Let’s Go Glamping!

We sell a lot of vans to folks all over the country. One of the trends that I love seeing are the growing market of people taking cargo vans and turning them into mini-camper vans. This market surprised me when I started in the car business nearly 21 years ago. Back then we had requests a couple times a year. Now we sell them a few times a month.

These requests used to be on larger vans only. Now we get them on our smallest ProMaster City vans all the way through the ProMaster van line-up. So, whether you need 6, 8, 10, 12, or 13 feet of deck space, we have you covered.

The ProMaster City vans have 4 models. There is a City Tradesman Wagon or a SLT Wagon. Both of the Wagon models have 5 seats, and 54.7 inches of deck length behind the rear seats. 69.2 inches if the back seats are folded forward. With the 2.4L Tigershark motor and the 9-speed automatic they get great fuel economy and have lots of power without having to worry about turbos or premium fuel. They are also best in class with 1,885 lbs of payload, and 2,000 lbs of towing capacity when properly equipped. I’m 6′ 2″ and they have more than enough head room.

So, for a “small” van there is plenty of capability for camping and searching the countryside, and room for the camping gear, kids, dogs, and a partridge in a pear tree. Beep Beep!

Then, when you move up the size lineup to the full-size ProMasters line, they start with the 118 inch wheelbase. Here is a short video I made showing one off with the swivel seats.

2019 RAM ProMaster 118 WB with swivel seats.
Let’s Go Glamping!

The swivel seats are a popular choice for camper vans. So, when you are stopped you have chairs that can spin 180 degrees and face the rest of your van. No, we do not recommend doing this while driving. Even if you think you’re Tow Mater and the world’s best backwards driver. They still recline and have full adjustments. These seats are available as a factory options on all of the full size ProMaster vans, but must be added at the factory. They, unfortunately, cannot be retrofitted.

The 118 inch wheel base has 8 feet of deck space (behind the front seats to the rear doors). The 136 inch wheel base has 10 feet of deck space. The 159 inch wheelbase has 12 feet of deck space. While the longest van we make is the 159 inch wheelbase extended and that has 13 feet of deck space. There are two different roof heights with interior heights of 5 foot 5 inches or the high roof vans are 6 foot 4 inches. For more specific dimensions and helpful tips the RAM engineers made this website to walk through each vehicle. RAMbodybuilder.com (works best with Internet Explorer)

Each size can be configured into a tiny house on wheels.

Beep beep. Hit the road and see the country, or as many of our clients have done, countries. Road trek and Winnebago take our ProMaster vans and make full camper vans. Most of those are well over $100,000 USD. Cha-ching! So, it is understandable that there are many folks that are handy enough to make their own versions for much less. We have seen dirt bikers add fold up beds into the walls, and people just hanging hammocks inside the vans.

It has been fun to see all of the variations that people have come up with over the years. Some folks have the van as a work van and haul around padding to throw on the floor and a sleeping bag to go camping on the weekends. The weekend warriors are my people. There are those folks that would rather go out and buy the turnkey ready Winnebago version, but I admire the crafty people that can manage to fight off cursing, wipe up the blood stains, and deal with the agony of cutting the trim piece too short. The victory of putting together a completed van that is yours.

Sometimes we just want to get away, and reset ourselves.