The Van

The Van:

Although we have travelled in several types of RVs, including pop-up tent trailers, travel trailers, and class C motorhomes, the small class B van will be a new size for us. Now that we are down to just the two of us for most of our travels, we have been intrigued and interested in the van style of travel. We tend to move around and not camp in one location for numerous days at a time. The concept of the small, maneuverable van seems to fit our travel style. We were therefore interested in a DIY RV Van.

There are several brands to choose from, including the Mercedes Benz Sprinter, the Ford Transit, the Dodge Ram Promaster, and others. After much review and research, we decided that the high roof Ram Promaster would be a good option for us. The interior is wide enough to sleep side to side, and the height is less than other brands. The problem we encountered was that most of the vans are white and there are not as many used vans with low miles like you can find with passenger cars. The search was on for the right Promaster DIY RV Van.

My wife really did not want a white van, so we began to look for other colors we preferred. All of the 2019 models we liked that were not white were located 600 or more miles from our home. We actually ran across a dealer in Atlanta (Hennessy Buick GMC) with quite a few 2018 vans with less than 50 miles at a great price. They had been titled, so they were technically used, but the warranty start date was only a few months prior.

After email negotiation, we put down a deposit on a 2018 Ram Promaster 2500 High Roof cargo van with the 159″ wheel base. This would give us an interior space 12 feet long behind the front seats in which to layout our living space. Only the 3500 extended model was longer (by about a foot), but would have increased our cost dramatically. This model is a front wheel drive chassis with a gasoline engine. RAM no longer makes a diesel engine option in the Promaster cargo van as of this writing.

We booked one way plane tickets and soon were on our way to Atlanta from Oklahoma. The dealer picked us up at the airport and took us to the dealership. We test drove the van and all was in order. We completed paperwork and in about an hour were driving toward home. The empty cargo van was not as noisy as I had expected with just road noise from the rear wheels as the loudest sound we noticed.

We took advantage of our return trip and made a few stops during our two day return drive. Points of interest included the Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo National Battlefield, Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Monument.

With the van back at home, the task to finalize our layout and being the RV build out was next. We had already designed four or five floor plans, but we would need to test our preferred layout now that we had the van in hand. We look forward to the build process.

Our starting canvas is shown in these photos…

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