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Greetings Forumers,

First post here.

I've been looking into buying a PM to build out as a mobile home/office. I do much of my work on computer, so the office portion would be fairly simple. My work has me primarily living in the city(s). I also would use it for getting into the mountains to ski, and remote coastal areas for kayaking.

I quite like the PM, and think it would be ideal for me to build out.

I've test driven both a 2500, short wheel-base and a 3500 159"WB Extended. What I 'feel' is most appropriate for me is the 159", non-extended. Reason for this is ease of parking, getting around the city, and the fact that I'll fill whatever space I have = more stuff and poorer milage!

I would love to hear anyone's experience with the different sized rigs, and if there are any strong feelings for, or against, say the extended length. Don't get me wrong, the extended seems awesome from inside, but I just wonder how much I'll start to dislike it after the honeymoon stage is over...

I have an opportunity to buy a '15 3500 extended, gas right now for (more than I'd like to spend) (~42k, CAD). This would leave me with not much $ for outfitting - ikes! Otherwise, the new ones are listed at >$45k CAD, which I can't justify.

Kinda wishing I lived in the US right now:/ :)

Thanks for any thoughts you care to share.
 

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I have a 159ext, and love it. I also drove 136 and 159 while my original PM was on sabatical @ the Dealer's shop. I have driven vans of all sixes and shapes over the las 44 years. and the PM is almost as nimble as my old 67 Dodge A100. I can put it in ANY parking place, and have not had any trouble at all with the length. I guess it all depends on your comfort level with a larger vehicle. I couldn't be happier. I cover 20,000 sq miles of Middle TN, and even days I drive 2-300 miles are no sweat. It's a pleasure to drive. My feeling is, you can have too much space, and just not use it. But if you don't have enough, You'll be pissed about it for years!!
 

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Master Overland Custom Vans Tampa
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I was undecided on the 159" standard versus extended for months. I drove both extensively and ultimately decided the standard length was best for parking. I can whip it in to angle spots and parallel park with ease. My layout would not have changed if I had the ext. I would just have a little more moving around room in the dry bathroom. I say get your feelers out on any and all 159" and go for the one that is the best deal. The fit out always costs more than you anticipate. Mine is the victim of such scope creep I'm afraid to tally the numbers.
 

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I built a 136 into a campervan with modular parts so I could make the van nearly empty if I needed it to be and it has a dinette which is a poor man's desk as you cannot leave anything out. I'd say a 159 could do what you want and if you could find a 159 2500 (they don't make a 159 1500 as I remember) it will be MSRP $3000+ cheaper than the Ext. van. Start looking for a good deal 15-20 percent off MSRP. CAN$ exchange is against you, sorry!
 

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Go for a 159 you won't regret it! It will fit anywhere being slightly under 20' vs the extended.
 

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I guess, it depends on your application.

I am an expediter, and when I bought my Sprinter back in 2005 I reasoned that the 140" wheel base was more than enough. Well, it didn't take long to realize that I should have bought the longest one. I kicked myself in the behind a few times for this. I would gladly take a little bit more work parking the thing but having extra room inside. So for me, you better believe that when I get a new van it will be the longest.
 

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In general driving, I would not expect any difference between the 159" and the 159" Extended. Maybe a little difference if you're actually trying to parallel park the thing, and it does stick out just a wee bit more in parking spots. But, I've not had any problems with mine.


The bigger difference would likely be between a 159" and a 136".




I would say that if you can swing it, get the extended.
 

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ernchesto,

If you don't absolutely need the extra length (I thinks its 24" longer) of the EXT 159, don't get it. The extra length does make a difference when parking in a congested city. Parking slots in the big cities are getting smaller every day it seems.

Parking the EXT PM is no big deal (it is surprisingly nimble for such a big van) in straight in and angled, but it does stick out beyond all the other cars a lot. In parallel spots in the city you will find you have to pass up on a lot of spots.

I have the 159 EXT and I love it, but I need the the extra length to fit my windsurfers inside and it not my daily drive, so I don't mind a bit of trolling for a parking spot.

Hope this helps,

Dave
 

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Specs, Wheel base/ Bumper to bumper.
WB 118/195
WB136/213
WB159/236
WB159/250 Ext. Inches.
 

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Watch the gross vehicle weight ratings, in my case 9000 pounds is the limit on parkways, boulevards and avenues, portions of the local Interstate and a few bridges near me. My 2014 Promaster 2500 GVWR is 8950 and unless it's titled as an RV or bus that 9000 or above GVWR of a 3500 might leave one liable or open to hassle even though it is privately owned non-commercial truck. Think it's a non-issue? Just be involved with a Lawyers' BMW getting clipped. Just saying...

Although the 159' is 'polite' to drive highway it still holds a learning curve in the city, pun intended. I had to relearn how go further into a turn then spin up the steering wheel and then stop it faster than I thought was possible to make crisp turns, much more so than other vehicles I've driven, to keep from dragging the rear end too close to obstacles. If you're distracted or generally lazy it's easy to clip things like construction zone barrels (my first scratch on the plastic trim). Sure, thats a non-issue if you have the entire Manitoba Provence or Colorado & New Mexico to turn around in but if you're an Urban Dweller it is a real concern.

Part of this is that the PM has speed-proportional power steering so what the steering response is at 0-5mph is NOT what it will be at 5-10 or 15-20mph, it takes some muscle and flying elbows to rat around alleys or side streets. The 136" WB PM steering geometry is 'sweeter' or intuitive if your new van is to be an urban assault vehicle, downtown deliveries or parking in malls/lots/garages sized for smaller modern cars. IF they'd made the window wagon in a 136" I own it now...
 
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