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Old 02-20-2020, 04:51 PM   #1
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ProMaster/ Travato

I've been considering a Winnebago Travato, I think it's ProMaster 3500 chassis. I drove one yesterday and was less than impressed. The steering seemed very light, the brakes seemed marginal, the seats were uncomfortable and the engine was noisy w/o much power to show for it. I was really disappointed as we had been pretty excited to move from a small travel trailer to something we didn't have to tow. We were hoping for something comfortable and maneuverable for long trips. The Travato is only a foot longer than my F150 but the driving experience was vastly different. Is this just how Class Bs are? Would a Transit based van be better? Anything different coming in the near future? Thanks for any input.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:13 AM   #2
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This was our opinion of the ProMaster-based RV's as well. We won't consider them, even though there are lots around. The post-2006 Sprinter-based RV's drive much better, and my understanding is the Transit-based ones do as well. Sprinters and Transits have their share of issues, mainly finicky fuel requirements for BlueTec (diesel) Sprinters and a driveshaft coupling issue with Transits, but comfort, power and handling make up for it.

If you're willing to look at something older the Chevy Express-based conversions may be worth looking at. Our Roadtrek has plenty of power, drives well and has seating and sleeping for 4. The drawback is relatively bad mileage, around 13-14MPG on the highway.

We're looking at purchasing a Transit in a couple of years to replace the Roadtrek. We'll probably buy a cargo van and do the conversion ourselves as we can't find one that has exactly what we want.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:29 AM   #3
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I'd probably be looking at a Ford Transit 350, with a GVWR about 1000 lb higher, though I don't know how the CCC's compare. Cheaper than the Sprinter, and gas powered (the optional Eco Boost engine seems to get a lot of love online), which means a gas powered generator from the main tank rather than LP from a puny tank.

Nicer looking, too, IMO at least.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:01 PM   #4
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Promasters seem to be a love 'em or hate 'em. I'm not a fan of their puny towing capacity.

My old Chevy RT seems to suit us just fine, though obviously quite primitive by today's standards. Generally get about 15 MPG doing 65 MPH, 13.4 towing a 2500 lbs enclosed 6x10 cargo trailer. Engine is the 5.7. The newer older ones came with the awesome 6.0 with an equally awesome six speed trans(better cooling).

The are a few gotchas on the Sprinters, DEF exhaust systems($$$$ or $$$$$ after warranty), the limp home intrusions, and a lack of dealerships(especially in the inter-mountain west) as compared to the big 3.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:36 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. It seems Coachmen has the Transit based Beyond which has an interior layout similar to the Travato we are considering. The Ecoboost V6 is available and it comes with a spare tire! Sadly the Travato doesn't and there are limited options for attaching one, all with disadvantages. Closest dealer with any stock is about 4 hours away. I've ruled out Sprinters due to service availability and cost.
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:41 PM   #6
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I have been assisting a female cousin in her purchase of a new class B her first RV.



She now has a new 2021 Pleasure Way On Tour 2.2 (Transit Chassis) on order. This comes with the ECO Boost, 10spd trans and a lot of new tech. I cant wait to play with it with her, all the fun and she writes the check!
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:16 AM   #7
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You can't go wrong with the Transit chassis. I've driven the Promaster, MB Sprinter, and Transit Chassis and love the Transit. Sure the Sprinter gives you a handful of features more but for the money it's not enough reason to dip that deep into my pocket.

