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After 20 wonderful years and over 100K miles of driving VW Westfalias, it's time for a new RV. Room for a full bath, larger bed, stand-up height without popping the top, good AC, power for hills, quiet, and so forth, but without giving up the incredible versatility of the Westy, which allows us to use it as a full-time car as well as a motor home. We've averaged 18MPG with an automatic, about the same as people are reporting with the Gas Promaster.

After studying the many European Ducato-based RVs, the most interesting to me are made by Vantage, http://www.vantagemotorhomes.co.uk

Their shorter "Med" and "Gem" models are based on the MWB (130") high top Ducato/Promaster. 17'9" long, turning circle slightly over 40 feet, small enough to double as a car. Small compared to most US RV's, it's enormous compared to our Westfalias, with enough room inside for a full kitchen, dinette/bed, and full bath. I especially like their "Med" model with the rear "lounge" setup.

I'm hoping some US RV manufacturer will build something this well thought out and compact. Otherwise I'll be having a custom conversion done by a local company. However, I'll wait a year or so for the initial bugs and recalls to work out.

Larry Burt
Portland, OR
 

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welcome to the forum.
i think a while back i seen RV versions of Ducato's.
would be interesting to see how an american company does this with a PM
 

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Welcome to the forum

What are some well known US RV builders?
http://www.sportsmobile.com/ is one US RV builder ready to work on the Promaster. They're getting stock chassis soon (I was told last week they are still waiting), and they will also order and/or take delivery of your own for a custom build. Winnebago has a few commercial Promaster models. There are also many Sprinter custom builders who will likely be interested in taking on the PM.
 

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http://www.sportsmobile.com/ is one US RV builder ready to work on the Promaster. They're getting stock chassis soon (I was told last week they are still waiting), and they will also order and/or take delivery of your own for a custom build. Winnebago has a few commercial Promaster models. There are also many Sprinter custom builders who will likely be interested in taking on the PM.
Sportsmobile Austin, Tx has had one for quite some time now. One of our forum members here has been over there to see it in production
 

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Welcome to the forum

What are some well known US RV builders?
Winnebago is by far the largest working on the ProMaster right now. They have 2 floor plans on the van, class B's, and 2 on the chassis cab, class C's.

Great West Vans is showing a van conversion at RV shows. There's a couple other very small converters using the van also
 

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Sportsmobile Austin, Tx has had one for quite some time now. One of our forum members here has been over there to see it in production
Thanks for the reminder... I should drop by to check out how their ProMaster upfit has come along. If one is short enough to sleep transversely, the short length of the PM may not be that big an issue.
 

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Thanks for the reminder... I should drop by to check out how their ProMaster upfit has come along. If one is short enough to sleep transversely, the short length of the PM may not be that big an issue.
I didn't mean to imply the PM is short, just not as long as the longest Sprinter or new Transit.

The longest PM is almost 21 feet long which is longer than current Ford and Chevy vans. In Europe the slightly shorter 6-meter model is very popular for campers. That's the long wheelbase without the extension.

For me personally they probably couldn't make a van too large. But that's because I'm interested in large vans and my wife in small Class As. An even larger factory van on which to base a mega class B would split the difference and make us both happier.
 

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I also consider the PM short, mainly because the standard in the US "B" industry right now is the 22 foot Sprinter, and anything less than that starts sacrificing stuff, be it bed space, bathroom space, or space in the kitchen/living area.

I wonder if some RV maker will spec ProMasters with both sliding doors, chuck the left side one, and add a slide-out where the left door was. They have started to do that in Europe so a van would have more inside room when stopped, and there are two vans in the US (Free Spirit SS and the Winnebago ERA 70C) that also do that.
 

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I'm 5'10" and have a bunk going across my van at about 3' off the floor. No problems for guys like me. It wouldn't work in a sprinter. Plus another bed going lengthwise. Sleeping three with room for three motocross bikes in the back, behind my wall.
 

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Within the Portland, OR area there is Outside Vans and Van Specialties. (which has a PM in their queue...). I guess I am lurking, watching, learning. Thinking about a 159" Extended PM for RV conversion. Having a 6' bed cross-wise in the back makes sense to me. I'm reading up on insulation at this point, live in the Northwest...not excited about breathing pink fiberglass that is rattling around in the walls so I am looking into alternatives.
-Ken
 

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I put in my zip code at the Hymer site dealer locator and it gives me a map of Eastern Europe. All the listed countries are European. When will Hymer be building RV's in the US?
Read about this a few months ago. What I read is that they are working on partnering up with a "large" North American RV maker to build their units here with Hymer labeling on the PM chassis.
Haven't heard anything more about it
 

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Maybe it is just winter and the RV season isn't going much of anywhere, but it seems that other than Sportsmobile and Winnebago, there doesn't seem to be much movement to the PM. I wonder if it just takes a couple model years for companies to come up to speed and gauge interest.
 

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Maybe it is just winter and the RV season isn't going much of anywhere, but it seems that other than Sportsmobile and Winnebago, there doesn't seem to be much movement to the PM. I wonder if it just takes a couple model years for companies to come up to speed and gauge interest.
Class Bs are a very small part of RV business, with many larger manufacturers not even having any B model.

A winnebago factory Rep told me they spent millions in their van's R&D. I'm sure we'll see many new models from smaller companies but it may take some time.

And one thing the PM has going against it is the very low Gross Combined Weight Rating of the chassis. At only 11,500 pounds, which is low compared to other vans, it doesn't leave much excess for a heavy camper van to tow much of anything. And many Class B buyers like to tow occasionally -- like their toys. It's a real concern for me. A GCWR around 15000 pounds like Sprinter makes this a non-issue.
 

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In Europe, there are aftermarket chassis, like AlKo, which raise the GCWR for Class C Rv's. There is even a two axle rear chassis for Class A Rv's.

Besides the benefit of higher loading, the chassis rails are even lower for more usable space inside (to the detriment of reduced ground clearance).

I believe Hymer replaces the chassis on their larger motorhomes based on the chassis cab of the Ducato.





Has Winnebago released the tow rating of their Class B?

And one thing the PM has going against it is the very low Gross Combined Weight Rating of the chassis. At only 11,500 pounds, which is low compared to other vans, it doesn't leave much excess for a heavy camper van to tow much of anything. And many Class B buyers like to tow occasionally -- like their toys. It's a real concern for me. A GCWR around 15000 pounds like Sprinter makes this a non-issue.
 

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Not much for the "B", 3500 pounds, and I'm guessing 350 pounds tongue weight.

This is OK for a hitch mounted cargo rack for me to carry a couple propane canisters, a few water jugs, and a few gas cans. Or, a 4' x 6' enclosed cargo trailer if I wanted to carry more stuff with a safety margin.
 

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In Europe, there are aftermarket chassis, like AlKo, which raise the GCWR for Class C Rv's. There is even a two axle rear chassis for Class A Rv's.

Besides the benefit of higher loading, the chassis rails are even lower for more usable space inside (to the detriment of reduced ground clearance).

I believe Hymer replaces the chassis on their larger motorhomes based on the chassis cab of the Ducato.





Has Winnebago released the tow rating of their Class B?
Very good example of what can come from a front wheel drive!
Why do we need a tall van anymore? (super low floor height)
 
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