Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Oklahoma, USA
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I can't actively work on my van now because we are traveling through November, but I have made some progress in my travels, particularly in Portland, Oregon. I was fortunate that we had a couple days to spare and a cooperative husband.
First Stop: Motion Windows in Vancouver, WA, outside Portland. They are one of the few manufacturers of windows for the Promaster. These windows have the slight bend instead of forcing the panel flat as generic windows would. Very friendly folk and a quality product. The installer patiently walked us through the installation process and we left with precise hardboard templates for each window. When I get home, I will order the windows--the largest that will fit all around--and we will join the company of brave?? souls who attack their new vehicles with sharp objects.
Second Stop: A flooring store that sells Marmoleum. I got a remnant at a good price with no sales tax and no shipping because it fit in the truck. I am super pleased with this purchase. It must be installed >68°, so I will have to create a monolithic floor, cut the ply to fit, install the Marmoleum on the ply and cure it in the house, then install the unit in the van. Don't want to think about how heavy and unwieldy that will be, but the alternative is wait til summer.
Third Stop: A business which upfits Sprinters and Promasters--that day they had about equal numbers of each. A stupidly simple conversion was going to cost its owner $38,000 on top of the cost of the van itself. I was not impressed with what I saw. Fiberglass insulation. No sound insulation. Wall panels were a fabric about the consistency of burlap wrapped around Luan, then screwed on. They are a custom shop, though, and what I saw was what the customer ordered. I assume they can do better if paid even more money to do so.
Fourth Stop: CampingWorld. I asked to see Class Bs. The first one I was shown was a Viva by Itasca on a Promaster cutaway chassis--didn't know it existed. I was then shown the Travato, the Trend, and a Sprinter. Overall impression: the Promaster wins hands-down for roominess. It didn't look particularly crowded even with all amenities. A couple things I learned about mileage and swivels I will post separately.
I learned a lot from the upfitter and from the models. The most important thing I learned is that I would have to do some really crappy work to sink to their level. The upfitting on the Winnebagos in particular was pathetic.
Now I have to wait another month doing mundane things like the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim (maybe rim-rim-rim) before I can really dive into my Promaster project.