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Old 06-29-2019, 09:56 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
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Transit build

Hey there folks. I have a build page for my skoolie, this is a little thread for a small Ford Transit Connect. While not really skoolie related, this is fairly spontaneous and I could use input from the community.

I decided to put this little rig together at the beginning of this week- we have a family member (female) that is going through some very rough times right now. They have been in a toxic relationship that went nuclear, ended up living out of their car while hopping from shelter to shelter. Last week they got in a car accident and ran out of options.

This is the result of a mix of bad decisions and unfortunate circumstances. I've floated leaving her to her own devices, but such prospects are extremely distressing to my better half. But both of us recognize: She can't live here. She works two states away and is fairly difficult to deal with. Thus, we are intervening by building out this van. Its temporary, meant to keep her off the street, and relieve her from having to shelter-hop.

My problem: I do not have a lot of cash and only two days to complete this, for now. Any advice for making this quick build livable in short order on the cheap?

Today we built a bed + frame ready to screw into the floor. It looks raw, but has turned out well. I also put a couple 100W panels on the roof ready to hook up. Tomorrow is day two. She'll leave with working solar and a small 400W inverter. She's going to come back in a week or two so we can install a fantastic vent, a bigger inverter, and some necessities. We'll only have a few hours and a few hundred bucks every couple of weeks to improve things, so I want it to matter.

Any advice going forward would be helpful. Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:09 PM   #2
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Transit Connect is such a tiny vehicle, I can't imagine there being room for a "full time live aboard" build. A comfortable place to sleep and storage, and ventilation, and that's about all I can think of. There's not really room to cook inside, and probably not enough air either.
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:57 AM   #3
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I'd raise the bed, so there's room for some storage underneath. (I know there's not a whole lot of room in a TC, but even space for some shoes, or a suitcase would help.)
I'd put the bed behind the drivers seat, I'm figuring it will take up the whole length of the back.

In the back corner, next to the bed, I'd put a storage tower - maybe a plastic set of drawers from Target or something. It could be full-height, floor-ceiling. The middle section of the bed I'd leave empty next to it - room to swing your feet out, sit, etc. At the head of the bed, closest to the opening for the door, I'd put a basic sink - even if it's just a container draining into a bucket. That way, you can access the "Sink" from inside or outside.

How much do you need the passenger seat? That's space for a small cooler, or some other rubbermaid storage tubs or something.

Also, put up curtains so no one can see in.
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Old 06-30-2019, 07:43 PM   #4
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Have you read the vanual?

Www.Thevanual.com
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Old 06-30-2019, 07:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
I'd raise the bed, so there's room for some storage underneath. (I know there's not a whole lot of room in a TC, but even space for some shoes, or a suitcase would help.)
First thing I did... Sized it for the batteries, I had 100Ah AGMs laying around that haven't seen much use since I installed the Tesla battery. About 40% went to the bank, the rest we put clear plastic totes of varying sizes in. There's enough there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
In the back corner, next to the bed, I'd put a storage tower - maybe a plastic set of drawers from Target or something. It could be full-height, floor-ceiling.
I went with the cloth hanging shoe organizers. I had to install a bar to hang clothes anyway, and this fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
At the head of the bed, closest to the opening for the door, I'd put a basic sink - even if it's just a container draining into a bucket. That way, you can access the "Sink" from inside or outside.
This was a really good idea, I just ran out of time. I finished up for this week about 5 minutes ago- she said she had a flashlight but thinking about it if something happens in the middle of the night you want to be able to reliably turn the lights on. I put a switch at the head of the bed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
How much do you need the passenger seat? That's space for a small cooler, or some other rubbermaid storage tubs or something.
Another really good idea. Next week I'll look at this space to see what fits there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
Also, put up curtains so no one can see in.
She's going to do this herself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtrdrms View Post
Have you read the vanual?

Www.Thevanual.com
That's a troll if I've ever seen one (the name). This is good stuff, I'm going to have to do a deep-dive on that.
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:07 PM   #6
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Be EXTREMELY careful not to screw / drill into electrical / computer harnesses / sensors, or the fuel tank.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:09 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2017
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What we ended up with:
IMG_0541.jpg


All the pics I have now are with the bed up. Towards the rear is the battery bank. I tried my best to cover the batteries and partition all the infrastructure off.

IMG_0542.jpg


We also put a rod up to hang clothes on the ceiling driver side. The area underneath is a little walkway/place to put your feet down.
IMG_0545.jpg


After those pics were taken, I put some extra lights in the ceiling, controlled by a conventional light switch mounted near the front.



I'll send a pic of the solar when I get a chance. It was overall extremely easy to work with, we ran a few wires in the ceiling and did drill entry holes for the solar. It needs curtains pretty badly, hoping she'll do something about that tonight at Walmart.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:01 AM   #8
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VERY nice down n dirty work!
If the house batteries aren't externally vented, maybe put in a small 12V fan to dilute & distribute any offgassing from accumulating..? Thinking it'd be simple enough to wire it in on the supply side, so it doesn't run when not needed.
The Y'all Mart in Somersworth was always well stocked.
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