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Old 03-07-2017, 05:04 AM   #1
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Default 1988 Roadtrek advice please

My Mom is thinking of buying an 88 Roadtrek with 150K miles for 5 K off someone on Craigslist and driving it from PA to southern CA. I'd just like to know what any experienced owners here think of this vehicle. Moms an experienced cross country driver but our vehicles were never this old. She wants this to avoid hotels etc. when she drives cross country twice a year to visit my Grandma. She isn't a mechanic but she is real good at keeping our cars/trucks running, knows enough to do her own oil changes etc. Still, the age of this vehicle is worrying me!

This is the listing. It'll only be up for another day or so.
https://albany.craigslist.org/rvs/6018996233.html

Am I worrying for nothing or should I call my mother?
Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:56 PM   #2
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there are a few questions

I think the real answer is "Mom, just go buy a plane ticket"

an old van could be just great- but it's hard to know- also all the RV systems- does Mom know how to work all that stuff?

Mike
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Daftne View Post
My Mom is thinking of buying an 88 Roadtrek with 150K miles for 5 K off someone on Craigslist and driving it from PA to southern CA. I'd just like to know what any experienced owners here think of this vehicle. Moms an experienced cross country driver but our vehicles were never this old. She wants this to avoid hotels etc. when she drives cross country twice a year to visit my Grandma. She isn't a mechanic but she is real good at keeping our cars/trucks running, knows enough to do her own oil changes etc. Still, the age of this vehicle is worrying me!

This is the listing. It'll only be up for another day or so.
https://albany.craigslist.org/rvs/6018996233.html

Am I worrying for nothing or should I call my mother?
Thanks in advance for any advice!
Forget that it is a Roadtrek for a moment.
Forget that is your mom for a moment.

What would you say to anyone who wants to drive a 30 yr old van with 150k, sight unseen, from PA to CA?
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:46 PM   #4
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No, Mom hates flying, prefers driving but hates staying in hotels. Said she doesn't care about anything but a bed, shower and AC, wants it for more of a movable motel room while she drives cross country. I'm worried about the motor. If it breaks down is the motor type something any mechanic can work on? Is there somewhere I can check to see what motor it has and it's reliability?

Thanks
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
Forget that it is a Roadtrek for a moment.
Forget that is your mom for a moment.

What would you say to anyone who wants to drive a 30 yr old van with 150k, sight unseen, from PA to CA?
I didn't mean she was driving it sight unseen. She's got a mechanic to check it out and driving it around for cpl weeks at my Gma's till she's ready to leave. I've seen enough online to know loads of cars and trucks can get way higher mileage as long as they're properly serviced etc. My first car was an old 78 Volvo with 220k mom got me in 02 to learn to drive and it still runs fine, has almost 300k but Volvos are known for that. So I just wanted to know if anyone might of heard, known, found somewhere online they could share that would give a clue that this year and make would be one.
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:45 PM   #6
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A bit of a steep price for an 88. One would hope for that price that it was already in excellent mechanical condition.

88 was a strange year for the Dodge vans, assuming this is a 1988 chassis. Since the ad says V8, in 1988 there was the 318 and the 360 cubic inch engine. Of those, only the 318 was fuel injected. 1988 was also the beginning of the four speed automatic transmissions.

If it is a 1987 chassis, it will be carbureted. This will mean lower fuel mileage and potentially harder starting in cold weather. This would have a three speed automatic transmisison which contributes to the reduced fuel mileage.

The good news? Whether it's an 87 or 88 chassis, any mechanic can work on them and parts are cheap and plentiful and are still being made thirty years later. Many of the parts on the vans interchange with the older truck as well.

For a few thousand dollars, everything under the floor could be replaced and the van now becomes a brand new vehicle. That's what I did with my 93.

I would confirm fuel injection and the four speed transmission. It is a much more desirable van with those.
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