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Old 06-12-2015, 12:36 PM   #81
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The Travato 59k just happens to be the perfect floorplan for us but before they came out with the 59k the only option to get that floorplan was Sportsmobile or DIY and I'm still waiting on the Promaster chassis to prove itself. Might go Transit in which case I still might have to go Sportsmobile. Sportsmobile has a shop in Fresno so it is closer to us than other custom builders.
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:29 PM   #82
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From the numbers I see, I dont get why anyone would buy a Sportsmobile. Once your done the price is at what you can get a 59G or 59K for at a show. Much worse craftsmanship.
Having seen both Sportsmobiles and Winnebagos, I'd put them in the opposite positions. The style may be different, but I find Winnebago products to have less quality in their workmanship.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:26 PM   #83
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The Travato 59k just happens to be the perfect floorplan for us but before they came out with the 59k the only option to get that floorplan was Sportsmobile or DIY and I'm still waiting on the Promaster chassis to prove itself. Might go Transit in which case I still might have to go Sportsmobile. Sportsmobile has a shop in Fresno so it is closer to us than other custom builders.
I don't think you need to wait any longer for the Promaster chassis to "prove itself". I have a 2014 with 15000 miles and zero issues other than the minor brake squeal. It's the best platform for a conversion. I'll go head to head with a Transit owner any day on that topic. All the Transit has over the Promaster is towing capacity in the echoboost.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:39 PM   #84
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I agree. What does the Promaster "chassis" have to prove?
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:10 PM   #85
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The Travato 59k just happens to be the perfect floorplan for us but before they came out with the 59k the only option to get that floorplan was Sportsmobile or DIY and I'm still waiting on the Promaster chassis to prove itself. Might go Transit in which case I still might have to go Sportsmobile. Sportsmobile has a shop in Fresno so it is closer to us than other custom builders.
Dont really have to worry about the chassis. There are years of use in Europe to look to. They have almost all of the market share there.

Id still prefer a Transit tho. I think we will see some by the Hershey show.
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:12 PM   #86
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Having seen both Sportsmobiles and Winnebagos, I'd put them in the opposite positions. The style may be different, but I find Winnebago products to have less quality in their workmanship.

Everyone has their own opinions. I think Sportsmobiles are just not very good and are outdated. You are better off just doing your own conversion if you have some skills vs. paying Sportsmobile to do a similar quality job.
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:51 PM   #87
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Reliability-wise, I'd probably say the Transit and the ProMaster are about the same. Neither is perfect, but I don't see any screaming on either forum by hordes of people who said they bought a lemon and they have a "van-shaped object" that is now a permanent fixture at their local mechanic, as opposed to a usable vehicle.

Both also have a decent dealer network. Fords, definitely, while Dodge/RAM has at least 1-2 dealers in each region as well.

Part of the SMB build is research and development and trying to learn a few things, especially what is useful, versus what is overkill. For example, it is tempting to go with a 24 volt battery system and the dual-120VAC Magnum Energy inverter, but for the most part, I don't need to go that exotic for what I'm doing. It also is interesting seeing what is available, especially with the stuff sold overseas that just doesn't come over to this side of the pond.

I would say that a SMB floorplan isn't as honed as one from a dedicated "B" place, but it does do the job, and the materials are decent.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:39 PM   #88
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I put off ownership of either Promaster or Transit. Both have proven themselves in Europe. I have read the Promaster boards and there were quite a few issues with the 2014 and much fewer with the 2015s. What made me put off the Promaster is the parts supply line. I have read of people taking weeks or even months for a part... which may be tolerable for the local plumber, but would be a huge problem for an RVer. It is a problem that should go away, so in 2-3 years, I'll look again and see what the owners are saying... not the ones with no issues, but the ones that had them.

As a woman traveling on her own... with zero mechanical skills, this sort of thing becomes more important. I decided to stick with the Chevy platform for now.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:34 PM   #89
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One or two postings on a forum does not make a "problem". The engine in the Promaster is a Chrysler 3.6 liter V6. They've built millions of them, and there is a deep supply chain of parts.

