Camper Van Conversion

Ford Transit Butter 3D Model

Camper Van Conversion

FEATURES

  • Ford Transit 2016
  • T-250 (3500LBS payload capacity)
  • 3.7L Gasoline Engine
  • 148″ Wheel Base. Extended Length, High Roof. (Body Code R3X)
  • LSD (Limited Slip DIfferential)
  • Magnetic Grey
  • Fixed rear windows with flip-opened side passenger window, Power Heated mirrors with turn signals, 230amps Heavy Duty alternator with dual batteries and modified wiring, Heavy-duty tow package (includes hitch), Remote keyless entry keypads, Cruise control.
  • Total Conversion Cost: $18,275 USD
  • Total Conversion Labor: 640 hours

See Cost And Labor page for detailed breakdown: faroutride.com/cost-and-labor

  • Transit Empty Weight: 5450 LBS
  • Conversion Added Weight: 1800 LBS
  • Payload Weight: 1700 LBS
  • FarOutVan Total Weight: 8950 LBS

CONVERSION PROGRESS

WE'RE DONE!! 100%

INTERACTIVE 3D MODEL

COST AND LABOR

BUILD JOURNAL

WEIGHT SUMMARY

And here is the final weight summary of our campervan conversion: as delivered, conversion added weight, payload & total weight as measured.

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR COST

Maintenance and repair cost should be taken into account when choosing a van. Here is our Ford Transit maintenance and repair log book since DAY 1 of ownership (June 2016); we keep it up-to-date so hopefully it helps you choose the right van!

VAN CONVERSION RESOURCES

Inspiration, Ideas, Knowledge Sharing, Budget, Paperwork, Buying the Conversion Material, Technical, Ford Transit Resources.

STAY IN TOUCH!

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about us

Nice To Meet You.

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017 we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers and moved into our self built campervan. We’ve been on the road since then and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; we’re chasing our dreams and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!

72 thoughts on “Camper Van Conversion”

  1. Hey guys,

    17 weeks and I finally got my black LWB HR van. It’s sweet and it’s BIG and the first thing I did was paint my hubcaps black and they look awesome!. A question for you: have you considered a bumper guard?

  2. Bonjour,j’aimerais savoir si le Ford transit camper van est fabriqué à l’usine de Ford,Soit la transformation de simple fourgon à camper van? Merci.

    • Le Transit peut être commandé en tant que CARGO (complètement vide, véhicule commerciale) ou en tant que véhicule PASSAGER (avec plusieurs rangés de sièges). Nous avons acheté le Cargo et nous avons fait la transformation nous-même tel que décrit ici: faroutride.com/build-journal

      Au plaisir!

  3. Hey guys! Just took delivery of my factory-ordered 2018 van. May have made a mistake ordering the rear AC/heat, as it is a big unit sitting on the floor at the back, taking up room where the bike trays (road and Mtn bikes). I’m assuming you don’t have this unit – do you miss not having rear AC/heat? In the desert, would you want it? Obviously only runs when the engine is running.
    Will relay comments later on Scopema swivel seats, etc.

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  5. Hi, I have a Ford Transit 350 XLT Low roof, and am trying to get the same kind of tires you installed, but discount tire sez that they would need to be inflated to 80 PSI instead of the MFR recommendation of 65 PSI and therefore they will not install the tires. Did you have any issues with this, and what is your recommendation? Thanks! Love the van!

    • Indeed, we inflate them to around 76-78 PSI cold.
      You could always get the LT245/75R16E: they’re rated for higher payload. We haven’t personally tried them, but we heard of many people installing them successfully (without rubbing).

      Cheers!

  6. Hey, how much height room did you need to fit your bikes between the floor and the bed base? Thanks!! (awesome build, and some seriously good info on this site!)

  7. Hi, I just recently bought a 2016 Ford transit high top/extended van. I’m from Montreal and can’t find a place to insure the van while I convert it. I am also planning on not getting the SAAQ ”véhicule récréatif” label because i’m not planning on having a black tank. Can you share with me what insurance you got and with whom ? Thank you very much.

