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-   -   Promaster reliability (http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5/promaster-reliability-8688.html)

Stevetrail 01-11-2019 04:13 AM

Promaster reliability
 
We are considering selling our trailer and tow vehicle and getting a small class b that I can use as my primary vehicle. I am looking at carado or roadtrek with promaster chassis. I am concerned with some of the reliability isssues posted by fleet owners. Seems like the transmission, valve train, headlights burning out and some other quality isssues are heavily reported. Anyone have a higher mileage promaster , and how has your experience been?
It appears the transits seem to have less reported issues, but there are no small wheelbase conversions available that I know of, other than going with conversion company, e.g. Sports mobile.
Thanks for any input you may have.

MsNomer 01-11-2019 03:44 PM

It’s largely a matter of perspective. My 2014 PM will soon hit 100,000 miles and I’ve been on the PM forum since 2014. I cringe when I see the problems folks discuss on the Sprinter and Transit forums. By comparison, our PM seems solid as a rock.

Do be aware, though, that the Carado is a cheaper upfit with questionable quality control. People who know and accept this when they buy seem pleased with their purchase and take the upfit repairs in stride, figuring they are OK overall given the low price they paid.

mumkin 01-11-2019 04:15 PM

On the Facebook pages with owners of Promaster conversions, concerning your list of issues, the only one that has shown up regularly (but decreasingly with newer models) is the headlights. No one has reported any transmission issues. A couple of people lost their engines due to coolant loss, and I believe that both ended up being caused by the UHG installation. (but never saw a definitive decision on that)

My mileage is too low... and actually most of us RVers with Promasters are pretty low since they have only been out for 4-5 years... to confirm or deny their dependability.

Leland 01-11-2019 04:23 PM

Chevy Express w/ small block. Can't go wrong. Its stood the test of time.

Gail Staton 01-11-2019 04:25 PM

We have had experience with both MB Sprinter and Ford and chose the 2017 Travato K on a Promaster this time. We have not had one problem with the Promaster but do not have high mileage yet. I have been on the Travato FB group for 2 years and I do see a number of headlight replacements reported. I agree with the previous poster's comments about the quality of the Carado.. We would most definitely buy a Travato again as it is our favorite motor home. Very happy with the ride and handling.

mloganusda 01-11-2019 04:41 PM

As with all forums, what you see is probably only 15% of people that are having problems and the other 85% are not. I have been on several different forums for RVs and autos and this seems to be the case with problems. You only see people with problems and those that do not have problems do not post. Some, like me read the forums and post if I can help or know of a solution to the problem. A lot of good tips are in the forums to watch out for but most do not post as they are having a good time.

MLogan
Former LeSharo, Rialta, MINI Cooper, HiLow, Corvair's, Trend (ProMaster) and now Smart Car.
Smyrna, TN

MsNomer 01-11-2019 06:54 PM

That is so true. A few expediters have checked in with 4-500,000 happy miles.

Paul the Gardens 01-11-2019 09:19 PM

I am pleased, so far with my new 2018 RamPromaster conversion,the ride, the handling even the braking are impressive. I was also very worried about the Ram Promaster gas chassis, the converted Safari Condo (.com) also offer a conversion based on the very dependable Chevy Express. I have searched for about one year and decided that I wanted the features of the Promaster (front wheel drive,lower floor, wider body, Pentastar engine) and decided to risk the reabilty issue. Even if I have been driving Toyota & Honda for many years, yes FCA can bring questions. I see this RV thing as a hobby just like having a boat, plane, motorcycle, makes me think that I also spend a lot with with my carbon road bikes. Have fun whatever you choose.

Stevetrail 01-12-2019 12:55 AM

Thanks for info. Having had a few trailers I am well prepared for the usual rv type stuff that comes up, so not too concerned with those issues.
I am scared of the sprinter with the emissions issues and cost of maintenance.
Good to hear you have been happy with your promaster.

Paul the Gardens 01-12-2019 02:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mumkin (Post 85927)
On the Facebook pages with owners of Promaster conversions, concerning your list of issues, the only one that has shown up regularly (but decreasingly with newer models) is the headlights. No one has reported any transmission issues. A couple of people lost their engines due to coolant loss, and I believe that both ended up being caused by the UHG installation. (but never saw a definitive decision on that)

My mileage is too low... and actually most of us RVers with Promasters are pretty low since they have only been out for 4-5 years... to confirm or deny their dependability.

What does UHG stands for ?

rowiebowie 01-12-2019 02:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul the Gardens (Post 85966)
What does UHG stands for ?

Under Hood Generator. Commonly associated with rv's fitted with lithium batteries.

Winston 01-12-2019 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mumkin (Post 85927)
. . . that both ended up being caused by the UHG installation.

We'll cast our 'thumbs up' for the ProMaster. We've logged about 73,000 miles in less than 2 years and have never had to take the van back to the dealership other than for oil changes and tires.

