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Discussion Starter #161
Well I assume this build thread is a few days away from an update. I've been out of town working for almost 2 months now and basically the whole time I've been gone the outdoors in my area has been closed to riding due to the fire risk. Coincidence I've been gone that whole time working .....no.

So the soon to be updated part is the whole time I've been here I've been planning a work trip to Colorado and Utah from Western Canada with 3 other people and their bikes. So this means seats , need more seats !

So I have a set of Toyota Sienna second row recliners , Ujoint off-road seat bases , front passenger swivel , and a Dometic CFX 65DZ cooler to instal on L track in very short order when I get home so we can take off to Utah.

I'll keep you posted
 

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Discussion Starter #163 (Edited)
Well update time , once I got back home from working for 2 months out of town I picked up the u-joint seat bases and the eBay ordered headrests for the Sienna seats . I was assured they were the correct Sienna seats but just missing a headrest so I headed off on the 2 hour drive all giddy with excitement to pick up my Sienna seats. Well you guessed it got all the way there and the fellow who I had been talking to on the phone and the right Sienna seats weren't there. It was completely wrong and had the guy on the phone looked at them he'd have known they were wrong. Needless to say I wasn't very chuffed about the whole ordeal with the pending trip coming up and knowing I have several days of work to do to get the van ready.

Plan B I had a VW transporter seat in my garage I could weld a base to and order the correct Sienna seats on eBay and have them delivered somewhere along the route of my trip. Problem solved.

One guy backed out of the trip and this worked perfect as I really only wished to mount one seat so I just ordered a single seat on eBay and had it shipped to Moab Utah , 23 hours drive away and our first planned stop on the trip.

I cut , marked and mounted L Track in the floor in the location I wanted the single seat ( quite happy not having to mount two) and set off to get a welder buddy to mount up a plate to the bottom of the temporary seat to get the 3 of us safely to Moab.


Here's the VW Transporter seat


So 2 weeks worth of riding in Moab Utah , Crested Butte Colorado and a brief stop in Washington state for some more riding we are home. I pulled a 20 ft long by 10 ft wide car hauler trailer with 3 KTM 990's and 2 KTM 300's and a KTM 450 plus all our gear bags , camping stuff , BBQ etc.



In hindsight the width of the trailer added to the fuel consumption a lot but I was very pleasantly surprised at how much power the Van had pulling all that weight. I do wish the fuel tank was larger as stops to refuel were very frequent.

The Dometic cooler was awesome and worth every penny.

Anyhow I'm back home now and just finished cleaning the van so it's ready for the next job so I figured I'd share some pictures of the seat installed and the current set up.




 

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what was the weight of the trailer and what did you get for mileage? I am setting up the same van right now for MX racing it will have a 55-85 gallon water tank under the rear sofa sleeper. We also want to tow a 6500 # camper behind it.

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #165
I scaled the van once we got back into Canada and the total combined weight was 14,000 Lbs. I was surprised it was that much to be honest but 3 x 990 Adventures is easily 1,500 lbs by themselves.

As far as the mileage I did keep a running trip log on the trip computer but my tires aren't stock size so it affects its ability to calculate it properly. The night we left we hit hard rain , and lots of mountains and I believe the air filter was getting wet as the computer was calculating the mileage at 6.19 mpg . By the end of the trip it was showing 8.7 mpg for the whole trip. I'm going to pull the air filter tomorrow and see if my suspicions are correct that it was getting wet through the intake. I have the air box sealed and covered so water isn't getting in that way.

I normally see mileage with 3 dirtbikes in the van and no trailer of 16.8 mpg.

The 10 ft wide trailer wasn't helping matters at all as you have 1 1/2 ft sticking out each side to mess with the aerodynamics so I assume a 7 ft wide trailer would be far better but by how much I can only guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #167
Hi, I love your van build. Can you tell me what material you used on the floor. I assume it is a vinyl floor ? Thanks


It’s a 1/2” wood subfloor with 5mm vinyl plank laid overtop. Thanks again for the kind words.

I desperately want to eliminate the checkerplate hold downs near the rear edge and side steps , will probably get rid of it this winter at some point for some bent stainless or aluminum to finish it up.

Just not a fan of the checkerplate look.
 

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Great build! Thanks for all the info!

...And great taste in bikes - I'm hoping to start a Motovan build soon to carry my and friends 990 and my 501S along with their 500 EXC's.

Still trying to decide between the Sprinter and the Transit.
 

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For the most part I used stainless 1/4 x20 fasteners with washers and nylock nuts , the odd place this was impossible so I used threaded inserts (riv-nuts)

Some places you just simply couldn't get access to the backside and for those spots riv nuts worked like a charm.
this is a great build thread. very informative.
i'm trying to figure out how to mount l-track in my 2017 transit and i'm not afraid to ask dumb questions

did you drill all the holes for the 1/4 x 20 fasteners? did you paint or otherwise treat the holes you drilled to prevent rust?

thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter #172 (Edited)
Yes I did have to drill a fair amount of 1/4 holes for the mounting of the L track , I didn’t bother painting each and every hole personally. I did try and mitigate the metal shavings as best as possible though vacuuming into the areas the shavings would go.

Anything exposed to the exterior I would prep and paint though.


I live in a really dry area so on the interior it just wasn’t a huge issue for myself.

As anything in life van builds are never done , more updates coming with the rebuild ceiling panels , extrusion light surround , shelving and house batteries with Xantrex charger and inverter. It’s only money and you can’t take it with you.

Here’s a teaser of the new ceiling as I await the new lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #173
Ok so I have a few things on the go , new carpeted panels to accommodate the illuminated extrusion rectangle in the roof area and building a house battery system that will. Garage from shore power or the alternator.

