Warning to those looking @ the new "Ram" Vans.

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Went with the v8 and love it. I do enjoy the Titan XD pickups. If I was going pickup that would've been my choice. Especially 4WD
There's a reason trucks have a rear differential.
FWD is nice when the majority of weight is over the front wheels but not when you try putting heavy weight in the rear...making the front wheels "pull" the load instead of "push" the load. When your front wheels spin, you cannot steer the vehicle. 
Hi JD,
Thanks for the valuable information. You definitely put the idea of buying a Promaster into a different perspective.
I'd like to ask you one question: Do you think that for a van conversion where you plan to utilize half or less of the declared payload the 3500 Promaster can perform and last better and give less problems?
Thank you both for your replies.
What would you suggest to buy which is budget friendly?
I'm starting to get frustrated and demotivated

Is the Transit definitely better?
Are their gas versions reliable?

What would you suggest with your experience considering I am looking for something dependable, extended body and which would allow me to stand once accounted for insulation and everything (I am 5'9'').
What's the best bet?

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If you are looking for 250,000 miles of as trouble free service as possible, there are two vans that clearly do this best.
GM vans and Nissan vans. (However, on Nissan, this is based on few examples in the data compared to the huge numbers of Ford/GM stuff. What I CAN see from Nissan, even their early V6 powered vans...did VERY well. You either love the hood or hate the hood.)
Sprinters used to be very good, but the V6 changeover has not been kind to Benz.

I would go GM myself, but more for ten years later...when I need a door or some other part in the boneyard. More of them/more parts later. If you prefer the Nissan, so be it. Either one seems very good long term.

Make sure you understand the new injection setup on the GM unit.
Could be great...could be a total nightmare. We'll see.
(I would buy a unit with the "old" injection myself. Proven bulletproof.)
I liked the suggestion about talking to the guys who work on vehicles.  I worked in dealerships for over 30 years and when I'm considering a vehicle I talk to the parts guys and the mechanics.  The parts guys know what parts they are selling too many of.  Don't talk to the managers; talk to the guys dealing with the customers.
I was concerned about GM’s fuel management. It does appear however that the van’s still have the simpler programming, at least on my 2011 . Check RPO engine code fir more info
If you are looking for 250,000 miles of as trouble free service as possible, there are two vans that clearly do this best.
GM vans and Nissan vans.
Thanks again once more for your suggestions. I'll think about the GM vans and see what is available. The Nissan it seems they do not produce it in a long/extended body and it means we would would need to rethink entirely our layout and keep some things out that we deem important. I guess it's just another of those situations in which we got to weigh pros and cons and set priorities. It doesn't seem like the perfect van is out there for our situation.
"I would buy a unit with the "old" injection myself. Proven bulletproof."

Hey JD.... I know there are lots of naysayers...  I really don't care about the one-off folks or contrerians.  I believe in God, and data... data is a gift that doesn't lie...  What year range and engine sizes do you recommend?   :cool:
For GM, 2015 is where you begin to make sure which way the truck you are viewing is fed fuel.

Anything 2001 ish up to 2014, according to what I know, should be rock solid. Any of the V8 engines.
After that, if you have the choice, I would go for the older setup. Some of the heavy stuff stayed with the old motor for a while.
( I cannot give an exact date, the build-to-suit stuff is often "new" on an 18 month old chassis. It may not follow the same date lines as what a dealership has on their lot.)

A bunch of the 2016 vans came over to long term program around the new year, but still not enough to say they are 100% blessed. I have mentioned them in the past as being fine. Still the best guess if buying new. But...Even though they did great for 200K as 24 hour units for a few years...it does not mean they are going to make the same miles of use in a fifteen year life span. Wheelchair vans and ambulances tend to idle like mad...so it is a decent indicator.

There is a LOT less info in my own system and I know them less overall, but an associate with a large number of them continues to report similar life spans with few costly issues. The little info I have supports this.
This was exactly what I needed to know! You have answered my biggest obstacle that has been driving me nuts and no one could give me any info on. Thanks for sharing!
Time and miles, that's what matters in the long haul. In my opinion, the front wheel drive, unibody, heavy duty van just has not been around long enough to form a solid review on. What stats that are coming in, do not look promising. Will it last for the long haul, who knows, my gut feeling is no, based on what I've been reading and the mechanics I've been talking with. Of course there are many factors to consider, too many to list here. For those of you who have already invested in one, I hope I'm wrong. I bought a new 2017 Express 3500 because of their proven track record, then had a Fiberine hightop installed, with JD's help I plan to get 300,000 plus miles out of it. I work for a company that has a thousand or so fleet vans that get abused on a daily basis. We keep them until the wheels fall off, some 75,000 some 150,000 miles, with very minimal maintenance, would I ever buy one of our fleet vans, heck no!! But I see our fleet vans everyday, I don't have all the numbers like JD does, but they don't look nice for sure.
But what do I know, I just live in a van down by the river.
Seminole Wind said:
would you kindly share a link to where i can read this data and draw my own conclusions. without access to the data this is just your opinion. and second hand at that

