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Old 06-05-2019, 12:49 AM   #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, 03:55 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, 04:17 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, 04:42 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, 03:43 PM   #5
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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, 06:00 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, 06:11 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, 06:40 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, 06:49 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, 08:06 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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Old 06-13-2019, 08:35 PM   #11
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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 2004 Pleasure Way...no problems with driving except in high winds (like in Lubbock, Texas area..”Happiness IS Lubbock, Texas in Your Rear View Mirror”) I do not do over 65 MPH....
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:56 PM   #12
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Being a 1993, I would be conerned aboutthe AC system (if equipped) as the early 90's was when manufacturers needed to switch away from freon to the current R34a coolant chemistry. The old freon is obsolete, and service is impossible, the only option is replace all AC equipment costing really big bucks. If it has the R134a coolant you are good to go as service and parts are readily available. My 94 Ford is R134a and needed a new compressor, and $300 later is working fine again.
This is far more important to me than handling poblems that are an easy fix, not neessarily cheap, but readily doable.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:42 PM   #13
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Default 1993 Dodge B350 Pleasure Way

I have 2001 Lexor MP on the newer generation (1998-2003) Dodge Ram van 3500 chassis. I recommend checking the following:
1. Verify operation of freshwater system: Fill, verify that the pump works & no leaks.
2. Verify propane system:
2a. Water heater & furnace. Be sure to fill water heater/verify is not by-passed prior to testing the propane heater function.
2b. Verify furnace works. (Hint: if won't turn on, clean the contacts on the thermostat.)
2c. Verify that the cooktop works (both burners).
2d. Verify that the refrigerator runs on propane: "Light" the refrigerator in propane mode and verify that the indicator indicates that it has lit. Allow the refrigerator to run for a while to see if it cools. Note that the RV must be level when operating the refrigerator from any power source.
3. Verify cab A/C works
4. Test all detectors. (Note: They age out after 5 years. You are likely going to need to replace.)
5. If has generator, verify starts and runs house A/C.
6. Test house A/C to verify that it cools.
7. Look for signs of water leaks, especially around the roof windows and the rear door.
8. Inspect front and rear brakes.
9. inspect front wheel bearings.
Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:25 AM   #14
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I had lose steering issues in my 1998 RT 190 which went away with a new set of balanced tires. Also tire pressure was important. I set at 60 front 75 rear.
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:03 AM   #15
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Default Are you talking about speed sensitive power steering?

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Originally Posted by GallenH View Post
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.
Just me, but.... I highly doubt that shocks, steering stabilizers will help with this situation.. ?

This is WHY... people purchase newer technology vehicles....I don't even know if you will find air bags ?
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:38 PM   #16
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Just me, but.... I highly doubt that shocks, steering stabilizers will help with this situation.. ?

This is WHY... people purchase newer technology vehicles....I don't even know if you will find air bags ?
While newer technologies might be nice not everyone can or wants to spend well north of sixty grand for a newer class B. A forty to sixty grand difference leaves a big cushion for aftermarket improvements and gas in the tank.

And not all newer technology work out really well. Think Roadtrek lithium batteries and Mercedes Benz emissions.
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:29 PM   #17
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Just me, but.... I highly doubt that shocks, steering stabilizers will help with this situation.. ?

This is WHY... people purchase newer technology vehicles....I don't even know if you will find air bags ?
I agree. As I have changed vehicles I have always tried to upgrade to the latest safety features. Once cars began having standard airbags and anti-lock brakes, I decided I would never have another without those features. Same is true for side airbags, stability control, and so on.

I bought my class "b" used, but even thought it is on the '2011 Chevy chassis, it has all those latest features above plus rear view camera and tire pressure monitoring system. I just wouldn't want to spend many many miles in a vehicle less that reasonably safe by today's standards.

Just my personal choice, but to each his own and I have no problem with those who think otherwise.
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:40 PM   #18
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Default What price do you put on your personal safety?

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While newer technologies might be nice not everyone can or wants to spend well north of sixty grand for a newer class B. A forty to sixty grand difference leaves a big cushion for aftermarket improvements and gas in the tank.

And not all newer technology work out really well. Think Roadtrek lithium batteries and Mercedes Benz emissions.
I would strongly disagree with your assessment..... emissions systems like DEF enabled modern diesel engines to be more powerful and pollute less... that was the whole point.... BlueTec emissions systems are helping the environment.... anyone driving and old polluting gas guzzler that is NOT in compliance or emitting high noxious chemicals is wrong on every level....

Yes, I am well aware of the problems with some lithium batteries... I have AGM batteries on my Sprinter.

All I can say is ....old cars are "nostalgic"... they are NOT AS SAFE as newer models.....

You can't just retrofit an old car to be like a later model.... and when it comes to safety on the road.....it matters a lot.
Unstable or loose steering is a problem for the driver especially if they have to make a thousand steering corrections just to keep the vehicle running straight down the highway.....my nextdoor neighbor got rid of his old Class A.....he couldn't drive it more than 100 miles without getting fatigued.... steering wobbled and the excessive tail wagging of the coach was just too much....

It's ALL important... good shocks, suspension, steering, air bags, ABS.....yeah..... you don't have to purchase a brand new coach....mine was 5 years old when I purchased it.....

Some early cars had speed sensitive steering....I had a 1980 Honda Accord with that feature.....it all depends on the vehicle... you need to do research....

I can only say that if any one feels like they have to struggle to just control their vehicle, it's definitely time for a reassessment on whether it's road worthy..... especially on a long trip....
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:54 PM   #19
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Hi Steve,

I agree with your post, spot on.

"While newer technologies might be nice not everyone can or wants to spend well north of sixty grand for a newer class B."

Fact.

"A forty to sixty grand difference leaves a big cushion for aftermarket improvements and gas in the tank."

Fact.

And not all newer technology work out really well. Think Roadtrek lithium batteries and Mercedes Benz emissions."

Fact, etreks did not work out really well, and neither has sprinter emission tech.

I could ramble on about stuff you never mentioned, won't.

Bud
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:20 PM   #20
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Hi Steve,

I agree with your post, spot on.

"While newer technologies might be nice not everyone can or wants to spend well north of sixty grand for a newer class B."

Fact.

"A forty to sixty grand difference leaves a big cushion for aftermarket improvements and gas in the tank."

Fact.

And not all newer technology work out really well. Think Roadtrek lithium batteries and Mercedes Benz emissions."

Fact, etreks did not work out really well, and neither has sprinter emission tech.

I could ramble on about stuff you never mentioned, won't.

Bud
Yeah, I wonder what Steve thinks?
I see that Rowiebowie agreed with me on safety....

You? I'm not sure you care?

Just another person bashing Mercedes Benz.....

Oh I did see your post about how "SLOW" the Sprinter is....
I think that you mentioned it would lose in a "drag race".....

Is this a real conversation?
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