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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As far as I know, at least two popular RWD vans, the Mercedes Sprinter and Iveco Daily, are much longer (24~25 feet) and somewhat larger in volume than the biggest Ducato. Some people have even argued that FWD doesn't lend itself to large vans in that size range.

Volkswagen, which had been rebadging the Sprinter as the Crafter, has now introduced a new very large Crafter van that comes standard as FWD, but also as AWD or RWD (like Euro Ford Transit).

The new cargo Crafter has two wheelbases (143 and 177 inches), three lengths (19'-8", 22'-5", and 24'-3"), and three roof heights (approximately 68", 77", and 85"). This all assumes I got dimensions converted and rounded off right, and that largest model comes in FWD.

Should Fiat offer larger Ducatos and ProMasters to compete in what is becoming the popular 24~25 foot range? If you think so, how would you like to see Fiat make Ducato/PM larger, and by how much? Or do you feel 20'-10" is all anyone should need?

Screen shot shows Crafter size range for reference.
 

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19'-8 is ALL I want

When it comes to my vans, bigger is better up until you are not allowed to park. Too many places don't allow over 20'
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
By the way, I found out about this new van from news source stating Westfalia was going to be building camper vans on new Crafter. I would guess it involves the shortest version at just under 20-feet in length. They come with 2-liter diesel and either 6-speed manual, or 8-speed auto (late availability).


One design characteristic that looks a little odd to me (strictly from aesthetic point of view) is the unusually long 177-inch wheelbase for its overall length when body is not extended.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
At the same time i think the long 177" WB makes the longest van look more balanced compared to longest offerings from Mercedes, Ford, or Iveco, where their longest vans all have very long rear overhangs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When it comes to my vans, bigger is better up until you are not allowed to park. Too many places don't allow over 20'
Do you suppose that's why there aren't that many extended PMs at 20'10"? (My preference btw)

It's over 20' which could restrict parking occassionally, but not by enough to make the extra size count that much. If going over 20' anyway, why not pick up an extra 4-1/2 feet? :)

The largest at +/- 650 cubic feet is over twice as large as my Econoline. A conversion would feel like a house. A ProMaster that length would be even better because it's wider inside by a couple of inches.
 

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It's over 20' which could restrict parking occassionally,.... If going over 20' anyway, why not pick up an extra 4-1/2 feet? :)
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20'-10" could restrict parking occasionally. With 24'-6" parking is restricted a lot and over 25' best get a toad to be able to see much of anything outside of an RV park
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Agree long vans limit parking somewhat, but still, there are a lot of extended Sprinter conversions on road; and very rarely do I ever see one pulling a toad. Whether it's Winnebago ERA or Thor Airstream, or other expensive conversions, they often use the longest 24+ Sprinter for a reason -- extra living space.

I often parked my 24-ft Class C by backing the long rear overhang over a curb, but the wheelbase was much shorter than that of new LWB Crafter. When I could back in to rear wheels, the required parking spot was fairly short. I'd expect to occasionally have to do the same with long vans -- even do it now with extended Ford van 20 feet long. It's a small inconvenience for our kind of travel and use.
 

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An extra two feet would be great for those of us who want to travel and live in our ProMasters. We barely get by with having everything we need/like in our extended PM now.
We thought of going to the extended Sprinter but don't want the higher maintenance costs as well as the inconvenience of finding someone to work on it should there be a problem. The extra cost, just for the vehicle,too, was a hindering factor. Our costs for an outfitted Sprinter with everything we would like would be double what we have in the PM and that's not counting the 300 Watts of Solar along with the four batteries and 3000 watt Inverter that we have now.
We love the mileage we get with our PM (20) and the flexibility of going just about anywhere; but I told our van builder, " I wish ProMaster offered a 23 or 24 ft. Option.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This SAE article on new Crafter makes reference to a ZF 8-speed FWD or AWD transmission. Since top engine has as much torque as PM diesel, maybe it could be used in PM also. Interesting that VW expects only 10~15 percent of buyers to go with the much higher cost automatic.


http://articles.sae.org/15683/



"VW 2.0-L diesel, ZF 8-speed option

All Crafter vans are powered by Volkswagen’s EA288 four-cylinder 2.0-L diesel engine, mounted transversely in front- and all-wheel drive models and longitudinally in the rear-drive vans. The engines are equipped with a diesel particulate filter and an SCR (selective catalytic reduction) catalytic converter to meet Euro 6 emission levels. All Crafter vans have an 18-L AdBlue tank, for SCR.

