We Got A New Van!

We Got A New Van!

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The Van

We’ve been going back-and-forth about this for a little while, but we finally did it! We bought a brand new van to convert! It’s a Ford Transit 2021, AWD, 3.5L Ecoboost, same size as our previous van (high roof, extended length). Finding a new van is mission impossible these days, but we got lucky and found one in Calgary during our drive across Canada.


The Plan

Pause Van Life

We’ve been on the move since 2017 and it’s been quite an adventure:

We still fully enjoy Van Life and we want more, but after a while, it became our “new normal”. So to spice things up and get out of our comfort zone, we decided to rent an apartment in Squamish, build a van, and explore our new amazing backyard.

Build The Van

This is going to be a slow build, we expect to be working on the van for at least one year. Here’s why:

  • As opposed to our previous Transit van build, we don’t have a specific deadline this time, so no rush. We’re pretty excited by the idea of living like “locals” here and have our own place for some time.
  • We want to keep a healthy life balance between building the van, working on the website, and enjoying the outdoors (skiing and mountain biking).
  • Finding an interior garage in Squamish to build the van is proving much more challenging than we anticipated. Actually we’ve been looking for weeks with no success…
  • The supply chains are still affected by the pandemic and it’s challenging to source parts.

Resume Van life

Once the build is completed, we will hopefully be moving in our new van and resume our travels. It’s a long shot, who knows what will happen until then, but we’re dreaming of shipping the new van to Europe and explore new horizons…


Future Updates

We’re back into “build mode”, so more frequent van-related updates will follow: build journal, product reviews, etc.!

All the best,

Isabelle and Antoine

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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!

Heads Up: Exclusive Deals!

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

30 thoughts on “We Got A New Van!”

  1. Any insight on the comparison between the transit V6 ecoboost v. Straight V6? I noticed your new purchase was the eco boost.

    • Loving the EcoBoost so far! Plenty of extra power and super fun to drive. Our new van is still empty, but I’m sure the Ecoboost will be able to handle the extra weigth.
      The regular V6 was super reliable and did the job just fine.

      If you have the budget I’d go with the Ecoboost, but if you’re in the market for a used van, the regular V6 is just fine 🙂

  2. We just ordered a 2022 Highroof LWB Ford transit for conversion. Your site is great, and we will be purchasing your build instructions to help with the work. Excited to see you are doing a new build!

  3. Your site is awesome and I love your attention to detail. I was looking for information on your site about your decision to go with the Transit vs the Sprinter van or another option. Maybe it is there. I am getting ready to retire and really would like to do a van conversion and do some traveling. So this site is a great resource. Thanks.Kevin

    • There’s nothing wrong with the old one, still in really good shape. We just wanted to take a small break from full-time Vanlife and start a new project 🙂

  4. Bonjour, Isabelle.

    The floor plan on this site is about the Extended version of Ford Transit only. Is it possible to change the plan for the Standard edition (the shorter one)?

  5. Bonjour à vous deux ,
    Félicitations pour votre site, bien fait et instructif .
    Nous sommes des jeunes retraités et nous voulons tout vendre et partir en van. En ce moment, nous regardons pour le Ford transit, mais cela nous semble difficile de faire le bon choix chez le concessionnaire , il y a tellement d’options. L’option qui est sûr, c’est le choix de la van haute et longue, et Awd. Avec votre expérience de voyage sur la route, je pense que vous connaissez très bien les options à choisir. Je regarde votre nouveau modèle de Ford transit AWD écoboost et cela nous semble très bien. Cependant au Québec se procurer une van c’est 1 an d’attente sans la conversion. c’est tellement long! Est-ce possible de nous donner le nom du concessionnaire où vous avez fait l’achat du véhicule? peut-être allons-nous être chanceux! Aussi, nous essaierons d’autres concessionnaires dans l’Ouest Canadien. Plusieurs personnes ont acheté un véhicule neuf dans l’Ouest pour moins cher.
    Peut-être me le donner en privé si c’est possible !?

    • Bonjour Monica!
      En effet, l’attente pour un nouveau Transit est longue! Nous avons contacté plusieurs concessionnaires et certains ont accepté de nous mettre sur une liste d’attente si jamais un client qui a fait une commande se désiste. C’est comme ça qu’on a eu le nôtre, on a vraiment été chanceux!
      En regardant l’inventaire des Transit par concessionnaire, vous aurez une bonne idée des concessionaires qui vendent beaucoup de Transit 😉 Et pour votre info, l’inventaire correspond à ce qui est en transit (Transit complété, en route vers le concessionnaire, avant d’être livré au client), et non ce qui est disponible et à vendre.
      Voilà! Bonne chance!

  6. Looking at your Vehicle Description:
    Is the 31 gallon fuel tank in addition to the 95 liter tank? Or does it replace it?

