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Old 09-22-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
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Default Mystery Class B

Hi,

My boyfriend and I are looking at buying our first Class B. We are planning on buying avan and then heading on a 6month+ trip in North America.

We have found a van that we like but have an odd situation. We dont know what it is!

The seller are an elder couple 65-70 who bought it a year ago. They are very happy go lucky as they didn't get any maintenance records and other then the Van chasis/Engine they no nothing about the conversion kit, tank sizes etc etc.

Who made this camper?

I was hoping that a forum member might recognize. The details of the van are as follows (i also have a ton of questions lol):

- 1995 Dodge Camper Van, 3500 with a Magnum 318.
- Cruise Control, Overdrive, Front Air con only
- 168,000 Kilometers (104,000 miles)
- Appliances: 3 way fridge, stove.
- Sink, Shower and a tiny portable toilet
- There is a roof double bed that extends a bit over the cab as well as a day bed/king single at the very back and two seats with a table which fold down to another single.
- New deep cycle battery is in the engine bay (only one).
-5 new Michelin tires (need to confirm what they are).

The pics are attached/follows:







The asking price is 11k, it drove real well (i think) but i will get an inspection to back me up, however there is a nasty dent on the back right corner, which isn't in the photos, funnily enough.

Question time!

-Does anyone know who did this conversion?

-There is a marine deep cycle axillary battery in the engine bay. I am not sure i like this setup we want to boondock for periods of three days. What do you guys think? Could i somehow create a bigger battery bank?

- The guy reckons it can get 18MPG on the highway. But i dont think so. Maybe 18km on the highway. If anyone recognizes this van do you have any ideas on an expected consumption if the engine is in good shape?

I probably will think of more questions but if someone can help me out with the above it would really be appreciated, if you need more info please let me know and i will try and get it.

Thanks so much

Gemma
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Van 1.JPG (113.4 KB, 1189 views)
File Type: jpg Van 2.JPG (67.7 KB, 1189 views)
File Type: jpg Van 3.JPG (106.2 KB, 1189 views)
File Type: jpg Van 4.JPG (60.5 KB, 1189 views)
File Type: jpg van 5.JPG (74.9 KB, 1189 views)
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

I don't know and I can't find anything that looks close to it ......... Looks factory built so you'd expect to see others.

Adding additional battery capacity should be doable. There is probably a house battery in there somewhere though. Under the floor maybe.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

Does it have two batteries in the engine compartment?
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

I have seen those graphics somewhere before. Maybe Horizon or Sunseeker?
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

Yeah it has two batteries in the engine compartment.

Usual starter and a deep cycle wedged almost at the front.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

I'd guess 13 to 15 mpg.
Does it have a generator?
Does the fridge run on propane?
You could run the motor daily to recharge the battery.
LED interior lights reduce your power consumption.
Will you be in the Southern US in Summer and if so, will you be ok without coach air conditioning?
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

It beats me how they could fit 2 batteries under the hood. There is ZERO space in my 78 for another battery under the hood. Of course it has a 360, not a 318... but still.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

Thanks for the comments guys . The mystery continues!

So maybe a bit more about what we plan to do will give you more information on what i need in a van and if this type of van would suit me.

We are a a couple in our late 20's early 30's who want to do a North American (maybe Mexico too) road trip.

For 6 months + we plan on driving south from Montreal (home base) skipping the North East (traveled it well) and starting from Virginia making our way across VA,NC,SC,GA,TN,MIS,LA,TX,NM,AZ,CA,OR,WA and that is as far as i have got lol.

The catch of the trip is we didn't want to get stuck in RV parks as seeing cities and being relatively alone in nature is a huge part of our itinerary, hence the class B.

Our requirement is also on the cheap. We have been lining up peoples backyards,driveways, ranches and whatever else people can offer at per night prices from $0 to $10 and have got amazing responses and invitations.

Naturally there is still car park camping if available but we prefer being with locals to get a better cultural experience of the area in which we are visiting.

So the odds of having a hookups are probably going to be rare, so boondocking setups are the ability to survive as comfortable as possible is key. I would like an aircon for sure but i haven't read of any boondocking setup greater then staying a day or 2 off grid that could regenerate such a power loss (though i have never rv'd before so i might be completely wrong).