Four power outputs are offered, depending on engine layout and vehicle weight. Single turbocharger engines deliver 75 kW (100 hp), 90 kW (121 hp) and 103 kW (138 hp), while a twin-turbocharged engine comes with 130 kW (174 hp). Torque outputs are 300 N·m (220 lb·ft) for both the 75- and 90-kW engines; 340 N·m (250 lb·ft) for the 103-kW; and 410 N·m (302 lb·ft) from the 130-kW engine.

Volkswagen is offering a choice of standard six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, which is available with all three driveline configurations.

The company is expecting around 55% of European buyers to opt for the front-drive Crafter, with 30% taking rear-drive and 15% the 4Motion all-wheel-drive layout. Up to 10-15% of buyers will pay a £1650 ($1840) premium for the eight-speed automatic transmission."
 

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In the Ducato (X250 or upgraded X290, the one with new lights) there is an additional height (H3) not offered in Ram Promaster, insteqad the three wheelbases are the same (L1, L2 and L3).

A Dcuato L3 H3 Maxi XL looks like this.


For motorhomes there is the option, very often used by motorhomes manufacturers, of the Al-Ko frames.
The hereafter motohomes are all on Ducato front part.


To a manufacturer the front can arrive like the photo hereafter or even without rear and part of the roof or without the cabin.


And goes out like this
 

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The Fiat Ducato companion has been always the IVECO Daily (IVECO is a brand of CNH Industrial, CNH Industrial till 2012 was part of Fiat Group, now FCA).

IVECO Daily is RWD with longitudinal engine, 2.3 or 3.0 diesel engine (same as Fiat Ducato).
Can be ordered also with ZF 8HP 8 speed automatic.
Rear axle with single or twin wheels.

Wheelbase from 3000 (118") to 4100 mm (161") for single wheel and 5100 mm (201") for twin wheels (for the chassis cab versions).


On the europeans roads one would see for most Ducato vans, instead more IVECO Daily cab-chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In the Ducato (X250 or upgraded X290, the one with new lights) there is an additional height (H3) not offered in Ram Promaster, insteqad the three wheelbases are the same (L1, L2 and L3).

A Dcuato L3 H3 Maxi XL looks like this.


......cut....
I believe the Maxi is an L4H3 if I recall correctly. Each of the three wheelbases has a length (L1 through L3), plus the long wheelbase also has the "extended" rear overhang (shown) which makes it the L4.

That Maxi van's extra roof height would add a lot of design possibilities for creating a motorhome, including the option to create permanent multi-level areas. An elevated shower pan that could drain into inside grey tank is another. The VW Crafter offers similar tall roof but doesn't appear to be as wide as the Ducato/ProMaster.



Regarding possible future FWD transmissions for PM (besides ZF 9-speed), Aisin also manufactures a HD 8-speed for front wheel drive applications. Gear spacing seems really great for a large boxy van like the ProMaster.
 

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The "Maxi" are all the Ducato that can have higher payload, so the have different suspensions, better to say leaf springs, some reinforcement in the structure (but I am not sure of this), bigger brakes, 16" rims, ...
That allows to go over the 3.5 ton limit for the gross vehicle weight, that is also the limit of standard drive license (B category).

All Ram Promaster should be "Maxi" uhmm I have a doubt only for the smaller 1500.

The new model should arrive 2019 or 2020.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
....cut....

Regarding possible future FWD transmissions for PM (besides ZF 9-speed), Aisin also manufactures a HD 8-speed for front wheel drive applications. Gear spacing seems really great for a large boxy van like the ProMaster.


Rather than start new thread, I’ll update information regarding possible automatic transmission upgrade options for ProMaster in this related thread.

It seems VW will be offering an Aisin 8-speed automatic in FWD Crafters, which has a reported torque capacity of 480 Newton-Meters. That converts to 354 lb-Ft, and matches the 480 NM rating of ZF 9-speed used by RAM/ FCA. This new information is listed under applications of Aisin FWD transmissions, and makes sense since VW has used Aisin automatics in previous vehicles.

Previous reports of a ZF 8-speed for Crafter are likely for the RWD vans only since ZF still doesn’t show a FWD 8-speed.

The high-torque Aisin, if capable of handling the size and weight of the larger Crafter (larger than PM), may be a possibility in addition to ZF 9-speed. An issue to question with either transmission is GCWR capability. The FWD Crafter has lower GCWR than the RWD, and transmission may be part of that.

For a large van the gear ratios of the Aisin look much better to me. Sixth is direct, with two overdrive ratios, similar to ZF RWD 8-speed.
 
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