Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-08-2020, 09:51 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: NC
Posts: 17
Default Building a cmpervan on 2020 Transit chassis

Over the last few days I flip-flopped about what to do. I was sure I'll go with Transit, then I visited couple of Mercedes dealers and saw a beautiful Mercedes with 10 inch nav screen, then someone bought it. Later I test drove Mercedes and it remained me of old Żuk van I drove in Poland in the seventies. Every pothole, every rough surface rattled the body panels. I know, it would go away after putting insulation on it, but still... Then I went to Ford dealer and test drove a Transit with the EcoBoost engine - and... Wow! Suddenly I knew it will be my next van. That thing flies! And is solid as a brick, even when I drive it over rough RR crossing. I am ordering mine this Tuesday.

I can use some help from you with the configuration thou. So far I think I'll go with:

Base MSRP $43,075
Total of Options $5,585
Destination Charges $1,695
Total MSRP $51,775

Cargo Van, XL, Transit Long EL 250, High Roof, 148", 3.5L EcoBoost V6 Engine, 10-Speed Automatic Overdrive with SelectShift® Auxiliary, Transmission Oil Cooler Limited Slip Axle $43,075
Paint Ingot Silver $200
Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package $485
Power Sliding Door $995
Running Boards – Extended Length $655
Keys – Two (2) Additional $75
Keyless Entry Keypad $95
Spare Tire and Wheel with Four-Ton Jack $0
Heavy-Duty Front Axle $315
Extended Range Fuel Tank $285
Reverse Sensing System $0
Side Sensing System $475
AGM Batteries – Dual $0
Exterior Lighting – Autolamp $35
Exterior Lighting – Front Fog Lamps $0
Windows – Fixed Glass, Rear-Door and Passenger-Side Cargo Door $250
Short Arm Power Adjusting, Manual-Folding Mirrors $0
16" Silver Steel Wheel with Exposed Lug Nuts-Heavy-Duty $0
235/65R16C 121/119 R BSW All-Season Tires $0
Dark Palazzo Gray Cloth, 10-Way Power Driver and 10-Way Power Passenger Seats $990
Vehicle Maintenance Monitor $45
Floor Covering – Front Carpet Floor Mats $30
Floor Covering – Front Carpet $35
Cruise Control with Adjustable Speed Limiting Device (ASLD) $325
Horn – Dual Note $20
Dual Alternator $845
Six (6) Speaker $25
Powerpoint Outlet – 12V$15
Auxiliary Fuse Panel with High Spec Interface Connector $0
Audio Pack #22: AM/FM Stereo with Bluetooth and HD SiriusXM®, Audio Input Jack, SYNC® 3, and 8" Colored Multi-Function Touch Screen $650

Not sure if I should go with 3.31 or 3.73 axle? If that calculator is right, at 70 mph it would be either 1750 or 1970 RPM (https://apx6u.app.goo.gl/eX29)

I am also not sure if I should go with 9070 lbs T250 or 9500 lbs T350. The price difference is about $1300, for gain of 430 lbs. I think it's not worth it.

And what about seats? Is the basic seat good enough? For $990 I can have "heated 10-way power seats with lumbar and armrest"?

Do I need "Heavy-Duty front axle with a 4,630 lb. FGAWR"? For $315 sims like a reasonable option.
__________________

Polonus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2020, 10:05 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
@Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: MN
Posts: 209
Default

If Ford, I'm more familiar with the pre-2020's. But I'd consider
  • trailer brake controller (cannot be added later)
  • up fitters switches
  • one of the builders auxiliary power options (not sure which is compatible with the second alternator
  • T350
__________________

@Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2020, 11:25 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: NC
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by @Michael View Post
Ford? (title says Mercedes.....)

If Ford, I'm more familiar with the pre-2020's. But I'd consider
  • trailer brake controller (cannot be added later)
  • up fitters switches
  • one of the builders auxiliary power options (not sure which is compatible with the second alternator
  • T350
Can you tell me why?

1. I am not planing to tow anything, unless I need to bring something from my local Home Depot on rented trailer. I know, I checked "Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package", but I'll use it probably only for a bike rack.

