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I have a 2015 eco diesel with 60,000 miles on
it and I’m about to drop $40,000 into my build out. I bought it last year for $25000 and I owe $11,000 on it. I drove it around the northwest for three months and it had some mechanical issues. The heater stopped working which was an issue with the actuator then I had some issues with corrosion on wires because water leaks through the top of the hood. Then to top everything off my glow plugs needed changed out and the mechanic broke off the glow plug in the head also because of the corrosion. My mechanic was able to remove and replace the other glow plugs but one is still stuck in the head. It’s going to cost me at least $3000 to have the head taken out and replaced along with all the injectors. It starts fine right now and I can add a block heater to plug it in when the temperature is super low. My question is, do I have a lemon? Are all the diesel dodge pro masters the same? Should I trade it in for something else, maybe a gas or a sprinter or just have them fix the sealant issues on the top that causes corrosion? I’m about to drop a bunch into my build and I want to make sure I have the right vessel for my adventures with my pup Merle.
73210
 

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Yes I would dump it as quickly as possible you are wasting your money on doing anything to a promaster diesel van! Putting $40 k into any 6 year old vehicle is insane!
 

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I have a 2015 gasser and it's been fantastic, but no way would I consider putting that kind of money into a 2015, be it gas or diesel (Especially not a diesel). My suggestion would be to sell the diesel and buy a newer gas PM. If the cost is a concern, slim down your build a bit and spend the difference on the van. You can always improve the build later on, but you can't make the van any newer.
 

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I second @JohnnyRambles post, but I also would not drop $40k usa cash on any van build (new / used / Ram or other).

These vans are depreciating assets that require mechanical maintenance. I know it may not seem that way right now, but if “I am wrong” - good for you because you will be able to sell yours at a higher price than you purchased it.

Sounds like you are already having issues with it. Best to sell it an move on.
 

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Some diesel owners are loyal to it, and I hate to have to bust anyone’s bubble, but the diesel is the very definition of a dead end. The pain it will cause you is like no other kind of pain.
The gasser, in the other hand, has near zero pain. Anything on it that goes wrong can be fixed cheaply and easily, and more to the point it will remain serviceable until all of us are pretty close to dead. I have a couple of 60s Valiants, and can walk into any Autozone and pretty much get any part I might need. Same with the pm, and enough have been produced where it will always be so. ESPECIALLY since Ram hasnt made many (if any) running changes in 8 years. The aftermarket loves it when there are 8 years worth of customers all huddled together with their wallets out.

That is the kind of vehicle you can feel ok about sinking 40 grand into, although for the life of me I cant figure out what 40 buys you in upfit.

Diamond studded shower stall? An onboard iron smelter? But hey, that’s your business not mine.
Anyhow, by the end of the year I will have two vans crest 700,000 miles. I suspect you’d get bored of driving any motor home by then, regardless of fanciness.

sell or trade the diesel NOW while it still runs.
 

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Blessed are those diesel owners who have avoided the pain and suffering of a vehicle platform that the manufacturer never fully supported and has long since abandoned. Sadly it should not have been so. Should u keep it, you would do yourself a favor by finding a tech who understands these things inside and out and gird yourself for the potential headaches. - From one who has run
 

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2015 diesel 118" wheelbase 3/15 build Mexico
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I have a 2015 eco diesel with 60,000 miles on
it and I’m about to drop $40,000 into my build out. I bought it last year for $25000 and I owe $11,000 on it. I drove it around the northwest for three months and it had some mechanical issues. The heater stopped working which was an issue with the actuator then I had some issues with corrosion on wires because water leaks through the top of the hood. Then to top everything off my glow plugs needed changed out and the mechanic broke off the glow plug in the head also because of the corrosion. My mechanic was able to remove and replace the other glow plugs but one is still stuck in the head. It’s going to cost me at least $3000 to have the head taken out and replaced along with all the injectors. It starts fine right now and I can add a block heater to plug it in when the temperature is super low. My question is, do I have a lemon? Are all the diesel dodge pro masters the same? Should I trade it in for something else, maybe a gas or a sprinter or just have them fix the sealant issues on the top that causes corrosion? I’m about to drop a bunch into my build and I want to make sure I have the right vessel for my adventures with my pup Merle. View attachment 73210

Ella I too have a 2015 Promaster it's been in the shop for almost 3 months now just picked it up yesterday it started with a leaking oil pan gasket and leaking fuel pump it turned into an complete engine replacement I have an extended warranty so I was covered the total cost of warranty repairs was 27 thousand this time not counting the other 25 thousand of repairs since new. First problem was the BCM and broken glow plug (head replacement) in 2017 then another glow plug ,fan, mirror, radio, struts, axle shafts (3), blower, ball joints, AC compressor I can go on and on but out of warranty the diesel would be a nightmare.
 

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Perhaps the OP is having someone else do the build. In that case 40K could be very reasonable depending on how it's outfitted and the quality of the build. Especially in today's market.
 

