a tiring week or so

A few things going on.  None of them frustrating (because of my overall lowered stress level and flexibility offered by mobile living).  I might say frustration-adjacent.


Tire Pressure Monitoring

I damaged three TPMS valve stems when I got deeply stuck in gravel in Big Bend.  I am no great fan of TPMS anyhow, judging it to be a regulatory cost imposed on everyone due to the automotive cluelessness of some.  <– rant for the day

That should have been no issue, because the stems are in most designs a replaceable part found in a TPMS service kit.  $2 instead of $90 to replace the sensor, big win.  Except this particular service kit is not available in the usual places, and is not Continue reading “a tiring week or so”

RAM made a vandwelling video

It’s really quite good.  Very good to see a manufacturer addressing the segment.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lSbtLZliDI&w=560&h=315]

I’d like to see a version where retirees who might otherwise buy a Class A/C build their own B.

Another Transit vs Promaster post

I wrote this on a YT video comment:

They are both good very good vans. Comes down to personal preference / needs for the most part.

Transit PRO:
* more engine choices
* more roof height choices (the medium roof is 6′ inside, an overlooked option for average and shorter folks)
* more popular = more peer knowledge, US aftermarket support, more used Transits for sale
* mechanical limited-slip differential option due to RWD
* better towing due to RWD

Transit CON:
* backup camera in the door so you can’t see if you are backing up with the doors open
* relatively short wheelbase for vehicle length
* least ground clearance of any fullsize cargo van
* costs more

Promaster PRO:
* very wide. 4″ wider at the bottom and more like 6″ at the top since it doesn’t narrow significantly up top.
* more cargo volume at every length
* better traction due to FWD
* lower cargo area due to FWD. This gives 10″ more headspace for a given roof height
* commodity engine and trans (3.6l pentastar, 62TE trans) easily sourceable
* .9″ more ground clearance than Transit
* better turning radius for each wheelbase
* costs less to buy and operate: my TCO calculations show the Transit costing 6.7% more over 5 years (including purchase, fuel for base engines, maintenance, insurance, etc)
* dominates European RV market = European aftermarket support (but can be expensive to import)

Promaster CON:
* only one gas engine option
* FWD, if you don’t like that
* some folks don’t like the bus-like driving ergos
* rebadged FIAT Ducato, if you base your buying decisions on memories of the 1970s

I bought the 159″ high roof Promaster and absolutely LOVE it.

Campervan: stage 1 complete

I just made a CRVL post about the camper hitting the first goal:  achieving functional campervan status.  It’s minimal and ugly but it works.   Could go out with it just like it is.     Might take the dogs camping this weekend;  depends on whether or not I get the bench built that will allow them to get up in the (tall) bed platform.

Just unpacked the memory foam mattress from Amazon an hour ago.  It has to lay out for 48hrs to expand fully.



Promaster low roof awesome for vandwellers

The Promaster high roof fares well compared to the competition.  It was my choice but I do see the charms in the the Transit high roof and (to a lesser extent) the NV high roof.

But the Promaster low roof is a slam dunk for vandwellers who are buying a new low roof van.  Here’s a comment I made on a YT video, answering another comment about interior space:

The PM low top is relatively roomy due to the low floor (FWD so no driveshaft underneath to get in the way). Interior height is 65.4″ at the ribs. That’s about 10″ more room than other low-roof cargo vans.

The interior height makes for a lot of storage space, as does the PM’s width; about 4″ wider than most cargo vans. The PM has 23% – 30% more cargo space than other low roof regular wheelbase cargo vans.
304cu ft – RAM Promaster
247cu ft – Ford Transit
240cu ft – Chevy Express/ GMC Savannah
238cu ft – Ford E-series
234cu ft – Nissan NV2500

So for folks buying a new (or nearly new) low roof for vandwelling: would you like 23% more space for less money?

To be fair, the PM MSRP is about 10% more than the NV. So in that case, would you like 30% more space for 10% more money?


Caroline Winslow, 22, from Colorado, spent a summer turning her Ram Promaster into a cosy home, at a cost of around $7,000, which is the amount she received from her school as an off-campus living stipend.

from this article


My first reaction to this photo was “you’re shading your panel!”  🙂