Hi all. I am presenting my question in the Ford newsgroup because I am
considering buying a used Econoline. The van has side windows, but I am
planning on building a shelving unit or two inside. Is it legal to do so
even if it obstructs the windows since other vans the same size don't have
any windows? Another scenario: could I have a body shop panel over where
the windows are and make it smooth thereby removing the windows? Just
wondering if anyone has done this.
Check the laws in your state to be sure, but...
The only required windows are the windshield and the two front door
side windows that give you an unobstructed 180-degree view forward.
The rest of the body can be solid, as long as you have rear-view
mirrors on both sides. And you can put a solid divider behind the
passenger compartment - if you carry heavy cargo you should get a
divider installed to protect yourself in case of a crash.
You don't have to totally panel over the windows, but you might want
to put a protective grille on the inside so cargo shifting can't break
the glass. And if you don't want people to see what's inside, just
paint over the inside of the glass - that makes it easily reversible.
If you have a window (or windows on swing doors) on the passenger
side cargo door, that one I would leave unobstructed. That is the one
window you really miss when you hit a boulevard stop sign where the
side street comes into the main highway at an angle - you can't see
oncoming traffic on the right side to complete a left turn safely.
One certain intersection (Mulholland Highway and Kanan Road in the
Malibu hills) I have to swing way wide and then pull up to the limit
line at an odd angle, so I'm sitting at a 90-degree angle to the main
road. Then I can see both ways to safely make a left turn.
The windows on the left side, the rear doors, and the right side
behind the side cargo door can be safely blocked IF you are careful
using your mirrors when making lane changes and turns.
--<< Bruce >>--
Thank you for the insight, Bruce. Keeping the side door window seems like a
good idea for the reasons of visibility that you have mentioned. I will
look into regulations, although I would hope to find a van that has at least
the back windows. It would seem feasable that one souldn't need to keep
side windows if one doesn't want to, since there are cube vans with
Econoline cabs that have no rear vision. Of course, they were made that way
and haven't modified an existing design. Side windows could get in the way
only because if I ever start a business I was thinking it'd be nice to paint
a large logo and not have seams from painted-over windows. The van I had in
mind fell through for the moment.
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