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Old 10-01-2019, 05:37 AM   #1
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Default Pleasure Way driveability

We're looking at a 2004 Pleasure Way Excel TS, but I've seen a few comments regarding driveability issues. Any comments and feedback regarding this is appreciated.
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Old 10-01-2019, 07:44 PM   #2
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I own a 1997 PW on a Dodge 3500 wide body chassis. I believe PWs were also built on normal body Dodges and Fords. Not sure how your year might relate.

My observation is that the steering is "light." You don't notice it when you are at low speeds but you do on the highway. When I drive my Rav4 after trips in the PW the Rav feels closer to manual steering. I don't notice the "drunken sailor" wandering that some have commented on. I read somewhere that the wide body helps but can't verify that.

I bought the PW 3+ years ago and it had 45k miles on it. It now has 65k from driving throughout the Southwest and up to Glacier. I obviously don't find it an issue.

BUT there appears to be some variability perhaps due to body styles, steering component/shocks condition and makes. I'd recommend that you drive the RV. Make sure you drive it at highway speeds and see how it feels to you.
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. We did test drive it yesterday, and are going back in a few minutes to take it out again, as well as do a more thorough inspection.

Interesting that you compare it to a RAV4 because that is what I drive - and I would make the same comparison that you did.
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:33 PM   #4
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Default I know someone who has a 2007 model

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We're looking at a 2004 Pleasure Way Excel TS, but I've seen a few comments regarding driveability issues. Any comments and feedback regarding this is appreciated.
They love their 2007..... what driving issues have you heard? I've heard zero complaints from the person I know.
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:47 AM   #5
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When I did a search, I read about drivers experiencing quite a bit of instability at higher speeds, in crosswinds, and when being passed by semis.

We drove the 2004 again today, and it handled pretty well. This despite all four tires being under inflated, as were the rear air bags. I got it up to 70, and it drove just fine.
This rig has a number of items that need to be addressed before I commit to purchasing it, so we're going to take a look at another one in a different town tomorrow.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:05 AM   #6
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Good; glad to hear. Crosswinds affect most RVs. It's the aerodynamics that are hard to avoid. There's one stretch of road that I routinely travel, escaping the heat of Phoenix for higher elevations. You cross a bridge transversing a gorge and when you leave the shelter of the rock walls there's always a guest of wind. I keep the front tires between 55 and 60. Some recommend 60-65.
Rears at 80 and airbags at 35. Some recommend 45. All that changes the dynamics of handling.

Good luck. Happy hunting.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:38 PM   #7
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So, we drove the other 2004 Excel TS yesterday, and it was definitely the better unit.
Has 40,000 miles on it vs 70,000 miles on the first one. Driving the rig it felt much tighter and stable, and the in overall condition, both interior and exterior, was definitely superior.

A couple of questions:

1. The tires look great (good tread depth, sidewalls are good), but have a date stamp from 2011. From what I've read, tires should be replaced every five to six years regardless of condition - correct?

2. Both chassis had some rust underneath, none on the bodies. Is some rust on the undercarriage acceptable? I called an RV shop and it sounds like they could clean it up and treat it.

Let me know what you think, and thank you in advance.
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Old 10-03-2019, 03:05 PM   #8
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So, we drove the other 2004 Excel TS yesterday, and it was definitely the better unit.
Has 40,000 miles on it vs 70,000 miles on the first one. Driving the rig it felt much tighter and stable, and the in overall condition, both interior and exterior, was definitely superior.

Sounds like it was worth the wait. Good hunting on your part.

A couple of questions:

1. The tires look great (good tread depth, sidewalls are good), but have a date stamp from 2011. From what I've read, tires should be replaced every five to six years regardless of condition - correct?

That's my plan and what has been recommended to me. But I live in the southwest where the heat and sun is particularly harsh on the rubber. Others might have a better insight. I'm going with the 5-6 on my RV.

2. Both chassis had some rust underneath, none on the bodies. Is some rust on the undercarriage acceptable? I called an RV shop and it sounds like they could clean it up and treat it.

I would guess that the degree of rusting is the real issue. Some surface rust can be cleaned up and coated/painted as the integrity of the underlying metal is still good. I restored an old car 20 years ago and took it down to the X-frame. There were places on the frame that had rusted so badly that you could poke a screwdriver through the square tube. But this car was a 62. I had a frame specialist repair it by cutting out segments and rewelding new tube in place.

Let me know what you think, and thank you in advance.
Good luck with everything.
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Old 10-03-2019, 04:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by graywolfkayak View Post
So, we drove the other 2004 Excel TS yesterday, and it was definitely the better unit.
Has 40,000 miles on it vs 70,000 miles on the first one. Driving the rig it felt much tighter and stable, and the in overall condition, both interior and exterior, was definitely superior.

A couple of questions:

1. The tires look great (good tread depth, sidewalls are good), but have a date stamp from 2011. From what I've read, tires should be replaced every five to six years regardless of condition - correct?

2. Both chassis had some rust underneath, none on the bodies. Is some rust on the undercarriage acceptable? I called an RV shop and it sounds like they could clean it up and treat it.

Let me know what you think, and thank you in advance.

I would replace the tires even if the look good as you don't really know their history. If they sat in the sun for most of their life they could be bad, if they sat inside in a good environment they could be fine.


The rust is a tough one without seeing it close up. Frames often rust quickly so can look bad without being bad. Big, thick, flakes would be an indication of heavier and more worrisome rusting. Be particular of getting it on a hoist and looking at the overlapping seams of steel, on the frame, but also even more on the sheet metal. Those overlapped hems are a good indicator on many vehicles. If they are showing rust at the end of the hem or are bulged it is a bad sign. Quarter panel bottom, rockers, and door bottoms are good places to check. If it has an Onan, they often rust first and are a good indicator of other areas.


