2017 Promaster 3500 Ext.
I wanted a weekend van that I could also lend out to family and rent out on occasion.Very interesting to read everyone's thoughts on this matter! Can we reverse the roles and see how much you'd be willing to pay for a used van conversion if you guys were a potential buyer? How would you price a complete stranger's craftsmanship and time? How much less would you offer on your own van if your build was assembled by some random joe with no professional build experience vs yourself?
I first looked at an AZ company who spec's used PMs, and they were sold out for months. They eventually stopped specing vans altogether due to shortage of vans (Amazon apparently became a big buyer of used vans). Now they offer upfitting for $25k - ??? to your van.
I looked for vans nationwide in the $20 - $30k range to up fit myself. Found a 2013 Sprinter with 15k miles that had Maxairfan and 200ah Battleborn Lithium, Insulation and panels for $35k in LA. While I talked it over with my wife: It sold. Same story over and over as good ones were gone within 1-2 days.
Then I looked for new bare PMs: Findable but 95% White. Add in TT+L I would have been in the $45k range. Wasn't willing to go $20k+ more for a Sprinter.
I was also looking at the secondary upfitted market and found one that had 90% of what I needed. While it was priced more than I could have cobbled together myself, the workmanship was better (cherry handmade inset cabinets and epoxy river counters). I also thought it was well priced v. others on the market (private party who had construction and van experience - no Tax). While my family talked it over: It sold.
Got a call a few days later saying the buyer couldn't perform (financing these aren't easy) and I snapped it up. The things that bug me will get fixed and the upside of not being married to alll of the decisions mean I don't mind lending it out to friends/family and renting on occasion.
Now it's had transmission problems (received a new Transmission, Solenoid and waiting on a PCM), but that would be the risk of buying any used van. It's covered under warranty, but being the original owner would have been better (Ram Care covers hotels, rentals, fights, etc...).