Ford Reveals Rugged 2023 Transit Trail Camper Van With 310-HP Twin-Turbo V6

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Get a camper straight from the factory.

In mid-October, Ford teased the Transit Trail by parking it next to a cute camping spot in the woods. The image was too dark to see any detail, but the camper van has now made its official debut.

Ford wants to gain traction in a growing segment by offering adventure seekers an upfit-ready van straight from the factory. Most campers are built by third-party outfitters, increasing the vehicle's cost exponentially. The Transit Trail starts at $65,975, which might seem like a lot of cash, but it effectively does the same job as the Mercedes-Benz Sanctuary, built by Thor Motor Coach.

Ford is also competing in a segment of one since VW does not sell its various California camper models in the USA.

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The Transit Trail is available in medium- and high-roof cargo van configurations, including an extended-length high-roof option. The latter provides up to 487 cubic feet of space customers can use for customization.

We'll dig into the customization options in a separate article, and for now, we'll explore what you get as standard in every version of the Trail.

All versions are powered by Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which produces 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to a ten-speed automatic and sends the power to an all-wheel-drive system with five selectable modes: Normal, Eco, Mud/Ruts, Tow/Haul, and Slippery.

Adding the Heavy-Duty Trailer Package takes the towing capacity up to 6,500 pounds.

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Obviously, the Trail is not meant for rock crawling, but an increase in ride height will help it tackle unsavory terrain. Its approach and departure angles of 19.5 and 25.3 degrees (15.6 degrees on Extended High Roof models) seem adequate, but the low breakover angle (19.3 degrees) is the killer.

The van sits an impressive 3.5 inches higher and with a 2.75-inch wider track than a standard Ford Transit. Grip levels are improved thanks to 30.5-inch Goodyear Wrangler Workhorse all-terrain tires mounted on rugged 16-inch black alloy wheels.

In addition to the upgrades above, Ford includes a few other practical design features to help it stand out from the thousands of delivery Transits running around in America. These features include a black grille with integrated marker lamps, black HID headlamps, wheel arch cladding, side steps, splash guards, and a skid plate-style front bumper.

On the inside, it has a 12-inch touchscreen running SYNC 4 and several chargers, 110-volt and 12-volt included. Safety-wise, you can expect the usual array of active and passive features, including adaptive cruise control, reverse and side sensing systems, and blind-spot assist.

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As for the camper side of the van, it's essentially empty. Ford includes an overhead shelf, illuminated sun visors, and driver and passenger swivel seats. The rest you have to add via packages like the Upfitter Package, which adds an exterior light bar and includes high-capacity upfitter switches, a larger center console, an auxiliary fuse panel with a high-spec interface connector, dual AGM batteries and a modified vehicle wiring system.

Several drillable areas are positioned specifically for cabinetry, shelving, bed, and more. By doing it this way, Ford allows customers to DIY a living space or custom order one via its dedicated Transit Trail customization website. This is where third-party camper companies get involved, but the cost isn't as high as you might expect since it's done on a mass scale. It also means Ford's three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty remains intact.

We'll play around with the customization program as soon as it's live to see how much a Transit Trail with a basic bed, cabinets, and basin actually costs.

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