Considering a 130WB medium roof for sports wagon + R&D work - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 10:07:PM Thread Starter
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Considering a 130WB medium roof for sports wagon + R&D work

We are considering purchasing a 130" wheelbase Transit medium roof for an R&D build setup for use as a weekend sports wagon.

Most folks here go with the 148" wheel base high roof but we sort of like the shorter length and height for compactness and convenience in the city. Chances are my daughter will be driving it around and parking in the metro area. She works hard during the week and likes to bike, ski, kiteboard, paddle board or hike on the weekends.

We'll likely build it out with a rear bed with storage underneath, a house system with battery, small inverter and solar panel. Small Fridge, a freshwater drinking/rinsing tank with pump and spigot. We'll add a roof vent with a fresh air inlet. Thoroughly insulated with 3M Thinsulate(TM) of course. Maybe some other goodies yet to be determined.

Thoughts? Pros and Cons of the shorter wheel base. We aren't tall folks so just enough head room for us in the medium roof.

Would be cool to have it converted to a 4x4...
Just a plan at this time.. Reality has a knack of getting in the way.

Last edited by Hein; 03-29-2016 at 10:18:PM.
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post #2 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 11:04:PM
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My van is for work and I have a large pickup that I use for all the fun stuff...camping, biking, etc...so the back of it gets filled with all the related gear. It works just fine, but...

I would love to buy another Transit and outfit it just like you are, simple and functional.

I highly recommend the 148" medium roof. At 5'9", anything taller would be overkill. I certainly wouldn't consider the shorter wheelbase...that thing would fill up quick with the build and THEN packing it with gear. That would be my main concern...simply not having enough room with gear and clothing and coolers, etc...make it two people and it'll get tight. If you're going to sleep in there (as I would) I'd certainly want some room to move around.

If she can manage a full sized pickup, she'll be fine with the van. I live and work right smack in the middle of Denver and putting it where I need to isn't a problem...you just need to have a "I'm bigger than you are, so outta my way" kind of attitude. If you can afford the 4X4, then by all means go for it.

I would buy the same van I have and give it the 4X treatment...

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post #3 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 11:35:PM
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I'm moving from a VW Syncro Westy to a short low roof Transit 4x4 with a medium profile CCV poptop. For my family of 3 plus dog, we highly value mobility. Plus shorter is better for 4x4. Everyone has different needs and desires, but for us the 130" will be better and we will get buy with an efficient SMB 150T layout. We like being out of the van most of the time while camping anyway.
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post #4 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 11:36:PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for sharing your experience, Byron. We are lucky to have another daughter who lives in the Denver. She is an architect so will help with the design. An efficient layout will be key to making things fit in a short wheelbase. Thanks for keeping that in focus.


Thank you, Yelnam. That is encouraging to hear. She has two dogs: chihuahua and great dane-X. Why is 4x4 better on the short wheelbase? I'll have a look at that Sports Mobile layout.

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post #5 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 11:45:PM
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I'm not a 4x4 expert but shorter is better for crossing gulches or rough terrain, sharp turns on switchbacks, etc. less likely to bottom out or drag the end.
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post #6 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 12:11:AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hein View Post
We are considering purchasing a 130" wheelbase Transit medium roof for an R&D build setup for use as a weekend sports wagon.

Thoughts? Pros and Cons of the shorter wheel base. We aren't tall folks so just enough head room for us
We got the 130 for similar reasons. I find it has ample space for a potty based queen bed and galley conversion for two.

We just loaded it up today for our five thousand mile, one month trip from Mesa to Ottawa, via Vancouver Island! In addition to our normal touring pack, we are also hauling snowbird stuff like quilting machine, Keyboard, stand, amp, and chair, espresso machine, all my power tools, hand tools, hardware, the mountain bike, gifts for the grand-kids.

The point is, it all fits into the 130 and it still functions as a camper.

I will post some pics tonight on my T-Pod 130 Thread.

Oh, and regardless of how easy the 148" might be to park and maneuver, the 130" is just that much easier.

