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Rear departure angle?

15152 Views 19 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Clam
I've looked around a bit, have not found this info anywhere.

I'm looking for the departure angle for the rear of the long wheelbase Transit. Preferably for both the long and extended bodies.

We have a slightly uphill driveway and I'd like to see if I have a chance of getting a van (any of 'em, really) in the driveway without grabbing one on a test drive.

Heck, it could really decide whether I continue with my plans and ideas for a DIY conversion.
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Yeah, just found that page. Looked through the Body Builders Layout Book. It has graphics for the different bodies, and it has the departure angle labeled, but the value is not listed in their tables of dimensions. :(
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Went out and made some measurements on the rear of my Audi wagon, with the euro hitch on. Comes out to a 14 degree rear departure is what I have now.

Rolled the car down to the driveway apron and I have 2" clearance hitch to ground. That gives me a street to driveway angle of roughly 11 degrees.

Sounds like it could all be rather close, especially with the extended body.

Don't know exactly what kind of load would be in the van. I would ask Orton about how much weight he added with his conversion setup, I'd be looking at something very similar. Add a few bicycles, travel gear, and maybe a full fresh water tank (15 gallons? really dunno yet) would about max it out for what it would see parked in the driveway.

And then there's always the option of angling in. We have a full width driveway in front of a three car garage, with some gravel space off to the side, could put the front end over there.

I'll have to see about getting some pictures of it all...
Not likely for testing the extended body, the local dealer only has two right now, both LWB standard length.

I would like to add a hitch receiver. Heck, I have a hitch on my Audi wagon, its surprising how often it gets used. (but then I'll go months without using it, so...)

However, if we were to tow anything, it would likely just be fairly lightweight cargo trailers, probably flatbed style. Nothing of much weight to speak of that would induce sway.

Right now its all just a mental exercise. While I am having fun with all the research, we're still 50/50 on whether we want to do the whole van thing or not...
Curious whether you ever got this angle of departure resolved with your driveway?
Nothing tested directly with any local Transits. I was satisfied enough for now with my measurements of driveway angle and what we figured out for the rear of the Transit.

And to be honest, if we were forced to choose one of the three vans right now, it would be the ProMaster; so now I need to find the same info for it.

(in other tidbits, the sloped driveway was certainly interesting this morning as we had freezing rain last night, about 1/4" of ice covering everything. I back my car in and park it in the driveway, was fun sliding downhill to the door handle and then trying to open the stuck door, all with my feet on ice)
What made you decide to go Promaster over Transit? I hear it's a good van but I just can't get past the hideous front end.

Without thinking about it too much...

  • The more I looked at it, the more I liked it. The more I looked at the Transit, the uglier it became. (especially after seeing a few of each model on the road)
  • The med roof Transit was too short inside, the high roof looks like a mobile apartment block, especially in the LWB extended. The height of the PM works well, inside and out.
  • Longer wheelbase - possibly a better ride, and a shorter rear overhang (to come back to thread topic). Boggles me that the long wb Transit is only 148".
  • Front wheel drive - very short nose and front end provide shorter van overall, and I think also contributes to the shorter overhang (even on the extended length)
  • Didn't measure it, but marketing and by feel the entry seems lower, both side door and rear
  • Size - just a wee bit wider than the others, and the walls are closer to vertical
  • Dealership - nicer guys at the Ram dealer than at the Ford dealer
  • Simpler, with less options - sounds a bit odd, especially since we checked almost all the available options, but I've mentioned elsewhere that with the three different engine options and three (or four?) rear end ratios, there's an "analysis paralysis" with the Ford. And also all the electronic goodie options that I'd be hard-pressed to resist, but don't really need.
  • Diesel with the automated manual transmission - drove it, loved it.
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