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Old 07-18-2011, 04:04 AM   #1
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Default Considering buying used Pleasureway (1998 Dodge)

Hi,

Not sure whether to create a new thread? I posted this question/comment elsewhere...

In my search for *the One*, I'm currently looking at a 1998 Dodge Pleasureway - I have no idea what chassis or engine size, nor even how to evaluate those things, anyway.

Everywhere I look there seem to be "handling issues" with older Pleasureways, which is very disconcerting.

Plus, I'm noticing a distinct pattern among used Class B's, here in Ontario, Canada, at least...

Roadtrek is by far more popular and, hence, more available. This would probably make a difference in getting repairs, I'm thinking.

But also, the difference in used mileage on RoadTrek vs. Pleasureway is HUGE!!!

Most Roadtrek's in the year range of vehicles I can just barely afford (ie, 1987 to 2003), they have at least 100K upwards to 200+K. Whereas the Pleasureways all seem to be WELL UNDER 100K. You'd think this would be a selling point...BUT with the Pleasureway handling issues and I even read one woman's account of her fears in driving her PW, it makes me think that people simply don't drive the van as much.

The Roadtreks, in spite of some potential floorplan/layout improvement areas, seem to be a much-loved, much-driven vehicle.

Speaking of which, I think it's disappointing that RoadTrek staff don't read up about people's comments on many RV forum boards and consider offering an alternative layout, like Pleasureway's with the galley on the passenger side, and other key changes or options. (Has anyone ever written to RoadTrek with such feedback? Maybe I will...)

If anyone has any thoughts on whether to get 1998 Pleasureway Dodge, I'd LOVE to hear from you!

Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Considering buying used Pleasureway (1998 Dodge)

You'd have to drive it to know. Check the tire pressure first. Then, test drive. Apparently the handling problem are really noticeable when a big rig passes you.

I have a '98 Dodge 3500 Maxi Van (not a camper) and it handle just fine. No problems. It actually drives really nice on the highway. My '98 was sold as just a van when the camper van converter went out of business. Maybe it had been fixed.

The odd thing is that the handling problems did not affect every van from what I've read.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Considering buying used Pleasureway (1998 Dodge)

I have a 1995 Pleasure Way on a Dodge 3500 chassis; 318CID engine and now 160K kilometres. I've had it for 3 years and have put on 40K of those kilometres.
Handling was never a problem with the van. I did however add rear wheel spacers about 2 years ago to correct the track. The difference they made was quite noticeable, changing the handling from "It's fine, really" to rock steady with no wandering at all. Side winds and front winds cause no problems - just noisy. Tail winds are, of course, always welcome. The previous owner had also installed a locking, non-slip rear end. He thought it would help him avoid getting stuck on very muddy lanes. I don't think it makes much difference, but I haven't changed the gears back. Power with the smaller (magnum) 8 is fine. The tires on the van when I bought it were about 10 years old and a mix of series D and series E, so I replaced them with Michelin LT M/S series E. They've taken me through some wild winter driving on my way south from Alberta each year without any traction problems.
I had the van checked over at a local Chrysler dealership before buying it. They gave it a clean bill of health. Nevertheless, I've since replaced the oil pressure sender, the fuel pump, reconditioned the HVAC system and corrected a suspension wear problem. I needed to replace some window weather stripping once and I just went to the local "pick your part" wreckers. I still consider it reliable and safe to drive anywhere.
I've had zero problems with any of the P Way camper systems but from my visits to RV dealers (for accessory type things and miscellaneous questions) I don't think I'd have a problem getting service at any local centre. I did have a solar system installed at a supplier who seemed well versed in such installations but with no affiliation with P Way. No problem
In short, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 98 P Way on the Dodge chassis provided I had it properly inspected beforehand.
Trust that helps a little...

Les
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Considering buying used Pleasureway (1998 Dodge)

Most of the van suspensions are all of similar design, except for the Ford I-Beam. Handling problems will usually be caused by having too much load for the springs, incorrect tires & pressures, incorrect shocks for the load and springs, and track width. If the vehicle is older, it may need new bushings and ball joints in the suspension/steering.

Many of the Class B RV's carry the maximum weight that the vehicle was designed to carry. If the max GVW is 9600 pounds, you don't want to have a rig that always weighs 9500 pounds. If you must run heavy, you should upgrade the springs, tires, shocks for the next weight class. Upgraded brakes would not hurt anything either. These are all things you can do, one piece at a time; but you need to know what the final parts list will be, so you only have to purchase the parts once.

If it were me, I would work it in this order:
Track width (easy with high quality spacers or offset wheels)
Shocks
Tires
-- Bushings
-- Springs (bushings and springs are best done at the same time)
-- Ball joints (if needed, and done at same time as springs and bushings)
Brakes (if they are available)

This list assumes that nothing is in an unsafe condition. If any of these items were in horrible shape, it would get moved to the top of the list.
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