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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I finally registered! Been lurking on the various full size van forums for a few years (off and on). It sure has been educational. I'm sure glad you folks are here -- much thanks to those who 'broke ground' and figured things out and solved problems already.

So, I'm ready to either purchase or order. Wow, is there a big difference there when it comes to dealing with salespeople (i.e., when it looks like they don't have what you want in inventory -- can't get rid of them --> can't get an answer from them).

CP

ps If anyone knows if there is a way for a potential customer to do a search of inventory on a larger scale than just an single (local) dealership, I'd love to hear about it. I'm willing to go out of town/state for the right van/price.


Ready to buy: HR, ext WB, diesel, windows; have preferences about other interior/exterior options, but plan is to convert to camper -- sort of a minimalist/maximalist: built for one + dog, but high tech regarding solar power and large lithium battery bank (appointment w/ upfitter/converter 7/20), so I'm still figuring out which options to choose that won't get removed/replaced/damaged in the conversion).
 

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Master Overland Custom Vans Tampa
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Welcome! I simply used the Ram Trucks website to locate all vans within a 400 mile drive. It's cumbersome but doable. I then called and emailed the Commercial Manager or Fleet Manager at over 26 dealers. In the end I found mine at a dealer 1200 miles away. But I got exactly what I wanted for the price I wanted.

The 159 extended does not currently come in the window version. Only the 159. You can get CRL windows put in though.

Which upfitter are you meeting with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Ready to Purchase (... Strategy")

Good idea.

I just tried it (don't know how I didn't see that).
Thanks, I think I'm on to something. Although, now I have to figure out how to get to dealerships that are to far to ask a friend to drive me to (if/when I purchase) and not far enough to take a flight to. So Cal isn't much for mass transit in most places (I'll figure something out).

The upfitter I have an appointment w/ on Monday is "Oak Tree Vans". Know anything about them?

Thanks again for that 'how to' tip!

CP
 

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Dealers do deliver to your door, if you ask. They have goofer drivers. Worth asking when you find the one you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting, I think I want to get the one I mentioned I have found, but the salesman I spoke to on the phone didn't make an offer. It's 70 miles away! Google maps gives a public transportation time of about 5 hours.

CP
 

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Master Overland Custom Vans Tampa
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The dealer I bought mine from had one of their drivers pick me up from the airport. He said the dealer has 5-6 drivers delivering vehicles all over. They are all retired guys.
 

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Oak Tree vans has been around awhile and does great work! The owner is Bill Jenner and Bobbie runs the office. They are putting in rear windows, driver and passenger CRL on my 118" PM on Tuesday. Other up fitters in so cal are El Kapitan vans in Westminister and American Camper Shells in Stanton. El Kapitan and American camper our using a material I manufacture called CoreRigid 4'x8' panels. These waffle core sheets are 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" and 3/4" thick Abs material that is ideal for flooring, cabinets and beds! More details to follow as I start my build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I Did It

Thanks Dwight, JohnnyB, Jostalli, MsNomer and everyone else.

I bought my van, Tuesday. That out-of-town dealership I mentioned last week, worked out.

I can tell from reading threads here that a lot of you (I mean 'us', now :D) waited a long time to get your PM. While I didn't place an order and wait it out that way (I came close), I've been thinking about and planning to buy one for a few years now, so it feels pretty good -- first it was going to be a Dodge/Sprinter, then a Ford Transit/ then back to MB Sprinter waiting for the 4x4, then Transit again, then PM.

Ironically, since part of the process getting to this point involved deciding between a van conversion or genuine RV, it turns out that now that I have the van, it's seems a bit like an artist planning a big project, say a mural, for years and now s/he has the canvas (did I mention I'm no artist?). My head is swimming w/ the possibilities and spinning w/ a sense of urgency to take the next steps tempered w/ caution to not make a wrong first move in the conversion. So, ironically, it feels like the decisions are just getting started.

I should probably take my comments to other more appropriate forums -- 'Diesel' 'Builds and Conversions' (or should it be 'PM RV Camper/Lifestyle'?), and maybe a '1st Impressions thread' if there is one already started.

I'll end by saying thanks again to everyone for the advice so far, I think you save me some money; and I'll add that I did meet w/ the owner of Oak Tree Vans (Bill) the van conversion business in my area, and was impressed but it made me want to proceed with caution as it seems to me from talking to him and one of his top guys that not that many customers are that concerned with some of the things I am -- weight (I don't want to get anywhere near the payload capacity with the conversion itself (i.e., 'dry weight'), insulation R values (even insulating the floors), enough Lithium Ah's to forego anything propane powered (hopefully even plugging in anywhere), and stealth when I need it w/o looking like a commercial van.

Anyway, more about those things, my warning lights (and my alarm just went off while I was writing this, on my driveway in broad daylight -- a looky-loo, I suspect), and hopefully when I update my profile after I post this it will retroactively insert my PM's configuration.

C P
 

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Master Overland Custom Vans Tampa
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Very exciting. Congrats! Take your time planning but don't let the potential for mistakes keep you from getting things done. Ask a ton of questions and then execute. I have wasted countless days stuck in analysis and now I'm way behind schedule. Start a build thread.
 
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