Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 20 of 76 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Just a note as you visit my build thread, many of the images on posts up to April 2018 may have broken links due to moving away from the accrete.com domain. Apologies in advance.


Greetings,

I've been a lurker and occasional poster since summer of 2014. I've researched Sprinters, Transits, and the ProMaster... gone back and forth several times on my fav-pic.
After 4 years of research i went ahead and purchased (with wife's jubilant blessings) a new 2017 159"wb High Roof Regular Body 3.6L Promaster.
Here it is in front of the dealership in Portland Oregon the day of pickup (9/1/2017):



Some of you may know me from my DIY build over at the Sportsmobile forum (_build thread link if interested_) of our "Van v1" as we are calling her (which doubles as my wife's daily driver. i will be driving the PM as mine).



The plan with the PM Van 2.0 is to be as stealth/stock as possible. This is polar opposite of the "Trail Bling" seen on our Van 1.0...nothing against the bling, we are just ready to chill in quiet solitude ; ) van 1.0 is one of the more recognizable rigs in trails/parks while out and about.

I am grateful for all those who contributed ideas and wisdome to Van v1.0 build and have already contributed in spirit to Van 2.0.

This thread will be our PM home build thread rather than the SMB DIY section as i am enjoying hanging out with like minded peeps on this forum with focus on one make/model of van verses all the variety over at the other forum. Nothing against the variety, but focus for now is beneficial to our project.

Thanks again in advance for tips/tricks and suggestions along the way!
Thom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Accrete,

I remember coming across your van while wondering what direction my own van life would take, and being so impressed with what you had done.

Welcome. Good to have you here.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
...so impressed with what you had done.
Welcome. Good to have you here.
THX for the VanKudos Nate. Like many of the builds seen, it has been a labor of luv. And we are still tweaking it! Just last month we did some more suspension mods. It drives like a limo on the roads now. It will be fun to see what the peeps over at VanCompass come up with for us PM owners (the owner said to expect release of a "small lift" sometime in 2018).

Thom
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What made you decide on a Promaster?
Short answer:
This may be "typical" or totally bonkers... but... three years of research and it was not until a week ago that we took a PM for a test drive!
Luv at first drive.

And now for the long winded reply ( ; but hey, it is my thread ; )

We had driven the Sprinters and Transits, and while both were fine, neither impressed us with their road manners. It had not occurred to us how spoiled we were driving a full size AWD van around and just what that can mean for road manners. Both the Sprinter and Transit test drives were on dry pavement and we had the rear ends slide during start ups and easy ~15mph turns from stop. Never have we felt any slip in our Chevy. So i was undecided and still looking.

Last month we put down on a Sprinter 170wb 4x4 that was on a Seattle dealer's lot only to be called back by the Fleet Manager a few minutes later stating there had been a mix up in the database and the rig had been sold earlier in the week. We saw that as sort of a sign from the VanGods that we were not to go down the Sprinter Path, something i actually already knew in my heart but dang they are sexy in 4x4!

Then three weeks ago we had a Portland Ford dealer doing a Seattle Ford dealership trade on a Quigley they had on the PDX lot for the one in Seattle... I get a call two days later expecting the news that the Q4x4 is ready to be picked up and the PDX dealer states that the lot crew in Seattle wrecked the Q4x4 and it had ~2K in damage... i took that as another VanGods pointer to back out.

So last Monday we made an appointment to test drive a 159"wb HR PM, what i had determined to be the right size for my wife and i to use as a base for a stealth camper for long term travel (this is sort of my 60'th bday present a couple months early). We arrived and test drove another same size rig but it didn't have the rear windows we wanted and seen online in the rig i really wanted to test drive...the salesman stated it had been sold. Was this the VanGods again? So we drove and really enjoyed what we experienced but headed up in the hills with Van v1.0 for a few days of pondering.

I got back in to town and, being my typical self and not taking the first rejection as anything but a speed bump... called the head fleet manager at the same dealership and explained what i was looking for. A few minutes later he emails me the PDF of the window sticker of a rig he thinks will be great for us... it is the SAME VIN# of the rig i wanted to test drive on Monday that the first salesman stated was sold. It wasn't...the lot crew just go a bit carried away on detailing it and removed all the stickers and parked it in the overflow... and there it was forgotten until i said something!

