Chris's Ford Transit Connect Construction Van

Renovation out of a Connect?!

RIG DETAILS

USED FOR Construction
TYPICAL JOBS renovation, home building
MODEL 2012 Ford Connect

ORGANIZATION

Floor storage
Ceiling storage
Roof storage
Wired electric

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Tips

Go full battery with your tools. more »

ABOUT THE ORGANIZER

A Chris of all trades

Québec Canada


Chris's Ford Transit Connect is used for building and renovating houses in Québec, Canada. The Connect has a surprising amount of tools and little inventory. One of the most interesting things about this setup is that he's gone nearly all battery.

Building Houses From a Transit!?

Like other contractors that use small vehicles, if Chris needs large materials that won't fit in or on the Connect van, he has them delivered. There are pros and cons to this. The van is small, relatively cheap, and gets good fuel mileage. By reducing vehicle costs, you can spend more on tools that will help you work faster, and Chris has done that by going all-battery.

On the other hand, having sheet good hauling capability is important and a small vehicle can make it difficult when you just need small quantities of something, like a sheet or two of plywood.

You might weigh what your hourly rate comes out to and compare that to what the delivery cost is. If your hourly rate bills at $100, and it'll take you 1 hour to get materials, pay up if the delivery fee is $50!

Chris is considering getting a trailer to be able to do occasional hauling.

Basic Organization

The van is filled with tools. It has dual sliding side cargo doors that make access to the inside easy. A mechanic's tool box on the passenger side holds mostly hand tools, while bigger tools fill out the rest of the van.

DIY shelving keeps most of the tools separated and easy to grab. At the back doors, several pistol-grip tools, like impact drivers and drills, are hung from a rail. Below them, a mid-height shelf holds other power tools, like a circular saw and angle grinder.

Each rear window is covered by a piece of plywood that's used for hanging various tools and suspended racks hook clothing and safety gear.

Right below the ceiling, Chris uses lengths of 4" PVC pipe to hold long items, like levels, a roll of Tyvek, and a crowbar.

Chris's Ford Transit Connect Construction Van
Chris's Handyman Ford Transit Connect Van Image from A Chris of all trades

Battery Tools Everywhere

Chris has gone nearly cordless on his tools and runs mostly 20V DeWalt tools. Some contractors are starting to shift towards going cordless because it eliminates the need to find an outlet and eliminates the time needed to deal with extension cords.

This is especially true for handyman-type work, where you want to be getting in and out of jobs as quickly as possible. This even extends to one of his miter saws - he uses the 20V 7 1/4" FlexVolt saw, which he says is great for repeatedly cutting up to 2x6 stock.

He runs his 120V air compressor off a DeWalt Power Station, which he likes because he doesn't need to carry his generator. The Power Station runs off 4 batteries and can provide up to 15 amps.

Why would you want one?

It's compact, quiet, lightweight, and doesn't smell like a generator.

This creates another problem, though: battery management.

There is no complicated battery wall here!

Chris deals with batteries by having lots of them. He uses a single outlet inverter for plugging in a quick charger if he needs to charge in the field.


:w