For treating the rust if you get the van, I don't think I would have the RV shop do it. It would be best, IMO, if you could get it treated with one of the Canada based products like Krown or Rust check, as they are made to address existing rust and penetrate seams. Putting undercoating or conventional heavy rustproofing on can make it worse because it won't stick well and then water will get behind it and rust things more quickly.


Good luck with your adventure! (be sure to drive the vans in varied wind conditions that include not only high winds but from all angles)
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:29 AM   #10
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I have a 1994 PW van and had some early issues with driving it, mainly sway. I had the sway bar linkage replaced and that helped greatly. The biggest issues I had were on interstate highways with trucks blowing past me. Also in states like South Dakota where the speed limit was 80. Up to about 70 it's okay though. I also take more local routes. My van likes to stay at 55.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:32 AM   #11
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I have a 1994 PW van and had some early issues with driving it, mainly sway. I had the sway bar linkage replaced and that helped greatly. The biggest issues I had were on interstate highways with trucks blowing past me. Also in states like South Dakota where the speed limit was 80. Up to about 70 it's okay though. I also take more local routes. My van likes to stay at 55.
I agree. I have no problem with 65 max. When the winds are high, I'm even lower. Nice thing for most of us is that we aren't in a hurry. We're just enjoying the road trip.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:32 PM   #12
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I was doing 85 mph in my 2011 Excel. Smooth as butter! No crazy winds.
I have air bags and in high winds, it gets very sloppy.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:08 PM   #13
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I was doing 85 mph in my 2011 Excel. Smooth as butter! No crazy winds.
I have air bags and in high winds, it gets very sloppy.

Welcome to the forum Excell!


That happens to all our 'em in high winds (to varying degrees). Especially cross-winds. Of course, those of us with older or high-mileage vans greatly benefit from new shocks, some new front end parts, an alignment, and properly inflated tires.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:35 PM   #14
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Welcome to the forum Excell!


That happens to all our 'em in high winds (to varying degrees). Especially cross-winds. Of course, those of us with older or high-mileage vans greatly benefit from new shocks, some new front end parts, an alignment, and properly inflated tires.

I don't know about saying all B's are really bad in the wind, as we drive our single wheel Chevy 190 70+ in high winds regularly (20-40mph winds) including an 850 mile day. It was not difficult to handle, but we have tweaked it to handle that way. There are lots of statements that the dual wheel Sprinters are not terrible and can be made better. Lots of folks like their Promasters in the wind performance.



The Fords (pre Transit) and Dodges (pre Promaster) are the ones we here the most about in concern to bad handling, with the bottom line being that you can make them better, but never great, and it isn't inexpensive to do. Some people have a much higher tolerance of what I would feel is poor handling and are OK with them with minor or no changes, and others who are on the picky end of the scale find them unacceptable, so a big range of acceptance around.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:17 PM   #15
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After reading B forums for about 14 years I agree with booster's description for the most part. I've seen several Excels and been in them, I'm a fan. BUT yes, I would have to PROVE to myself that it is ok 'enough', and then question myself about my prejudice because I like them.

The 'it' is about the handling.

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Old 10-06-2019, 02:10 AM   #16
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My understanding is that the older Dodge Rams are especially prone to handling issues. I think there is even the term "Dodge death wobble". So far mine has done well but I still like to baby it and take it slow when I can.
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:25 AM   #17
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So Nutsy, is your 1994 what you consider "old" Dodge w/handling problems or are you talking an earlier vintage? You gotta love the phrase "Dodge death wobble".........except for the fact that it's deadly. There's a saying about the old single axle Corvettes (pre 63) that goes "looks that kill; handling to match."
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by graywolfkayak View Post
We're looking at a 2004 Pleasure Way Excel TS, but I've seen a few comments regarding driveability issues. Any comments and feedback regarding this is appreciated.
What issues have you heard? I LOVE my 2004 PW, and it drives like a dream!! Can pass if needed w/ speed, but just love the handling...
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:45 PM   #19
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I will repeat a story that I have told numerous times before, as I think it shows the huge variation in perceptions of "good handling".


We were in Canada, east side of Lake Superior IIRC, on a two lane, new asphalt, 10' lanes, probably 6' asphalt shoulder level with road. Really, really, easy drive at 55-60mph that we were doiing.


I look in the mirror and see a Dodge Roadtrek coming up on us, can't say what year, at a not excessive rate. Literally, the Dodge is weaving white center line to shoulder white line continuously and can see the driver making 90* corrections on the steering wheel. Scary. They eventually passed us and continued weaving until out of site. I can't even imagine needing that much attention and correction to get down the highway.


We got to the campground we were heading to and saw the same Dodge pulling in a ways ahead of us. We picked a site and set up, and a few hours later a guy came by and asked how we liked our 07 Chevy 190 Roadtrek. We told him it was great with no major complaints. He then stated he had passed us just before the campground with his Dodge Roadtrek and had thought about upgrading to a newer model, but was afraid it would not handle as well as his Dodge.......


DW just looked at each other an assured him he nothing to worry about
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:54 PM   #20
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I agree. I have no problem with 65 max. When the winds are high, I'm even lower. Nice thing for most of us is that we aren't in a hurry. We're just enjoying the road trip.
Yep, rarely go over 65 mph...maybe some issues when driving in/around Lubbock area..big west winds, but my 2004 PW handles very nicely..Chevy Express body..
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