DIY Dodge RAM Promaster 118 🚐Camper Van Conversion🚐 — PART 1 // Layout and Tour #VANLIFE

DIY Dodge RAM Promaster 118 🚐Camper Van Conversion🚐 — PART 1 // Layout and Tour #VANLIFE


hey guys retired at 40 I want to show
you my new project that I just got it’s a dodge Promaster and I’ve been
looking for one of these for a while and opportunity just happened to come up so
I bought it I just want to point out for the record that I’m officially not cool
anymore not that I ever had to worry about that in the first place so today
I’m going to give you a walkthrough of the Promaster and why I like it and then
today I’m going to show you what I’m gonna do to make this convert it into a
camper and then over the next couple of months I’m gonna walk you through the
process and all the things that I’m gonna do to convert this into a camper
so this particular Promaster is the 1500 it’s the hundred and eighteen inch
wheelbase which is the shorty which is kind of a rare model most of them are
136 or 150 something I can’t remember so the first thing is the doors open all
the way so this right here is the biggest plus in my book for the
Promaster the footprint of the box is giant compared to most of the
competition especially the low roof models the low roof models tend to be
kind of short right here and short right here compared to the Promaster look at
all this room for activities in here I also really like the low step in height
and the other nice thing is it gives you a nice tall even on the low roof models
yeah I can almost stand up in here because the floor is dropped down below
the driver and the passenger area so I said earlier this is the 118 wheelbase
which is kind of a shorty you don’t see a whole lot of the 118 s most of them
are 136 s and that measurement is just from the center of each wheel the reason
why I like it is it keeps it compact so you can park it in a normal parking spot
it’s a lot more maneuverable the downside is you don’t have quite as much
box room to fill up with a bed and all that other goodies stuff
so on the exterior I’m not really doing a whole lot I think I’m gonna add a
frameless window on this side and then I think I’m gonna do a bunk window which
is just a small kind of oblong shaped window just so there’s ventilation in
the bed area so since I brought up the bed area I want to show you what I’m
gonna do for my our sleeping situation because there’s four of us I have two
little kids and a wife and most of the setups that I see they’ll make a
permanent platform right here for a large bed and then they’ll use the
bottom for storage but I thought to myself why not make that removable
because I want this to be a daily driver also and I also want to be able to use
it for what it’s intended for originally which is being able to haul stuff so I’m
gonna make my bed so it’s removable and it will come I’m gonna make it in two to
three pieces so you can actually put them on a platform and then you can
remove them they’ll just be like a flat five six foot long section and you can
throw them on the floor then they’re flat you can still use this and it’ll be
completely hollow almost so this window I’m actually going to leave that as
metal I am going to put another frameless window right here that has
ventilation because that is a one big thing that we wanted is plenty of
ventilation and right now there’s zero so this model just has the one slider
you can actually get it so both doors slide but to me that’s not an advantage
I just wanted the one and then this whole wall is still usable for all kinds
of different stuff so the next part of the layout for me is pretty tricky
because we have to have seating for the kids also which takes up a lot of room
but we also need a place for them to sleep so I’m going to make some kind of
bench seat or maybe a couple of captains chairs that can be really easily removed
and then when we get set up where we’re gonna camp we can remove them and the
kids will have plenty of sleeping room and their feet can actually go under our
bed so this panel right here is where I was talking about possibly putting
window I’m not sure if I want to put a full-size window in here because it
would be nice to have storage up top here because there’s going to be kind of
a lack of storage and then here we’ll have our kitchen we’ll have a sink we’ll
have fresh water gray water and then I’m also going to do a solar system so I’ll
have an inverter in a small battery bank and then possibly a breaker box and
everything that goes along with the solar so one really cool thing about the
Promaster is that all of the panels just the rock sheet panels they’re all
pre-cut for certain windows and skylights and things like that and this
one actually has a cutout for a Sun roof if you wanted to put a Sun roof in I’m
gonna try and find something that has a fan in it and that way I can pull heat
