December 2022 & January 2023 Van Conversion Update

December 2022 & January 2023 Van Conversion Update

Ford Transit Nudge Bar Front Bumper (Heading)
Photo of author

We introduced the Monthly Updates as a way to get back on track with our van conversion. We are indeed behind schedule and writing these updates is a good opportunity to take a step back, check our progress, organize our work, and keep it up! We also want to keep track of the work we do on this website, because we put a ton of work into it and it would be a bit unfair to judge of our productivity by monitoring the van only 😉 That being said, here is the December 2022 & January 2023 Update!

1- Lagun Table B-Pillar Installation


In the last November 2022 Build Update, we made a Lagun Table B-Pillar Mount 3D printed prototype:

B-Pillar Bracket 3D Printed Prototype
Lagun Bracket 3D Printed Prototype Test Fit

After a few iterations, we settled on a design and we were ready to send it for laser cutting and powder coating. Fast forward a few weeks later:

Lagun Mount Plate Ford Transit B-Pillar (Square-2)
How To Install Lagun Table Ford Transit B-Pillar

We’re super happy on how it turned out! It’s a clean install and it looks very “professional” 🙂 You’ll find the full story here (material, cost, tools, how to install, tips, etc.):

The aluminum Lagun Table B-Pillar Mount Plate is up for grabs in our store, but we also created templates to make your own and save a few bucks:

2- Interior Layout Template with Grid


It’s been on our to-do list for quite a long time, but with the help of the Ford Transit 3D Scan we finally took the time to create a template of the Ford Transit interior with grid. There’s a lot of back-and-forth during the preliminary design phase, so a printable template will help you sketch and validate your ideas quickly. It’s also a great way to communicate your thoughts with your build partner and save some frustration (ugh) 😆!

3- MPPT Calculator


We also wanted to make a more refined MPPT Solar Charge Controller Calculator for quite a long time, here it is! You can enter the specifications of any solar panel, enter the characteristics of your solar array (number of panels in series/parallel), and the calculator will output the correct MPPT Solar Charge Controller accordingly:

4- Victron Shunt/SmartShunt Enclosure


There is something about exposed conductors that makes me a bit uncomfortable, so I went ahead and made a protective enclosure/cover for the Victron Shunt (BMV series battery monitors) & SmartShunt. It protects against accidental short circuit and physical damage. The bottom part is held by the mounting screws and the top part (cover) is friction fit with the M10 terminal screws. The material is rated for 230F (110C) which is on-par with marine wire insulation rating.

Remove the mounting screws and the wires/connectors from the shunt. Slide down the enclosure over the shunt:

Victron Shunt Enclosure Cover Installation 1 (Slide Enclosure over shunt)

Install the mounting screws and connect the wires to the shunt:

Victron Shunt Enclosure Cover Installation 2 (Install Wire and Connectors)

The cover uses friction-fit over the two M10 screws to stay in place:

Victron Shunt Enclosure Cover Installation 3 (cover is friction fit)

To install the cover, simply slide it over the two M10 screws:

Victron Shunt Enclosure Cover Installation 4 (press cover into M10 screws)

I had this on my to-do list since we upgraded our battery bank to Lithium a few years ago, when I created a short between the battery (+) and the shunt (-) by accidentally dropping my wrench… it created the PERFECT PATH between the positive terminal and the shunt, what are the odds?! I still have that partially-melted wrench as a reminder… 😬

That wrench fits PERFECTLY between the positive terminal and the shunt, I couldn’t have planned better…

I made enclosures for Victron’s shunt because they are far more popular, but I’ll make one for the Simarine as well eventually.

5- More 3D Printed Thingies


Designing stuff for 3D printing has become my principal excuse for not working on the van. There are an unlimited number of problems to solve in this world, and I am getting very proficient at finding them all! I’m adding the .stl files of the van-related ones on the website so those of you with 3D printer can make them:

6- Nudge Bar


It’s been under the Christmas tree for a while, but we finally installed our new Flatline Van Co Nudge Bar! Mad props to Flatline for coming up with a minimalist design that blends beautifully with the curves of the Transit, that’s easy to install, light-weight, and doesn’t interfere with the sensors (adaptive cruise control & park aid):

Ford Transit Nudge Bar Front Bumper (Iso View)
Ford Transit Nudge Bar Front Bumper (Front View)
Ford Transit Nudge Bar Front Bumper (Side View)

As usual we documented the entire installation process (material, tools, time, added weight, etc.):

7- Sliding Door Stopper


I’ve been enjoying making stuff during this hiatus from living in the van.
Latest project is a slider door stop, all credits go to Traipsing About for coming up with this idea back in 2014! I thought it would be fun to make my own. The stopper goes onto the track of the slider door and adds an intermediate stop at the location of your choice for added privacy (especially useful on inclined surfaces):

Sliding Door Stopper CAD Design 3D
Sliding Door Stopper Location Behind Sliding Door (Ford Transit)
Sliding Door Stopper (Transit, Sprinter, ProMaster) Installation (final)

The stopper is bonded to the track using JB Weld. All the details and instructions on the product page:

– Thanks for reading! –

See you next month for the February 2023 update!

All van conversion updates:

  • Wait… what…no! We’ll be done by then!!

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About us



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. Every day is an opportunity for a new adventure... We’re chasing our dreams, and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!

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Thanks to all of you, we managed to negociate group discount on these. Strength in numbers!

5 thoughts on “December 2022 & January 2023 Van Conversion Update”

  1. It’s August, 2023. Hello from the future! Just wondering why no updates since January. Hope all is well and assume life has simply gotten in the way.

  2. Bonjour Antoine et Isabelle,
    I just started planning my not yet arrived 2023 Ram ProMaster 3500 159 Ext van build.
    I really appreciate all the generous tips and tutorials available on your website.
    I have a question regarding the electrical system in your new van.
    You mention that you plan shipping your van in Europe for new adventures.
    Since all of Europe is 240v/50Hz, how will you adapt your electrical system for shore power?
    Also, it would be nice to follow you on the planning stage (safety, insurance, money, etc), pretty much like you did for your Mexico trip.
    Again, thanks for your contribution.

  3. Antoine, thank you for all the great info and creating these shunt enclosures. Question: can an enclosure box (Project Box ABS Plastic IP65 Waterproof Dustproof Electrical Junction Box Outdoor Enclosure for Electronics) be used to enclose the shunts? Amazon offers them in various sizes. The lid can be modified to be hinged, instead of screwed on.
    Would appreciate your thoughts on this.


    About three years ago, I was tired of having the sliding door close all the time on me. My driveway is slanted downhill enuf that the door would always roll to a few inches from closed. So I made a little stopper-ramp out of fiberglass and epoxy. It is about 1 cm by 8 cm, and in the middle, about 2 mm thick. I taped it down with packing tape, and have never removed it. It’s positioned at half way open.

    So if your van is pointing downhill, like in our driveway, you push the door over the stopper and the door rolls back down to it, and the door stays.
    If your van is pointing up hill, you open the door and it rests against the stopper.
    If your van is level, it doesn’t matter. But, like sure, the van is never level…

    I should probably glue it down some day and get rid of the packing tape…You think?


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