Can a Ford Transit Be Converted to a Camper?

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Inside a customized Ford Transit Connect camper

Have you noticed many small delivery vans running through our cities and suburbs lately? They are a miniature version of the popular Ford Transit cargo vans, called the Ford Transit Connect. Their small stature, great gas mileage, and flexibility in maneuvering make them ideal for metropolitan use.

It also makes them an excellent choice for van customization. In fact, these vehicles have become quite popular van conversions, commonly called the Ford Transit Connect Camper.

A Ford Transit Connect camper

What Is a Ford Transit Connect? 

The Ford Transit Connect is a small body van built on a commercial vehicle chassis. Brought to the United States in 2010, the Transit Connect originated in Europe in 2002.

It served as a replacement for car-derived vans on a passenger vehicle chassis.

They were built as panel vans but have adapted new model lines offering windows and a rear liftgate rather than doors.

The current Transit Connect models come with a 2.5L engine and a six-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive.

The XL has manual windows and locks, an AM/FM stereo, and vinyl seats. 

The XLT comes with power windows and locks, an AM/FM with HD radio and USB jacks, and Ford SYNC.

The new Titanium model in passenger vans has a rear backup camera, leather seating, and keyless entry with sound deadening panels.

Ford imported all of them as passenger vans from Europe, then converted some as cargo vans before delivery.

This allowed the manufacturer to import them as passenger vans and not trucks, thus saving the 25% tariff on trucks.

Keep in Mind: Looking to save money? DIY your RV carport!

A bedroom/kitchen area in a Ford Transit Connect camper

Is a Ford Transit Good for a Camper Conversion?

Transit Connects can work great for small camper van conversions.

Because of its boxy design, you can easily build it out as a camper van for one or two people.

Many plans have included a fold-down or slide-out bed, small sink, storage shelves, a 12V refrigerator, and a hidden porta-potty.

The Ford Transit Connect can get between 24 and 29 miles per gallon.

Additionally, you can easily maneuver in city traffic because of its small size. This makes it a great choice for a stealth camper. 

Does the Ford Transit Connect Come in Different Lengths?  

Yes, the Transit Connect comes in two lengths. The short model measures 174” inches, with a wheelbase of 105”.

The long model measures 190” inches, with a wheelbase of 121”.

A difference of almost 16″ doesn’t sound like much, but it matters. In a van conversion, space is already at a premium.

The bedroom area of a Ford Transit Connect camper

Can You Stand in a Transit Connect?

The Transit Connect’s interior is only 49” tall, so unless you are 4 ft or shorter, you can’t stand up inside.

Most van conversion designs center on seating and all of the different functions you can do while seated.

They place cabinets, sink, table, electronics, and the porta-potty within reach of the seating area.

And with only 168.5 cubic feet of cargo space in which to build, that’s not hard to do.

Can You Put a Bathroom in a Ford Transit? 

A Ford Transit Connect is not large enough to include a bathroom.

However, some designs have included a hidden porta-potty.

Additionally, it would be challenging to design any kind of shower unless the traveler was seated.

And even then, you would be giving up room for a bed. 

Keep in Mind: If a bathroom is a must for your camper, these are the 10 best small campers with bathrooms

How Big Is the Cargo Space in a Ford Transit Connect?

The short wheelbase model of the Transit Connect has a cargo space of 122.6 cu ft.

The long-wheelbase model has 168.5 cu ft.

The cargo space measurements in the longest model of this van are 49” x 87” x 69”, with only 47” between the wheel arches. 

It doesn’t have much room for sleeping, kitchen, bath, and living space in a full-time camper van.

But with an innovative design where each area has multiple uses, you can do it.

The kitchen area of a Ford Transit Connect camper

Is a Ford Transit Good for a Camper Conversion? 

You can convert the Ford Transit Connect into a practical recreational vehicle with some planning.

This small camper gets good gas mileage of 24 to 29 mpg and can sleep two people. 

And you have two models from which to choose. If you want windows in the cargo area, purchase a passenger model and take out the seats.

And if you prefer a blank cargo space without the windows, buy the commercial cargo option. 

Without the height or length of a full-size Ford Transit van, you can consider it a less expensive van conversion. But it is a superb introductory vehicle for those budget-oriented RVers who want to experience van life. Are you ready to jump into a Ford Transit Connect camper?

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