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westlanddave78 11-18-2006 12:19 AM

Xplorer Fans?

I'm wondering if anyone else here is into of the original Class B's. I've got a 1988 Xplorer 228 myself.

I'm especially interested in the history of the company.

Some of you might recall that Xplorer was founded by Ray Frank, who built the world's first commercial motorhome in 1958. Frank's wife is credited with coining the term "motor home" because she didn't like the then-popular "house car" name. Apparently, "motorhome" caught on and stuck! (The space between "motor" and "home" got dropped sometime in the '70s I think.)



thefredx 11-21-2006 11:06 PM

Hey Dave,
I just picked up a '77 Dodge Xplorer 224. It's my first RV.


markopolo 11-22-2006 12:32 AM

Welcome to the Class B Forum Fred. First RV - that's exciting. Ask as many questions as you want. Our member list is growing so someone should be able to answer them.

I stumbled on this link that had some interesting photos of Xplorer vans and brochures:

jdeitch 02-26-2007 10:12 PM

1976 Xplorer 224
I just purchased a 1976 Xplorer 224 and will be doing a complete restoration. I hope to post many highlights.

Joe 08-23-2008 09:49 AM

Dodge Xplorer
We have owned a Dodge Xplorer 230 for a little over a year and love it! It only had 17,000 miles on it. My wife and I own a camp ground membership in Frnot Royal Va. We always got a rental until we bought the camper. Will be retiring in 17 months and will be checking out the country then as I am still getting out som bugs. It had sat for 3 years or so and I had to put some money into it. Tires, brakes, batteries, ball joints and such.

stxal 11-09-2008 07:01 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
1 Attachment(s)
Howdy fellow Xplorer fans. In a moment of weakness, and unsupervised weakness at that, I bought an '88 Xplorer 221 on eBay. I have just returned to my Virgin Islands home after having moved the beast from Wisconsin to central Ohio where it's going to live for the winter. I hope to drive it to Canada next summer.
I've only put 500 miles on it so far, but I like the way it drives. I got about 11 mpg on the trip. I'd love to hear any Xplorer stories, lore or insider info. This is my first RV although I rented a Pleasureway a few years back and even put together a web site about that experience. If you're interested, the URL is
Let me see if I can attach a pic of my ride to this posting. BTW, I live in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.... a great place to visit in the dead of winter... perennially 85 degrees.. come on down and spend some money!
Regards to all,

aalgeo 01-11-2009 02:09 AM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
Looking for any help with any information about all electric units put in xplorer 230 models, I have located a 2003 unit that is for sale but it does not have any propane> All extra's operate by electric via a converter. Is there anyone out there who has this type of arrangement ? Is it better or worse then propane? The unit does have high mileage on it, 107k, price range is about 20k. What does any one who knows about the 230 models think? Thanks

Joe 01-11-2009 05:23 AM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
My 1998 230 has a converter. The Ref. is Propane, electric or 12 volt. The stove, furnace and hot water heater are also propane. The roof top air conditioner also has an electric heater. It is equiped with a small solar panel for topping off the battery I believe but it does not seem to work that well.

markopolo 01-11-2009 05:56 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
An "all electric" model must have been a custom order.

2003 xplorer 230 listed specifications:

Exterior length 20'11-3/8"
Wheelbase 127.6"
Exterior width 7'4"
Exterior height 8' 9-3/8" (top of vent)
Interior height 6'1"
GVWR 9200 lb
Ground Clearance: Rear Axle 7-1/2"
W/Adjustable Rear Air Springs

CHASSIS-3500 Dodge
Dodge 5.9L (360) V-8 Engine
Transmission - 4 speed automatic w/O.D.
Fuel capacity - 35 gallons
Chrome bumpers w/black cap
Chrome grill with halogen headlights
Custom wheel covers
Radial tires
Dual wheels w/s.s. liners/valve exts.
Spare tire carrier under unit
Limited slip rear axle
4.10 Rear axle ratio

