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Ford Embraces #VanLife With the Off-Road Friendly Transit Trail Camper

The new model is a camper van base that can be customized any way you see fit.

A front 3/4 view of the 2023 Ford Transit Trail Ford

Ford is ready to start spending more time at the campground.

The Detroit giant has just unveiled a new version of its Transit commercial van called the Trail. The new model is an off-road-friendly bruiser that can easily be turned into your home away from home.

One look at the Transit Trail and it’s clear it was designed for adventure. It’s been given a 3.5-inch ride height boost and its track is 2.75 inches wider than that of the standard model. It’s also been outfitted with a skid plate-style bumper, body cladding around the fenders and splash guards. Its 16-inch black wheels also come wrapped in a set of 30.5-inch Goodyear Wrangler Workhorse tires. This is a vehicle meant to be taken off-road, whether that be through dirt or mud.

The 2023 Ford Transit Trail from the side
2023 Ford Transit Trail Ford

Underneath the hood, you’ll find a 3.5-liter V-6 that can produce up to 310 hp and 400 ft lbs of torque. This potent mill is connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels, adding to its off-road capabilities. There are also five different drive modes—Normal, Eco, Mud/Ruts, Tow/Haul and Slippery—intended to help you conquer any terrain you come across.

Although Ford is new to the camper van game, it realizes part of what is so attractive about the vehicles is the chance to create your own dream home on wheels. Because of this, the Transit Trail is essentially a camper van base with DIY drillable areas for cabinets, shelves, a bed and more. It comes in three body configurations: medium-roof, standard length; high-roof, standard length; and high-roof, extended length. The largest of these configurations measures 14 feet bumper to bumper and gives adventurers 487 cubic feet of cargo space to work with, plus a high enough ceiling that most people will be able to stand up straight in it—something you can’t say for all of the competition.

Inside the 2023 Ford Transit Trail
The interior of the Transit Trail can be customized any way you see fit. Ford

Ford wants you to have the freedom to outfit the Transit Trail as you see fit, but the van still comes with plenty of standard goodies that will make life easier. These include a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system that runs the automaker’s SYNC 4 operating system, a high-resolution backup camera and plenty of outlets. There’s also an optional Upfitter package that adds a light bar, center console and modified wiring, as well as a Heavy-Duty Trailer package that will allow you to tow 6,500 pounds.

Only time will tell if the Transit Trail can challenge the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter to become the camper van base of choice for discerning adventurers. At the very least, it’s another option to consider. The Transit Trail starts at $65,975 and you can order it from the automaker now.

Click here to see more photos of the 2023 Ford Transit Trail.


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