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Discussion Starter #1
Is it worth the $3500 to add the RV Ready Prep Package? I'll be building out the van to travel/live in. I will want to add RV hookup for electric, but not sure if to do that I would need this package.
 

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Not to me it wouldn’t. Anyone who is the slightest bit handy should be able to build out a Promaster for under $6000 and have it extremely livable without sacrificing any of the creature comforts of home. The problem arises when many people have no real idea what they really need or don’t need to build a quality livable van..I realize many of you newbys (especially) find this impossible but that’s reality. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go ahead and spend as much as you like and can afford I’m saying it’s not necessary. 🤔
 

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I agree with KOV in that little I added would have been done for me by that option unless it has things I am unaware of. I got the upfitter power option and have not used it, I didn’t get the trailer hitch option but added one for less than half cost. Can you list what it adds?
 

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Let's see:
includes
Trailer-tow Group
Interior Convenience Group,
Premium Appearance Group,
220-amp alternator,
swivel seats,
rear heater – A/C Prep,
auxiliary switches,
16.0-in. aluminum wheels

I do not think anyone has used the heater/AC prep. I have it and I don't know what it is.
The aux switches cannot be retro fitted, but very few people have them and there are ways to just add your own switches.
Everything is available a la carte, so the package does not look interesting.

We valued heated seats over the swivel and in our year you could not get both. Retro fit swivels are available, but I don't know about heated seats.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not to me it wouldn’t. Anyone who is the slightest bit handy should be able to build out a Promaster for under $6000 and have it extremely livable without sacrificing any of the creature comforts of home. The problem arises when many people have no real idea what they really need or don’t need to build a quality livable van..I realize many of you newbys (especially) find this impossible but that’s reality. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go ahead and spend as much as you like and can afford I’m saying it’s not necessary. 🤔
Thank you! I wasn't sure if I'd be making my life more difficult by not getting that package.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree with KOV in that little I added would have been done for me by that option unless it has things I am unaware of. I got the upfitter power option and have not used it, I didn’t get the trailer hitch option but added one for less than half cost. Can you list what it adds?
That was part of my problem in trying to decide, was that none of these things really seem to be "RV" 'things'. I honestly think to call it an "RV Package" is a bit misleading, and that things like the 220-amp alternator and the auxiliary switches would be cheaper to just add on their own? This is what's included in that package,

  • 16-Inch x 6.0-Inch Aluminum Wheels (for instance the standard wheels are 16x6, so what makes this for an RV?")
  • 220-Amp Alternator
  • Auxiliary Switches
  • Driver Swivel Seat
  • Interior Convenience Group
  • Trailer-Tow Group
  • Passenger Swivel Seat
  • Premium Appearance Group
  • Rear Heater and A/C Prep Package
Thanks! Kirsten
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Let's see:
includes
Trailer-tow Group
Interior Convenience Group,
Premium Appearance Group,
220-amp alternator,
swivel seats,
rear heater – A/C Prep,
auxiliary switches,
16.0-in. aluminum wheels

I do not think anyone has used the heater/AC prep. I have it and I don't know what it is.
The aux switches cannot be retro fitted, but very few people have them and there are ways to just add your own switches.
Everything is available a la carte, so the package does not look interesting.

We valued heated seats over the swivel and in our year you could not get both. Retro fit swivels are available, but I don't know about heated seats.
Thank you ThomD! This is all very helpful!!
 

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That was part of my problem in trying to decide, was that none of these things really seem to be "RV" 'things'. I honestly think to call it an "RV Package" is a bit misleading, and that things like the 220-amp alternator and the auxiliary switches would be cheaper to just add on their own? This is what's included in that package,

