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Old 11-11-2013, 04:27 AM   #21
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Re: Have you taken a look at ProMaster vans in person?

Now you guys have me doing it.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:30 PM   #22
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Re: Have you taken a look at ProMaster vans in person?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
Larrie, the main disadvantage I can see to your plan is that it prevents upper cabinets from being installed in the bed area.
Rough, and sectional, but the top of the cabinets are going to be work surface, or counters that you have to clean to put the be down anyway, right? You save ceiling height and can have upper cabinets but you cannot have anything in the countertops, like a stove or sink.
Your cross section is close to the design I like best so far (although it's far from perfect so I'm still looking), which would have the bed over the cabinets similar to what you show. And the stove and sink wouldn't be an issue because I hope my next van has the flush-top units (not sure what they are called). Plus they expand counter top space when stove and sink are not being used.

My wife doesn't like the idea of sleeping over kitchen cabinets. Not as the primary bed anyway -- maybe as a second bed.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:12 PM   #23
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Re: Have you taken a look at ProMaster vans in person?

I did a quick sketch of what the plan would look like. This is based on the 2500 159" wheelbase high top model that appears to have 160" of cargo length. This plan seems like it would work very well with either the low top model with a penthouse or the high top. With the penthouse version the bed would have to be up top.



This is great fun. There is a tremendous amount of space in the van. If the Fords come close to the same size things are going to get interesting in the home built and up fit arena.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:00 AM   #24
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Re: Have you taken a look at ProMaster vans in person?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
I did a quick sketch of what the plan would look like. This is based on the 2500 159" wheelbase high top model that appears to have 160" of cargo length. This plan seems like it would work very well with either the low top model with a penthouse or the high top. With the penthouse version the bed would have to be up top.



This is great fun. There is a tremendous amount of space in the van. If the Fords come close to the same size things are going to get interesting in the home built and up fit arena.
I like your basic layout with vertical partitions only at the very back so that the living space will seem bigger and more open by virtue of not being interrupted visually.

For what it's worth, the low-roof ProMaster only comes in short and middle wheelbase models. The 159 inch wheelbase models are only high roof, which means SMB will not be installing a penthouse on them. As I recall reading, SMB only plans a PH for the 136 inch WB low-roof model. The even shorter vans are probably too small to make great campers anyway for most buyers' needs.

In your layout, would you not plan to use the dinnette for across-the-van sleeping? If so, would the drop down bed serve as a second level (bunk like) bed above the dinnette?

For shorter people, I'm wondering if a drop-down bed could be installed closer to the front of the van over the cab and seating area. In a layout like yours for example, if there were four captains chairs in front that also swiveled, it would be possible to rotate the seat backs against the van's outside walls and drop an overhead bed down to rest on seat cushions. A small table between the four captains chairs could be lowered to also help support the bed. I recall seeing a similar arrangement before (not sure, but think it may have been a Roadtrek; although bed did not drop down from ceiling).

Don't forget that although the ProMaster is nearly 6'-2" wide near bottom, the very top where your bed would reside during day is narrower. It would be easy enough to make up the difference with fill-in cushions at the feet, but you would have to figure out a way to support the shorter structural part of the bed. If the bed was only 5 feet long or so, it would not span from sidewall to sidewall. In your layout it may be easy in that you could have a wider bed and install clips off the back partitions and let the front of the bed rest on the cabinets. I just don't think it would leave enough vertical space between the dinnette bed and the drop-down platform bed other than for small children.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:29 PM   #25
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Re: Have you taken a look at ProMaster vans in person?

By the way, the Ducato Maxi roof option that is available in Europe would make any kind of overhead- or bunk-bed arrangement easier to design. As you can see from picture, the roof is considerably higher than the tall roof we get in US. Overall van height is similar to Sprinter but interior height is taller -- I think close to 7 feet.

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Old 11-12-2013, 07:05 PM   #26
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Re: Have you taken a look at ProMaster vans in person?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
For what it's worth, the low-roof ProMaster only comes in short and middle wheelbase models.
I specially picked the 159" model because of the windows. You are right about the low roof only coming in the 118" and 136" wheel bases. When I looked at how the interior walls were attached to the support structure it was hard to figure out how to install windows in the low roof van without cutting up the existing wall framing and then adding more windows around the windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
In your layout, would you not plan to use the dinnette for across-the-van sleeping? If so, would the drop down bed serve as a second level (bunk like) bed above the dinette?
I thought about that but do not have enough hard dimensions on the interior to see if it would work. It would seem like an excellent idea. Would just need to make sure that the upper bunk was locked in place and could not fall in the middle of the night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
I'm wondering if a drop-down bed could be installed closer to the front of the van over the cab and seating area.
This is is a good idea and appears to be quite possible. Would have to make sure that the side door could still be accessed with the bed down. Again more need more hard dimensions.

