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Author Topic: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect  (Read 18393 times)

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Offline chornbe

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #200 on: January 13, 2020, 03:21:14 PM »
I love your builds and rebuilds. Catalogging it all in my head for ideas on cabin stuff for down the road.
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #201 on: January 14, 2020, 11:29:45 AM »
I love your builds and rebuilds. Catalogging it all in my head for ideas on cabin stuff for down the road.


 :smiley_thumb:  Thanks.  I'm here to entertain and show you what not to do.  It's best I serve in my top skill set.  The product reviews are just a bonus.   


A run to Lowes today for lumber and assorted bits like panel glue, new driver bits for the impact and some fender washers to spread the screw load in the battery box.  The rear of the bed is now boxed in with an air gap for the fridge fan.  Need to cut a hole to install the power distribution center box above the dual storage batteries.  Next up, box the front up and start the storage cabinet wing.  Temperature outside is just at freezing, so the garage door is going up and down a lot.


I ran the Iceco compressor fridge for three days solid.  It held temperature, got down far past what I'll need to keep my food fresh, didn't frost up and was whisper quiet.  I just hope it stays in service for a long damn time at $400 delivered on sale.  The Coleman thermo cooler was $125 with the 110v converter and it was barely adequate.
--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #202 on: January 14, 2020, 02:08:11 PM »
Few photos for the day's accomplishments.  It's damp and cold and I'm a wimp.


First photo is the rear main panel minus the wainscoting to be installed.  Second is the new tv hanging on it's adjustable wall mount.  Third is the start of the main storage cabinet - 33"w x 30"h x 15"d with two shelves to be created.  I thought seriously about using an unfinished wall cabinet, but they're only 12" deep.  I *may* still go that way for ease of creativity and the cabinet is just $60 complete!  lol
--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #203 on: January 15, 2020, 01:51:33 PM »
Moar forward progress!  Sun's out, but windy and brisk.  Power distribution center mounted.  Front bed panels mostly mocked up.  The plywood panels are templates for the real wood paneling to come.  The center opening will be made into shelves with tall lips and the bed topper will be hinged for access to everything else.



--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #204 on: January 19, 2020, 10:36:05 AM »
Went down a rabbit hole over on ADV with another Transit build.  I was just about to pull the trigger on a cheap accordion windshield cover that probably wouldn't have fit well.  Yeah, there's a real RV style windshield cover on it's way thanks to Amazon.  It was less than twice the cost of a throwaway inside cover.  Fit confirmed in the Q&A section on the cover.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002F68JK/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza


--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #205 on: January 20, 2020, 02:32:32 PM »
Went down a rabbit hole over on ADV with another Transit build.  I was just about to pull the trigger on a cheap accordion windshield cover that probably wouldn't have fit well.  Yeah, there's a real RV style windshield cover on it's way thanks to Amazon.  It was less than twice the cost of a throwaway inside cover.  Fit confirmed in the Q&A section on the cover.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002F68JK/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza


Close but no cigar.  It’s going back.  /sad
--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #206 on: January 22, 2020, 04:27:13 PM »
Woohoo!  We got to 30* today.  I was not impressed with the fridge slide out tray flexing badly with the bottom slides.  Ended up taking it all back apart and putting the slides on the sides and that is damn near bulletproof on flexing.  Took the luaun templates off the front and started cutting the dressy paneling for the front of the bed using the new jigsaw and fastening with a brad nailer.  Once that's all squared away, the wainscoting will go on.  Tomorrow! 



--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #207 on: January 24, 2020, 06:29:15 AM »
Productive day yesterday.  All the paneling is on, all the fixed plywood bed surface is on and the hinges are located for the storage lid.  Doctor's appointment this morning for followup on the continuing chest congestion, then a stop at the lumber store for the 1x3s and some dark gray stain & poly sealer to do up the wainscoting.  The new HF 18 gauge brad nailer is the shiznitz.  Never missed a beat doing it all up.


Headed for Dominos yesterday to get some pizzas, I hard braked for a moron that pulled out in front of me and the fridge tray came sliding out.  It broke the slide latches and the tray came all the way out.  Now to figure out a way to latch the damn thing so it only comes out when I want it to after I replace the slides.  The other option is Iceco's locking slide tray, but they're real proud of it too.  Amazon's got it for $150.   :shrug:   It's only money, right? 


If I do their tray, the framing's gonna be modded a bit.  The tray will be bolted direct to the plywood floor, so some cutting will ensue.
--Tom

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #208 on: January 24, 2020, 07:36:50 AM »
Tom, suggestion.
Replace slides with heavy duty set, install slide latch.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=sliding+latch+bolt&id=4B855E487B38383FFB2FBD5B30D78BE14D1E2CE5&FORM=IQFRBA

Save about $120.00..   :bigok:
She's a big girl, but boy can she dance.

