Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Howdy folks! This looks like a great community, with tons of ideas and enthusiasm -- I'm very glad it exists!

I'm getting ready for a multi-month van camping adventure in the western U.S. and I'm currently on the fence between a used 2016 ProMaster 1500, low roof, 136" wheelbase, and a used 2016 Chevy Express 2500 that I've found in my area.

Obviously the Chevy Express and the ProMaster are vastly different beasts, but still:
Can someone here please help me to end my indecision by telling me in a few words why the ProMaster is a better choice than the Chevy?

To play devil's advocate: Doesn't the lower height and more "old school" appearance of the Chevy make it better for the occasional low profile boondocking in a Walmart parking lot, and that kind of thing?

Would love to hear your thoughts! : )

Cheers
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,493 Posts
No one in a Walmart parking lot really cares who you are or what you drive.

Why waste your time and money on old school technology by buying a Chevy Express? Ugg, about the worst choice you could make! Don't get a low top Promaster either unless you have to be able to park it under or in a low garage. For a lousy $1000 more you can go in style - that's what these van were designed for, unlike ancient American outdated low roof vans.
 

·
Registered
2014 136” HR
Joined
·
5,682 Posts
Yes. Just go find a high roof 136" and step inside. Let your imagination soar at all the things you can do with this huge volume. Don't settle for less unless, as KOV notes, you have height restrictions in your driveway, then get the low roof. But don't settle for last-century's cramped quarters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Promaster - front wheel drive, easier to drive, better gas mileage.

Chevy - rear wheel drive, worse MPG, dashboard from the 1980s.

Old school or new doesn't matter. The average person just sees a big, white work truck.

Unlike others here I think your choice of low roof is good. Less money, less worry about hitting things.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,493 Posts
Why would you want a low roof van for a camper, or any other use? The high roof is a huge part of what makes these vans so fantastically useful. Cost and the fear of hitting something are not good reasons. $1000 more (at retail) is nothing and no one here has ever reported froblems with "hitting" something with the high roof!

If you live in a development with HOA restrictions or need to keep it in a garage with height limitations then, yes but those are the only really valid reasons.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Why would you want a low roof van for a camper, or any other use? The high roof is a huge part of what makes these vans so fantastically useful. Cost and the fear of hitting something are not good reasons. $1000 more (at retail) is nothing and no one here has ever reported problems with "hitting" something with the high roof!

If you live in a development with HOA restrictions or need to keep it in a garage with height limitations then, yes but those are the only really valid reasons.
Having a compact, maneuverable vehicle is worthwhile. For anybody coming from a smaller vehicle fear of hitting something is a real concern.

And $1000 spent on height is a $1000 you cannot spend elsewhere.
 

·
Registered
2014 136” HR
Joined
·
5,682 Posts
"Having a compact, maneuverable vehicle is worthwhile. For anybody coming from a smaller vehicle fear of hitting something is a real concern."

Height is irrelevant to maneuverability. I came to this van from a Corolla. It took a few minutes to get used to the extra width, too. Now that is also irrelevant and I don't like driving the Corolla anymore. Why crouch if you don't have to?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,493 Posts
I couldn't think of a better value than spending $1000 (at retail) to be able to stand up in a camper.

I guess I have to recommend to the OP (or anyone else trying to make this decision) that they go with the Savanna. I think a Promaster would be far too advanced for their needs and would be totally out of place when they go to next years "Luddite Camperama"!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
As I said before "That is about the only valid reason to get a low top for a camper"!
We did not know there was an 8' clearance issue before arrived here.

Flexibility, being comfortable with what you drive or saving money are apparently not valid reasons.

Just think of me as a luddite that should have bought a Savannah but mistakenly bought a Promaster..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
888 Posts
When you actually get inside a low roof Promaster, you will be surprised to find you can walk upright if 5'6" or less. Even at my 6'2" height it's not too bad walking upright with head dipped.

Try that in a chevy.

No brainer when you do.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,493 Posts
We did not know there was an 8' clearance issue before arrived here.

Flexibility, being comfortable with what you drive or saving money are apparently not valid reasons.

