The Plans

VERSION 2.0

The new conversion will be one of the European styled vans currently available on the American market. The following concept drawings are based on the 2015 Ford Transit, but can easily be adapted to the Ram ProMaster or the MB Sprinter.

van layout choices
The latest of my designs for the New Ford transit van. Most details have been resolved, only issue that remains is a full-size bathroom versus more space and storage opportunities. Download the current CAD design in .dwg.

ford transitWhile very satisfied with the looks of the bed, its deficiencies plus the shortcomings of the rear storage, makes me think of another design. This is a process I follow, which in the end hopefully leads to an optimal design that both fits the van and satisfies my needs. Read more in this article.

My latest sketch is based on a rear kitchen, exploring some new ideas for a murphy bed & desk combination. More details can be found in this article.

bike-storageelevated-bed

Started with some innovative pictures of a raised double bed, that created a lot of storage space.

murphy-bed

To create more living/work space, while preserving some of the storage area, this incorporates a murphy bed that transforms into a desk during the day hours.

To save money on the purchase price of the cargo van, the short version would loose the extra storage.

As I’m still in the planning stage, your comments or ideas are appreciated.

More concept drawings to follow.

BLANK LAYOUT OF THE 2015 FORD TRANSIT LWB
As readers requested, I’ve included a blank layout of the 2015 Ford Transit LWB for those of you, that would like to do some of your own sketching. Only a top view is included.
cadpdfimg [ .dwg+.pdf+.png Download ] – Size: 400 Kb

You can download a complete Ford Transit CAD drawing at the Conversion Resources Page.

VERSION 1.0 – Dodge B-250

plan

The Beast

 

plan

Floor layout

 

plan

 

Driver side

 

plan

 

Passenger side

 

 

Bed (top)

 

plan

 

Bed (side)

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20 thoughts on “The Plans”

  1. Good afternoon Van,
    Perhaps you could add a scale line (inches/feet) with a “blank” Ford Transit LWB High Roof (leave driver & passenger seats in) for those of us that would like to do some of our own sketching? A side view would be helpful as well, thanks!
    Best regards,
    Thomas Barnes

    1. Good morning Van,
      Thanks for the layout! We’ve decided to go with the LWB EL, HR SRW. Could we trouble you for a “longer” layout; showing the two single-wheelwells? If you get around to a companion side view for the HR, that would also be great!
      Best regards,
      Thomas Barnes

      1. Dear G. Thomas Barnes:

        Thanks for your interest. I am working on multiple Transit model layouts, including side-views, and will make them available in the future. But for now, they’re on the back burner as I’m focusing on the conversion of my new 2016 Transit that will be coming around mid-October (hopefully). I’m just a one-person enterprise and have applied for 30-hour days, but haven’t been approved yet….
        I have seen how much demand there is for these drawings and will try to set some time apart to finish the job. Keep checking back!

        Van Williams

  2. I was wondering if you could give me an estimate for some custom work on a 2015 ford transit 148 in wb and medium hight looking for insulation and side and roof panels interior rear air and possibly a roof air

    1. I don’t do any custom work, except on my own van and write about my experiences. You should look for local assistance, if you need specialized help.

      Insulating a cargo van like yours, is a job that is easy to accomplish on your own. The usual materials are batting, rigid foam board and sprayed foam for the walls and rigid foam board for the floor and ceiling, although there are several alternatives. All have their pros and cons and in the end, it probably comes down to personal preference. The materials are simple to apply and cost is reasonable.

      I’m researching Cargo Vans and plan to buy one soon and like yours, the Ford Transit 148” WB Medium Roof is at the top of my list. One of the first items on my worklist will be insulation and I will be documenting the whole process.

      Van Williams

  3. I have a 2015 Ford transit all I’m looking for is to have the rear insulated roof and side walls back doors and sliding doors and covered with some sort of decorative paneling can you do this 148 wheel base and medium roof height

    1. As I said before, I don’t do any custom work. You may be able to find someone at a local woodworking club, that is willing to help you out. The work you describe is fairly basic and should be easy to accomplish.

