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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. Men know a lot about Trucks and stuff. I am in the process of ordering a brand new van from the factor for 3 reasons:
  1. I could not find any. They were all out of stock and the ones I saw were chock full of miles
  2. These men really suck. One salesman would not allow me to test drive the vehicle unless I presented him with a check to show I had the money to pay for the van in full.
  3. As a professional young lady, I flag unprofessionalism with integrity and a closely related cousin to deception
NOW.. :D I was ordering the van and I would like to know if anyone can help me with
  1. Type of Vehicle and Benefits (1500, 2500 3500) -There is not much of a cost difference
  2. 136" or 159'
  3. Suspension addition
  4. Alternator (I would like a separate alternator to charge the inside of the van)
  5. Rear Heater
  6. Rear View Mirror is an option... Am I misunderstanding this? I thought all cars came with a rear view mirror
  7. Blind Spot Cross Path Detection (Do I need this and what is this)

BACKGROUND
I am building this out as a Camper Van that I will revert back to our company van just in case I change my mind (A lady. Single. Cute. No Obligations SO CHANGING MY MIND HAPPENS OFTEN). This will be outfitted with electricity, insulation and plumbing. I need to have a desktop computer so I want plenty of electric power.

PLEASE HELP ME WITH THESE DECISIONS. I HAVE NEVER PURCHASED A VAN AND THIS WOULD BE HELPFUL
 
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2018 136" HR
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606 Posts
  1. Type of Vehicle and Benefits (1500, 2500 3500) - the lowest one you can get(depend on the length), most people build there camper van on the lighter side so the rear suspension is too stiff. No reason the pay more for the higher payload.
  2. 136" or 159' - personal preference, depends on how much stuff you plan to put into the van(eg. shower, toilet, closet, washing machine etc). Im fine with 136" but some might not.
  3. Suspension addition - Most people want softer rear spring when they start driving on fireroad/ washboard road. You can search for more idea but i will just keep it stock and upgrade later. I did rear somewhere there is a touring suspension option but don't know if its worth the cost.
  4. Alternator (I would like a separate alternator to charge the inside of the van) - no need, i have no issue with the current alternator setup. I guess depends on you power setup and usage(eg, roof top A/C or other high power items).
  5. Rear Heater - There are propane, gasoline and diesel heater, each have their plus and minus. If you plan to use other fuel beside gasoline, you will need to mount another tank for the heater. Gasoline heater, you can tap into your current van's fuel tank. I'm currently using a chinese diesel heater, work great and cheap but have to mount the diesel tank somewhere(inside, outside or engine bay).
  6. Rear View Mirror is an option... Am I misunderstanding this? I thought all cars came with a rear view mirror Its useless for our van, plus most of use don't have rear windows and its too far. Just get a aftermarket rear camera with a display.
  7. Blind Spot Cross Path Detection (Do I need this and what is this)- Once I installed the external rear view camera and setting up the side mirrors correctly, i have no issue with seeing cars on either side. But I wouldn't mind the option if its free, just another safety feature.
 

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1 through 3 depend entirely on how much you intend to fit into the van and how much it weighs once you're done fitting everything in.
For 4, it depends on how much energy you need and how big your battery pack is. I have a second alternator, but I also have a huge battery pack and live in my van like I live in a house. Lots of options for rear heaters. You don't need a rear view mirror if you don't have windows in the rear doors or your build out blocks the view. Blind spot is not really needed. The side mirrors allow you to see everything. Figure out a floorplan first. That drives a lot of the decisions you need to make.
 

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2021 159" H.R. Silver
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24 Posts
The rearview mirror camera option ($500) is definitely worth it! It's pretty slick, and much much better than the tiny backup camera. And I think the side mirrors are good enough that you don't really need the blindspot cross detection thingy. As for size...the 159" 2500 is a nice compromise between inside space and maneuverability/parking. Rear heating sounds unnecessary to me, unless you have passengers riding back there. I don't believe a 2nd alternator is an option is it? I went with the 220A, but can't report back on how it works yet. And if you're ordering new from the factory, I have to recommend Van Horn Ram in Plymouth, WI - they were awesome. Good luck!
 

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2017 2500 HiTop 159 Cargo Van white.
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678 Posts
I can't imagine buying another new car without blindspot detection. Once you have it you can't go back.
 

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2014 136鈥 HR
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6,425 Posts
Hello. Men know a lot about Trucks and stuff. Such knowledge is not gender-specific. I am in the process of ordering a brand new van from the factor for 3 reasons:
  1. I could not find any. They were all out of stock and the ones I saw were chock full of miles
  2. These men really suck. One salesman would not allow me to test drive the vehicle unless I presented him with a check to show I had the money to pay for the van in full.
  3. As a professional young lady, I flag unprofessionalism with integrity and a closely related cousin to deception
NOW.. :D I was ordering the van and I would like to know if anyone can help me with
  1. Type of Vehicle and Benefits (1500, 2500 3500) -There is not much of a cost difference. Not much practical difference either.
  2. 136" or 159'. Personal preference. We each think our choice is the best.
  3. Suspension addition. Most think original suspension is fine.
  4. Alternator (I would like a separate alternator to charge the inside of the van). Add later if necessary. PM doesn鈥檛 come with two alternators.
  5. Rear Heater. Add gas, diesel or propane heater later. Dash heater is fine for the road.
  6. Rear View Mirror is an option... Am I misunderstanding this? I thought all cars came with a rear view mirror. Get it. Original mirror doesn鈥檛 show much even with rear windows because the middle is blocked by doors coming together.
  7. Blind Spot Cross Path Detection (Do I need this and what is this). Never seen it, but would get it if I could.