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Offline sleazy rider

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« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 10:30:36 AM by sleazy rider »
--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #210 on: January 28, 2020, 03:33:22 PM »
Break in the weather.  No precipitation and the temps are above freezing.  Most of the wainscoting has been cut and fit.  Gotta run up and get some paint once I decide gloss black or dark gray for the contrast on the wood.  The bed surface and lid hinges are in too.   The top board runs high over the bed surface to retain the mattress in place.  The front will not go as high because I'll be sitting there.


Just one pic to whet the appetite.




--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #211 on: January 30, 2020, 05:28:24 PM »
 :augie:  Hmmmmmmmm............... 


Time to get real busy.  Potential 12 day road trip starting Feb 7.
--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #212 on: January 31, 2020, 05:14:03 PM »
Wainscoting is all cut and first coat of paint done and dry, second coat is wet.  It’ll all get nailed on tomorrow.
--Tom

Offline Andrew

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #213 on: January 31, 2020, 08:37:44 PM »
enjoying this so far,

Post more pics  :D
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #214 on: February 01, 2020, 10:09:04 AM »
Garage heater is on and more painting today because gloss black is two coats for sure.  Some boards were finished last night and installed already.  Pics this evening when it's all together.  Watching paint dry is, well, less interesting than watching grass grow in winter.   :lol:   Once the trim boards are on, I'm going to pull the top deck boards and redo them.  Something isn't quite square up there and I've got a squeak going down the road.  There's enough plywood left over to do this in one piece then slice it for the opening section.


Got some new drawer slide to install too.  The old ones are out in several pieces. 



Later this spring when things warm up, I'll be doing the entire inside storage of the bed with white for visibility in there.


Waiting on the wifey's contractor company to call and tell her whether we're going south in two weeks or not.  She was contacted for availability on a Sulphur, Louisiana week long job.  Dog friendly hotel located, van needs finished and packed by the 6th.  I've gotten lazy and plan on three days to cover 1400 miles each way. 


Dammit!  It's snowing now.
--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #215 on: February 01, 2020, 11:24:40 AM »
Got the rear boards all in, snow’s getting heavy now.


I give up on loading pictures from the iPhone.  They never go in right.
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #216 on: February 01, 2020, 05:02:43 PM »
 :bluduh:


We've had a couple/three inches of snow today.  Makes the paint dry so much slower in the barely heated garage. 



--Tom

Offline chornbe

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #217 on: February 01, 2020, 05:13:27 PM »
I can't wait for the final build pics. I really do enjoy your build-try-teardown-revise methodology.  :thumbsup:
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #218 on: February 01, 2020, 05:17:41 PM »
I can't wait for the final build pics. I really do enjoy your build-try-teardown-revise methodology.  :thumbsup:


Seems like this is gonna take a while with the weather now.  The stuff to be done yet is mostly hidden, but will really make the van a camper.  Electricity, fridge and a storage unit that's built and sitting in my family room.  I had a thought while drinking coffee this morning and may make a slight change in the finish out to provide a proper seat between the bed and storage unit for relaxing and a place for the dogs to jump up to get on the bed itself.  Short legged little mutts, they are.
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #219 on: February 03, 2020, 09:56:08 AM »
Full stop on build out. I put the mattress in to measure for fitment, laid down on it and realized it was just too cramped in all directions. Having to raise the platform to fit the fridge under caused the space above the bed to be too low even with the raised roof. I'll be pulling it all out and pondering new plans over coffee for a week or two. It'll probably end up being back to the original bed against the wall style and working out from there.  I'm only out about $75 in wood and my time. Most can be repurposed.
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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #220 on: February 03, 2020, 10:05:39 AM »
Will the fridge fit between the two front seats facing backward, and used as an arm rest with some prettying-up in an enclosure?

Or maybe swap it out for two of the mini-cubes?
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #221 on: February 03, 2020, 11:23:17 AM »
Will the fridge fit between the two front seats facing backward, and used as an arm rest with some prettying-up in an enclosure?

Or maybe swap it out for two of the mini-cubes?


Naw, it's 15" wide and the console area is barely 10" and has all the electrical control switches in it.  The factory console extends to the rear of the front seats too.  I thought maybe on the front passenger seat floor, but it's way too small for it.  This cooler is roughly the same size as my 1.7cf mini-fridge.  Coffee's kicking in and the creative thoughts are coming together. [/size]


The trip south to LA is a go.  Wife will arrive in Lake Charles on Tuesday, so I have a long weekend to get there.  Homeward bound on Saturday following because she has another job here in Michigan on Monday after this.  That means I can take the long way home.   ;D


I'll probably toss the fold up mattress in the van along with the fridge and heater for the trip and live the true van life.  lol


All that work from the past couple weeks has been undone already.  Much easier with a hammer and prybar over a screw and nail gun.  No measuring either. 
--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #222 on: February 03, 2020, 02:12:48 PM »
I guess I work better when irritated with myself.  Vacuumed out all the crud from the last build and commenced to building.

