While I love my Ford Transit high roof, I will be the first to say this it is not easy to build inside. You have large beams that run down the sides and the roof that is rounded and slopes down considerably at the front.
How do you build square cabinets that will hold up and still look good? I looked into 80/20 aluminum to build the bases with, I have seen some really nice cabinets built this way. My bed frame and couch base are built with 80/20 so it a great way to build. But one thing to think about is the wiring that Ford, these wires travel down the driver’s side of the van. So to build a wood or aluminum frame I was going to need to have 4 sides and build a rigid box. Now how would I attach that to the walls of the van? Also, how would I make it work with the slope of the front of the van?
I then started looking at having cabinets built for me or buy prefab cabinets. That was where I found Lost Hiway Customs. I brought to them a two-sided cabinet that would mount to the ceiling and walls. So some back story on my ceiling. I found that the tongue and groove wood I was using was not going to warp to the ceiling’s shape so I took it down. ( you can read the ceiling install here) I ended up bringing the ceiling down 2.5 inches from the ceiling ribs. This allows the 11ft long shiplap wood pieces to fit much easier and reduced the front slope to 1in. Now with this wood in place, I was able to have a much flatter surface to mount my cabinets to the ceiling. I still have 75 inches from floor to ceiling. I really recommend the high roofs for this extra space.
I would call these cabinets from Lost Hiway Customs a DIY solution for the builder who wants to customize the look but needs a solid foundation to work with. With (.125) aluminum that is cut and bent for strength, they have a 4 in back tab and allows it to be easily installed into the walls of the van and a top tab of 2 inches that allows for screws into your ceiling.
We have one cabinet that runs down the passenger side of the van. This cabinet is 80 inches long and runs out past the door opening but is centered over our sink. The rest of the cabinet runs to the backdoors giving us plenty of space for clothing. We broke it up into two cabinets with a divider to separate the kitchen from the clothes. With these cabinets, you can finish the ends however you want. We wanted to keep our wood finish throughout. We have bought 1.5-inch poplar wood and glued them together to create our doors and drawers. In this case, we made our cabinet ends with the same material. We even were able to add wine glass holders on one end. Now with three doors to access this side we now have much needed storage.
The driver’s side was going to be tougher because again we had the ceiling slope. But we were able to make the front of the cabinet slope to match the roofline. To mount these cabinets we installed rivnuts, like the back cabinet, in the heavy part of the wall. With 4 for the front and 5 for the opposite side. With the cabinet installed at the bottom, we then were able to use the tabs at the top and screw directly into the ceiling. The front cabinets come with tabs that can be riveted into place allowing you to make adjustments to the cabinet height on the front.
Now with only having the front and bottom to work with you are able to mount the cabinet on the wall and have the wire loom lay on the bottom of the cabinet. We will build a small cover to protect the wires but they are wrapped and zip tied. We added a divider on this cabinet to separate the two sides with the idea that one side could be used for food and the other for gear.
We are very happy with the final product and feel that this gives the van a very polished feel. We really appreciate the team at Lost Hiway Customs for working with us and would really recommend them. They offer a front and rear upper cabinet and galley cabinet. They also have many products for Sprinters, Promasters, and Transits. So while I was building most of my van out with wood. I really like their build quality on their products and if anything of mine starts to wear out I will defiantly go to them for more products.