Ernie Ford Transit Van Is a Light, DIY Overlanding Rig With an Appetite for Adventure

One of the best things about overlanding is that during your journeys, you get to meet a lot of great people just like you, who embrace adventure and are all about living on the road and exploring our vast and beautiful world. Bert is one of those people and he travels onboard Ernie, his converted 2015 Ford Transit van.
Ernie Ford Transit DIY Van Conversion 8 photos
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Ford Transit vans are popular choices when it comes to van conversions because they are more budget-friendly than other, bigger options, they are easier to maneuver on the road but still spacious enough to fit all the basics inside. Ernie is a 2015 Ford Transit High Roof with an interior covered by insulated pillow panels instead of rigid walls. One of those pillow walls has a cool map of all the national parks in the United States.

The reason why the builder went with this solution is to keep the weight down and improve the vehicle's gas mileage. According to Bert, his pillow walls saved him about 200 pounds (90 kg) and approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) in gas mileage.

Ernie comes with a basic kitchen/living room with drawers and cabinets for utensils storage, a one-burner propane stove, and a small, pull-out fridge. Also in the kitchen area, just under the sink, Bert stores two 12-gallon (45-liter) water tanks that last him between one and a half to two weeks.

The Ernie van is equipped with two 100Ah lithium-ion batteries and has 350W of solar on the roof.

A slide-out table that’s built into the bedroom bed serves as a desk where Bert can work while he’s out on the road. A sizable garage in the back stores the guy’s gear, from his Cannondale mountain bike to his stand up paddle board, hiking gear, surfing gear, extra clothes, and so on.

You can check out Ernie in the video below, shared by Drive The Globe, and while you’re at it, you might want to take a peek at the latter’s YouTube channel as well, as there are a lot of things to see there. The man behind the channel is Michael Ladden, an insatiable explorer who, back in 2020, embarked on a 220,000-mile (354,000 km) epic journey around the globe and he's still traveling.


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