Oh, and yes, we installed the Nations 2nd alternator (UHG??? It's not a generator, it's an alternator) . . . with it legendary built-in 'band saw' that likes to cut radiator hoses. We've lost coolant twice (hopefully now slightly reconfigured so we don't Three-peat) but, in neither case, was the loss of coolant more than an inconvenience.

Storysrvwego 01-17-2019 07:42 PM

17jan18
SteveTrail,
I have a WINNEBAGO Travato 59K which is based on the RAM Promaster 3500EXT which as you may know from other truck designations is the 1 ton rating and EXT is the extended length, high roof model.

Anyway; while this Travato is just a little over one year old, the Promaster has been flawless. And incredibly good in high cross wind steady or gusting. It is amazingly powerful with easy climbs up steep grades with the caviat that the diesel Sprinters certainly bulldoze up the grades with more power as we should expect. While the diesel engine they use in the Sprinter is not the same ultra high mileage diesel you would find in a KENWORTH over the road truck, they do well. Unfortunately the MERCEDES powertrain does seem to have had more issues than the RAM or the FORD but I think the trend on the latest Sprinters seems to be very good now. Mostly emissions systems issues and some complaints that not all MERCEDES dealers will work on the Sprinters. That might be true on the FORD Transit and RAM ProMaster powertrains too but I haven't heard that myself. At least the Promaster uses the same V6 engine in the JEEP JK/JL models so that makes for a lot of commonality in components for a dealer.

We can always find some things to pick at since the reality is there are an incredible number of parts used in the engine and transmissions and axles of our vehicles. I can just say ours has been solid so far. Find the coach layout and quality level your after and then the chassis/powertrain used from MERCEDES, FORD or RAM will be used on all recent and new Class B's. MERCEDES will hit your pocket book harder but may be the best choice for rougher ground traveling if that is high on your list of travel. They are also the only chassis right now with 4x4. Just know that comes at increased cost and with the added weight, will ding the mileage a bit.

Good luck and have fun, whatever you pick.

StorysRwego

Bud 01-17-2019 07:51 PM

"It is amazingly powerful with easy climbs up steep grades with the caviat that the diesel Sprinters certainly bulldoze up the grades with more power as we should expect."

Huh?

Bud

Jon in AZ 01-17-2019 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bud (Post 86244)
"It is amazingly powerful with easy climbs up steep grades with the caviat that the diesel Sprinters certainly bulldoze up the grades with more power as we should expect."

Huh?

Bud

"It's good, but not as good as a diesel."

I had to read that one twice myself!

stevegoldfield 01-17-2019 09:32 PM

I bought a Carado Banff in July 2018, and there's a FB group of owners. I don't think any of us have enough mileage yet to answer your question. However, I don't recall many owners reporting specific Promaster issues, as opposed to issues with the Hymer modifications. Hymer has just announced a new class B, the Roadtrek Haven, which is built on a slightly narrower Ford chassis. There is also a new Axion, built on a 2-foot shorter Promaster than we have with a pop-up top for sleeping.

GaryBIS 01-18-2019 02:03 AM

Hi,
We have a homemade ProMaster conversion -- its a 2014 and has 73,000 miles on it. No serious problems.

Its been up to the Yukon twice, down to the gulf, Nova Scotia and to Cal several times. Over 1000 miles on gravel roads.

Has original headlight bulbs.
Did have one problem with a faulty oil pressure sensor.
Initially had squeaky brakes, but I think that's just a 2014 issue.

There are reports for expediter PM owners who have over 400K miles on the PM forum.

Reliability wise, its not a Toyota, but its not a Range Rover either.

I think its hard to get any accurate idea of overall reliability looking at the forums. People with problems report them, but the majority of people don't have problems and don't say anything.

This is our conversion: https://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-conversion/

Gary

Winston 01-18-2019 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GaryBIS (Post 86273)
. . . has 73,000 miles on it.

Has original headlight bulbs.

Hi Gary, nice to see you here on the Class B Forum. Anyway, get ready for your first headlight failure . . . we just lost our first (at nearly 73,000 miles).

And other forum members, even those with factory units, you should look at Gary's blog . . . very nicely done.

Winston

mumkin 01-18-2019 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul the Gardens (Post 85966)
What does UHG stands for ?

Underhood Generator... ie large 2nd generator as used in ambulances. We call it UHG or UG... and EHGNA calls it a GU.

Santiago 01-18-2019 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Winston (Post 86293)
And other forum members, even those with factory units, you should look at Gary's blog . . . very nicely done.

I wholeheartedly agree. Gary's blog is not only well done but unbelievably comprehensive. You will learn a lot about class B vans and the systems all class B vans have in common. I consider his blog to be the backbone of my build. Manufactured class B owners will learn a lot about their own vans.

His van heat loss calculator was invaluable to me and the basis for all my decisions on heating and cooling which in turn determined house electrical sizing, etc. Gary conducts experiments on a variety of van systems topics engaging his audience that write in. I think you will enjoy and learn.

Santiago


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