There is to be a huge amount of space in the PM compared to the E series. It will be interesting to see what the home brew community does with them. Thanks for the feed back.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:43 AM   #27
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Re: Have you taken a look at ProMaster vans in person?

Wow y'all... this is exactly what I've been thinking about for the last few months in designing a Sprinter conversion (I know, a bit of thread drift). I was thinking that the "living and dining" space would be where the front 4 seats are, all swiveling, with a table somewhere between them. For that area, either a bed platform that lowers from the ceiling (maybe attached towards the windscreen/A pillars) OR a platform that just fits between the seats (a la the extra kids beds seen in another post, or the Road Trek beds). Also still working on the design for the rear (main, larger) bed- I love the idea of a suspended bed, that raises during the day to enable access to the back of the van and ideally egress through the rear doors. My biggest design hurdle is that I really would like to have roofline overhead cabinets (similar to those on airplanes), and I have yet to figure out how to bring the bed up high enough to allow use of the overhead cabinets... maybe folding the sides of the bed into itself enough to clear the cabinets?

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Old 12-26-2013, 01:49 PM   #28
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Re: Have you taken a look at ProMaster vans in person?

I know this is almost verging on a necro thread, but I took a look one last week. It will be interesting how this is upfitted because it has a few hurdles:

1: It is low to the ground. Fitting a generator underneath is going to be difficult, much less the water and wastewater tanks.

2: The wheel wells are high. If one compares them to a Sprinter, they take up a good amount of room inside the cab. This means the bed has to be higher up to clear them.

These are not impossible things to deal with, but they make upfitting these a lot harder than a Sprinter, although the PM van is definitely a lot cheaper. Plus, since there is no driveshaft, the tanks can be wider to make up for the lower clearance.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:49 PM   #29
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Re: Have you taken a look at ProMaster vans in person?

Spent the morning doing some research on how much space is available for conversion in the different models and comparing them to other vans. Here is the approximate open floor dimensions from the back of the drivers seat to inside the rear doors. It is interesting to see that they are all about the same size. I think the reason that the Promaster looks so much larger on the inside is that the the walls are very close to vertical giving the impression of more space. The other manufactures tilt the walls in so they seem to be more claustrophobic.

Promaster
118" wheel base has 73.4" wide x 105" long
136" wheel base has 73.4" wide x 122.8" long
159" wheel base has 73.4" wide x 145.9" long
159" wheel base with extended body has 73.4" wide x 160" long

From the SMB website
Ford
RB 70" wide at the floor x 120" long
EB 70" wide at the floor x 140" long

Chevy/GM
RB 70" wide at the floor x 121" long
EB 70" wide at the floor x 141" long

Sprinter
EB 69" wide at at 75" x 170" long
EB 69" wide at at 75" x 185" long
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:19 AM   #30
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Re: Have you taken a look at ProMaster vans in person?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22
I know this is almost verging on a necro thread, but I took a look one last week. It will be interesting how this is upfitted because it has a few hurdles:

1: It is low to the ground. Fitting a generator underneath is going to be difficult, much less the water and wastewater tanks.

2: The wheel wells are high. If one compares them to a Sprinter, they take up a good amount of room inside the cab. This means the bed has to be higher up to clear them.

These are not impossible things to deal with, but they make upfitting these a lot harder than a Sprinter, although the PM van is definitely a lot cheaper. Plus, since there is no driveshaft, the tanks can be wider to make up for the lower clearance.
Roughly 2 out of every 3 camper vans in Europe are reportedly based on the Ducato, so overcoming these challenges you mention can't be that difficult. The Promaster has the spare tire which is about 9 inches wide under the floor, so shallow holding tanks should fit fine. The ProMaster with a floor about 21 inches high may seem low, but it's a lot higher than the classic GM motor homes. A PM van is also higher underneath than American campers like LeSharo and others based on FWD vans like Renault and VW. Buyers are just going to have to understand that these campers are not meant as off-road vehicles.

Clearance for a generator may be a larger issue, but I see built-in generators becoming less popular as larger inverters and battery banks replace them for short-term loads. For long-term loads portable generators seem popular due to lower cost, noise, and fuel consumption.
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