Best out there is the Pleasure Way Ontour 2.2 as previously mentioned. The Beyond is nice too, just not a Pleasure Way.
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:25 PM   #8
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I've driven all three. The Sprinter rides and handles the best out of all three, but not dramatically so. Regardless, they all ride like a cargo van unless you upgrade the suspension aftermarket. They all accelerate about the same, but the Promaster feels a bit quicker for some reason. The Promaster has the best turning radius. The Sprinter can tow the most, but most people don't buy a class B to tow something. Kinda defeats the purpose. The Sprinter and Transit have a lot of electronic gadgets, while the Promaster is sparse in that regard. The Promaster is 4 inches wider than the Sprinter and Transit which makes the rear feel significantly more spacious. Since you can get the Sprinter/Transit in longer sizes, this offsets the cramped feeling a bit. The Transit has the shortest wheelbase of the three which can cause the long tail to drag. In the end, it's all a matter of preference.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jlo11111 View Post
The Transit has the shortest wheelbase of the three which can cause the long tail to drag. In the end, it's all a matter of preference.
What's interesting is that the Transit cutaway can be had in a 177" wheelbase, 7" longer than the longest Sprinter, but they don't make a van with that long wheelbase; just the cutaway. I don't recall ever seeing any B+ units on the long Transit platform, either. Probably too much box for such a light platform.

The Sprinter, while the longest of the bunch, is also the narrowest at just under 80" (no ID and clearance lights, either, as they're not required). The Ford is just over, and the Dodge is way over.
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Old 02-29-2020, 11:26 AM   #10
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There's only one similar thing. ... and it doesn't impress me

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyM View Post
I've been considering a Winnebago Travato, I think it's ProMaster 3500 chassis. I drove one yesterday and was less than impressed. The steering seemed very light, the brakes seemed marginal, the seats were uncomfortable and the engine was noisy w/o much power to show for it. I was really disappointed as we had been pretty excited to move from a small travel trailer to something we didn't have to tow. We were hoping for something comfortable and maneuverable for long trips. The Travato is only a foot longer than my F150 but the driving experience was vastly different. Is this just how Class Bs are? Would a Transit based van be better? Anything different coming in the near future? Thanks for any input.
It's only a number. ... you can't just have a 3500 on your nameplate ... means nothing.

I'm not surprised that you didn't like the Promaster 3500; it's a front wheel drive, doesn't have dual wheels, robust towing capacity, turbo diesel, superior fuel economy and weight capacity.

I've never been impressed with any Dodge products... it's a Fiat Ducato.. I don't understand why they don't just sell the vehicle worldwide with the same nameplate. .

Just because something is popular doesn't mean it's good.

Your report just confirms what I suspect is probably the case. I haven't driven the Promaster, but, I have driven the Transit 350. The Transit had an inline 3.2 diesel engine and it felt more sluggish than my smaller 3 litre V6 turbo diesel.

My advice is... take an extensive test drive... not just around the block....
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:29 AM   #11
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0 - 60 mph, the Sprinter is by far the slowest of the three. The PM and standard engine Transit clock in about the same. I imagine the extra HP of the new eco boost engine upgrade put the Transit acceleration slightly ahead of the PM. Not sure why you're dinging the front wheel drive of the PM. It provides excellent handling and control in wet weather and gives the PM the lowest step in height. No drive train down the middle also gives the PM a ton of space under the van for mounting tanks, battery packs, etc. The PM can tow up to 5000 pounds with the right hitch, but most people don't buy a class B to tow. While a diesel engine gives you the best gas mileage, the negatives outweigh the positives. The GVWR of the MB is the highest, but not by a lot unless you go to the dually, but more wheels means more cost and more problems. Ram and Ford have abandoned diesels because of the cost and complexity to build and maintain. Even MB offers the Sprinter with a gas engine. I'd avoid a diesel unless you plan to tow or will spend most of your time in an area that is mostly greater than 6% grades.
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:49 PM   #12
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Interesting analysis you wrote.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jlo11111 View Post
0 - 60 mph, the Sprinter is by far the slowest of the three. The PM and standard engine Transit clock in about the same. I imagine the extra HP of the new eco boost engine upgrade put the Transit acceleration slightly ahead of the PM. Not sure why you're dinging the front wheel drive of the PM. It provides excellent handling and control in wet weather and gives the PM the lowest step in height. No drive train down the middle also gives the PM a ton of space under the van for mounting tanks, battery packs, etc. The PM can tow up to 5000 pounds with the right hitch, but most people don't buy a class B to tow. While a diesel engine gives you the best gas mileage, the negatives outweigh the positives. The GVWR of the MB is the highest, but not by a lot unless you go to the dually, but more wheels means more cost and more problems. Ram and Ford have abandoned diesels because of the cost and complexity to build and maintain. Even MB offers the Sprinter with a gas engine. I'd avoid a diesel unless you plan to tow or will spend most of your time in an area that is mostly greater than 6% grades.
I don't know about you, but, I don't judge speed and acceleration when it comes to an RV. On the other hand, I suspect that climbing up mountain passes at a 6 percent or higher grade will make a significant difference... I'm thinking about the Eisenhower Pass , 11,000 feet in Colorado.... there's plenty of other sustained grades like the long climb up to Las Vegas from Baker, CA....

