Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Ford Transit 250
Hey thanks for taking a look at my rig. I bought this van new in May 2018 and built it out between June 2018 and Feb 2019. I created an instagram where I detailed how I did most of the build @vanlife.usa. Scroll to the bottom to check out how detailed this build is from the very beginning. I designed it for functionality and simplicity. The building envelope is solid - waterproof floor, multiple insulation layers, walls and ceiling bolted directly to van frame. The carpentry is thorough - executed with great attention to detail, all cabinetry with pocket-hole joinery for a frameless look, and a lacquer finish for durability and stain resistance. The customized layout allows for the bed to easily transition to two couches in the back - your office, dining room, and entertainment area. Between the drawers, overhead cabinets, closet and rear benches, this van has all the storage space you need. The electrical system is robust - battery bank charges from solar panels and from alternator, wire gauging is oversized, all circuits are protected, and the system is grounded. The finishing details are refined - oak flooring, white lacquer finish on birch cabinetry, special walnut stain on oak countertops, brushed nickel hardware, complimentary grey, white and blue fabrics. And the van itself is a beast. No mechanical issues whatsoever, new brakes and the best off-road tires you can get just installed at 50,000 miles. Comes with an extended Ford Premium Care warranty that covers everything up to 100,000 miles. My favorite features are the 72" composite roofdeck on top and the book shelves. I read a lot of books and spent a lot of nights out on that roof deck under the stars during my time in the van.
I lived in the van for a year and a half while travelling the country full time hiking and practicing photography in remote areas. I was planning on continuing that lifestyle for a while longer but I got a job offer I had to take and I've settled down now in Boston. I want this van to get back out on the backroads and bring someone else some joy rather than sit in my driveway and collect dust. If you have any questions feel free to reach out. I am open to doing some modifications or additions for you a well if there's any ideas you have to make it better. Full details below!
2017 Ford Transit 250 Medium Roof w/ 54,000 miles.
100,000 mile Ford Premium Care warranty.
148" Long Wheel Base.
3.7L Ti-VCT V6 engine.
Rear wheel drive.
Passenger seat 180° swivel.
Vented slider door window.
Rear door windows.
MaxxAir Deluxe roof fan.
Prime Design rear door ladder.
Prime Design roof rack.
Roof mounted solar.
Trex composite roof deck 72" x 67".
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires.
New tires and brakes installed at 50k miles.
Total vehicle height 9ft 6".
1" subfloor polyIso insulation board.
Siless sound deadening layer on walls, ceiling, wheelwells.
Siless polyethylene insulation layer walls/ceiling.
Thinsulate layer walls, ceilings and all van body structural support channels.
Total R-value: R6.5 floors, R6 walls/ceiling.
Slider door and rear door panels removed and fully insulated with thinsulate.
Slider + rear windows have insulated window covers custom made w/ thinsulate.
This van is thoroughly insulated and will be 10-15° warmer than outside on chilly nights. And when it's hot out the roof deck prevents the sun from beating down on the metal and the insulation and fans keep it cooler inside than outside.
Van floor coated with Rust-Oleum enamel first.
1" subfloor polyIso insulation.
3/8" plywood sealed with Thompson's woodsealer.
5mm oak finish LVF - durable and waterproof.
I've seen a lot of builds both professional and amateur but Ive never seen another one done using rustoleum and woodsealer. These details give you peace of mind that you won't ever have to worry about the van floor rusting or rotting.
300w solar on roof.
310Ah VMAX deep cycle AGM batteries.
Victron battery monitor.
Dual Charger - alternator & solar.
1000A inverter (2000A peak).
4 AC 120v wall outlets.
4 DC 5v/2A USB outlets.
8 LED ceiling lights - front and rear zones.
12v appliances - fridge, water pump, roof fan, cabin fan.
Circuit breakers, battery kill switch, and other electrical components from Bussman and BlueSea.
Electrical system is grounded to van chassis.
I kept the electrical system very simple. I don't think you need 16 plugs in an 80sqft space like I've seen in some of these other vans. This lifestyle is about minimalism.
The 3 solar panels on the roof are connected in parallel so if one is damaged the others will continue to produce power.
In terms of safety: I oversized the wire gauges, used fuses and in line circuit breakers for everything, grounded the system to the van chassis, and installed the best kill switch available from BlueSea Systems to disconnect the power distribution from the battery.
Countertops hand made from reclaimed old growth oak ceiling joists from a 1754 New England colonial house. This wood was growing in the 1600s when the first settlers arrived in New England.
Cabinetry built with 3/4" birch + pocket hole joinery
Everything is attached to van body using Plusnuts and 1/4-20 bolts - the strongest mechanical connection possible, and zero holes drilled in the van body. Everything is easily removable with the right tools.
Cabinets and drawers all frameless construction.
Drawers are full-extension and soft-close.
Main counter unit has 7 drawers each 20" deep, and 1 large cabinet.
There are 2 long 28" drawers under the floor platform with 100lb rating. The rear one pulls out the back of the van and can be used with the tabletop for outdoor cooking.
6 overhead cabinets above countertops.
Cabinet under sink for water and trash bin.
18" width closet with vertical closet door mirror.
Bench seat next to slider door contains fridge.
Rear benches have huge volume for storage.
Table top measures 22" x 30".
Lagun adjustable table mount for maximum flexibility.
Bed measures 73.5" wall to wall, and 50" wide, basically a queen.
Partner Steel 18" 2 burner propane stove - the best camp stove money can buy. Use inside with roof fan on or outside on table or rear drawer.
Indel-B 50L fridge - efficient and reliable Danfoss/Secop compressor, lots of space.
ShurFlo Revolution water pump - 3 gal/minute, self priming, internal bypass. I installed additional in-line particle strainer to protect pump.
Two 6gal fresh water tanks and one 5gal grey water tank.
Sink basin is 22ga stainless steel, measures 12" x 10" x 6".
MaxxAir Deluxe roof fan - 3 speeds, does intake and exhaust, and works when its raining out without letting any rain in!
Caframo 2 speed cabin fan.
Cushions custom designed from 6" memory foam mattress.
Cushion covers custom sewn from durable and comfortable grey denim fabric. They zip to remove for washing.
Professional spray-applied lacquer finish on all cabinetry - hardest coating for scratch resistance and ease of cleaning.
Brushed nickel finish on all cabinetry hardware and floor edging for a cohesive refined look.
Book shelves fit about 15-20 books.
Towel bar in front of sink is clutch.
Paper towel holder is clutch.
Side + rear mosquito nets - Velcro to the van and zip shut so you can keep the doors open and the bugs out.
Hidden curtain rod with grey black-out curtain.
Side and rear insulated window covers, custom designed and sewn using Sunbrella water resistant performance fabrics.
Full-size spare tire and jack
Socket wrench/ driver set
Spare fuses and electrical connectors
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.