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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just traded in my 2008 Nissan Titan and purchased a 2017 Promaster City. It's white with Uconnect 5, power windows, and an empty cargo area. This will be my first attempt at a camper conversion. I've been liking on this forum and the Sprinter one for almost a year now. I feel that I have a good idea of how to accomplish this but I am expecting some road bumps along the way. Since I decided on the smaller van my total build will be less involved, but space will be a premium.

I would greatly appreciate any advice, inspiration, and comments from the members here. My goal is to have a fuel efficient daily driver with a fold out bed in the back for long weekend trips. I do plan on installing a house batter system that may or may not involve solar panels.

I've had the PMC three days and have gotten a few little things done so far:

1) tinted the front windows and windshield
2) painted the stock wheels black with rattle can Plasti Dip
3) removed the useless rearview mirror lol
4) removed the plastic panels from the cargo area and above the sliding doors. I'm debating on which panels to keep after I install insulation.

Next on the list will be installing the floor, painting the body (Plasti-Dip), adding insulation, and LED light wiring.

Hope you all follow along!

Thank you, Haven
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Quick update:

I've added polyiso insulation to the ceiling of the cargo area and the cab. I used both 1/2" and 3/4" boards. I decided to wait on thinsulate until after using all the polyiso I can fit. I'm also using some spray foam in nooks and crannies, but I'm not going to fill all the voids with it. I just discovered the loctite foam and it is just about the same as Great Stuff, but dries white instead of yellow... It looks like it stays white too, don't know why that's a plus to me but I dislike yellowed foam (maybe cuz I'm a surfer and older boards yellow with age).

I also tried to use a 4'x8' 5mm underlayment board as a ceiling but it was too unweildy for me too install cleanly... So I'm going to cut it in half tomorrow and install it in halves with a decorative molding strip down the center.

Hoping to get the ceiling in tomorrow and start on the rear door panel framing. I should have more pics up this week (if all goes well and hurricane Irma misses us).
 

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Welcome to the forum. You in Jupiter? The buildings in the background look familiar.... I use the 5mm underlayment on the ceiling of my 136 but I did it in 3 pieces. You'll notice a huge difference in the interior temperature of the van after you install insulation in the ceiling.

I've got my eye on Irma as well. I'm hoping she rides north on the gulf stream.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I live in West Palm Beach. Lol they are the Divosta mushroom quad homes... Pretty much everywhere in South Florida.

I was able to get the smaller rear door framed and paneled this weekend. It took me waaaay longer than I expected because there aren't very many straight lines in this van. I spent a lot of time getting creative with a jig saw. The frame is 1x3 pine with cedar tongue and groove attached with glue and brad nails. I am still trying to figure out how I'm going to finish the edges but I think that can wait until I'm done paneling the rest of the van.

I didn't get the ceiling up yet because I kinda got into a groove with the door panels.
 

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Just in time for the eclipse, I got mine to a usable state; racks, outside 110V connector, cabinet, sink, solar, stove, slide out bed, floor, L-track, two vent fans, insulation. Things still to do include privacy curtain, do something with the window cavities in the sliding doors and back doors, and back of seat pockets.

I ran the solar wires down the hole for the GPS antenna at the back, down behind the rear inside light, and off to the side. They exit (with all the other wires) about a foot above the cig outlet (below that not so circular circle).

How are you going to attach a ceiling? I left those plastic panels above the doors in and made a ceiling out of corrugated plastic, offset from the ceiling with blocks of wood, held to the ceiling with magnets. Above the ceiling is thinsulate. This is because my flexible solar panel is held on with magnets, and some of these are inside the car. Being able to remove the ceiling allows me access to these magnets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like your corrugated plastic panels idea. Since this is my daily driver, I'm planning on split charge relay for a while. Solar will come later on down the road.

So far I plan on putting expansion nuts in the ribs and framing up a support in the front section above the seats... Not quite sure on that part yet.
 

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I was wondering how much it would help to just do the ceiling. I put a Maxxfan in my PMC Tradesman and just having the vent open without even using the fan has made a noticable difference in temp.
 

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I was wondering how much it would help to just do the ceiling. I put a Maxxfan in my PMC Tradesman and just having the vent open without even using the fan has made a noticable difference in temp.
If you were to only insulate one area of the van, the ceiling would be my recommendation. I've got a high top 136 and before insulation you could feel the heat radiating down from the ceiling during the day. Now, you hardly feel it at all. I've got a maxxair fan also and I put the side window covers on the front doors so I can keep the windows cracked and let the fan exhaust. It keeps it at ambient temperature inside the van.

For all you in Irma's path - stay safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I survived Hurricane Irma unscathed. I might get sent out to other parts of Florida to help out during the recovery so the build is on hold until after that...

Parts on hand ready to be installed:

Ceiling panel
8" powered sub
6.5" 3-way speakers
9gal water tank

I also have the Rola racks from my pickup truck... I think I tracked down a Rola APE mount that will bolt directly to the factory threads on the roof. Will update as soon as I know for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, I took a break from the "carpentry" work to do some minor electronic upgrades....

