Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-16-2015, 02:40 AM   #1
Platinum Member
 
wincrasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Greer, South Carolina
Posts: 2,609
Default A taste of a Transit conversion

They are starting to show up - in Europe, that is.

I don't really care for this van, but it gives you a sense of the space in the LWB model and what could be fitted.

[youtube:109eucfr]hXIFuZjk0A0[/youtube:109eucfr]
__________________

__________________
2019 Winnebago Travato GL
Follow my blog: https://www.wincrasher.blogspot.com
Our Facebook group is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClassBCamperVans/
wincrasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2015, 02:42 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,580
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

There is not much in that video that would give one a clue as to what converters in North America will come up with. The Transit is closer to the Sprinter T1N (up to 2006) in size with a tad bit improvement in height, width, length and load. So, I doubt there will be any revolutionary differences. The T1N Sprinter was a popular model for a Euro style van closer to American market desires than the Promaster can provide as a two person extended touring B. I think the Transit can end up the mainstream B leaving the Promaster as a funky B appealing to the low end younger active weekend market and the Sprinter B for the ultimate motorhome B. You could never install the touring capability I have in my Sprinter B in a Promaster. I'm waiting to see if it can be done with a Transit but it should come closer or maybe close enough. I haven't analyzed it closely but I know I could not achieve what I was looking for with a regular body (22'-9") Sprinter but that all came down to the wheel base and distance beyond the rear wheels. The Transit has a shorter wheel base on a 22 ft. length.

The only thing I don't like about the Transit now that I have seen them on the road is that front end grill work.
__________________

__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2015, 03:33 AM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Kansas City, Ks. Suburb
Posts: 860
Send a message via Yahoo to bobojay
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Personal opinion is we'll soon see the Transit taking over the small class C market that the ProMaster had just gotten it's foot into the door. WGO Viva/Trend, Forest River models is what I'm referring to, but with newer floor plans and options.
The vans are another story in that will the public want to go back to the T1N size class B's. Who knows at this point.....

That van color in the video is called "Blue Jeans" here in North America. Sure is pretty.....
__________________
Bob & Sharon
2019 Winnebago Travato K (2018 Chassis)

Past RV's: 2013 WGO ERA 70A, Chevy PW Lexor
Itasca Navion, 29' Jayco 5th Wheel
bobojay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2015, 03:07 PM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,580
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

If the Class B is to be mainly a touring van I think the Transit has a future and the Promaster with its limitations especially on underfloor and capacities will be relegated to weekender/short vacation status if anyone can afford such luxury even though it will be the least expensive option. Clearly the converters are focusing on that niche loading them with bike and kayak racks and emphasizing activity over touring. They also have short going for them. If short is really desired the Chevy's would not be disappearing in the B market as they have and the 144" wb Sprinters would have have had a bigger market share all along. The Transit hits the sweet spot between short and long between the Promaster and the longer Sprinters and will have few if any no-brainer situations where it can't park.

So far there isn't a Promaster design presented I could enjoy touring with as I just did for 66 days and 11,000 miles. It is a fine line. All Class Bs are minimalist. But I doubt I could have enjoyed that tour with a small Class C either considering the many situations I was in that would have caused me alternative plans let alone the comfort of driving and pace I was making. I am extremely happy with my choice as I had pretty much total control over what I got. My only regret is I did desire a 4x4 but couldn't wait. Interestingly, a lack of 4x4 in the Promaster activity market appeal might eventually do it in in that category.

Colors are interesting. I like that Blue Jeans color but wonder if it will wear on one. I had a pickup truck close to that color and kind of tired of it. White and silver are very safe colors. I had both and that is one reason I opted for dark grey metallic just to be different from my old Bs. I also chose the color to go with the the unpainted plastic front end and sides, uncovered wheels and black nerf bars. It has turned out more stealth than I had imagined. My favorite color is the old British racing green. I've had a couple of cars in that color but no van manufacturer quite has it.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2015, 03:48 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,786
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Maybe someone knows what Ford is going to do with its cutaway series of trucks, as I haven't heard, or looked, much. The Transit may be big in the class C area, it really makes sense based on the power of the ECOboost engine, but they may be short on load capacity for anything but the lower end sizes, as the other unibody based cutaways are. If that is the case, will Ford rebadge the E350 or E450 full size cutaways as Tranists, using Transit running gear? The bigger class Cs and commercial trucks really like the V10, even with the fuel use, so there likely could be an ECOboost V8 in the works. I think that could be a real possibility.

We hear a lot about the which van is going for the Chevy market, and often with "short" put in to define the market. The most common Chevies are the Express 3500 extended vans that are about 20.5' long without the spare, and just over 21' with the rear spare. That makes them closer to the Sprinter than the Promaster. I think the Chevy market is more defined by country of origin and V8 gas power, with a big dose of lots of repair facilities, on top of reasonable price. None of the new vans hit all of those points, so I think the market will split up the Chevy customers when it does finally go away. Right now, it appears Chevy can't keep up the van production, as most of the E series Ford buyers are lining up for them, and folks are buying before they disappear.

