Bed orientation, prewiring and adding Vents. - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 03:38:AM Thread Starter
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Bed orientation, prewiring and adding Vents.

I get my van next week and like everyone here I've been spending countless hours planning, daydreaming, researching.... My challenge is that after a year or two on building, I'll ship my van from Hawaii to North America. Because of this, I'm leery about adding any height to the roof and pushing into the next shipping rate category. I obviously need to get some answers from the shipping companies but feel like I may be adding roof vents and racks and solar after we hit the West Coast. And I'd have to have it done because we'd be on the road at that point without a shop to work in.

That said, I want to plan as carefully as I can for getting wires in place ahead of time. Any input on getting a fan added after the van ceiling is finished? Most of the installs I've seen are look like they are done early on. I'm thinking sidewall vents for bathroom and cooking area.

Also is there a preferred place for solar wiring to enter the van? I realize the panels depends on fan placement (probably near the front) but I'm sure there are a few opinions out there!

Lastly, I'm not doing too good at searching this forum because I'm sure this has been discussed, probably many times but pros and cons of bed orientation? We are both short enough to do side to side and I like the way it fits in my plan but I worry that if parking in an uneven place (beside on the side of the street) the van is more likely to be parked uphill or downhill and not on a sideways slant. So have folks found that a side to side bed makes for a night of trying to stay on the bed rather than just having your head or feet high with a front-to-back bed placement.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 06:06:AM
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after most of a lifetime of being on the road for one reason or another, it does not matter how severe an angle the vehicle is parked as long you can sleep with your head higher then your feet!
i am 6'8'' inches tall so there was no real choice but to have a lengthways bed, so the double wide bed fills the entire space from the sliding door on back. i wanted a full kitchen so i had 2 choices on how to install it, but since i can not stand fully up in a medium roof i mounted the kitchen cabinets crossways behind the drivers/passengers seat, this allows me to sit on the edge of the bed and cook, and it also gives maximum legroom for 2 people to sit on the edge of the bed. but it blocks any choice of swivel seats or walking thru from the cab! (it is a steel tent, not a motorhome, it is some where you can hide from bad weather when you cant do the things you love outside!) also with a bulkhead/kitchen cabinets the cab of the van is near dead quiet and you need minimal climate control while driving, which in my case will often be all day drives. there is an opening above the stove that you can reach thru to the cab to start the engine, talk to people in the front/back, and let some of the cab climate control filter thru to the well insulated rear of the van.
front roof vent, rear floor vents, so cool air from under the van flows over the head end of the bed and out the roof vent.

not mine, just an example of what is possible with a front mounted kitchen: https://www.quirkycampers.co.uk/wp-c...-carpentry.jpg
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:44:AM
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I recently went through some of this and ordered a long wheelbase, medium roof.

I ordered a window in the passenger side slider but I am wondering if I needed too given venting T style aftermarket window are starting to be available and I will use these in both the driver and passenger sides, giving me plenty of venting.

I found that I had to sleep north-south anyways if I wanted to store bikes under the sleeping platform efficiently. I think the challenge will be to position the platform high enough for our two bikes (I have a 29er) without it being so high that you have decent height to sleep without banging yourself against the roof or feeling claustrophobic.

Of course, these are just my thoughts .... I'm still waiting for my van and the true test will be the build.

Hope this is helpful.


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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:44:AM
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Angry

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So have folks found that a side to side bed makes for a night of trying to stay on the bed rather than just having your head or feet high with a front-to-back bed placement.
I've done it both ways with two previous econolines. The drawback to E-W vs. N-S is the person trapped on the inside with E-W has to climb over (i.e. Disturb) the other sleeper when nature calls in the night.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:48:AM
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I found that I had to sleep north-south anyways if I wanted to store bikes under the sleeping platform efficiently. I think the challenge will be to position the platform high enough for our two bikes (I have a 29er) without it being so high that you have decent height to sleep without banging yourself against the roof or feeling claustrophobic.

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Since you be a fellow critter I'll offer you this free advice...

Be careful when you hop on your bikes if Manga is camping anywhere nearby, he'll run you over if he thinks he can get away with it.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:50:AM
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Can you cut the 14" square hole but not install the roof fan? Just seal a temporary cover. That would make it easier to install the fan later.

I did not use a roof rack for solar. Instead just used four feet between the panel and the roof with four 5/16" bolts through the roof. You could do the prep work inside and just install the four bolts. Instead of what I did that required access inside, you could use a flatbar with tapped holes inside. Then just use sealed bolts without the solar panel until you reach the West Coast. You could also install the cable 90's. I wanted the solar cables out of site and under the panel. I would probably buy the panel and install it and then remove it for shipping.

http://www.ortontransit.info/solar.php

I do not have side wall vents for cooking or bathroom. Needed?

You can use "LEGO" blocks under the tires to level van. If you are short enough to sleep across the van then that provides a lot more usable conversion space inside. If city streets are a regular parking choice, then across van works with the street crown.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 10:03:AM
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Since you be a fellow critter I'll offer you this free advice...



Be careful when you hop on your bikes if Manga is camping anywhere nearby, he'll run you over if he thinks he can get away with it.


Thanks for the warning!

We seem to have similar tastes ... at least in vans and wildlife. What part of the world are you in?



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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 10:36:AM
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It might be better to do the work yourself ahead of time. And have it done the right way. The cost in time and upfitter charges on the West Coast versus the higher height charges on the shipping might be a wash. What is the cost of shipping from Hawaii to California?
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 10:48:AM
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Thanks for the warning!

We seem to have similar tastes ... at least in vans and wildlife. What part of the world are you in?



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Apparently from where about half the people who own DIY Transit camper conversions live...NW, specifically Portland Oregon.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 11:04:AM
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Apparently from where about half the people who own DIY Transit camper conversions live...NW, specifically Portland Oregon.


Yep, the vanlife is well represented out your way. We'll likely see you in our travels.


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