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No, in 2020 in New England.
My build is certainly as good and most likely far superior than most of the builds I’ve seen here and on any other forum, for that matter, in quality of materials, construction and design. No, I don’t have LiPo batteries, hot water or a shower because as nice as they may be they are not necessary at all for my needs. I have 2/6v flooded GC’s charged by either 340 w of solar or a relay of the alternator, a 2500w pure sine wave inverter, a 700w micro, a 1500w induction cooktop, a 5kw diesel heater, swivel passenger seat, custom made oak cabinets (upper & lower) with Blumb hardware, SS sink with 2/5 gal SS tanks, blackout blinds, a Maxxair fa, solid vinal plank flooring, 12 LED lights, several USB & cigarette recepticals throughout, a Thule power step, a TruckFridge 130, TV, double slide out bed, full insulation all around. I don’t have hot water because without a shower that would be a needless waste, I don’t have a shower because I choose the utilize the space in other ways that are far more useful to me but I do have an outside shower setup i can use if necessary. Not having a shower means I don’t need any holding tanks which is also big savings.
I can do it because I’ve built myself quite a few of these vans and know exactly what I really need vs what those on other far out websites suggest I need, I know where to source everything and, most importantly how much things are actually worth both in cost and realistic useable value.
I suspect most people would be shocked to find out how much I’ve spent and what I have, especially when they can’t find any cardboard boxes, pallets, tarps or tar paper.🤭
Knowledge is everything in life. Everyone who builds a van does a better job for less money & time the secont time around. I’m up around ten or so now.
 

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Much of what KOV stated above I agree with (note Canadian DIY costs are significantly more as we have to import more items & the Canadian dollar exchange rates & taxes etc).

I built our very first RV in early 2019 (a PM 2018 EXT). I wasted money as I had no knowledge/design. I also had zero adult RV experience. I also have lots of wire, hardware, other building materials, and tools to build our 2nd van (2021 EXT when it actually shows up). I have already purchased over $7,000 C on build materials & equipment & window etc. I anticipate my total costs (excluding my labour & tools I already have) will be around $15,000 C.

I believe with his experience & knowledge KOV can build out a camper van very economically. This of course depends a lot on the design & bells/whistles. KOV spend less on batteries than I do on a battery monitor. His custom build works well for him, but may not for you. Value & Costs are two different things and relate in this manner; Subjective vs Objective or Personal vs Public(ish). When we DIY Design/Build there are many many judgement calls on what to do. I am positive KOV would not build the way I do & vise versa. We are both design/building to our own custom requirements. Our value judgments are very different in some areas & similar in others. IIRC we both purchased TF130s. For the TF130, I assume KOV paid around $900 U & I paid $1,800 C.

The major economic factor for me is this; We DIY invest time & money design/building camper vans on a constant depreciating asset (the PM Van) that will require maintenance & repairs. I keep that in mind when considering the quality, costs, & value to me for what I am creating. The alternative is to purchase a Factory build camper van, an already built from another DIYer or professional custom van builder, or do without. None of those options work for me.


To the OP @Ella Paige

A bit of thread creep here, but you're asking about economics around building $40,000 U on a diesel used PM with apparent issues.

I think that is the wrong move. That however is a subjective answer based upon what I would do. I of course have to assume a lot about your situation. I have much empathy for you with your diesel PM. Many may have a different opinion, however FCA “Ram” has turned their back on the PM Diesel. My question for you is this; today “knowing what you now know” would you purchase another PM Diesel? If the answer is no - sell it and move on to something you would have said “Yes” to. People sometimes “hang on to” vehicles because they can not come to terms with the loss of value they have already suffered but not realized.

Whether you are spending $40K or $7K on a DIY build, I would not invest more money into your diesel van.

Whatever You decide, best of luch with your decisions !!
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
I'd 2nd what KOV has to say.
I think a lot of people new to van conversions get sucked into the idea that the van has to have everything a home has (and more) and that the most expensive (often most complicated) way to satisfy any function has to the be best way.
For most peoples electrical needs, a couple of golf cart batteries at $200 will work just as well as a couple of Battleborns at $2000.

In vans (I think) simple is really better. Easier to build, cheaper to build, easier to keep running with less maintenance, and more likely to have a nice open feel (as its not filled with every feature known to mankind).

Our PM conversion is our 4th RV, and each one has gotten simpler, more open and more satisfying.

We spent just over $6000 for the whole thing.

Not to say that if you really think it over carefully and conclude that you will really make use of that $40K worth of stuff, that it may be the best solution for you.

Gary
 

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Interesting philosophical question. I would hazard a guess that most of the people who have built RVs out of Promasters would probably say after living in it a while that they would build less, not more. They might say that trying to cram in all the features of a house is doomed to fail, because it isnt a house.
Then again, that may just be my bias. I live in the van only a few days every week, and it has just a cot and almost no insulation, no generator, no inverter, no toilet, etc.
 

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Purchased a fully equipped with every option available commercial vehicle few years back ..MISTAKE !!!......After 1 year was longing for a basic model less crowded , more room to move around , easier to keep clean , less is definitely more .
 

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I can count >$6,000 in just the major items—windows were the biggest single expense at $2,000—yet my build would be considered "simple." No plumbing of any kind—not even a sink. No upper cabinetry. Most surfaces are painted Luan for which I paid $13/sheet six years ago. We guess the total is somewhere a bit more than $10,000. Even if $20,000, it would still be worth it for the pleasure it has given us.
 

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Don't worry MsN next time we get together I'll share some of my shopping hints with you!:LOL:
 
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