New Hampshire, United States of America
2018 Ram Promaster 2500 Hotel on the road
You are looking at a clean cut, fancy pancy hightop camper van conversion. Her name is Havana White. This is my second van build it wonderfully built. I built this van with the intent of ski bumming and staying warm in the winter. And it does exactly that and so much more! If you were scouting out vans a few months back, you may remember the “ Cabin on the road”. If you do remember it, you will know that I built that van with many restored materials which I gathered from pallets, construction sites, and other sources to try and reduce the need of buying new things. I kept up with the same theme with this van, trying very hard to gather good material that might have otherwise been thrown out. Of course I used many new materials as well. But with all material I used, I tried extremely hard to use every last inch of everything. As a result, you will find some quirky placements of certain things and weird seams here and there as I had to fasten parts together when pieces might not have been wide enough. But even if things seem oddly placed together, I assure you, this is a solid build. I have taken it across the country twice, through rugged landscapes, snow storms, and dusty trails. The promaster, being heavy and having rugged tires is a tank! So heres the build:
Starting from the outside: The 2018 promaster 2500 159 WB has two sliding rear doors on either side of the van. Only one of the doors actually accesses the living space and it is the one with a big window. If you open the drivers side sliding door, it opens to a “utility closet” which is extra storage for tools/propane/whatever else you might want. The rear of the van has a ladder which goes to a 6’x4’ porch! You can use this porch as a place to star gaze or perhaps more storage. The roof of the van has two solar pannels fastened down and on those brackets is roofing tar because I didn’t want to risk any chance of water leaking in. So that black stuff you see in the pictures is just rubber tar stuff. The van is rocking 4 Falken Wildpeak A/T3W tires with lots of tred left on them. I have put about 6,000 miles on them. When I drive in questionable terrain, I like to give my breaks and handling little “tests” to see how well I can actually handle slick conditions and these tires don’t allow any fishtailing whatsoever! And being FWD, it truly is a tank in the snow.
The Van itself: It currently has 25,xxx miles but will be going up significantly soon as I plan to take this on the road again. It has bluetooth capability, a backup camera, and TomTom navigation built right in. So even if you get lost and have no cell service, the GPS still works!! I have also done routine oil changes since I purchased it.
The Bones of the Build: This is my second conversion. Well, its almost my third conversion. I originally had a different “kitchen” layout but upon living in it for a few months I decided I didn’t like the set up so I gutted that part of the van to start over. I put two walls in to seperate the cab of the van from the living space as well a wall to close off from the the drivers side sliding door. I did this because for winterizing. The sliding doors are rather difficult to insulate and having the entire cap exposed creates huge heat lose (a windshield is basically R0 in insulation terms). By closing off those parts of the van, the living space did lose some space. But it also created very unique forms of storage and I believe the benefits of trapping heat outweighs the smaller living space big time. But truly, the living space is still comfortable for two people! Behind those walls are 1” pannels of rigid foam. On the walls of the van I used a combo of spray foam insulation and 1” rigid foam to guarantee little to no metal exposure that looses heat and creates moisture (exposed metal sweats). I also covered the entire living space, including doors, with reflectix for further insulation. The walls of the van are covered with white beadboard. That are attached to studs. Under the bed is a Propex HS2000 forced air heater. This thing rocks! I recently gave it a test in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It was about 10 degrees F outside but with the heater going and set pretty low, it stayed at 50 all night and didn’t even use much fuel.
The floor has 1” rigid foam under the subfloor which is a 1/4 “ piece of plywood. In the living area you will see beautiful hardwood floors (might be maple) (also purchased from a used material store!).
All of the “bedroom” cabinets I have made myself with material that I acquired from second hand stores (knobs, hinges, wood, doors, and paint). There is truly a large amount of space in each on of those cabinets. They are fastened to studs that are fastened to the metal ribs throughout the van. I have took this van up some very bumpy and rocky roads and have not moved a millimeter. Some of it is over engineered which has created some odd space in the “garage” (see garage section). But there is no doubt all parts of this van are super sturdy!
The Bedroom: a full size mattress is absolutely worth it for a good night's sleep! You will see in the pictures there is red/yellow/brown curtain at the head of the bed. This is a curtain which I attached to reflectics. It is not a perfect fit and you will see some exposed insulation where it meets the ceiling. This was a quick solution to help trap more heat and seperate from the backdoors. It is very easy to remove. It’s a temporary fix. The ceiling has four LED lights that are built into it creating a bright area for nighttime book reading or hanging out. Under the overhead cabinets, parallel to the bed there is a unique little coffee table. This is a surprisingly great use of space. Keep your computer there, guitar, books, or whatever! In that space is also a two outlet 12v USB charger with an on/off switch. The heater control knobs, a power strip that runs to the 2000watt inverter and a switch that turns on and off the inverter.
The kitchen: The countertop is my absolute favorite part of this van! It is a 2.5” slab of redwood that I acquired while in California! Sanded down to 440 grit and sealed with 3 coats of Waterlox, it is truly a beautiful and rugged piece of wood! Built into the counter is a matching sink and stove top that I pulled out of a 1967 shasta camper. The turquoise color is stunning! With the sink, there is running water with a 12v pump that comes from a 5gallon jug and it drains directly into a second 5 gallon jug. The stove top runs off of propane which are copper hardlines going to the 20lb tank that resides in the “utility closet”. The cabinets under the counter are premade drawers that I have held onto since high school and finally decided to use by integrating directly into the kitchen. The backsplash is a vinyl stick on material that is both fire and waterproof.
There are two benches. One is fixed and comes with a Ausranvik 26-Quart Portable Fridge. It runs off of either 12v DC or AC. it is set up currently to a 12v cigarette lighter that is hardwired to the electrical system. The other bench is extra storage and is also moveable by lifting the latch. If you move that bench, you access the electrical system. The electrical system consists of a 200Amphour renogy solar battery that is connected to the solar charger. The two panels on the roof are each 100 watts. There are two light switches. One for over the bed and one for the kitchen area.
The “garage” is mainly accessible by the rear doors. Although if you lifted the bed from the kitchen area you can get under it with relative ease. Under the bed there is a TON of storage. You can fit four 27 gallon totes that are on a giant slider to give a little more ease of access. There is also a section that is long enough for a few sets of skis. As well, there are other little space that might be a little more precarious, but can certainly hold more gear if need be.
I have probably not mentioned everything about this, especially with any van build, there are all sorts of quirky things that are hard to remember unless you are in the van. As I stated earlier, this will be gaining miles the longer it sits for sale. I live in it until it sells. Currently based in New Hampshire but as I hit the road I will try and update the location of the van as much as possible. I will also happily drive just about anywhere to make a delivery! If you wish to see it, or want more information absolutely send an email. I am happy to give anyone a virtual tour through skype or facetime. As well, the price is not firm, please feel free to give an offer!
New Hampshire, United States of America