‘13 Sprinter vs. ‘18 Promaster

Hey guys!!

Stuck between a 2013 170” Sprinter with 100,000 miles or a 2018 159” Promaster with less than 20,000 miles.
The Sprinter is cheaper than the Promaster but considering both options.

Any and all advice would be much appreciated.


I prefer the older, more reliable, better built, cheaper, pre-computerized vans myself. I paid $750 for my 1973 Dodge Hightop with full windows, conversion cost under $300, and I’ve put over 250k trouble free miles on it over the last 10+ years. Basically I figure it paid for itself within 2-3 months, and has been paying me dividends ever since. If it died today, it would have saved me over $100k, but it still runs and drives better than any of the newer vans, so probably has many trouble free years left in it.

I won’t buy a rig that will take over 6 months to pay for itself, including the conversion if necessary. It just doesn’t make good financial sense to buy something that isn’t fully depreciated, because if you do, you’re purchasing a depreciating asset. Once fully depreciated, you should never lose money on it, short of wrecking it, and building it out will actually add considerable value, much more so than on newer vehicles.

Think long and hard before choosing a cargo van too. Out of 40+ years of living in vehicles, the worst year of my life was in a cargo van. Hardly anyone lives in a cargo van for very long before switching to a window van or a motor home. Life without lots of windows is like living in a jail cell with the walls closing in on you. Forget what you’ve seen on Instascam and ScrewTube, cargo vans make terrible campers, and the only reason they’re promoted so heavily is because they cost so much more to convert, and the promoters are getting paid to promote a lot of bad and expensive choices.

Old motor homes from the 70’s & 80’s should be considered too. They can be found cheap, with low miles, meticulous maintenance, and excellent shape, and are move in ready. I have purchased numerous ones for $1k-$2.5k, mostly with the super reliable dodge drivetrains, the fords and chevys aren’t nearly as reliable. Window vans, camper vans, and the older Class C motorhomes are all stealthier than cargo vans. Unknown cargo vans have a negative stigma attached to them, and attract attention from all the wrong people, no matter how new or pretty they are. Trying to hide simply doesn’t work… SOMEBODY IS ALWAYS WATCHING!


"Smiles are contagious, pass it on!" ~ Van_Dweller