Ram ProMaster City for Vanlife: 10 Reasons Why It’s the Best

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Considering the Ram ProMaster City for Vanlife?

With low-upfront costs, great fuel economy, and a comfortable interior, the ProMaster City van is a good option.

But how does it stack up against other popular mid-size models like the Transit Connect, Renault Traffic, & Mercedes Metris?

In this post, we’ll find out.

Here’s everything you’ll learn:

10 Reasons Why Vanlifers Like the ProMaster City

The City is inexpensive, stealthy, & easy to service – but is it the best option for vanlife?

Here are 10 reasons why vanlifers like the Ram ProMaster City:

  1. Great Fuel Economy: The Ram ProMaster City gets 24.5 MPG combined. This is significantly better than any large van on the market (see mileage comparison).
  2. Can Handle Heavier Builds Than the Transit Connect: The Ram ProMaster City has a payload capacity of around 1,800 lbs, notably higher than the Connect’s capacity of just around 1,300 lbs. This means you can pack the ProMaster City with a heavier build compared to the Transit Connect.
  3. Great Handling: The Ram ProMaster City has great handling and is easy to maneuver around windy roads.
  4. Decent Engine Power: The Ram ProMaster City comes with a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine. While not super powerful, this engine is robust enough that the car has decent power and acceleration.
  5. Can be Serviced Anywhere: The ProMaster City is made by Dodge/Ram, so anywhere you are in the United States, you’ll be able to find a mechanic who is very familiar with the car.
  6. Inexpensive Parts: Dodge/Ram is known for making inexpensive vehicles with reasonably priced parts. If you ever need a replacement part for your Ram ProMaster City, it will be inexpensive and easy to find.
  7. Comfortable to Sit In: The seats in the Ram ProMaster make for a very comfortable ride.
  8. Can Fit in a Normal Parking Space: Unlike its large counterpart, the Ram ProMaster, the ProMaster City can fit in any normal-sized parking space.
  9. Good Visibility: The ProMaster City has large windows and it’s very easy to see out of, making for safer and easier driving.
  10. “Stealth” Factor: The ProMaster city is commonly used as a work van, so if your van build is “stealth” you can easily blend in and no one will know you’re in a campervan.

7 Reasons Why Vanlifers Dislike the ProMaster City

As with every vehicle, there are downsides to the ProMaster City.

Here are 7 reasons why vanlifers dislike the Ram ProMaster City:

  1. Low Headroom: The interior height of the ProMaster City is just 51.8 inches. This means if you build your bench seat too high, you might not even be able to fully sit up in the van (see size comparison).
  2. Very Small: The Ram ProMaster City is very small inside. This comes with some advantages but it also means that you won’t have room to put tons of amenities inside.
  3. Noisy at High Speeds: Owners of the ProMaster City say the vehicle can be quite loud inside, especially on the freeway.
  4. Doesn’t Retain Value Well: The Ram ProMaster City is not a luxury car, nor is it very sought after, so it will not retain its purchase value well (see price comparison).
  5. Not as Widely Available as the Transit Connect: The Transit Connect is a much more common vehicle than the ProMaster City. The ProMaster city may be harder to find, especially used.
  6. Clunky Transmission: Owners of the ProMaster City say that the transmission feels choppy and clunky at low speeds.
  7. Not a lot of Cargo Length: The ProMaster city has just 87.2 inches of cargo space (that’s around 7 feet).

 

16 Amazing Ram ProMaster City Van Builds

With a stealthy exterior, short overall length, and 1,800 pound payload capacity, the ProMaster City provides a good platform for designing a layout… but which is the best?

