Promaster Roof Rack: The Top 4 For a Campervan

43 shares Dodge Promaster campervans have quickly become a darling of the van life scene. Promasters are cheaper than their counterparts, the Ford Transit and…

flatline van co promaster low pro roof rack

Dodge Promaster campervans have quickly become a darling of the van life scene. Promasters are cheaper than their counterparts, the Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter, and are wide enough for sleeping sideways without modifications like Flarespace flares.

Since Promasters are the newer kid on the block, there are fewer companies making after-market accessories. But as Promaster camper vans grow in popularity, so will the market for parts and pieces.

Luckily, there are a few companies out there making Promaster roof racks.

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Do you Really Need a Promaster Roof Rack?

Many people doing a DIY van conversion are really excited about putting exterior accessories on campervans. However, you should think hard about whether you truly need a roof rack.

A roof rack will add weight to your Promaster, making it more top-heavy for activities like off-road boondocking. Roof racks are also expensive and create extra windage and noise when driving down the highway, which takes a toll on your gas mileage.

If you’re just putting solar panels on the roof, you don’t really need a Promaster roof rack. You can simply attach flexible solar panels directly to the roof.

Additionally, you don’t need a roof rack to attach an awning to your Promaster. You can still use the top-rated Fiamma F80 awning with the awning adaptor for Promasters, which allows you to mount the awning directly to the roof or your van.

However, if you’re carrying gear or a cargo box, you’ll definitely want to add a roof rack to your Promaster. A roof rack is also good for creating a rooftop deck and watching the sunset with a cold beverage.

So if you’re convinced you want a Promaster roof rack, here are our top picks:

Orion Van Gear Promaster Roof Rack

Orion Van Gear Roof Rack

Oregon-based Orion Van Gear builds all-aluminum roof racks and side ladders for Ram Promasters and Sprinters. These are the only ones on the market that come in black or silver. Another added perk is that the Orion Stealth+ roof racks are made in Oregon.

The Orion Van Gear Stealth+ Promaster Roof Rack has a low profile for reduced wind noise and provides 360-degree roof privacy, so people can’t easily see what gear you installed on top when they walk by. The front and rear wind fairings are included in the price. To fit your solar panels and fan, simply move the crossbars to the desired location.

The Stealth+ Rack is designed for the Fiamma F45s awning which is cheaper than the F80.

This roof rack is available for:

  • 118″ Low Roof
  • 136″ Low and High Roof
  • 136″ Winniebago Solis Pocket
  • 159″ High Roof and Extended

Installation is easy – you won’t need a crane or to do any cutting or drilling through the metal for this roof rack. It mounts directly to the factory roof pins through some adaptors. This roof rack also features front fairing to alleviate wind noise.

Orion Van Gear offers free shipping in the contiguous 48 states and Canada. Lead time is about 3-4 weeks.

Orion Van Gear is offering readers of The Wayward Home $75 off any order over $2,000. Use the coupon code WAYWARD75.

Aluminess Roof Rack for a Promaster

Ram Promaster with a 159"WB Roof Rack by Aluminess
Photo: Ram Promaster 159″WB Aluminess Roof Rack

This aluminum roof rack is made by Aluminees – a California-based company that produces adventure gear for DIY van conversions. If you go with them, you will have lots of choices.

With an Aluminess roof rack, choose between a double loop or a touring-style rack. The first is shaped like a basket, while the second features a drop-down front pipe, which can support light bars.

There are 2 flooring options: a slatted floor or perforated aluminum. A slatted floor is made out of 3″ slats with 2.5″ gaps between them, while the perforated aluminum one is essentially a deck.

If you want to chill out on the roof in your lawn chair with a drink at sundown, choose the Aluminess rack with perforated flooring. If instead you want to use the roof only to store extra gear, maximize the space available by going with the slatted flooring.

You can couple this Aluminess roof rack with a number of accessories, such as a side awning, a surf pole, surf hooks, and more.

Both of these Aluminess roof rack products come in at $4,400 and are compatible with vans manufactured from 2014 onwards. The racks are made to order and take 8 to 10 weeks to build. Shipping isn’t included in the price.