Just think of me as a luddite that should have bought a Savannah but mistakenly bought a Promaster..
Flexibity with a low top??? Confortability with what you drive??? Saving money??? Come on get real here. We are talking about that is best for a camper conversion, NOT why you bought a low top! You have your own good personal reasons and I have pointed out they are valid - FOR YOU. The op was asking a question which both MsNomer and I gave good answers to which basically if you want to do a camper conversion a high top is far more desirable that a low top. You stepped in and took umbrage over our reasons because you bought a low top, no other reason. We are not putting you down for buying a low top no matter what you believe we are only suggesting a high top is a better choice for a camper conversion!

Do I have to say it again and again before you understand the question and the conversation??? This IS NOT about you, your choice or even the reasons for what and why you bought what you did. You are happy with your purchase and frankly, no here cares or should.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,493 Posts
When you actually get inside a low roof Promaster, you will be surprised to find you can walk upright if 5'6" or less. Even at my 6'2" height it's not too bad walking upright with head dipped.

Try that in a chevy.

No brainer when you do.
True but when you add a floor and ceiling for a camper conversion it is less than optimal - nothing more, nothing less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
Back to the question. Low roof PM vs old school Chevy. With out a drive line under the cargo box allows WAY more headroom. That simple. Pound for pound you get way more even in a low roof of what your buying a van for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Flexibity with a low top??? Confortability with what you drive??? Saving money??? Come on get real here. We are talking about that is best for a camper conversion, NOT why you bought a low top! You have your own good personal reasons and I have pointed out they are valid - FOR YOU. The op was asking a question which both MsNomer and I gave good answers to which basically if you want to do a camper conversion a high top is far more desirable that a low top. You stepped in and took umbrage over our reasons because you bought a low top, no other reason. We are not putting you down for buying a low top no matter what you believe we are only suggesting a high top is a better choice for a camper conversion!

Do I have to say it again and again before you understand the question and the conversation??? This IS NOT about you, your choice or even the reasons for what and why you bought what you did. You are happy with your purchase and frankly, no here cares or should.
I understand what the OP is asking. He stated he is considering a low top. Just because you and others think a low roof is a poor choice does not mean he will agree. One persons ultimate camper conversion can be another person nightmare.

As for taking umbrage, you are not just suggesting that the high top has many advantages which I would agree it does. You stated there is no good reason to ever choose a low top except for very few instances. That I disagree with. (From your post, "Why would you want a low roof van for a camper, or any other use?...")

Whether you, I or MsNomer gave good answers I will leave up to the OP to decide.

He is looking for opinions from people who actually made this decision. Whether you and I are happy with our choices can be very important to the OP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I've had Chevy vans both standard height passenger and high roof full conversion van. I'll say only one thing - after having PM (136 low roof) for about five weeks , I am still amazed how huge this thing is inside when I open that rear door. Outside measurements very comparable to Chevy with high top, except shorter and MUCH better turning radius.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I have to chime in here as I was through that decision process. I've had chevy vans, both regular height window van and full conversion high roof. For some reason I still like the look of the good ol' GM van. But the Promaster - after driving my 136 low roof around for about five weeks now, I am still amazed how much room is in there when I open that rear door. It is also shorter and MUCH better turning radius.
BTW, I've been in places with my 8' tall conversion Chevy where I was glad it was not taller (and I don't mean parking lots, I remember huge low branches over forest roads, low cut tunnel on dirt road somewhere in Colorado, covered bridges, etc)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
"Can someone here please help me to end my indecision by telling me in a few words why the ProMaster is a better choice than the Chevy?"



This is of course a greatly biased & opinionated crowd. However, lots of objective reasons to like a PM: MPG, turning radius, sliding door (don't know if Chevy has that), low cargo floor, cargo capacity, diesel option.

Chevy otoh has tons of passenger options, more towing capacity, more robust for rough roads, LOTS more driver leg room, maybe still a 4x4 option (?), traditional driver ergonomics with tilt, driver side arm rest, and most importantly higher cup holders.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skief

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,493 Posts
Keep in mind the OP was asking this question in relation to modifying a van for camping (and I still stick with my original statement 100%)!
Suggesting any low top van is better than any high top van for camping purposes is simply so far out of touch with reality it's not worth consideration. The OP didn't say he had a height restriction problem he was simply asking for opinions on suitability.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top