DIY CAMPER / DAILY DRIVER...which model? - Ford Transit USA Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 05:38:PM Thread Starter
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Cool DIY CAMPER / DAILY DRIVER...which model?

Hello. This is my first post to the forum.
I had a handful of questions I would like opinions on. I am on the fence with trading in my daily driver (crosstrek) and getting a Transit.

60% daily city driver (Los Angeles)
40% camping, surfing , bicycles, hitting the mountains (husky owner) some snow, travel through all the states

Myself the lady and 1 dog

Looking at a super DIY camper set up that can easily be taken down when needed to haul items.

Items I am thinking of that I would like to have.

Insulation and wood paneling (Dig the cabin vibe)
Bed (Maybe fold up into couch)
Maybe an inverter for Vitamix Possibly a mini fridge down the line.
Solar panels
Install air vent
Eventually rotating driver and passenger seat if possible
Some add on storage here and there


1. 3.5 Eco with standard axle config. or Diesel?

2. med roof/short or high roof/long ?

3.When ordering what options to go with and what to skip? (safer than sorry)

4. passenger sliding door window with back window? (privacy glass)

5. back up sensors / Camera ?

Anything that comes to your guys mind I am all ears.

Cheers!
E
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 07:47:PM
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Just out of curiosity. Since you are in LA, space is at a premium, there's only two of you and a dog... Ever think about maybe looking at the Transit Connect? Cheaper, gets about 10mpg better fuel economy. Easier in the city. You'd need racks for the surf boards but that's pretty easy. Just my 2c but if I could have made the connect work, I'd have gone that route!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 08:13:PM Thread Starter
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Hey Andy
I thought about that. Was a little too much on the small side just in case we decided to bolt from our daily lives down the line and head out for a year or so. That LA parking though
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 08:59:PM
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I ordered a RWB MR 150. Will be a daily driver, and a basic touring camper.

The lwb is far better from a conversion space viewpoint, but we had to sacrifice liveability for mobility and city parking. Not an easy trade off to get right.

My option list below includes non essential items such as remote start, alloys, and reverse sensors. Most of the other options are optimized for a conversion. I would not do without the upfitter switches and dual batteries/hd alternator. Electrical stuff is fairly complex and its hard to beat factory installation standards. In my years of rv camping experience, electrical issues can reduce the fun factor quickly.

Factory glass is also important because it is inexpensive on order, but costly to DIY, and no warranty. The factory interior side wall panels and basic floor covering will also provide some initial insulation and noise reduction, saving a lot of work in my initial build, meaning I can start camping sooner.

I did spend lots of time reading posts on this forum from start to finish, particularly on conversion threads. Very valuable to help you understand what is important to your own sense of priorities, and there are some smart people contributing their trial and error experience for our benefit.

Lotsa fun!!! Good luck.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 11:21:PM
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You may want to take a look at www.sportsmobile.com for floor plans and ideas. They will custom build to suit and do as much or as little as you want. You can even buy a Transit from them, or furnish your own. I think they have 3 facilities, one is in California. But, it takes them a long time to get the job done.....you need a lot of patience. There seems to be a good demand for their used units.

Wish you luck and lots of fun.

2016 T250 148" low roof with 40/60 side doors. Privacy windows all around, and lots of options. Will build a "stealthy" Touring/Camper. I feel more like I do now than I did a while ago.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 12:50:AM
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Do you wish to stand up in your van? If so then your only option is the high roof. That narrows it down considerably.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 02:37:AM
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I bought mine as a daily driver and to convert as a campervan for my wife, the dog and myself. We bought a Medium Roof 250 with the 3.5 EB engine, trailer tow package and sliding door and rear door windows. It has the rear view camera but no sensors.
When we picked the van up it didn't have tinted side and rear windows. I didn't even notice it until my wife pointed it out. I have since tinted the windows myself.
I love the van but the medium roof is a little low for me at 6'1". This is no big problem since I won't be walking around much inside the van. The reason we went with the short wheelbase is the fact that I need it to be easy to park.
I installed the factory roof rack today and I just ordered an aluminum Rhino cargo rack. As soon as the rack is installed I will order a Fiamma 45S awning and mount that on the rack.
The Rhino cargo platform will need to be modified somewhat because I will install a vent but I'll do that my self.
I looked at the Aluminess roof rack priced at $1,800 and Van Specialties quoted me a custom built aluminum roof rack that looks exactly like the Rhino rack for $3,000! By doing it my way I can have a rack and an awning for half the price.

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

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 08:27:AM
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Originally Posted by Jostalli View Post
Do you wish to stand up in your van? If so then your only option is the high roof. That narrows it down considerably.
Hey, that's not true. It depends on the person's height, and whether they want an elevated floor (to run pipes and wiring under), and, maybe whether they want high-mounted cabinets. And, for borderline height, whether they're willing to have their head touching, or how much they're willing to nod their head or stoop.

Medium roof is acceptable for me to stand in even after adding a plywood floor and finished ceiling, and I'm 5 foot 9 inches. And, I don't have the extra wind resistance of a high roof.

Transit 250 Cargo MR LWB 3.5L w/3.31

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Last edited by EddieZ; 09-11-2015 at 08:39:AM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-13-2015, 08:14:PM
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Lightbulb

My wife and I have a 2010 Chevy AWD van we converted. The interior size is very close to the RWB HR Transit. We have 6'2" height and 120" on the floor... it is also my wife's Daily Driver. She loves sporting around in it and it is her first choice (we have a 4 door Toyota too) if going anywhere for the day. The space is a bit Spartan if one were to "Head out for a year"...in that case we would want the LWB RB that gives you the couple extra feet on the floor.

Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle

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I'm pondering _Van 2 build_ ...that's why i'm here!
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