Ford Transit Trail becomes all-out adventure camper van – pod by pod
The modularity masters at VanDoIt have officially launched the first camper van build atop Ford's rugged Transit Trail turnkey adventure van. Born before the Transit Trail even debuted, the all-new Moov package fills out Ford's most off-road-ready factory van with Lego Technic levels of plug-and-play modularity, allowing owners to build up a dream floor plan. They can lavish it with all the comforts of home or keep it simple and singleminded for whatever they want to do at the end of the faint, overgrown 4x4 track.
A year ago, Ford further agitated the already-overactive minds of the off-road camper van industry with the introduction of the US-spec Transit Trail. Hyping the van's "adventure-seeking capability," the Blue Oval took the new van above and beyond the existing Transit AWD with a 3.5-in (8.9-cm) suspension lift, widened track, all-terrain tires, 6,500-lb (2,950-kg) tow package, mud flaps and slider-style side steps, among other features and options. It eased the burden on third-party camper converters by adding in a dual-AGM battery system, 400-W inverter and factory swivel front seats. The Trail was essentially a hunk of fresh clay waiting for its bearded, flannel-shacketed Michelangelo to pick it up and sculpt a camper.
VanDoIt was quick to bring its own masterful artistry to the Trail. In fact, Ford had approached it months before the Transit Trail world premiere, and some VanDoIt camper components appeared during Ford's official debut festivities. The full Moov unclothing didn't take long following Ford's event, coming in prototype form just three months later in February 2023. VanDoIt announced the official launch of orders this past week.
While the Transit Trail represented a great new opportunity for VanDoIt, it also brought a significant challenge. The Missouri company had previously developed its hardware and assembly processes exclusively for the Transit passenger van and now had to switch gears to a cargo platform.
Instead of merely adapting the lineup of plug-and-play Transit camper modules it already had at the ready, VanDoIt took the opportunity to pull in feedback and wish lists and reimagine its modular camper van as a dedicated two-person adventure rig. It then burrowed itself in the garage and came out with what it believes to be the ultimate selection of brand-new and preexisting components for a Transit Trail/Transit Cargo camper. As the "Moov" name alludes, this isn't a camper van meant merely to park and sit – it's made to get you moving, on four wheels, on two wheels, on two feet, on one board, etc.
Before we get into to the new kit, we have to mention one old adapted component without which no further VanDoIt camperization would happen: the aluminum T-track skeleton that serves as the mounting frame for the rest of the components, accessories and decor.
With the structure in place, it's up to the buyer to select from VanDoIt's full ecosystem of camper modules. For the Moov, the company has developed a third bed option, a dual-folder it calls the "drawbridge bed." The bed's two sleeping platform panels fold against the wall during the day, sandwiched cleanly between overhead cabinets and lower over-wheel well storage modules. At night, the two sides fold down with help from gas struts to create a raised double bed across the width of the van.
The drawbridge bed frees up the rear garage area for storage, passthrough and use of another newly launched component: the indoor shower. Following the industry trend toward part-time pop-up showers, VanDoIt offers a deployable fabric shower room that hangs from the upper T-track. Instead of the usual included drain pan, VanDoIt uses a larger French drain system integrated in a floor tray that channels water into the underbody gray water tank. The tray then doubles as a gear carrier for mounting bikes and other equipment.
The shower works in conjunction with an all-new plug-and-play hot/cold water system that houses an 83-L fresh water tank, electric water heater, hot/cold mixer and hookups in a T-track frame. The system is designed to easily remove when not needed. Power comes by way of a new top-tier Stage 3 electrical package with up to 1,380 Ah of battery capacity and a CZone management and command system – 600 watts of roof-mounted solar help keep the battery running.
VanDoIt uses the panel sides of its first cargo van build to introduce a much-requested feature: openable windows at the rear. VanDoIt cuts the new windows into the panel van sidewalls, using slide openings with screens for better ventilation around the bed and greater interior.
Other available Moov equipment includes a kitchen module with fridge slide, drawers and sink, a portable toilet, a TV, and a fully adjustable Lagun table. Buyers can forego new equipment in favor of older designs – for instance, selecting the hydraulic lift-away bed or Murphy bunks in place of the drawbridge bed.
The Transit Trail is a very rugged Ford factory offering, but it's nothing compared to what camper and adventure van builders are doing every day. VanDoIt enhances the Moov's suspension with its most capable Stage 3 kit, which brings along Fox rear shocks, a Bilstein front strut with upgraded coils, and added OEM leafs. It dresses up the van with an Aluminess front bumper with 12K-lb winch, Aluminess roof rack, Backwoods rear bumper, Aluminess rear door rack and ladder, and full suite of Baja Designs auxiliary lighting.
VanDoIt is now ready to take Moov orders and start building vans. It expects the van to end up pricing out between US$114,900 and $200,000, depending upon the specific modular options the buyer selects. It can be built atop a regular Transit cargo van, as well as the Transit Trail, and is offered in mid- or high-roof varieties on long or extended chassis.
The seven-minute video goes through the Moov point by point quite efficiently.