Pulled the brads out of the scrapped wood and knocked this together for size estimation.  Bed frame is 26" x 68".  I'm thinking the bed at 12" off the floor to miss the protruding covers for the sliding door.  The little box to the left will be the fridge cabinet and a place to stash the solar batteries.  Two hinged doors on top of the bed, one opening from the rear doors and the other pivoting towards the wall will access a ton of storage area. 

It doesn't hurt that I'm working outside on Feb 3 in shirt sleeves. :bigsmile:

--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #223 on: February 06, 2020, 01:35:19 PM »
It doesn't hurt that I'm working outside on Feb 3 in shirt sleeves. :bigsmile:


Yeah, that weather didn't last long.   :bluduh:


A couple inches of snow overnight coupled with much colder temps and a tweaked lower back had me stalled for a few days.  I've got most of the bed knocked together with just one trip to Lowes.  Much of the wood is reclaimed from the last attempt.  What wasn't used got cut up into small chunks and out with the trash Tuesday.  Need one sheet of plywood to do up the bed surface and it can be bracketed into the van floor.


The trip south to Louisiana is off for me.  Just not enough time/energy and enthusiasm to get it done in time.  Linda will be home tomorrow night and back out the door on Sunday southbound.  Three days in Lake Charles, then two in Houston. 
« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 01:58:08 PM by sleazy rider »
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Offline chornbe

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #224 on: February 06, 2020, 03:39:17 PM »
Opted out of under-bed storage? Or will you hinge the top layer for top->in access?

Also, that looks like a good height for seating, too, if you wanted to arrange some throw pillows against the wall / window
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #225 on: February 06, 2020, 06:23:45 PM »
The bed is high enough to store at least three totes and my stove inside it.  Yes, the plywood top will lift along a hinge near the outer wall.  Freezing my arse off tonight up here.  Just bumped the thermostat a couple degrees.  *shiver*. Floor to top of mattress is roughly 14”.
--Tom

Offline chornbe

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #226 on: February 10, 2020, 07:05:41 AM »
If you ignore how "clever" this weird-ass dude thinks he is, you might find some neat ideas in this vid. I've always thought the box-truck idea was a good one. I mostly like what he's got going on here. Specifically the bed arrangement which is about 9 minutes in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClWiay_yFoM
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #227 on: February 10, 2020, 08:34:51 AM »
If you ignore how "clever" this weird-ass dude thinks he is, you might find some neat ideas in this vid. I've always thought the box-truck idea was a good one. I mostly like what he's got going on here. Specifically the bed arrangement which is about 9 minutes in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClWiay_yFoM


Damn you to hell. I want a box truck like that now.   :bigsmile:   Some guy on ADV just scored a diesel E250 van with a fiberglass box like that for a song.  Box was totally empty.  There were several of us that posted if he didn't buy it to give us the link for it.
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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #228 on: February 10, 2020, 08:36:53 AM »
** nods **

I've wanted a park-n-hang-out box truck for years, but I never made it happen.
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #229 on: February 18, 2020, 10:38:07 AM »
Work is progressing in random spurts as temperatures and snowfall allows.  Bed frame is complete save the top lids and mounted in the van.  The fridge cabinet is roughed in.


I let the smoke out of my old belt sander, a new one is on the shopping list.
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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #230 on: February 20, 2020, 10:19:30 PM »
In any case, I have envy. The building of things, as well as the mobility of the living space. Fun stuff.

Literally every single plan I had for summer fun and spring vacation spot prepping is on indefinite hold.

The WV property is in stasis and my brother may or may not move his 36' Toy Hauler camper trailer down there (hire someone to do it) for them/us to use while he's not doing any traveling after his recent major back surgery. So that likely curtails any building I'd have to do there this summer. ** whew **

The next year will decide if he's coming back from this surgery healthy enough to continue his pretty aggressive retirement travel and camping plans. He's... 72? 71?... and though this recent back surgery went very well, he's still a slower-healing older guy and isn't looking too far forward until the first few months of healing and therapy are behind him.

I've hinted at this WV place a few times. A 10-acre place was put up for sale and listed on a few motorcycle forums including ADV. I made some calls and introductions, and now "we" are owners of this property down there. My brother took care of all the money stuff. I get to use it whenever I want and will eventually take it over, and until then, I'm basically the "property manager". I'll get financially involved, maybe, after my divorce obligations are over, and after i've cleared up open debt from that chokehold.

Last summer we spent a LOT of time down there. Great place to unplug, put my head down and get some non-distraction work done, or forget about work completely, go riding (because, ya know, WV!!!!), and enjoy a summer night under the stars with a fire. And the general store in Brandywine WV has a surprisingly great beer selection if that's your thing.

