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Discussion Starter #1
At this point I'm leaning toward a gas ProMaster —*a little shy of the diesel with the problems I hear about.

I plan on buying either the ProMaster or Sprinter next Spring and converting it myself to an RV. At this point I'm doing the research part and deciding what to buy.

Any handy link to the different models/versions of the ProMaster? Maybe a Wiki?

Thanks —*

in California....
 

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Don`t be put off by the diesel issus of a year ago. Recent 2015-2016 PM diesels have been almost trouble free. The few recent diesel issues have been related to DEF and were fixed by software updates. I am so impressed with this vehicle traveling and its relative cost of regular service being so low I am much more enthused than when I ordered mine. I`d rethink this. Other than that I cannot think if a site to help.
 

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I have a friend with a 2016 diesel. Italian mood light lit up in second week with it. Not sure engineering has it figured out yet.
 

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Either people are not reporting these or that is the first 2016 that has had one. I try to keep track but I stopped writing them down a couple of months ago as so few were reported it seemed to be just anomalous reports. I suspect we are still getting DEF warnings from the factory fills which is what my dealer suggested. The service manager said "if we don't top them up with our DEF the light comes on (sometimes a DEF system warning on the EVIC) and the owner brings it in, we top it up, reset it, and it is fine." Who knows? What got your friends fixed?
 

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We are on the last day of a 10 day 6000 mile road trip with our 16 Diesel. Only issue was DEF light at 5790 miles, added 5 gals and headed on down the road. Still averaging 25.1 mpg, digging this van.

No decision in my Mind Promaster over Sprinter all day long
 

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We are on the last day of a 10 day 6000 mile road trip with our 16 Diesel. Only issue was DEF light at 5790 miles, added 5 gals and headed on down the road. Still averaging 25.1 mpg, digging this van.

No decision in my Mind Promaster over Sprinter all day long
What you said!! I'am one that had issues with the turbo going out and since the fix and 9500 miles later runs PERFECT!! This van flies on the freeway drives so smooth and averages 24mpg!
 

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We are on the last day of a 10 day 6000 mile road trip with our 16 Diesel. Only issue was DEF light at 5790 miles, added 5 gals and headed on down the road. Still averaging 25.1 mpg, digging this van.

No decision in my Mind Promaster over Sprinter all day long
Ditto! I wen t back to the MB/Sprinter dealer on a Sunday after I bought the PM just to satisfy that little voice in my head saying are you sure? I walked out of there smiling from ear to ear no doubt I made the best/right decision. Van on!
 

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I have owned 2 diesel Sprinters and now have a gas 2015 Promaster converted DIY to a camper. I absolutely love the Promaster. The gas front wheel drive is a dream to drive as handling is better than Sprinter in my opinion. Initial cost is far lower and maintenance will be lower cost. Overall millage is 18 MPG. It is true that diesels get better MPG but it would take years for an overall cost savings payback.
 

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Only significant advantages I see to a Sprinter is if you need maximum length offered by a 24-foot-long body, or need higher towing due to greater GCWR of Sprinter.

The wider ProMaster offers almost as much volume in a van over 3-feet shorter.
 

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All I can say here is being a 2 time Sprinter owner, all you have to do is look at the differences in the maintenance and parts costs. Not even in the same world, let alone finding a Mercedes dealer that works on them if need be....
 

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I have owned 2 diesel Sprinters and now have a gas 2015 Promaster converted DIY to a camper. I absolutely love the Promaster. The gas front wheel drive is a dream to drive as handling is better than Sprinter in my opinion. Initial cost is far lower and maintenance will be lower cost. Overall millage is 18 MPG. It is true that diesels get better MPG but it would take years for an overall cost savings payback.
I don't agree with some people saying it would take years to recoup the diesel cost. It depends where you live as gas/fuel cost is very different across the country. Here in Southern California this last summer diesel was a full $1.00 per gallon less then regular 87 octane gas.. It is today the same cost and sometimes can be a little higher then regular gas as well... Oil changes on diesel are every 18,500 miles and gas is at 10,000 miles so diesel almost twice as long. I know diesel oil change about twice the cost so I guess it's a wash besides the diesel not having to spend the time on that extra oil change. Anyhow to top it off the diesel will have a better resale value so the $4000-$4500 diesel option you should get at least half that back if/when you sell it.. So we are looking at closer to only $2000-$2250 to recoup... Based on fuelly.com shows gas PM average is 17mpg and diesel PM average 23mpg.. My fuelly account average is 22.5mpg but I idled over summer heat with AC on and also carry loads 90% of time 2000 pounds! With less load I get over 25 and sometimes 27mpg! So my fuel cost per mile is around 10 cents so at 100,000 miles I will have spent $10,000 and with gas PM at 17mpg (probably get less with my 2000 pound loads and idle times) so gas PM per mile for me in S. California 19 cents so at 100,000 miles would have spent $19,000 is gas.. So $9000 more.. That means "break even" point for the $4500 diesel option is at 50,000 miles but if you consider resale value of diesel them it's closer to 25,000 miles payback!.. I drive at least 25,000 a year (I have 5500 miles on my 2.5 month old 2015 Diesel 3500 EXT) so this year probably get closer to 30,000 miles.. So after 1 year of "payback" I will have the best MPG and also best driving van with no down shifts (stays in 6th gear going up 5%-6% grades at 60-65+ with 2000 pound loads... Love this diesel van! Oh yea and the automated manual transimission is GREAT and is expected to last 200,000+ miles.. Some people/pro reviewers give it a bad review eati,g doesn't shift fast enouph, I say it's shifts plenty good for me as I don't need a speed racer for a work van. I would NOT change to an automatic trans if it was offer23rd in the diesel.. Get a PM diesel!!!!
Image attached was today on a 55 mile round trip going down from 2000 elevation to 500 elevation and then back up from 500 elevation to 2000 elevation (started from my driveway at home and ended at my driveway at home).. 90% freeway but also about 12-15 stop lights from getting on/off freeway at my destinations.
 

