This fully decked out 4×4 Ford E-350 was definitely a standout at the Adventure Van Expo in Tahoe, CA. It certainly caught my attention and was quite the crowd magnet. Ken, who owns off-road accessories manufacturer Agency 6 also owns this van. “When I bought the van, it was a windowed transporter, so it had no interior it had a rubber floor mat and I drove it like that without an interior for about 10 years”, mentions Ken.
Residing near Donner Pass in Tahoe, Ken had a vision for converting his E-350 to the ultimate family adventure van that could handle overland adventures in the summer and snow adventures in the winter. And, it’s the perfect platform to showcase Agency 6 4×4 accessories like machined shackle blocks, a shovel mount, a hi-lift jack clamp and fairleads that they manufacture.
Ford E-350 Van 4×4 Conversion
The conversion of the Ford E-350 to four wheel drive and the 8 inch lift were a kit provided by U Joint Off-Road in North Carolina who specializes in 4WD van conversions. Ken mentioned that there aren’t a lot of aftermarket parts available for vans otherwise, so he had to make a custom exhaust and downpipe from an aftermarket exhaust made for a F-350. Ken mentions, “Other than the sway bar links, this entire suspension is the U Joint Off-Road 8 inch lift package”. U Joint Off-Road also manufactured the front bumper armor which houses a 10,000 lb WARN winch, the awesome roof rack to which Lightforce LEDs are mounted and a customized gas tank that’s designed to allow room for the added transfer case.
WFO Concepts in Auburn, CA who specializes in 4×4 custom fabrication, performed the installation of the big 8 inch lift and 4WD conversion, along with ARB front and rear air differential lockers, and a dual air compressor system.
The powerplant in the Agency 6 E-350 is a 6L turbodiesel which has been gone through completely and updated for improved reliability.
Rubber meets the road with 37” Toyo Open Country M/T Tires on Method Race Wheels.
A Clean, Minimalist Econoline Adventure Van Interior
Moving onto the interior, Ken mentions he likes to keep things clean and minimalist, yet functional. His background includes being an inventor and fabrication. His skills and attention to detail really became apparent once we moved onto the interior.
Peering in from the side access door, I could see what he was talking about. Immediately in view is a strategically placed counter with a sink and fridge and two very comfortable, reclining seats placed with ample space. The layout immediately felt like something you might experience on a nice private jet – adventure in comfort, and Ken later disclosed that was his intention.
Ken did a lot of the work here – he actually custom fabricated the stainless steel sink and counter, even going so far as to mount the fridge up underneath so it has clearance off the floor for air circulation. The 2nd row seats came out of a 2013-17 Toyota Sienna, and they recline with a fold-out footrest. Ken custom fabricated the seat mounts, so the seats can easily be removed if more room is needed. There’s a 3rd row back bench seat upholstered to match the Sienna seats that folds out into a bed. Ken found it in a wrecking yard, modified and adapted it to his E-350 adventure van. Attention to detail includes things like a subtle topographical map ridge patterns in the panel upholstery.
E-350 Solar Power System
The Agency 6 adventure van has a Go Power solar system, with two 190W panels mounted on the U-Joint Off-Road roof rack and a 3,000W Go Power inverter in the rear. The system provides power for the fridge, TV and an available 110V outlet all within the custom built interior. There’s also LED ceiling lights that can be controlled as a group via the dome light control, or individually via switches located locally to each LED light.
An overhead console in the cab houses both the Go Power Inverter Charger control/display unit and a Switch Pros 8 switch panel. Near the 2nd row passenger seat, the Go Power Solar Controller display is mounted which contains a USB port.
In the rear floor behind the rear bench seat and accessible via the rear doors, is where Ken located Go Power battery storage, all done in visually impressive craftsmanship. 2 batteries, along with the 3,000W Go Power inverter are housed in a powder coated ⅛” steel tray that is so beefy it also acts to strengthen the van’s frame in the rear. The container is sealed on top with a clear lexan window that is flush with the floor, and a really cool multi-color LED displays power readouts. 12V fans keep it all cool.
Also accessible from the rear is a shore power plug, a 40 Amp fan cooled fuse box, and the Go Power LED battery monitor which connects to Bluetooth so Ken can monitor things from his smartphone.
As often is the case with these builds I come across, everyone seems to have a unique take on their version of overlanding and/or an adventure vehicle based on their individual desires & needs. Ken’s 4×4 E-350 definitely fits the bill. Thanks to Ken and Agency 6 for sharing. You can follow the latest on Instagram: @agency_6