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Discussion Starter #1
This spring, my father and I both purchased used Promasters and I am finally getting around to putting a build thread together and learning how to post pictures of the process. We are by no means finished with our builds, and each of us has different needs for our vans, so each approach will be different. One of the things that the vans must do is support our camping habits during the build process, meaning they are being used during the build.

I will try to spend the next few days getting the thread up to the current state of the vans.

Enjoy!





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Discussion Starter #2
This story begins a year ago when I took my family on a 2 week drive through Colorado. At the time we had a extended cab Chevy pickup with a pop up camper on the back. We had a great time, but it was tight traveling with 4 people in the cab, and inconvenient to get snacks out of the cooler in the back (fridge was broken). Camping time was was good, but definitely not stealthy. On our trip we passed a bunch of Sprinters and our minds started to wonder what it would be like to travel in a van.

Fast forward to that next March. Still dreaming of a van, a Transit or a Sprinter, but that was as far as we were getting. My dad called the end of March and asked if I wanted to go to Moab with him the first weekend in April to ride in a Rzr. I couldn't pass that up, so I made arrangements to go. Two days later I get a text from my dad of a picture of a Promaster and a note that it was to be our transportation to Moab. What?!!?

I had no idea that he was in the market for a van too. He said that he had been researching for several months and had decided that the Promaster was the best fit for him and a used van came up that he felt was a good deal. The van was a 2015 2500 ecodiesel 159" with 100,000 miles on the clock. I couldn't wait to check it out!

The weekend of the trip came, we hitched up a 14' trailer with the rzr on it and headed out. I was very impressed with everything about the van! The van was an empty shell, so pretty noisy, but we were able to set up cots and had a little heater in there while we were camping. I was hooked! The only bummer thing was that dad only let me drive it for 30 miles of the 16 hour trip because he was having so much fun driving.

I got home and told my wife that we were getting a van! So we started selling everything! Even the truck and the camper that had been our faithful camping rig for so many years. Almost a month after the trip in dads van, I was driving home my very own Promaster!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When I got my van, the original owner had some wonderful cabinets in it that he used for tools and supplies for his business. We decided to keep some of them, but needed seating for our two kids.
I picked up some bucket seats from the local salvage yard and welded up a platform that the seats locked into and bolted it to the frame. Works great for storage and for a place that the kids can put their shoes.




They recline pretty good for sleeping kids in a pinch

And come out when not needed



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Discussion Starter #5
The previous owner also did a pretty good job at making the van tough looking by mounting some 245/75R 16 Toyo Open Countrys on the stock rims and adding air bags to the back. He had the Spaccer kit for the front struts, but had not installed them. So that was the next project.

Before



After.



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Discussion Starter #6
Meanwhile, Dad was installing some seats with the rollover backrest to make some beds.


As well as a carpet kit.


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Discussion Starter #7
We both put in passenger seat pivots. When we first installed them, our wives couldn't touch the floor, way too tall. So we cut the seat frames down 2". Much better.





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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks! It's been fun to bounce ideas back and forth with my dad and to build parts and pieces together.
When it came time to insulate the vans, dad had decided on Thinsulate. I was back and forth on this topic, but decided to join him and insulate mine the same way. The decision was helped by the fact that I was attending a whitewater festival near Hood River and could stop by Hein's and pick up the insulation for both vans and save a ton on shipping. I'm very glad that I went with this insulation from the installation end of things. Quick and easy!



Both vans are insulated identically. We also put Reflextics over the top.


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Discussion Starter #13
Dad and I both felt that the vans had quite the blind spot on the passenger side. It was really noticeable at diagonal intersections like railroad crossings. So we ordered windows and started cutting holes in sliding doors.
Each of us tried different windows.

Dads. I don't have any "process" pictures, but dad said that it took about 3-4 hours.






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Discussion Starter #14
I forgot to add that dads window is a Motion and mine is a CRL. My only complaint with the CRL is that there is a "rattle/snap" sound when closing the door. I think that the fix would be some 3M uhb tape in some spots to help with that metal on metal "snap". Just have to get around to taking it apart.


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Discussion Starter #15
I think dads only complaint about the Motion is that it wasn't bigger to fit the actual window hole of the door and that doesn't look like the window is supposed to be there, kind of that it is an after thought appearance. I did see a van roll through town a few months ago that solved that issue with paint and I think at some point dad may go that way, especially if he adds more windows.




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Does your Dad’s window open?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes, the window has a sliding feature to open.

As far as the bed/couch, dad said that he didn't know who made it, he got it from an RV trailer sales place, said that they were taken out of a toy hauler that the customer didn't want.


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Discussion Starter #19
We decided to do the roof vents together one night. We both got the vent adapter from Hein and dad went with the Fantastic Fan and I chose the Maxx Fan. It was pretty fun hopping from one van to the other trying to "assembly line" the process.








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Discussion Starter #20
One thing that I forgot to take pictures of was the wood frame that I built and installed under the vents to screw the vent into as well as the inside ceiling panels.


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