  • 16-Inch x 6.0-Inch Aluminum Wheels (for instance the standard wheels are 16x6, so what makes this for an RV?")
  • 220-Amp Alternator
  • Auxiliary Switches
  • Driver Swivel Seat
  • Interior Convenience Group
  • Trailer-Tow Group
  • Passenger Swivel Seat
  • Premium Appearance Group
  • Rear Heater and A/C Prep Package
Thanks! Kirsten
I’d get the Aluminum wheels as they make a nice looking Campervan at not super high price, Skip the alternator, and switches, get the swivel seats as that makes the van much larger as a camper, definitely get the Interior convenience group as it has the overhead shelf. The trailer tow is not a biggee but if you think you want to tow...... As for the heated seats, NOT. My bum is warm enough!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’d get the Aluminum wheels as they make a nice looking Campervan at not super high price, Skip the alternator, and switches, get the swivel seats as that makes the van much larger as a camper, definitely get the Interior convenience group as it has the overhead shelf. The trailer tow is not a biggee but if you think you want to tow...... As for the heated seats, NOT. My bum is warm enough!
Haha!! I've never understood the heated seats craze. I had them in a rental car once - didn't like the feeling of my nether regions roasting over an 'open fire!'

Thanks so much for your input, it is super helpful!! As are your previous posts I've been reading about your own build! Everyone on here is awesome!! :)
 

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I specifically searched out the RV package when I bought mine. I think the heater/AC prep package is the only thing I wouldn't have ordered if I spec'ed them all out separately. Was a no brainer to get it all as a package w/o the hassle.
In retrospect I probably would have passed on the upper interior shelf if given the option. It'll cause serious head/neck trauma if ever in an accident as it hits me in the forehead. I've had it out once to install wiring for my dash cam and considered not putting it back in. I might revisit that idea.
 

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Let's see:
includes
Trailer-tow Group
Interior Convenience Group,
Premium Appearance Group,
220-amp alternator,
swivel seats,
rear heater – A/C Prep,
auxiliary switches,
16.0-in. aluminum wheels

I do not think anyone has used the heater/AC prep. I have it and I don't know what it is.
The aux switches cannot be retro fitted, but very few people have them and there are ways to just add your own switches.
Everything is available a la carte, so the package does not look interesting.

We valued heated seats over the swivel and in our year you could not get both. Retro fit swivels are available, but I don't know about heated seats.
All of these options can be ordered a la carte. I have most of them on my 2016 and the items I really value are as follows:

Swivel seats - these are far superior but very pricey compared to aftermarket
Interior convenience group - gives you the shelf above the visors, I love this.
Tow package - this was a must have, but can be ordered easily aftermarket
My Diesel came with the 220A alternator so I can't comment here, seems bigger is always better in van conversions

Good luck.
 

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One thing to keep an eye out for is the 6-way adjustable seats for both the driver and passenger. That gets you some much needed adjustment options AND arm rests. You can always do aftermarket swivels for cheaper. You won't want to swap the entire chair just to add an arm rest - that's a pain in the ass.

We did the 220A alternator because it was already an option on the van we were looking at and it certainly can't hurt.
 

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One thing to keep an eye out for is the 6-way adjustable seats for both the driver and passenger. That gets you some much needed adjustment options AND arm rests. You can always do aftermarket swivels for cheaper. You won't want to swap the entire chair just to add an arm rest - that's a pain in the ass. Interior convenience package should be standard IMO. That shelf is very necessary. Don't sleep on that one.

We did the 220A alternator because it was already an option on the van we were looking at and it certainly can't hurt.
 

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I agree, it's much better to order the individual options you want. The rear heater and A/C prep package is just a handful of small generic parts easily obtained at any auto parts store. Jury is still out on the 220A alternator. But the "why not" argument is not supported by our experience. We see the same ~80A going to the house batteries as those with the 180A alternator. We intentionally passed on the overhead shelf, too. People either love it or hate it. Also passed on the premium appearance group, since I really dislike the looks of the PM chrome grill. Stuck with the standard (bullet-proof, easily maintenance) steel wheels, but got the full wheel covers (nice). Swivel seats were a must for our particular floor plan. Factory swivels are 6-way adjustable, but sadly there was no heated option with swivels. Cruise control is a no brainer. Aux switches are another "why not" item. But if you have no actual use for them in mind, be aware they tie up the battery fuse location people most often use for charging house batteries. We are very glad we factory ordered, although it was a mere 3.5 months at the time.
 

