If you’ve been dreaming of a 2020 AWD Ford Transit campervan conversion, then keep reading. Pinnacle Campers, who operate out of Boise, Idaho, have a practically-new 2020 AWD Transit campervan build that they completed as a demo vehicle to be used this year. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, they won’t be able to take it on the road and are selling it.
Who is Pinnacle Campers?
Idaho-based Pinnacle Campers is a vehicle upfitter run by carpenter/residential remodeling contractor Brian M., who has 30 years of building experience. Pinnacle works directly with clients to bring their campervan visions to life through a wide variety of materials, all while paying close attention to detail in their finished products. They’ve completed multiple conversions to date, including a Ford E350, 2016 Transit, a fleet of Transits for SF-based campervan rental company Trekker Vans, and the 2020 AWD Transit which they are now selling.
“It’s been nicknamed the “REVELation”, you know, the moment when you realized that you can now have a gasoline-powered AWD van in the USA…..
As an up and coming vehicle upfitter specializing in van conversions it can often be difficult to showcase your work, so what better way than a “demo van”. For us, and many other van buyers, 2020 was the year we have long been waiting for (wait, what?). 2020 is the year Ford introduced the long-awaited all-wheel-drive configuration in their Transit. So, we chose a 148-inch wheel base, mid roof height, AWD chassis with the 3.5 liter Ecoboost motor. This configuration comes standard with limited-slip rear end, 3.73 gears, and a 10-speed transmission. This one was special ordered with Magnetic metallic paint.
The AWD configuration as delivered from Ford does not raise the vehicle height over the RWD model. So, we used a new Van Compass Topo 2.0 lift kit with blue springs to bring it up to snuff. The two-inch suspension lift was backed up with a set of Toyo Open Country AT3’s in 245/75/16, bringing the total lift to 3″. More Van Compass goodies include tuned Fox rear shocks, a front aluminum skid plate, and more ground clearance with the help of their High Ground Clearance Shock brackets.
We mounted a fifth “stock steelie” with a full-size Toyo on an Aluminess rear spare tire rack and a CRLaurence T-vent awning window in the 2nd-row driver’s side position. On top is a Flatline Van Co roof rack with a Maxxfan 6200K nestled in the center and two 100w solar panels at the rear. The Flatline rack is great for configuring for changing roof storage scenarios.
Turning our attention to the inside we used the “everything you need and nothing you don’t need approach”. The highlight is the Indoor/outdoor kitchen. When we camp, we tend to want to be outdoors so the kitchen functions so that everything in the kitchen can be retrieved from inside or outside the van. This includes two drawers, the Isotherm Cruise49 fridge, and a cabinet area accessible in or out that stores the GSI Selkirk propane stove. We chose not to permanently install a stove because again, we like options, inside/ outside/ in another vehicle, replacement, etc. Shade over the kitchen and the rear cargo doors can be obtained with the deployment of the Overland Vehicle Systems Nomadic 270 awning.
Other Pinnacle Campers fixtures include the wheel well storage and slat bed system. We chose slat bed panels because they are lighter, offer ventilation, and provide some spring, not unlike a box spring mattress. This also allows a thinner mattress, for this one we chose 5” foam. The bed sleeps “east/west” and is 58”x75” tucking nicely into the blank window well recesses. All interior wall panels and headliner are covered in automotive tweed fabric and foam. Below the bed is a 24”x 60” full extension storage drawer built in-house utilizing 500-pound capacity drawer slides.
The driver’s side wheel well box hides a 200 amp-hour AGM battery bank, combined solar/alternator charging, and a Blue Sea 6 fuse panel. The passenger side has a shower valve a quick connect port for a handheld shower and a 5-gallon reserve tank. The reserve tank is on a diverter valve which allows it to be switched between the underfloor mounted 17-gallon tank and the interior 5-gallon reserve tank. The reserve comes in handy for cold weather excursions where the underfloor tank would freeze, the interior tank(s) can be used which would be kept warm by the Webasto gasoline-fired air heater and the 3M Thinsulate package. That’s right, the heater sips gasoline right out of the OEM extended range (31gallon) fuel tank.
One of the most talked-about features of this van is the 2nd-row seat. The seat has the ability to convert to a bed (34″ wide), or a rear-facing dinette seat which allows for amazing versatility. In fact, in use for two travelers, we found ourselves leaving the dinette set up full time and only convert it to forward-facing when required to give a ride. The dinette is finished off with a Lagun table mount and a stowable laminated tabletop. Inside the upholstered bench seat is a cassette style porta potty.
One of the objectives was to keep the van light, as with lightness comes agility, higher fuel efficiency, lower maintenance, and less driver fatigue. The vans total loaded weight comes in at 7600lbs which means we added 2200lbs over its delivered weight and 1060lbs under the total GVW of the Transit 150. We chose the T150 with this in mind as we wanted compliance in the suspension and no more weight capacity than necessary.
We have found this combination to be a great balance for many of the driving conditions we encounter from daily driver duties, clawing our way up to the ski hill, putting down interstate miles, or navigating a forest road to that secluded camp spot.”
This custom 2020 AWD Ford Transit campervan is listed for $114,900. Full vehicle specs and installed equipment list can be found on the original Expedition Portal forum classified listing here.