MY TROUBLED TRANSIT - 2016 T150, MR, RWB, 3.5EB. Delivered 11/15 with major steering, tire, & alignment defects. Had 6+ front-end and Sub-Frame alignments. 6 defective tires replaced. Also Steering Rack, 2 Axle Seals, Diff Gasket, Rear Brakes and Rotors, PS Pump, Wet Air Filter, Hi stop-light. Crankcase P Sensor failed at 23,500 kms. To Date, 39 days at Ford Service. See "New Van Didn't Get Far"
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post #7 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 08:18:AM
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I would have greatly preferred the mid-roof and shorter wheelbase for normal day-to-day. I think the mid-roof looks a lot better from the outside, also would have liked the slightly reduced wind load. (It has been stupidly windy this past month, every time we have 30G40 MPH winds I keep thinking about the 400 mile maiden voyage home from the dealer next month...!) I also prefer shorter vehicles for normal daily operations - getting into parking lots, maneuvering in tight areas.

But my needs dictated otherwise.

I too could stand just fine in the mid-roof, I could just feel my hair brushing against the roof ribs. I figured if I put in a finished ceiling - especially if I also did a thicker floor - I'd be touching but not bad and I probably wouldn't be standing much anyway. However it gets stinking hot and humid here in midsummer, if I want to go to the lake then I'm likely going to want the RV AC before long and I didn't want to whack my head on the inside console every time I walked past!

I also stood inside both a mid- and high-roof and was really struck by how much ROOMIER the high-roof felt, even though they were the same length / width.

The length was dictated by my kayaks. I wanted to be able to put at least a couple of my yaks inside without laying across the passenger seat. My most-used yak *just* fits in the 148" WB. The EL version would have made it a piece of cake to fit most of my others but I *really* disliked that overhang! At least the 148" will fit in a normal parking space.

I'm not too uncomfortable with the wheelbase, my work trucks have been E150s (138") and a long-bed F150 (141") and I've gotten around with them just fine. However, the stand-out favorite is my current one - a Nissan NV200. Tiny little thing but plenty of space for my work needs. I can squeeze into remarkably tight areas I'd never even attempt with the others. Just doesn't have the space I want for my personal activities - and definitely not tall enough to stand it!

2016 T250 LWB HR 3.5EB 3.31LS Most all the bells & whistles...

Ordered: 25 Jan 2016
Got VIN: 08 Feb 2016
Window sticker: 25 Mar 2016
ETIS Build Date: 5 Apr 2016
Picked up: 21 Apr 2016
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post #8 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 02:03:PM
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We have the 130" MR Transit with the 3.5 Ecoboost engine and are in the process of converting it into what you describe in your post.
Sofar we've installed a roof rack, awning, platform bed in the back, overhead cabinets, galley unit with sink and pump. The water 5 gallon and grey 7 gallon tanks are located in the galley cabinet underneath the sink.
I have bought a Fantastic Fan but am waiting for warmer and dry weather to install it.

We like the small size and the medium roof, it works well for me and I am 6'1".

By the way, my first name is Hein as well. Don't see too many of those in the USA. I assume you are Dutch?

2015 Transit 250 MR / 3.5 EB / 3.73 Ratio Rear Axle

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post #9 of 75 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 11:07:PM
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Hein, ( the one with the forum name too) ;-)

Did you end up getting that van? Thank you for taking the time to speak with me the other day, and thanks for the great service (got the goodies today!).

I have the 147" wb and coming up our paved drive, there is a sharp turn with grade and camber. I have trouble with traction even in the dry. I suspect the shorter wb would help with that, even in 2wd. I'd worry about taking this thing out in the snow around here! Fortunately, I won't have to.

Btw, do you think it is an ok idea to use 3m 5200 to mount the vent bezel to my roof? Also, is it ok to use kryalon fusion to make the exposed parts white? I love the product, it will make mounting my new fan/vent a good modification for me.
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post #10 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 06:49:PM
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Hein, like jonsobi we got the 130 WB for the same reasons. It replaced a 26 year old 4WD Suburban (also 130 WB) that we tent camped from all those years. I have been on roads in Oregon that required backing up half way through a turn to complete the turn. We live in Seattle where narrow streets make parking difficult and backing a small boat trailer into the drive is impossible with a larger turning radius. With the dual batteries and upfitter switches it is easy to put together a 1000 watt inverter system. I chose a 20 gallon water tank, desert travels, with a 6 gallon grey water holding tank and a high quality ceramic filter system for drinking and cooking water.

I am working on a sleeping platform scheme across the back, basically two 3' x 4' sections that would fold together with 3" mattress pads inside and then stand vertical against one wall. Finding or designing a suitable hinge system is a challenge.

A last comment, I put in a cork floor, it doesn't reduce headroom much, it is quite, an insulator, fire retardant, and rugged. There a few pictures on the following link and thanks for the prompt service in getting thinsulate.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/desear...57666112762950
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