I installed a Kicker 8" hideaway powered subwoofer under the passenger seat. Running the wires in the PMC was definitely a bit more difficult than the last vehicle I did a sound system in. I think it was a 1998 Mazda B4000 (Ford Ranger clone). Usually I take off the panels to tuck up the wires so they area hidden... But the PMC doesn't like to have any of the panels removed without forcing you to contort your arm into a tiny space to get at that last screw. It felt like I was trying to stick my arm in a vending machine. Anyways, I got the power, ground, sub controller, and remote wired as best I could. The sub sounds great and I think it's a fantastic upgrade. FYI I tapped into the front speaker wires on the rear of the stock head unit; wish I knew what type of terminal ends are inside the wiring harness because I could've just plugged into the empty rear speaker slots.

I removed the passenger door panel to see the stock speakers for myself... They sure are mounted strangely. There is plenty of room for larger speakers but FCA went with these tiny ones for some reason. I drilled out the rivets holding the bracket and removed the speaker, had a closer look at it and decided to order some Rockford Fosgate Punch 5.25" two-way speakers. I think they'll fit but if they don't I will make them lol.

My last project for today was supposed to be the easiest... I bought an Amazon 20" LED light bar that will fit perfectly tucked up into bumper behind the plastic grill. Two hours later and about 15 screws, 4 plastic rivets, and 4 bolts later I still couldn't get the bumper off!!!! If anybody knows how to get this front bumper off please let me know! It looks like its riveted from behind... I have no idea how anyone in the factory could possibly reach up in there to accomplish that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good news!!! My buddy does high end automotive work and was able to figure out the bumper removal. If you have the black plastic bumper (not the painted one) it is one entire piece. There are five Philips head screws in the wheel well area. There are 4 star head bolts between the headlights and 4 underneath the van.

The tricky part was one plastic Philips head split screw on the inside cavity just in front of the wheel well. I tried to unscrew it but it was impossible to see what type of screw it was. I sawed them both in half with a razor blade.

The bumper pulls straight out from the mounting tabs.

I mounted a 20" LED bar to the underside of the aluminum bumper. The bar sits in front of the lower radiator section. Ran the wires and relay to the battery terminals then the switch wire thru the firewall and mounted on the dash below my steering wheel. I plan on installing a 4 gang switch panel to control all the external lights.

I searched the web trying to find mounts for my Rola Truck Bed aero racks.... Apparently they are not sold individually. I found a set of rack mounts for a slightly different Rola rack on eBay. Took a gamble on them at $50 plus shipping. After some minor Dremeling and a trip to Ace for new hardware I got them to work!

For those that are interested the Rola 59632 fits the factory rack holes on the PMC. It mounts with one bolt thru the legs into the roof.

I chose to mount the rubber/plastic feetwith two bolts into the roof. Then I used a t-nut and a rubber washer to act as a threaded insert thru the center bolt hole to hold down the legs. I had to Dremel some plastic off the top of the legs so it would sit flush with my cross bars.

My way wasn't exactly cheap since I had to buy new SS hardware; but I really wanted to reuse my old crossbars for now.

I have the hardware list written down somewhere, if anyone needs it i can post it for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I can cut down the length of these cross bars if I want. The Rola racks for the PMC are not as wide.
 

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So jealous of your cross bars; I went with the Rola rack that is specific for the PMC. They don't have enough room on the ends for a bike rack, which means a ladder is needed to get the bikes off the roof.

What is the smaller condenser coil in front of the radiator? I would assume it is for AC.

Steve
 

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I live in West Palm Beach. Lol they are the Divosta mushroom quad homes... Pretty much everywhere in South Florida.

I was able to get the smaller rear door framed and paneled this weekend. It took me waaaay longer than I expected because there aren't very many straight lines in this van. I spent a lot of time getting creative with a jig saw. The frame is 1x3 pine with cedar tongue and groove attached with glue and brad nails. I am still trying to figure out how I'm going to finish the edges but I think that can wait until I'm done paneling the rest of the van.

I didn't get the ceiling up yet because I kinda got into a groove with the door panels.
Looks Good
 

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Excellent photos. Would you please post a photo of the left back door without the inner trim? Thanks.


I just traded in my 2008 Nissan Titan and purchased a 2017 Promaster City. It's white with Uconnect 5, power windows, and an empty cargo area. This will be my first attempt at a camper conversion. I've been liking on this forum and the Sprinter one for almost a year now. I feel that I have a good idea of how to accomplish this but I am expecting some road bumps along the way. Since I decided on the smaller van my total build will be less involved, but space will be a premium.

I would greatly appreciate any advice, inspiration, and comments from the members here. My goal is to have a fuel efficient daily driver with a fold out bed in the back for long weekend trips. I do plan on installing a house batter system that may or may not involve solar panels.

I've had the PMC three days and have gotten a few little things done so far:

1) tinted the front windows and windshield
2) painted the stock wheels black with rattle can Plasti Dip
3) removed the useless rearview mirror lol
4) removed the plastic panels from the cargo area and above the sliding doors. I'm debating on which panels to keep after I install insulation.

Next on the list will be installing the floor, painting the body (Plasti-Dip), adding insulation, and LED light wiring.

Hope you all follow along!

Thank you, Haven
 

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Good for you, just got mine about 2 weeks ago. First is insulating and finishing the ceiling - got that part figured out. Going to use spray foam on the side into crevices, but do not know yet what to finish the walls with. I am going to have a bench on the passenger side of the van that will fold over to make 1/2 a bed. I do not want to build anything that will block either of the sliding doors unless I am actually camping. Need to add to windows to the sliding doors, roof rack to support a tarp awning, and a real need for a backup camera. Enjoy & have fun
 
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