A tad bit of friendly discussion and we were out the door at ~$7700 off MSRP of the rig equipped with everything we wanted and nothing we didn't ...pretty much as a fluke?

: ) Thom
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
So...

Divine intervention.

Me loves that way.
Agreed.

And also, i'm all for taking things right to the Fleet Managers at a given lot. Even the first guy (totally wonderful and enjoyable to deal with) was great, also a FM, gave me a price within ~$150~ of the deal we went home with so it is nice when peeps just cut to the chase and give a decent price from the get go.


;) ... just realized i should make a new avatar!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
my wife is like "What?"...

(see attached)

I said; "It's all part of the stealth plan... it is our 'Fleet Number' for the rear curb side door."
Then she got it : )

I'm born in 1957
She in 1960

It'll fool a few, and we had fun in the attempt.

Thom
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
642 Posts
good luck with the build!
 
  • Like
Reactions: accrete

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Accrete, I have seen your van v1 parked at Costco and was going to ask who owned it. It is a beauty! I am sure your new promaster will be a goody!
I am about 30 miles north of Costco and am building my Promaster 136 highroof now. We will have to meet up sometime and trade ideas. There have been a lot of good ones on this forum.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Accrete, I have seen your van v1 parked at Costco...We will have to meet up sometime and trade ideas...
Ah! If you happen to fill up < < OH WAIT.. Don't fill that pretty diesel up there! we have none... but u can still say hi) at the service station and see a girl named Cari... that van is her Daily Driver ;)
Getting together sometime sounds like a plan. Now that the tourist season is coming to a close we can all get back to our lives and have some time for locals.

Thom
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1st week of ownership report...

Short Answer: Sweet Ride

Longer ;) I now have just shy of 200 miles on the rig from my drive home (Portland to Astoria Oregon) and then several ~10mi commutes and errands around town. I have to say that the rig is a pleasure to get into and drive. Don't want to start any flame wars but i'm wondering just how many, if any at all, Transit owners that dis the PM have ever actually driven one? The difference to me is vast. The engine is much smoother than the 3.5EB or the 3.7, sure one can say it doesn't have the same umph, but it is more than enough for my wife and i. The shifts on hills is nothing more than we are used to with the Chevy's 5.3L v8, and i'm used to driving a small Toyota that likes revs, so this one (that actually sits nicely most of the time around down at ~1200 to ~1500rpm) is nice all around.

I just put on 225/75r16 BFG KO2 on all five wheels. No noticeable difference in road noise from stock Nexen but they do dress it up a bit.

Thom
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The first two weeks of work on the PM will see:

9/1/2017 drove home from dealership (Portland to Astoria Oregon)
9/5
Ordered window and hood deflector from eurocampers.com
9/8 Shop installed 5 BGF KO2 LT225/75r16 these are considered traction devices in Oregon so i won't have to chain up. Kept stock size for 1) safety in wet - skinny is usually better. and 2) Wanted to be able to mount spare in stock location under rig 3) no bling on the exterior of this rig!
9/12 Shop will install 3M Secure Guard on front cab windows and White Perforated Vinyl on slider and rear windows. and Clear Hood Wrap for protection.
9/13 Drive to see Hein of DIYvan.com to pick up Thinsulate and also a Flettner style roof vent imported from the UK (low profile, opens from interior ceiling rather than any movement of outer roof case. Stealth _example link_)

The interior will be designed around T-Slot or 80/20 this time. But that is for another day's pondering. Now i just have my warbonnet blackbird hammock ready for deploying on my drive to/from Hood River to see Hein...my wife is heading for a road trip to Reno to visit family for a couple weeks so i'll do some simple camp-overs.

: ) Thom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Thom.
Have you used a Flettner vent before? I had not heard of them but they look like a winner especially as a way to vent the van with all the rain we get here.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
...they look like a winner especially as a way to vent the van with all the rain we get here.
Hi, i've not used them but the reviews by UK peeps were tops. We really liked our MaxxAir Fans with the built in rain cover, but as shared, really want to try our best at low profile on V2. I'll sure let you know how it goes...though i'm really not liking the idea that i've got to cut into that beautiful virgin roof!

: ) Thom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
Which window film did you go with for the cab windows? 3M doesn't list a product called "Secure Guard". Do you have more specifics about it? It looks like a great idea.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
1 - 20 of 76 Posts
Top