Color - White with three tone graphics
Unibody construction, steel reinforcement
Floor-steel & plywood, and carpet
Insulation-sidewalls-R-19 and roof foam
Rustproofing-all metal conversion
Aerodynamic fiberglass roof (low profile)
Sandwich construction w/urethane foam
Awning type windows, safety glass tinted
with screens
Large power mirrors
Wide fiberglass running boards with wide
wheel flares & tailpiece
Extended entrance door opening
Trailer hitch W/12V connector-7 pin-
4000 lb. rating

Drapery - windshield on track
Engine cover tray
Deluxe highback seats, w/arm rest, lumbar
Swivel recliner seats (driver & passenger)
Inside day/night mirror
Tinted glass, windshield & front doors
Power windows, cab only/power mirrors,
power door locks - all doors
Air conditioner-automotive, dash
Tilt steering wheel
Steering & brakes - power assist
Cruise control
AM/FM radio, cassette/CD w/4 speakers
and clock
Radio, C.B. 40-channel*
Heater - automotive, fresh air

Colors-3: blue, sage green, tan
Walls (vinyl, paneling, and fabric)
Ceiling, textured fiberglass
Fantastic Vent, thermostat/rain sensor
Fabric blinds - all side windows
Draperies, windshield, side & rear doors
Plush carpeting
Florescent lights
Deluxe drawers - hardwood
Overhead storage cabinets-"hold open" door w/painted mirrors
Padded door panels
Closets, full length and shirt closets
6'-1" standing room
Oak vinyl clad doors
White laminated cabinets w/raised panel
doors and drawers*
Wide aisle
Linoleum floor*

Sharp microwave/convection oven*
Stove, LP gas, 2 burner - white
Refrigerator, 3cu. ft, 3-way, 12/110v/LPG
or 2-way electric AC/DC
Sink, white with s.s. backsplash
Hot and cold water faucet - white
Sink, filler/cutting board
Countertop, color laminated mica
Hardwood cabinets
Spice rack

Twin beds-75"x30" or king bed 75"x80"
Queen size bed-queen model 55"x80"
Electric rear sofa w/twin beds or queen bed

Private facilities-full fiberglass liner
Full shower, wand-single control, water
saver, push button type w/flexible hose
Wash basin - stainless steel
Toilet, marine flush
Privacy doors
Power vent fan
12V lights
Wood bathroom doors
Shower curtain
Medicine Cabinet
Window-obscure glass
Waterproof tissue storage area

Furnace, LP gas, 16,000 BTU, forced air
thermostatically controlled
LP gas tank, 35 lbs. 80% safety stopfillvalve
Air conditioning, 12,000BTU* w/built-in
heat pump w/9,000 BTU heat*
Air conditioning, 10,000 BTU*

12V and 110V
Power plant - Onan 2.8 or 4KW generator*
-electric, air cooled with special sound
proof compartment - remote start
Lighting, interior, 12V, dome, driving
compartment, front & side door courtesy
Outlets, 3, interior, 110V
Outlet, 1, exterior, 110V
Exterior inlet, 30 amp, 110V, weatherproof
30 foot shoreline cord
Converter, 45 amp
Battery charger meter
Battery, auxiliary, 80 amp with isolator
TV, color, 9", 13"
TV/VCR, color, 9", 13"
Video cassette player*
TV amplifier w/dual built-in antennas
Solar battery charger - 10 amp.
Cable TV-phone hook-ups
Battery disconnect, house

Automatic pressure type, inside motor home
Fresh water tank, 22 (twin) 26 (queen) gal.
polyethylene plastic-inside vehicle
Hot water heater, LP gas, 6 gal. capacity
with motor-aid heat exchanger-with by-pass
-inside vehicle (Note Std. hot water htr.
w/rear power sofa is 110V elec. 6 gal.
capacity) LP is N/C option
Water pump, demand type, 12V automatic
-inside vehicle
Holding tank, grey water, 16 gal. w/remote
termination drain valve
Holding tank-black water-8 gal. w/remote
termination drain valve-inside vehicle
City water hook-up, outside
Termination hose carrier
Exterior shower
Electric Waste Valve*
All Features Standard-
*Denotes Available Options
Partial listing of standard & optional

equipment subject to change without
Made in the U.S.A. 5/15/03

markopolo 01-11-2009 06:01 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
1 Attachment(s)
2002 xplorer 230 XLW / XLWT spec look pretty much the same.

aalgeo 01-12-2009 02:43 AM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
still would like more info on the value of a (non propane) 230xlw if any one knows

I have another question about shore line power hook up.

