When this Ford Transit arrived at our shop, it was in rough shape. The owners had spent a sizable amount having the camper built out. When they got the van back, it was worse than when they started. Now it was up to Reparadise to fix it. The first thing we had to do was to undo the damage. After trying to work with what was there, we unfortunately gutted it and started over.
A Piss-Poor Build by Crappy People
We stuck with the basic original layout. The interior components were built with hickory and walnut, starting with the large platform for the queen-sized bed. We also added benches for the living area with areas to hide the electronic components and additional storage. Up front, we added a slide-out desk that would work with the rotating front passenger seat — everybody needs a comfortable position to write their travel blog. A Lagun adjustable table provides a work / eating space for passengers in the living area.
We completely refurbished the galley with new appliances. We started with one of our go-to refrigerators, the Isotherm Drawer INOX 130. We’ve used quite a few fridges in the past decade, and we’ve found the Cruise 130 and Drawer 130 to be the best in reliability and compact design.
We finished the galley with a few more of our favorites — a Dometic range and sink combo and FireFlex LEDs. The sink looks and works best with Dometic’s faucet. We know there are plenty of low-budget LEDs on the market, but we love the look of the FireFlex lights and we’ve noticed much longer life with the higher-quality lighting.
Because space comes at such a premium in the Transit van, we combined the toilet and shower with a flexible translucent curtain. For the call of nature, we used a Dometic’s compact and ultra-reliable cassette toilet. For cleaning duties, we installed the Road Shower mobile shower, which used solar heat and manual air pressure to provide 7 gallons of pressurized hot water with leaching power from the house electric.
Speaking of house electric, we changed a few things around to add power and efficiency. With about 300 watts of solar up top, we felt that the original solar install was adequate. Storage was lacking, however, so we added a 150-amp/hr Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery. To optimize charge for solar but keep the batteries topped off with alternator power when necessary, we installed a Redarc BCDC DC to DC and Solar Charger.
The Transit now lives up to its potential. We drop the mic on another build (in this case, resurrection). If you’re the victim of a garbage camper build or you’ve come to the realization that you’re in over your head with a DIY build (no shame in knowing your own limits), then give us a call and we’ll send the cavalry. (801) 972-5211