We will be using a laptop as entertainment and have our eyes setup on a portable solar charger for our electronics from Goal Zero.

So for the van i will need to run just:

- Lights (will change to LED)
-Water pump/heater (will be off except only just before required use)
-3way fridge which we would like to run always if possible

I would love an aircon sure but i think i read that with boondocking for extended periods its not even an option.

What about portable aircons? I am really just trying to understand the basics at the moment

I can spend some more on the vans setup if it can extend our stays and increase resale value.

So yeah... what do you think i need? Is this van a possibility?
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

Sorry Markopolo i missed some answers:

I'd guess 13 to 15 mpg. - Yeah, that's what i thought too.

Does it have a generator? - No but i have been looking we would be boondocking sometimes on peoples properties so i would need one that is quite but the real quiet ones are very expensive. Any recommendations?

Does the fridge run on propane? - Yeah its a 3way.

You could run the motor daily to recharge the battery. - would you say this is the most efficient way? I detailed what we need to achieve in my prior post.

LED interior lights reduce your power consumption. - I read about that yesterday and will def swap the lights.

Thanks again Markopolo. You guys are so kind to help me out.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

I sent you a link to two other vans for comparison. One is $3,000 less and one is $3,000 more.
They'll all probably have a single house battery but if you are only running LED lights and occasional pump then that's fine.

Air Conditioning is not really practical unless you can plug into grid power or have a generator (or if the RV was designed for that use with a very large battery bank). A built-in generator would be best otherwise you'd probably have to carry a portable one and extra fuel on the rear hitch. That exposes it to possible theft.

I think it would be efficient to run the motor occasionally while boon-docking to keep the house battery charged. With an inverter you could even use a microwave oven for some cooking. That's what this guy does: http://windsurf.mediaforte.com/roadt..._inverter.html You don't have wire in a transfer switch. I have the same capability on my van.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

Walmart will be your friend since you can stay at most of them overnight.

Also, Cabelas, Fred Meyer, and Cracker Barrel are possibilities.

Starbucks and McDonalds are the most consistent free wifi sources.

BLM and national forest camping is the least costly. National forest campgrounds for dry camping are my favorites.

Take along a good 50 foot 20A extension cord and adapter in addition to your 30A cord. At private homes you can always plug in and charge. Only an air conditioner won't work.

Time your trip to follow the weather. We went to Texas last September and followed the Gulf Coast from Galveston to Key West, FL through October and never once needed air conditioning. On our two month Alaska trip this summer we never ran the air conditioner. It can be done.

Over 35,000 miles these past two years we have just 8.8 hours on our propane generator. Most of that was running periodically to brew coffee or use the microwave or just to keep it tuned up. Seldom did we use it to charge batteries. We can dry camp easily 5 days with proper management of batteries, water and waste in a National Forest without need to seek hookups. We have two 105Amp wet cell marine auxiliary batteries.

The more screens you can install on all your door and window openings the better off you will be. Not only keeps the bugs out but stabilizes the inside temperature with the outside reducing any need or desire for an air conditioner.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

The fridg. is the most expensive thing to replace in the RV so make sure the fridge runs and cools on propane.You can find out if the factory pre wired the coach for roof air by removing (4 screws)the roof vent trim on the ceiling and looking around the vent for 2 wires of household gauge wire.1 black 1 white.The rear vent already has a DC powered fantastic fan(which are great) so you will be looking for 2 other wires in that area.You will be able to install a roof air in one vent or the other if it has those wires.From what I can see snooping on Ebay and craigslist, the price seems very good.Similar units running(asking) from $15,000 on up.I don't know about the dent and as long as it has no affect on driveability or safety it would be of little concern to me.What one person considers a bad dent and another does not, is in the eye of the beholder..Fridge,drive train,Belts hoses,brakes would be my highest concern.Also fill fresh water tank.flush toilet and run shower to make sure plumbing and tanks don't leak.Basically run everything on board unplugged from shore power ,Lay down in the beds to make sure they work for you and hubby's height.Good luck. Stan
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

check inside thedriver side door, there should be 2 id plates, one from chrysler, and one from the rv mfgr. The serial no, can be traced to the mfgr also.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: Mystery Class B

I asked someone who has been in the business for a couple decades if he recognized the van but he didn't.

So it remains a true Mystery Class B
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