out when it gets hot in here and it will also be a screen so bugs can’t get in so
just to kind of show you what I’m talking about
if you cut this sheet out of metal this is all hollow in here it’s not
structural to anything on the van a seamless or a frameless window will fit
in here absolutely perfect and you can get them for about a hundred and seventy
dollars and then all of these other windows are exactly the same they’ll do
the same thing all of the panels are easily removable once you take that
black plastic off so one of my favorite things about the Promaster is the
cockpit area the cockpit area is very empowering feeling you sit up very high
the front windshield is really really big so you have a great view of the road
there’s lots of storage up top here everything is nice and wide open so
because this area is so nice and wide open it allows for a lot of extra
accessories if you are trying to convert this into a camper the first thing that
we are going to do is put a swivel on both of these seats so they can actually
face each other and then we can put a table in the center here and you can use
it for eating you can use it for preparation for food or you could even
set a computer here so I’m gonna do that with what you see in RVs or boats a lot
and these kind of tables the base goes down and then there’s a pole right here
it comes apart and that way you can take it out if you want to you put your pole
in there and then you would take whatever you want your table to keep you
stick the base on there so something like this that’s the rough version so I
haven’t owned this Promaster for very long but one of the most amazing things
to me about it is that it gets pretty good gas mileage for what it is my gas
mileage on the highway is anywhere from 22 to 24 miles per gallon it uses the v6
Pentastar engine which is in quite a few of their products my Jeep actually has
the exact same engine in it but my Jeep only gets about 16 or 17 miles per
gallon I’m not sure if this is standard equipment or not but this one also has a
backup camera which is really nice if you’re hauling bikes or if you’re trying
to back up to a trailer or if you have any kind of accessories on the back end
it’s nice to be able to see that back in because it’s hard to see in a van
normally this function is really handy in a van because the van is not easy to see
things you can see the trailer there on my left well without any further ado
let’s take it for a cruise so one thing I love about this
windshield is that it’s giant and you sit up really high it almost feels like
you’re driving a semi or something if you’ve ever driven an RV before you kind
of get that same feeling if you’re driving a big Class A but keep in mind
this is a vehicle that can fit into a regular parking spot all right let’s get
it up to highway speed and I want to show you one of the biggest
disadvantages in my opinion but this is a disadvantage with all cargo vans in
general it’s just that there’s no insulation because it’s hollowed out and
when you get up to 50 miles an hour right now you can see that the road
noise is starting to get pretty loud so that’s going to be something that I
really want to work on I still can’t get over the fact that this thing gets like
up to 24 miles per gallon on the highway it’s asking a lot of a van to be able to
do that much another really cool thing this van has
is a 220 amp alternator so if you’re running a battery bank or something like
that it’s going to charge your batteries a lot faster than than the normal
alternator would and if you’re living in an off-grid environment which you’re
most likely going to be if you’re in an RV it’s gonna charge your batteries a
whole lot faster so the next thing I want to do is show you how easy this
thing fits in just a regular parking spot which is real tricky to do with any
other kind of RV so the very last and very expensive option that we’re
considering is making this a pop top kind of like this one
now it’ll definitely give us a lot of extra room and it will definitely give
us a lot of different options and it has a lot of bells and whistles that come
with it but it’s about thirteen thousand dollars so thanks for taking my tour I
hope you are able to join me over the next few months while I build this out
and oh as always make sure that if you have any suggestions if you’ve done this
before or even if you haven’t you’ve got a good suggestion make sure you give me
a comment below I always like hearing from the community also if you haven’t
already give me a thumbs up it really helps the YouTube algorithm get this to
the people who actually want to see it and take a moment to subscribe and also
click the bell to get notifications while you’re there then we’ll keep you
up to date on future videos that come out when they’re released in the
meantime I’m gonna get to work this is retired at 40 remember to live life
simple we’ll catch you next week