Promaster DRIFTR Roof rack

Ram Promaster DRIFTR Roof Rack
Photo: Ram Promaster DRIFTR Roof Rack

The DRIFTR Roof Rack is made by Arkansas-based company Backwoods Adventure Mods. The guys specialize in building high-quality off-roading products and accessories.

Made of aluminum and steel, this roof rack for a Ram Promaster is equally strong and light. Yet, you can safely walk on it. It’s also low-profile, which improves the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. The DRIFTR is very versatile, thanks to the movable crossbars, which you can move around in order to place a solar panel, fan, and other gear. You can even purchase extra crossbars if you need them. The whole structure is powder-coated black.

The installation process is straightforward and the package comes with all the hardware you need to do the job. The instructions are clear.

The DRIFTR is compatible with only the 159″ and 159″WB Extended Promasters built since 2013. They are priced at $1,975 and $2,225 respectively.

Flatline Van Co Promaster Low Pro Roof rack

Flatline Van Co Promaster Low Pro Roof rack
Photo: Flatline Van Co Promaster Low Pro Roof rack

Flatline Van Co (FVC) builds adventure gear for van lifers, such as bed systems, roof racks, ladders, cargo boxes, and more.

Their Low Pro Roof Racks for the Ram Promaster van are low profile and have an aerodynamic look. They feature six movable crossbars, which allow you to install equipment directly to them. Think of solar panels and AC units. Securing cargo, such as surfboards and other large items, to the rack is very easy.

All stainless steel hardware is included in the box and you’ll love the quick and easy installation, which takes less than 90 minutes.

FVC build roof racks for the Promaster 136″ Low Roof, 159″ Low Roof, and 159″ Extended. They offer free delivery anywhere in the lower 48, so you don’t have to pay for any shipping costs. Prices vary between $1,795 and $1,995.

How Much Can a Promaster Roof Hold?

When adding a roof rack to your Promaster campervan, you should take into account how much weight your roof is rated for.

I couldn’t find any official information on the website for Dodge Promasters, but on forums, people assume the roof can hold up to 330 pounds or so. You should take this into consideration when choosing a roof rack.

Roof racks can weigh anywhere between 60 and 100 pounds. If you get 100-pound roof rack and then add gear and solar panels, your weight could go up another 100 pounds. And if you and another person want to sit on a rooftop deck on a Promaster, that goes up even more.

It’s good to think through the weight before adding a roof rack, gear and human bodies to the top of your van.

What to Think About Before Choosing a Promaster Roof Rack

Person standing on top of a Promaster roof rack by Orion Van Gear
Orion Van Gear roof racks for a Promaster

Here are a few considerations before you jump in and buy a roof rack.

What is the Roof Rack Made out of?

Before you buy a rack, make sure it’s made out of aluminum. Most roof racks on the market these days are made out of lightweight aluminum, but it’s good to make sure.

Do you Need Adjustable Crossbars?

Some roof racks, like the Flatline Low Pro and Backwoods DRIFTR roof racks, come with adjustable crossbars so you can decide the configuration of your rack. We chose an Aluminess roof rack, which doesn’t have crossbars, but a perforated aluminum bottom and side rails which makes it easy to attach gear and solar panels.

How Heavy is the Roof Rack?

You’ll want to factor in the weight of your roof rack when choosing one for your Promaster. Some racks are significantly lighter than others, with the Flatline Low Pro roof rack the lightest we could find. You’ll want to factor in how much gear weight you’ll be putting up there, too.

Will you be Installing the Roof Rack Yourself?

Some roof racks ship right to your door in pieces and offer easy installation, but the quality is slightly lower than something like an Aluminess rack which is one piece. We brought our van down to the Aluminess factory in Santee, California for installation, which was easier than shipping it and trying to find a forklift.

If you don’t want to deal with bringing your van somewhere for installation, the Flatline Low Pro roof rack, Orion Stealth+ Roof Rack or DRIFTR roof rack are great options for quick and easy installation.

Do you Want a Roof Deck?