The current plan is for me to build a 20x40 - or thereabouts - shed style cabin, or a series of smaller bungalow "tiny home" places of similar design. So, I come out of the tail of this with a free vacation place that I'll own one day, and I get to enjoy some manly carpenter time, which I greatly miss doing. I can't do it full time due to my own back and shoulder issues, but as a project, I can't wait to get started.
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #231 on: February 23, 2020, 04:56:45 PM »
Round 3. 


The hand tool built bed wasn’t square and looked like a blind brick mason built it.  A quick trip to HF for their HF brand nice 12” sliding compound miter saw and work stand made a HUGE difference.  Fresh 2x2s bought, measurements taken and wood cut.  Wooo!  Square, straight and solid in no time at all compared to the last two.  I brought the table saw out for tomorrow’s side panel cuts.  We’s gone be stylin’!
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #232 on: February 23, 2020, 06:14:59 PM »
Proof! 
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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #233 on: February 24, 2020, 03:34:43 PM »
I love when it's over freezing outside!   More forward and excellent progress.  Square and solid framing is nearly complete.  A few braces to go, then close it all up.  A pic of the new saw and bench too.  ;)



--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #234 on: March 03, 2020, 11:24:25 AM »
More forward progress.  We've hit the pre-spring warmup!!  53* yesterday and high 40s today.  Air compressor is filling now to nail all the sheathing on to enclose everything.  Some trim already installed.  Pictures this evening when I call it a day.   :wings: Need one more lumber run for a sheet of 3/8" plywood.
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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #235 on: March 03, 2020, 12:36:34 PM »
Mid day lunch break update.  Paint will happen when it gets over 60*.




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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #236 on: March 19, 2020, 04:37:22 PM »
Full stop, project dead in the water.  National Parks and state park have closed completely and indefinitely, so have the military campgrounds.  Too bad, gas just got real cheap.  Filled up two days ago for $1.99!  No sense in beating this dead horse in the driveway.  *sigh*
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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #237 on: March 19, 2020, 06:30:02 PM »
Full stop, project dead in the water.  National Parks and state park have closed completely and indefinitely, so have the military campgrounds.  Too bad, gas just got real cheap.  Filled up two days ago for $1.99!  No sense in beating this dead horse in the driveway.  *sigh*

Or, finish it and be ready to roll for when they re-open.
She's got a worm in 'er belly? That's disgusting! That's interesting, but very disgusting. 

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Offline chornbe

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #238 on: March 19, 2020, 07:48:38 PM »
Also, fuel up everything, grab some cans and some stabil and stock up.
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #239 on: March 20, 2020, 03:50:24 AM »
Also, fuel up everything, grab some cans and some stabil and stock up.


Everything stays filled.  Cans, cars, lawn equipment...
--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #240 on: November 01, 2020, 07:30:34 AM »
Going to look at a potential project RV tomorrow a couple hours from home. 1987 Champion TransVan Econoline E350 based. Pictures are meh, but intriguing.

Price is right at $1000 for a winter project tho. Enough room for me and the mini-pups to wander the US and much larger interior than the current TC camper. It "runs", but "needs tune-up". We shall see. I do like the rear entry vs a side door.The rear RV portion is all fiberglass and well insulated from the factory with 2" of spray in foam. Ford 460 and C6 tranny should handle all the hills/mountain/valleys I care to see.

Rooftop air and tv antenna is a bonus!If purchased, the first stop will be for new tires and to find an open dumpster to toss trash from inside. Why the hell do people use their vehicles to store JUNK? And yes, I'll do a build thread for the resurrection. Should make a real conversation starter on the road.
--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #241 on: November 01, 2020, 07:32:52 AM »
Moar pics.

--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #242 on: November 01, 2020, 07:36:09 AM »
Full stop, project dead in the water.  National Parks and state park have closed completely and indefinitely, so have the military campgrounds.  Too bad, gas just got real cheap.  Filled up two days ago for $1.99!  No sense in beating this dead horse in the driveway.  *sigh*

Or, finish it and be ready to roll for when they re-open.


It got done when it looked like things were loosening up.  Interior got full wiring for 12v and 110.  More storage room, a good compressor fridge chest and all the comforts of home save lots of room. 

--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: The Focus is dead, long live the Transit Connect
« Reply #243 on: November 01, 2020, 07:46:30 AM »
And one more update.  Headed for Houston, TX to visit the youngest kid again, but not with the van.  Sleazy Wife donated enough Delta points for a first class RT flight, so it's the silver tube of death for me.  Departure on 12 Nov for a week of sun and golf.  Kid3 has a nice rental house out by the West Houston Airport with lots of room.  Rental car reserved for running around too.


  :wings:
--Tom