    I don’t see the new Power Sliding Door. I would like that option. So tired of the “roaummmm—BANG” of that sliding door. Especially at night when you try to do it quietly and the door doesn’t shut and you haf to do it again.

    Did you have the option for the electric parking brake, so you don’t need that handle next to the driver’s seat.

    And a 10 speed transmission? Wow.

    Nice color. Little did we know back in 2016 that in 3 years we would be able to go stealth as a Google delivery van! (We were once flagged to the beginning of a COVID testing line because they thought we delivering something to the clinic.)

    Cheers, Don

    • It’s 31 gal total (instead of 25 gallon).
      The e-brake comes standard, but only for models with single rear wheel axle with 9,500lb (or less) payload.

      All the best!

  7. I’m finally starting my build after an 18 month delay and am following your build plan. I was wondering if you’ll have significant design changes on your next van. Anything I should consider before I dive in?

    • Hi Joanie! The new van’s layout will be pretty similar. We will try to improve the ventilation (bunk window + another fan?) and avoid drilling unnecessary hole in the floor that let the dust come in the van. We love the storage we have, the big countertop, the big fridge, the oven, the composting toilet, etc. So yeah, probably just very few changes.

  8. Congratulations and best of luck! What you have the ability to accomplish is amazing. Very inspirational! I have a 2017 Ford Transit 350 with a medium roof. It has about 45,000 miles on it. Simplicity: I use a Coleman cot, drive medical folding commode and a small yeti. I tried making a wood framed bed and it did not work out. I thought it was going to collapse in the middle of the night!
    I just upgraded and purchased a new CFX45 refrigerator and a Jackery 1000 with 1/100w solar panel. Trying to stay within that budget. I use a tent blanket for floor insulation and I’m in the midst of making sheep wool/ripstop insulated window coverings. I also bought some no-see-um screen for door coverings. Take care and enjoy your adventures through Europe and beyond! Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home!

    • Thanks! Indeed, it’s possible to convert a van with a smaller budget and I’m glad you found a way to make it work for you 🙂 Enjoy your van life :))

  9. Very exciting.
    Looking forward to changes from the last build.
    –inside shower?
    –little side window on the passenger side bed?
    –little side window over refrigerator?
    –transverse bed?

    • I think the layout will be very similar; our requirements are the same as 5 years ago: living full-time in the van and play outside with our bikes and skis!
      We’ll add a bunk window on the passenger side of the bed, but that’s mainly it. If we could change something, it would be to add a 4th seating place, so we would be more comfortable when we have friends coming over when it’s raining. We just haven’t found a layout that would work without sacrificing our oven and storage…

      • Our layout is similar to yours, but in a mid-height mid length Transit, so we don’t have much extra space. Some differences in our build that you might find interesting:
        1. To save fore-aft space, we sleep transverse. To do that, we had to compromise the insulation at our heads and feet, using 1 inch foam rather than thinsulite there, to get closer to the skin of the van and get more space. (I am 5′ 10″). I think we use the same bed as you, from IKIA, so the space is about the same. In the end, I don’t think it really compromises much insulation because we push our bedding into the foot space for most of the day, and the other side is half window and that’s not going to change much no matter how much you insulate.
        2. BTW, the window in the back passenger quarter was a really good suggestion of yours. In the summer heat, we breathe air directly from outside the van, as least when the fan is moving. Remember, that’s where our heads are!!

      • 3. We ended up going with the more $$ airhead toilet because we could shave 5″ off the latrine box fore-aft, and get more foot room for the rotated driver’s seat. It has two little doors on the front, to pull the pee bottle, making that chore easier. Also, the cushion is separate from the wood, so we can use a piano hinge joint to open the toilet box top back against the wall.
        4. I wish we would have put a bunk window in the wall over the counter over where your refrigerator is (our refrigerator is under the bed where your closet is). It would light up that dark wall.
        5. We used cedar not pine planking for the walls. Colors up nicer when varnished.
        6. Besides cabinets in your locations on the driver’s side, we also put open “mini” half-size cabinets on the passenger side, from over the range all the way to the back. (No doors, like your cabinets on the drivers side of the bed.) In the cooking area, the right size for spices and little cooking things; in the back, cell phones and books. The mini cabinets are separated in the middle by a big one door cabinet, the same size as the drivers side cabinets; it would be over where your sink is. We put the coffee/breakfast stuff there. It helps to separate the “bedroom” from the rest of the van (the “living room/kitchen”?)


  10. Congrats on the new van! I love the midnight blue! What are some upgrades that we can expect in this new van that you wish you had in your old van? So excited for you!
    -Mike and Sandrine

    • Thanks!

      We will improve the ventilation by adding a bunk window, maybe a second fan.
      Lower the platform bed to have more room above the bed.
      Try different materials to minimize the weight.
      Get newest components (air heater, oven, electrical, etc.) to keep the website up to date.

      Enjoy your winter! Hope to see you guys soon! Maybe this summer?


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