Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-09-2017, 11:49 AM   #241
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 398
Lightbulb

Update on ride handling post install of BOR Rear Handling Kit and optional (suggested by BOR) 3+1 GM rear leaf springs:

As mentioned in the prior post my wife was pleased with the positive change in road manners during her ~10 mile round trip daily commute over a country road we travel, but no long road trip experience until yesterday. . .

She and i drove the van to Portland Oregon via hwy 26 ~200 mile round trip (her there, me home). I have to say i too am impressed with the handling. It is a different rig. Very smooth and i no longer sense the mild effort it took before-install to recover from pot holes and bad roadway (common along that highway). The rig is now easily driven with one hand lightly on the wheel and in mentally relaxed mode. < < Not saying that is how i drive : ) but you get the idea.

Cheers,
Thom
__________________

__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2017, 12:09 AM   #242
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 398
Lightbulb my 60th bday present a couple months early : )

After nearly four years of research, and test driving Sprinters, Transits, E350 Cutaways... and Promasters...



I took the above image outside our workplace (Costco on the Oregon Coast) of her trail bling Chevy AWD and my will-remain-stockishly-stealth Promaster. The current plan is to build the PM over a year or so and eventually sell the Chevy sometime in ??2019??

The PM we decided on is a 2500 159"wb HR RB with the gas 3.6L. It has 12 feet behind the seats (that will have swivels to add to the living area) verses the Chevy's 10ft. We will have all items inside (kitchen/bath/bed) rather than having the kitchen outside as we do now with the Chevy and it's Aluminess box/bumpers

Once i've got some build on i will post a link to the build thread.

Thom
__________________

__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2017, 09:22 AM   #243
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 6,661
You did it and NOT a Transit? I thought you'd go for a Transit but I do see some benefits of the Promaster. I can't get used to the front end but the stand up height with the FWD is supposed to be amazing. Care to share your thoughts on that?
__________________
2014 Transit MR T350 ecoBoost, Vanilla
98 Silver E350 V10 4x4 home build (sold)
Rusty the rusty '95 SMB (sold)
Tryptovan the blue CCV van, 2002 e350 (sold)
...My name is Eric and I have a van problem...
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2017, 11:53 AM   #244
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 398
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
You did it and NOT a Transit?.. Care to share your thoughts on that?
Greetings!

Firstly, let me say that my wife's daily driver trail-bling AWD and it's road manners has set a high mark for us to strive for. The thing drives like it is on rails here in our PNW wet road conditions. < That was tops on our list to attempt, best we could, to have in any V2.0. And really the main reason for any V2.0 for us is that we will be retiring soon and will full time in a van and need more room than what our V1 multi-week-adventure-rig has. V1, for us has all the functionality we are seeking, and we want V2 to have the same functionality, but this time all inside and totally stealth.
( ; no more peeps following us off the freeway to starbucks/etc asking for a VanTour ; )

Yup the Transit was certainly right in the mix. And i do like them, but there were a few road bumps along the way...

A couple months back we had put down on a (gulp) Sprinter 170wb 4x4. The Fleet Manager called back a few minutes later and told us their database was in error and the rig-on-lot i put down on over the phone was actually sold the day before. So i backed out of the Sprinter as i took it as a message of the VanGods. > The closest dealership to do any work is over 3 hr drive from us here on the coast ,(

Last month i had everything lined up for a Quigley Transit 4x4. A lot crew was redyeing it for transport from the Seattle dealership to the Portland dealership i was doing biz with... the Seattle lot crew wreaked the QT4x4 ~$2K worth of damage~ i backed out. Another message from the VanGods?

So, after years of researching, i FINALLY drove a PM. I'd seen them up close and from a distance, both my wife and i actually think they are nicer looking than the transit... but OH MY a Sprinter 4x4 < < sex on wheels...

The PM drive ? Amazing for us. Not even close to the RWD Sprinter or Transit (both Transit test drives had a rear wheel spin on dry pavement). We found the PM to be smooth, sure footed, and a comfy (for us) cab arrangement. While i can see the lure of power-under-foot of the 3.5L EcoBoost in the Transit, for myself i found that in order to get any sense of smooth-running/driving i had to go so light on the pedal that it was quite the mental workout. The PM's 3.6L gasser is simply smooth < Granted the rig is empty > though I did get about 20mpg on the drive home from the dealer over the coast range to Astoria.

So for us, after i revisited and devoured the PM info on forums, it came down to believing the good-road-manner reports from those in places like the PNW, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth, Colorado, New England, and similar areas driving these rigs as daily drivers for work & play; couriers, expediters, and vanners... Stating mater-of-factually that the FWD was getting the job done for them in wet/icy/snowy conditions (and those with MtnSnowflake tires, no chaining up. Something we've never had to do with the AWD). I've not come across any such positive thoughts/comments in the Sprinter or Transit research. The S & T topics are pretty much; How big of tires can i put on and why didn't ford do it in the first place? and how much is that lift kit and 4x4 conversion going to set me back? ; )

Oh, and on interior room? The 159" we got has 12' behind the cab with a relatively nice departure and small ~40" overhang and three inches wider in the rear. The equivalent Transit had a larger rear due to the 148" wb. And the PM has a 46' turning radius which really, in a van this size? needs to be experienced. Amazing.

