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Here’s Why RV Manufacturers Like Building On the Ford Transit Platform

Here’s Why RV Manufacturers Like Building On the Ford Transit Platform

More and more RV manufacturers build on a Ford Transit chassis. But why is it so popular? Keep reading to discover what makes the platform ideal for a tiny house on wheels. 

We dive into which manufacturers are building on a Ford Transit and look at models on the market from three of the biggest brands in the RV industry. 

Let’s get started! 

What Is a Ford Transit? 

A Transit van is a vehicle manufactured by Ford. The models include cargo and passenger vans, and they’re all gasoline-powered. Transits range in size and engines. It is a popular choice for various RV manufacturers to build campers on.

The chassis on a Ford Transit has a wheelbase of 138 inches, 156 inches, or 178 inches in the cutaway and chassis cab models, which most RVs sit on. 

Ford Transit vans are one of the top 3 platforms that RV manufacturers like to build on. The other two are the Ram Promaster chassis and the Mercedes Sprinter chassis.

RV manufacturers that build on a Ford Transit are seeing a rise in demand. The RV platform is popular because it’s one of the easiest vehicles to drive and maneuver. It also can be built with a higher ceiling than a standard passenger van, which is better for RV campers. Additionally, the chassis is well-constructed and stable. 

The Ford Transit has a 3.5L PFDI V6 engine or 3.5L Ecoboost V6. Both engines are known for their power and longevity. As for parts, this common Ford vehicle is serviceable at many auto mechanic shops and any Ford dealership, should you have any chassis or drivetrain issues crop up. Because of their widespread use as passenger and cargo vans, they are mass-produced and therefore an economical choice for RV manufacturers to build on.

Ford Transit van driving on highway at sunset
Demand for RVs built on Ford Transit chassis’ is continually increasing.

How Much Does a Ford Transit RV Cost?

RVs built on the Ford Transit van generally cost between $122,000 to $200,000. They vary greatly in amenities and features, but they all have a version of the Ford Transit van platform. Which type of Ford Transit van the RV manufacturer builds on will vary some and will dictate the price and weight carrying capabilities. The Ford transit base new by itself costs anywhere from $36,000 to $45,000.

RV Manufacturers that Build on a Ford Transit

Several RV manufacturers build on a Ford Transit. The companies include Winnebago, Leisure Travel Vans, Coachmen, Thor, and several smaller manufacturers. Let’s look at some of the most popular RVs on the market built on a Ford Transit.

Winnebago

Winnebago is a classic brand that is known for its quality builds in all types of RVs. They have one motorhome in their lineup built on a Ford Transit, the Ekko.

Ekko Class C Motorhomes

The Winnebago Ekko is an all-wheel-drive class C motorhome. First, it’s 23 feet long and can sleep up to four people. Additionally, the RV features two twin beds that can make up one large king-size bed. It also has a small kitchen, a wet bath, and a cassette toilet. In addition, you have the option to add a pop-up top for additional sleeping room. 

MSRP: Starts at $188,017

Pro Tip: We took a closer look to uncover Is the Winnebago Ekko the Perfect Family Camper Van?

rv manufacturer Winnedbago builds the EKKO on a ford transit chassis
Winnebago is known for its reliable and well-built camper vans and RVs.

Leisure Travel Vans

Leisure Travel Vans is a luxury motorhome manufacturer. They focus on high-end class C motorhomes that are on a Ford Transit chassis or Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis. The Wonder series is an RV on a Ford Transit. 

Wonder Class C Motorhome

The Wonder has four floorplans that sleep from two to four people. The bed setups in the Wonder include a murphy bed, a rear lounge with a murphy bed, rear twin beds, and front twin beds. Additionally, they all have a full, dry bath with a sink, toilet, and separate shower. Each model is 24-feet-9-inches long with a 178-inch wheelbase. 

MSRP: Starts at $162,470

Interior of Leisure Travel Vans Wonder Class C Motorhome
Cruise the coast in Leisure Travel Vans high-end class C motorhome.

Thor 

Thor is one of the biggest RV manufacturers in the U.S. They own numerous brands and produce all types of RVs. In recent years, they’ve begun designing and making class B and B+ motorhomes on Ford Transit chassis. 

Gemini Class B+ Motorhomes

Thor’s Gemini is an all-wheel-drive that ranges from 23-feet-7-inches long to 25-feet-10-inches long. With three floorplans, they have a sleeping capacity of up to three people, and each has a slide-out to provide more floor space when it’s expanded. Each also has a full bathroom, kitchen, closet, and ample overhead storage.

MSRP: $159,300

Compass Class B+ Motorhomes

Thor’s Compass class B+ motorhome has the same specifications and floorplans as the Gemini. Both lines also have an 8-inch SYNC 3 touchscreen on the dash with satellite radio, Sirius® tuner, and navigation. They also have audio controls on the steering wheel and heated remote mirrors. You’ll be driving in comfort in a Compass or Gemini.

MSRP: $159,300

Sanctuary Class B Vans

The Sanctuary is Thor’s class B van built on a Ford Transit. It’s 19-feet-7-inches long and sleeps two people, making it the perfect couple or solo traveler RV. The Sanctuary has two floorplans available. One has a stationary double bed in the rear, and the other has a couch in the back that folds out into a bed. Each has a wet bath, shower, toilet, and a small kitchen. In addition, the captain’s chairs swivel to face the living area of the van when stationary.

MSRP: $173,460

coachmen rv manufacturer builds a ford transit van camper
Ford Transit RVs and vans are reliable investments built to stand the test of time.

Coachmen

Coachmen is another RV manufacturer that builds on a Ford Transit. While their company’s lineup includes all types of RVs, they’ve chosen a class B and class C motorhome to showcase the Transit chassis.

Beyond Class B Motorhomes

Coachmen’s Beyond has three floorplans with luxury features. Each has a wet bath with a sink, shower, and toilet. They also have a small kitchen, storage, and seating options. Two floorplans have sofas that convert into beds, and one has two stationary twin beds. Each model can sleep two people. The Beyond is 22-feet-2-inches long with a wheelbase of 148 inches.

MSRP: Starting at $196,869

Cross Trail Class C Motorhomes

Lastly, The Coachmen Cross Trail is a class C motorhome with a 156-inch wheelbase and a length of 24-feet-1-inch. It has a double bed in the rear with storage underneath. The RV also has a dry bath with a toilet, sink, and separate shower. And there’s a small kitchen and a dinette that converts into a single bed.

MSRP: Starting at $122,247

Coachmen Beyond Class B motorhome product shot
Coachmen’s Beyond is a spacious and luxury Ford Transit van for epic adventures.

Which Ford Transit Van Is Best for Camper Conversions?

A Ford Transit 250 or 350 is best for a van conversion. Significantly, they have the power and weight capacity for building out a quality camper. 

The Ford Transit is an excellent option for a campervan conversion because it’s more square than other vans. It makes it easy to frame in and build walls in the van. 

Pro Tip: Van life tiring you out? Find out How to Fall Back in Love With Van Life.

Why I Bought the Ford Transit over Mercedes Sprinter or Ram Promaster for my Cargo Van Conversion

Do Manufacturered Ford Transit RVs Make Good Campers?

RV manufacturers that build on a Ford Transit have very decent campers. The chassis and engine are lightweight and nimble. While much of the RV experience depends on factors outside of the chassis, it is very important to have a dependable vehicle to get you to your destination. While these vehicles have occasional problems, they are popular enough that parts and service should be easy to find. You’ll likely be very satisfied with a Ford Transit as your RV base. 

Are you ready to buy your first Ford Transit? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
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