Here are 16 of the coolest Ram ProMaster Cities ever:

Build #16: Minimalist Ram ProMaster City Conversion

  • Highlights: Contra Vans’ Ram ProMaster City build is super simple. It just has a large bench that slides down into a bed, and a swinging arm table that folds completely down.
  • Van: Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @contravans

 

Build #15: ProMaster City with Large Slide-Out and Recessed Lighting

  • Highlights: This Ram ProMaster City build out by a team of professional woodworkers has a convertible bed across from a narrow shelf with some drawer storage. Under the bed is a large pull-out for storage. 
  • Van: 2016 Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @aw_vanworks_llc

 

Build #14: DIY ProMaster City Build for On

  • Highlights: This simple DIY build has a small fixed platform bed across from a kitchen unit. The “kitchen” has lots of countertop space and stores the portable battery. Under the bed is some storage and a portable toilet.
  • Van: 2015 Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @nomadsamiam

 

Build #13: Ram ProMaster City with Fixed Bed and Storage Slots

  • Highlights: This Ram Promaster City has a large fixed bed taking up the whole back of the van. There’s a pull-down desk to turn the bedroom into a workspace, and lots of storage slots at the rear.
  • Van: Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @kukucampersusa

 

Build #12: Ram ProMaster City with Convertible Leather Couch and Kitchenette

  • Highlights: This Ram ProMaster city has a slide-down leather bench seat across from a tiny kitchen. The kitchen has a small sink, and a cooler bag, plus lots of storage underneath. The whole interior is lit with tons of fairy lights.
  • Van: 2020 Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @gwinny.the.camper

 

Build #11: ProMaster City Made for Adventure that Sleeps One

  • Highlights: This ProMaster City sleeps one on its bed that also functions as a bench. Across from the bench is a kitchen setup with a sink, room for a stove, and even a small fridge. There’s also an awning on top and a bike rack on the back.
  • Van: 2020 Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @dustinklien_

 

Build #10: Professional ProMaster City Build that Seats Four

  • Highlights: This ProMaster City build is reminiscent of Westfalia campervans. During the day it seats four, and at night the seats fold all the way down into a bed. There is a large wardrobe, a full kitchen area, and a drawer fridge.
  • Van: 2021 Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @wildernessvans

 

Build #9: ProMaster City with Slide-Down Bed, Rear and Front Awnings

  • Highlights: This DIY Ram ProMaster City build has a large convertible couch across from a fold-down table. Under the couch is a slide-out with tons of storage. Plus, this van has side and rear awnings for lots of outdoor living space.
  • Van: Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @benvancampin

 

Build #8: RV-Style Ram ProMaster City Build for One

  • Highlights: This beautiful Ram ProMaster City build sleeps one with a bed in the back across from a kitchen area with a sink and drawers. In the front is room for a small fridge, and a toilet slides out from under the bed.
  • Van: Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @patrick_njoa

 

Build #7: Ram ProMaster City Build Kit with Convertible Bed and Pull-Down Desk

  • Highlights: This build from Wayfarer Vans can be purchased as a kit for the Ram ProMaster City. It comes with insulating panels for the walls and floor, a convertible bed platform and cushions, lots of storage boxes, and a pull-down desk.
  • Van: Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @wayfarervans

 

Build #6: Cozy ProMaster City with Convertible L-Shaped Bed and Pop-Up Table

  • Highlights: CampzyVan, the Ram ProMaster City, has an L-Shaped couch that convert into a bed. Across from the couch is some counter space, as well as a pop-up table. There’s also a small “kitchen” area at the front with a sink and some storage.
  • Van: 2016 Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @campzyvan

 

Build #5: Apartment-Style ProMaster City Build with Toilet and Outdoor Shower

  • Highlights: This homey-feeling Ram Promaster City build packs a lot into a small space, with a convertible bed, sink area, long and narrow countertop space, and overhead cabinetry. Plus a small cassette toilet and outdoor shower.
  • Van: 2016 Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @vanlifetrader

 

Build #4: ProMaster City Build with Unique Slide Down Bed

  • Highlights: This unique DIY build has a bench seat across from a sink and prep area. The bed slides down all the way over the sink area for lots of sleeping room. The rear slide-out provides space for a propane burner and extra storage.
  • Van: 2020 Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @vanlifetrader

