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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

I've really enjoyed reading about the various builds documented in this forum. I have spent countless hours thinking about and planning various layouts. This site and the links it directs you to are so helpful. Thanks to all who have contributed.

My van is going to be a 2017 3500 Extended Diesel with aftermarket windows on the slider and left side behind driver (probably CRL awning vent). I plan on installing solar, roof vent, 12V fridge, interior freshwater, undermount grey tank, I will have a cassette toilet, it will be well insulated (Hein has already hooked me up!). I haven't decided upon heat (air or water) yet. There will be a dinette containing a double seat from a new Ford Transit. The van will be used as a bike hauler (road, mtb, gravel, whatever) for my wife and I to use for short to medium length off grid adventures. We are both tall (6'2" and 5'11") so the bed will need to run lengthwise. This will also be my daily driver, although I reserve the right to supplement with a fun 2 seat vehicle, once garage space becomes available.

Because it's a factory order I can get exactly what I want. I might have gone kind of overboard with some of the creature comfort options. I plan on getting a 3rd party backup camera and rearview camera, so I didn't order those options. I chose the Uconnect 3.0 so that I have the steering wheel controls and BT. I may swap the HU with an aftermarket 6" version with nav. Factory swivels are on the list because I want heated seats, adjustable up/down cushion, and it seems to make sense to order from the factory if I'm selecting those options already.

Please take a look at my list and feel free to comment based on your experiences, keeping in mind the goals of my build.

2017 Promaster 3500 159 Extended
Engine: 3.0L EcoDiesel I-4 engine
Mechanical: Heavy-duty suspension incl. with 3.0L
Mechanical: 220-amp alternator incl. with 3.0L
Groups: Interior Convenience Group
Groups: Premium Appearance Group
Groups: Mopar® Trailer Tow Group
Exterior Options: Power folding, heated exterior mirrors
Interior Options: 12-volt auxiliary power outlet
Interior Options: Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Interior Options: 2 additional key fobs
Interior Options: Cruise control
Interior Options: Driver swivel seat
Interior Options: Passenger swivel seat
Entertainment / Technology: Auxiliary power connector
Entertainment / Technology: Auxiliary switches
Audio: Uconnect® 3.0-in. Hands-free communication
Entertainment / Technology: Park-Sense®
Safety & Security: Security alarm
Wheels: 16x6-inch steel wheels
Exterior Colours: Silver​

Thanks for your input!
 

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Don't waste you $ on the uConnect. They all suck for the $. A much better choice is to get the radio delete package and then add your own much higher quality hend unit. The uconnect's GPS is horrible, the BU camera useless (on a high top), the radio and speakers are second rate.

You can get everything you need aftermarket for the same kind of money and get what you want and need, not some penny pincher at FCA.

It's also easier if you get the radio delete option rather than the uConnect5 as you can control the setting on the dash without the radio.
 

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I got the aluminum wheels and think they look old school kool. I rather like my U-connect 3, no extra cost, usb input for all my tunes on a thumbdrive, treble and base controls, front and rear fader (I don’t use), no navigation, no BT, no steering wheel controls, no other stuff at all, just a radio! Why not?
You will get 2 Key fobs, how many does a person need?
 

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Because it's a second rate radio. You could have a much higher quality one for basically short money and add anything else you wanted plus not be tied into using the uConnect to set your click, etc.

But, you knew all that, you just wanted to find out if I did ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm happy to hear the factory swivels are on the short base, I don't want the seat to be any higher than it is already. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
KOV and RD, thanks for your views on the radio. I'm kind of split between your two POV's. I want BT and steering wheel controls but will be upgrading the HU for something with better sound and bigger screen. I will confirm with the dealer what comes with the UC 3.0 as I think there were changes to the 2017 model year when it comes to the base radio options. ie. not sure if UC 3.0 is now the base radio and hence BT and SW controls come with that option. If by choosing the UC 5.0 I lose the multi-function display in the dash, then I won't be ordering UC 5.0 for that reason alone. Thanks for your feedback.
 

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KOV and RD, thanks for your views on the radio. I'm kind of split between your two POV's. I want BT and steering wheel controls but will be upgrading the HU for something with better sound and bigger screen. I will confirm with the dealer what comes with the UC 3.0 as I think there were changes to the 2017 model year when it comes to the base radio options. ie. not sure if UC 3.0 is now the base radio and hence BT and SW controls come with that option. If by choosing the UC 5.0 I lose the multi-function display in the dash, then I won't be ordering UC 5.0 for that reason alone. Thanks for your feedback.
Why pay for a junk uConnect3 or even worse a 5 when you get better control of your multi-functions without either of them?

That's why you should get the delete option and spend your good money on a high end head unit that will encompass everything you want and need instead of what you have to settle with from FCA. Steering wheel controls are available for any decent head unit (my OEM ones don't always work as they should) a USB input is available in even the cheapest radios you can buy today. You can get a 7" screen rather than a 5" that you can actually see, true video and audio input and a far better, more usable GPS, better radio reception, etc, etc. the list goes on and on.

I second the two extra keys, that's a no brainier and the mag wheels are well worth the extra $'s up front.
 