      Van Williams

  4. Hey Van, is it possible to provide the blank layout plan as a simple pdf file?
    I tried every application I have on my iPad, and they all tell me that the current download is in a format not supported. With pdf’s, I simply put them directly on my bookshelf in iBooks.
    Love your website, and the services you are providing – I am looking into expediting your application for a thirty hour day!

      1. Thanks for the speedy reply, Van – yes, it was the zip file that was giving me trouble.
        Now, if the Ford dealerships would give such prompt and courteous service, there would be far fewer complaints on the Transit forum!

  5. Van, you do fantastic work. I know it’s time consuming too.

    1. Are there not standardized placements for water, waste, and electricity supply placements which would make some options more preferable?

    2. I have come to decide that a bus yellow Med High Long cargo van (maybe E350) would be optimal due to maximum residential acceptable size, 2015 to 2017. Do you have any suggestions for a, for example, 2012 Kawasaki Versys 650 cc – 450 lbs. and about 6.3′ long?

    Trailers and bumper racks seem unsafe. The Bug Out web guy puts his in the passenger slot which is an optimal weight distribution: but it also knocks out the passenger swivel chair which seems strategic in daily efficiency. No matter where a bike goes inside, it would need a cover over it and bike-carpet w/oil absorption wool under it too. There are 3 inside alternatives I can see immediately:

    1. In front passenger position, which is running the length of the van every load/unload;
    2. In the back near the door, which kind of restricts the layout on each side and may be heavy for an anchor; or
    3. In the middle, angled to the right side overlapping the right door opening: which may make the left/right balancing difficult to immediately balance the load, unless the batteries were on a roller conveyor and could easily be slid back and forth maybe behind the seats in separate containers.

    Any expert opinion’s would be greatly appreciated. A motorcycle and the Van are made for each other in so many ways. Thank you for your site and your time 🙂

    1. Thanks for the encouragement!

      1. Are there not standardized placements for water, waste, and electricity supply placements which would make some options more preferable?
        I approach a cargo van conversion as a project, where you as the owner have the freedom to decide these placements. That’s so great about a self-built unit. But there are limitations: waste water tanks usually are found under the vehicle and available locations/placements vary by make, model and options of the van. Dependent on how the van will be used, some decide against a full waste water setup and use portable containers placed inside cabinets. Water tanks preferably inside to prevent freezing issues, but again some add an extra tank under the van, when frost doesn’t play a role, to extend their range. Water tanks are placed close to the kitchen/bathroom area and are used to compensate distribution of the overall weight of the additions.
        The main issues with electricity are weight distribution (batteries) and the length of the 12V wiring and the associated loss of power.
      2. I have come to decide that a bus yellow Med High Long cargo van (maybe E350) would be optimal due to maximum residential acceptable size, 2015 to 2017. Do you have any suggestions for a, for example, 2012 Kawasaki Versys 650 cc – 450 lbs. and about 6.3′ long?
        Yellow is a bold choice and stealth could be problematic, yet very appropriate with bike sports in mind. Good for you! A medium high roof van has many advantages, with one big exception. Installation of a full-size bathroom/shower has proven to be difficult, due to interior height restrictions.

        Personally, I have no experience with motor bikes, only with regular bikes, where weight doesn’t play a role and where it’s easy to remove a wheel to reduce storage size. Trailers, bumper racks or interior storage are very much dependent on your personal use of the van and you already described many of the issues with interior placement. If you plan to mainly use the vehicle to go to bike events on weekends and use it to haul goods on weekdays, it can be placed in the center of the van, attached with some straps to the already existing tie-downs. If you want to go the RV route, a separate trailer may be the best solution, but cost, mobility and fuel efficiency would suffer. A good compromise may be to use an interior layout, in which the central walkway extends all the way to the rear doors, which still allows for the bike to be stored in the rear center. That again forces you to remove the bike ‘every’ night to make full use of the RV and limits the use of the interior while traveling.

