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Rugged 2023 Ford Transit Trail Takes Van Life Off The Grid


The Ford Transit is already a great base for a motorhome conversion, but those who take their vans off the beaten track will definitely prefer the new Trail trim. The 2023 Transit Trail comes to the US looking more rugged and capable than Europe’s equivalent. The model is available in several body styles, ready to be converted into an adventurous campervan.

The Ford Transit Trail is visually distinguished by the redesigned grille with integrated marker lamps. While the latter doesn’t come with the Raptor-style “Ford” lettering of the EU-spec model, it features tinted headlights, an unpainted bumper, and a new Trail-specific skid plate. On the profile, things look even better thanks to the wider wheel arches, the splash guards, and the side steps looking like rock sliders.

Read: Airstream Rangeline Debuts As An ‘Affordable’ Ram-Based Camper Van That Sleeps Up To Four People

The new Trail trim is not only about the rugged body kit, as Ford lifted the suspension by 3.5-inches, extended the tracks by 2.75 inches, and added a new set of 16-inch alloy wheels shod in grippy 30.5-inch Goodyear Wrangler Workhorse all-terrain tires. This, in combination with the standard all-wheel-drive system, makes it a fitting choice for off-roading.

A Proper Living Area At The Back

The van is available in medium- and high-roof configurations with the regular wheelbase, or in a high-roof extended-length body for those who want the maximum available space. The latter offers 487 cubic feet of configurable cargo space with more than 14 feet (4,267 mm) of available length. Furthermore, both high roof options allow standing room for people as tall as 6’5 feet (196 cm) at the back.

While the Ford Transit Trail doesn’t come from the factory as a readymade motorhome, the company made a number of adjustments to make it conversion-ready. Those include the swivel seats at the front, the overhead shelf, the illuminated sun visors, and the drillable areas positioned in the right spots for cabinetry, shelving, bed, or any DIY add-ons. The tinted glass areas and the lack of rear windows provide enough privacy, while the optional roof vent fan ensures cabin ventilation. Also, standard equipment includes a 12-inch touchscreen with the SYNC4 infotainment, and plenty of outlets for charging all kinds of devices (110-volt, 12-volt, and USB).

Finally, the “Uplifter Package” adds the ability to power auxiliary accessories with high-capacity uplifter switches, a larger center console, an auxiliary fuse panel with a high-spec interface connector, dual AGM batteries, plus a fittingly modified vehicle wiring system.

Powerful Engine And Standard AWD

The 2023 Ford Transit Trail comes fitted with the most powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine producing 310 hp (231 kW / 314 PS) and 400 lb-ft (541 Nm) of torque. Power is transmitted to all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic gearbox, with the help of an “Intelligent All-Wheel Drive” system offering five selectable drive modes (Normal, Eco, Mud/Ruts, Tow/Haul, and Slippery).

The optional “Heavy-Duty Trailer Package” gives a towing capacity rating of 6,500 lbs (2,948 kg), for those planning on hauling boats, or other vehicles. The van also has ADAS, including Blind Spot Assist, Reverse and Side Sensing systems, as well as Adaptive Cruise Control.

The Ford Transit Trail is assembled in Missouri, with the first deliveries expected in spring 2023. The model comes with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, as with the regular Transit van. Pricing starts from $65,975 for the medium-roof standard-length version.

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