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Old 04-16-2015, 01:40 AM   #1
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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]
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:42 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:33 AM   #3
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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.....
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:07 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:48 PM   #5
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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
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:44 PM   #6
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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.




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Old 04-17-2015, 08:15 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:37 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:22 AM   #9
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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??
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Old 04-18-2015, 01:37 AM   #10
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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
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