A roof deck is wonderful to have for sitting on top of your van and enjoying grand views. If a deck is important to you, you’ll want to find a roof rack with a perforated aluminum bottom rather than slats or crossbars. However, slats or crossbars allow you to build a wooden deck on your roof.

If you buy an Orion roof rack for your Promaster, you can add on these roof deck brackets to make a simple rooftop deck!

Do you Need Cutouts for a Roof Vent or AC Unit?

Many people put rooftop air conditioners or roof vents on top of their van. This isn’t a problem if you choose a rack with adjustable mounts. Just move the crossbar to accommodate the permanently-installed equipment in your roof.

If you want to go with an Aluminess roof rack like we did, you can either go with the custom vent van spot or design your own rack. We chose a custom placement to the side of the rack to accommodate gear on our roof.

Promaster Roof Rack Accessories

Aluminess Roof Rack for a Promaster and accessories
Photo: Aluminess Roof Rack for a Promaster and accessories

There are a lot of roof rack accessories to consider for your Promaster van.

A Ladder

If you have a roof rack on your Promaster, you’ll need a way to get up there to access your cargo boxes, gear and solar panels. You can choose either a side ladder or back door ladder. We prefer a rear door ladder for our campervan as it has less wind drag than a side ladder.

However, some people prefer a side ladder as it leaves your back doors unencumbered and easier to open. You can find ladders to go with your roof rack on many different websites, including Flatline, CampervanHQ and OrionVanGear.

Surf Poles

If you carry surfboards, you might want to consider adding a surf pole to your Promaster roof rack. Surf poles mount to the roof rack on the top and the van’s pinch weld on the bottom. This is an easy way for surf boards to be easily accessible without you needing to crawl up to the roof of your van.

See this Aluminess surf pole on CampervanHQ.

An Awning

The Fiamma F45S is a perfect addition to Promaster vans. These awnings easily mount to Flatline Van Co’s Promaster Low Pro Roof Rack. The Fiamma F45S awning comes in three sizes: 10’1″, 11’4″ or 13’1″. The Fiamma is an easy-to-install awning, and the flush mount ensures that you don’t have any gaps where water can get through.

Solar Panels

You’ll most likely be adding solar panels to your Promaster roof. Some good brands to check out are Zamp Solar, Go Power or Renogy. Rigid solar panels are easy to mount on a roof rack, especially if you have one with adjustable crossbars. You can also just flat mount flexible solar panels directly to your roof rack’s perforated bottom, but that makes it more permanent and harder to remove.

A Cargo Box

Many van lifers choose to add a cargo box to their roof rack. Cargo boxes are great for storing items you don’t want to carry around inside your campervan, like outdoor camping gear, backpacking gear, climbing gear, hiking boots and poles, etc. There are lots of different cargo box options of various sizes, and they can all attach to your Promaster roof rack!

Check out cargo boxes on CampervanHQ here.

Lockable Tie Down Straps

If you want to tie down your surf boards or kayak and leave your van unattended, you might want to consider lockable tie-down straps. These work like regular tie-down straps but with the addition of a lock and key.

Check out the Kanaluck lockable tie-down straps here.

Lighting

You can easily attach a few lights or a light bar to a Promaster roof rack to help out when you’re boondocking or doing down dark dirt roads at night.

LED light pods like these can attach directly to the Orion roof rack, and you can add 6 or 7 for your desired brightness. Or, instead of individual lights, you can opt for a light bar.

Conclusion on the Best Roof Racks for a Promaster Van

We hope this article helps you choose an amazing rack for adventures in your Dodge Promaster campervan. Luckily, more and more cool products for these vans are coming on scene.

We love the Flatline Van Company’s Low Pro Roof Rack for a rack that’s lightweight, affordable, easy to install and has a more aerodynamic look. The Low Pro will also cut down on the amount of wind noise you hear in your van.

Aluminess products offer the most customization, from the type of floor, to type of rails, to cutout shapes and sizes. We’ve found Aluminess products to be solid and really high quality.

Which roof rack did you choose? Let us know in the comments!

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