And, because I live in California, there's so many mountain passes... Sequoia and Yosemite..

As for dual wheels... yes, I have them on my Sprinter 3500, and they are arguably more secure than single wheels...WHY? Well, there's more rubber on the road and it's definitely a heavier rear end.....

Yes, it's extra tires, and they cost more ...so what? You can't put a price on your personal safety...at least I don't.

What makes you think it's more complicated than just two extra tires..... explain..... And, again.... I really don't care...I feel safer with them.....

As for weight capacity... even with my RV fully outfitted with all the standard cabinets, tanks, equipment etc.. I have the capacity to load more than 2,000 pounds of cargo, people and gear..... and that's with a full tank of fresh water....

There's 91 cubic feet of space inside the Sprinter.... with all the additional cabinets and equipment I have installed... refrigerator, bathroom, etc. The Sprinter 170 high roof cargo van before conversion has more than 500 cubic feet of interior space....

How much cubic feet is there in the Promaster once it's all built in and converted??

Lowest step in height??? Why is this an issue?

Then, there's the 170 inch wheelbase on the Mercedes.... makes for a smooth ride and excellent handling.....I don't think the other models have a wheelbase this long???

Sure, I definitely agree with you that the Mercedes Benz is more to maintain.... it's about $1,000 per year... complicated oil change, etc.....one year or 10,000 miles.... whichever comes first...

I don't tow anything with my Class B RV...see no reason to do that..... have bicycles on the back..... that's it.

I guess it really depends on what you want....if you are looking for the least expensive option, the Mercedes is not for you. That's what choices are all about ��....

My advice to people is...be very careful to choose the right vehicle the first time... trading in an RV is a financial failure.
Even just trading up for a newer model is extremely expensive.... avoid this if you can..... Good luck.
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:07 AM   #13
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The Travato K/Kl is at the top of my short list. An ecoboost Transit would be next.


My issue is that I just hate every single rig with a side bath/commode, except for the Travato G/GL.



Both of these floor plans have IMHO the best bath layouts than any other coach, hands down.


Now, the Embassy RV setup is quite interesting to me and has recently been put on my don't decide yet until I do a little bit more investigating.


The Promaster is weak on no dual rear wheels but strong on front wheel drive. I hear their transmissions need perfect and maybe even early proactive maintenance. No problem for me to do that. It is the most roomy of all, and I need room due to not being the size of your average asian.


You buy what fits you and your budget. And, coming from a 1999 37' DP and all the associated keep on the road costs, most anything could happen to the Promaster and it would not be any worse, annually than the older DP...


I am soooooo over Class A...
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Old 03-03-2020, 12:38 PM   #14
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I like what the KL/GL's have to offer a lot. I just wish they would make a rear lounge version. Coachmen has a new class B called the Nova which is a direct competitor to the travato. Have not seen it in person, but I like Coachmen's offerings slightly better than Winnebago's. I think embassy's offering is by far the best, but i'd expect them to cost to be much higher since they are a small, semi custom builder. If they would make a rear lounge version, if be all in on embassy.
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