Ford Transit Cab Chassis with Composite Camper

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Spend 4 days on Northern Vancouver Island. Love that part of our Island. You are pretty much loosing cell reception after Campbell River and everything kind of slows down. One of the highlights was 3 days on Malcom Island, just a quick ferry ride from Port McNeil. There we saw Greywales and other sea life right next to our campsite. On our last day, the smoke from the west coast fires caught up with us and put a slight damper on the mood. In any case, we really really love that transit!
119103258_10158850283226974_640372698359483289_n.jpg119065683_10158844580766974_9014213957024249581_n.jpg
 

Craig_C

New member
Love the build keep the pictures and updates coming. A few questions for now. 1. Would the roof be strong enough for two (or more) people (200 lbs each) to ‘hang out’ on? Sit in folding chairs? Sleep? Slow dance? Photography? Would there be a limit to the number of solar panels because of weight? I would like to put as much solar as possible, but leave a little room to hang out if possible.
2. If one ‘needed’ air conditioning what would you recommend? Figure 35 C, mid 90’s Fahrenheit, full sun. The best I can find is a 9000 btu mini split for 110v. Would it be oversized given the insulation? Would a cruise and comfort work better somehow? Any other ideas?
3. This one might be another thread, but I’ll ask here first. SRW vs DRW what would you choose and why? I know you like the single for simplicity, but I’m thinking bigger box, needing a grey tank, twice the panels/batteries. I would also like to be able to tow occasionally. Would DRW be better worse in sand? Snow? Mud? Washboard roads ( or not matter on this one)? Sway? I’ve read the threads about trucks, but this is a van and as such I would stick with AWD. 95%+ of the time I would be on paved roads, but when I’m in a muddy or snowy road/spot I want to be able to get out.
 

Darwin

Explorer
Love the build keep the pictures and updates coming. A few questions for now. 1. Would the roof be strong enough for two (or more) people (200 lbs each) to ‘hang out’ on? Sit in folding chairs? Sleep? Slow dance? Photography? Would there be a limit to the number of solar panels because of weight? I would like to put as much solar as possible, but leave a little room to hang out if possible.
2. If one ‘needed’ air conditioning what would you recommend? Figure 35 C, mid 90’s Fahrenheit, full sun. The best I can find is a 9000 btu mini split for 110v. Would it be oversized given the insulation? Would a cruise and comfort work better somehow? Any other ideas?
3. This one might be another thread, but I’ll ask here first. SRW vs DRW what would you choose and why? I know you like the single for simplicity, but I’m thinking bigger box, needing a grey tank, twice the panels/batteries. I would also like to be able to tow occasionally. Would DRW be better worse in sand? Snow? Mud? Washboard roads ( or not matter on this one)? Sway? I’ve read the threads about trucks, but this is a van and as such I would stick with AWD. 95%+ of the time I would be on paved roads, but when I’m in a muddy or snowy road/spot I want to be able to get out.
FYI Mitsubishi makes a 6000 BTU 220 volt mini split. That is the most efficient you are going to get, probably better than any 12/24 volt options.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Love the build keep the pictures and updates coming. A few questions for now. 1. Would the roof be strong enough for two (or more) people (200 lbs each) to ‘hang out’ on? Sit in folding chairs? Sleep? Slow dance? Photography? Would there be a limit to the number of solar panels because of weight? I would like to put as much solar as possible, but leave a little room to hang out if possible.
2. If one ‘needed’ air conditioning what would you recommend? Figure 35 C, mid 90’s Fahrenheit, full sun. The best I can find is a 9000 btu mini split for 110v. Would it be oversized given the insulation? Would a cruise and comfort work better somehow? Any other ideas?
3. This one might be another thread, but I’ll ask here first. SRW vs DRW what would you choose and why? I know you like the single for simplicity, but I’m thinking bigger box, needing a grey tank, twice the panels/batteries. I would also like to be able to tow occasionally. Would DRW be better worse in sand? Snow? Mud? Washboard roads ( or not matter on this one)? Sway? I’ve read the threads about trucks, but this is a van and as such I would stick with AWD. 95%+ of the time I would be on paved roads, but when I’m in a muddy or snowy road/spot I want to be able to get out.
Our roof is the strongest in the industry at 3.25"/84mm. Combined with floor to ceiling cabinets and divider walls (wet bath) you will have a pretty incredible load rating. The problem arises with point loads. Basicly, when you put too much pressure on one spot, you compress the foam core over time and therefore causing damage. You off set that with some type of flooring material like aluminum or others.
I personally would never consider "hanging out" up there. First of all, you are very high up. Propably need some type of hand rails for safety. This and the flooring material ads a lot of extra weight (high center of gravity) . Ones you ad solar, skylights, vents, there is not much space for a "patio" anyway. Therefore better if you not getting to exited about that idea.

