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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks,

A little over a week ago I ordered a Silver 2018 350 SRW Extended High Roof Cargo 3.5L EB with Dual Windowed Sliders from Matt Ford. Projected delivery around Labor Day. The plan is for a full camper conversion in my free time over the course of about a year. I've built out an overland camp trailer on a M416 frame and a boondocking solar pop-up in my day, so I have a bit of experience coming into the project. I'm in the process of selling my current rig, a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and a built-out 2014 pop-up to help fund the project.

I hadn't planned on starting a build thread quite yet, but what the ****, I guess it will be a good place to contain my ramblings while I wait impatiently. (I need the posts to use the forum anyway)

Order Sheet:
W3U0 TRANSIT 350 HR VAN
148" WHEELBASE
INGOT SILVER METALLIC
CLOTH
CHARCOAL
PREFERRED EQUIPMENT PKG.101A
XL TRIM
MANUAL AIR CONDITIONER
3.5L GTDI V6 ENGINE
6-SPD AUTO SELECT SHIFT TR
235/65R16 BSW ALL-SEASON
3.31 LIMITED SLIP AXLE X3L
FRONT LICENSE PLATE BRACKET
FIXED PASS/DRV DOOR GLASS
AUTOLAMP W/RAIN SENSING WIPERS
9500# GVWR PACKAGE
CHARCOAL CLOTH 10WAY PWR HEAT
KEYLESS ENTRY PAD
TRAILER TOW PACKAGE
TRAILER WIRING PROVISIONS
MODIFIED VEHICLE WIRING PKG
REAR WINDOW DEFOGGER
CRUISE CONTROL
HEAVY DUTY ALTERNATOR
DUAL HEAVY DUTY BATTERIES
STYLED ALUMINUM WHEEL
HIGH CAPACITY UPFIT SWITCHES
TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER
REMOTE START
KEYS 2 ADDITIONAL
AUX FUSE PANEL
4X FRONT SPEAKERS FULL RANGE
PRIVACY GLASS
LOAD AREA PROTECTION PKG
FLOOR COVERING VINYL COMPLETE

MSRP - TOTAL BASE AND OPTIONS $49620
 

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I like the van name!


I'm looking forward to your plans.


I have my "crew seating" currently in place, but for two people road trips, there will be a bathroom in place. Road trip with stinky kids,
four seats.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I like the van name!


I'm looking forward to your plans.


I have my "crew seating" currently in place, but for two people road trips, there will be a bathroom in place. Road trip with stinky kids,
four seats.
Thanks! A crew seat will be my first mod. I just ordered a 36" XLT 2 Passenger Seat in charcoal from CrewVanMan for pickup in KC when I take delivery. :D

I've seen your dual slider around here. How do you like it? I went back and forth over it for several weeks before biting the bullet. What is your clearance from the end of the seat to the opposite wall/door?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My build plans are still in flux, but I have a good grasp on a majority of the major stuff. Primary use will be off-grid camping and travel.

Utilities:
~400W solar with ~400AH of house battery.
Compositing toilet. No black tank.
Portable 5-10gal fresh and grey water jugs w/ provisions to store about 40 gallons total.

I'm still on the fence about propane for heat and hot water. I'm worried about insurance coverage. TBD
I'd like AC, but don't want to run a noisy, large and/or expensive generator. I have a dog to keep cool. I wish someone would come up with a AC unit that would run reliably off a single Honda 2000i or a 2000w inverter! I'll probably go for 2 Maxxair fans for now.

Interior:
Removable 2nd row seating.
E-W lofted queen bed, with garage beneath for bikes and/or kayak (yes, a kayak).
Driver and passenger swivels.
Cork floors
Ikea Cabinets. I've been contemplating this a lot. I like the idea of just modifying well built cabinets for a nice clean look. They have everything I'd need available off-the-shelf (forgive the pun). Including 30" x 15" x 15" overheads. They come unassembled for easy modification.

Exterior:
8020 rack for solar and kayaks.
Rear door ladder
 

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You can see the crew seating is offset to the side. This leaves 9' behind the seats, 13' behind the passenger seat. Glad I ordered an HR-EL



My son commented having that other foot well drop down is odd. I'll have a solid floor, but a power step to make it easier for ingress on that side. Debating leaving the footwell, but have a portion that slides forward (footrest on long trips) but other tucks back when I need that footwell.


My overheads I want to keep to 12" deep, 15" high, by the length of the bed. Two beds that flip up on the walls leaving foot space between them. My needs/use will change week to week, so flexibility is vital. House battery (8D AGM 255 AH) and Inverter (2000 Watt Outback) need to tuck under the floor. Keeps back floor clear.



Roof AC will be on 13500 BTU. To run is 1500Watts, but you have to size inverter for 3x that load due to starting load. The trick is to use a "soft start" on the AC compressor. That battery could power the AC for thirty to sixty minutes. Once underway think duty cycle (i.e., run ac 5minutes, off 5 minutes) which will help cool the rear. Panel van means fewer windows, so less interior heating. Less interior heat, the less you need to run the AC.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You can see the crew seating is offset to the side. This leaves 9' behind the seats, 13' behind the passenger seat. Glad I ordered an HR-EL

Great info, thanks!

Sorry, I didn't phrase my question on seat clearance very well at all. I'm curious about the clearance from starboard edge of your 2nd row seat to the starboard slider door.
 

