Promaster previously used as a utility vehicle—anything I should be worried about?


I’m planning to do a conversion out of a cargo van (Promaster, Sprinter or Transit depending on availability) and am considering purchasing a 2015 Ram Promaster 2500 (89k miles, runs on gasoline, for $19000). I mentioned I was going to convert it to a camper vehicle and the owner was concerned because it’s been used to service other fleet vehicles and has carried propane, gas, etc, but in good condition and clean…. He’s just worried about maybe someone sleeping in it…? I’m not sure he quite understands what converting it entails. Obviously I plan to completely strip and clean it before anything else, but should I be worried about what the car has transported or had inside, in terms of chemicals, propane, gas, etc? I plan to have it checked out by a mechanic but want to make sure I’m not off base for thinking it’s still useable!

Thanks in advance for your help!

Greetings & Welcome!

I wouldn’t be too worried about gas or propane, but toxic waste, acids. & corrosives are a whole different story.

An older, move in ready, factory camper with lower miles can be had for a fraction of that price. Non factory conversions are usually a very serious money losing endeavor, while fully depreciated factory campers hold their value extremely well. I think the best time to start saving money is with your initial purchase. Non fully depreciated vehicles are almost always a money losing proposition.

Contrary to all the baloney they want us to believe, we all spend a considerable amount of time in our rigs do to foul weather etc. Windows all around make a huge difference in the livability of a rig. A windowless box is not a comfortable place for most of us, and living with all your doors open constantly isn’t practical most of the time. Opening windows present many practical options.

Older RV’s in excellent shape can be found ridiculously cheap. If you’re determined to build your own, a passenger van, shuttle bus, or skoolie is a far better choice than a cargo van, and some people actually make money on those types of conversions. Converted cargo vans are much harder to sell, because people want windows.


"Friends don't let friends convert cargo vans." ~ A Friend