We’re very excited about the release of our Smooth Rail mounting system, as well as our ecosystem of cabinetry and bed products for the Transit van! For the past 5 years, we have been working hard on our Smooth Rail mounting system and all our cabinetry products for Sprinter vans… but now customizing our products to fit the Transit is a reality!
Smooth Rail Mounting System
All the benefits of our Smooth Rail mounting system can be found on our blog article HERE. The Smooth Rail mounting system, with both Sprinter and Transit vans, gives a lot of flexibility and security. It also provides a safe way to install all of our cabinetry, bed systems, kitchen cabinetry, and our benches. The mounting system is thoroughly reinforced with bracketry that goes into the rib work of the van, to ensure a robust and secure mounting point for the products that you’re installing in your van. It provides an even greater value to a DIY person because they have a tremendous amount of flexibility on where their cabinetry can go. They don’t have to thoroughly plan out their entire build based on where all the cabinetry MUST be installed. The Smooth Rail mounting system allows for modularity. You have the ability to change a build immediately after something is tried and then can easily be changed later. We have quite a few stories of customers doing Core builds through Roost Vans; or doing their own build using Roost Vans products, and then later selling their van. The new buyer of the van then wants to install additional cabinetry or remove some cabinetry, without fear of a poor finish when the cabinetry is moved or removed. That is the benefit of the Roost Vans ecosystem and how flexible it is for adjustments downstream when ownership of a van changes. The new owner can remove or simply loosen the cabinetry and then adjust the position slightly without completely removing it. This is something that L-track cannot provide. On top of this, the aesthetics of the hardware and the powder-coated rail is another big benefit that helps create an enjoyable interior environment as opposed to a utilitarian feel.
The release of the ecosystem also includes our Fu-kit Bed and Strap-Up Bed! These are great DIY van bed options. Both bed systems can work autonomously or in combination with each other as a bunk bed system.
The Transit Fu-kit Bed is available as a 2 or 3-panel bed and gives you a couple more inches than the sprinter bed system does. You also have the option to add a Flip-Up Kit to the bed system: This gives you a deep-seated sofa, as well as plenty of access to your garage underneath. Another benefit to the flip-up kit is having the ability to extend your kitchen countertop, giving yourself an extra 24 inches underneath. That way the extra countertop space is only exposed when you flip up the bed.
The Transit Strap-Up Bed system is so versatile. In combination with the Strap-Up Bed, it gives you a great solution for sleeping four people in the van… creating a bunk-bed system. The Strap-up Bed system gives you the ability to raise your bed quickly all the way to the ceiling, or even lower it all the way down to the wheel wells. Another big benefit of the Strap-Up Bed system is that you are able to level the bed regardless of the angle that your van is parked at.
The transit ecosystem is very similar if not exactly the same as the Sprinter ecosystem. However, the profile of a Transit van is slightly different than a Sprinter, so it has warranted us to adjust our Sprinter cabinetry to fit the Transit profile. It also gave us an opportunity to iterate the Sprinter cabinetry at the same time, improving upon an already great set of products.
The Transit can be a bit peculiar but our cabinetry allows for that. Sometimes you need to do some minor customization around bump-outs, but that is something a DIYer could easily do in a few minutes to make their cabinetry fit exactly where they want it.
Transit vs Sprinter
Probably one of the biggest benefits of a Transit van over the Sprinter is the area above the sliding doorway. In this area, you can install the Roost van’s upper cabinet. We highly recommend if you’re going to do this, that you also have a lower passenger cabinet in that location too… that way you can avoid standing up and hitting your head on the bottom of the cabinet as you enter the sliding doorway. Particularly for a Transit 148 wheelbase (as opposed to the extended wheelbase), you have an opportunity for more forward cabinetry in your kitchen area and in front of your bed system, without having cabinetry over your bed. With the Transit’s window pockets, it allows for greater side-to-side sleeping. So, another option is to have a bank of cabinetry above your feet on the passenger side, along with a passenger kitchen cabinet.
Transits are harder to build than Sprinters. Adding the Smooth Rail Mounting System really helps with the build process. The rear of the van is normal, good-quality steel, but the front half of the van is ultra-high-strength steel, also known as Boron steel. Boron is tremendously difficult to work with. In order to install the Smooth Rail mounting system you have to drill a few holes in these areas, which is difficult but achievable. That’s where that mounting system comes in so valuable: Once the mounting system is installed, you have an infinite array of flexible mounting positions.
A very common mistake in van layouts is having all the weight on the driver’s side. If you’re not careful, you can affect the center of gravity on your van by doing this. This is why it’s important to add storage and cabinetry on the passenger side of the van as opposed to just on the driver’s side. Having a transit mounting system, as well as the cabinetry ecosystem, gives you a lot of flexibility in your design layout. You can move a lot of that weight over to the right side of the van, which is tremendously helpful in balancing the suspension and load of your vehicle. Inevitably, the driver’s side of the van is going to store a lot of stuff, simply because it doesn’t have a door in the way… therefore it doesn’t have a restriction on how much stuff you can store on that side. Planning out your build with this in mind helps you to counteract some of the pitfalls of inexperienced van builders and uninformed layouts.
Where to start?
Our entire Eco-system including: Cabinetry, Fu-kit & Strap-up Bed Systems, as well as our Smooth Rail mounting system are live on our website. We also have several other blog posts if you want to do a deep dive into more of our products, and van life in general. For inspiration on how to use our ecosystem or how to layout your van, check out our Youtube channel!