Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Springfield, Mo
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In Planning Phase...HELP!
Hey everyone! I'm new to this incredibly helpful forum and wanted to introduce myself and pick your brains for guidance. I'm from Missouri and am looking to build a wheelchair-accessible adventure-mobile. My wife uses the chair, but we're getting rid of our traditional wheelchair van (Honda Odyssey) in hopes of ordering a 2019 Transit within the next couple of weeks. We're hoping to get into an accessible vehicle that will give us access to places we've previously struggled with. For example, we've been out of cell range and struggling to get back up a steep gravel road after checking out a river access spot (the front wheel drive on the Honda barely got us out). Another time was when we joined some friends for a campout, but nearly got high-centered on a steep railroad crossing on their land (again, no cell service out there and the wheelchair conversion kit on the Honda left us with minimal ground clearance). I realize the Transit isn't currently offered in 4WD, but I'm not willing to risk (or pay for) a 4WD Sprinter. So I'm hoping to build/order a new Transit that will give me more offroad confidence and better ground clearance than our Honda had.
So we're looking at getting the medium roof, regular wheelbase Transit Cargo with the 3.31 Limited Slip Axle and 3.5L Ecoboost. From there, I'm hoping to upgrade the tires (all-terrain/offroad) and install a 2–3" lift. I also read about someone adding an ARB locker. I'm hoping with all that, and plenty of weight over the rear axles, I could get around how we'd like. Keep in mind, I'm not going to be towing, off-roading or overlanding. But we would like to explore a dirt road from time to time without worrying as much as I am now about getting stuck.
So here are some questions. Am I on a good path with the specs listed? How terrible will the MPGs be if I do all this? Is FordPass available on the 2019 Transits? If I wanted to build this into a camper van down the road, what other options do I need to add (interior upgrade package, aux heater/AC prep, dual HD batteries, HD alternator, builders prep package, RV prep package, upfitter switches, etc.)?
There's just a lot of options when custom ordering, and I'm not entirely sure what everything does, or if I'll need them.
Anyway, I know I've rambled a lot, but I'm hoping to get some conversations started to give me a bit more confidence when pulling the trigger on my custom order soon. Thanks in advance! - Chris