      With every step of a conversion, you are faced with compromises that create the best fit your personal lifestyle. Choices are a good thing, yet perfection may never be achieved.

      Van Williams

  6. Hi! I’m awaiting delivery of my Ford Transit HR SRW EL…a 2017 with bells and whistles. Running into an insurance thing (Commercial vehicle for personal use?)… and am waiting to find out IF I can insure it as an RV IF I have it converted professionally. I tell you this because if they won’t change from commercial to RV I will “do” the conversion my self. I have many plans of my own…the main one being putting the bed at the ceiling and lowering it via crank or drill pulley system. The supposed weight limit on the roof is 200lb..but do you know if that if ON the roof or also includes inside FROM the ceiling ribs?
    As for the water and cook areas, I plan on having them closest to the back door for ease of changing out the water/propane.

    I’ve heard that the best place to have roof ac installed is a place in AZ and if I link up with the van group who meets in Quartzsite each year, I’ll get it done there. Any remarks or suggestions is greatly appreciated (it isn’t something I can do)…I hear they don’t make any that are quiet (and WHY NOT???) Sounds like something a person could make a killing from since everyone complains?!

    How is your build coming along?

    1. Congratulations! That’s a whole lot of vehicle… Make sure to check different insurance companies and your local DMV for your state’s requirements to qualify as RV.

      Putting the bed at the ceiling
      First of all, the Transit’s skin is thin and prone to dents. Don’t try to stand on the roof or even lean on it. I have no experience with these ‘bed lifts’, yet find them well suited for high roof models. I would consider installing the cranking system against the walls of the van; dependent on the exact location and the type of cranking mechanism, they should offer more rigidity and support for the bed.

      Water and cook areas
      Have you considered installing a permanent propane tank under the vehicle? Propex also offers a good heater, that can be installed under the van.

      Roof A/C
      An RV roof A/C is primarily used when facilities are available. I’m going the stealth way: mainly dispersed camping (boondogging), no A/C and no generator to escape the noise issue. The currently fast developing Lithium Iron battery technology will soon be able to support air conditioning use on a limited basis (in combination with lots of solar power or a dual alternator setup. That may make a generator obsolete and the noise less offensive.

      My conversion
      I’ve have been out-of-action for a few weeks, but am working again on the Murphy bed/desk. I’m working on a window frame where the bed hugs the wall. This is one of the factory installed tinted windows, that come with a lot of issues. Any condensation is not directed to the outside of the vehicle, but flows immediately into the side wall cavity. I’m trying to figure out what I can do about that. The window itself has no square corner and is totally asymmetric; that adds a lot of time to construct the frame. The wall around the window will be finished with Formica on 1/8 inch luan and will include a full height cabinet towards the rear of the van. Only then, the bed will be constructed and installed, followed by the desk. At the same time I’m also designing an appropriate chair, however that will have to wait till the end of the conversion.

      I’ll be soon posting the details of the window frame, with many photos and videos, as usual. So keep watching.

      Van Williams

    1. With regard to permission: Yes, sure! But you’ll find that many of the examples on this page are just steps in the evolution that leads to the final layout. And that final layout keeps changing until you hit the last nail into your conversion.
      Also, the different vehicle brands/models have each their own lengths, heights and widths, which heavily influences the design.
      On the other hand, many if not all mods can be used in any conversion. Just follow your own dreams and desires and create an interior that you love and one that fits your own lifestyle.

      And enjoy what you’re doing!

      Van Williams

  7. Van,

    Just found your site… great resource. My wife and I are looking into a 2017 Ford Transit LWB Medium Height Cargo Van… can you help us find .dwg files for that model?

    Thanks so much for your insights.

    Charley Earley
    Winterport, Maine

    1. Thank You!
      The only official CAD files I have, are the 2015 model year (and perhaps the European version). You can download it here.
      I have also drawings of most other models (MWB, LWB Ext, AWD or Duallies); if you need those, I’ll email them when you let me know.
      While some changes happen every model year, these drawings are a great basis to work from and create a design or layout.
      Good luck with your plans and keep watching!

      Van Williams

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