2023 Ford Transit Trail Is a Sub-$70K Adventure Van That Can Tow 6,500 Pounds

Added skid plates, a taller ride, and tougher tires help escape to the middle of nowhere.

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2023 Ford Transit Trail Is a Sub-$70K Adventure Van That Can Tow 6,500 Pounds © 2023 Ford Transit Trail Is a Sub-$70K Adventure Van That Can Tow 6,500 Pounds

The 2023 Ford Transit Trail aims to be a hardy go-anywhere vehicle for those wanting to kit out their very own adventure van.

Ford has long supplied others with the framework for #vanlife, with more motorhomes currently built on Ford chassis than any other brand. Now, the brand is getting more directly involved by selling its own upfit-ready vans straight from the factory. 

The Transit Trail, which Ford unveiled Thursday costs $67,770 including destination, has a capable drivetrain for off-road duty. The EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 is good for 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque and is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s complete with all-wheel drive, with a variety of drive modes suited to different conditions, on road and off. It’s also capable of towing a full 6,500 pounds, useful for taking a boat, ATV or other toys out on the road.

Off-road, the Transit Trail’s credentials are further improved by the 3.5-inch higher ride height over the base model and a 2.75-inch wider track. It rides on tough 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Wrangler Workhorse all-terrain tires, with high sidewalls that should cushion the ride. The underbody is protected thanks to a skid-plate-style front bumper and slider-like sidesteps. The wheel arches also get some plastic cladding which gives the van a more rugged look overall.

Several body styles are available, with customers able to choose from medium, high-roof, and high-roof extended-length variants. The biggest model features up to 487 cubic feet of cargo space, with the extended-length cargo bay stretching over 14 feet long. In particular, the high-roof models are designed for standing room for people up to 6-foot-5-inches tall. 

The cargo area is specifically designed for upfitting into a camp-ready vehicle, featuring special “drillable” areas for attaching shelving, beds, and cabinets. A roof-vent fan is an optional extra, while the privacy glass is an ideal inclusion for a sleeper van. 

The cabin also includes niceties like swivel seats and an overhead shelf for additional gear storage. Power-wise, the usual 12-volt outlet is present and accounted for, along with a 110-volt outlet rated at 400 watts for running chargers and other small AC appliances.

Those with less of a DIY ethos need not fear, either. Ford’s official network of upfitters and installers is ready and standing by for anyone seeking a professional fitout for their adventure vehicle. 

Since it’s intentionally designed as an adventure-ready upfitter model, there’s less need to hack and chop at the vehicle to modify it to suit. Thus, the Transit Trail should serve as a capable base for anyone seeking a clean slate for their van-life dream build. 

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