2. What are the "upfitter switches"? What I need them for? There is an option "Upfitter Interface Module" for $255. It says: "This technology makes it easy for upfitters to operate aftermarket equipment, such a lift buckets or cranes", however it is only available for "fleets". And I have no idea why I would need it.

3. Why T350? Isn't T250 softer, more comfortable? I hope I won't go over 2000 lbs wit my conversion. However I can be wrong... However I can only choose between 9070 (T250) and 9500 (T350) lbs.
Polonus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2020, 10:11 PM   #4
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: CA
Posts: 30
Default

I'd go with the T350. The T250 is on the border of being overloaded. If you do a full bulld-out and load it up with all your stuff, you'll be at 9000 lbs give or take a few hundred lbs. There should be no ride difference between the 250 and 350.
JLO11111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2020, 05:25 AM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: NC
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLO11111 View Post
I'd go with the T350...
To late, I ordered T250. I have to go "light", because eventually I am going to take this rig to Europe and I have to be able to stay under 3,5 t (7 700 lbs).

I am still confused about electrical system. On one hand I received letter from Victron:

"Hello Piotr,

I was forwarded your email from Victron. The largest they offer is the buck boost 12-12V 100A charger. You would need multiple of these to maximize your charge output capability.

It is fully programmable via their software and I have installed them into both Promasters and Sprinters but not a Transit yet. I don’t see that it would be much different.

See here: https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-converters/buck-boost-dc-dc-converter-25a-50a"


...which suggest that it is quite a simple thing. On other there are treads on this forum showing multiple problems with "smart" dual alternators. Which is the truth?
Polonus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2020, 02:20 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 155
Default

I would start with requirements and then find a suitable van, not find van first. What iare your weight requirements based on upfit weights, tank sizes, passengers etc.? Where do you want to go..what capabilities needed - roof configuration for solar/racks? ground clearance? length? overall height? 4x4? Once you have your requirements determined your choices might become clearer.
Belzar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2020, 02:27 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 155
Default

If building a van to use in Europe you might want to consider electrical system, propane fittings, water hookups, media and other differences in your initial build to avoid having to retrofit. If using the van in Europe (or perhaps selling it there) is a consideration, fuel costs may become a bigger factor in chassis choice.
Belzar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2020, 03:21 PM   #8
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: CA
Posts: 30
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polonus View Post
To late, I ordered T250. I have to go "light", because eventually I am going to take this rig to Europe and I have to be able to stay under 3,5 t (7 700 lbs).

I am still confused about electrical system. On one hand I received letter from Victron:

"Hello Piotr,

I was forwarded your email from Victron. The largest they offer is the buck boost 12-12V 100A charger. You would need multiple of these to maximize your charge output capability.

It is fully programmable via their software and I have installed them into both Promasters and Sprinters but not a Transit yet. I don’t see that it would be much different.

See here: https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-converters/buck-boost-dc-dc-converter-25a-50a"


...which suggest that it is quite a simple thing. On other there are treads on this forum showing multiple problems with "smart" dual alternators. Which is the truth?
Regarding the 7700 lb limit, is this a shipping limit or some sort of European limit? Just so you know, my empty Pleasure Way Lexor weighs in at 7775 lbs leaving 1575 lbs for people, water and stuff. Granted this is on the 21' Ram Promaster, but it should give you some idea of what a "full" build out will weigh. Did you get the 19'5" Transit or the bigger 22'2" Transit? If you got the latter, you really need to watch how you build it out if your empty weight needs to be below 7700 lbs.