Roof
So the roof was a solution for a few reasons , some of the existing 1/4 carpeted panels over time began to warp and not look as good as I’d hoped long term. I always wanted a dimmable light source for inside the van and I was bothered by the amount of unusable space higher up so I wanted to build some cabinets.

Kill two birds with one stone and build an extrusion surround for lights and also have it be sturdy enough to mount some cabinets from. So Captain overkill ordered some 1 1/2 x 1/2 thick flatbar to tie in the roof ribs in the area it would be needed. Totally overkill but I’ve learnt along the way the more you can tie things together the tougher and quieter the van gets.

Here you can see the flat bar installed and pre loaded with hammer nuts for the extrusion. The wood strapping will be gone in the process.


I picked the flat area of the roof ribs to mount the flat bar and by going 1/2 thick it gave strength and also stepped the extrusion out far enough from the roof so that the panels would join in and not cover the 40x40 mm extrusion.

To mount the flat bar I cut blocks of the flat bar and threaded holes so the blocks would go into the rectangle openings and turn 90° and support the weight.


So now make a panel to fit into the extrusion and hold the lights , I wanted something that would offset all the carpet so I used some of my vinyl plank flooring , mounted it to some 1/4 plywood , build 5 horizontal stiffeners along the length so it wouldn’t bow. I had to carefully grind the edges down so it fit perfectly into the 10 slot of the extrusion.


Then mark and cut holes for the lights that should be here today in a fashion that they wouldn’t be directly under the roof ribs for clearance.


Sorry I wish I had pictures along the way of the threaded blocks that fit inside the roof ribs....oops

I’ll separate the house battery system into a different post here so it isn’t all jumbled up.
 

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Discussion Starter #174 (Edited)
Ok so onto Operation house battery....... the lights arrived today but it was full steam ahead on the house batteries.

So my needs were that I wished to stay away from solar at this point as I’d just personally sooner have the alternator do the work or the odd time have the ability for shore power to charge and/or maintain my house Batteries. The beauty of this is it will also charge the Van batteries and even start the van from my house batteries if they ever die an unexpected death while on a trip in the middle of nowhere.

So I purchased
2 x 6 Volt 220 AH AGM batteries
Xantrex 40 amp Smartcharge 2
Xantrex Smartcharge 2 Remote
200 amp Bi-Directional switch w/ aux start option
Samlex 1500 watt Pure Sine inverter
Blue Sea ST Blade Fuse Block
4 gauge battery cable Red and Black
Battery terminals & 4 gauge eyelets and crimped my own cables
2 x 150 amp resettable breakers
1 x 100 amp resettable breaker
And an existing 13 amp Noco plug to attach to shore power and to hook the 120 volts to the smart charger.

So first off I set about building a battery box out of aluminum extrusion and it sat in a somewhat wasted space between my drivers seat and my toolbox.




1/4 plywood and carpeted the front and will carpet and make a top panel once I finish all the wiring and fitting the Xantrex smart charge2 , Samlex inverter and the Blue Sea Fuse Block inside it.



The first was to run a 12 volts positive cable off the stock batteries under the drivers seat to the first 150 amp breaker. You can see it in the picture on the back of the seat pedestal This allows you to hit the button on the breaker and completely separate the two systems from each other.


The next step is running another 4 gauge cable from the 150 amp breaker to the 200 amp bi directional switch seen further toward the wall near the bottom of the seat. It’s relatively smart as it will only charge the house batteries once the Van batteries have reached 13.2 volts. It then starts charging the house batteries and the van falls below 12.8 volts it disconnects from the house batteries and just concentrates on charging the Van batteries.



Top view of Battery box


So today was a success as I made it as far as hooking the two 6 volts together in series and tying them all into the bi directional switch and through the 150 amp breaker. Fired the van up and heard the click of the separator and it was sending juice to the house system ..... no burning , no smoke , no boom , no batteries blowing up and my pale white skin is all intact.

Tomorrow will be wiring the Xantrex and the Samlex to all work and tying in all my other power needs to the house batteries. More chance for boom , smoke and fire.
 

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Discussion Starter #175
So Xantrex Smartcharge 2 and the Samlex 1500 watt pure sine inverter are in and wired into the box and working as planned. Wired in the remote for the inverter into the front of the box.


Xantrex remote is also installed and I made a small plate for mounting it and the switches and dimmers for the light in the overhead extrusion light surround.



Overhead extrusion w/ lights is complete.





So the Xantrex charger works great from shore power and the bi-directional switch works as planned. You can hear it click and engage when the van batteries reach 13.2 volts and disconnect when the van’s batteries fall below 12.8 volts. Fingers crossed everything keeps working as planned. I’ll report any problems.
 

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My van is going to be a live-aboard so my DR650 will be transverse on a hitch carrier... thinking I need air shocks. extended length, your thoughts? Please and thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #178
Mine is a t350 , not sure what yours is rated for but airbags aren’t terribly expensive and probably a good idea.

If you can (depending on the weight of the rest of your build) wait and try it out first , you might be pleasantly surprised even though that weight is cantilevered off the hitch.

There isn’t a lot of travel in these before they touch the bump stops.
 

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My van is going to be a live-aboard so my DR650 will be transverse on a hitch carrier... thinking I need air shocks. extended length, your thoughts? Please and thank you.
My big butt Transit drags the hitch receiver pretty easily. I don't think a hitch carrier would work. I have one, but haven't felt the need to try it; the bike fits inside just fine. Air bag suspension definitely helps.
 
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