BACKGROUND
I am building this out as a Camper Van that I will revert back to our company van just in case I change my mind (A lady. Single. Cute. No Obligations SO CHANGING MY MIND HAPPENS OFTEN). Gender is irrelevant on this forum. Let鈥檚 keep it that way. We all adjust our plans鈥攊t鈥檚 part of the process. This will be outfitted with electricity, insulation and plumbing. I need to have a desktop computer so I want plenty of electric power.

PLEASE HELP ME WITH THESE DECISIONS. I HAVE NEVER PURCHASED A VAN AND THIS WOULD BE HELPFUL
 

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2014-159 HR in CT
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3,962 Posts
The optional Rear View Mirror is capable of a video display of what's behind the van. If it's a $500 option, I would suggest you consider adding an aftermarket video backup "mirror" instead...

Why? In addition to seeing what's behind your van clearly, many add on digital rear view camera/mirror setups include:

a front facing camera too
a dashcam-type recorder to save video (both front and back view) to a micro SD card
GPS data to document where you were when something is recorded
bump recording if someone is fooling around with your van
a locked/saved recording if an accident is detected
12" mirror vs. 9.2" factory digital rearview mirror
cost of about $100 and an hour or two to install
 

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  1. Type of Vehicle and Benefits (1500, 2500 3500) -There is not much of a cost difference
  2. 136" or 159
    2500 159 is probably the most popular for camper conversions. But you can go shorter or longer if you have reasons to. We developed our floorplan before factory ordering. It only fit in a 3500ext (the longest body).
  3. Suspension addition
    Standard suspension is usually fine, if not a little stiff, for most. Aftermarket options are available if you change your mind later.
  4. Alternator (I would like a separate alternator to charge the inside of the van)
    Second alternator is not a factory option. With the right aftermarket equipment, the factory alternator will charge most coach batteries just fine.
  5. Rear Heater
    Not a factory option. There are lots of aftermarket alternatives, as mentioned earlier.
  6. Rear View Mirror is an option... Am I misunderstanding this? I thought all cars came with a rear view mirror
    That's probably a mirror with a build-in rear view camera monitor. BTW, they all come with old-fashion rear view mirrors, even ones with no rear windows!
  7. Blind Spot Cross Path Detection (Do I need this and what is this)
    I don't have it, so I can't describe exactly how it works. But I believe it's an audible alarm that warns you when it detects something in your blind spots or you drift across lanes. I feel my optional power-folding heated mirrors are fine for seeing blind spots. They each have two mirrors that can be aimed independently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The optional Rear View Mirror is capable of a video display of what's behind the van. If it's a $500 option, I would suggest you consider adding an aftermarket video backup "mirror" instead...

Why? In addition to seeing what's behind your van clearly, many add on digital rear view camera/mirror setups include:

a front facing camera too
a dashcam-type recorder to save video (both front and back view) to a micro SD card
GPS data to document where you were when something is recorded
bump recording if someone is fooling around with your van
a locked/saved recording if an accident is detected
12" mirror vs. 9.2" factory digital rearview mirror
cost of about $100 and an hour or two to install
THANK YOU SO MUCH. Bump recording is good to know. I have to research that. Very helpful info
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The rearview mirror camera option ($500) is definitely worth it! It's pretty slick, and much much better than the tiny backup camera. And I think the side mirrors are good enough that you don't really need the blindspot cross detection thingy. As for size...the 159" 2500 is a nice compromise between inside space and maneuverability/parking. Rear heating sounds unnecessary to me, unless you have passengers riding back there. I don't believe a 2nd alternator is an option is it? I went with the 220A, but can't report back on how it works yet. And if you're ordering new from the factory, I have to recommend Van Horn Ram in Plymouth, WI - they were awesome. Good luck!
Thank you. Someone said that it only comes with one alternator. Some people said they had two so I thought is was an option to add another. I do not live anywhere near WI so unfortunately, that will not be an option.

Very helpful information. I was leaning towards the 159" but it is $3000 extra. Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lovely. Thank you so much. I am going to look at one tomorrow if there is gas available in my area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can't imagine buying another new car without blindspot detection. Once you have it you can't go back.
OK.... I will check it out. Safety is a MUST.
 