They say you need to take a Promaster to a dealer that services their commercial line of vehicles, which isn't very convenient. It may be necessary for a very short list of parts specific to the Promaster only. But for engine and transmission service or parts, you can go to any Chrysler dealer and get it taken care of.

That is, if you have something break. I've not needed anything but oil changes since I've owned my first van.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:55 PM   #90
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I am looking at it as a female traveling alone with a dog. I am well aware of the fact that those with no problems don't tend to post, so the negative posts can be overwhelming on some boards. (and there have been way more than "one or two" problems in the last year) Just like with the Sprinter, it took a few years for the development of a dependable service system. And I have had friends having to deal with 2-400 mile tows. While the majority of owners of Promasters will not have issues, there is still the chance of having one. And I don't want to end up at at some small dealer in Left Overshoe, Nebraska and hear their mechanics declaring that that this was the first one that they had seen. LOL Let's just say that I am conservative about getting stuck for days in a place that I don't want to be...
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:02 PM   #91
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I want to see 100,000 mile plus data. We will be buying used in about ten years when we retire.We are enjoying our 96 Class B Dodge right now and do expect problems but at 10% the cost of a new rig even catastrophic failure is easier to take when you don't still have another $30k owed til payoff.I should add that even a DIY or Sportsmobile build will also be done on a used van. I am cheap by nature and upbringing. The transit and Promaster are only the same as the European vans in the van but not in drivetrain.It is a good point about the Pentastar engine but the trans is a new incarnation of the Caravan trans.I'm in no hurry as you can see, but am excited for those who have a lot of options in this current crop of Class B's.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:21 AM   #92
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I am one of those who buys new... and pays cash... and won't live long enough to put 100K on any vehicle. LOL
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Old 06-14-2015, 03:17 AM   #93
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I am one of those who buys new... and pays cash... and won't live long enough to put 100K on any vehicle. LOL
Ditto. But the rate I'm going I could do 100,000 miles but the itch probably would return at about 50,000.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:47 AM   #94
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We also camped in 5 degree weather comfortably. We have a lot of windows but that doesn't seem to be a problem.

Advanced RV has also put in a double lined pleated curtain system that really works to block out light. Sleeping anywhere even directly under street and parking lamps has not been a problem.

I would recommend you research what they are doing and adopt it. No other B converter has it figured out that I know of. If you had ever boondocked in a Walmart parking lot you would understand this.
I'm a new member of classbforum. My husband and I plan to purchase a Ford Transit high roof extended Ecoboost soon and do an owner conversion to rv. Sad to hear (above - thanks) about the long lead time for the Transit because I'll be taking some time off between jobs soon - would be great to have this project to work on at the right time....

We've really liked some of Advanced RV's ideas. Just watched a Technomadia video that mentioned using the light blocking curtain to project movies onto We won't have an upfitter like Sportsmobile do it for us - planning to incorporate some of the concepts of other converters and have been thinking some of the European ways of handling space. Also - I'm doing some pencil & paper planning for an "airdry" alternative to the blackwater tank - "compost toilet" like the one used by the Wynns (Gone with the Wynns) BUT I'd like to see whether one can be integrated into the RV in a way that is more seamless for users and allows removing thru the RV side instead of through the interior of the RV. Wouldn't be too surprising to fail on this one - but I like the problem for a few reasons: can carry more water, no black tank to empty, not tied to searching for a "dumping" station. What do you think? Yours Jennie
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:09 AM   #95
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I'm a new member of classbforum. My husband and I plan to purchase a Ford Transit high roof extended Ecoboost soon and do an owner conversion to rv. Sad to hear (above - thanks) about the long lead time for the Transit because I'll be taking some time off between jobs soon - would be great to have this project to work on at the right time....
wiljennie, suggest you head over to the Ford Transit USA forum...
http://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/

and check it out for any Transit info you need. Good resource. I'm one of the moderators over there and can highly recommend it
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Old 06-15-2015, 01:41 PM   #96
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The Advanced RV curtains are very simple. They are simply double lined pleated curtains that slide on a rod that can be made with a sewing machine. The fabric on the inside is any fabric, pattern, color and design the owner desires. The outer fabric is a dense total like blocking material. Why RV converters use shades that don't block out light mystifies me.

