Ford Transit USA Forum banner

21 - 40 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
2016, MR, 130"
Joined
·
435 Posts
Communication of location and life with my parents was refused payphone call from person with name = current location.
Hey, I thought I was the only one that did that! Cheap and effective!

But I'm not building a campervan, I'm just making camping in it more pleasant.
You just made me realize that I am somewhere in between. I am not really building a camper van but that is all I use it for. I guess eventually it may be classified as one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
While my goal was to have a competent camper, I have really enjoyed the learning process in the build. While many of you have existing skills to build great output, mine are generally newly developed. I've used quite a few new-to-me tools that really made the work easier and neater. Youtube has become my best friend on the build because without fail there was some smart generous person that took the time to show how they solved a problem.
And, of course, I appreciate this forum for all the ideas.
 

·
Registered
2016, MR, 130"
Joined
·
435 Posts
Remember, you can never have enough hooks and, sooner or later, traveling in a van means somebody will see your bare ass.
Words of wisdom, words of wisdom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Just to chime in and say my build took waaaaaay longer than I expected. Started in Jan2019 and just finished a cpl of months ago. I worked part time on it but still bet I have more than 2k hours between all the tasks required.

Like someone else said, everything you do is a prototype. Some stuff I have redone 3 times to get it the way I wanted. I spent around 36k on the build, not including the van. Lots of custom work/parts, have AC, instant hot (lukewarm) water, professionally finished wood, etc. Probably wasted 25% of total parts/materials due to doing things over or a diff way.

The best advice I can give is don't kick yourself if it is taking too long or you made a mistake causing you to redo something. That's gonna happen for sure. Over and over, haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
I’ve been working on mine 6.5 years. Most would have thought it finished years ago, but I’m happy when I think of something else to add. I developed an allergy to computers when I retired, so one board can require maybe 50 trips between shop and van until I get the fit right. Keeps me fit.

Like this silly one:



that became this (PM, not Transit):

What the What?!? How the **** is that possible. That's incredible work. Shut up and take my money!!!
 

·
Registered
2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
Joined
·
883 Posts
Good to see so many reflecting the same thoughts. The one that resonates most with me is over-thinking the perfect implementation versus planning/expecting to do everything at least three times. That seems to keep me from becoming the old-man who over-thinks and over-plans too much.

This is rig number two. And the initial build DID go much, much faster. In two months, we had the bed, galley, electrical, solar all functioning. It probably helped a lot that I had a minor injury that kept me from running as many miles as usual and poured my energy into the rig for a couple months. But even that portion has all been re-built since.

The "build at least three times" was what actually happened on the first rig - and seemed to work well. So we started this one with that as the mantra. It has served every time we're stuck. That... combined with, "don't force it if we don't know what to do yet." Those two mantras made the last rig super solid after three years or so.

Latest example was the ceiling panel just behind the cab. Mulling it over for months. Looking at others' examples. Nothing quite right. Want it smooth and flush and all that. Hm. Wait... "at least three times..." yeah... that's freeing! I can build a CRAPPY version first then clean it up until it works. The progression (in a day) worked out great. Happy with the outcome and the reminder that this is the process and it works out pretty well.

Clearly still in the "don't know what to do yet" mode with the blobs... 🤔 🤣


154465


154466
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
I've been struggling with the desire to over building things:
  1. spent a week going down a rabbit hole of LED lighting strips in the van to see a buddy just throw up a couple magnetic battery powered LEDs.
  2. spent several weeks looking into solar+batteries+convection cook top to see same buddy using propane camping stove.
  3. 30 hours looking into hydronic heaters for cab heat/hot water ...see other people on here rocking joolca's, solar showers, or water bottle's painted black on one side
all of the above were way easier and less expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
I've spent some time pondering what if I were forced to start over—like van gets totaled.
Having satisfied my longstanding camper van daydream, I’d probably say “Been there, done that”, and move on to some differently imagined transportation / travel rig, still seeking the perfect chord. 😄
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
I just delivered a 2020 AWD 148" HR I built for a friend. I did it in 3 months (500 hrs) more or less with some predesign but not much. Lots of preordering. We got lucky on a few items (you know, like an in stock van, thanks Eddie) and were able to get flaresides and awning etc, before supply got tight.

Customer wanted onboard shower, (so onboard tankage) and ability to carry 2 bikes and gear as well as sleep 2 on occasion. I also made it a pain by inventing a folding bed. I had a hard cut off delivery date so way 2 many parts were "one shot" and spent a lot of time getting it right first time.

I was lucky that I had already done work on mine so i knew fastener needs etc. But who knew i would use over 100 rivnuts? Not me! Or 350+ feet of wire? 22 sheets of 4' x 8' panels? Never would have guessed! And the screws? Sooooo many screws. I standardized sizes as possible but my guess is 500 plus in #8 #10 and various metric bolts.