The first two weeks of work on the PM will see:

9/1/2017 drove home from dealership (Portland to Astoria Oregon)
9/5 Ordered window and hood deflector from eurocampers.com
9/8 Shop installed 5 BGF KO2 LT225/75r16 these are considered traction devices in Oregon so i won't have to chain up. Kept stock size for 1) safety in wet - skinny is usually better. and 2) Wanted to be able to mount spare in stock location under rig 3) no bling on the exterior of this rig!
9/12 Shop will install 3M Secure Guard on front cab windows and White Perforated Vinyl on slider and rear windows. and Clear Hood Wrap for protection.
9/13 Drive to see Hein of DIYvan.com to pick up Thinsulate and also a Flettner style roof vent imported from the UK (low profile, opens from interior ceiling rather than any movement of outer roof case. Stealth _example link_)

The interior will be designed around T-Slot or 80/20 this time. But that is for another day's pondering. Now i just have my warbonnet blackbird hammock ready for deploying on my drive to/from Hood River to see Hein...my wife is heading for a road trip to Reno to visit family for a couple weeks so i'll do some simple camp-overs.

: ) Thom
__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 11:20 PM   #245
Senior Member
 
Jsweezy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Posts: 1,179
Garage
Your telling me, you got new BFGs mounted and didnt even post a photo?! I thought that was just an understood about getting new shoes.

That low pro vent looks pretty slick, I think someone needs to come up with an independent rear suspension setup for those Pro Masters for a smoother ride and to get rid of the super low square steel bar running across the back. But this could also affect weight carrying ability.

I think its awesome you got a rig for your desired outcome instead of forcing a rig to fit your needs because everyone else thinks its the way to go.
__________________
2010 E150 5.4, E250 suspension, E350 springs, BFG KO2 265/75/16.

Google Sled Hockey - You won't be disappointed.
Jsweezy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 09:30 AM   #246
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 6,661
Thanks Thom, all good info.
__________________
2014 Transit MR T350 ecoBoost, Vanilla
98 Silver E350 V10 4x4 home build (sold)
Rusty the rusty '95 SMB (sold)
Tryptovan the blue CCV van, 2002 e350 (sold)
...My name is Eric and I have a van problem...
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 12:18 PM   #247
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Newberg, OR
Posts: 727
When you're over this way again for any reason, stop by so I can check out the front seats. Since becoming a dealer for aftermarket seats (scheel-mann usa | Orthopedic Automotive Seats), I spend a portion of my time designing adapters for various rigs and I haven't seen a Pro Master up close yet. Would love to be able to offer an aftermarket seating solution for PM owners.
mgmetalworks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 09:29 PM   #248
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 398
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmetalworks View Post
When you're over this way again for any reason, stop by so I can check out the front seats...Would love to be able to offer an aftermarket seating solution for PM owners.
Hi Michael, sure thing. My wife saw the post of the seats earlier today when i was doodling around the web, then we visited the website, they look nice.

Thom
__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2017, 02:19 PM   #249
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsweezy View Post
Your telling me, you got new BFGs mounted and didnt even post a photo?! I thought that was just an understood about getting new shoes...
Stopped at the beach on the way home for a photo op : )

Hood wrap/paint protection, Secure Guard on cab windows, and White Perforated Vinyl on side and rear windows... OH, and the BFG _shoes_
Attached Thumbnails
Accrete2017-09-13PM.jpg  
__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2017, 06:04 PM   #250
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 398
Thumbs up

Today my wife and i dropped of our Ram Promaster at the conversion shop. There was a Q asked by a member of the class B FP group and i thought i'd share my reply here since i will keep the SMB fans updated on its progress.

Greetings and THX for asking...

The conversion shop is a ~5~ person cottage-vendor style word-of-mouth sort of shop on the southwestern spit of land in Washington about 20 minutes from our current home base across the river in Astoria Oregon. Their work is beautiful and precise. Below are just some quick notes/thoughts on what we've got on paper with the builder.

what we dreamed up, and the builder signed off on:

The basic layout will be rear platform bed set at about 30" above floor (froli-sleep system on 75"x50" platform sleeping with heads on street sidewall) with 1/2 of the space underneath as a basement accessible from van's rear doors (but sealed with its own doors). Forward basement accesible from inside, center ~30asile~ has doors under bed. Overhead cupboards above foot end. LED/USB lights/ports on both sides of bed-headboard.

A full height (curb side) bath/shower closet similar to what we designed in Van1. Toilet/shower items below counter height, closet-cupboard above. Pull out as needed into asile ~Rialta~ style but with cloth privacy verses solid partition.

Curbside chuck box at rear half of slider accesible from inside/outside with flip down camp table, and interior flip up counter extension. With bug screen to cover door utilizing no-see-um net and magnets for attachment (same will be used for rear door at bed platform level and above).

Street side ~6ft counter set at 36"h with sink and overhead cupboards. Cooler under lift up counter area. Sink & grey water storage & adjustable shelves under. Drawer to finish off area cooler.

All horizontal counters/work surfaces are of SS < one of their specialties. Vertical cabinetry facing/drawers are in white laminate over marine ply. Flooring is Samsonite commercial grade fiberglass backed vinyl in a complementary tan/earth pattern to go with "Heather Beige" Sunbrella fabric accents and "H29 Beige" EcoFi fabric on walls/ceiling.
Front cab has both seats set to swivel to rear on lowering platforms to retain stock height. Small table available with AC and USB power.

Thinsulate in all voids. Thinsulate soft partition as needed behind cab. Thinsulate/thermal fabric window treatments as needed. G & C roof fan/vent imported from UK.

Probably left out some tid bits but that is a good look into things.

: ) Thom Lester
Attached Thumbnails
Promaster Layout V2.jpg  
__________________

__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
aluminess, awd

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.