Our ProMaster Conversion — Summary of Weight, Cost and Labor for Our Conversion

This section provides a breakdown of the weight, the cost, and the labor for the full conversion.  The weight includes the van + conversion weight + payload.

The summary might be helpful if you are planning your own conversion, but be careful to account for differences between what we did and what you plan to do.

COOCOTWeightPageVanPic

The quick summary is that the van starts at 4730 lb as delivered, the camper conversion adds 1030  lbs, and the payload (two people, water, propane, groceries, …) add another 970 lbs bringing the full up ready to travel weight to about 6700 lbs — well  under the allowed weight of about 8600 lbs.

Go back to the main camper van conversion page…

Weight Summary

Item
Total
Weight (lb)
Front Axle
Weight (lb)
Rear Axle
Weight(lb)
Empty Weight
4730 3013 1717 Empty Van
Conversion Weight
1034 (1) 154 880 Conversion parts(beds, tanks, galley, paneling, …
Empty Weight After Conversion
5764 3167 2597 Weight of converted van without payload
Payload
971 546 425 Payload (people, water, groceries, propane, junk)
Total Trip Weight
6734 lbs 3713 lbs 3022 lbs

Note (1): Includes just about everything including 50 lb PV panel that has not be mounted yet.  We might add some small storage cabinets and other odds and ends later.

I did weigh the van and get front and back axle weights and a total weight.  There was a modest discrepancy between the actual scale weight of the converted van and the sum of the weights I estimated for each part (flooring, insulation, …), but only about 60 lbs.

The maximum allowable weight for the ProMaster 1500 model is 4630 lb front, 5291 lb back, and a total of 8550 lbs — so, we have 900+ lbs margin on front axle, and 2200+lbs margin on back axle, and 1800+ lbs on total weight.  So, it looks like the 1500 model on the 136 WB can easily handle a complete conversion.

Breakdown of Conversion Weight, Cost and Labor

 

Item Cost ($) Labor (hr) Weight (lb)
Insulating $360 6 20 Weight is based on what 1 inch of polyiso would weigh
Electrical incl solar $1,507 24 236 batteries, inverter/charger, PV …
Windows 570 12 36 Window weight minus sheet metal removed
Curtains $109 2 6  EuroCamper on windshield, Reflectex rest.
Flooring $204 20 96  Vinyl floor with polyiso insulation.
Paneling $180 36 99  Hardboard wall and ceiling paneling.
Galley (incl stove, fridge, sink) $1,120 24 179 Includes fridge ($630), sink, stove cabinets
Fresh and grey waters systems $270 10 42 Includes fresh and grey tanks, plumbing and pump
Composting toilet/seat $82 12 37 homemade
Beds and storage $349 24 175 Includes platform, mattresses, hinges, propane compartment
Ventilation fan $278 4 12 Fancy fan was $268
Furnace $430 3 23 Just furnace, no supports etc which are incl in galley cabinet
Running Boards $519 6 45
Propane system $60 2 28 This is empty tank and plumbing (cabinet in bed weight)
Total $6,038 185 1034

The detailed pages for each area (Insulation, Paneling, …) has a breakdown for the weight, cost and labor for that area.

The labor column adds up to 185 hours, but I’m thinking this is on the low side.  I did try to keep track of time spent as I went along for each job, but I’m guessing I missed some hours.  One thing it does not count for sure is the many hours of internet research and trying to figure out what will work.

Note that the weights for your conversion may differ significantly from these depending on what you include.

Go back to the main camper van conversion page…

Gary

February 8, 2015, June 25, 2015

Questions? Comments?

7 Comments

  1. Impressive job. Your write ups are exemplary – lots of good detail with facts, not IMHO. I would only want to add a small shower and toilet with black water, but the Promaster may not quite have the volume. Any thoughts?

  2. Hi,
    Are you building and selling any of these Green RV Vans, or do you know of anyone who is making and selling them?
    Would you need a bigger power system to put in an RV roof air conditioner?
    Could I go there as an apprentice to help you, and learn to build my own Van?
    Thanks,
    Jay

    • Hi Jay
      One conversion was enough for me 🙂
      It was a lot of fun, but I don’t plan to do it for a living.

      There are a lot of commercial places that do van conversions, and some of them are willing to do the conversion along the lines you want and keep it simple. Here is one example on the ProMaster forum: http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16609

      Doing a roof AC without shore power will take a larger electrical system — some people have concluded its not really feasible to do a typical RV roof AC on a battery system.
      You would want to insulate very well, and then look for an AC that is just large enough to do the job and is efficient.
      One solution would be to only camp in places that have shore power available during the hottest weather when you need the AC.
      In weather that is just warm, opening windows and something like a Maxxfan can do a pretty good job of keeping you cool. In dry climates, evaporative coolers provide a lot of cooling for the power they use — much more efficient than regular AC — but only for dry climates.

      Gary

  3. Pingback: How many man-hours did you spent on your conversion? - Page 3 - Ford Transit USA Forum

  4. Hi Steve,
    Sounds good — you did a really nice job on minimizing weight.

    That seems odd on the inverter in that you would think it would have some protection for overloads. Maybe you can let us know how that gets resolved.

    If you want to send me some pictures and/or suggestions for improvements on the conversion design that would be great — I’d start a new page for them.
    This Contacts link has my email: http://www.buildagreenrv.com/contact-gary/

    Thanks — Gary

  5. Hi Gary, I have the same Van and have mostly cloned your design although I went with a rear “garage” design. My total post-conversion weight came out at roughly 6200 pounds, 3250 front/2950 rear fully loaded for a week long ski trip, probably 200 pounds of gear.
    Everything is working except for the inverter which I think got fried by the expresso maker, I’m working with Tripp-Lite on it now. Great support. Thanks again for the inspiration!

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