Ford Transit USA Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So our path to a camper van started about 5-6 years ago, when I started getting the bug to move from a tent into some sort of rig. Around that time I started getting the 4x4 van bug, looking at UJoint conversions and I was very close to puling the trigger on a E350 Ambo with the 7.3 that was already converted, however my wife got cold feet and I bought another Jeep TJ instead. We eventually move from the tent into a 25ft travel trailer which serves us well for a few years. All the while I was working the van angle...

We then booked a trip to Montana (Pre covid booking), and as opposed to renting a car as we have done in the past, I talked my wife into renting a van. We ended up in a Sportmobile converted Sprinter 170 Extended, and since Covid kicked in about a month after booking the van was a perfect way to socially distance while we were there in September. My wife was apprehensive at first given the length of the van, So I had driving duty our of Bozeman towards or first destination. My wife drove the second day out toward the National Bison Range in Charlo MT, and after a few hours she turned to me and said "I love this, we are getting a van". So upon the successful completion of our trip of almost 2000 miles around Montana we knew two things, we were getting a van, and we want to move to Montana in a few years!

Once we returned home I quickly sold our travel trailer to some friends, traded in the Diesel 2500HD for a Gladiator Rubicon, and started the search in earnest. I looked daily, multiple times a day at autotrader, local dealers craigslist, you name it and I was looking. I started weighing the DIY route vs finding a builder, looking at costs for each and what we would end up with and how soon we could get out on the road. Both searched were frustrating to say the least, from a builder perspective they were either unresponsive, or if they were responsive were cost prohibitive. From a van perspective we originally wanted a Sprinter, and I wanted 4x4. Well those were outside of the budget we allocated, and I could literally watch the prices going up over the months we were looking. So after researching and hearing about the AWD Transit we included that in the search, little did I know I was searching for an even more elusive unicorn in a High roof extend AWD Cargo van. After having a few sold out from underneath me, or dealing with dealers who were charging well above the market numbers, I came across one in CT. I inquired and it was still in stock. So I went to the RI(where we live) location as they said they had one I could test drive and if I liked it they would get the cargo moved over for me, and they would let me apply a special deal I get for working for my employer which saved me several thousand. While putting the paperwork together the CT branch actually tried to lie and said they thought it was just sold and sent out to add a refrigeration unit. Well the owner happened to be standing right there and he hopped on the phone and I got the van! Here she is in all her plain white cargo van glory!



152417
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
So our path to a camper van started about 5-6 years ago, when I started getting the bug to move from a tent into some sort of rig. Around that time I started getting the 4x4 van bug, looking at UJoint conversions and I was very close to puling the trigger on a E350 Ambo with the 7.3 that was already converted, however my wife got cold feet and I bought another Jeep TJ instead. We eventually move from the tent into a 25ft travel trailer which serves us well for a few years. All the while I was working the van angle...

We then booked a trip to Montana (Pre covid booking), and as opposed to renting a car as we have done in the past, I talked my wife into renting a van. We ended up in a Sportmobile converted Sprinter 170 Extended, and since Covid kicked in about a month after booking the van was a perfect way to socially distance while we were there in September. My wife was apprehensive at first given the length of the van, So I had driving duty our of Bozeman towards or first destination. My wife drove the second day out toward the National Bison Range in Charlo MT, and after a few hours she turned to me and said "I love this, we are getting a van". So upon the successful completion of our trip of almost 2000 miles around Montana we knew two things, we were getting a van, and we want to move to Montana in a few years!

Once we returned home I quickly sold our travel trailer to some friends, traded in the Diesel 2500HD for a Gladiator Rubicon, and started the search in earnest. I looked daily, multiple times a day at autotrader, local dealers craigslist, you name it and I was looking. I started weighing the DIY route vs finding a builder, looking at costs for each and what we would end up with and how soon we could get out on the road. Both searched were frustrating to say the least, from a builder perspective they were either unresponsive, or if they were responsive were cost prohibitive. From a van perspective we originally wanted a Sprinter, and I wanted 4x4. Well those were outside of the budget we allocated, and I could literally watch the prices going up over the months we were looking. So after researching and hearing about the AWD Transit we included that in the search, little did I know I was searching for an even more elusive unicorn in a High roof extend AWD Cargo van. After having a few sold out from underneath me, or dealing with dealers who were charging well above the market numbers, I came across one in CT. I inquired and it was still in stock. So I went to the RI(where we live) location as they said they had one I could test drive and if I liked it they would get the cargo moved over for me, and they would let me apply a special deal I get for working for my employer which saved me several thousand. While putting the paperwork together the CT branch actually tried to lie and said they thought it was just sold and sent out to add a refrigeration unit. Well the owner happened to be standing right there and he hopped on the phone and I got the van! Here she is in all her plain white cargo van glory!



View attachment 152417
Cool!!! Exactly looks like ours.
Identical to mine as well !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So while searching for the van who has no name, we were lucky enough to be put in touch with a friend of a friend who has built a few vans, and has a shop in Florida. We were a bit apprehensive, so he flew up and we met him at his house here in RI and walked through the process and our vision of the van and our intended uses. We saw several examples of his builds and talked to a few of his customers that he has either built vans for, or had purchased his builds from their original owners and have gone back to work with him on various items. Everything checked out and after our meeting we were very comfortable with him, his approach, and willingness to work on our fully custom build out, so off to Florida it went. to start the process. First the floor was insulated and subfloor went down, followed by Solar, AC and Maxx Air fan.

