Ford Transit Cab Chassis with Composite Camper

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Hi everyone,
I would like to introduce you to our next built. Considering cost, capabilities, availability, serviceability we selected a 2019 Ford Transit Cab Chassis Cut Away with a 3.7L gas engine as our base vehicle. No 4x4 yet. The plan is to have a Quickly system installed next spring. With a load capacity of 2360kg/5200lb we won't have to count the ounces!
The camper body will be true 4 season capable.
Dimensions:
Main body length: 3960mm / 13’ (max 14’ is possible)
With alcove length: 4486mm/ 14.75’
Ext. width: 2100mm/ 6.9’
Ext. height: 2500mm/ 8.2’
Int. width: 2000mm/ 6.5’
Int. height: 2333mm/ 7.6’
Estimated weight: 500kg / 1100lb
Total vehicle length: ~21'

We will install the camper without a subframe. This will save about 400Lb in weight and also bring down the center of gravity by around 8". Downside of this: We need wheel wells.

Estimated total cost should be around US$80.000 . Basicly the same (or less) as a full size new pick up truck.
 

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dags

Adventurer
We will install the camper without a subframe. This will save about 400Lb in weight and also bring down the center of gravity by around 8". Downside of this: We need wheel wells.
I'm watching your build with a view to buying a 2020 ford transit and the body kit from you.

Will you be able to go off road without a subframe build?
 

rruff

Explorer
Will you be able to go off road without a subframe build?
Just need to reinforce the bottom of the camper for the mount points and provide for frame flex. It's hard to tell for sure from the photos, but it looks like the frame is designed to be torsionally flexible which is typical of HD trucks.
 

sg1

Adventurer
That will be an interesting build. I had a Transit cut away with a composite camper. It was directly attached to the frame without subframe or spring loaded screws. The front of the cabin was glued directly to the cab. The camper couldn't flex at all. After almost 100,000 miles in Africa and Latin America no problem with cracks. The frame is very stiff.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
That will be an interesting build. I had a Transit cut away with a composite camper. It was directly attached to the frame without subframe or spring loaded screws. The front of the cabin was glued directly to the cab. The camper couldn't flex at all. After almost 100,000 miles in Africa and Latin America no problem with cracks. The frame is very stiff.
That is what I read in the German forums too. The Transit frame is the same as the Sprinter frame and doesn't need any special torsion free subframe. You also need to keep in mind that this vehicle will not be rock crawler or "extreme" off roader. Will have 4x4 to get up to the ski hill and out of a muddy field.
 

rruff

Explorer
That is what I read in the German forums too. The Transit frame is the same as the Sprinter frame and doesn't need any special torsion free subframe.
That's interesting, especially with such a high payload. There is a "box" in the center of the frame rails but it is not very wide; not like on the newer light duty trucks with "fully boxed frames". I'm curious how much you can get it to twist if it's crossed up? I tested my Tundra and got ~2" max over the width of the bed with one wheel raised. I thought this was enough to use mounts with some flex (poly cab mounts), but I'd rather do a rigid attachment if that will work.
 

dags

Adventurer
Do you plan on using the diesel heater/water heater you sell? If so would you install a diesel fuel tank to feed just these items? Asking as i'm thinking of building this setup.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Do you plan on using the diesel heater/water heater you sell? If so would you install a diesel fuel tank to feed just these items? Asking as i'm thinking of building this setup.
We definitely will need a seperate diesel tank to run the Planar heater as our truck runs on gas. A dedicated tank also allows us to use kerosene as fuel in case we are reaching altitudes above 10.000ft.
The plan is also to have an inline Elgena water boiler that's heated with the diesel furnace AND the 12V boiler version as a back up. We will have tons of space to fit those components in the basement floor. My calculations shows a ~14" space for tanks, electrical and storage. All devided and sealed with composite panels. The actual floor will most likely be plywood covered with regular flooring.

My biggest dilema at the moment is that we will only have two months to outfit the interior and exterior before Expo West....That's a very ambitious goal when you only have a couple hours a day to do so. I would like to show a fully finished vehicle. But afraid it wont be.... I may just focus on the exterior and make sure it looks impressive from the outside only... Leaving the doors closed at the show... What do you guys think?
 

dags

Adventurer
We definitely will need a seperate diesel tank to run the Planar heater as our truck runs on gas. A dedicated tank also allows us to use kerosene as fuel in case we are reaching altitudes above 10.000ft.
The plan is also to have an inline Elgena water boiler that's heated with the diesel furnace AND the 12V boiler version as a back up. We will have tons of space to fit those components in the basement floor. My calculations shows a ~14" space for tanks, electrical and storage. All devided and sealed with composite panels. The actual floor will most likely be plywood covered with regular flooring.

My biggest dilema at the moment is that we will only have two months to outfit the interior and exterior before Expo West....That's a very ambitious goal when you only have a couple hours a day to do so. I would like to show a fully finished vehicle. But afraid it wont be.... I may just focus on the exterior and make sure it looks impressive from the outside only... Leaving the doors closed at the show... What do you guys think?
I would prefer you showed the interior part finished so we can see the interior and how you put the items you sell into the camper. It would be more interesting part finished than finished as a potential customer. You could cover parts with clear plastic, like the floor, so we can get ideas from you.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
I would prefer you showed the interior part finished so we can see the interior and how you put the items you sell into the camper. It would be more interesting part finished than finished as a potential customer. You could cover parts with clear plastic, like the floor, so we can get ideas from you.
Challenge accepted LOL Will try to at least have a mock up....

Cheers,
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
Found this in Europe... It's killing me that we can't get these Crew cabs in North America.
You know that you CAN get a Furd crewcab 4x4 cab and chassis here in North America, right? Including one that doesn’t look dorky, or have potentially a catastrophic outcome for your legs in a head-on collision. I’m sure you’re going to build a neat rig, but the focus is on the accommodations out back, no? Why put all the time and money into a regular cab Transit and Quigley conversion when you could just buy an F350 and be ahead of the game?
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
You know that you CAN get a Furd crewcab 4x4 cab and chassis here in North America, right? Including one that doesn’t look dorky, or have potentially a catastrophic outcome for your legs in a head-on collision. I’m sure you’re going to build a neat rig, but the focus is on the accommodations out back, no? Why put all the time and money into a regular cab Transit and Quigley conversion when you could just buy an F350 and be ahead of the game?
You can not purchase a crew cab (double cab) Transit in North America. I would be the first one in line if we could! Sadly the 4x4 (it's actually only AWD) is not available yet... So far nobody can tell when they will be delivered... We needed a chassis quick to have something to show at events in 2020. Another reason we selected the transit is the cost. At CAD$39.000 (~US$32.000) it's very hard to find anything else comparable. We think this will attract a lot of people with family budgeds.
As for the crash rating: The transit is passing crash tests with flying colors. No worries on that side. https://www.autoblog.com/buy/2018-Ford-Transit_250/safety/
To be honest with you, if there would have been a Doka Sprinter with a gas engine available we would have gone with that.
 

dags

Adventurer
Are you confident that the cutaway will be ok with the body attached to the back going offroad. I understand the off road driving would be mild.
 
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