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Old 02-18-2014, 06:18 PM   #1
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Default Dodge Xplorer (which is best?)

Greetings fellow Nomads!
I've been searching for the right camper van for a couple years now (if you know of any better ways to search for camper vans other than craigslist let me know!)
I've determined that the Dodge Xplorer is probably my best option considering my neighborhood has height restrictions of 7' and I'd like to still be able to stand up inside.(I would have considered a pop top camper van but I only have a budget of about 8,000). I also need something that is somewhat stealthy because when I do go on my year long voyage I would like to park for free in neighborhoods.
So that being said, I am not too mechanically savvy and really need some advice as to which Xplorer would be best.

There are two Xplorers I currently have my eye on that I would really like for you guys to compare in terms of reliability. I know that there are probably unknown factors involved, and I ultimately will have to take them both to a mechanic to compare them but I'd like to know what you guys think given this information.

The first one is older but has fewer miles and also looks like it was taken much better care of. It also has a lot more amenities in it than the second one like sink, toilet, and water tank etc. The second one however is half as expensive and I would actually be able to afford to fix it up a little and buy some of those things.
Mostly though I care about the vehicle actually running smoothly and with fewer mpg. But there's so much to consider and both of these vehicles are a few hours away so I have to make sure my moves are very premeditated. This is a toughy.

This is what the information in the first post look like:

A 1985 Dodge Xplorer camper van. Model 228, 92,xxx miles.

Dodge 360 engine
727 Torqueflight trans.
Two Burner Range
3-way Refrigerator
Full Bath
Kitchen Sink
Dining Table
Swivel Captains Chairs
Queen Bed
Closet
Hot Water Tank
Freshwater Tank
Blackwater Tank
LP Tank
*NEW Coach Battery
*NEW Roof Vent
Yakima Roof
Domestic brand Bag Awning

This is a one of a kind adventure-mobile and you wont find one nicer. Its a classic vehicle with a classy look. *NO RUST* I have many receipts showing work done along with original equipment manuals.
http://lincoln.craigslist.org/rvs/4333043133.html


Here is the second one I'm looking at:
For Sale: 1993 Dodge B350 Maxivan (Xplorer Motor Home Conversion) 5.9 Magnum, rebuilt 4 speed auto transmission, good tires and brakes, runs well. Has rear AC, PW, PM, PDL, PB, cruise, tilt, stereo, TV, sink, fouton, fridge, hot plate, microwave. Also has working Onan 2.8kv generator built in under rear end with remote start. 112,xxx miles. Serious inquiries only. No tire kickers.

http://madison.craigslist.org/rvs/4332594210.html
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dodge Xplorer (which is best?)

I can't help with specifics re: Dodge or Xplorer but the newer one (8 years newer) is $4,800 less. Seems like an easy decision if both are in similar shape.

Edit: I see, the older one does look better taken care of and it says no rust.......... Can you go see both of them?
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dodge Xplorer (which is best?)

Being that I am 6'3" tall, I would be severely 'height challenged' in both rigs, but I'd personally choose the '85 - seems much better thought out. I like the old classic Xplorer design too. Also having an '85 Ramcharger, I am much more accustomed to that era of Dodge trucks/vans. Hmmm..... wonder if the Ramcharger 4X4 system would swap in...... ?
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dodge Xplorer (which is best?)

Just looking at the pictures, and assuming both are in good mechanical condition, I'd go with the 85. They said no rust and the pictures of the underside (particularly the LP Tank) seem to support that claim. The 93 is showing rust around the bolted-on running boards. I had a 98 Ford Sherrod conversion van with the same style running boards. I found they trapped road salt and when I removed them, I found the metal beneath them had rotted away. Some of the pictures show it parked in snow and where there's snow, there's salted roads.
Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dodge Xplorer (which is best?)

I agree about the rust. You can see it in the pics of the 94.Rust is rarely an issue here in SoCal but obviously very important where you live. As I said on rv.net.Have the fuel lines changed on the 86. No matter how well cared for a vehicle is.rubber will rot.
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