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Old 05-20-2016, 05:41 PM   #1
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New 2016 Sportsmobile Promaster Conversion

A few weeks ago, we picked up our new 2016 Ram 2500 gas engine 136WB high roof Promaster Van converted to a Class B motorhome (my custom design) by Sportsmobile Texas. Weighed immediately after driving away: Curb Weight of original van approximately 4900#; Wet Weight of motorhome (full gasoline, propane, fresh water and water heater; empty grey tank and portapotti waste tank; no occupants or cargo) 6900#; front axle 3400#, rear axle 3500#, right side 3500#, left side 3400#. With a GVWR of 8900# that leaves 2000# for occupants and cargo, more than enough for us on a 3 month trip. With 240# of (2) occupants and 60# of luggage on board, weights were: Total 7200#, front axle 3600#, rear axle 3600#, right side 3600#, left side 3600#. Can't get more balanced than that! Since storage areas are distributed pretty evenly throughout the interior, I expect the added weight for a long trip to remain similarly balanced.

So Sportsmobile added approximately 2000# to the base van. Their conversion includes: interior insulated, wired, plumbed for water, drainage and propane systems; wall, ceiling and floor finishes; 16 gal. fresh water tank, 10 gal. grey water tank, dry bath with separate stall shower, sink and portapotti (stores under bed while showering); kitchen with sink, microwave, counterspace for (portable) electric and gas cooktops, 5 cu.ft. 3 way Norcold fridge with separate freezer; 6 gal. propane/electric water heater, 19,000 BTU propane furnace, 13,500 BTU roof AC, 22" TV and antenna, roof rack and rear ladder; swivel cab seats, front side couch seats 3 and convertible to 2 person dinette or 42"x68" bed, rear bed 42"x73" convertible to aisle through to rear doors and seating for 2; storage in overhead cabinets throughout, slide out pantry below counter, storage below front couch and rear bed. Base Van $33K, Conversion $46K.

After pickup, we camped 7 nights and drove 1600 miles from Texas to the East Coast. We broke it in per the owner's manual--kept it under 50 mph for the first 300 miles, then drove it easy and under 60 mph for the next 700 miles, varied speed and braking. Calculated gas mileage varied from 16.2 mpg (2 lane twisting mountain roads 25-55 mph) to 18.9 mpg (steady 70 mph with cruise control on I-85 in the Carolinas) to 20.2 mpg (3 hours steady 50 mph on the Natchez Trace Parkway-no traffic, dry and sunny). Overall average for the trip 18.2 mpg. Our previous 24 foot Winnie Class C with Ford V-10 averaged 9.1 mpg over 12 years and 85,000 miles. Over the years I've had 2 motorhomes, a truck camper, 3 Chrysler minivans (outfitted for camping), and a dozen Fiats, Scions and Toyotas.

Driving impressions so far: I like to drive small cars with small engines and manual transmissions. Our Promaster fits in an 18 foot parking space, does tight U-turns, and drives and handles like a minivan. I like using the manual shifting option, and feel the frequent downshifts indicate the powertrain is adapting efficiently to road conditions. I'm not surprised nor worried by 3000-5000 rpms.

This motorhome has everything we (two modest-sized adults) need to live and travel long-distance for several months in a compact, fuel-efficient, well-handling and amply-powered vehicle. I may add a rear stabilizer bar and less "edgy" tires. There are no problems so far (thanks, Sportsmobile Texas for a great build). We shall see how it does over time and with another 800 to 1000 pounds aboard.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:50 PM   #2
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New 2016 Sportsmobile Promaster Conversion

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Old 05-20-2016, 05:56 PM   #3
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Love the interior and the great mileage! Congrats.

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Old 05-20-2016, 06:13 PM   #4
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G'day.
Build & Finish look the usual fantastic Sportsmobile standard.
It is amazing what the Europeans have achieved with smaller 4 & 6 cylinder
Twin Cam engines, efficient & powerful.
My parents had an Australian built Motorhome, 22ft, built with a Ford Transit 2.8
that ran very reliably for 18 years, travelling around Australia 9 times, until he passed
away last November. It had dual rear wheels and you would have been amazed the
Bush tracks he dragged that van in and up, Kosiosco Ranges, Dandenongs Ranges,
Gibb River Road.was very reliable, serviced regularly, never broke down.
Wish me Luck, with my 08 Ford e350 6.0 diesel V8, currently in New Zealand for Right
Hand Drive Conversion, then to arrive in Melbourne or Sydney in about 9 weeks time.
Congratulations on you ride & Future Journey's. Enjoy. Doug.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:45 PM   #5
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Wow!
Really nice interior. Hope you have a ton of fun with it!
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:08 PM   #6
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Your van looks great, and really similar to mine! I'm waiting in the queue at SMB Austin for them to convert my silver 2016 Promaster 2500 gas 136" WB high top, so you can imagine how interested I am in your results. Thanks especially for the weight numbers and the mileage numbers--very helpful!

Do you mind telling me where you found to weigh your van immediately on driving away from Sportsmobile? I'd like to do that too.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:39 PM   #7
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Amazing gas mileage too for the weight & size.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ang9 View Post
Your van looks great, and really similar to mine! I'm waiting in the queue at SMB Austin for them to convert my silver 2016 Promaster 2500 gas 136" WB high top, so you can imagine how interested I am in your results. Thanks especially for the weight numbers and the mileage numbers--very helpful!

Do you mind telling me where you found to weigh your van immediately on driving away from Sportsmobile? I'd like to do that too.
We arrived by train to pickup our Sportsmobile. To test-camp all systems locally the first night, we had reserved a campsite at McKinney Falls State Park about 18 miles/30 minutes south of SMB Texas. About 10 miles southeast of the state park (26 miles/40 minutes southeast of SMB on Route US183 and Route 130) at Mustang Ridge, TX there is a Flying J/Pilot truck stop with a public CAT scale open 24 hours that will weigh whatever and however you want. I weighed each axle and 1 side; fee a few $ each separate readout. After weighing, we drove 13 miles northwest to Walmart on I-35N Exit 227 for supplies, then 8 miles east to the state park. Overnight we found a few items for SMB to adjust/add for us. We called them, they scheduled us for the following day. We camped a second night, SMB did all the work the next morning, and we were on our way east by early afternoon.
The only scales I found closer were at scrapyards/recyclers--not where I wanted to drive a new vehicle.

Would be very interested to see info/photos on how yours turns out.

P.S. We have spent several weeks outfitting the van, and will be heading north for summer travels in New England and eastern Canada. I will weigh it again when fully loaded for the trip and see how the gas mileage is with the added weight.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:21 PM   #9
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Thank you, that's extremely helpful and I'll be sure to weigh mine when that much-anticipated day arrives. We were already planning to spend a night or two at McKinney Falls.


Last I heard, there were 17 vans in front of mine. My van is waiting patiently on the SMB lot, and all I have is my build sheet.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:37 PM   #10
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Thank you, that's extremely helpful and I'll be sure to weigh mine when that much-anticipated day arrives. We were already planning to spend a night or two at McKinney Falls.


Last I heard, there were 17 vans in front of mine. My van is waiting patiently on the SMB lot, and all I have is my build sheet.
Looks like your plan should function well. We started talking with Paul at SMB Texas in January 2015. I finalized my design in March 2015, ordered the van through SMB late July. Van arrived late November, build started late January, delivered to us mid-March. So it took a while--hard to wait, but worth it in the end!
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