Hello from San Clemente... Finally getting going with Transit - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 03:22:PM Thread Starter
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Hello from San Clemente... Finally getting going with Transit

Hi all - I've been lurking and chiming in from time to time but haven't made an introduction yet. I purchased my Transit in May 2016 with an intent to built a minimalist conversion, balling on a budget van. I live in Sunny Southern CA and have been busy with summer activities - including a week in Tahoe (stayed in cabin not Transit) and two weeks in Indonesia - so it's been slow going on my van project. My girlfriend and I have tentative plans for travel and our build which I happily shared!

The Van:
2015 Ford Transit 150 Cargo 148" Medium Roof - Green Gem Metallic
- windows all the way around with front row flip outs
- 3.7 V6
- dual battery option
- bought used Ford CPO program with 8500 miles

For the build we wanted to keep it minimalist/simplistic as possible without being uncomfortable. We figured it is better to get plenty of trips under our belt to assess our needs. Additionally, we like looking at what others did and learn from their experiences.

Build details: so far and preliminary...
RB Components Sleeper Sofa - at first I was going to build a platform bed but after seeing another Transit at Doheny with the Sleeper Sofa, I scrapped the platform bed.
Maxxair Maxxfan Deluxe 4 Speed -
Tinted Windows - limo tint across all back and side windows while front windows and windshield are equipped with Air80
Magnetic surfboard rack - I built a nice surfboard rack that holds 3+ shortboards and with magnets attached it to the side of my van (just below my first driver's side rear window. It holds my shortboards vertically and works perfectly. It also pops off when we aren't surfing to free up valuable space. For our longboards I either hang them from the ceiling or the floor.
Cargo Net - we opted for cargo nets from harbor freight for a couple of applications. First, We bought a jumbo net, folded it in half and then run it along the driver's side ceiling of the van. This allows us to utilize vertical space (blankets, towels, pillows, etc.) over our sofa sleeper. It can be removed (or the things in the net can be) with ease to gain the space back if we need need the space. We also put a cargo net up behind the driver and passenger seats to keep our dog from trying to ride shotgun. Our mini-aussie is spoiled enough; she doesn't need to sit on our laps while driving.
Removable Hooks - also from harbor freight, I purchased some hooks (similar to those you see in a garage ceiling to hand bicycles) and fabbed up a rack to store our bicycles vertically from the ceiling. We have cyclocross bikes (like a road bike but better, cooler, and more fun) so hanging 2, 18 pound bikes from the ceiling wasn't a concern. I secure the rear wheels with a bungee to keep them from moving while in motion. Like the surfboard rack, the bike hooks are removable mainly to keep us from hitting with our head.

Still To Do:
***I plan on having the roof sprayed with Linex in a grey (light as possible) to protect the roof // keep from having to wax it and hopefully not be as hot as the dark green paint. Feedback welcome on any experience with linex temps and/or a roof treatment you may have done/seen.
***Installing a shower rod and front curtains for privacy. While we have a windshield shade we use when parked, we want would like less light while sleeping and less visibility from the front windows. We are still debating between curtains in the back since the window tint makes it dark enough at night and we aren't worried about stealth. My parents' RV has nice blinds but I'm trying to stay clear of those since they're costly. What was your approach to curtains or blinds?
***ARB (or equivalent) cooler. We love making Acai bowls for breakfast. Who uses what for coolers? How did you wire for full time hot from the cigarette lighter? Tapping into the power driver seat sounds like the best choice from what I've gathered so far.
***Passenger swivel seat - this is totally a want,solely for the fact that I think it is rad. But $300+ has it on the back burner.

Some of our Destinations (in no particular order):
California Coast - we love surfing and cycling so anywhere from San Diego County all the way to Humboldt County offers waves and some pavement to enjoy.
Yellowstone - one of the many national parks we want to check out. I heard about some amazing hot springs nearby as well. We will also visit a friend in Ennis, Montana for some fly fishing.
Yosemite - pretty much all the staples of CA our on our list. I haven't been to Yosemite for 25 years or so.
Lake Tahoe - I'm the Chevy Chase of sledding. My girlfriend snowboards worse than I sled. Our van would get to cold in winter but summer rides around the lake are in order.
Grand Canyon - Solely to see where Joe Dirt's parents abandoned him.
Banff National Park - why not EH!
Vancouver, British Columbia - see above EH!
Pacific Northwest/PDX - since we are going to Canada, we will have to drive back south so why not stop in bicycle friendly Oregon, get some coffee in WA. Coos Bay is on the radar too. As is crater lake (to ride our bike around it).