I think the Promaster versions are hitting the smaller van market properly, with low length, lower cost, and adventure amenities. That crowd had been left out of the market, with the only Sportsmobile being around for it. The short Sprinters were a real head scratcher for me. Semi-luxury without the space for it, slanted toward non adventure use, for nearly the cost of regular Sprinter. No surprise the market is extremely limited for them.

It will be interesting to see what happens, and who survives
booster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2015, 08:44 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Boxster1971's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Maryland
Posts: 906
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

According to the automotive media the E-350 and E-450 chassis cabs and cutaways will continue to at least end of this decade.
http://www.autoblog.com/2014/04/18/ford ... oduction//

... And they are still available on the Ford Commercial Truck web site.
http://www.ford.com/commercial-trucks/eseries-cutaway

So my guess you will still see a lot of them as Class Cs.




- - Mike
2013 Airstream Interstate from 2012 Sprinter 3500 tall & long
__________________
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter 3500 170Ext
Formerly: 1973 Dodge B300 DIY pop-top conversion
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2015, 09:15 PM   #7
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 42
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Could someone list the limitations of the ProMaster as you see them?

from the "the Promaster with its limitations "entry above.
bkroczak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2015, 11:37 PM   #8
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,003
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkroczak
Could someone list the limitations of the ProMaster as you see them?

from the "the Promaster with its limitations "entry above.

weight capacity and clearance height would be it's biggest issues-and this is from someone who has ordered a roadtrek zion which is on a promaster

a secondary issue would be tow capacity.
gerrym51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 01:22 AM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Kansas City, Ks. Suburb
Posts: 860
Send a message via Yahoo to bobojay
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Since it was brought up, GM just declared a "critical production emergency" last week at it's Wentzville, MO assembly plant that builds the Express/Savannah and the new Colorado/Canyon pickups.
The Colorado/Canyon pair has been flying off the lots so fast, along with big fleet orders for the vans, even with 3 shifts working 6 days a week, they can't keep up with the demand for the pickups and the vans, resulting in cancelled orders for fleet customers.
The production emergency throws off the overtime limits and makes 7 days a week possible if they can get the parts, which is currently another issue they are trying to solve.
I believe per contract, if I remember correctly, 60 days is the limit on the "emergency" situation. Also the usual 2 week summer shutdown has been cancelled this year. They also worked through the usual Christmas 10-12 day break last December.
I can remember working some 11.5-12 hr shifts on the line when I was still working during one of these "emergencies", but we never went over 30 days, and never Sundays.
It's murder on the body, but great for the pocketbook.

Anyway, this may partially lead to the slowly dying of the Chevy vans in the RV industry also. Who knows??
__________________
Bob & Sharon
2019 Winnebago Travato K (2018 Chassis)

Past RV's: 2013 WGO ERA 70A, Chevy PW Lexor
Itasca Navion, 29' Jayco 5th Wheel
bobojay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 02:37 AM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 178
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Maybe someone knows what Ford is going to do with its cutaway series of trucks, as I haven't heard, or looked, much. The Transit may be big in the class C area, it really makes sense based on the power of the ECOboost engine, but they may be short on load capacity for anything but the lower end sizes, as the other unibody based cutaways are. If that is the case, will Ford rebadge the E350 or E450 full size cutaways as Tranists, using Transit running gear? The bigger class Cs and commercial trucks really like the V10, even with the fuel use, so there likely could be an ECOboost V8 in the works. I think that could be a real possibility.

We hear a lot about the which van is going for the Chevy market, and often with "short" put in to define the market. The most common Chevies are the Express 3500 extended vans that are about 20.5' long without the spare, and just over 21' with the rear spare. That makes them closer to the Sprinter than the Promaster. I think the Chevy market is more defined by country of origin and V8 gas power, with a big dose of lots of repair facilities, on top of reasonable price. None of the new vans hit all of those points, so I think the market will split up the Chevy customers when it does finally go away. Right now, it appears Chevy can't keep up the van production, as most of the E series Ford buyers are lining up for them, and folks are buying before they disappear.

I think the Promaster versions are hitting the smaller van market properly, with low length, lower cost, and adventure amenities. That crowd had been left out of the market, with the only Sportsmobile being around for it. The short Sprinters were a real head scratcher for me. Semi-luxury without the space for it, slanted toward non adventure use, for nearly the cost of regular Sprinter. No surprise the market is extremely limited for them.

