Van question

anyone ever set up a hot unit in a 3500 express van? just up too late looking at different options. If this idea is crazy/stupid just say so. thanks guys

Until yesterday I never saw it. I was at Xterior and a guy pulled up with a Hw unit in a van. To me it’s dangerous. When you done washing you still have a ton of fumes and heat in the truck from the diesel and gas. Venting is always going to be a concern. I personal don’t think it’s a good idea…

ARC Powerwashing
Alex Curry

I’m in the process of getting a express and ditching the trailer.

With doing some research, talking to some others with vans, for a residential rig. YOU CAN’T BEAT IT.

Just as long as you can fit the skid inside, you should be good. You just cant stuff a huge buffer tank in there.

If you don’t do a very good job venting or keeping containers sealed and you still have fumes while driving, you can also build a sealed wall in between the cabin and cargo area.

It’s not for me, but I can think of at least 2 really successful guys who use vans exclusively. Compact layout is a pro and a con, one of the two has a hot water unit in each one, and runs 3-4 of them.

I guess it’s a personal choice, but having worked with HW skids from the beginning I wouldn’t do it.

I would worry about carbon monoxide and the chemicals.

We ran exclusively Ford E250 vans for our crews. Now I will say we never used bleach for anything so chemicals fumes were not an issue. We vented our machines out the side door (engines and burners). Never had any problems and the compact secure set up worked great for us in the KEC industry. Had that machine against the bulkhead than plumbed it to the stacked hose reels out the back door of the van. Left plenty of space for shelves and storage of our equipment.

I have heard that even a small amout of water flowing forward to the cab can set off the air bags.

I had 2 vans in the past that we used. One was a Ford e-150 and we blew the tranny on it because most likely the weight we were carrying was to much on the tranny.

That Other Van we used for a few seasons was a Ford E-350 extended Van and that one worked well. The problem though that we had was between staining decks and using Chlorine on house washes the fumes got to be to much. Did use this Van though for 2 yrs and besides the fumes it worked great.

Today Trailers work best for us… We just pile them up like son of a guns and never have problems with them.

I use a van exclusively. I like the security. Chevy Express 3500. My chemicals are all in sealed containers with small air vents, so I can smell it but I smell bleach even on my days off. Cold water machines only in the van with the exhaust oriented out the door. Hose reel mounted to the ceiling on the service side of the van. Water hose out the back. I’m washing 2 minutes after I roll up…after I get away from the customer. I do have a cab cage right behind the seat and it has saved me a few times when slamming on the brakes. Wilmington NC drivers are some of the worst. Hot water stays on the trailer with the 500 gallon tank, I think that kind of heat and exhaust would be bad for me and my decals. Hot water on a trailer is a nice presence and commands the price that I charge for hot water. On larger jobs the cold water machines get bolted down on the trailer and plumbed to the tank. But wands, surface cleaners, hose…and anything else that could walk away stay in the van. It’s not that I’m in a high crime area, but with four boys I am too poor to buy it twice. But my favorite reason for the van, aside from the security, is the driving billboard that it is. Put what you do and your telephone number as large as possible and it will work for you. That’s my.02.


Thanks Gus…didn’t know I was responding to that forum via Facebook… It’s everywhere.

Yes Trey it can be done … Carpet guys do it everyday…very nice for tight parking areas… And get ladder racks for the top… And a few sealed containers for chemicals…