As long as you have grey water you'll be "searching" for a dumping station. I don't understand the misconception on this. Every private campground, most public campgrounds such as state parks and many truck and rest stops have dump stations. It is not a difficult task. Dumping via gravity or a macerator is a rather easy and fairly clean task that takes about 5-10 minutes. Disposing of human waste or urine any other way is not as sanitary, probably would take longer and those who advocate it by saying they dump grey on the ground or throw human waste in a dumpster may not only be breaking laws but are "dumping" their problem onto someone else to deal with. Land is not a vast ocean and camping locations are concentrated.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:14 PM   #97
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The reason I'm going with black/gray tanks is because it is a de facto standard, and if I decide to sell the van, it is something understandable to the next buyer.

I had this happen back in 2011 when I was looking for a travel trailer. I found a TT in great shape, at a good price, so started to do an inspection. I looked down the toilet, saw the driveway underneath. I asked the owner why there wasn't a black tank.

Earlier, he had both his black and gray tanks connected to a remote valve assembly, which was connected to a set of upfitter switches in his truck. To save dump fees, he would either just pull over and empty a tank when parked on the side of the road or for the gray tank, while the rig was moving. Well, he let fly when a Texas DPS (Texas's analog to the CHP) officer was behind him, and he scored a $3500 fine. So, he dropped the black tank, and just lets the toilet water fall to the ground. Since it is covered by his rig until he leaves, he didn't care.

Needless to say, I didn't buy that TT. I wound up buying a new rig.

However, that did teach me a lesson... if a rig came with a gray/black water system, and the current owner ripped it to shreds, that rig isn't going to sell to anyone. At one local dealership, they have had a custom van for sale on the lot for a few years now, and part of the reason is that there was plumbing, but got torn out.

This is one reason why my upfit is going to have a set of black and gray tanks. Depending on floorplan, I might have to go with a macerator toilet (Tecma Silence Plus), but regardless of how it is laid out, it empties at the dumpstation the same way that 99% of rigs do... hook up the slinky, pull the handle, close up and call it done. If I went with a cassette toilet or a composting toilet, it will absolutely kill the resale value of the rig, since those are very special purpose items. Any RV-er will be able to use it. This doesn't say there is anything wrong with cassettes or composting toilets, but those are special purpose items, and can affect value of a rig.

This is also true about refrigerators. If an oddball fridge is used that is out of place to a buyer, it can affect resale value, so this is why I'm most likely going with as large an absorption fridge that will fit the van. To handle places where the van is too off level to safely run the absorption fridge, I plan to get a portable Dometic "ice chest" compressor fridge. This way, if I'm parked way off level, I can turn off the absorption fridge completely, set the ice chest compressor fridge to 0 degrees (-18 C), then change out ice packs between it and the absorption fridge every day or so. Not the most optimal solution, but if I can't get a level setting, it does work.
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:52 PM   #98
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DC compressor fridges are rapidly becoming the new-normal. I would not worry about resale value on that count.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:01 PM   #99
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mlts22.Why not get a big compressor fridge? It can't get much simpler than that . I do realize it takes battery and solar but people are really coming around to all electric systems and omitting propane makes everything simpler and it doesn't require thousands of dollars to do this.As a member of the Sportsmobile forums ,you know that AGM batteries have served well for years. P.S. I know you've thought and planned a lot about this so my questions are more to inform people new to the subject like Jennie.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:25 PM   #100
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You talk a lot about resale value but with a DIY van the value is up to the buyer to decide. All you can do is provide a price range. Make decisions based on what you want and what you can have (like compressor fridge, solar, convection microwave, induction stove, LiFePO4 batteries, composting toilet, huge holding and fresh tanks, radiant floor heating, 12V A/C, etc. etc.).
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