It will be interesting to see what happens, and who survives
I assune by "short Sprinters' you mean the 20 ft ones not the 21ft11ins which makes a difference. The 22ft9ins dualites did make a difference but not in the bathroom size but rather in the cockpit flexibility. And they were perhaps more stable in tough weather conditionsI don't see the LWB Transit becoming the new small C class unless they go to a cutaway. I see Promaster in a number of workable configurations for Sporty folks or singles. The 22ft9 to 24ft Sprinters have priced themselves out of the market for average buyers. So Promaster and Transits with good interior utility and perhaps a lower grade of furniture may be what we shall see. The respective towing capabilities of Promasters and Transits is largely academic in my book as I don't see most of them pulling anything of consequence.
IMHO
Fastpaddler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 03:07 AM   #11
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 425
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Maybe someone knows what Ford is going to do with its cutaway series of trucks, as I haven't heard, or looked, much. The Transit may be big in the class C area, it really makes sense based on the power of the ECOboost engine, but they may be short on load capacity for anything but the lower end sizes, as the other unibody based cutaways are. If that is the case, will Ford rebadge the E350 or E450 full size cutaways as Tranists, using Transit running gear? The bigger class Cs and commercial trucks really like the V10, even with the fuel use, so there likely could be an ECOboost V8 in the works. I think that could be a real possibility.

We hear a lot about the which van is going for the Chevy market, and often with "short" put in to define the market. The most common Chevies are the Express 3500 extended vans that are about 20.5' long without the spare, and just over 21' with the rear spare. That makes them closer to the Sprinter than the Promaster. I think the Chevy market is more defined by country of origin and V8 gas power, with a big dose of lots of repair facilities, on top of reasonable price. None of the new vans hit all of those points, so I think the market will split up the Chevy customers when it does finally go away. Right now, it appears Chevy can't keep up the van production, as most of the E series Ford buyers are lining up for them, and folks are buying before they disappear.

I think the Promaster versions are hitting the smaller van market properly, with low length, lower cost, and adventure amenities. That crowd had been left out of the market, with the only Sportsmobile being around for it. The short Sprinters were a real head scratcher for me. Semi-luxury without the space for it, slanted toward non adventure use, for nearly the cost of regular Sprinter. No surprise the market is extremely limited for them.

It will be interesting to see what happens, and who survives
I totally agree with you booster, w'ere on the same page.

The short Sprinters have a very limited market, that the ProMaster B's can grab.

The chevy replacement is long overdue, although GM still holds a considerable market because of agressive pricing.

The Sprinter will keep the high-end, very high price, very long B vans market. They are impressive, but as not friendly looking for camping. More like three piece suits gone camping. Mercedes is very agressive to grab it's share of the market, building another plant in the US, so it's there to stay. And I agree with Davydd that the 4x4 will appeal to a lot of customers of the high-end B market that feel they absolutely need to tackle all road conditions. Even though it might have limited use, it gives a reassuring feeling that your house-on-wheels will never be stuck in the mud. ( Update: Although it will !!! http://youtu.be/X0KcKssZnhQ)

Ford seems also to be very agressive introducing the Transit, so I can imagine seeing more and more of these top heavy vans on our streets. Got to get used to the weird design of those vans. The ProMaster beast is a 10 compare to the Fordish design! I really don't like the very high roof of the Transit. Saw one yesterday that looked not bad because of the dark paint and window van option, but the proportions are bad. ...as you all know, van design is an acquired taste.




.
GeorgeB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 04:28 AM   #12
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,580
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

I wouldn't count out the 144" wb 4x4 Sprinter for the sport activity market.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 02:19 PM   #13
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 425
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
I wouldn't count out the 144" wb 4x4 Sprinter for the sport activity market.
I'm sure the small builders like Outside Van from Oregon, Safari Condo in Quebec, and even Sportsmobile will offer builds on the 144 4x4. It will be high-end vehicles because of the steep price on the MB van. I would love to see ARV building one and name it something like MasaÔ
GeorgeB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 02:55 PM   #14
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,580
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Last I heard Advanced RV has four 4x4 Class Bs under construction already. All of them are on the 170" wb. Very few customers are even opting for the regular body in favor of the extended body length. They haven't built on the 144" wb chassis yet. I'll see what they are up to in a couple of weeks at Advanced Fest.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 09:24 PM   #15
Platinum Member
 
wincrasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Greer, South Carolina
Posts: 2,609
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

One man's limitations is another man's strengths.

Size. A lot of people don't want a bigger van. It's big compared to a Chevy, yet smaller compared to an XL Sprinter. Do you want to park in a regular parking space? If yes, then look at Promasters - they are only 20' 11". Of course the shorter length turns into some compromises in layout and space available under the van. That's where creative design comes into play. Look to the euro vans to see what can be done. There is alot that is being done overseas that hasn't made it here yet.

Height. Promaster is lower to the ground and that translates into better driving dynamics. I've driven both and I think hands down the Promaster is easier to drive. It's very much like a big mini-van. It also has a lower step-in, so it's easier to get in and out.

