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Old 03-05-2019, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Ford Transit getting AWD

https://media.ford.com/content/fordm...d-transit.html

2020 models will have AWD as a option as well as many driver safety features. Pretty big deal IMO. Promasters have a lot of catching up to do on all fronts except price.
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:30 PM   #2
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As a new RV buyer (just purchased a new Pleasure-Way Ascent), I was surprised to see how few options there were for RVs built on the Transit chassis. Are there particular challenges to building on it? I found its drivers seat far more comfortable than the Ram (especially for tall people like me), it has great gas engine options, and Ford dealers are everywhere so service would never be an issue. It's closer to the Ram than the Sprinter in terms of price. I would have loved to have considered one, but in addition to finding something I could drive long distances comfortably, our other top requirement was a sub-20' length. The Crossfit and Paseo are 22' long (as is the probably-never-to-be-produced Roadtrek Haven). Ford makes a shorter version that comes in at 19' 8" that is available with the high roof, but nobody seems to build on it. I wonder why that is.
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:05 PM   #3
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As a new RV buyer (just purchased a new Pleasure-Way Ascent), I was surprised to see how few options there were for RVs built on the Transit chassis. Are there particular challenges to building on it? I found its drivers seat far more comfortable than the Ram (especially for tall people like me), it has great gas engine options, and Ford dealers are everywhere so service would never be an issue. It's closer to the Ram than the Sprinter in terms of price. I would have loved to have considered one, but in addition to finding something I could drive long distances comfortably, our other top requirement was a sub-20' length. The Crossfit and Paseo are 22' long (as is the probably-never-to-be-produced Roadtrek Haven). Ford makes a shorter version that comes in at 19' 8" that is available with the high roof, but nobody seems to build on it. I wonder why that is.
I think there are oddities to it. I know the front of the cargo area roof has a slope to deal with. Not sure what other little things could be issues. The Promaster is probably the easiest platform to build on. But its getting dated fast. Especially with this news. And somehow FCA thinks this Promaster can go unchanged until 2022.

After these 2020 changes for the Transit the Promaster is going to be a very distant 3rd in terms of tech, driver safety, fit and finish, AWD, engine options and looks. The only things on its side are price and width that allows for beds that go across the cargo area.
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:02 PM   #4
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Impressive. And about time.

Glad Ford is keeping the 3.5L Ecoboost as an engine option.
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:38 PM   #5
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Impressive. And about time.

Glad Ford is keeping the 3.5L Ecoboost as an engine option.
.
Also adding a 2nd alternator from the factory as a option. Another very nice feature.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:44 AM   #6
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Car and driver had an article about this also:

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a2...n-photos-info/
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:47 AM   #7
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Also adding a 2nd alternator from the factory as a option. Another very nice feature.
Also the ability to swivel BOTH front seats. That and the 2nd Alternator make it even MORE attractive for the DIYers
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:25 PM   #8
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Hopefully the swiveling of both front seats will allow for front lounge floor plans with 4 belted seats up front and permanent bed in the rear. Like the Aktiv, Travato, Safari Condo etc. I would love that floor plan on a Ford chassis.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:29 AM   #9
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This is a step in the right direction for the Ford Transit, but they should have just done a proper 4WD system in order to compete on par with the Sprinter. It's especially disappointing considering that Quigley in PA already does aftermarket 4x4 conversions on the Transit using nearly all F-150 off the shelf parts, so there is no reason Ford couldn't just install that system at the factory. At the end of the day, this is a half measure that won't satisfy those who are looking for a true off-road capable adventure vehicle.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:47 PM   #10
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This is a step in the right direction for the Ford Transit, but they should have just done a proper 4WD system in order to compete on par with the Sprinter. It's especially disappointing considering that Quigley in PA already does aftermarket 4x4 conversions on the Transit using nearly all F-150 off the shelf parts, so there is no reason Ford couldn't just install that system at the factory. At the end of the day, this is a half measure that won't satisfy those who are looking for a true off-road capable adventure vehicle.
Extremely low volume options like true 4wd on a high volume vehicle like the Transit van just donít make sense for Ford to do themselves, that is why they have approved 3rd party companies that get the vehicles drop shipped between manufacturing and the dealers who sell the option. How many customers per year would get the true 4wd? Not enough for Ford to do it themselves...
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:00 PM   #11
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This is a step in the right direction for the Ford Transit, but they should have just done a proper 4WD system in order to compete on par with the Sprinter. It's especially disappointing considering that Quigley in PA already does aftermarket 4x4 conversions on the Transit using nearly all F-150 off the shelf parts, so there is no reason Ford couldn't just install that system at the factory. At the end of the day, this is a half measure that won't satisfy those who are looking for a true off-road capable adventure vehicle.
As you can see with a lot of Youtube videos there isnt all that many places 4WD can go that a good AWD system wont be able to go. You are just talking about climbing rocky or snowy passes in Colorado with a Raptor, Land Cruiser or Wrangler. Places a cargo van is never ever gonna get close to no matter what drive system you have.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:22 PM   #12
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As you can see with a lot of Youtube videos there isnt all that many places 4WD can go that a good AWD system wont be able to go. You are just talking about climbing rocky or snowy passes in Colorado with a Raptor, Land Cruiser or Wrangler. Places a cargo van is never ever gonna get close to no matter what drive system you have.
There are some true 4wd vans that can go off road such as a Sportsmobile Econoline 4wd conversion and other similar 4wd conversions but you will still be limited due to the length and turning radius compared to a smaller vehicle.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:54 PM   #13
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There are some true 4wd vans that can go off road such as a Sportsmobile Econoline 4wd conversion and other similar 4wd conversions but you will still be limited due to the length and turning radius compared to a smaller vehicle.
And clearance and departure angle. These vans arent going to anywhere crazy offroad.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:12 PM   #14
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And clearance and departure angle. These vans arent going to anywhere crazy offroad.
Maybe not crazy off road but more off road than an Sprinter or Transit with factory 4wd/AWD...