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I bought the diesel because I had heard such good reports about its drivability. It is much better than I had imagined! I have never gotten under 26 mpg and the measured mpg is always better than the computer number. I have gotten 28.9 for a full tank and normally get 27. I just traveled across country and bought diesel for 10 percent or less over gas. My conversion is lightweight as is the insulation and my supplies. I probably have 700 lbs. in the van, plus two passengers all the time. I will drive about 15,000+ miles per year and could care less about the added cost of the engine/transmission. I ordered the van and saved nearly that on crap I did not need. Base radio, no heated mirrors or seat no electric frills, no Nav., backup camera, etc. etc. I looked at vans on the lot and many had $4,000+ of options. I have a diesel, aluminum wheels, interior convenience group, 6 way vinyl seats and thats about it. I got a good discount when I bought it too, more than the price of the diesel option! Buy it because it is just a better vehicle!
 

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Not only is the Promaster fun to drive, it rides well and gets great mileage.

I had mine in the snow earlier this week, then was showing off today in the ice. Front wheel drive is such a huge success with this van that it'll be no suprise if Ford and Mercedes follow suit.

Unless you want to pay more for less, there is no reason to get any big van other than a Promaster.
 

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My concern to buy PM diesel was:
1: FRONT WHEEL DRIVE only one on the market
2: NEW MODERN DIESEL ENGINE (one of the best in Europe)
3: IT IS "FIAT DUCATO" under RAM name
4: FUEL COST 10-15% LESS THEN GAS
5: CONSUMPTION IS 10.5l /100KM (23mpg) VERSUS GAS 18MPG average
6: TRANSMISSION THE ONLY ONE MINUS (I HAVE TO USE 90% IN MANUAL MODE)
I WOULD PREFER 100% MANUAL TRANSMISSION
7: ALL OVER ALL I LIKE THIS VAN
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If diesel is being considered, what is the difference between the Sprinter diesel and the Promaster offering? Similar tech?

Also, again between Sprinter and PM, which is the better RV platform? I know many on here use their vans for work — I intend to convert mine to RV.

Again, any Wiki or such that lists the different PM options? Long vs. short wheelbase, raised roof vs. normal, different engine configs, etc.

Thanks,
 

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If diesel is being considered, what is the difference between the Sprinter diesel and the Promaster offering? Similar tech?

Also, again between Sprinter and PM, which is the better RV platform? I know many on here use their vans for work — I intend to convert mine to RV.

Again, any Wiki or such that lists the different PM options? Long vs. short wheelbase, raised roof vs. normal, different engine configs, etc.

Thanks,
The Mercedes engine is smaller (2.1 litres) and more highly turbocharged. The Fiat/Chrysler engine is 3.0 litres. The fuel injection and emission control systems are pretty comparable. The Mercedes uses a torque-converter 7 speed automatic transmission. The ProMaster uses an automated manual transmission, which is different to drive. It doesn't "feel" like a normal automatic. I haven't driven the ProMaster diesel but I have another vehicle with an automated manual transmission that is the subject of much derision in the press (and Car&Driver wasn't kind to the ProMaster's transmission, either). But ... you either get used to it and after that, it's fine ... or your head explodes and you never get used to it. Test-drive.

The number one big difference between these two vehicles is the drivetrain layout, and as a result of that, the ProMaster has a lower loading floor and, if you are using it as an RV, this means a lower step-in height.

The wheelbases (3 different) and lengths (4 different) and heights (low or high) and allowable combinations are best seen by going to Ram's commercial website. I opted for medium wheelbase (136") low roof because it's the biggest one that has a hope of just barely not quite fitting in a normal parking spot. The longer ones, forget it. Low roof because it means less frontal area for less drag and less fuel used, I don't need the extra height, and above all ... it has to fit under a balcony at my house.

If you are building an RV and you want to walk around inside it without ducking your head then you are going to want high roof. The only wheelbase for which high roof is not available is the shortie (118").

The ProMaster has a seating position and steering wheel angle which is unlike that of a car - and unlike that of a Ford Transit or a Sprinter. It's more upright and the steering wheel is sitting flatter - more towards transit-bus than car. That doesn't mean it isn't comfortable but it takes some getting used to (and the seats are very adjustable). I've done a 14 hour drive with only the usual meal and fuel stops. Also be forewarned that if you opt for the divider between the cargo and driver compartments, it restricts the amount that the driver's seat can move by quite a bit.
 

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The 136" WB is 5 inches shorter than my single-cab Tundra. Haven't found a parking space it won't fit.

FWD means more interior height for similar exterior height (100") as Mercedes.

Also, straighter sides make sideways bed possible if you are <6ft. Can't do that in a Mercedes.

Check the numbers.
 

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The Promaster is wider and crosswise sleeping as mentioned above is possible for short folks. I have large amounts of insulation and my finished interior walls are fully one inch inside the metal side frames. Yet I have a crosswise bunk 70 inches long. This gives flexibility of layout not available in a Sprinter.
 
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