Decision time: seats and rooftop questions - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 03:58:PM Thread Starter
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Decision time: seats and rooftop questions

Hi all-
I’m new here, but I’ve been reading a lot. This is an incredible site for information on converting Transits, thank all of you for sharing.

We are in the *very* initial stage: which Transit flavor: Cargo Van or Passenger Wagon? The pros & cons are pretty well laid out in various threads, we just need to decide our priorities. For background: we come from years of great tent camping….only recently figured out (duh) that our smallish SUV had room for a comfy IKEA mattress in it, paired with a car tent, what a luxury! Of course now we dream bigger (if certainly more modestly than some plans I have seen on this site)! Here are a few issues we are wrangling with, and we would appreciate any thoughts you have:

• We’d love it if both front seats could swivel—and this Ford media center blurb mentions a new “walk-through center console” that would be available with the 2017 Transits (all variants). It makes me wonder if perhaps this would allow for a driver’s side swivel (but maybe the underseat batteries and/or the emergency brake would still be an issue, I don’t know)—does anyone know more about this?

• We tend to lean toward a Passenger Wagon because it would give us the option of safely (well, defined by Ford & NHTSA) carrying additional people. If we went with a Wagon, though, we’d have those hugemongous side curtain air bags—a serious consideration for design when the vehicle was in recreation mode. I think in that case we’d go simple, modular, and have to deal with finding/making secure places (using lower sides and the floor) to create secure tie-down locations. Feel free to point us toward creative options, I've seen some Wagon conversion threads here.

• We think we’d like the Rear AC Option, but would also like eventually to have a rooftop fan (or perhaps a rooftop AC)…but does that huge black ceiling ductwork allow for a rooftop “anything” at the Roof Panel Aperture shown on page 168 of the 2015 Ford Transit BEMM (I can’t find a 2016 version of the BEMM)? I am assuming that is the sole location for rooftop ventilation options?

Thank you so much!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 10:55:AM
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Keep in mind that the rear AC only operates when the engine is running. It is designed to keep passengers riding in the rear of the vehicle cool.

I see very little value in the rear A/C unless you consistently haul around a van full of people.

I would look at the RV prep package since I believe that gives you the windows all around but does not include the rear AC or the airbags. I'm not positive on this but I seem to remember it being discussed on the forum.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 01:32:PM Thread Starter
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Exactly. I believe the RV Prep Package deletes all rear seating, though. Too bad I can't get Ford rear seats without rear side airbags, but of course Ford won't do that! And, from what I understand, Transit Wagons with rear seating have some additional reinforcements around the seat attachments on the floor—trying to go the route of buying a rear-seat-less Wagon (the RV Prep Pkg) and then trying to buy seats & rails afterwards might mean I don't have that extra reinforcement.

What I really want is a "crew-cab" style Transit: the ability to flip the Transit from around-the-town-mode (seating & safety for 4-ish people total) into rv-mode (just seating for 2, with the rv fun stuff put in).

So maybe we can order a Wagon, with the minimal seating offered, but no Rear AC. This way, we would not have to deal with all that rear ductwork if/when we want to add ceiling ventilation (fan). We would remove appropriate rear seats, and of course have to work our build around knowing that there are huge airbags on either side.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 03:22:PM
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If you order the cargo van with rear a/c you do not get ductwork. A/c unit is on rear floor, driver's side. You also get side panels. You do not get flooring but headliner is/was a no-cost option. Read somewhere that the a/c prep requires an a/c unit.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 08:55:AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueJay View Post
And, from what I understand, Transit Wagons with rear seating have some additional reinforcements around the seat attachments on the floor—trying to go the route of buying a rear-seat-less Wagon (the RV Prep Pkg) and then trying to buy seats & rails afterwards might mean I don't have that extra reinforcement.

What I really want is a "crew-cab" style Transit: the ability to flip the Transit from around-the-town-mode (seating & safety for 4-ish people total) into rv-mode (just seating for 2, with the rv fun stuff put in).