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I have come over to KOV’s POV on the radio. Get the delete. There is no way they are giving you steering wheel controls on the UC-3 I believe, and if you want the screen then the UC5 is a POS. You will not be able to get over $20 on ebay for the UC3 you pull out. I am the wrong person to know about good radio HU’s as I don’t use the radio anyway. I could have done fine with my iPhone and a BT speaker as that is all I use the radio for, playing music through the USB port. I hate it when KOV is right and I’m wrong!
 

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You just have lived with the uC5 so you are unaware of its limitations and the other options out there.

You are 100% correct when you say you could just use your iPhone/iPad just as well as ay radio )if you have unlimited data)!
 

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I have a couple thousand songs on USB thumb drive and the UC-3 and know nothing about the UC-5. I’d put those on my phone and shuffle it, but check off the Christmas tunes most of the year! Frosty the Snowman sounds ridiculous here in the desert when it’s about 75º in December! LOL

My wife did loose a key. The replacement was the cost of the extra keys so I suppose that is spending the money up front in the hopes you loose one or two of the originals. If you buy them you are guaranteed not to ever loose one, and probably will forget to turn them over to the next owner! Oddly it is the only car key we have lost since they became chipped about 15 years ago!
 

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I bought my PM off the lot. It has the UC5 minus GPS (thank goodness!)

If I was ordering, I would have deleted the radio and done my own install. A few reasons:

1) The radio is off... the phone rings... the bluetooth link turns the unti on and I get the "accept screen"... meanwhile the phone has been ringing a while.... I just about get the chance to accept the call before the caller gives up! ARRRRGGGHHH!

2) Then the call is over, so I hit the END button.... the radio (which was off as you might recall) comes on whether I want it or not! ARRRRGGGHHH!

3) I put in a USB stick with lotsa tunes... I start to listen.... hit the menu to browse.... if I hit FOLDERS, i get to browse folders and **** what I want to listen to.... if I pick ALBUMS, SONGS, or any other browse option, the software crashes and it says the USB drive is dedfective.... I pull it out, plug it back in... it works perfectly again! ARRRGGGHHH!

4) Don't get me started on the need to go to the dealer ($$$) to activate the rear speaker leads!

5) The 20 minute time-out feature is nice. But, if you want to listen for a few hours, you keep getting up every 20 minutes to continue. No problem you say, just run the power to the radio thru a bypass switch so it will run continuously off your house battery! Sorry, you're living in the world of CANBUS where nothing is that simple! ARRRRGGGGHHH!

6) Deciding to remove the radio and install an aftermarket one is a major production! (see related threads on the forum)

Extra keys? Get 'em!

Cruise control? I added the Rostra system to my non-cruise van. What a difference. I really missed it on the long trips! Get it from the factory! (or add it later... easy install)

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Order placed!

Thanks to all for all of the input.

I went back and forth on the stereo, and please don't flame me, but in the end I went with the UC 5.0. My rationale is that I really wanted the steering wheel controls, and although the UC 3.0 has it, I convinced myself that for an extra $225 the screen and other niceties of the UC 5.0 is worth the difference. I may end up replacing this with an aftermarket HU with Nav. Other influences to my order were that I didn't order a backup camera as I plan on installing a backup camera and a rear-view camera connected to a 7" LCD screen. I won't have rear windows so I'll want the full time rv camera. I didn't order side windows, my plan is to install CRL vent window on the two sides. I ordered the rear heat and ac prep to have the possibility to add supplemental HVAC, although I have no idea how this is done and what it costs, so it may be a wasted option. I'm looking forward to seeing what the electronic parking brake is like, I'm hoping the cable is routed differently (perhaps it's only a wire). I tried to order the remote start, the website builder allows you to configure it with the diesel, but as suspected it couldn't be ordered.

Prices shown are full retail in Cdn$, I am happy to say I got a great deal! Here's what I ordered, should arrive in 16 weeks:


2017 3500 Extended Diesel in Silver

Interior Convenience Group $200
Premium Appearance Group $425
Mopar® Trailer Tow Group $475

Power folding, heated exterior mirrors $250

Bright instrument panel bezels No Charge
12-volt auxiliary power outlet $75
Leather-wrapped steering wheel $75
Mopar® DOT-certified roadside safety kit $100
2 additional key fobs $150
Mopar® front walk-through slush mat $150
Rear Heat & Air Conditioning Prep Package $350
Cruise control $375
Driver swivel seat $850
Passenger swivel seat $850

Uconnect® 5.0 AM/FM/Hands-free $600
Auxiliary power connection $50
Auxiliary switches $200
Park-Sense® Rear Park Assist System $425

Safety & Security: Security alarm $200

Bright Silver Metallic $195
 

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I fear you will soon regret the uC5 when you see how useless the screen actually is. Steering wheel controls are not a reason to get it either as aftermarket ones that look no different are readily available. In fact, with the radio delete option you have far more options and flexabilty when it comes to getting a really usable high quality unit.

But, I wish you luck!
 

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ShaunB, where did you order your PM? I am located in SW Ontario and about to order as well but local dealer says can't order diesel just yet.

KOV, would you have any suggestions for head unit (can you get steering wheel control or some sort of equivalent when ordering aftermarket? what about rear view camera?)

Thanks.
 

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I'm curious why everyone is shitting all over the OEM radio.

Bluetooth hookup with my iPhone was seamless. Also with my phone plugged in through USB it plays as an iPod while charging. What else do you need? Are there still people out there that don't use their smartphone as their musical device?
 
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