    • Check La Personnelle and also Leclerc Assurances. Leclerc is the only ones who would insure us while travelling full time. Most RV are insured with them (get your FQCC licence to have 15% discount with Leclerc!).
      I don’t think we’re insured as a RV neither, just give them a call and explain them your situation! We had to have our Van evaluated for what it’s worth when we were finish with the conversion, it costed us around 200$ if I recall correctly.

      Bonne chance!
      Antoine

    • Thanks!
      There is 1 or 2 inches missing, what we normally do is put pillows on the wall and lean back the read or relax. We probably could have lowered the bed platform 1 or 2 inches and still have room for the bikes…

  8. Wow, today is the day! Congratulations!
    Why did you choose the windowed van with the flipout rear windows? It looks like from your photos that you covered them.

  9. One question I had, is what is the road noise like in your van? I recently rented a 15 person Transit and the road noise at 65mph was horrible, the passengers in the back couldn’t have a conversation.

  10. So I’ve got a question and you may not know but I had to ask. We have a kid and that’s why we will not get a regular rv. Everything I read says they’re basically unsafe for children due to the seating possibilities. Basically they’re just chairs on plywood. Seat belts don’t anchor like in cars, etc. Can a van like this solve it? Can there be a proper seat added behind the two front ones to safely hold a car seat? Thanks!!

    • You could buy the “passenger” version of the Transit, remove the rows of seats except the one behind the driver. Or i think that you can buy aftermarket seats and fix them the the (metal) floor of the van (try here). I’m positive people have built campervan for their family; have a look on Fordtransitusaforum.com or sprinter-sources.com. Good luck!

  11. No suggestions on security sadly 🙁 the ford dealer near me has your model in the 148 which is what I want, but windows in back and side I don’t want to constantly have fogged up condensation built up. After reading your post on ordering a custom I’d also like to not wait 3 months for the “dream van”, gah!

  12. Because of your website I went to check out the Transit high top this afternoon. They had your exact model (windows on side and back). Question for you is how do you feel with the windows? Are you concerned about insulation or security? How do you plan to compensate for that? Big thanks for your reply!

    • Hey Nick,
      we’re building some insulated window covers for ALL the windows: they’re made of EZ-Cool and Thinsulate (we will have an article about that eventually). That should do it for insulation!
      For security, we haven’t done anything (or researched) yet. Any suggestion?

      antoine

  13. Drove a 2014 Sprinter 144. Rented two 2017 Promasters. Ended up buying a lightly used 2016 Ford T350 148 high-roof, regular length. Few feet shorter than yours. The Transit T350 just drove better + the Ford dealer network is pretty dense. 30amp inlet installed yesterday. Maxxfan 7000K installed today. Hopefully this weekend I make a serious dent in ceiling work.

    Great site. Lots of good tips and information here. Rivet nuts for the win.

      • Dude, thank you for the resource! I know content creation takes time and there is little monetary payoff for it. Labor of love in all but a few instances.

        • You’re welcome! This website started as a small side project… oh boy, I’ve put way too many hours into this! I learnt that a quality blog post is really time consuming and gained respect for those doing it! But it’s fun, I actually enjoy doing it and enjoy it even more when people take the time to thank us 🙂
          Have a great day!

  14. Thanks so much for documenting your build – this is the best site I’ve seen for people interested in doing this on a Ford Transit 250 base vehicle. I’m interested in doing the same thing, but we have two small kids. I believe that the vehicle spec you’ve got is the largest Transit 250 available right? From your experience in your build so far – how feasible is it to include two seats for kids behind the driver/passenger seats? I’m thinking of something like shown here:
    http://www.thismovinghouse.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Camper30.jpg

    I know I’d have to get rid of something (and still need to figure out where to put some small beds for the kids – but the seating is the biggest deal it seems. Any suggestions or feedback Greatly appreciated.