OBJECTION your moderator....!!!! This entire thread is conjecturing, I have evidence, I just watched a YouTube video made by a guy who looks at vans and does YouTube’s for a living that said it was a great platform, he was wearing a beany and a plaid shirt with work boots, he looked like he knew what he was talking about, he even had a two day growth looked just like the type of guy that works in the trades. I don;t know who to beleive!!!! The Promaster looked nice It was all shiny inside and out. I like the black bumper and it;s face looks like it would not let me down. My sisters brother in laws mother has an old Toyota front wheel drive with over 250k miles and said they never had problems with the front wheels, she did say that once the signal lights stopped working, it even has a trailer hitch which she has never used but if it could not pull something why would they put it on there, It is so confusing.
A trailer hitch on a small front wheel drive car will be a class I or II hitch and be used for a small cargo carrier or a wheeled chair. If it was anything else, I would be shocked.
^^ "I just watched a YouTube video made by a guy who looks at vans and does YouTube’s for a living that said it was a great platform, he was wearing a beany and a plaid shirt with work boots, he looked like he knew what he was talking about, he even had a two day growth looked just like the type of guy that works in the trades. I don;t know who to beleive!!!!"

Hey, I've seen that guy too!  Trust me.   You can believe absolutely everything he says because he's on YouTube, he's in his mid-20's with a full hipster beard, he only eats Top Ramen, and drinks heavily hopped beer...(the more piney and bitter the better).   Oh, yeah, and we know the sky in his world is totally rose colored, not a care in the world, so we know for sure  he's legit!   :cool:   Dang JD... there goes that sarcasm again... I told you it was contagious.  Lol!
Letsee...  I have a 2014 diesel 159" window wagon high roof Promaster -- Yeah, I sure didn't buy it because its a Dodge, Fiat-Chrysler is the pits unless you have family working at the dealership or something.  I walked in and talked to the commercial trunk sales manager, said I am dirt poor, only have so much for a cash purchase & six weeks later my van was advertised in the local paper.  I got 24% off sticker and they didn't shame me on my trade-ins for $27k out of pocket. (yes kiddies that is called budgeting from Y2K to 2015 for this one purchase, am now trying* to make random payments back to myself in hopes to repeat about year 2025).  

The van now has 46,000 miles on it now - Had to replace the OEM Vanco Euro-C tires early on my dime, three of them out of round, my fault for not bird-dogging the dealer from day one, Michelin Defenders w/ 3042lb 'E' rating, total sled and effortless driving.. . 20-30mpg, average 24 combined, 30 was for two tanks east bound with a tailwind, 20mpg in coldest weather w/ cold starts and in-town errands. Baltimore to Miami loaded to 200 under the 8900lb GVWR did 21.5mpg.

Had the A/C compressor replaced under warranty. All glow plugs & controller swapped on warranty...  both done same time w/ 4-days out of service but I didn't have anywhere to go anyhow. Oil and filter changes, brake fluid flush, alignments. Will need a windshield from rock strike continuing cracking, last July the insurance company offered new glass coverage on 55-feet of windows for $75/year I said why sure.  

Would I do it again? The Ford 5-cylinder diesel gave me motion sickness on my test drive. The Sprinter, sure, let's just walk out back where the money tree grows. Chevy - didn't look, wanted high roof.  Owning this huge great white expensive land yacht my driving has changed, I do no driving just for giggles, everything has to be very intentional to keep out of trouble.  About now I'm pretty sure I'd look for a nice 2015 136"WB gasser low roof Promaster and just drive it like I stole it, have fun and swap it off in 18-24 months...


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JD’s data and experiences are, on surface, off putting. I’ve heard similar reports from a handful of small fleet operators. That said, the Promaster is simply the current generation of the Fiat Ducato. Its basic FWD architecture has been sold everywhere but the US for more than 30 years. There are some deficiencies with FWD, especially at max GVWR, which is why Fiat offers the RWD Iveco Daily for higher weight uses. This is not some “new and untested” platform and, given that more than 2.5 million Ducatos/Boxers/Relays/Promasters have been sold since the model debuted in 1981, there are clearly some things the ProMaster is competent at.

The demands a van dweller places on a van are not the same as those placed by a business operating the vehicle at max GVWR.

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That is true (about the business loading the vans up) and also have you seen some of those delivery guys drive?   They treat the vans like they are rentals.