Safety. Being in the under 10,000 lb class, that translates into additional safety requirements by law that don't apply to bigger commercial vehicles. Promaster has side impact, airbag, ESC and other safety requirements that do not apply to Sprinter and maybe some of the Transits. The seat mounted airbags are the most obvious feature, since that prevents the front seats from being recovered in leather.

Weight. Promaster is lighter. That translates into a lower payload too. But being shorter, means less of that heavy stuff can fit inside it, so is extra payload needed? So far, what were are seeing is the weight of the conversion is around 2000 lbs, leaving 1800 to 2000 lbs of payload. Is that enough for all your junk, fuel and water? I think it's plenty.

Cost. Hands down the Promaster is cheaper to buy and cheaper to operate. There really is nothing to debate on this point.

Where will the Transit fit into this mix? Hard to tell. There are so many size and engine configurations to be available, it's hard to tell what the manufacturers will do. Most likely somewhere in between. Do they spec the large van and compete with Sprinter, or go with the smaller van and compete with Promaster. Maybe some of both, I don't know.
__________________
2019 Winnebago Travato GL
Follow my blog: https://www.wincrasher.blogspot.com
Our Facebook group is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClassBCamperVans/
wincrasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 11:18 PM   #16
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 425
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher
One man's limitations is another man's strengths.

...Look to the euro vans to see what can be done. There is alot that is being done overseas that hasn't made it here yet.
Height. Promaster is lower to the ground and that translates into better driving dynamics. I've driven both and I think hands down the Promaster is easier to drive. It's very much like a big mini-van. It also has a lower step-in, so it's easier to get in and out.
Safety. Promaster has side impact, airbag, ESC and other safety requirements ...
Weight. Promaster is lighter. ...
Cost. Hands down the Promaster is cheaper to buy and cheaper to operate. There really is nothing to debate on this point.
I totally agree with you wincrasher. I decided to go ahead with the PM because the driving is fabulous and the form factor is best suited for van conversions. I also fell in love with the euro layout that Safari Condo adapted http://centrelab.smugmug.com/PERSO-G...docom/n-MNSpq/ My only worry: will it be reliable? I figured with a 15 000$ difference with Sprinter based vehicles, it's money in the bank to repair a lot of stuff down the road. But the decision was mostly based on the feeling that this platform is the best one for van conversions. No wonder 80% of euro Bs are built on the Ducatos.

Talking about the van market in North America, the Transit and the future GM vans might conquer it in the future, but it will be mostly based on the fleet marketing strategies. And MB has a strong position with it's refined drivetrain and an economical Diesel engine. But I believe the tiny B market will open up to the ProMaster platform if FCA does its homework in terms of quality control.

.
GeorgeB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 11:24 PM   #17
Platinum Member
 
wincrasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Greer, South Carolina
Posts: 2,609
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Wow, those are some cool pics!

I'm sure you'll be very happy with it. With a little luck, you could probably drive coast-to-coast with it without having to pull over and wallow in depression since you bought such an inadequate van.
__________________
2019 Winnebago Travato GL
Follow my blog: https://www.wincrasher.blogspot.com
Our Facebook group is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClassBCamperVans/
wincrasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 11:27 PM   #18
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 42
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

It seems to me that there is a much bigger price difference than $15,000 between the ProMaster and the Sprinter conversions. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places?
bkroczak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2015, 12:18 AM   #19
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 425
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkroczak
It seems to me that there is a much bigger price difference than $15,000 between the ProMaster and the Sprinter conversions. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places?
I was talking about the base price of the vehicle, not the converted one. Upfitters have a tendency to do the star treatment to the Bs built on the Mercedes chassis, adding all the safety features like the useless Lane Departue etc. Look at the inventory of the refined Outside Vans http://www.outsidevan.com/inventory.php Their complete camping/gear camper Brown Pow was sold at 280 000$ ! http://www.outsidevan.com/brown-pow.php

Our Safari Condo ProMaster was exactly 15 000$ CAD less than the 2014 Short Sprinter Agile that we ordered and canceled. With an added 18" in length but a huge difference in cargo and storage capacity, in quality equipments, comfort, design, style and ...a real usable shower for a 6'1" 200 pounder! http://centrelab.smugmug.com/PERSO-GL/X ... m/n-MNSpq/



The fancy Brown Pow from Outside Van
http://www.outsidevan.com/brown-pow.php

GeorgeB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2015, 12:20 AM   #20
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 425
Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

http://centrelab.smugmug.com/PERSO-GL/X ... m/n-MNSpq/

Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher
Wow, those are some cool pics!

I'm sure you'll be very happy with it. With a little luck, you could probably drive coast-to-coast with it without having to pull over and wallow in depression since you bought such an inadequate van.

!
__________________

GeorgeB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×