2023 Ford Transit Trail is an Unexpectedly Mad Overlander’s Starter Van


Ford’s Transit gains a notable new variant for those seeking to start the van life, AKA overlanding and/or camping/living in a vehicle. It has all-wheel-drive and a capable engine, but you’ll have to fill in the blanks yourself.




It’s not exactly empty, though; the Transit Trail has a few things included as standard such as onboard AC inverter, dual alternators, over-cab storage space, fully-rotating front seats, and a fuse panel. Items like those are warranted, and according to Ford, these parts are what could draw away those looking forward to building their dream mobile home, thanks to the complicated installations. So more fun crafting and placing stuff, less swearing-at-things-not-working-like-they-should-be. If you feel that isn’t enough, Ford also offers the optional Upfitter package that gives your Transit heavy-duty switches and electronics for features like interior lighting, a bigger center console, AGM batteries, and a light bar up top.



There’s also places to drill for fitting stuff like shelves, beds, storage compartments; pretty much whatever you think your van would need. But not everyone has the time or energy to build a camping-ready van. So Ford’s sourced several of them out to businesses that specialize in them, for those who prefer a ready-to-go unit, like this neat example here built by Van-Do-It.



You’ll be glad to know that the Trail gets the better 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system instead of the smaller 8-inch unit, and it also has the new Sync 4 software. Of course, it comes with parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring, to help you adjust and ease the driving experience, knowing how difficult it is to switch from a regular car/truck to a van. The Trail also has you covered with device connectivity, with 12-volt, 110-volt, and USB outlets, so there’s less wiring that needs to be done.



You could probably cross out exterior modifications from your budget list, as it’s quite a capable van on its own. Powered by a 310 horsepower, 410 lb-ft of torque 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6, it sends it to all four 30.5-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires through a 10-speed automatic. That’s capable of hauling 2950 kgs. It also has a 3.5-inch lift, body cladding on the side, a more rugged-looking front end, and side steps.



Starting at $67,770, it has two variants to choose from: Long or Extended. Both can be fitted with a mid-roof, but the high-roof is exclusive to the longer body. A hefty price, but if you want a new van that’s readied to a plug-and-play form, this is probably the only choice out there. Regardless, it’s a pretty unusual trim; being an AWD, 310 hp lifted van. It’s cool in an odd way, one that reminds us of older models like the Delica Star Wagon, Mazda Bongo, and the HiAce Super Custom. Lovely.



p dir=”ltr”>(Images sourced from Ford)

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