152433

152435
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
. We are going Nature Heads composting toilet, and on board water, hot and cold. Started to mock up the build, and then put some flooring down:
152439
152440




152441
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From here things started to take shape. We had provided the layout, and its essentially a east/west queen bed, that slides closed with two 36 inch "chairs" and a table that slides our from under the bed, we are doing an outdoor shower in the back. Our goal was to have a functional layout that would work for the two of us on long trips and that we can use year round in and around the mountains in New England and out west. We also added a window to the slider, and the rear doors, as well as two by the bed, and one over the sink.

152449
152450



152451
152452


152453
152454
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This pretty much brings us to where we are today. There are a few weeks of work left, but its getting very close, and we are super excited!

Once we get it back home to RI there are some small things that we opted to leave out of the build for us to do ourselves, but those are more aesthetic, so it will be ready to use when we pick it up! The Aluminess tire carrier should be here in another 8 weeks or so, and then the Vancompass lift and hopefully by then Method has released their wheels for the AWD vans and I will get those and KO2's for tires and she will be done...until the next thing:p

Almost forgot we went with a Fiamma 45S awning as well.

We picked out every piece and and what went in and where, so its truly a reflection of our vision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
This pretty much brings us to where we are today. There are a few weeks of work left, but its getting very close, and we are super excited!

Once we get it back home to RI there are some small things that we opted to leave out of the build for us to do ourselves, but those are more aesthetic, so it will be ready to use when we pick it up! The Aluminess tire carrier should be here in another 8 weeks or so, and then the Vancompass lift and hopefully by then Method has released their wheels for the AWD vans and I will get those and KO2's for tires and she will be done...until the next thing:p

Almost forgot we went with a Fiamma 45S awning as well.

We picked out every piece and and what went in and where, so its truly a reflection of our vision.
Looks sweet. Tell me about your tires. I've got the Vancompass lift kit parts ready to go and am intending to just get the same Patagonia A/T R 265/75 R16 tires that they use in their video, but I came on this forum today to see what other tires people are using with this lift kit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Really nice work, glad to see someone building from Plywood, so versatile!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looks sweet. Tell me about your tires. I've got the Vancompass lift kit parts ready to go and am intending to just get the same Patagonia A/T R 265/75 R16 tires that they use in their video, but I came on this forum today to see what other tires people are using with this lift kit.
I am planning on BFG KO2's in 245/75/R16.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Really nice work, glad to see someone building from Plywood, so versatile!
Thanks, we are super pleased so far! I considered the 8020 route, but I'm not a huge fan of the look and my wife wasn't at all. We want a cozy cabin kind of vibe.
 

·
Registered
2020 T350 EB SRW AWD HR EL
Joined
·
791 Posts
Looks sweet. Tell me about your tires. I've got the Vancompass lift kit parts ready to go and am intending to just get the same Patagonia A/T R 265/75 R16 tires that they use in their video, but I came on this forum today to see what other tires people are using with this lift kit.
What is the load rating of this Patagonia tire?
 

·
Registered
2021 Cargo T-350 LWB HR EB on order...
Joined
·
312 Posts
In this photo, I see that your van has several atypical items:
  • factory exposed wiring loom on the passenger side
  • black plastic duct (or conduit) on passenger side below the rear window cutout
  • exposed wiring and plastic parts on the passenger C pillar
I suspect that these items are all related to the power sliding door (PDS). We ordered the PSD on our van, but we haven't received it yet. Those additional parts and wiring could be troublesome for our build. Do you have the PSD on your van, or are those atypical items related to a different option?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In this photo, I see that your van has several atypical items:
  • factory exposed wiring loom on the passenger side
  • black plastic duct (or conduit) on passenger side below the rear window cutout
  • exposed wiring and plastic parts on the passenger C pillar
I suspect that these items are all related to the power sliding door (PDS). We ordered the PSD on our van, but we haven't received it yet. Those additional parts and wiring could be troublesome for our build. Do you have the PSD on your van, or are those atypical items related to a different option?

Thanks!
We do have the PSD in our van. It hasn't hampered any of our plans for the build out.
 

·
Registered
2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
Joined
·
697 Posts
In this photo, I see that your van has several atypical items:
  • factory exposed wiring loom on the passenger side
  • black plastic duct (or conduit) on passenger side below the rear window cutout
  • exposed wiring and plastic parts on the passenger C pillar
I suspect that these items are all related to the power sliding door (PDS). We ordered the PSD on our van, but we haven't received it yet. Those additional parts and wiring could be troublesome for our build. Do you have the PSD on your van, or are those atypical items related to a different option?

Thanks!
It has been something to work around in our build, but not any kind of deal-breaker. We removed the plastic cover which made the "work around" much smaller. And the wiring it smaller / less than on the driver's side, so... just one more thing. 🤷‍♀️
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
What cooktop is that? I assume propane.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top