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Hello:

I plan to buy a new 2017 Promaster this week.

I am trying to decide between the 118” or 136” Wheelbase both with a Low Roof. And I would like your opinions.

I do remodeling of apartments and houses. Most of what I carry is tools/parts but it is not uncommon that I need to pick up lumber.

I currently drive a Ford Ranger (6’ foot bed) with an ARE tool canopy on the back.

My current Ranger provides me with almost all of the storage volume. I could use more volume but I don’t need a ton more. Anything long goes on my Ranger’s roof rack.

I plan to get shelves, partition, and a roof rack for the new Promaster.

The 118” WB will give me approximately twice the volume of the Ranger so I don’t feel like I need the 136” WB for storage capacity needs.

One reason why I lean towards the 136” is so that I can carry 12’ boards inside when laid up between the seats (the 118” can carry up to 10’ boards).

Not that I buy 12’ boards that often (mostly 10' or less) but part of me feels like I will not regret having the extra space/volume.

I am also told that the longer wheel base may be a marginally smoother ride and also possibly better handling.

No matter what, I will be getting a roof rack since from time to time I will need to carry lumber too long for either wheelbase.

The reasons why I lean towards the 118” wheelbase is because I love the idea of having a van that is as short as possible. I do a lot of driving in urban areas and although I realize both have the same width I theorize that I will appreciate the 118” being overall 18” shorter than the 136” wb.

I noticed that the 118” wb have a slightly narrower side door but I don’t see that as a negative (may even be a positive since it will be lighter to open and close).

Also, the 118” is about $1,000 less to buy and also weighs about 100 pounds less, which are both positives.

What are your thoughts?
 

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Welcome to the forum.

if you are going to do any kind of work at all, don't even consider a 118 low roof! The width of these vans make them far more different to drive than the length or height. You need all the room you can get and its cheap money for a high roof and 136 min. - why cheat yourself???
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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Points to ponder.

Lumber on a roof rack on a regular roof, how are you going to load, secure and remove?

Lumber on a roof rack on a high roof, how are you going to load, secure and remove?

Roof rack adds what? 4 to 5 more inches of elevation.

If you have to carry a ladder to load something should you just get the high roof anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Points to ponder.

Lumber on a roof rack on a regular roof, how are you going to load, secure and remove?

Lumber on a roof rack on a high roof, how are you going to load, secure and remove?

Roof rack adds what? 4 to 5 more inches of elevation.

If you have to carry a ladder to load something should you just get the high roof anyway?
Thanks for your thoughts, Phil.

I just don’t need the extra capacity of a High Roof.

As I mentioned, the 118” low roof is much more capacity than I currently have or need, I just would not have any use for the extra height.

I plan to carry a ladder with me to access the roof rack.
 

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If you can't understand or envision how or why you should get a high roof then nothing anyone tells you here will make a difference. Someday you will wake up, slap your palm against you forehead and say "Why didn't I listen to those guys?". Until then good luck and happy vanning ;)
 

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I saw a 118" low roof kitted out for home renovation finishing carpentry & cabinetry, hand tool racks on both back door interiors, grab bins as partial partition behind passenger seat for easy access through slider and some serious power tool cubby-holes across from slider behind drivers seat along the wall, behind slider lengthwise on both sides was drawer storage and small worktop counters - the wall spaces were window cut-out panels were pockets for long//flat items...

The interior surfaces build-up was finished with a black boat/car carpet that made every tool and item stand out against the background.

Anyhow, I was slow cruise checking out a 1900 farmhouse that was being grandfathered in code-wise just outside Washington, DC and did not stop, don't know if it was home-built but it sure was neat as clockwork. Don't forget 12' items might get snuck in on the diagonal and/or using ceiling to floor plus diagonal to lug 5 or 7 2x6's...
 

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118 suspension is light duty suspension. 136 is medium duty suspension. So how much weight you'll be carrying should be considered. I don't carry hardly any weight in my 118 low roof and with the tires down to 55psi in the rear and 60psi in the front with my light duty suspension I am getting a decent ride without taking a leaf out of the springs. TPMS light gloriously on each day to celebrate my nice ride. The light is silent no audible warning dingy dings or buzzers. Think...black tape.

In my 118 when I park head in I have about 18 inches margin at Home Depot and Lowes. 136 would fill the space completely. Neither bad or good, jus' sayin'. Not even gonna try parallel parking in my 118, am just to old to mess with that. And if you have no problem parallel parking a 136, you deserve a driving beyond normal skills medal, please post a video. If "YOU" really don't need 18 more inches of length inside then.............

But and however, if you need to get in and out of the back of your van regularly and move around in it and wear your favorite hat and you are 5'6" tall or more, I would suggest a high top. I don't think 118s come in high top so then maybe a 136 should be considered. I am 5'7-1/2" tall and slouch and don't hit the ceiling with a naked floor and ceiling in my 118 low roof. With floor and ceiling installed will probably be grazing my head or slouching more.