Can the xplorer unit be hooked up to 110 (normal household outlet) and still run the air conditioner?
the airs description is
Dometic Duotherm andldquo;Cool Catandrdquo;
110 volt air conditioner with heat pump is mounted in rear of roof,
rather than on top, so it is more aerodynamic and keeps the roof clear of clutter

the dealer is telling me I need a 30 amp hook up to make the air work

and has anyone else heard of a heat pump on a class b unit?

markopolo 01-12-2009 03:39 AM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
I really need propane in my RV. Propane is used by my fridge, water heater, stove and furnace. I couldn't do without it because some of my favorite places to camp don't have hookups.

I'm not sure how accurate NADA is but here's what they show:

I had a Duo-Therm Cool Cat Heat Pump in my Roadtrek. The air conditioner manual indicated that it would draw 12 amps ac after it had started so it would pretty much use up a 15 amp house circuit. The installation instructions specified a 20 amp fuse. Basically you would not be able to run your fridge etc. at the same time. A 30 amp connection would be better.

Joe 01-12-2009 05:02 AM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
When I was checking out our camper before buying I noticed an adapter attached to the end of the 30 amp cord for a 110 plug. The adapter was melted. I ask the owner about it and he saidit was from trying to operate the air conditioner using the adapter to plug into 110. When I hook in my back yard and want to run the air conditioner. I start the Onan Gen. set. I would not try and operate it without a 30 amp hook up.

e28ranch 02-10-2009 08:09 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
I have owned a 1973 Xplorer since 1993 and I don't ever want to sell it. However, I am now converting mine to all electric.

Because of a bad propane regulator, there was an explosion inside. I was able to put out the fire before any outside damage occured. I have since repaired the inside but I will Never buy or use propane again.

With today's advances in RV generators and solar panels, there is no reason to use a danger like propane.

Now, I know why boats don't use propane.

Joe 02-11-2009 09:12 AM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
Last year just before we started to use for camping I smelled propane around the fridge. I checked all the lines but could not find a leak. I took it to a dealer where I live and it was the control knob on the fridge itself. No further problems with propane but I sure do respect it!!!

thedoodaa2 07-18-2009 03:49 AM

Re: Explorer Fans?
Explorer fans : has anybody installed an rear vision camera in an explorer? if so what kind of camera and where did you get it .are you happy with it? Did you have to drill any holes :sure don't want to do that if I can get out of it. Also can anybody tell me what the big red switch under the passengers seat does ,I have put it on and off and don't see what is working or not working. thanks Walt

Mike 07-23-2009 11:46 AM

Re: Xplorer Fans?

Originally Posted by aalgeo
still would like more info on the value of a (non propane) 230xlw if any one knows

I have another question about shore line power hook up.

Can the xplorer unit be hooked up to 110 (normal household outlet) and still run the air conditioner?
the airs description is
Dometic Duotherm andldquo;Cool Catandrdquo;
110 volt air conditioner with heat pump is mounted in rear of roof,
rather than on top, so it is more aerodynamic and keeps the roof clear of clutter

the dealer is telling me I need a 30 amp hook up to make the air work

and has anyone else heard of a heat pump on a class b unit?

I realize this is a bit late to reply, but our 2002 Roadtrek 190P came with a
heat pump. I think it might be the only year they made them with a h/p, instead of
an a/c unit (draw your own conclusions?). It does a reasonably good job of cooling
the B but I can't help thinking an a/c unit would be better in the extremely hot places
we've visited. I'm not an electrician but, if your outlet is fused/breakered for 30 Amps
and delivers 110V, I'd think you should be able to run your a/c or heat pump just by plugging in.
Apologies if I've "Noahed" this thread in any way.

