mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/20/24 4:31 p.m.

Went to a boat festival this past weekend. Took the seats out of the Disco, vacuumed her out all, and set up my camping kit inside. I do this a couple times a year and frankly, it's getting old. I am not planning on doing the whole "van life" thing, but for the price of a decent trailer, I can buy a nice 2016 Ford Transit Connect LWB to set up as a mini camper. 

Does the hive any bits of info, warnings, or advice concerning these little minivans?

nsxmr2elises2000
nsxmr2elises2000 PowerDork
5/20/24 7:07 p.m.

I have one

 

watch for transmission issues 

CyberEric
CyberEric SuperDork
5/20/24 9:12 p.m.

I think it has the same auto trans that was in the Focus that have been problematic for some. Though I could be wrong.

I have a friend who has one (not sure the year, its the last one) decked out for van life and I think it's been mostly trouble free for him so far. I've driven it, and I liked the driving experience pretty well. It's also a nice size, big enough for sleeping, and nothing more. 

nsxmr2elises2000
nsxmr2elises2000 PowerDork
5/21/24 9:08 a.m.

mine is cargo version

noisy as hell

hard to make phone calls even 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
5/21/24 9:45 a.m.

Get the 2.5. That will avoid the trans issues from the focus and it's a more stout motor for the van. 

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/21/24 11:15 a.m.

Was the roof tent a dealer-option? 

 

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/21/24 11:33 a.m.
alfadriver said:

Get the 2.5. That will avoid the trans issues from the focus and it's a more stout motor for the van. 

This is what I wanted to know. I was looking at the cargo versions anyway, so the 2.5 was what most (or all) of them seem to come with. Like I said, I am not looking to vanlife it, just a tiny RV that can haul a bed, some storage, a kayak on top, and maybe my 300 pound sailboat in tow. My disco does all this, but I am just a touch too tall to sleep comfortably in the back and I really hate pulling everything out and putting it back in a every time I want to do it.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/21/24 11:43 a.m.

In reply to mad_machine :

About 11 months ago my work vehicle stopped being a 2017 GMC Full size van to a 2022 Ram Promaster City, new with 400 miles.  

I feared I would hate it and it would be unreliable.  At 6k miles it has a leaking heater core.  From that I feared the worst.  But, here we are at 37k miles (in 11 months) and it has been otherwise trouble free.  It rather spartan but generally comfortable.  The only thing I do not like is the seating is far from the door making the door armrest so far away that it generally unusable.  I think this is the result of making the Dodge Dart chassis artificialy wide to accommodate the industry required "pallet width wide" cargo area.  

It is a shame that they seem to charge unreasonably high prices for this stripped Dodge Dart with a box rather than a trunk.  Sample 

The 9 speed auto trans does a good job of making the 2.4L feel powerful and sufficiently motivated.  Mpg is 22-28

Transit Connects are rarely cheap either.  In your shopping you might also want to look at cargo version Mopar Minivans, officially known as The Ram CV.  Many are out there as former cable installer vans, etc.  

Like the Promaster City, on these CVs all windows were optional so you'll find them with full glass, some rear glass and no rear glass.

The Mopar minivan with its 3.6L is rated to tow 3600# where the Promaster City is rated for only 2,000#...if that maters.  My Grand Caravan returns a similar 22-28mpg (maybe 18-26)

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/21/24 5:15 p.m.

If I went with the Promaster City, I would be tempted to rebadge it back into being the Fiat Doblo. It would fit in with my Abarth that way.  I have just heard too many horror stories on the net about these vehicles to even consider one. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/21/24 6:27 p.m.

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

Those are by a conversion company in Canada - Wilderness Vans.  Their RV kit with the pop-top is about $30K CAD (22K US) with the buyer supplying the van. They do similar conversions for the ProMaster City and the Nissan NV200. The pop-up is a $9K CAD option.

I have a couple of cycling friends with Connects. I honestly don't see the advantage of one over a Grand Caravan which are generally cheaper to buy and cheaper to maintain (see previous minivan threads).  

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/22/24 1:47 p.m.

I've driven around 500,000 miles in new or nearly new transit connects since 2017 due to my work providing them for me. My take is as long as you service them on time, they just work(Yes I am aware the transmissions are "sealed for life" and we have never changed the fluid in any of them.). I have seen them do 300,000 miles plus and only need minor things( we end up selling them after they reach that mileage, or so). I have also seen two of our fleet need transmissions under 100,000 miles. Both were in Oklahoma where the roads are absolute crap. It really seems to be that if the units take a beating when driving at freeway speeds, the transmissions do not last. In Missouri and Arkansas where the fast roads are relatively smooth, its not a problem. Low speeds on crappy roads also don't seem to have a bad effect on the transmissions either, the only units I have had are the cargo vans with the smaller engine.

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