Another Minimalist Conversion - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 108 (permalink) Old 02-25-2015, 06:44:PM Thread Starter
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Another Minimalist Conversion

I've had the van for almost two months now and my ideas are finally starting to gel as to what I want this thing to look like. This will is my third camper van. The first was a stretched '89 Econoline cargo (many trips to Mexico in that) and my last was a '99 Club wagon XLT (the longest one), so I do have an idea of how I'll be using the van. For the most part I'll be shuttling up and down the Columbia River doing downwind paddle board sessions, but I also plan on using it for camping and surfing at the beach as well as mountain bike camping trips.
My primary requitments are for it to seat four adults, haul four paddle boards, or alternatively four bikes, and still sleep two in comfort and maybe a couple kids if it's too nasty outside for their tent.
I'll probably never be out for too long (can't retire for another 11 years), so I don't require a ton of infrastructure in the van. There won't be any solar or extra batteries. No built in water system or toilet. This will be a very comfortable iron tent though.
To start with, I ordered a couple boxes of CLD tiles that I'll be installing soon, along with a little insulation. Waiting for it to warm up a little outside first. Then I'll panel the ceiling and the upper walls above the windows. The lower walls are already paneled, so they'll just get the CLD/insulation treatment.
The first big change was having Van Specialties install two removable, swiveling, captains chairs. I debated putting in a stock bench in the second row, but I really wanted to be able to spin around for camping, and at the time there were lots of stock bench seats available, but no floor tracks available yet, so captains chairs it was.
Next up was my interior surfboard racks, made from 15 series 80/20 (actually Faztek extrusions).
I made a trip to the big city yesterday and retrieved some 4'x6', 3/4" rubber mats for the back and over to Harbor Freight for the Tri-fold ATV ramp ($79.00 w/ coupon) that will form the basis of my three panel raised bed.
Window coverings will be cut from Reflectix and attached with rare earth magnets.
There will be no roof vent, but I do have the four flip out windows and might get a small 12 volt fan to move a little air, though it really doesn't get too hot anywhere I tend to camp.
I'm planning on building some 80/20 storage bins around the wheel wells and I'll be fabricating the panel bed supports and rails out of angle and channel steel and bolting it to the lower walls using the factory tie down bolts for weight bearing, augmented with Rivnuts.
For showering and general washing, I bought a 4.5 gallon 12V pressure washer that will live in back plugged into the aux 12V outlet. These are really handy after surfing or mountain biking in the mud if you haven't used one.
The only really expensive part besides the seat install will be a fridge. I'm leaning toward the 50L ARB unit, which get's rave reviews for durablity and low power consumption from the 4x4 crowd. I may also build a small cooking station just aft of the slider for a protable propane stove or induction hot plate if I've got power. Shore power will be an extension cord
Right now the rubber mats are rolled out on my patio off gassing for a while, so my immediate project is installing some cheap but bright LED light's under the rear bumper and wired to my reverse light circuit. Hope to have those in this week and hope to be fabricating the panel bed system next week.
Still loving this van. It's definitely not Toyota or Subaru finish quality, but the mechanicals seem great and I'm still amazed at how it drives and how easy it is to back up and park for such a big pig!
JP
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2015 T250 high roof, extended, 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS, cargo with windows all around.

Last edited by JP4; 02-25-2015 at 09:54:PM.
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post #2 of 108 (permalink) Old 02-25-2015, 06:47:PM Thread Starter
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New seats, new floor, the beginnings of a bed.
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post #3 of 108 (permalink) Old 02-25-2015, 07:11:PM
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JP4 - Van Specialties installed front seat swivels? Do you know what the vendor was and how much they cost?
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post #4 of 108 (permalink) Old 02-25-2015, 07:58:PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by camp&ride View Post
JP4 - Van Specialties installed front seat swivels? Do you know what the vendor was and how much they cost?
They aren't swivels for the front seats. VS installed two more swiveling captains chairs in the second row.
JP

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post #5 of 108 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 03:31:PM Thread Starter
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Got to working on getting the aux backup lights installed. I used a little 1 1/2 inch flat bar and bent some brackets to bolt on to the rear bumper mounts. Just did a test fit and it looks like it's a good spot to mount them. Now for paint and wiring...
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2015 T250 high roof, extended, 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS, cargo with windows all around.
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post #6 of 108 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 03:53:PM
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Looking forward to seeing more from your build here. The close up shots are great, but I'd like some from a bit further back too.

Keep up the good work.
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post #7 of 108 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 04:35:AM Thread Starter
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I got the aux back up lights installed and they are performing well. 1800 lumens each and only draw 3 amps total. The way I have them mounted, I can swivel them as well as tilt then up and down. I choose to aim them to the sides so I can see where I'm turning, as well as be seen by other drivers. Super bright and only $16 each plus a little wiring and fab work. I mounted them to the bumper brackets which already had holes in them. I took power from the backup light wire on the the trailer plug and ran a ground wire up to the factory ground location just inside the left rear door and behind the lower protection panel. There are three factory ground bolts there. Found a secret pathway between there and the bumper through a one inch hole with a rubber plug which was accessible by removing the large rectangular rubber cover in front of the left rear bumper.
Also loving my interior board rack which I got to use today!
JP
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post #8 of 108 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 10:19:AM
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Source & manufacturer & model # of lights?

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
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post #9 of 108 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 10:52:AM
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JP4,
Just out of curiosity, now that I have learned (thank you Marine06) that the red lights in the back bumper are reflectors. Is there a way of replacing them with red 'LED' lights that can be wired in with other lights? Is the opening big enough, and access from behind?

Semper Fi

12/4/15 Finally able to drive.
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6/26/15 At Mobility upfitter.
4/2/15 - Built , 3/24/15 - Window Sticker
12/12/14 - Ordered, 350 HR XLT Wagon, 148 WB, 3.5 EB, 3.31 LS,
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post #10 of 108 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 12:48:PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orton View Post
Source & manufacturer & model # of lights?
http://www.amazon.com/Kawell%C2%AE-F.../dp/B00GJKXW8M

Per some reviews of them not being waterproof, I masked off the lenses and ran a bead of silicone around the edge of the lenses. Also siliconed where the wires go into the back.
JP
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