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Old 04-01-2013, 04:23 PM   #21
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Re: Dodge Promaster

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Originally Posted by rob_gendreau
I've been talking with friends who are interested in a somewhat offroad worthy conversion, in something a bit bigger than SMBs, maybe up to 27', or maybe working with an existing Class B+.

I don't feel that 4wd is necessarily the answer if you wanna get down some marginal roads; things like turning radius, lift, wheel size, wheel base, etc can be as important if not more important than simply adding drive another set of wheels. And some modifications can be done (lockers, wheel size, etc) that aren't nearly as expensive as 4wd.

The wheelbase on the Promaster looks pretty long and the rear overhang pretty big for that wheelbase, which means maybe a lousy platform for use offroad. What's the turning radius?
Rob, the ProMaster will come in three wheelbase lengths (118, 136, and 159 inches) and four body lengths. The longest body tacks on an additional 14 inches of rear length/overhang to the 159-inch wheelbase model, bringing the total length to 250 inches (thatís the one I may be interested in for road-going RV van). The 1.38-meter rear overhang listed for the longest Ducato converts to 54 inches of rear overhang (present Ford extended at 64 inches). All other ProMaster models appear to have the same +/- 40 inches of rear overhang (which is shorter than the ďregularĒ Ford E-Seriesí 44 inches of rear overhang). ProMaster rear overhang should be about the same as Ducato since they share bodies.

Cargo floor lengths are 105, 123, 146, and 160 inches, which makes the longest version significantly longer than my extended Ford E-350; so comparing on equal basis would be meaningless in my opinion. The closest ProMaster to my extended E-350 in cargo length appears to be the long wheelbase (159 inches) with short overhang (40 inches). The model with 136-inch wheelbase is closest to a regular Ford E-Series in wheelbase and cargo length. Iíd probably take a 2WD FWD ProMaster over a 2WD RWD Ford if both had similar tires, but there is little doubt a 4WD is best to venture off pavement.

As to turning radius, Ram list it at 36.3, 40.7, and 46.8 feet depending on wheelbase. I have to think they donít actually mean ďradiusĒ. The upcoming extended-wheelbase Transit with its 147.6 wheelbase has a reported turning circle (curb-to-curb) of 43.7 feet.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:34 PM   #22
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Re: Dodge Promaster

Regarding my previous comment about GMC motorhomes, the ProMaster has a reported step-in height of 21 inches, while the GMC motorhomes had a step-in height of only 14 inches. And these classic motorhomes had the holding tanks below the floor between the ladder frame rails. While the ProMaster may not be adequate for off-roading, it shouldnít hang up like the GMCs while driving around a campground just because itís front wheel drive.

A concern I do have with the much lower floor of the ProMaster is that it makes mounting a generator under the floor next to impossible. Iím not sure I want a generator anyway, but itís a consideration nonetheless (if only for future flexibility and/or resale).
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:26 PM   #23
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Re: Dodge Promaster

Early pictures of Winnebago Travato new model based on Ram ProMaster. This is based on longest ProMaster which is just under 21-feet long.







Can read more here:
http://www.lichtsinn.com/Blog/post/2013 ... ducts.aspx
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:00 PM   #24
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Re: Dodge Promaster

Sportsmobile now has a ProMaster section on their web site. It confirms they will be building on all sizes. Also of interest is that diesel price is shown on pricing list. Not that bad at well under $4,000.

http://www.sportsmobile.com/2a_pm_vaninfo.html

It's also very interesting that they plan to offer a penthouse roof on the low-roof van. This "may" allow this van which is lower than comparable vans to be garaged through an 8-ft garage door.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:40 PM   #25
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Re: Dodge Promaster

Wow, thanks for letting us know! (The Transit basic info is also up but that's another topic)

The Promaster made me wanna throw up at first but then I'm kind of growing on it as long as I don't look at the front bumper too long. I'm sure this'll sell more than the Sprinter due to fuel efficiency and front drive that some people may want (lower floor). This will provide an alternative until the Transit goes on sale much, much later.
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:08 PM   #26
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Re: Dodge Promaster

For those who are following this very different RV-van to US market, we may start seeing them soon.

My wife and I were at a Winnebago dealer yesterday comparing three Mercedes-based RVs for size (ERA Class-B versus View Class-C versus Via Class-A; all on similar 170 WB dual-rear-wheel chassis) and were told by the salesperson that they expect to get the new Travato in about 2 months.

I couldnít find news from Winnebago on timing other than late summer or early fall, but found news from RAM that manufacturing of the ProMaster started in Mexico about a week ago.

Of a lot of interest to me is Winnebagoís claim that the Travato has an interior width of 6-feet 2-inches. I say this because I tried to lay across the very back of the Sprinter-based ERA van and couldnít come close (didnít have a tape with me). Iím not that tall and my head and feet hit the sidewalls while I was still at a significant angle to the van. While not as long as the longest Sprinter, Iím hoping the added width of the ProMaster may make it feel roomier.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:21 AM   #27
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Re: Dodge Promaster

Fellows:

I've been looking at vans for a possible conversion to a camper, and seeing the new Dodge has me excited. Finally a van has the things that would work well for me since I won't be going off road.

I'm not a big Dodge fan or think it has the best of looks, but. I like the front wheel drive, so no tranny or rear-end in the way, lower floor, high roof (without mods or place to leak), diesel, better MPGs, lower cost compared to other models, straight side walls, etc.

I think this would be easy to use as a base for conversion.

Cheers.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:57 PM   #28
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Re: Dodge Promaster

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Originally Posted by SD80
....cut.....

I think this would be easy to use as a base for conversion.

Cheers.
Thatís a safe bet considering that in 2009 RVBusiness reported that 2 out of every 3 motorhomes in Europe were based on the Fiat Ducato. If accurate, it means Ducatos outsell Sprinters and Transits by a significant margin in that market. Whether that trend will transfer to US market is anyoneís guess. I personally think they will do quite well if Ram engineering doesnít screw something major with US-specific upgrades (which are minor beyond gasoline engine and automatic transmission).

Quote:
http://www.rvbusiness.com/tag/fiat-ducato/

Along with the awards from the United Kingdom-based magazine, the success of the design is reflected in the marketplace Ė two out of every three motorhomes in Europe are built on the Fiat Ducato base and there are more than 400,000 Fiat Ducato motorhomes on the road in Europe alone.
In the US we tend to want more power at the expense of a little fuel economy, so that might alter our preferences compared to Europe. Acceleration shouldnít be a problem with the ProMaster gasoline V6ís higher horsepower compared to Sprinter diesel, but the effective trailer-towing capacity will likely be much lower for the Ducato (whether gasoline or diesel) than for either the Sprinter or future Ford Transit.

By the way, with FWD itís much easier to add a tag axle to make larger RVs; a la classic GMC. Would not surprise me to see similar units in US in a few years.

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Old 07-25-2013, 11:09 PM   #29
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Re: Dodge Promaster

I saw one today between Flagstaff and Phoenix on I17 that had Mich. plates. Pictures taken at 80 mph.



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Old 08-09-2013, 04:32 PM   #30
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Re: Dodge Promaster

Winnebago Industries seems committed to ProMaster chassis. In addition to Travato class B they are also planning Winnebago Trend and Itasca Viva class B+

They are about same width and length as View/Navion but without a slide. Probably due to weight limit of single rear wheel chassis.
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