Originally Posted by 86Scotty
You did it and NOT a Transit?.. Care to share your thoughts on that?
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:
drove home from dealership (Portland to Astoria Oregon)
Ordered window and hood deflector from eurocampers.com
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!
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.
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