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The rear heater and A/C prep package is just a handful of small generic parts easily obtained at any auto parts store.
This is not accurate. The EXTRA parts they give you are indeed just some fittings. But the prep package includes extra factory A/C/heater hoses that terminate under the van near the seats. These would be a PITA to add later if you actually needed them (esp the A/C ones). That said, adding the remaining parts to finish the job seems to be a very cost prohibitive expense. Now that I've added rear seats in mine I've looked into what it takes to finish the rear AC/heat. Yikes! It will be cheaper to get a salvage/spare evaporator core out of something and DIY than the existing options I can find. I'll likely take those funds and put them towards powering an electric mini-split type system that still works when the engine is off.

The RV package is 'worth it' if either:
1) the options you want add up to be cheaper combined in the package. You'll get the other stuff thrown in for free.
or
2) You find an already-built van with the features you want but just happens to have the RV package. These high dollar builds have more negotiating room off the price. You can get a whole lot for very little additional money. You can also look at it as: do I want to pay a small premium for extra things I don't really need for being able to get the van MONTHS earlier (vs ordering).

I satisfied both 1 and 2 so it was a no brainer. If you don't, then its not 'worth' it.
 

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This is not accurate. The EXTRA parts they give you are indeed just some fittings. But the prep package includes extra factory A/C/heater hoses that terminate under the van near the seats.
Thanks, I stand corrected. I did not get that package myself. I was going on what others have said. I don't recall anybody here actually adding rear A/C off the engine's system. Your cost research helps explains that. Others that have ordered that package did so only because they planned to extend heater hoses back to a hot water heater that uses engine coolant as a heat source (Isotemp, etc). In those cases, the relevant loose parts (tee fittings and hose clamps) included in the package are generic and can easily be obtained elsewhere, along with heater hose, as I did.
Congrats on finding one on a dealer lot with the RV package. Those must be even rarer than non-white ones.
 

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Yes the items are available al la carte but there is a built in discount by getting the package. Most of the stuff you should almost consider as "leisure prep". The wheels and convenience items make it less of a "work" van in appearance and feel.

IMO (as someone who bought before there was the RV prep): Swivels is nice, I added them after the fact and if you get the lowered bases can be pretty pricey. Easy install for me, but some people struggle with this. I wish i had better looking wheels, and the additional interior shelf would be nice from the interior group. 220amp alternator would be nice, but it's not super necessary unless you are running some bigger loads. Yes someone could add it later, if you are mechanical- some aren't. I wish i had the switches for various items. Yes you can add those too, but factory looks clean. Towing package same thing, i added a hitch but I wish i had it from the factory. The rear head/AC stuff is more for people converting to shuttles (same with the 220amp really), not RV use.

At the end of the day, see what the a la carte items you want would cost and if it makes sense to get the package, do it. I for one am glad the brand realized there are people buying these things for personal use and not just business and made a package to help.
 

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I for one am glad the brand realized there are people buying these things for personal use and not just business and made a package to help.
Me too, however the RV package is likely aimed more at commercial RV manufacturers than us. Before you order something, it pays to find out what it actually does, or doesn't do. Aux switches are a good example. The way they are wired at the factory limits their functionality and restricts some other wiring options. This forum is such a great resource for that research.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
This is not accurate. The EXTRA parts they give you are indeed just some fittings. But the prep package includes extra factory A/C/heater hoses that terminate under the van near the seats. These would be a PITA to add later if you actually needed them (esp the A/C ones). That said, adding the remaining parts to finish the job seems to be a very cost prohibitive expense. Now that I've added rear seats in mine I've looked into what it takes to finish the rear AC/heat. Yikes! It will be cheaper to get a salvage/spare evaporator core out of something and DIY than the existing options I can find. I'll likely take those funds and put them towards powering an electric mini-split type system that still works when the engine is off.

The RV package is 'worth it' if either:
1) the options you want add up to be cheaper combined in the package. You'll get the other stuff thrown in for free.
or
2) You find an already-built van with the features you want but just happens to have the RV package. These high dollar builds have more negotiating room off the price. You can get a whole lot for very little additional money. You can also look at it as: do I want to pay a small premium for extra things I don't really need for being able to get the van MONTHS earlier (vs ordering).

I satisfied both 1 and 2 so it was a no brainer. If you don't, then its not 'worth' it.
Thank you for your input! I appreciate it!
 
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