Are you looking for a small but solid motorhome? The Ram ProMaster camper is one of the most sought-after Class B vans. But does it actually make a good camper or would you be better off investing in something else?
Keep reading to find out our thoughts on the Ram ProMaster, how reliable it is, and if this camper van is worth the cost. Let’s get started!
What Is a Ram ProMaster?
The Ram ProMaster is available as a cargo van or window van. 2022 models have a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine with 280hp and a 9-speed automatic transmission. Available safety features include an Active Drive Assist system, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warnings with active braking, a backup camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and more.
➡ Even with advanced safety features, it’s still important to know the 5 Most Common Causes of RV Accidents (and How to Avoid Them)
The ProMaster offers between 8′ and 13′ of cargo space behind the cab area, depending on the model you choose. Additionally, you can purchase a standard roof ProMaster that has an interior height of 5′ 6″ or a high roof van that maxes out at 6′ 4″ of head clearance in the cargo area. All models have a cargo width of 6′ 3″.
This van has two rear doors and a sliding side door for easy access to the cargo area. ProMaster owners will also appreciate having a payload capacity between 3,760 and 4,680 lbs, depending on the model. These are lower than other models because the Promaster is not offered as a dually. While this limits capacity, it adds simplicity, lower maintenance costs, and ease of maneuverability.
Does It Make a Good Camper Van?
The Ram ProMaster makes a good camper van due to its size and boxy cargo space. In addition, its straight lines (versus curved sidewalls) provide more living space than other types of vans. High-roof ProMasters provide optimum headroom for taller travelers and more easily accommodate beds, seating areas, wet baths, and kitchenettes.
How Reliable Is It?
The Ram ProMaster gets average ratings for reliability. According to Kelley Blue Book, consumers give the 2022 cargo van a rating of 3.7 out of 5.0 for reliability. Slightly older models have similar consumer ratings with the 2021 ProMaster receiving a 3.4 and both the 2020 and 2019 models receiving a 3.7 for reliability.
For comparison, the 2022 Ford Transit 150 crew van received the same consumer reliability rating of 3.7 out of 5.0. The average annual repair cost for a Ram ProMaster is just over $1,000, while similar Ford Transit vans are just under $1,000.
Although the Ram ProMaster doesn’t particularly stand out for its reliability, it seems to fall in line with other vans in its class.
Which Ram ProMaster Is Best for Van Life?
The best Ram ProMaster camper is the 2500 high roof. This van will take you (and your precious cargo!) across the country and back with its heavy duty suspension and 159″ wheelbase.
Not to mention, you’ll have a payload capacity of 4,010 lbs and towing capacity of 6,480 lbs, plus 420 cu. ft. of interor cargo space. And thanks to the high ceiling, you’ll be able to add in multiple amenities and features to make van living more comfortable.
Can You Stand Up In It?
Yes, you can comfortably stand up in a Ram ProMaster camper, if you purchase the high roof version. As previously mentioned, the interior cargo height on these vans is 6′ 4″. Most adults can stand upright without their heads touching the ceiling.
Which RV Manufacturers Build on the Ram ProMaster Chassis?
Several RV manufacturers sell camper vans on the Ram ProMaster chassis, including Winnebago, Thor, Ultimate Toys, Pleasure Way, and RoadTrek.
Winnebago, for example, builds four out of seven of their camper vans on the ProMaster. These include the Travato, Solis, Solis Pocket, and Roam. Each of these Class Bs has a wet bath and several luxury features. The Solis even has a pop-up top for additional sleeping space.
How Much Does a Ram Camper Van Cost?
Weighing the cost of a Ram ProMaster camper will mean differentiating between a DIY build and a manufactured camper van. A DIY van build will likely be the cheaper option, and you can customize it to fit your needs and travel style. You’ll need to purchase the van and convert it yourself or hire a professional.
The van cost will be between $20,000 and $45,000 depending on what year and model you purchase. And the build can range from $10,000 to $80,000 depending on the features you implement and how much you pay in labor costs. All in, a DIY camper van using a ProMaster as your base could run between $30,000 and $125,000.
Buying a new Ram ProMaster camper from a manufacturer can be the easier route to take since you don’t have to go through the build process. However, it’s also more costly. For example, the Winnebago Travato starts at $139,316, the Thor Sequence starts at $130,060, and the RoadTrek Zion starts at $163,660 MSRP.
Which Is Better: The Ram ProMaster or Ford Transit?
There has been a long debate among van lifers about which is better: the Ram ProMaster or Ford Transit. They have several differences, especially between the various models. Here, we’ll compare the 2022 Ram ProMaster 1500 cargo van with the 2022 Ford Transit 150 cargo van (low roof models).
➡ Looking for an in-depth review of the Ford Transit? Check out this article: Is a Ford Transit a Good Camper Van?
Starting with the powertrain, the Ram has a 3.6L V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission. The Ford has a 3.5L V6 with a 10-speed automatic transmission. In addition, the Ford can hold slightly more fuel at 25-gallons, while the Ram only has a 24-gallon fuel tank.
The ProMaster offers 259 cu. ft. of interior cargo volume, a payload capacity of 4,000 lbs, and a towing capacity of 6,910 lbs. The Transit has a bit more cargo volume at 280.9 cu ft., but only 3,685 lbs of payload and a towing capacity of 5,300 lbs. Additionally, the wheel base on the Ford Transit is 130″, which is 12″ longer than the Ram ProMaster.
Lastly, we’d like to point out that the ProMaster is front-wheel drive, while the Transit is available in either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. While they score evenly on reliability, you’ll notice that more RV manufacturers are building camper vans on ProMasters than on Transits. So, you be the judge!
Is a Ram Promaster Camper Worth It?
The Ram ProMaster isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile camper van. From the engine to the cargo space, there’s plenty to appreciate. Just be sure to keep up on maintenance.
As with any camper, we recommend budgeting for repairs as they’re bound to be needed at some point. And if you purchase a Ram ProMaster camper van from a manufacturer, make sure you get a warranty. Otherwise, happy camping!
Can you see yourself traveling in a Ram ProMaster camper? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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Friday 18th of March 2022
My wife and I purchased a used 2020 Ram Promaster 1500 and built it out last summer. We have taken 3 trips now into 8 states and really enjoy it. People are really surprised when they see it with all the amenities and craftsmanship.
Mortons on the Move
Friday 1st of April 2022
That's awesome! :)