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I have to recommend Van Horn Ram in Plymouth, WI - they were awesome. Good luck!
Me too,

I did not order a van but I did purchase my van through them and would highly recommend going through that dealership

They even delivered my van for free to Illinois


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2019 159 EXT HR (3500) in WA
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1,502 Posts
Use this site to take a look around at existing inventory. The lead time on new vans might be pretty crazy. I'm certain that you can find a dealer someplace that will treat you with respect:


I agree with @Crfc that if you're going to order from the factory, swivel seats would be high on my list.

If you think you might want a rear hitch for a bike rack or something like that, the factory rear hitch is probably a good way to go.

I believe that only the 3500 comes with a rear sway bar standard. If you are going to order you might throw a rear sway bar on. I don't think the option costs that much and it will help the van be more stable in crosswinds.

As others have mentioned, just go for the 220 amp alternator and you shouldn't need a second alternator unless you've got some kind of a real wild electrical setup.

I would definitely go with the power folding side mirrors. Those are great. I don't know what the factory video internal rear view mirror costs, but a good one from Amazon is only about $200. Also they're easy to install when the van is empty.

Definitely go for cruise control.
 

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I can't imagine buying anything but the 159 wheel base for a camper van + stuff that gets brought along.

Look at the people that you hang out with. Get a van tall enough that the tallest one can stand up after you loose 5 - 6 inches of height to the floor and ceiling.

If you enjoy going skiing / snow areas, consider to purchase a van that is available in AWD. (Transit or Sprinter)

If your lifestyle includes pulling a boat, then the Transit might be a better path.

I like these vans, but it is good to look around a bit.
 

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I looked into ordering recently and the problem was that no dealer had an idea how long delivery would take but they expected at least nine month and would not guarantee a date. With the parts shortages and amazon and other companies buying a large portion of the yearly production it is difficult to find a van new or used.
 

Premium Member
2021 3500 Extended
Joined
499 Posts
My figuring was if I am driving a van, then I want the longest model available so I chose the 3500 Extended which is the 159" wheel base with 18 more inches behind the rear axle than standard length. All high roof Promasters are exactly same height and width so with an extended I get more room inside for me @ 6'4" & Mrs Motor7 @ 5'11.
 

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Van #2 2021 EXT
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3,406 Posts
Hello. Men know a lot about Trucks and stuff. I am in the process of ordering a brand new van from the factor for 3 reasons:
  1. I could not find any. They were all out of stock and the ones I saw were chock full of miles
  2. These men really suck. One salesman would not allow me to test drive the vehicle unless I presented him with a check to show I had the money to pay for the van in full.
  3. As a professional young lady, I flag unprofessionalism with integrity and a closely related cousin to deception
NOW.. :D I was ordering the van and I would like to know if anyone can help me with
  1. Type of Vehicle and Benefits (1500, 2500 3500) -There is not much of a cost difference
  2. 136" or 159'
  3. Suspension addition
  4. Alternator (I would like a separate alternator to charge the inside of the van)
  5. Rear Heater
  6. Rear View Mirror is an option... Am I misunderstanding this? I thought all cars came with a rear view mirror
  7. Blind Spot Cross Path Detection (Do I need this and what is this)

BACKGROUND
I am building this out as a Camper Van that I will revert back to our company van just in case I change my mind (A lady. Single. Cute. No Obligations SO CHANGING MY MIND HAPPENS OFTEN). This will be outfitted with electricity, insulation and plumbing. I need to have a desktop computer so I want plenty of electric power.

PLEASE HELP ME WITH THESE DECISIONS. I HAVE NEVER PURCHASED A VAN AND THIS WOULD BE HELPFUL
My 2 cents worth;

1. 3500 EXT - The longest PM & most interior space - Just over 20鈥 nose to tail & although might seem bulky at first surprisingly easy to get use to.

2. 159 EXT per #1

3. Not on the EXT

4. Get the 220 amp alternator option - you do not need a 2nd alternator - I think we charge off our 180 amp alternator about 95% or more & we do not have solar

5. No rear heater - add a heater separate if you need one

6. Add an aftermarket camera - 1st post on this thread;


74252



7. Blind Spot Path Detection - Not for me cause like a 鈥渟afety鈥 on a gun it does not relieve your responsibility to check yourself before 鈥減ulling the trigger鈥 or switching lanes. A window in the passenger sliding door & aftermarket cameras are nice.

If you are building out a camper van, new is the only way to go IMO for economics. I鈥檓 excited for you it can be a very fun & rewarding time. Also my opinion on Design/Build camper vans - the hard part is the Design. If that is not apparent to a newbi in the beginning it soon will be. I highly suggest you start a 鈥渄iscussion thread鈥 & post your floor plan etc and as for ideas & critiques. You will get tons of help from the Members of this Forum (& can benefit from those of us who have already paid for our mistakes). Keep your build as Simple as you can while ticking all the boxes you need.

Best of Luck with Your Camper Van !!
 

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2021 3500 extended in Michigan
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54 Posts
...and the hardest part of the design phase is running the waste water drains. Frame rails and wheel wells are not your friends and something as simple as a brake cable can cause you some serious grief.
 
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