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Hello Forum members,

for a few weeks, I have been lurking on this forum. Your mostly positive views of the PM helped me to make ONE decision - a PM it will be.
Now I need help with ANOTHER decision. What size?
For sure a high roof but what WB. I want one to convert it to a camping van.
I found two different almost new 2500's with prices only CDN$ 500 apart. One is a 136" WB with 8000 km (Demo unit, well equipped), the other a 159" WB with 500 km, both white, right slide door w/glass, back doors w/glass.
It will be for my wife and myself, mostly trips to NP's, beaches rarely big city visits. However, I would not be surprised if our son would like to borrow occasionally for his family of four. Now which length would you choose and what are the reasons.
Your input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Victor
 

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2014 136” HR
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5,677 Posts
For the two of you, 136" should be fine. Add two kids and I'd be looking 159", particularly given that kids grow. We can sleep three adults in our 136" with no modification, and have done it. The 4th would require some finagling. Also, transporting 4 safely is a bigger ordeal than sleeping 4, and 4 would require more clothing, food, etc.
 

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I have the 159 and love it, but I use mine for part work and part pleasure. I need the 159 to be able to carry around my work gear, 14' stand up paddleboards. If I was buying one for just myself and my only driver it would be the 136". If I had the option (aka cash) to have 2 vehicles then the 159 would be my choice, unless you are going to be in tight urban settings.

The 136" fits into normal parking spots without much hassle. It is like a pickup truck, where the 159 can be a bit more difficult if in the city. Surprisingly though, the 159 still parks and parallel parks very easily with the front wheel drive. The mirrors and backup camera help tremendously too.

If you plan to fully outfit yours with a shower, bathroom, & kitchenette the 159 would be the better choice IMO.
 

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I have a 136" but live and drive around the lower mainland in BC. Parking is really tight and the 136' works great. If I lived anywhere else it would be nice to have a little more room for toys and camping inside. I'm guessing the 159 likely drives a little better on the highway too but I haven't tried one yet.
 

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You can always use less space in the longer models, but you cannot add space in the shorter models.
 

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True but that logic would have us all in 159" EXT, shorter is easier to park, turns tighter circles, weights less, costs less, and may be big enough, although I think the poster will be better served by a 159" PM.
 

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I actually ended up with a 118 low because I liked the way it drove best but as others said above, a 136 is a bit easier to fit into spots and be out of the way.
 

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2014-159 HR in CT
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The 159 is about 23", 140lbs different with a 6' difference in turning circle. Even at 6' more turning circle, doing a U turn in my 159 is amazing.... feels like I'm driving my mid size SUV!

In my build, using the 159 has allowed for a separate pocket-doored, private porta-potti rear dressing area (a la TravatoK, but I had the idea first!) I couldn't have pulled that off in a 136. My wife truly appreciates the difference.

Ed

ps. either 136 or 159, it's a win-win situation!
 

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Lay out the floor dimensions in your garage, mock up your basic plan. It should steer you to the size you need. A non ext 159" will park everywhere without sticking out of the parking spot.
 

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I have no regrets getting the 159" Extended.


The extra interior space has been great for the layout. It turns plenty tight enough for my use. And I have not had it stick out of any parking spaces that I have wanted to use.


But if your layout and space requirments come up smaller, go smaller.
 

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MHO if its dual purpose camping and daily driver then 136. If dual work/camping 159 or if you want extra row of seats in the back then 159
 

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As mentioned above, lay out your floor plan. The 136 will give you about 6 feet wide and 10 feet long between the back of the front seats and the rear doors.

I have mine set up as a motorcycle hauler / camping vehicle. I built a shelf crosswise just behind the front seats at the same height as the reinforcement below where the windows would be (if it had windows). The nice thing about these vans is that they are wide enough that most people can sleep crosswise (I can). Clothing and suitcases and whatnot go on top of that shelf while travelling, on top of the mattress and sleeping bag. The bike(s) fit just behind that shelf and within the back door with inches to spare and with the front wheel sticking partially underneath that shelf. Toolboxes, generator, cooler with food and drinks, barbecue, spare parts boxes etc go on the floor underneath the shelf. When I get where I'm going, the bike goes out, what's on the shelf goes either outside or on the floor, and I can sleep on the mattress on top of the shelf. Efficient layout.

Around here, a 136 just barely doesn't quite fit in most parking spots, and the aisles usually aren't wide enough, and the spots aren't far enough apart, to easily turn into such spots. A 159 would be sticking out into the aisles or using two spots (not cool). These vans do give you lots of steering angle, which helps with turning, but there's only so much that this can do. I kinda wish it had 4 wheel steering at times ...
 
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