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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 07:48:PM Thread Starter
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Just signed up. We just sold our Roadtrek, built on a Promaster chassis so that we could do our own build to better suit our needs. Trying to pick a van now and I wanted to see what y'all are doing with these vans
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 09:11:PM
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Originally Posted by Alex.sym View Post
Just signed up. We just sold our Roadtrek, built on a Promaster chassis so that we could do our own build to better suit our needs. Trying to pick a van now and I wanted to see what y'all are doing with these vans
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 11:45:PM
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Welcome to our little corner of the Internet!

I had a 1996 Roadtrek that was built using the Dodge van. While I was generally very pleased with it, and kept it almost 20 years, there were a few things I changed when I built my Transit. Some of the changes were due to the design differences between the Ford and Dodge vans, while others were things I didn't care for with the Roadtrek design.

The feature I liked the most about the Roadtrek was its compact fold out bathroom. The double folding doors opening the bathroom into the center aisle made for a roomy space when needed, and very compact when stowed. The design of the Ford would not allow for a recessed shower pan in the floor, so I ended up building a bathroom similar to many manufactured van campers with a small wet bathroom behind the driver's seat. It would be possible to have a fold out toilet only bathroom in the Transit, but the boss wanted a shower (she was right).

The Roadtrek bed in the rear that made up into a dinette booth was also dropped from my plans. I never used the area as a dinette, and never encountered a Roadtrek owner who did either. Everyone left it as a bed. By using Ikea rails for the bed frame, I have a much larger storage area under the bed compared with Roadtrek's design. I was also able to use a much nicer memory foam mattress compared to Roadtrek's cushion sections.

I also chose to have all the fresh water plumbing inside the van cabinets. Roadtrek installed some water lines under the van, which could be a problem in freezing overnight conditions. The fresh water tank is under the bed, just forward of the rear axle, where Ford recommends heavy cargo be located. I also decided to use a European style cassette toilet instead of a traditional black tank and sewer hose. The Roadtrek had a 12 gallon black tank, while the Transit cassette tank is about 5 gallons. This is actually easier because the cassette tank can be dumped at highway rest areas, BLM pit toilets, etc. Basically, any toilet becomes a dump station.

With modern 12 volt refrigerators using a Secop (formerly Danfoss) compressor, there was no desire to install a 3 way absorption refrigerator like the old Roadtrek used. Since the refrigerator was my primary user of propane, the Transit also has no propane system. Hot water is provided by an electric Kuuma marine water heater that also has a heat exchanger coil. Cooking uses either a microwave, small induction cooktop, or a portable Coleman stove for outside. A portable electric heater is used for the few times I need it. Roadtrek used fiberglass insulation, the Transit has much better 3M Thinsulate from Hein.

Hope this gives you a few ideas...
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2016 Transit 350 Cargo, 148" WB, Medium Roof, 3.7L V6, Side & Rear Door Glass
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 07:50:PM Thread Starter
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Geo, it sounds like you hit the nail on the head for all of our needs and complaints about the Roadtrek. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why all the plumbing was run under the van. We had several nights where our plumbing froze and it would have been fine if it had run inside our cabin.

Our biggest complaint is we have a child and the rear folding seats were so far away if our daughter needed something. Also we could never just leave the bed down as we were converting it every day to drive around. The cushion sections are terribly uncomfortable without a topper also.

We need more ground clearance as well. No black or grey tanks for us. We will carry a bucket for grey water if we need it for sensitive areas but will be using bio soaps. Cassette toilet is a must as constantly searching and paying for dump stations sucks.

Planning to still have propane for heat and cooking. It's too convenient. Our 12V fridge worked really well on our trip and are planning to use a Truckfridge on the build.

I took a low roof for a test drive the other day as no high roofs could be found near us, man do I miss rear wheel drive. The van accelerates so smooth, none of the jerky transmission action from the Promaster.

I know its only like 8 inches difference but man does the transit feel narrow, thats why I want to see what you are all doing with these vans before making a decision.

I could not find any Thinsulate on Hein's ebay page. is there somewhere else to find it?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 08:05:PM
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Attached link to a 148" WB high roof not extended conversion. Should provide some ideas that might be useful.

https://www.ortontransit.info/

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 05:41:PM
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Originally Posted by Alex.sym View Post
I could not find any Thinsulate on Hein's ebay page. is there somewhere else to find it?
You can send Hein a message here: https://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/...6394-hein.html

You can also visit his website: http://diyvan.com/

2016 Transit 350 Cargo, 148" WB, Medium Roof, 3.7L V6, Side & Rear Door Glass
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