20 thoughts on “DIY Dodge RAM Promaster 118 🚐Camper Van Conversion🚐 — PART 1 // Layout and Tour #VANLIFE

  1. Thank you for giving me a reason to want to retire at coming on 50 and I think it's important that we think of ways Outside the Box.your at right age an at the the health and and lifestyle that I Live Now so yeah I have something to compare it to so I can understand where I am going with my life…

  2. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but man, those promasters are some ugly vans. Will enjoy watching the build though

  3. I am looking at the Promasters myself. How are you going to solve the problem of water shedding down the window area and getting into the engine compartment and messing up the electronics?

  4. I have a 159 extended Promaster that I am currently converting. A couple of early suggestions: I put Noico sound deadening material on the walls and wheel wells…really made a difference on the noise. 2nd, I put in a maxxair fan in the rear which provides plenty of circulation. 3rd, I would be careful when putting in after market swivel seats. While they do work great, it raises the height of the seat several inches. That's ok for the passenger side but the driver side is too high to see safely out the windshield. Check out Eurocampers…..they sell a lowered seat base to use with the swivel to avoid the height increase. Good luck with your build, will be following your progress.

  5. POP TOP!!!! This is exactly what I would love to have for my family! Looking forward to seeing your progress! Say, in 5-10 years, can I buy it from you? Haha!

  6. I'm trying to create a layout that will fit in a 118" Promaster (otherwise I will go with the 130" Transit mid roof). My needs are similar to yours. I'm looking for a van that can be my daily driver while being flexible enough to serve as a mobile office, lounge, and carry cargo. I need 3 forward facing and belted seats, sleeping accommodations for 3, non travel seating for an additional 4 folks, sufficient table space for all, plus a frig, microwave, toilet (and possibly shower). 

    Taking inspiration from Adventure Wagon’s Recreational Utility Van kit and Wayfarer Vans, I'm planning on a modular design with components that can be installed and removed as occasion dictates.  L-tracks along the walls, floor and ceiling are used to secure cabinets which contain the kitchenette, water tanks, and toilet. Wheel well boxes that also serve as sofas and combine to form the primary bed. The secondary bed will be a removable (and height adjustable) platform, similar to the MOAB bed. A 3rd captain’s chair, adjacent to the sliding door, will also be removable. The electrical components will be installed in a box that is permanently mounted. For the most part, my design will allow the van to be configured to restore stock cargo carrying capacity. 

    I'm very excited to follow your van build. Please keep us posted regularly.

  7. I drive an older model, over here in the uk we had them as the ducato, the boxer and the relay from fiat peugeot and citroen, the mk1 was a good version i prefer the mk2, and dont like the more modern mk3 so much (what the promaster is based on) as the engines have too much emission control electronics to fail. we also get smaller engines, which is bit of a performance hit but improves economy, and thats a good thing, for european gas/diesel prices…
    i'm mid conversion, its been dragging on way too long lol

  8. Just discovered your channel and I am glad I did. I am also in planning for converting a Promaster very similar to your ideas. I struggle with the pop-top VS getting a high roof 136". It needs to work like yours as a daily driver, cargo hauler for our business and a weekender/ camper for 4. Thinking of doing either the Transit seat install but close to the driver side to create the dinette or a fold-down bench/sofa like the Tofino or Mars5 camper have. The biggest hurdle right now is the Pop Top. I am hunting down cheaper options like shipping a pop top from Germany or UK or even see if a pop-top from a totaled Eurovan or Vanagon could fit. Looking forward to seeing more build videos. Great Job So far!

  9. You cannot get the driver side slider on the 118 wheelbase model. It’s not offered for the US market. The double slider is only available for the 136 and 159 wheelbase models. I have seen a 118 Ducato with double sliders in Australia.

  10. I would discourage doing a pop top. Most I have seen add 4 to six inches to your roof height. At the end of the day you would be better off and money ahead with a high roof model of your van.

  11. Where did you buy it?? I saw one in central Texas exactly like that one with the running boards. I wanted it! Lol. Never saw it again I can actually stand up in it. I’m 5’9. They are awesome. It still feels like a big van though. I was thinking it wouldn’t feel like it but it still does.

  12. The Dodge tradesman RAM original American van had a great design, the Dodge Promaster Fiat Ducato can't look ugly a box the design.A serious mistake that eliminated the mythical true Dodge van

  13. I'm lookin to do the same..118 is nice n compact..for all around use finding a used one with low mileage?. Is a challenge..forget about color..mostly white.
    .

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