There are some unique features added to the front of our van. These items evolved over time into what you see here. And they may continue evolving by the time we reach your driveway! Both items add strength in the event of a front-end collision, and help protect critical parts of the van. In addition, they store and hold many items that we want to have with us on the road.
Out front is a tool box. This box was purchased at Harbor Freight and is designed to sit on the neck of a trailer. When we first installed it, we were concerned about the van over-heating. So we removed the lower grill (for increased air flow) and installed the stock two-speed fan motor. We have not had trouble since then. This box holds a huge assortment of tools as well as an electric drill (runs through inverter) an extension cord for RV parks and some basic repair items. The box locks up tight and keeps the tools handy for roadside repairs.
The tool box is bolted to a steel platform. This platform was going to hold a winch at one time, so it is heavy duty. The brackets from the platform are welded to the frame. That now creates a space to hold the hi-lift jack. We also decided to have a receiver hitch box welded on the front tray. That currently holds a ball which could be used for emergency towing but we could also mount a bike rack there.
VW Vanagons have a spare tire tray under the front end. However, with oversized tires, this tray became useless. We had a fabrication shop MHA Creations Fab & Off Road in Prescott Valley, Arizona, design a modified tray that would hold parts and act as a skid plate. We now use this to store spare parts such as a rear axle, brakes and more. This is the result.
If you have questions or want photos of any specific aspects of this information, please contact me. And as always- do not try this at home, all construction must be performed by a licensed professional, wear safety glasses and do not walk and chew gum if you can’t whistle.