2021 Ford Transit – Van Life Insurance Ontario

2021 Ford Transit – Van Life Insurance Ontario

In the following blog post, we’ll share our van life insurance experience.  We converted our brand new van from a commercial vehicle, to a motorhome, in Ontario, Canada.  We have a 2021 Ford Transit. 2021 Ford Transit – Van Life Insurance Ontario

Step 1 – Add Van to Auto Insurance Policy

Before we picked up the new van at the dealership, we had to have insurance for it. So we called our provider (RBC Insurance) and added the van to our policy. They needed to know things like make, model, etc., the van’s VIN, and all the details of the leasing company (name, address, phone number). The only type of insurance they could add for our Ford Transit was insurance for a commercial vehicle. Personal use vehicle insurance was NOT an option even though we said we just wanted it for travelling. They gave it to us on the promise that we would not make any physical changes to the van. In other words, any modification to the van makes the insurance invalid, and any claim that we might have made would have likely been rejected. It was a risk we had to take.

Once the van has been added to the policy, the dealer wanted the name of the insurance company and policy number.

Step 2 – Pick up the Van!

This step was easy and fun. The dealership took care of obtaining the plates from Service Ontario. They were commercial plates. Again, this was the only option for the Ford Transit cargo van.

Step 3 – Build out the Van

We worked on it for 2 months. We added a bed, a sink, and an electrical system. A small fridge, a hot plate for cooking, and an emergency toilet.

Step 4 – Change vehicle CLASS at ServiceOntario

We found two channels on YouTube that helped us a lot with this step. “Road to Pitches” made a video with their experience of changing their box truck class to motorhome, and also “Bruce & Krista” shared the letter that they took with them to Service Ontario to do the paperwork.

In summary, MTO requires 4 of the following 6 for a vehicle to be classified as a “Motorhome”:
(a) cooking facilities,
(b) a refrigerator or ice box,
(c) a self-contained toilet,
(d) a heating or air-conditioning system that can function independently of the vehicle engine,
(e) a potable water supply system that includes a faucet and sink, and
(f) a separate 110- to 125-V electric power supply or an LP gas supply;

We have all 6. So we wrote our letter and took it to our Service Ontario office, along with the vehicle registration.  Here’s the letter we used:

 

I, <name>, make statement that:

In accordance with the Vehicle Registration Manual section 3.1.3, my 2021 Ford Transit cargo van has been converted to a Motorhome, as defined in the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations, section 1038, as evidenced by the presence of:
1) Cooking facilities (electric hot-plate)
2) Refrigerator
3) A self-contained toilet
4) A heating system that functions independently of the vehicle engine
5) A potable water system that includes a faucet and a sink
6) a separate 110- to 125-V electric power supply

The vehicle described meets the criteria for Motorhome Class.

Vehicle Details:
2021 Ford Transit (R2X)
250 HR AWD
148” Wheelbase
3.5L EcoBoost V6
10-Speed Transmission
VIN: 1FTBR2XG9MKAxxxxx

<name>   <date>

We explained that we wanted to change the classification of our van from Commercial to Motorhome. The lady made a call, got a little help and was able to proceed with our request. We removed the black commerical plates from the van and received the regular blue personal license plates, with a new registration certificate.

Step 5 – Update Insurance Policy

We called our insurance company, and they rejected the van. They could not insure it because the work inside the van was done by us, and not by Ford. We then called Dejardins Insurance, gave them all the information they needed, and they gave us a quote. We transferred everything over to them, and we now we’re all set. Our van is classified as a Motorhome AND we have proper insurance on the van.

2021 Ford Transit – Van Life Insurance Ontario

Yours Truly …. Yula

 

2021 Ford Transit – Ceiling

2021 Ford Transit – Ceiling

The following is a brief overview of the steps we took to finish the ceiling in our van – a 2021 Ford Transit.

2021 Ford Transit - Ceiling

The first step was to add Kilmat, a sound deadening mat to dampen the noise.

Next, we went through and identified the places where the furring strips would go. We used the existing beams across the width of the van, which had plenty of pre-drilled holes for installing rivets. If the hole was a little bit bigger, a plusnut was installed.

2021 Ford Transit - Ceiling
2021 Ford Transit - Ceiling

We were hoping to get the furring strip from one end of the van to the other, but the curve was too much for the 1/2 inch plywood to bend. So we decided to cut a long piece for the center, and 2 short ones on each end.  Because of the curve, it took very many attempts to get the holes to line up with the bolts we had installed on the ceiling. This part of the build took quite a long time!

For the short furring strips on each end, we used 3/4 inch plywood.

2021 Ford Transit - Ceiling
2021 Ford Transit - Ceiling

After the furring strips were up, we cut sections of foam board insulation, and put it up between each beam and furring strip.

Then we covered it all up with Reflectix, leaving openings for our 2 fans, and the electrical wires for the lights we’ll be putting up on the ceiling. At each section of the ceiling, we had to remove the furring strip, tuck the reflectix underneath, mark where the holes were for each bolt, and attach the furring strip back over the reflectix. Some spots were quite frustrating, but we got it all done.

2021 Ford Transit - Ceiling
2021 Ford Transit - Ceiling

We were looking for something lightweight to finish the ceiling with, and found this cork flooring from Facebook Marketplace. We screwed each panel in place. Very few went in easily. We had to make adjustments for lights, fans, and mostly for all the curves of the Ford Transit.

The back end of the van, just above the back doors needed something a little different. Alex did some strategic cutting and shaving to fit this 2×4 snugly up to the top.

