Van conversion: 2016 Ford Transit 350

With age and disability increasing the need for more comfort in camping, in 2021 Katie and I took the plunge and bought a used 2016 Ford Transit 350 (with $45k miles) to convert to a camper van. We had been exploring different van options, including renting camper vans from Jucy (converted minivans; apparently they have closed their operations in the USA) and Escape Campervans (converted full passenger vans). After a few years of exploring, we had a good idea what we wanted to buy.

First off, we wanted the van to be useful as both a camper and a passenger van—so we could still use it locally when we’re not heading off on a camping trip. This meant we’d give some of the ‘better’ options that come with a full conversion, but we also didn’t plan on living out of it for months at a time.

Photo from my first viewing of the van at the dealer
Photo from my first viewing of the van at the dealer

We chose a 2016 passenger van because it provided plenty of seating and also had windows all the way around. We purchased our van from Car Expo Auto Center in Sacramento, CA. They seemed like a reputable firm, and the purchase process was smooth and enjoyable.

In the next few months I’ll be adding pages focused on different elements of the conversion, as well as the van itself. Here is an outline of my plans:

  • Fuel efficiency of the van
  • Wool insulation
  • Roof rack
  • Solar panel
  • Lithium battery and electrical system
  • Fold-able bed
  • The ‘kitchen.’
  • Rear view mirrors/cameras

and no doubt more as I think of it. Stay tuned!