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Not exactly an RV review, but perhaps a potential RV review…
It seems that no RV manufacturer in North America is yet making exactly what I want for our next coach. The longer this situation goes on, the more the idea of just building my own starts to take root. If I were to build my own Class B (and I’m not saying I will just yet), the platform I’d build it on would be the Dodge Ram ProMaster, and the reason is simple: it’s got the widest interior space of any van currently sold here. The thing that’s held me back from jumping into this mega-project has been that the ProMaster has been available only in a gasoline engine… until now.
I’ve been bugging the folks at Larry H. Miller Dodge Ram for over a year now, asking them when they will get a diesel ProMaster. Finally this week, they called me up and let me know that they had not just one on the lot, but two, and invited me to come down and take one for a test drive. How could I refuse? The video you’ll see above is the product of that test drive.
The ProMaster has been available as a gasoline powered van for a while now, but there are a couple reasons I really wanted the diesel. The first is, I don’t really want to build a propane system into my next coach. With diesel fuel on board, I can use something like a Webasto or an Espar unit to provide furnace heat and hot water. Bonus. The second reason is fuel economy. With the 4-cylinder diesel engine, fuel economy should be pretty darn good.
But none of that matters if I can’t stand driving it. And considering that the diesel ProMaster has an unusual “Automatic Manual” transmission, I was very curious. So how did it drive? It was a mixed bag…
- AMAZING turning radius! Like, Holy Cow.
- Aggressive brakes should stop a motorhome quickly.
- More cupholders than your local bar.
- Unusual driving characteristics of the “automatic manual” transmission. (Slow shifting mainly. It’s different than anything I’ve ever driven, and would take some getting used to.)
- Long lead time to order exactly what I want.
But my wheels are turning now. So, what do you think? Should I give up on the “RV establishment” and build my own? Let me know in the comments below.