I found myself in a similar situation and decided to build my own. The wagons do have floor reinforcement but if you take a look it is pretty minimal. Picture an L shaped bracket welded to the frame rail and bolted through to the seat rail.

I sourced some seats from a Sienna minivan and plan to replicate what Ford did with steel plates bolted through. I have two young kids and I am confident the setup will be safe. Van outfitters do it all the time.

My van started life as a cargo to allow me the most flexibility in the build. Like you I want to be able to easily switch between camping, kid hauling, and moto hauling.

Good luck with your search, keep us posted. I have a build thread here if you want to check it out.

My uses are similar to yours -
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 10:53:AM
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You have probably already seen these pictures but if you haven't scroll down to see all the extra stuff in the wagon that you would need to contend with.
https://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/c...r-wagon-2.html

2016 Transit XLT 350 MR 148" Ingot Silver, 302A, 57B, 99M, 446, TC8, X7L, 17K, 41C, 43R,52C, 53B, 59B, 57N, 584, 63C, 63E, 66P,68H,86F, 90C, 92E
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 12:39:PM Thread Starter
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option packages

Thank you all for the thoughts, these really do help!

We're early enough into the decision phase that I find my brain twisting when I start delving into what *exactly* Ford means by some of the optional packages, what supersedes what, and even by the ford.com "build your own" site (kinda would be nice if the actual graphic of the vehicle matched exactly what you're picking, you know!)

For example, I could choose to build a Wagon, and pick "Builder's Prep Package" (allegedly giving me the floor reinforced for adding seats, but none of the actual seats or railings--see post #12 of "Turned Passenger van into crew van"). It's not clear at all if this "Builder's Prep" would include airbags, though?

But let's say I choose to build a Wagon and pick "AC Prep Package without Rear Controls", then automagically the "Builder's Prep Package" is also included. So does that mean that the floor is also reinforced, though?

If it comes down to not having everything we want, then perhaps going with a Wagon, with seats already in it, but *no* rear AC, might work. We could remove as many seats as we want, or replace them as desired. We would have to work out design around those rear air bag curtains.

What I'm not sure is how to choose options for a Wagon that would omit the rear AC--meaning, omit the black ceiling ductwork in particular, but also would be nice to not have that rear AC unit at all near the back door.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 03:27:PM
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Just checking, do you have a copy of the Transit Order Guide? It lists every option, shows which other options it requires or excludes, and has more detail on what it is. Was quite a bit more useful to me than Ford's online configurator. Might help you with figuring it all out...

You can send a PM to CrewVanMan with your email address and he'll send you a copy. (It's a roughly 16 page PDF.)

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ETIS Build Date: 5 Apr 2016
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 03:33:PM
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Make sure you talk to your dealer before ordering the prep package. I am not sure if it is the same in all states but I ordered what the dealer
calls a builders package, van comes complete with windows finished walls and rear AC/Heat, but no floor and no rear seats. I thought I would just buy some captain’s chairs like I use to in the old days and put them and the floor in myself. After placing the order for my new Transit, and giving a sizeable deposit, I was told that they couldn’t release the vehicle to me until the seats were installed by a licensed Ford after-market installer and that I would have to buy the seats from them. 3 months later I still don’t have the vehicle and the seats haven’t even been ordered yet. Today they tell me that the seats that the installer was going to use don’t fit the weight class for my Transit. I found this hard to believe. I am still really excited about getting my vehicle but the process has been extremely challenging.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 06:23:PM Thread Starter
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RandomJoe: Thank you! I will do that—this order guide sounds much more useful than the online ford.com builder!

[email protected]: That is the sort of thing that I'm afraid of...ordering some things that give us headaches—I really hope that your order works out and that you get the vehicle you want. I've never custom ordered a vehicle before, always just bought one new off the lot, or used, so I have no idea if this process is always challenging, or more so because there are so many flavors of the Transit.
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