It was a fun and stressful money maker and know I fully understand why these rigs can cost 110K plus. This "new build from scratch" touches that with my labor bill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
water bottle's painted black on one side
That’s actually option C for heating shower water when neither Sous Vide nor Webasto is appropriate. 😊

Having satisfied my longstanding camper van daydream, I’d probably say “Been there, done that”, and move on to some differently imagined transportation / travel rig, still seeking the perfect chord. 😄
No way. This van satisfies something deep in my soul. When I can’t drive any more, I’ll park in my son's back yard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
I just delivered a 2020 AWD 148" HR I built for a friend. I did it in 3 months (500 hrs) more or less with some predesign but not much. Lots of preordering. We got lucky on a few items (you know, like an in stock van, thanks Eddie) and were able to get flaresides and awning etc, before supply got tight.

Customer wanted onboard shower, (so onboard tankage) and ability to carry 2 bikes and gear as well as sleep 2 on occasion. I also made it a pain by inventing a folding bed. I had a hard cut off delivery date so way 2 many parts were "one shot" and spent a lot of time getting it right first time.

I was lucky that I had already done work on mine so i knew fastener needs etc. But who knew i would use over 100 rivnuts? Not me! Or 350+ feet of wire? 22 sheets of 4' x 8' panels? Never would have guessed! And the screws? Sooooo many screws. I standardized sizes as possible but my guess is 500 plus in #8 #10 and various metric bolts.

It was a fun and stressful money maker and know I fully understand why these rigs can cost 110K plus. This "new build from scratch" touches that with my labor bill.
any pictures of the folding bed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Clearly still in the "don't know what to do yet" mode with the blobs... 🤔 🤣
Paint to match your ceiling. Might not be your final solution. But they will recede into the background when they aren't in such contrast with the ceiling. Use a good primer then your ceiling paint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
I’ve watched you guys struggle with that transition at the front, and I think Greg’s is the finest I’ve seen. I can sense the satisfaction of getting that fit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I built custom motorcycles and when you build your own, you built it as a one off. My trimming options and details on the bike is to my liking.

There is alot of prototyping, but as I build more and more custom bikes and car interiors, I feel there are alot of transferable experience when I’m building my van that really minimizes prototypes. More often is build and slightly alter and dress up and install. I don’t find myself rebuilding stuff or completely redesigning.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Our build took about six months for two people all Saturdays and every evening after work. It was fun project at the beginning, but really slow and we were exhausted at the end.
We took our time to plan, discuss, re-think what would work better for us and we glad we did that as we had no regrets with the result. Even after we planned what and how we are going to build we often corrected our plan in process while we were building a thing.
Because a van is not square it take more time to make what we wanted. Our kitchen galley took us several weeks. Also tons of time spent in Lowes/Home Depot, watching YouTube van conversion videos, re-thinking, adapting ideas, inventing our solutions, ordering parts online and reading this forum. Overall it was fun project, but we have no desire to repeat it anytime soon as it takes a lot of time and money. However second build most likely will be easier to implement if needed and should take less time as we already have some experience.
About lessons we learned: it take a lot more time and money than we initially expected, and it's good to take your time, re-think a lot before doing something and not to be in hurry. And seems this project never completed. We stopped at about 95%-98% or so it's usable for us and make some improvements/fixes time to time...
 

·
Registered
2017 Transit T250 3.7L. 148wb magnetic
Joined
·
2,029 Posts
I’ve been working on mine 6.5 years. Most would have thought it finished years ago, but I’m happy when I think of something else to add. I developed an allergy to computers when I retired, so one board can require maybe 50 trips between shop and van until I get the fit right. Keeps me fit.

Like this silly one:



that became this (PM, not Transit):

Is that your urinal ?
I've recently have found a lot of Innovation/ideas in the toilet section of the Home improvement stores , people must come up with good ideas while sitting on the toilet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
I'm not sure if we're ever really "finished" with a build. We just reach a point where it is functional for its original intended purpose and then with each trip discover items that perhaps need to be modified, removed or added.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
I did a lot of that, filling my garage with tons of components when they came on sale or were hard to get during the Covid shutdown. My worry with doing this was I was going to get a defective part and not be able to return it after a few months, but so far everything has worked as promised. I will admit to ordering one or two duplicate plumbing parts, forgetting that I had already ordered it.
This is funny as I have had to make a list of stuff I have ordered and stuff I want to order. I’m afraid I will duplicate something because there is so much and you have to store it somewhere. Sometimes out of site.
 
21 - 40 of 54 Posts
Top