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!
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.
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.