Mike 07-23-2009 11:53 AM

Re: Xplorer Fans?

thedoodaa2 11-25-2009 03:40 AM

Xplorer Fans?
Has anybody put a sway bar on a Dodge one tun duly van? Our 03 Xplorer has firestone air bags, and I think that may cause some of the sway.Don't know if a sway bar would help ,OR maybe heavy duty shocks . The shocks should not be bad as the van only has 36K on it. But a quality shock may help in a cross wind. If anybody has been there and dun that let me know what you did and if it helped.

When I figger out how to post a picture and get the profile to to work I'll get er done ,meanwhile my name is Walt and live in Corpus Christi TX.

tony 05-01-2010 11:17 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
Hay , i just bought a 1991 dodge 230 xplorer, it has 51,000 miles, over all pretty good shape, but has a few things i cant figure, the microlite onan would not run, found that the fuel pump had quit, it still made noise, but would not pump,installed new pump , (that was a new experance) had to use a floor jack to lower it out the bottom of van, anyway am checking the roof ac, its a emerson 7000 btu, and has two looks like 1/2 inch pipes just below the bottom of ac unit, like they were drain holes, anyway cannot get any thing to go through, (bees have built dirt nest, i have tried to rod out but will onl go in about 2 foot and stops, i tried water and air, no go, any ideas as to what they are, and if drains how to clean them? p/s if you answer that one i have a few more ha. tks tony

Joe 05-06-2010 10:51 AM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
I have no idea what they are for. The Con. water just runs out the back of my unit directly off the roof.

Joe G 06-05-2010 12:25 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
Greetings from central Illinois!
I feel fortunate to have found this site and this forum. We have been rv'ers for many years, having had 3 popups and one small 5th wheel. We got our Xplorer a couple years ago in an estate sale. It's a 1988 Model 222, Xtra Van in very, very good condition all around and only 65k miles. Although it had set for awhile and needed some TLC, we got a bargain. I paid their asking price, but it was really low. We love it- no more hooking/unhooking etc., just light the fire and go.
I'm only the second owner and I have every scrap of paper ever generated- every bit of work done, right down to all the oil changes! I have the owners manuals- the Dodge truck and the rv, also drawings and wiring diagrams. Sounds like I got it all, BUT, not quite. There's one thing I can't find out about in all the stuff I got. It's an air ride shock or suspension system that has two air pressure valves in the back bumper, one on either side of the license plate. I have no information and absolutely no experience with any sort of air ride. Can anyone tell me how to find out, or would you know how much air pressure this system might need, minimum and maximum. Because I have nothing on this, I hesitate to pressurize the system (with my luck I might over pressurize it and blow it up). I put a tire guage on the valves and got nothing on one side and next to nothing on the other. Thanks for any help

doodaa-2 06-06-2010 02:59 AM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
Hi Joe: i don't know if this will help ,but my book says to not run the bags empty. I keep about 15 Lbs in mine. All the book gives is the mim and max .

markopolo 06-06-2010 10:02 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
Received in an email from Walt:


If they are Firestone air bags he can go up to 90 Lbs depending on the load and the minimum is to just keep air in the bags.


In storage use about 80 lbs to keep the weight off the springs , and if you lift the unit by the frame let the air out of the air bags.

joben1 11-25-2012 11:23 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
Have a 1975 Xplorer Class B Short Body. Has the Chrysler 318 V-8. Has been repainted and garaged most years
I've owned it. I believe from my research that Frank Inds built these Short Body Class B's for only 2 or 3 years....
possibly some in 1974 also "75" and the last in 1976. Does anyone have additional info and pictures??? The chrome"Xplorer" emblems that were on the front doors are long gone. Would like to know where I might buy replacements??? I'll appreciate any info. This "75" is a good "runner" ..last trip was to Glacier Mont. from Deleware.
No real issues or problems to report...tho the name Motor Coach is a "stretch" fot this 2-3 person vehicle. Hope
this post stimulates some discussion about these older Frank Ind Class B's.