Regarding the electrical system, are you asking what is needed if you use a second alternator to charge your coach battery?
JLO11111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2020, 04:09 PM   #9
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: NC
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLO11111 View Post
Regarding the 7700 lb limit, is this a shipping limit or some sort of European limit?
In Europe vehicles over 3,5t require "professional" driver licence and they are subject to highway use tax collected by "viaTOLL" from the transponders on every commercial vehicle. Heavy RV's are not exempt from that law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLO11111 View Post
my empty Pleasure Way Lexor weighs in at 7775 lbs leaving 1575 lbs for people, water and stuff. [...] Did you get the 19'5" Transit or the bigger 22'2" Transit? If you got the latter, you really need to watch how you build it out if your empty weight needs to be below 7700 lbs.
That 7700lbs limit is for GVW, however in practice many vans go over it. Recently I read about cargo van registered as a 3,5 t vehicle, checked by DOT, weighing empty 3.6 tons. I'll have the biggest body, extended lenght and high roof. I know it will be challenging to keep the weight low, but it is possible. This conversion weighs 1800 lbs "dry": https://faroutride.com/weight-summary/ - and stays below 7700 lbs limit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLO11111 View Post
Regarding the electrical system, are you asking what is needed if you use a second alternator to charge your coach battery?
Yes, that is my question. I need some simple explanation how that works. I am not planning on solar now, so it would be rather simple setup, eight to twelve LiFePo4 batteries, usually charged by rigs alternators, plus shore power inlet for charging home or at RV parks.

I've got a letter from Victron, which says:

"[...] buck boost 12-12V 100A charger. You would need multiple of these to maximize your charge output capability.
It is fully programmable via their software and I have installed them into both Promasters and Sprinters but not a Transit yet. I don’t see that it would be much different.
See here: https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-converters/buck-boost-dc-dc-converter-25a-50a"

However when I read Transit forum, I can only see problems. Looks like it is not as simple as it looks - or maybe it is. I don't know. I'd like to be sure before I spend hundreds of dollars, maybe thousands for something which will not work properly.
Polonus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2020, 04:18 PM   #10
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: NC
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belzar View Post
I would start with requirements and then find a suitable van, not find van first. What iare your weight requirements based on upfit weights, tank sizes, passengers etc.? Where do you want to go..what capabilities needed - roof configuration for solar/racks? ground clearance? length? overall height? 4x4? Once you have your requirements determined your choices might become clearer.
We already took all of those questions into consideration. Our van is ordered and scheduled for production, so I am "stuck" with the options I have chosen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belzar View Post
If building a van to use in Europe you might want to consider electrical system, propane fittings, water hookups, media and other differences in your initial build to avoid having to retrofit. If using the van in Europe (or perhaps selling it there) is a consideration, fuel costs may become a bigger factor in chassis choice.
"European option" is a big "maybe" down the road. If I ever take it there, it would be not before 2025 or so. Plenty of time to retrofit it to European standards.

We will go without propane, no TV, so it won't be that many things to change.
Polonus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2020, 04:55 PM   #11
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: CA
Posts: 30
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polonus View Post
In
Yes, that is my question. I need some simple explanation how that works. I am not planning on solar now, so it would be rather simple setup, eight to twelve LiFePo4 batteries, usually charged by rigs alternators, plus shore power inlet for charging home or at RV parks.

I've got a letter from Victron, which says:

"[...] buck boost 12-12V 100A charger. You would need multiple of these to maximize your charge output capability.
It is fully programmable via their software and I have installed them into both Promasters and Sprinters but not a Transit yet. I don’t see that it would be much different.
See here: https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-converters/buck-boost-dc-dc-converter-25a-50a"

However when I read Transit forum, I can only see problems. Looks like it is not as simple as it looks - or maybe it is. I don't know. I'd like to be sure before I spend hundreds of dollars, maybe thousands for something which will not work properly.
My understanding is you need a buck boost DC DC converter or an alternator volt regulator to control the voltage and current output. I don't think it's that hard. Take a look at nations alternator. I believe they sell entire kits and can get you exactly what you want.
JLO11111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2020, 06:32 PM   #12
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: NC
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLO11111 View Post
My understanding is you need a buck boost DC DC converter or an alternator volt regulator to control the voltage and current output. I don't think it's that hard. Take a look at nations alternator. I believe they sell entire kits and can get you exactly what you want.
I already have dual alternators in my van. I hope buck boost DC/DC from Victron Energy will work, but I'd like to see it first in someone else vehicle.
__________________

Polonus is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×