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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to replace my Chevy Express with a Transit. Been wanting to for a long time and I feel that time is right around the corner now. To get a better idea of what I hope to gain let me explain how I load up my Express which btw is a 15 passenger with all the seats out.

I put three Vari-kennel crates side by side by side directly behind the driver's seat. They are 26" wide by 40" deep. That way I can load/unload three dogs directly out the side door without drama. I also have a sheet of plywood on top of those three crates to sleep on. My only cushion is a sleeping bag because with the standard height roof there is no room for a mattress. Then loaded thru the back door I have more crates side by side with all the grooming stuff and what not inside them. It does have rear A/C and heat but only with the engine running.

So what do I want? Well I am hoping that I can still set it up in the same configuration. The length of the area the crates take up is 9 feet, ten inches. I think I saw the cargo area on the 148 is ten feet so I just squeeze in there. I want a mid-roof so I can have a mattress on my plywood for some better sleep. Easy so far right? Well get ready...

I want rear A/C and heat and I want finished walls so I was looking at a passenger van. I thought I could remove the carpet and install some matting but I'm not sure about that because I read the heat is ran thru the floor... I am also concerned about the way the walls get thick just above the windows because there might be a time that I need to stack one crate on top of another and I think that would force me to move the lower crates out from the wall resulting in a skinny "walkway" between the crates and the right van wall. Maybe too skinny to load/unload the dogs. IDK, as I know no one with a passenger that I can get measurements from.

I saw you can add rear A/C and heat to a cargo van but then it won't let you get the Load Protection Package (for the walls). I also read on the cargo there is no ducting for the rear A/C or heat...

Here's the other thing... I believe I would like a roof mounted A/C that I could run when the engine is off. I have read there are 12 volt units now and at first I thought how easy that should be to hook up if I get the dual batteries and the 255 amp alternator but I have read that simply is not so

So I ask what is the best/quickest way to get a van that has finished walls, rear factory A/C and heat, and a rooftop A/C unit.

I should add that while I'm capable of fabrication and installation of "stuff" I really want it to be as close as possible to the "finished" product when I get it because I simply don't have a lot of time to work on it .

Thanks,
-Bob
 

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You have a plan, so go with your plan, the transit is a good platform to do whatever you want. Here is some of my setup, as I change it up every now and then. I live in Georgia and have never had a need to use more than the front A/C, I don't have a rear A/C. I have 3 ruff-land intermediates, I can easily add 6 more stacked if and when I want. Plenty of storage under the bed accessed by rear doors. I'm also 6.1 200+lbs so I needed to take the panels off the walls, so now I have PLENTY of stretch out room when I lay down

156546
 

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I have had 8 dog vans over the last 30+ years. Everyone wants something a little different. I have an Express 15 passenger van, and ordered a Transit replacement in March that I am waiting on. I ordered a Cargo Van for several reasons: Did not want to have to store the seats I never use (too heavy to move in and out, anyway), Did not want to have to get a one ton van (can get a 1/2 or 3/4 cargo,) They are not really well insulated, and take up extra room. The Cargo van you can get insulated and put up non-obtrusive walls and a floor of your choice that is not as thick. My dogs have long hair, so did not want the passenger carpet and cloth seats to attract it. And, could order mostly what I wanted (except the floor and walls that you mentioned, because of the rear air.) Did a full conversion of a 2003 sprinter, with year air from engine as well as roof air run off generator and shore power. Was hard to get people to work on Sprinter, and because the rear air off the engine was not "factory", twice while traveling to shows, the dealers would not fix the A/C unless they blocked off the rear air! Kind of defeats the purpose, but maybe that is just Mercedes!

Look at this builder: https://cicionisprinter.com/transit/ . They are in Pennsylvania, but they know what they are doing, and I found that to be important: They can do the walls & floor, all kinds of rear air/heat (off engine, off battery, off generator and shore power.) There are video's to see what they do. You won't be able to get a 2022 for a while, so I don't know how long you want to wait. You may not have the same concerns about a passenger van, and can find a good Transit passenger or cargo. If you do, and it does not have factory rear air, Cicioni has those as well. I have not used Cicioni, just seen some of the dog vehicles he has done. Keep in mind those 12 v rear air units will only run a couple of hours and only with a lot of battery. Your biggest problem may be getting a Transit of any kind, though.
 

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Heres another option if your ok with doing some conversion work and used. it already has the rear A/C and plenty of walk around room
 

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We can order a Transit passenger van with the 'delete' seat package so you can get one with NO seats but it has the floor mounting brackets in the floor you can use with your straps to hold the dog crates. I have sold a lot of Transits to dog owners who transport dogs for dog shows as well as rescue work.

Some go with the 12 passenger rear 'delete' so you end up with a 54" 3 seat, 36" 2 seat, and a single 16" seat which are ALL removable. This gives you a way to add seats if needed and with this setup, seats can go in different positions. Since I have available NEW takeout seats, I can sell you a seat if you go with the full 'delete' seat package so you can get the seat(s) you want.
 

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We can order a Transit passenger van with the 'delete' seat package so you can get one with NO seats but it has the floor mounting brackets in the floor you can use with your straps to hold the dog crates. I have sold a lot of Transits to dog owners who transport dogs for dog shows as well as rescue work.

Some go with the 12 passenger rear 'delete' so you end up with a 54" 3 seat, 36" 2 seat, and a single 16" seat which are ALL removable. This gives you a way to add seats if needed and with this setup, seats can go in different positions. Since I have available NEW takeout seats, I can sell you a seat if you go with the full 'delete' seat package so you can get the seat(s) you want.
I ordered my Transit from CrewVanMan. Straight forward and knows all the Transit possibilities. If you decide to order, I recommend using him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really need to get my hands on a passenger van to see how much space I will lose because of the duct work and airbags over the windows.

Does Ford have a wall package you can order for retrofit? I saw some things on the web suggesting they do, but I can't seem to find one. I saw some places that have "kits" for you to install but the prices... I am able to fabricate wall panels and I could cover them with cloth or whatever. The problem is time and since I'm a perfectionist nothing is done quickly :) I'd rather fabricate a custom shelf for inside the back doors to put crates on top of and exercise pens/other equipment below.

-Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just realized I put this in the Transit Connect General Forum. I meant to put it in the regular Transit forum. Maybe a moderator can move it.

-Bob
 

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We just got a 2019 wagon, and travel with two 80lb dogs. We are planning a queen size bed in the back using Ikea rails and two dog crates behind the drivers side seat. We went with a medium roof since we won't be full time "living" in the van. There are lots of YouTube videos on building a bed. We also have the full vinyl floor package which we really wanted for the dog hair. Our van is a 148-in wheelbase 12 seater. We will not have the seats in it when traveling but the seat rails make nice tie down points.

I also agreed that crewvanman is very knowledgeable and if you were buying new I would try to order it from him.
 

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I just realized I put this in the Transit Connect General Forum. I meant to put it in the regular Transit forum. Maybe a moderator can move it.

-Bob
click on the 3 dots in the upper right of the post and ask the moderator if they could move it to the appropriate thread
 
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