Wahtosh 06-25-2014 11:53 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
Just wanted to say hello, just found a 1982 xplorer Dodge van. All we need is new dinette seat upholstery some TLC and we are off. Hope to some interaction of like minded folks. Wahtosh

Wahtosh 06-25-2014 11:56 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
I have one of the xplorer emblems on my xplorer, is there anyplace that might duplicate , any ideas?

Wahtosh 07-13-2014 01:36 PM

Re: Xplorer Fans?
Found a 1982 Dodge xplorer van and just need to share ideas, where to find hard to find parts etc etc. getting it tuned up and all engine details ready, am in process of redoing all seats and door panels, fun fun

vanderhook 06-21-2015 01:30 PM

I have a 1998 Xplorer and I am looking for Heat Pump Frame model 314989. Can anyone direct me to where I might find one?

sshaines 06-23-2015 06:19 PM

I have a 1999 xplorer that I just love it is the 230xlwidebody.

vanderhook 06-23-2015 11:18 PM


Originally Posted by sshaines (Post 29079)
I have a 1999 xplorer that I just love it is the 230xlwidebody.

We adore ours. The best thing we have noticed with our Xplorer is that it has a place for a eating table so the bed doesn't need to be made up everyday. We bought it in fall of 2006. It still had the plastic on the carpet and only had 11,000 miles. :rock:

an av8r 10-02-2015 08:35 AM

looking for Xplorer 230xlw folding seats / sofa
I'm new to this forum and have a new (to me) 2001 230XLW. The previous owner took out the original sofa/dinette it was built with and used the area as a mobile office with a chair and drop leaf table. This floorplan had two seating options for the dinette area and mine had the jack knife sofa. I'm trying to locate either the two facing seats or the sofa to put back in. I've got all the original paperwork, including the build sheet and have contacted the vendor that made the original seating. They told me the frames were special order made only for Xplorer and were a custom size. They no longer have the tooling and couldn't reproduce it for me. Does anyone have any photos of their dinette setup they can send me? I'd like to get a better idea of what it looked like so I can find suitable replacement seating.


east 11-26-2015 03:36 AM

I can send you photos of the jack knife dinette that I have in my 89 228. I would imagine the set up would be identical to the one that used to be in your van.

vanderhook 11-26-2015 11:07 AM

folding seats / sofa
The seat/sofa that is in our Xplorer...We could never figure out how on the chair was made to lay flat into a sofa. However, if you like I can still send you a picture of our chair/sofa. Please advise. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

rbell74 04-09-2016 04:07 PM

1974 Dodge Xplorer
Hi guys! New to this thread and new to the rv world. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best place to locate a gas tank for a 1974 Dodge Xplorer 228?

InterestingStuff 05-30-2016 04:33 AM


Originally Posted by rbell74 (Post 43302)
Hi guys! New to this thread and new to the rv world. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best place to locate a gas tank for a 1974 Dodge Xplorer 228?

Have you tried to search for a gas tank for that model / year of dodge van? Ignore the fact that it's an Xplorer. Remember it's a Dodge.

Young1 09-05-2016 11:49 PM

Info please
I'm looking at a '91 Dodge xplorer m-23-xl.
Does anyone know what I should be looking for?

JerrMan 10-01-2016 06:21 PM

What Model is it.
I sheepishly ask this but I have never found out what Model my Xplorer is.
I found several that look like it and I think it's this
1988 Model 222, Xtra Van
I have looked at all the door tags , engine tags. But nothing says what it is.
Just not sure and I'm not sure It matters I just wanted to know.

JerrMan 10-01-2016 11:24 PM

Do any of you have a second battery if so where is it. Mine was under the hood but I've replaced the engine battery with a larger one and the camper battery was tiny anyway. I would like to add large deep cycle but where's a good place.
I was thinking where the generator used to be. That's a long run from the Isolator

JerrMan 10-01-2016 11:27 PM

Can some one tell me how to Identify what model my Van is
it's a 1988 Dodge xplorer Xtra Van.
Where would I find this?

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