Three of the most popular Cargo Vans you see out there in the conversion world are Sprinters, ProMasters and Transits. I wish I could talk about the Sprinters in more detail but I stayed away from them completely because of the price and more so the cost of maintenance, not to mention you can really only go to a Mercedes dealership to get work done when needed and what if there wasn’t one near you on your adventures?
Below is what I know based on my own research –
There are three different lengths to the Promaster and two different height options;
Fun Fact, my first choice was in fact a Ram ProMaster. I loved the box look for living space but wasn’t a van of the look on the front face (how it sticks out), though the maintenance is affordable and they are one of the easier Cargo Vans to find. However, the main reason I lost interest was because of there FWD (Front Wheel Drive) feature being I live in an environment where it’s Winter longer than beautiful summer, I read a ton of reviews from Van Lifers that also live in Canadian Winters on how often they get stuck in the snow more than a Ford.
When the weight of the build will be heavier in the rear, it makes sense why Promasters can get stuck easier being front wheel drive, so driving uphill in beautiful B.C. may call for a challenge as your acceleration drops (which sounds scary). Nonetheless, these Vans are a Van Lifers dream for the Square/box look as it makes the build much easier and so many people are living in these beautiful Vans!
Where to begin; this Cargo Van is the more popular Home on Wheels you see nowadays, the van alone is much more cost friendly, along with the maintenance and any parts needed.
The only issue I personally experienced when finding my perfect van was actually finding it, beginning this journey smack middle of a Pandemic it was quickly noted that most major companies in my city had contracts for all Ford (and ProMaster) Cargo vans, so my hunt had to go out of province (which I highly recommend). Another small bonus for me choosing this Van is the sitting/driving experience was similar, if not better than my dad’s Ford F-250 so that wasn’t as intimidating as I thought.
There are options with these ones; three length options, three height options, 2 Engine options and at times drivetrain. See Below;
While mine is RWD, I do believe most new models are AWD which is huge!!
Things I really considered when I chose a Ford Transit (aside from the cost of the Van) was the reasonable price tag versus a Sprinter for maintenance/parts, Ford does provide a Dealership locator on their website if you’re near a city but truly the best part is you can take these vehicles to any mechanic, so don’t worry too much about where the closest dealership is. As noted above, they are RWD or some AWD which provided me the peace of mind I needed for Winter Months, when it comes to the Height selection you will want to base this off how tall you are but I did learn there are less High Roofs than the rest and generally the High Roofs are more expensive.
To watch the process of finding my Van click here, or visit my YouTube Channel!! 🙂
Again, I can’t speak too much on the Sprinters but I know a few personal friends that have one and are living in them full time! I personally, didn’t want to spend the high cost on the Van alone along with the idea that in most cases (likely not all) you have to go to a Mercedes dealership for any maintenance. Not to mention the parts for repair cost will be much much higher!! But again, they are still reliable vehicles and they are extremely nice – very popular in the Van Life World!
These Vans are both Gas or Diesel however, there is only one model for gas fuel — 2500 High Roof 170″ WB. The Diesel models come in many styles, below are the most popular for Van Life Users;
The Length is really to your preference, I personally couldn’t account myself responsible for the Extended Versions haha. Yes, there are standard roof sizes for these Sprinter Vans but most buy the higher roofs for more living space.
Nonetheless, whatever you choose make sure you put all into consideration and do your research. Once you’ve chosen the Perfect Van dont look back, it was meant to be!!
Cassandra Rae, xo