While on one of my personal favorite websites, Expedition Portal, I ran across this killer compact overlander build. The owner has taken a 2013 Ford Transit Connect and built it into a bona-fide travelin' van, albeit a small one, which of course makes it more awesome. This is not the kind of overland build that features big off-road tires and an up-armored chassis. Rather, this van is simply made to travel compactly and smartly.
The builder wanted a vehicle that could be slept in, one that could house a porta-potty inside the vehicle if need be, andone that could seat two inside the back. He also wanted to have a sink/holding tank, the ability to make coffee inside the vehicle, and finally a car with enough storage for gear. The Tranist Connect fit the bill.
This build reminds me of a modern Volkswagen Westfalia van—a vehicle that is iconic among travelers. And yes, there are companies offering pop-top conversions, at least in Europe. It's great to see people utilizing this platform for extended travel. In fact, there are others out there turning these vehicles into small RVs. Is it possible the Transit Connect could be the next VW Vanagon? While I'd prefer the vehicle with AWD for dirt roads and ski trips, this is still a neat platform, especially if you don't plan on venturing too far off the pavement.
This is an on-going build, but I love the direction it's going. Proof, yet again, that you don't need to have a huge vehicle to get out and see the world. Check it out in the link below.
2013 Ford Transit Connect our "minimalist camper" (Expedition Portal)