 

Build #3: ProMaster City with Full Slide Out Kitchen and Roof Nest

  • Highlights: This ProMaster City build from Craft AutoWorks is pretty serious. It has a full slide-out kitchen with a sink and burner, and a fridge under the bed platform. The interior bed is heated via DC power, and the Roof Nest on op ups the sleeping capacity to four.
  • Van: 2021 Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @craftautoworks (more photos at craftautoworks.com)

 

Build #2: Bare Bones Ram ProMaster City Build

  • Highlights: This simple but professional build from Camp N Car has just a bed platform with some storage underneath, and a pull-down desk. This build probably just sleeps one, but there’s plenty of room for a bike, skis, or a snowboard.
  • Van: Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @campncar (more photos on campncar.com)

 

Build #1: ProMaster City with L-Shaped Convertible Couch and Lots of Storage

  • Highlights: This ProMaster City build from California Custom Vans has an L-shaped couch that converts into a large bed. One rear slide out has a large grill, and they’ve included a hidden solar panel and portable battery.
  • Van: 2016 Ram ProMaster City
  • Owner: @californiacustomvans

 

Cost, Dimensions, & Fuel Economy

Now that you know a little more about the City, let’s see how it stacks up against the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV, Renault Traffic, & others.

 

Ram ProMaster City Cost

Cost: ProMaster City vs Transit Connect vs Nissan NV vs Renault Traffic vs Mercedes Metris vs VW California

ModelNewUsedPrice
Ram ProMaster City$30,475$17,300Check Price
Ford Transit Connect$29,365$17,995Check Price
Nissan NV200$23,500$13,985Check Price
Renault Trafic$51,952$28,594Check Price
Mercedes Metris$34,900$27,954Check Price
VW California$73,385N/ACheck Price

 

Ram ProMaster City Dimensions

Dimensions: ProMaster City vs Transit Connect vs Nissan NV vs Renault Traffic vs Mercedes Metris vs VW California

Model

Interior HeightInterior Length (cargo)Interior Width

Ext Length

Ram ProMaster City

51.8 inches87.2 inches60.4 inches

187.5 inches

Ford Transit Connect

49.5 inches117.5 inches48.7 inches

190 inches

Nissan NV20053.5 inches80.3 inches59.1 inches173.2 inches
Renault Trafic54.6 inches99.9 inches65.4 inches196.8 inches
Mercedes Metris55 inches105.4 inches66.3 inches202.4 inches
VW California55.5 inches101.3 inches66.9 inches193.1 inches

 

Ram ProMaster City Fuel Economy

Fuel Economy: ProMaster City vs Transit Connect vs Nissan NV vs Renault Traffic vs Mercedes Metris vs VW California

ModelCityHighwayCombined
Ram ProMaster City21 MPG28 MPG24.5 MPG
Ford Transit Connect24 MPG27 MPG25.5 MPG
Nissan NV20024 MPG26 MPG25 MPG
Renault Trafic24 MPG34 MPG29 MPG
Mercedes Metris19 MPG23 MPG21 MPG
VW California36.2 MPG42.2 MPG39.2 MPG

 

Conclusion: Is the Ram ProMaster City Right for you?

There are a lot of reasons to like the Ram ProMaster City: It’s small, inexpensive, & cheap to maintain  – but it may not be for you.

Biggest factors:

  • Low upfront cost
  • Small overall size
  • Good fuel economy
  • Cheap parts/service
  • Low roof height

So should you get one?

Maybe! We’d recommend the Ram ProMaster City over the Ford Transit Connect or other compact modern vans for vanlifers who like the Dodge/Ram brand and prefer the driving experience. Still on the fence? We’d recommend taking both the Transit Connect and ProMaster City for a test drive.

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