But and however again, if you're gonna be getting a ladder and material off of a high top you're gonna need to be taller than most earthlings or keep a ladder handy or have some handy anti-gravity mechanism to help you. I had to get my 7 foot step ladder to reach the radio antenna on my 118 low roof. Could not reach it standing on the cab floor.

Don't think you'll gain anything on mpg with the 118. If so, the amount of gain most likely wouldn't be worth making a decision considering mpg. I have compared my mpg with those with the 136 and see little to no difference. It has a lot to do with where you're gonna be doing the bulk of your driving. I am in Austin where there is no flat land, all up and down low hills in heavy traffic so will never get good mpg in town. If you are a flat lander and you don't have to sit through 6 or 7 red lights to get to the grocery store you might see some decent mileage out of either the 118 or 136, high or low top.

"You can't always get whatchu want...But if you try sometimes, You jus' might find...... you get whatcha need!" Heard that somewhere when I was younger and stupider.:D
 

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"I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands

You can't always get what you want
Unless you have a high top";)
 

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whats the price diff between the low and high roofs?
I got a 136low over the 118low because of the cheap price for extra length.
Does it cost a hella more to go higher?
Im 6 foot even and I have to crook my head over just a touch to stand up in it.
Very doable.
I think youll want the 136 over the 118. Youll love the extra length without breaking the bank.
 

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For $1000 hands down a 136. Personally after having a high roof, I wouldn't go back to a low roof. I've outfitted mine as a camper but also use it to work out of a lot. Being able to jump in and out and walk around in it without hunching over is a game changer.

If I were buying one to work out of everyday like you do, I'd have a 136 high roof. Not only would I be able to store tools and haul things but I'd have a workshop set up inside of it. I know a guy that was in a standard low roof van for years. A year ago he moved to a high roof and raves about how much better it is.

BTW, I can easily parallel park it. Was on 12 South in Nashville a few weeks back and parallel parked into a fairly small spot. Wasn't even difficult to do. Backup camera makes all the difference. I wouldn't own a van without it.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

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The reasons why I lean towards the 118” wheelbase is because I love the idea of having a van that is as short as possible. I do a lot of driving in urban areas and although I realize both have the same width I theorize that I will appreciate the 118” being overall 18” shorter than the 136” wb.

I noticed that the 118” wb have a slightly narrower side door but I don’t see that as a negative (may even be a positive since it will be lighter to open and close).

Also, the 118” is about $1,000 less to buy and also weighs about 100 pounds less, which are both positives.
I'm curious what's attracting you to the Promaster in the first place? If you love the idea of a short van and don't need the space and don't need the height or weight capacity and only occasionally need the length but plan on carrying lumber on the roof anyway, why this van?

My daily driver is an old school Scion xB which is among the shortest vans you can possibly get, and there are many other vehicles you could choose that might fit your requirements better. You seem to be taking all the advantages of the PM and negating them with an outlier model that's going to limit your purchasing and unfitting options and the van's overall utility. And that's why you are getting the advice you're getting. Maybe you just aren't a Promaster customer and you are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
 

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A bit of perspective for OP: My 136" is 5" shorter than my 2006 single cab Toyota Tundra. Its turning radius is halfway between that Tundra and my Corolla. It really is as nimble as a much smaller vehicle.

Ironically, with its lighter suspension, the 118" may not handle as well as its larger siblings.

The height issue has been debated ad nauseum here for years. The net result is two legitimate reasons for the low roof:

1: HOA/garage restrictions.
2: With need to sleep 4+, put on a pop-top.
 

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I’ve yet to see any owner of a high top post they wished they had bought a low roof instead!
 

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1000 extra to go from lowroof to highroof is a **** of a deal! I wish I would have realized that when I was looking. dammn dammnn
 

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Oh Oh- and other low roof owner who wished they had asked and listened. Some don’t ask, some don’t listen. thankfully some do both.
 

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But, but, but for only $5k or $6k I could get a really spiffy pop top put on my low roof and it would fit in all the public parking garages, not to mention I could have the pleasure of putting it up and down every time I want to move it.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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2 cents,

I bought used so the difference between a 136 LR and HR was around $2500 at the time, used 136 HRs are sparse compared to 136 LRs, low price and low mileage 136 HRs are sparser.

Buying a LR and retro fitting it with a fiberglass top would be more than the price difference.

Mines not a work van, I wanted maximum flexibility in a small package, and the 136 HR works for me.

If the OP is using the van as a rolling toolbox then the 118 is fine. Could rent a 136 LR and see if that works.

I'd like to see a 118 with nothing but pull out slides for tools.
 
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