Check Out These Unique Conversions on YouTube
While most of the van life glory goes to the converted Sprinter van, not far behind is the dependable (and much less expensive) Ford Transit. This van hits all the points as an excellent vehicle for a van conversion. It is available as a passenger or cargo van can be ordered with various smart devices, and is large enough for living full-time while still being maneuverable.
The van also comes in several models, including a smaller version called the Transit Connect and the new lifted version called the Transit Trail. Each of these vans can be converted with various budgets, from basic to big tickets.
A Top Choice for DIY Conversions
Ford has been building the Transit since 2014, and it has become a favorite vehicle for the DIY crowd. Conversions run the gamut from full-time living and working spaces to tiny, part-time homes on wheels.
We have pulled together a few of our favorite videos of Transit van conversions. These videos range from full-size versions to tiny Transit Connects. They include good information, DIY tips, excellent shots of van details, and friendly presenters.
One of the best ways to get a really good idea of what can be done with a Ford Transit is to first watch videos of owners giving a detailed tour of their rigs. If you want more details on how specific vans were built, then diving deeper into the actual conversion videos is a good idea.
1. Nicole’s No-Build Transit Van
We might as well start with the little Transit Connect van and a simple no-build conversion by Nicole Wise. This video is great in that it shows the thought process (using pen and paper) of her basic build and the items she uses in her van. Most of her items are off-the-shelf materials, furniture, and gear that anyone can pick up. She also shows how she lives simply on the road.
2. Lady Bugout’s Original Tour
Anyone interested in the Ford Transit Connect has probably seen Dee’s Lady Bugout video channel. The original tour of her tiny camper by Glorious Life on Wheels is still one of the best. Dee’s little van is beautiful, with a unique layout that includes other no-build options, such as a convertible futon and a bathroom cabinet used as a kitchen.
3. Stoked Vans Minimal Transit
This video by Nate Murphy profiles a simple but beautiful design by Stoked Vans. The video is a nice mix of tour, design details, and build decisions. This video also shows what can be done in a smaller van without losing too much space. The rooftop deck on the van is divine.
4. Gerry and Katie’s Extended Transit
This video is a little different than the typical tour; it’s a fun candid look at the builders and why they made the decisions they did. Gerry is a cabinet maker, and it shows. The design for their extended Transit has a unique layout that accommodates safety cages for their dogs as well as some personal human spaces. This great van includes a large bathroom, tons of storage, and looks like a commercial vehicle.
5. Joe and Kait’s Transit Trail Tour
A favorite YouTube channel of any van lifer has got to be We’re the Russos. Joe and Kait are still diehard van advocates, and they now have a video on the brand-new Transit Trail. This van features a 3.5-inch lift over the base Transit van. It also includes all-terrain tires, improved approach angle, and slider-style steps. It’s available as a shell for DIYers.
6. Milo’s Ford Transit Connect
This video is beautifully filmed, features a cozy build, and includes the lovely owner and his dog. Milo’s little Transit Connect shows some wonderful details, smart storage ideas, and a real sense of style. The film technique also features a real sense of space and how livable Milo’s tiny mobile home on wheels really is.
7. Mike’s DIY 4-Mode Transit Connect
Architecture graduate Mike built this smart little Transit to be used in four different ways. It can haul equipment and materials, be used as a workspace, and be used for both lounging and sleeping. The simple interior is multifunctional but still sleek and beautiful. The “presto chango” functionality of it is also user-friendly.
8. Val’s Converted Transit with Cat Bathroom
This video is so detailed and contains so much information that it extends to over 45 minutes in length. If you ever want to get some great ideas for a full-size Transit, then take a look at Val’s Vanlife tour. Her converted van includes live plants, a huge kitchen, a full bathroom, and a little potty space for her kitty.
9. Salty Vanventures Transit Build
We love this video because it’s a mix of lifestyle, building process, and a tour with both wide views and detail shots that show how the van works. This van is based in Australia, so the style and measurements may be different from the U.S. versions. However, the attention to detail and explanations by the owners make for a great guide to this build.
10. Austin’s Transit Connect
We’ll end this list with Austin’s OG van. His 2010 Transit Connect is a great example of what can be done with minimal materials. Austin has a great eye for design and uses rock climbing gear as cabinet pulls, a salad bowl as a sink, and smart storage ideas. There is a lot of style in this tiny, unassuming van.
What Ford Transit van videos catch your eye? What unique features have you included in your build or have learned about from other vanlifers? Share in the comments below.