a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Why a Ram ProMaster for a Custom Van?
Why a Ram ProMaster for a Custom Van?

Why a Ram ProMaster for a Custom Van?

Why a Ram ProMaster for a Custom Van?

It started with a Road Trip…

In December 2016, we took a 16-day road trip in our 2015 Jeep Renagade to camp, hike, and snowshoe in New Mexico, California, Utah, and Colorado. It was an amazing trip.

However, after digging out a square in 3 feet of snow to put our tent down at Bryce Canyon and sleeping several nights on the hard ground when our air mattress sprung a leak at Death Valley, Andrew’s dream of having a custom van was born.

After traveling over the last few years to various beaches, canyons and mountains around North America, Jade finally agreed to a part-time version of Andrew’s van-life dream.

This is why we chose a Ram ProMaster for our Custom Van!

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Our custom van design idea.

Our search started by following van-life social media feeds and a lot of online inspiration. We found that most people were using Sprinter Vans.

Our search started there, but we soon realized they were either out of our price range or not reliable due to the age and high mileage. We then learned about the Ram ProMaster.

After listing the pros and cons of each, we realized we could get something much newer and with fewer miles within our budget.

This is why we love our Ram ProMaster Van:

Ram ProMaster Custom Van
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Andrew next to our custom van (nicknamed JoVanna)
Promasters are front-wheel drive.

Since we live in Michigan, driving in the snow is a real concern. Front-wheel drive performs better than rear-wheel drive for us in the snow. It is also significantly cheaper than a four-wheel drive van.

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Extended ProMasters have a 159 inch wheel base.

Many Sprinter Vans are typically range from 144 inches to 170 inches. We thought that a 144-inch van wouldn’t be enough space for all of our goals. The 170-inch van doesn’t fit in a regular parking space and is not as nimble to drive. 159 inches was just the right size. Balanced with space and manueverability.

Ram ProMaster Side View
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ProMasters are more than 6′ wide!

Since we are both less than 6 feet tall, we were able to build the bed sideways. That means we have more space for our sports equipment and adventure gear.

Ram ProMaster Custom Van Bed
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ProMasters are very square, easier for a custom van build.

We planned on building out the van on our own. From the ground up. The more rectangular interior and right angles were easier for our woodworking and building skills.

ProMasters have a gasoline engine.

Although diesel engines typically last longer and work well for commercial purposes, gasoline engines are generally easier and cheaper to maintain.

ProMasters’ sexy Italian body.

The Ram ProMaster gets most of its looks on the outside from the Fiat Ducato, but has a 3.6L V6 under the hood. It basically says “Ciao” and “Arrivederci” when you hit the horn!

Ram ProMaster as a Custom Van
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Ram ProMaster as a Custom Van!

Ready for Adventure.

We are ready for lots of new Kite/Bike/Van Adventures! Follow along for more adventures to come with Andrew and Jade.

Thanks for reading. ~KiteBikeVan

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