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Great info, thanks!

Sorry, I didn't phrase my question on seat clearance very well at all. I'm curious about the clearance from starboard edge of your 2nd row seat to the starboard slider door.

I have that 36" wide seat mounted to the far left. Maybe less than an inch to the closed door.


68" width at the 24" height on the interior (this tapers down to 64" width at 60" height, btw). So that leaves about 32" from the edge of the seat to the right side sliding door.



I'm planning on keep the galley on that side to only 16" depth, with a tapered front nose (just enough room for paper towels and a trash can) to allo passage to the back.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I have that 36" wide seat mounted to the far left. Maybe less than an inch to the closed door.


68" width at the 24" height on the interior (this tapers down to 64" width at 60" height, btw). So that leaves about 32" from the edge of the seat to the right side sliding door.



I'm planning on keep the galley on that side to only 16" depth, with a tapered front nose (just enough room for paper towels and a trash can) to allo passage to the back.
Thanks Tom, that confirms my guestimates.



I made significant progress on my build-out today by finally selling my pop-up! It went to a sweet young girl in OH who loves to camp with her young kids and quickly outgrew their tiny skamp trailer. She got a great deal on a great camper that they'll enjoy for years to come, and I got a significant hunk of change for my new project ;)

Next up is selling my 2011 Jeep Rubicon. Let me know if your interested ;)

~13 weeks until delivery.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
6 weeks down, 6 weeks to go! The wait is driving me crazy!

My first parts started arriving so things are starting to feel real. Seat brackets are here and I went ahead and ordered a 31" seat in addition to the 36". I figure I can reconfigure things if I need room or comfort for additional passengers or resale the other down the road.

I've refined the layout further, considering weight distribution and usability goals. The vision is certainly starting to take shape. I started to work in Sketchup, but that was futile without yet being able to take real measurements in the van.

I gone back and forth debating if I made the right decision going with the dual slider. I'm back to being glad I did now that I've worked out the layout. The openness of having both sliders open is going to be great, and the reason I always loved the tent feel of my popup.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Build Day!

My rig should be built today. I've arranged to fly out to KC on the 12th, hopefully it will be there by then.

My build plans are coming more and more into focus. I've made a major decision to go with a 12v mini split AC (500W 8,000btu) despite the cost. It came down to spending the money on the AC or a much larger battery bank and inverters. The flexibility of running the AC on the factory HD alternator (remote start) or near 100% solar sold me on it.
I worked out a new scale layout for AC and solar placement.

3 more long weeks...
 

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I am at Matt Ford today and just looked at the Vehicle Visibility. Shows to be in the 'build' process. Will let you know when it shows to be cleared and going to Quality Control area.
 

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My rig should be built today. I've arranged to fly out to KC on the 12th, hopefully it will be there by then.

My build plans are coming more and more into focus. I've made a major decision to go with a 12v mini split AC (500W 8,000btu) despite the cost. It came down to spending the money on the AC or a much larger battery bank and inverters. The flexibility of running the AC on the factory HD alternator (remote start) or near 100% solar sold me on it.
I worked out a new scale layout for AC and solar placement.

3 more long weeks...
Which ac unit did you settle on? How much height does it add to roof?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Which ac unit did you settle on? How much height does it add to roof?
It isn't a roof mount unit. Its a 3 part mini-split system VES 12L by Cruise N Comfort. 38-46A @ 12v 8,000btu. The compressor and evaporator are mounted inside. I will mount the condenser under the van.

They are marketed as a standalone retrofit kit for vintage vehicles without AC. They have other systems that may work better in a RV application, but this one fits my space constraints. Some of their other 2 piece systems are designed for use with a thermostat for example.

http://www.cruisencomfortusa.com/hot-rod-series-1/
 

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I have a 36" 2-passenger seat in the same position as you, keep in mind that the Ford wagon seats do recline slightly, so your shower location will impede on that. I'm thinking of a wet bath behind the seat as well.

Must be nice to have all that extra usable space behind the rear axle, the extended van makes a huge difference in what layouts are possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have a 36" 2-passenger seat in the same position as you, keep in mind that the Ford wagon seats do recline slightly, so your shower location will impede on that. I'm thinking of a wet bath behind the seat as well.

Must be nice to have all that extra usable space behind the rear axle, the extended van makes a huge difference in what layouts are possible.

I hope to have just enough room for the recline, but it's going to be tight ;)


I originally wasn't going to go with the extended length. My girlfriend talked me into it, and I'm so glad she did.
 

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I hope to have just enough room for the recline, but it's going to be tight ;)


I originally wasn't going to go with the extended length. My girlfriend talked me into it, and I'm so glad she did.
i'm 75% set on the non-ext length simple due to the fact that i would be driving on some forest roads to get to trailheads that can be really narrow. with the extended length i wouldn't be able to turn around as easily if the need came up. also, i emailed FarOutRide to ask their experience and something they brought up is that the ext length is more prone to bottom out when encountering dips and gullies in the road. they actually have air lift springs installed on their van that helps with that. granted they said that the times they've run into an issue due to the length was only 1 or 2 times, but my use and theirs and where we travel may differ.

i really want the extra space the ext provides, but i just don't know for my use if i'd regret it and vice versa.
 
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