Automotive

Roadtrek converts Ram ProMaster into a cushy, spacious campervan

The all-new Roadtrek Zion seats up to five and sleeps three
The all-new Roadtrek Zion seats up to five and sleeps three
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The all-new Roadtrek Zion should be hitting dealerships right about now
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The all-new Roadtrek Zion should be hitting dealerships right about now
The Zion includes a kitchen with propane stove, microwave and refrigerator
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The Zion includes a kitchen with propane stove, microwave and refrigerator
The interior includes a permanent bathroom and convertible rear sofas
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The interior includes a permanent bathroom and convertible rear sofas
The Roadtrek's open center aisle makes loading bikes, kayaks and other gear easy
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The Roadtrek's open center aisle makes loading bikes, kayaks and other gear easy
Roadtrek Zion floor plan
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Roadtrek Zion floor plan
The Roadtrek Zion is among the first campers based on the Ram ProMaster
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The Roadtrek Zion is among the first campers based on the Ram ProMaster
The all-new Roadtrek Zion seats up to five and sleeps three
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The all-new Roadtrek Zion seats up to five and sleeps three
Inside the Roadtrek Zion
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Inside the Roadtrek Zion
A look at the Zion's under-sofa storage
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A look at the Zion's under-sofa storage
The Zion is based on the 280-hp Ram ProMaster
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The Zion is based on the 280-hp Ram ProMaster
Inside the Roadtrek Zion
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Inside the Roadtrek Zion
Inside the Roadtrek Zion
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Inside the Roadtrek Zion
A 5 cu ft refrigerator comes as standard kitchen equipment
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A 5 cu ft refrigerator comes as standard kitchen equipment
The Roadtrek layout includes a bathroom
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The Roadtrek layout includes a bathroom
The rear bed
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The rear bed

Canadian camper van specialist Roadtrek has launched the all-new Zion, a compact camper built atop the Ram ProMaster. The Zion's open interior layout accommodates gear like bicycles and kayaks in a wide center aisle, then serves as a roomy home away from home at camp. The camper van seamlessly combines feature-packed shelter with toy-hauling utility, no racks or trailers necessary.

How to get you, your spouse or best friend, and all your favorite sports gear into the great outdoors for a long weekend or week+ vacation? It's a question that gets answered with a lot of innovative camper designs, from small, lightweight trailers like the Mogo Freedom, to truck modules like the XPCube, right on up to bus-sized RVs with sports car-engulfing drawers, like those from Volkner and triple-axled expedition vehicles with hydraulic bike lifts ala the Global XRS 7200.

Roadtrek proposes something sitting smack in the middle of those small and XXL extremes: a camper van with an extended center aisle designed for gear-carrying utility. Unlike Roadtrek's other Class B motorhomes, based on vans like the Mercedes Sprinter, the ProMaster-based Zion does away with the rear furniture, allowing the center aisle to extend right to the double rear doors. This provides easy loading for bicycles, kayaks and other gear. The extended center aisle isn't a brand-new feature, but Roadtrek tells us that it's been a long time since it's offered a camper van with such a layout, so it's essentially revived the feature for the Zion.

The Roadtrek's open center aisle makes loading bikes, kayaks and other gear easy
The Roadtrek's open center aisle makes loading bikes, kayaks and other gear easy

It's easy to see how the full-length center aisle adds utility and versatility when compared to more crowded, cozy camper van interiors, like those seen on the other members of Roadtrek's lineup. Similar to the adjustable rear seat on the Volksleisure or removable camper modules of the Bett Mobil, the Zion's accessible load floor strikes a balance between comfortable, fully equipped camper and practical, stuff-haulin' van. Based on Roadtrek's description of early sales, it appears to be a popular balance.

"We had orders from our dealers almost instantaneously," VP of sales Paul Cassidy said of introducing the Zion in December. "The Zion hit the market with so much intensity that dealers are writing deals with retail customers without having seen one."

Beyond its full-length center aisle, the Zion is a fully equipped camper van with a permanent bathroom with shower; kitchen with standard 5 cu ft (141.5 L) refrigerator, propane stove and microwave; and up to 42 cu ft (1,189 L) of storage capacity. It sleeps three on a combination of optional single front bed and king-size bed converted from the dual sofas in back. The rear king bed stretches over the center aisle, meaning you'll have to keep bicycles or other gear outside or otherwise stored at night.

The Zion's standard equipment list shows that the van is designed for keeping comfy on the road. The list includes an 11,000-BTU roof-mounted air conditioner, a 36,000-BTU instant hot water system and a 12-ft (3.7-m) power exterior awning. Also standard is a 7-US gal (25 L) propane tank, 400A AGM battery and 2,000W inverter, 36.5-US gal (138 L) fresh water tank, and over 30 US gallons (114 L) of gray/black water holding. Options include a generator, 200W solar charging system and 22-in HD TV. The base Ram ProMaster features a 280-hp 3.6-liter V6, Uconnect 5.0 infotainment system, standard back-up camera and stability control suite.

The all-new Roadtrek Zion should be hitting dealerships right about now
The all-new Roadtrek Zion should be hitting dealerships right about now

Roadtrek introduced the Zion at the National RV Trade Show last December and began production earlier this year. The camper starts at US$86,931.

The ProMaster should prove a natural for American camper van conversions. Introduced at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, the van is based on the Fiat Ducato, the much-awarded undefeated champion of European camper van conversions. According to Fiat Professional, two out of every three European camper van conversions is a Ducato. The ProMaster may not have quite the same level of success as the Ducato, given that US Type B motorhome (camper van) sales lag far behind larger Type A and Type C models, but it should prove a viable competitor to campers based on Mercedes Sprinters, Ford Transits and other more established vans. Manufacturers including Winnebago have also launched ProMaster-based campers.

Source: Roadtrek

6 comments
Judysh
Why "Zion" for the name?
Chevypower
Great question Judysh! Also, why Roadtrek? Why Ram? Why Promaster? Why Judysh?
tigerprincess
$ 80,000 you must be joking. I can go the the finest hotels with meals and transportation to what ever I want to see for at least 10 years for this kind of money Camping and or leisure travel is or was a way to get away and experience the outdoors and different parts of the country. If I have to take a second job or spend a lifetime paying for a vehicle to do this then what is the benefit.
The Skud
Got to agree somewhat with Tigerprincess - That is a lot of money to move / house a few people. However, if you travel and stay in good hotels / resorts, at the end you have spent it all. With the Zion hopefully there will be resale value to get a bit back.
Mark Desade
@ Judysh. It's a Kosher RV. Seriously, it's probably named for Zion National Park. @ The Skud. Besides depreciation, which is very high for RV's, there's also annual vehicle registration fees, the cost of propane for the stove and fuel to drive the vehicle and any fees for entering and parking at outdoor facilities. And if you want Internet or tv services at the park, those are extra also.
AndyWright
For those that are alarmed at the price tag, ask yourselves how else would you visit the same places, i.e. off grid, off road? We have used a popup camper on a 4wd ($35k package) for five years. With that rig we've spent approximately 30 days a year x 5 years = $35k/150=$233/night to visit pristine areas unavailable by tenters (high winds, rough terrain) or the RV crowd (4wd required). Better yet, we will sell this unit for 80% of purchase price, discounting our own labor. After recovery of resale price, our cost per night is <$50 to visit places where few ever venture. We now have a 2016 4x4 Sprinter we are building into the next gen camper for our needs. The van cost $53k and we will spend another $10-20k to build it out. We intend to keep the vehicle for at least ten years. The freedom to travel and be secure, no matter the weather or terrain, is worth the cost to us. YMMMV
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