We welcome suggestions! Eventually we want to motor across the country and check out the beaches and hurricane swells in Carolina and New Jersey and anywhere else on the right coast.

chasing swell in the green 2015 transit 150 cargo with glass all around when there's no waves I pedal 🏄🚵
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 03:41:PM
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A simple solution for window covers are Reflectix covers. You will see a slot between the glass and sheet metal on inside. Just the correct size to slip in Reflectix. Make covers same size as the glass but add tabs to fit in the slots. Back windows have a long slot at center and short slots on outside. Sliding door has long slot at back and short slots at front. Use the silver Reflectix tape to seal the edges.

I now hang the privacy curtain across van just behind the sliding door.

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 08:11:PM
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fargy483, do you have a link to the cargo nets you bought? I've thought of using that also for bedding, bags.

I put a spring loaded shower rod between the foam blocks in my med-roof transit with curtains from walmart. Works great. For side curtains I ordered a couple of rectangular black table cloths that reach from the b pillar to the back doors. Use a spring clip to hold them at each end. They are very quick to put up and remove and totally black out my tinted windows. I hook a bungee across the back doors and put another cover there to block the back windows. You will want to unplug the rear interior lights or put switches on them.

I bought the Dometic DFX-65DZUS refrigerator/freezer. While I eventually plan to wire it to full time power with house batteries, I have actually used it on trips of several days just plugged in to the accessory outlet. I set the freezer for 9 degrees, and put a large gel freezer bag inside the freezer partition. Every time you enter or exit the van it resets the timer and the unit is powered up for another 1/2 hour or so. That has been enough to keep the unit quite cool during the time that the van is parked, and so far the stock dual batteries have had no problem keeping up.

2016 T-250 Cargo, MR, LWB, Lunar Sky, Tinted Glass all around.
3.5L EB, Quigley 4WD, 3.73LS.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 11:10:PM
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Agree with Audiopyle that Walmart black-out curtains are inexpensive and very effective. So are cheap curtain rods. For a few bucks more buy a curved shower curtain rod from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Another member of this forum suggested it and it works great. Maybe $100 for all the curtains & rods.

Take those cross country trips as soon as you can - we've done it twice - and not just across the US. We drove from our (prior) home in Vermont to Ottawa then made a left - and didn't stop until we were on Vancouver Island. Lots of miles, lots of great scenery and lots of incredible memories.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 09:46:AM
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fargy483: I'm in San Clemente too. Well, n. sc on the DP side of the line.

Anyway, looking to get more info on your set up as I will be pulling the trigger on a new transit in the relatively near future.

Would like to check your rig out at some point, or pics would be ok as well.

Let's talk.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 10:52:AM Thread Starter
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I need to snap some pics and post them.

@orton - I will look into the reflectix for that purpose.

@audiopyle - I found mine in store but I'll look online and share the link. I suggest determining what size you want and scouring Craigslist too. For the ceiling storage application I am trying to find a webbed cargo net for more capacity. The harbor freight one is a bungee net and while effective it think more support (and smaller webs) would be beneficial. I appreciate the insights on the curtain set up. Walmart and harbor freight are my go to spots for the preliminary set up and testing phase. I'll make a run today to see what I can sort for the rod and front curtains.

@richard - I'm jealous of your adVANtures. I'm considering renting my house at the start of 2017 for the very reason of forcing me to start advanturing!

@altaboy - happy to meet you and share my set up. There are a couple guys out of Dana Point with nice vans. I'll send you a message with contact info.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 02:39:PM
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Hi Fargy483,

My wife and I are also just getting started with our build just south of you in Encinitas. Let's meet up and compare notes some time. I also have some ideas for hanging bikes along the back doors and swivel when you open the doors. I want to see how you are hanging your bikes too. Let me know if you head down to the Encinitas area.

Tom & Terri

250 MR 148" oxford white 3.5L GTDI V6/3.31 LS
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 06:00:PM Thread Starter
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Hi Tom - it would be great o meet you. I'll send you contact details in a message and we can meet up in the near future.

chasing swell in the green 2015 transit 150 cargo with glass all around when there's no waves I pedal 🏄🚵
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 05:10:PM
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Sounds like an awesome build. We are local in Santa Ana too. Would love to see pics of your set up!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 10:31:AM
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We'll be in San Clemente, Pendleton, and SanO this weekend. Van meetup?

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