design. Cheers.

If your crew is all guys, I’d just get a composting toilet that could be tucked under a cabinet/shelving when not being used. Install a small sink on the wall that could double as an emergency eye-wash station. Put up a hospital style pull-curtain to close off a small corner of the van. It will take up almost zero room that way. (I don’t want to sound sexist - I’m sure there are some females who would be ok with this kind of setup)

I’m excited to see the drawings you come up with. Sounds like there’s a lot of potential.

Mounting the water tanks underneath is a great idea as long as you don’t have to deal with freezing temps. I have always wanted to get one and polish the entire thing to a mirror shine before lettering it up.


Years ago I worked for Safety Kleen (1989 - 1993) and drove a step van. It can haul a lot and I always thought it would make a great service truck but I remember my branch manager constantly complaining about what gas hogs they were and how fast they ate up tires and brakes. That was enough to keep me from getting one.