Ford Transit Connect Conversion: Bed, Fridge and Water Storage Cabinet

A while back, I thought I had completed the conversion of my Ford Transit Connect.  You can see that conversion and why I decided on the Connect for travel and camping HERE.  However, after spending a lot of time in it, I decided I didn’t like the way I originally set up the build.  The bed ended up being too cumbersome to open and accessing the storage underneath was too awkward.  Because of it’s height and position, it left little head room when utilized as a bench.

As much as it pained me to disassemble everything after all the work I put into it, I decided I wanted to convert the Connect to resemble my beloved but sold, 1978 Westfalia; a design I had come to know and love.  I started from scratch using much of the wood from the old setup, in addition to lots of wood my Dad had saved throughout the years.

I shortened the height of the bed by close to four inches and extended the width to a very comfortable 34 inches.

I kept the Westy’s rocker-style bed in mind with my design, but, because the Connect is a smaller vehicle, I need to make sure I’m utilizing every inch of space by putting it to work for me.  Having storage underneath the bed was crucial so instead of using the metal base the beds of the Westy have, I built the main bed from strong wood and bolted it to the floor.

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

The slider, easily pulls out to a lovely 68″ of sleeping space.

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

Four inch, firm density, foam is used for the bedding when open.

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

When closed, it provides exceptionally comfortable seating.

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

The hinges on the back of the bed frame allow me to open the bed and access the storage space below when the slider is closed.  The plan is to build some dividers under the bed so that items stored, don’t slide all over the place when driving, but remain easily accessible.

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

Next to the bed, I built a cabinet for my ARB fridge/freezer and to also house my gray and white water tanks.  When closed, it can be used as additional counter-space.

Ford Transit connect Conversion

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

I didn’t build a closure for the back of the cabinet unit because the fridge will run off of my Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generators and I wanted to make sure the fan gets good air circulation.  I’ll probably sew a simple curtain like cover for aesthetics.

 

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

So far, the bones of the build are exactly how I envisioned them.  The next step in the conversion will be my mini kitchen, sink and cabinet area which will sit directly behind the drivers seat.  Then of course there will be staining, painting, cabinet hardware, curtains, wall and floor coverings.  I’ve got two months to finish.  I’m hoping the weather cooperates.

Ford Transit Connect Conversion

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9 thoughts on “Ford Transit Connect Conversion: Bed, Fridge and Water Storage Cabinet

    • Thanks Tina. The fridge is fantastic. I was using two Yeti coolers because the ice took up a lot of space in the coolers. They were great in that the ice lasted for four days but dealing with refilling bags of ice, and draining water as ice melted along with things getting a bit soggy was tedious. The fridge is about the same size as the larger of the Yeti coolers I had but I can store twice as much because I don’t need ice.

  1. Hi, I just bought a 2013 Transit connect & am planning on converting it to a RV by this summer. Kind of like you have. My priorities are able to fit my bike in, refrigeration, & as big of a bed as possible. I may do a slat bed across the back like you have. Looking at your picture, your box covers the access to the tire jack. What did you do about that?

    • Congratulations Judy. I haven’t once regretted getting a Connect. I adore it. The box does cover the tire jack but I can still access it when the lid is up as well as from the back of the vehicle. I can just slide my fridge out to make access even easier.

  2. Silly question…….obviously you live in New England. I live on Cape Cod. Would you be willing to meet me somewhere so I can see how you have yours set up? There are lots of pictures of different set ups online, but I would love to see how somebody has done one in person. I am hoping to have a shore power system put in to mine as well. I really can’t do anything until I know what I am doing for electrical/refrigeration. My email is jlwidger@earthlink.net, I’d love to hear more about your set up.

  3. Your Transit Connect is looking awesome! Thank you for posting this blog. I have a 2015 Transit Connect (TC) and am looking for ideas on how to best setup the TC to resemble the 1979 VW Westfalia my dad had that I grew up with. I have almost no experience doing woodword/construction. Last time I touched a saw was back some 20 years in middle school woodshop class. You’re buildout is impressive! Can’t wait for future posts on your progress!

    • Thanks so much Mike. I had zero experience with woodworking/construction when I first started and am still fearful of lopping off a limb every time I use a power tool. As many times as I take a measurement, then cut, things always seem slightly off. What I’m getting at is just go for it. I originally sketched a design based on the measurements of the usable interior space and built the bed first. Everything else was created around the bed. It’s been a fun project so far.

      • Love the “just do it” attitude. I’m learning a lot through your blogs. Please keep posting your future buildout!

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