2021 Ford Transit - Ceiling
2021 Ford Transit - Ceiling

And here it is all done. It looks much cozier now – We love the way it turned out!

Watch our video to see how we did it:

2021 Ford Transit – Ceiling

 

Thanks for visiting our site!  Check our Van Build Journal page often as we’ll documenting the progress of the build.

Yours Truly …. Yula

2021 Ford Transit – Insulation

2021 Ford Transit – Insulation

There are many reasons to insualate a cargo van that will end up being a camper van.  It will keep us warm on the cold, frosty night.  It will prevent overheating on those sweltering hot days.  It will reduce condensation, and it is also a great sound barrier.  Read on to see the insulation installed on our 2021 Ford Transit.

Floor

We used this 1-inch foam board (IKO Polyisocyanurate Insulated Sheathing (1-in x 4-ft x 8-ft) from Lowe’s), which has an R value of 6. It’s designed to reduce energy loss and controls sound as well. We cut large strips and laid them all between the frame on the floor. As well, before we laid down the final flooring, we added this cork floor underlaynment.

2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca

Walls

The Ford Transit has large wall cavities, so we thought that Rockwool would be good for this job. (Rockwool Comfortbatt R14 24 inch O.C. For 2×4 Wood Studs from Home Depot) It has an R value of 14. We used the large cavities to push it up and down to all the hollow spots that we could reach. We found this roll of cork, also on FB marketplace, cut it up, and covered all the exposed rockwool with it. Finally, we covered it all up with Reflectix Bubble Pack from Home Depot. As you can see, we have a lot of exposed area at all the windows. We plan to make insulated covers to cover those up for when it’s too hot, or too cold.

2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca

Ceiling

Our ceiling got the same foam board insulation as the floor did. We cut it to fit snugly between the existing beams and taped it up there with tuck tape.  We then covered it all up with Reflectix, making sure to pull through all the wiring we ran for lights and other switches.

2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca

Headliner

There’s a large hollow area above the headliner shelf in the Transit. We cut a piece of Reflectix that fit inside there, pulled out the Rockwool that we had left over from the walls, and cut up enough to cover up the reflectix. Then Alex closed it all up in this heavy plastic sheet, taped it up and slipped it down behind the headliner.

2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca

Back Doors

Like the walls inside the van, we filled up the cavities with Rockwool. We still had some cork left, so we used that up too.

2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit – Insulation – https:/yula.ca

Watch our video to see how we did it:

2021 Ford Transit – Insulation

 

Thanks for visiting our site!  Check our Van Build Journal page often as we’ll documenting the progress of the build.

Yours Truly …. Yula

2021 Ford Transit – Fixed Bed

2021 Ford Transit – Fixed Bed

Before getting the van, and starting the build, we had always thought we’d made a bed that folds up to have a couch in the van.  But as we started building we changed our minds and proceeded to build a fixed bed.  Here’s how we built the fixed bed platform in our 2021 Ford Transit van:

2021 Ford Transit Fixed Bed – https://yula.ca

The main purchase we made for this project is this comfortable queen sized memory foam mattress from Costco.

Other supplies we used:

  • Steel corner beams (Home Depot)
  • Tremclad rust proof paint (Home Depot)
  • Plastic mesh fencing (Home Depot)
2021 Ford Transit Fixed Bed – https://yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit Fixed Bed – https://yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit Fixed Bed – https://yula.ca

We made 2 of these structures, one for each end of the van, and secured them using Plusnuts and bolts.

2021 Ford Transit Fixed Bed – https://yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit Fixed Bed – https://yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit Fixed Bed – https://yula.ca

We opted to add 6 2×2 beams across, to support our mattress. For added strength, we added these metal corners to each beam. So we cut 6 of them to size, filed them, painted them with rust proof paint and attached them to the 2×2’s.

We opted to get this plastic mesh fencing to support the mattress between each beam.

2021 Ford Transit Fixed Bed – https://yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit Fixed Bed – https://yula.ca

And here it is with the mattress. We had to cut 3” off the end to make it fit snugly from end to end, and also cut a couple of corner to fit the weird shape of the Transit.

 

2021 Ford Transit – Fixed Bed

 

Thanks for visiting our site!  Check our Van Build Journal page often as we’ll documenting the progress of the build.

Yours Truly …. Yula

2021 Ford Transit – Bike Drawer

2021 Ford Transit – Bike Drawer

One thing we love to do when we’re travelling is explore the area we’re in by electric bike.  We plan to take our bikes with us on most of our trips, so having a bike drawer makes things much easier.  Here’s how we installed a bike drawer on our 2021 Ford Transit:

2021 Ford Transit - Bike Drawer – https://yula.ca

The main purchase we had to make was a pair of drawer slides, from Amazon.

We made this simple platform, with a place for the front fork to rest on, as well a place for the rear tire to sit between.

2021 Ford Transit - Bike Drawer – https://yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit - Bike Drawer – https://yula.ca

We then attached the drawer slides to the platform.

After moving it over to the van, it was time to screw it down to the frame under the subfloor.

2021 Ford Transit - Bike Drawer – https://yula.ca
2021 Ford Transit - Bike Drawer – https://yula.ca

All loaded up!

Watch our video to see how we did it:

2021 Ford Transit – Bike Drawer

 

Thanks for visiting our site!  Check our Van Build Journal page often as we’ll documenting the progress of the build.

Yours Truly …. Yula