Why did we choose a Ford Transit Connect?

We have had our 2015 Ford Transit Connect for a few weeks now, and quite a few people have asked how we like the van and why we got it. I thought I would write a post on the pros and cons of each of the vans and trucks that we looked at.

Ford Transit Connect

Pros:
  • Best gas mileage of the options
  • Approximately same price point as a Toyota Tacoma – but possible to find vehicles with much fewer miles on the engine
Cons:
  • Fewer interior configurations: cargo style only has two seats; wagon style has 7 seats; no 4 seat option
  • Medium amount of interior cargo space – the newest model has just enough for us both to lie down comfortably

Ford Econoline:

Pros:
  • Least expensive of the options
  • Relatively easy to find a used van without a ton of mileage
  • Fair amount of interior cargo space
Cons:
  • Worst gas mileage of the options
  • Last distribution in the US was 2010 – so parts will become harder to find as time goes on
  • Low roof makes it difficult to maneuver in the interior cargo space

Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, or Nissan NV

Pros:
  • Variety of height and length configurations
  • Has the most cargo space of all the options
Cons:
  • Most expensive of the options, and are relatively new to US market- so there are few used models available
  • Poor gas mileage
  • Large size makes somewhat difficult to drive

Toyota Tacoma:

Pros:
  • High clearance, more rugged
  • 4 wheel drive to get to more inaccessible locations
  • Retains value very well
Cons:
  • Truck bed is not long enough for us to lay down fully (we are both over 6′)
  • Least amount of cargo space – even with a snug top on the bed
  • Very difficult to find a used truck at a reasonable price without a lot of mileage (at least here in Southern California)

VW Camper Van

Pros:
  • Pop top to allow more interior space
  • Preconfigured to allow for camping – perfect for our needs
Cons:
  • Very difficult to find as it is no new models are distributed in US
  • Those vans that are available have lots of miles on the engine and are somewhat pricey

As you can see, there are many vehicles out there that work for camping, surfing, hiking, and biking.  However, each of these vehicles has its pros and cons. In the end the latest model of Ford Transit Connect worked best for us based on its good gas mileage and interior space.

I do wish that VW was still distributing a camper van to the US market. Since the VW campers are already configured for camping, there would be less of a need to custom convert everything in the van.

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5 thoughts on “Why did we choose a Ford Transit Connect?

    1. Thought about a Westy…unfortunately they are pretty difficult to find and most of them have a lot of miles already on the engine.

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  1. your blog is perfect, i have been looking at these for camper conversion (and baja runs!) and stoked to see its been successful. can a bench bed fit into this setup?! thanks – tim

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    1. The interior of the cargo space is 48 inches wide and 77 inches long from the back of the front chairs. (http://www.ford.com/trucks/transitconnect/specifications/interior/) My boyfriend and I are both over 6′ tall (72 inches) so we need to use the entire interior length to sleep comfortably. Therefore we decided to go with a platform that we put our mattress on top of. However, if the bench bed could fold out across the entire length then it could possibly work.

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