Whether you love adventure on the open road, you're looking to become better prepared for a bug-out situation, you want to downsize your life, or all of the above, building a vehicle into a home on wheels is an appealing idea. We've written about many such builds in the past — they range from minimalistic to extravagant, and from 15-passenger vans to converted box trucks. Above all, these vehicles are designed to provide a comfortable place to sleep, secure storage for gear and supplies, and a rugged means of transportation that can traverse countless miles of highways and trails.
If you've considered diving in to a camper van build project of your own, it's valuable to study other successful builds and learn from the builders. Total cost and time expended are especially important variables, and few builders share these details publicly. Fortunately, we recently came across FarOutRide.com, a web site dedicated to sharing every detail of a Ford Transit van project.
The creators of FarOutRide, Isabelle and Antoine, quit lucrative engineering jobs and sold their house before moving into their self-built van in 2017. Since then, they've been continually updating their web site to document the project and encourage others to do the same.
Specifically, the FarOutRide is a high-roof, extended-length 2016 Ford Transit with a 3.7L gas V6. Isabelle and Antoine purchased the van for $45,000 CAD (roughly $35,000 USD). The couple have tracked and itemized their subsequent build expenses, which currently total just over $18,000 USD, bringing total cost to $53,000.
However, time is money, and it's undeniable that an immense amount of labor has gone into the build. Conservatively, they estimate 640 hours spent on the van, but also admit the reality is probably closer to 1,000 hours including all the small tasks that weren't strictly tracked. Isabelle and Antoine did the work themselves, saving what could have easily been tens of thousands of dollars in labor if it was done by a third party.
If you're interested in building a camper van, bug-out vehicle, or overland rig, we'd encourage you to check out FarOutRide.com. It's full of a wealth of info that can help you decide if you're ready for van life, and budget accordingly.