Future hacks:

  • Racks for kayaks, canoe and lumber.
  • Add plywood fascia to rear doors.


  • Anyone know how to get a CAD file from Ford of the inside of the Transit ?

Beckie = Credit to my wife for most of the sewing.

Comments welcome. Please let me know what I missed. If you would like additional details, indicate the topic.


Even though after adjusting for inflation the real cost of gas is the same as 1947 it is important to me to minimize my impact on the planet especially when engaged in travel for personal enrichment and enjoyment. The Transit Connect gets EPA 29 MPG highway.I got 28 MPG for the first 2000 miles. The Transit handles more like a car than a bus and can utilize smaller campsites designed for tents. Because F=ma additions should be minimal and light weight. The shelves weigh 12.5 lbs for each side.I plan to build it light and replace it with a stronger version if required.Less is more. To avoid analysis-paralysis each addition minimizes changes to the van structure so that the change is reversible. Each addition is considered a prototype to be replaced by the next better prototype.This is an ongoing project. Good workmanship will be employed but initial prototypes will not worry about aesthetics. I want to minimize the time and hassle between pulling into camp and sleeping so complicated transformations will be avoided. At the end of the day, I still what to be able to carry 4 X 8 foot building materials inside so easy built-in removal must be possible.


While a friend of mine was in college in Montana a group decide to collect all the empty kegs and turn them in for the deposits. They loaded the kegs in a VW van and proceeded down the highway in the dark.As they crossed a bridge they hit a section of black ice. By the time they slid to the far side of the bridge they were sideways and hit the ice free pavement causing the van to roll several times. She said the experience was like being in a tin can full of large marbles while someone shook the can. The kegs were bouncing off the walls and ceiling. No fatalities resulted but several went to the hospital. On this project I plan to constrain any objects that could harm van occupants. Climbers use a sewn loop of webbing clipped into the anchor on ledges and hanging belays. Loose gear is clipped into the webbing with carabiners. The van is equipped with various tie down points for transporting loads. Since my big wall gear has not seen a lot of action in the last decade, I have plenty of equipment that can be applied to this task.

Thanks for checking out my project! All the best - Alan.