  15. Hey! Love the progress you are making! I’m sure you are excited as the finish is nearing!

    Question regarding vehicle insurance: Could you explain what you are doing to get insurance for the vehicle and whether you are classifying it as an RV? I made a call to my insurance company as I am planning to buy a box van shortly to convert in to a camper; I was met with nothing but resistance and this is holding me back from making the purchase.

    Any info would be great as I live in Canada.

    Thanks!

  16. Hey Antoine!

    Love the website!

    I have a question regarding insurance for the vehicle and wether you have any tips for someone looking to complete a similar conversion in Canada. Did you or are you running into any issues with insurance?

    I just did a preliminary ‘Feeler’ call to my insurance company and was met with a lot of resistance in regards to my conversions plans and whether they could insure it or not.

    Let me know if you have any advice or tips!

    Wes

    • There are not many cases like us, so it’s always a pain to talk with insurance… if i recall correctly, we’re insured as a “normal” vehicle (3rd vehicle, so it’s quite cheap actually) and our van-related gear is insured on the house insurance. We are with “La Personnelle” insurance company.
      When you talk to your insurance company, let them know your vehicle does not requires to be inspected by law (according to Quebec law anyway, we had them on the phone and they confirmed https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/vehicle-registration/hand-crafted-modified-or-rebuilt-vehicle/hand-crafted-vehicle/). We also had the point that our vehicle is just like any other commercial vehicle; except of having installed shelves and tools storage and so on, we installed a bed and clothes storage on so on… what’s the difference??

      Looking on discussions forums, insurance is a hot topic. Let us know how it turns out!

      • Hey,

        Just to touch base and for anyone in Ontario considering a van conversion and ‘informing’ your insurance company that you are doing so.

        Out of 6 independent insurance companies and two different brokers, the only company I could find that was willing to insure a van conversion and had a reasonable rate was the Co-Operators.

        I would advise anyone in Ontario to contact them first if you are looking to do a van conversion, they were great to deal with!

        We pick our van up this Friday from New Brunswick and are driving in back to Ontario! Looking forward to getting started and utilizing some of your knowledge from this website!

        Wes

  17. That’s really impressive considering you are working and planning to complete your Van in your off time. I love being close to nature and I personally think although it feels amazing starting such a detailed project. It can be overwhelming once you reach the middle and you have to complete it as without the final completion you won’t be satisfied. So get some air, relax and start working again because everyone over here would like to see how this comes out finally.

    • We just got back from a week vacation; we are fully energized and ready to resume the van work! Don’t worry, we will complete the van and post everything here! Thanks for taking the time to write, have a nice day 🙂

  18. How cold of weather have you been in with the van? I’m also in Canada, building a van, and I want to be able to handle -40C temps. There’s surprisingly little information on cold winter camping. Thinsulate is a very interesting idea, I had been planning on using polyiso or extruded polystyrene.

    • We’ve been to -25C. We were able to maintain the temperature (18C) with the Webasto, but the heater was running on “high” constantly.
      At -40C, i’m sure we would need the van to heat to assist the Webasto! For extreme cold, i think spray foam is the way to go and make sure to have insulated window covers. I would go with a bigger unit than the Webasto Air Top 2000 (i think it’s the EVO, but i might be wrong).

      We wrote a short post about our winter camping experience here:
      https://faroutride.com/chic-chocs-winter-wonderland-december-2016/

      cheers!

    • About 15-16 MPG according to the van computer. We still need to make the calculation ourself, since we changed the tires diameter and the odometer is slightly offset…

  19. This is a huge help, and we will be sure to use some of the links you provided for product. I may have missed this, but have you added a section about roof installation yet?

    • Sweeeet! You did not missed it, we have yet to make a section about it… We’re a bit overwhelmed with work & life & van right now, but we will post it soon! Wait for it 🙂

  20. Hi,
    Very impressive! I love that you are a planning freak. Would you be willing to share the 3D files with someone just starting out?
    Bob in CO

    • We’re glad we could help!
      As it turns out, this is far more complicated and stressful than we anticipated; but we’re having fun doing it and the better is still to come!
      Let us know if we missed anything or if we can add some information.

      Cheers!

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