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Family Wagon/Simple Camper

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We received our 2016 Transit 350 XLT wagon on 12/13/16 and this thread will track our buildout. Going to haul our family of 3 (maybe 4) and serve as a place to camp and haul bikes/surfboards.

As received:


First thing we did was window tint. Went with 18% which is close to factory privacy glass. We might go get darker film on the rear doors and back windows or just make window shades.


Next was installing Cooper AT3 245/70/R16 and leaving on our first trip. Put 500 miles on it in the first couple days.



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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
I'm in the same boat, but my seat height is at 37" w/o front wheel, plus I want to make a slide out bike rack so my bike will be easily removable, another height eater upper, lol. Sitting up in bed is nice, I think you said you will be sleeping side ways in your bed? I think that's to best use of limited space since I'm 5'8". I feel I will have to have 2 bed heights, one for traveling with my bikes and one for sleeping with the bikes removed, unless I opt for a HR which I really don't want.



Great job, keep the info coming



Nice carbon wheels



Mtn bike racer Dave


I like your idea of a bed that has adjustable heights, or just two settings.

That bed with the nice Santa Cruz MTB is my friend's rig, but the same person (Ruhne Racing) built both of our platform bed systems.


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I like where you're going with you bed platform and bike storage. I've attached some shots of what I did with pull outs and a bed platform similar to your ideas. If I remember right I think I have about 36" to the underside of my bed platform, gives enough room above the platform to not feel crammed up against the roof. I'm 6'-5" so I have to take the seat posts out to get the bikes under. It's not a big deal right up until you spent a whole summer doing the work and you realize your aluminum seat post has decided it doesn't want to come out of your carbon frame. Luckily I've got a small enough chainring I can take both wheels off and set the bike down on the bottom bracket suspension linkage and get it in there.
 

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A height adjustable bed platform could be done with ergonomic table lift systems. These systems can have 4 hydraulic cylinders with 4 pumps on a common shaft. Turn the handle and all cylinders lift the same distance. They are one way cylinders and require weight to retract. The pump can be manual or electrical.

The bed platform could be up high for bike storage and lowered at night for sleeping with bikes removed.

I have used these systems to adjust the height of packaging machines for different height products.

http://www.suspa.com/us/products/table-lift-systems/movotec-industrial-systems/
 

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A height adjustable bed platform could be done with ergonomic table lift systems. These systems can have 4 hydraulic cylinders with 4 pumps on a common shaft. Turn the handle and all cylinders lift the same distance. They are one way cylinders and require weight to retract. The pump can be manual or electrical.

The bed platform could be up high for bike storage and lowered at night for sleeping with bikes removed.

I have used these systems to adjust the height of packaging machines for different height products.

http://www.suspa.com/us/products/table-lift-systems/movotec-industrial-systems/
Very cool! The website doesn't give any idea of cost, unfortunately. Got a rough idea?
 

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You've got a great build going on here. Well done, the finish is very high. Have you decided on a fridge yet? I went with a Dometic, which is working well. There's a photo on my Instagram: https://instagram.com/p/BQYqf4rA8WJ/

Bought a Vitrifrigo because the compressor is at the bottom which about doubles the freezer capacity compared to a top mounted compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
You've got a great build going on here. Well done, the finish is very high. Have you decided on a fridge yet? I went with a Dometic, which is working well. There's a photo on my Instagram: https://instagram.com/p/BQYqf4rA8WJ/


I haven't bought a fridge yet because we have a couple Yeti coolers that get the job done. It would be nice to have a portable fridge though. I was looking at the ARB/Norcold brands. Engel makes a nice one too.


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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
I like where you're going with you bed platform and bike storage. I've attached some shots of what I did with pull outs and a bed platform similar to your ideas. If I remember right I think I have about 36" to the underside of my bed platform, gives enough room above the platform to not feel crammed up against the roof. I'm 6'-5" so I have to take the seat posts out to get the bikes under. It's not a big deal right up until you spent a whole summer doing the work and you realize your aluminum seat post has decided it doesn't want to come out of your carbon frame. Luckily I've got a small enough chainring I can take both wheels off and set the bike down on the bottom bracket suspension linkage and get it in there.


The sliding bike trays are very nice. Good work. I'm still trying to find a solution that how to mount two Yakima fork mounts.


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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Finally gave up on the basic stock stereo. Mine had poor quality sound and I thought google map navigation would be nice. Has the local stereo shop install some Focal door speakers and tweeters, plus a Kenwood DDX9903S head unit. Nice glass screen and they had the double din dash kit in stock. Apple CarPlay is pretty convenient.

Anybody want to buy the factory unit?




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Finally gave up on the basic stock stereo. Mine had poor quality sound and I thought google map navigation would be nice. Has the local stereo shop install some Focal door speakers and tweeters, plus a Kenwood DDX9903S head unit. Nice glass screen and they had the double din dash kit in stock. Apple CarPlay is pretty convenient.

Anybody want to buy the factory unit?




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That looks nice. Do you still have steering wheel remote control? The sync interface is getting on my nerves, menu navigation is idiotic.


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Discussion Starter · #93 · (Edited)
That looks nice. Do you still have steering wheel remote control? The sync interface is getting on my nerves, menu navigation is idiotic.


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Yeah. The steering wheel stuff controls the volume, song choice etc. I don't think the button that controls the sync thing works (voice controls). But the new stereo has Siri. It's my understanding that the stereo shop had some sort of harness or control adapter if you had the steering wheel controls.

It's also nice to have a bigger camera screen and you can press the camera button at anytime to turn on the backup camera, even when your driving.


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Discussion Starter · #96 ·
Belloinsella!!!
Very nice setup. So when I'm ordering, skip Ford's (even super upgrade), units?


Some people seem to like the Ford navigation unit. I have never used it, but it looks clean and simple. I think there's a new software upgrade for that allows Apple now? What I can say is that for the $1600 spent on the Ford navigation you could get a pretty nice aftermarket unit with lots of power, CarPlay and put in some better speakers. I also added a Alpine power pack (mini amp) and the stereo sound great now.
 

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Did you do bucket or captains chair covers?


Today I installed a set of Wet Okole custom neoprene seat covers. I had a set on a previous vehicle and they've gotten even better. Fit is very snug and looks close to factory. My only complaint is that the pattern does not fit around the arm rest on the bench seat, but they notified me if that before ordering. They're a bit pricey, but well worth it. I think the two bucket seats were $260 and $298 for the bench seat. I also got the added zipper pocket on the back of both bucket seats.




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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
Finally got a chance to make a rough version of a rear door awning / sun shade. We're headed to Southern California beaches this week so it will be put to good use. I had some spare Cordura fabric which isn't particularly great in the sun, it gets bleached over time, but it's durable, lightweight and water resistant. The front forward seam has magnets to help hold it in place when installing. The rear doors get locked into place and there are four points that get guy lines or webbing straps with plastic slider hardware.

So far I'm pleased but would like the top to be taut. Will report how it does this weekend.




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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
Another thing I did was have a Boyo third brake rear camera installed. When we got the Kenwood head unit with the big screen we noticed the camera clarity was poor and wavey. The new vantage point takes some getting used to but it's more clear. The backup sensors still work, the curved lines don't. One thing I love is that the stereo has a CAM button so you can turn on the camera anytime while driving.




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