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Old 03-15-2019, 05:29 PM   #15
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Maybe not crazy off road but more off road than an Sprinter or Transit with factory 4wd/AWD...

Pretty cool. How much lift is on those?
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:22 PM   #16
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Pretty cool. How much lift is on those?
Here are the details of the Sportsmobile conversion. Some people go with Quigly or one of the others instead. Not sure about all the differences between the various options...

https://sportsmobile.com/sportsmobile-4x4/
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:35 PM   #17
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Iíve always been interested in the Transit vs. Promaster comparison. We wanted a Transit when we first decided to have a custom build. Our guy talked us out of it, saying the Promaster has more interior cubic feet, doesnít slope inward, and is built sturdier. He says when they build out a Transit they have to build in more support in the walls. He also stated that you canít go up on the roof of a Transit without it giving way; not so with the Promaster.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:56 PM   #18
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I’ve always been interested in the Transit vs. Promaster comparison. We wanted a Transit when we first decided to have a custom build. Our guy talked us out of it, saying the Promaster has more interior cubic feet, doesn’t slope inward, and is built sturdier. He says when they build out a Transit they have to build in more support in the walls. He also stated that you can’t go up on the roof of a Transit without it giving way; not so with the Promaster.
Theres give and takes to all the chassis. I built on a Promaster. Has to be the easiest to build on because its the most boxy cargo area and the supports are evenly spaced. Not the case with the Transit. And yea the Transit does have other oddities like the sloping from roof of the cargo area. Promaster gives you the widest width allowing a side to side bed configuration with no flares needed on the body.

But, the Promaster has the worst fit and finish of the 3. The least driver safety features. And almost certainly is the most unreliable. These are Fiat's after all. Just with the Pentastar engine squeezed under the hood. And there are plenty of Dodge dealer nightmare stories. Theres a fare bit of Dodge dealers that dont even work on Promasters period. FitRV had a nightmare of their own with the Promaster. Blown head gasket at just 60k. Ive seen plenty of Transmissions go before 110k.

I like the front wheel drive. But people smarter then me have pointed out that with a properly weight balanced van conversion you probably wouldn't notice the difference between front and rear wheel drive. If anything rear wheel may end up better because the rear would be heavier if anything.

Resale value of the Promaster is for sure worse too.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:41 PM   #19
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Theres give and takes to all the chassis. I built on a Promaster. Has to be the easiest to build on because its the most boxy cargo area and the supports are evenly spaced. Not the case with the Transit. And yea the Transit does have other oddities like the sloping from roof of the cargo area. Promaster gives you the widest width allowing a side to side bed configuration with no flares needed on the body.

But, the Promaster has the worst fit and finish of the 3. The least driver safety features. And almost certainly is the most unreliable. These are Fiat's after all. Just with the Pentastar engine squeezed under the hood. And there are plenty of Dodge dealer nightmare stories. Theres a fare bit of Dodge dealers that dont even work on Promasters period. FitRV had a nightmare of their own with the Promaster. Blown head gasket at just 60k. Ive seen plenty of Transmissions go before 110k.

I like the front wheel drive. But people smarter then me have pointed out that with a properly weight balanced van conversion you probably wouldn't notice the difference between front and rear wheel drive. If anything rear wheel may end up better because the rear would be heavier if anything.

Resale value of the Promaster is for sure worse too.
I was persuaded by a lot of the pro-Transit arguments you mention.
Not to mention the low rear axle/support on the Promaster. The Transit's clearance isn't great because of the pumpkin and rear shock mounts, but the low clearance doesn't run the width of the van.
And I was just plain uncomfortable when I test-drove the Promaster. And very comfortable in the Transit.


I'm sure that the build was a lot harder because everything is curved in the Transit, but it was a good learning experience figuring out practical mounting.
I think it came out reasonably decent...we're comfy, and my aesthetics committee approves the build job.

With the LSD, and my batteries and water over, or rear of, the axle, Annie does pretty well for a 2wd vehicle.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:53 AM   #20
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With the LSD, and my batteries and water over, or rear of, the axle, Annie does pretty well for a 2wd vehicle.
I switched from a 4x4 Sprinter to a 2019 RWD Transit and thought I would miss my 4x4 (actually an AWD) but with the LSD, 2000 lbs of conversion in the back, and Nokian winter tires. I haven't had a problem either...But I can't bypass chain laws like I could in the Sprinter. Not owning a DIESEL makes the trade-off worth it.
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