Unfortunately, I'm not an expert on A/C .... need to pass on that.

DRW are BAD for any type of off roading. 1. you can't air down. 2. rocks can get wedged in between the tires and destroy them or get ejected at higher speeds.

Cheers
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
What are legalities and insurance coverage of the 3rd seat mounted in the cabin?
That varies from country to country and state by state... We do not claim to have a legal system! But what we did is to construct/mount the third seat in the most secure way with the best components possible. Meaning we had our engineer figure out the hard mounting points in the floor, purchased L track, seat base and seat that are certified for passenger transport. The seat is also mounted between the frame rails. This should offer some side impact protection.
Is it legal? No. Is it the best we could do? I think so. Better than any regular RV seat belt seating: 100%.
IMG-5982.jpg
 

Jonnyo

Observer
FYI Mitsubishi makes a 6000 BTU 220 volt mini split. That is the most efficient you are going to get, probably better than any 12/24 volt options.
in your current set up...... i dont think SRW or DRW is what is the limiter for offroad. The low clerance is a much bigger issue. And with this kind of set up...i think we both agree the offroading is mostly forestry roads, gravel etc.

I have the drw currently and find it does very good in those light offroad setting. I now have many 1000s km all over BC and Alberta exploring dirt world. I m looking at building a similar unit to yours so was hoping to come on the island to see your rig last week but the smoke killed my plan to come camping. I instead found lots clean air in mountain the past 10 days. thumbnail_IMG_4863.jpg


I would love a lower roof then your current set up, 170 wheelbase and 24.5 feet total. somthing like this (sorry terrible photoshop!)

transitt.jpg12794826_759006324232794_1812483657519129707_o (1).jpg
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
in your current set up...... i dont think SRW or DRW is what is the limiter for offroad. The low clerance is a much bigger issue. And with this kind of set up...i think we both agree the offroading is mostly forestry roads, gravel etc.

I have the drw currently and find it does very good in those light offroad setting. I now have many 1000s km all over BC and Alberta exploring dirt world. I m looking at building a similar unit to yours so was hoping to come on the island to see your rig last week but the smoke killed my plan to come camping. I instead found lots clean air in mountain the past 10 days. View attachment 613380


I would love a lower roof then your current set up, 170 wheelbase and 24.5 feet total. somthing like this (sorry terrible photoshop!)

View attachment 613381View attachment 613382

Too bad you didn't make it over. Always welcome to visit!
You are correct, the limitation is the ground clearance. Other than that, loving that Transit.

Cheers,
 

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rruff

Explorer
in your current set up...... i dont think SRW or DRW is what is the limiter for offroad. The low clearance is a much bigger issue. And with this kind of set up...i think we both agree the offroading is mostly forestry roads, gravel etc.
You can get a small lift and bigger tires, plus there is an AWD version now. No low range, but selecting 4.10 gears with the 10spd gives you pretty low gears. Still not great offroad, but decent.

Just looked at the site, and cutaway saves ~$10k (US) vs the tall van.
 

Jonnyo

Observer
You can get a small lift and bigger tires, plus there is an AWD version now. No low range, but selecting 4.10 gears with the 10spd gives you pretty low gears. Still not great offroad, but decent.

Just looked at the site, and cutaway saves ~$10k (US) vs the tall van.
yep, i already have the lift and bigger tire so i feel like i have a decent clearance undernear but with a full conversion with kitchen, shower, 2 queen bed, 3 kids etc.... i m at 8000lbs and there is a limit to what kind of offroad you can do with a house on wheels. But so far, the dually asnt stop me from going anywhere.

But next year, it will be time for me to start a cutaway build, it s gonna be a full challenge and the weakness of my current van is it s not a great winter machine. It s well insulated and as the diesel heater but too many window and thermal bridging. Time for a composite box and a bit more room for a family of 5!!!
 
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