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Old 06-04-2019, 11:49 PM   #1
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Default 1993 Dodge B350 Pleasure Way

Going to look at one this weekend. One owner, all maintenance records, 117k miles. Sending my son, a mechanic, to look at it.
Anything in particular he should look for? I've read these may have handling problems on the freeway...?
I've been looking for awhile, and this seems like a good deal.
Thanks in advance...😁
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:55 PM   #2
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I don't know if in 93 they did a wide body and standard [7' vs 6.5']. I've read that the wider body model has less handling issues. I have a 97PW/Dodge in the WB format. It's steering is different than my other vehicles in that it seems to be in "power" mode at all speeds as opposed to many modern steering units that get more "manual" as you drive faster. "All time power steering." Some people find that unnerving. I'm in the SW and frequently in the mountains. No issues. Drove 75mph across the texas panhandle. No problems. I will say that tire pressure is worth checking. Mine should be 55 front/80 rear. Some say going up to 60-65 front makes handling better. So make sure the front tires aren't low when you test.

BTW: If you search the forum you'll find threads relating to mods that effect the handling. Shocks, front/rear stabilizer bars, specialized steering stabilizers and rear wheel spacers. I was sure I'd be buying some of that when I bought mine. But in 3+ years have never felt the need.

Good luck.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:17 PM   #3
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I haven't driven it yet, the lady seems really upfront and honest. She said the steering does have a loose feel. According to the VIN, the width is 79.80", so I'm guessing that's not the widebody. Although as far under the body as the rear wheels are, can't imagine it being wider, lol. The steering issues scare me a little, don't really wanna be white knuckling through Atlanta traffic getting it home, lol.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:42 PM   #4
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The manual specs state 6'6 for "original" body and 7'1 for wide body. But I'm not sure if that option was even available in 93. The discrepancy between the front and rear wheels is why some people added wheel spacers on the rear end. I never did.

I bought mine from my father-in-law 3 years ago. He was 99 and no longer driving. I remember driving it about 20 years ago and thought it was too white knuckle. So when he offered it, I took it on a short trip. Wasn't bad like I remembered. Drove it from WI to AZ. Going through IL the winds were so strong that my wife couldn't open her door at a rest stop. No camper is going to handle well in those winds. But for the rest of the trip [down to New Orleans and across to AZ] it was actually fine. Maybe I was getting use to the light feel of the steering. In all of our trips, including one up to Glacier, I've been fine with the handling.

If you find the steering too loose you may want your son to check any adjustment on the steering box. He'll know the routine and can also look for worn/loose ball joints which also factor in. Shocks and tires do as well.
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atcaw94 View Post
I haven't driven it yet, the lady seems really upfront and honest. She said the steering does have a loose feel. According to the VIN, the width is 79.80", so I'm guessing that's not the widebody. Although as far under the body as the rear wheels are, can't imagine it being wider, lol. The steering issues scare me a little, don't really wanna be white knuckling through Atlanta traffic getting it home, lol.
I have a 1999 Roadtrek 190 Popular and previously owned a 1998 Coach House Wide Body. When I bought the Roadtrek, I thought the steering was loose too. The info in the door says to have the front tires at 45, but a mechanic told me to use 55. The steering is definitely much better at 55. There have been some recent discussions on here regarding tire pressure. It was recommended to go to 65 on the front. I'm going to try 60 on my next trip, and see how I like it. Several people have mentioned using Bilstein shocks too, but I haven't upgraded my shocks, and I've had the Roadtrek for 7 years. I drove my Coach House in Atlanta on July 4 years ago, btw.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:00 PM   #6
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Not sure about the Dodge van body of this era, but I have a 1996 Coachmen RB19 on the Ford E250 van body. For the most part all of these class B campers on a regular single axel body van chassis are already near the max weight for the stock suspension. When these bodies we're turned into ambulances the suspension was upgraded, but not for the RVs. Most are literally "cutaway" vans. The vans weigh in at about 7600 lbs without camping gear or water and the suspension built for about 8000-8500 lbs. That is why they feel so horrible at speed. It is fixable though...

All that said, plan to replace the ball joints and replace the front and rear springs with heavier duty units. I have done all of those things (and more) to my 1996 class B and it handles so much better. For the rear springs, my best advice is to weigh the camper by axel and then look up the stock non camper weight by axel. Once you know those numbers you can determine the best springs to buy based on the load you have so that the reserve capacity is closer to a stock van.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:11 PM   #7
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I have a 94 B350 Sportsmobile. Check front frame rails for rot. Especially where steering box bolts on.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:40 PM   #8
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I had a '94 PW for about 10+ years. Sold it to a neighbor with 225K about 7yrs ago. No engine repairs (360), he's still driving it and still talks to me. Lots of other repairs, though. Front brakes every 20k or less. Front disc brakes are way too small for the heavy load of a PW. Differential, most suspension parts, AC hose. I put on Bilstein shocks, major improvement. Ride was way too soft and too low to ground so put bigger springs in front and helper springs in rear. Much better ride and more clearance. House build by PW is superior to many other similar RVs, hint hint, but early Dodge is not my first choice. However, a couple of hundred thousand miles of adventure was sure fun! Not sure what you are paying, I sold mine for $7500. Maybe that's why my neighbor still talks to me.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:49 PM   #9
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The older "recirculating ball" manual steering systems on Chrysler products in the 70's was adjustable to tighten up the slack in the steering wheel. You could remove the 1"-2" play on center very easily. I did it on a Plymouth Fury when I was 15 years old.

That was a loooooong time ago, but if the '93 vans still had recirculation ball steering, it is possible they also have the adjustment feature. The process consisted of loosening a ring nut, turning the center bolt about a turn or two clockwise using a large screwdriver on the slotted end, then re-tightening the ring nut to hold the adjustment bolt in place. You kept tightening little by little (test-driving between adjustments) until most of the slack was gone.

If during a test drive the steering was reluctant to return to center after a taking a corner, you just backed off 1/2 a turn and you were probably perfect.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:06 PM   #10
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I’ve got a 2000 American Cruiser and found adding the wheel spacers with a pair of Gabriel Hijackers air shocks has made a big improvement.
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