Ford Transit USA Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

Registered
Joined
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi 馃榾

Found this forum, which I think quite probably will be among my most visited websites at the end of the year 馃槄 anyway, my name is Ida, I'm a Norwegian girl living in you guessed it, Norway, I know this is a USA transit forum, but I hope it's ok that I joined..

Together with my hubby and partner in crime (not real crime 馃槈 ) I'm now the proud owner of a Ford Transit from 2017, and we're converting it into a campervan 馃榾

I already have my first question, which I hope you all can help me with.

That is we need batteries, and lots of them (pretty much because we want to be able to go off the grid for a long period at the time + we want an AC), how is it with weight distribution in Transits? Will it be problematic to have our batteries and water tank (about 100 liters) all the way in the back of our Transit?

Our Transit is an L3H3 with 170hp and it is front-wheel-drive. Any thoughts and experiences?
 

Registered
Joined
2,955 Posts
Greetings, I am second generation Norwegian/American. Our 1887 family farm is in Minnesota, I am currently living in Mississippi.
The L3H3 looks a lot like our Transit here in the USA, But most of ours are rear wheel drive with bigger engines.
I am linking the L3H3 so people here know which Transit you have.


Battery powered AC is possible with Lead Acid batteries but it will take a lot of batteries, And those batteries will weigh a lot. People here are starting to use Lithium batteries which weigh a lot less.
 

Registered
Joined
2,080 Posts
Welcome.

I spent many weeks in Norge back in Feb 1996. We stayed at a military base near Stj酶rdal. Mission was a military exercise, joint US-Norway forces.

It was so cold, I can't imagine anyone even having air conditioning there.
 

Registered
Joined
403 Posts
Hi, I'm from Alaska, the Norway of USA. Like @ranxerox said, I recommend using LiFePO4 batteries, not lead acid batteries. This Cold Rated Li Battery is 300 amp hours and only weighs 86 pounds. You can cycle it all the way down (although it is better to only cycle 80-90%). To get the equivalent energy from lead acid batteries, you would need twice as much battery (because you cannot cycle them as deeply) and that would weigh at least 400 pounds. Trojan L-15
 

Registered
Joined
282 Posts
Welcome and congratulations on your van. You will find a lot of useful information on this forum. Just take your time planning your conversion for camping and be sure to look through the sub-forum for camper conversions. Also, if you haven't done it yet, search the web for blogs that are based on converting the Transit and Mercedes Sprinter. There are lots of images on social media sites and some are sure to appeal to you. When posing questions here, it is most helpful if you have a specific issue in mind and provide as much information as you can about what you are looking for. It seems like vague requests for help designing a van get very few responses because the options are so varied and the open ended questions indicate that the user has not done very much research on their own.

You might start out with a little background on yourself describing how much van camping you have done and what you see your future self doing.
 

Registered
Joined
36 Posts
Hi. Welcome. To answer your question. An ac uses over 100 Amp at 12V. A 200 Ah AGM or a 100 Ah lithium battery would be empty after 1 hour of running the ac. Running an ac with a 12V battery bank for an extended period of time is not realistic. If you really think you need ac get a generator. A little 2000 Watt would be enough and a lot lighter than batteries.
 

Registered
Joined
223 Posts
Welcome,
Ford recommends that the heavy cargo weight be located slightly forward of the rear axle for best weight distribution.

My Transit (USA version) has a 95 liter fresh water tank and a 23 liter water heater under the bed. I installed two lead acid batteries under the floor using a welded battery rack that is also just to the front of the rear axle. For air conditioning, I either plug into electricity at a campground, or use an Onan generator that is located under the rear of the van where the spare tire was previously installed by Ford. The generator weighs about 45 Kg, and uses gasoline from the Transit fuel tank.

Water tank and water heater under bed.jpg Battery Rack.jpg Genrator.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ida

Registered
Joined
621 Posts
Hi and welcome. As others will say, battery power alone for auxiliary A/C is not practical. I built our camper for 4-6 day trips into the desert. I did the calculations and quickly realized that A/C is not practical with out either a massive solar bank or a generator. In the end I didn't bother with any of it and have survived quite well without AC. What we find is that we are typically driving during the hottest part of the day, park in shade wherever we can find it. use the awning and keep the air flowing through the side door. in 18 months and 17,000 miles pf adventures, I haven't regretted my decision.

BTW, we don't get FWD or any of the EU drive trains over here. All of the US Transits essentially use some version of an F150 RWD, AWD or 4x4 driveline, so we are not going to be much help with driveline questions but can offer advice (some of it useful) on everything else.
 

Registered
Joined
69 Posts
Welcome to the forum and best of luck with your build. As others have already said you are better off with a generator to run your AC for any length of time. We quickly figured out that batteries would not be practical. We use a 2200 W Honda generator that works just fine. When the weather is hot we carry the generator in a storage box mounted on the rear bumper, otherwise the generator stays at home (most of the time) and we fill the storage box with other stuff.

We will be interested in seeing pictures of your progress as you build out your campervan.
 

Registered
Joined
403 Posts
Hi. Welcome. To answer your question. An ac uses over 100 Amp at 12V. A 200 Ah AGM or a 100 Ah lithium battery would be empty after 1 hour of running the ac. Running an ac with a 12V battery bank for an extended period of time is not realistic. If you really think you need ac get a generator. A little 2000 Watt would be enough and a lot lighter than batteries.
Cruz n Comfort air conditioner draws 38 amps at 12.8 volts. That's a lot of current, but with a large enough battery bank it can be done, particularly if the van is well insulated and the AC is just for sleeping. The larger problem is recharging the batteries.
 

Registered
Joined
2,080 Posts
Cruz n Comfort air conditioner draws 38 amps at 12.8 volts. That's a lot of current, but with a large enough battery bank it can be done, particularly if the van is well insulated and the AC is just for sleeping. The larger problem is recharging the batteries.

I'd hardly call 5k btu a RV air conditioner. I have 13.5k btu and it takes a while to cool down van in Georgia heat.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top