Well, the title says it all. One week ago, we bought a Ford transit van. It still feels surreal, and although we’ve been working on stripping and cleaning the van for a few days, it’s still like we are living a dream. We can’t wait until we are done with our camper van conversion, so we can hit the road!
A little something about the van
So let’s introduce our van! She’s a 2008 Ford Transit 350 long wheelbase, meaning she’s a tad longer than the average Ford Transit, with perfect standing height. It is a double cabin van, meaning she seats six people and has a cabin behind the back seats.
The van was previously used to transport people to a social working place. It has driven 65.000 km (or 40.000 miles), and it still looks great for its age. It has some very small patches of rust in two areas on the outside, it’s missing a coat of paint on a small spot on the passenger side door, and the chairs are dirty. Other than that, the van is in great condition and we’re so incredibly happy to have bought it!
One of our favourite features of this van is that she has a window on both sides of the cabin, as well as in the back doors. This will make our little home on wheels very bright!
The width of the loading space of our van measures 1750mm along the entire length of the cabin, and the walls are fairly square compared to other brands. With cladding, this will leave us with approximately 1700 mm width.
We are not sure on how things are arranged in other countries, but in the Netherlands you can classify your van as a camper if you meet a certain set of requirements. The advantage of doing so, is that when your vehicle is classified as a camper, you only have to pay 25% of the road tax. Which is great of course! These large heavy diesel powered vehicles cost quite a bit each month.
To classify a van as a camper however, a bed has to be 180 cm in length, so the van is a little too narrow to fit a bed in sideways, which is a bit of downside as it limits our layout options.
Furthermore, the cabin is 3250 mm long, from the backdoor til the back of the front seats (after the back seats are taken out), leaving us approximately 3200 mm in length after the cladding is finished. With a 180 cm mattress, we hope to still have plenty of room to add a small sitting area and kitchen.
Lastly, the height is 1950 mm from floor to ceiling, so with isolation, flooring, and cladding on the roof, Jordy is 180cm tall (a little under 6ft), and can still stand up in it just perfectly.
Time to plan!
We’ve been sketching the layout over the past few days and it’s so fun to puzzle on paper and imagine what it will look like when it’s all done! We can’t wait to tear out the bench in the cabin, so we can draw our layout ideas on the floor with some tape and see how it all fits, and to get a better idea of the size of the cabin.
If you guys have any tips, ideas, recommendations, or other information on how to convert a van, please leave a comment below or get in contact with us here. Although we’ve watched so many videos and read a lot, we are far from experts, so we’d appreciate any help!
We have also made a short vlog about the van and the first small steps we have taken to start our conversion to a camper van. You can check it out below!
Did you like this blog post and want to read more? Click here to go to our main camper van conversion page! Here, you can find a neatly organized list of all blog posts related to our van conversion project.