The Ford Transit Trail becomes a camper van for all-out adventures — cabin by cabin
The modular masters at VanDoIt have officially launched the first pickup truck built on top of Ford’s rugged adventure-ready Transit Trail truck. Created before the Transit Trail debuted, the all-new Moov package fills Ford’s most off-road-ready truck with Lego Technic levels of plug-and-play modularity, allowing owners to build the floor plan of their dreams. They can lavish it with all the comforts of home or keep it simple and independent in whatever they want to do at the end of the dull and bloated SUV trail.
A year ago, Ford further excited the already overactive minds of the off-road van industry by introducing the U.S.-spec Transit Trail. Enhancing the truck’s “adventure-seeking capability,” Blue Oval has taken the new truck beyond the current Transit AWD with a 3.5 in (8.9 cm) suspension lift, widened track, all-terrain tires, and 6,500 lb (2,950 lb-kg) load capacity. A tow package, mud flaps, and sliding side steps, are among other features and options. We’ve taken the burden off third-party camper converters by adding a dual AGM battery system, a 400-watt inverter, and factory swivel front seats. The Trail was essentially a hunk of fresh clay waiting for a bearded, flannel-covered Michelangelo to pick it up and sculpt the cart.
VanDoIt was quick to bring their impressive technical skills to the track. In fact, Ford came close months before the Transit Trail’s world premiere, and some components of the VanDoIt camper appeared during Ford’s official debut ceremonies. The full reveal of the Moov outfit didn’t take long after Ford’s event, as it came in prototype form just three months later in February 2023. VanDoIt announced the official launch of orders last week.
While the Transit Trail represents a great new opportunity for VanDoIt, it also represents 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 the freight platform.
Instead of simply adapting the plug-and-play Transit modular camper range that was already ready, VanDoIt took the opportunity to get feedback and wish lists and reimagine its modular camper van as a dedicated two-person adventure platform. Then she dug herself into the garage and came up with what she believes is the ultimate selection of brand new and pre-existing components for the Transit Trail/Transit Cargo. As the name “Moov” suggests, this isn’t a pickup truck meant just for standing and sitting — it’s made to get you moving, on four wheels, on two wheels, on two feet, on a single board, and so on.
Before we move on to the new kit, we have to mention a modified old component without which no more VanDoIt camping would happen: the T-shaped aluminum skeleton that serves as a mounting frame for the rest of the components, accessories and decor.
With the chassis in place, it’s up to the buyer to choose from the entire ecosystem of VanDoIt camper modules. For Moov, the company developed a third bed option, a double folder it calls the “drawbridge bed.” The bed’s two sleeping platform panels fold up against the wall during the day, and nestle cleanly between the upper cabinets and lower above-wheel storage wells. At night, the sides fold down with the help of gas struts to create a raised double bed as wide as the truck.
The drawbridge bed frees up the rear garage area for storage, transit, 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 T-shaped overhead track. Instead of the usual drain pan, VanDoIt uses a larger French drain system built into a floor tray that directs water to a gray water tank located below the structure. The tray is then used as a gear rack for mounting bikes and other equipment.
The shower works in conjunction with a brand new hot/cold water plug and play system which houses an 83 liter fresh water tank, electric water heater, hot/cold mixer and connections in a T-track frame. The system is designed so that it can be easily removed when not needed mechanism. Power comes by way of a new top-tier Stage 3 electric pack with up to 1,380 amps of battery capacity and a CZone drive and management system – 600 watts of roof-mounted solar helps keep the battery running.
VanDoIt is using panel sides on its first cargo van build to offer a much-needed feature: openable windows in the rear. VanDoIt clips new windows into the side walls of the truck, using sliding vents with screens for improved ventilation around the bed and more interior space.
Other available Moov equipment includes a kitchen unit with refrigerator, drawers, sink, portable toilet, TV and fully adjustable Lagun table. Buyers can forego new equipment in favor of older designs – for example, choosing a hydraulic lift-out bed or Murphy beds instead of a gantry bed.
The Transit Trail is a very strong offering from the Ford factory, but it’s nothing compared to what camper and adventure vehicle makers do every day. VanDoIt improves on the Moov’s suspension with a more capable Stage 3 kit, which brings Fox rear shocks, a Bilstein front strut with upgraded coils, and additional OEM stock. It graces the truck with an Aluminess front bumper with a 12,000-pound winch, an Aluminess roof rack, a Backwoods rear bumper, an Aluminess tailgate rack and ladder, and a full Baja Designs auxiliary lighting package.
VanDoIt is now ready to take Moov orders and start building the pickups. She expects the truck to eventually be priced between $114,900 and $200,000, depending on which specific standard options the buyer chooses. It can be built atop a regular Transit cargo van, as well as a Transit Trail, and is offered in mid- or high-roof variants on a long or extended body.
The seven-minute video goes through Moov point by point quite efficiently.
The all-new MOOV model from Vandoit| The ultimate off-road truck camper