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Old 01-13-2020, 09:39 PM   #1
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Default choosing between 99 pleasure Way and 04 Sprinter

Hi everyone. Im trying to choose between a 1999 Dodge Pleasure Way and a 2004 Dodge Sprinter. Having a hard time deciding, so looking to see what recommendations everyone can provide. We are looking to use the vehicle to stay in neighborhoods for 3 days out of the week. We work a long distance from home, and also use it to go on trips for climbing, snowboarding, camping, etc. on weekends. Heres some info of each vehicle:

Pleasure Way:
Gas
80k miles
Has solar but small battery
Missing a generator
Everything else works and is in great condition
Costs about 5k cheaper than Sprinter

Sprinter:
Diesel
300k miles
High top
Solar with 400amp batteries
Nice interior wood finishes
Bed, water pump, sink, fridge (electric), stove (mobile, not attached)
No toilet
No heater (besides the driver area)
No AC (besides the driver area)

The Pleasure Way has more features and space inside and less miles. But my concern is if Im going to have problems with stealth parking because its bigger. Its a bigger vehicle to drive, and my girlfriend will need to drive it about half the time, and not sure how well it will do driving up in snow. It also has lower MPG, but diesel is more expensive, so maybe thats not that big of a deal.

What are your thoughts?

Sprinter:



Pleasure Way:




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Old 01-14-2020, 04:33 AM   #2
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We own a 97 PW. The layout is the same as the one you're looking at with one caveat. Our body goes straight back on the side from the front; the 99 has a bump out of about 3" per side once you pass the midway point. That gives you more room for the beds and the bath; a nice plus.

We NEED a bathroom. Great to have a clean one, especially in the middle of the night. Also if you're camping in the snow, built-in heat would be nice. We never camp in the snow so others are better qualified to tell you about the needs with regard to camping in freezing temps.

If you lean toward the PW, make sure you drive it at highway speeds and see how it handles. Many have issues with PW handling. Ours is fine.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:56 PM   #3
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Another vote for the Pleasure Way, for the reasons stated by GallenH.

Either choice may require extra battery capacity in order for your total satisfaction. At a minimum you need two lead-acid batteries, or one lithium. Of course, two lithiums would be better, but it does come at a cost for both the batteries and replacement charger/inverter components. My swap was $2700 (no labor cost since I did the work), but we're happy with 200Ah's of lithium and an inverter big enough to run the microwave.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:38 AM   #4
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Another vote for the gasser P-W. They are a quality RV, and that engine is strong and reliable. Ron
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:49 PM   #5
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The Sprinter looks DIY. Those vans are one of a kind and you probably don't know what is behind the "curtain" so to speak or its quality. Quality on the surface looks intriguing. You had better know camper vans through and through before taking it on. The Pleasure-way was a production van tried and true of many with any bugs worked out. Though Sprinters diesels have a reputation of going many miles on an engine, the body and all the parts have 300,000 miles and who knows the wear and tear.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yzvan View Post
Hi everyone. I‘m trying to choose between a 1999 Dodge Pleasure Way and a 2004 Dodge Sprinter. Having a hard time deciding, so looking to see what recommendations everyone can provide. We are looking to use the vehicle to stay in neighborhoods for 3 days out of the week. We work a long distance from home, and also use it to go on trips for climbing, snowboarding, camping, etc. on weekends. Here’s some info of each vehicle:

Pleasure Way:
Gas
80k miles
Has solar but small battery
Missing a generator
Everything else works and is in great condition
Costs about 5k cheaper than Sprinter

Sprinter:
Diesel
300k miles
High top
Solar with 400amp batteries
Nice interior wood finishes
Bed, water pump, sink, fridge (electric), stove (mobile, not attached)
No toilet
No heater (besides the driver area)
No AC (besides the driver area)

The Pleasure Way has more features and space inside and less miles. But my concern is if I’m going to have problems with stealth parking because it’s bigger. It’s a bigger vehicle to drive, and my girlfriend will need to drive it about half the time, and not sure how well it will do driving up in snow. It also has lower MPG, but diesel is more expensive, so maybe that’s not that big of a deal.

What are your thoughts?

Sprinter:



Pleasure Way:




Well, you didn't show a picture of the outside of the Sprinter and inside has some nicely finished wood panels.... also you did not mention the price of either vehicle, only that the Sprinter is $5,000 more......

I have no idea what your budget is...

I'm going to go with the dissenting opinion here and recommend that you consider the Sprinter.....

WHY? Well, my general advice to people is always choose the newer vehicle.... and we're talking 5 years.... listen, that's $1,000 per year.... nothing....

Also, any vehicle that has already gone 300,000 miles is a pretty proven commodity, it's battle tested, and in case you were wondering, diesel engines are known for going the long distance.....I'd look at two things, where's the service records on both of these vehicles and when was the last time the transmission fluid was changed......

On the highway, diesel engines are more efficient than gasoline fueled cars. This is because diesel fuel packs more energy than gasoline; a gallon of diesel fuel has up to 30 percent more energy than a gallon of gas. ... Diesel provides more torque then gasoline does.

If neither vehicle has any service records of any kind, walk away.....

I know plenty of people who have gone 500,000 miles even in a Toyota Tundra.... problem is, you're dealing with a Dodge Ram and engine, not to mention a known squirrelly suspension on the Dodge.....

I have no respect or confidence in Dodge... they make some of the worst vehicles ... and don't tell me it's a Dodge Sprinter.... that's only a nameplate..... it's a Mercedes Benz.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a light commercial vehicle (van) built by Daimler AG of Stuttgart, Germany as a van, chassis cab, minibus, and pickup truck. In the past the Sprinter has been sold under the Mercedes-Benz, Dodge, Freightliner, and Volkswagen nameplates. ... They are now primarily marketed by Mercedes-Benz.


The chassis on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter is going to be much better....

And, the Sprinter is a tried and true 2.7 inline 5.... diesel.

Yeah, it's a little noisy..... but no special emissions system...
If you live in a state with smog tests for registration, make sure it can pass....

Get a portable toilet, if you have to.....

It's �� percent about condition ..... don't be fooled into thinking that an old 99 with 80,000 miles is the best option....

It's not the number of miles, it's how it was driven and serviced.......

300,000 miles on a 16 year old model is close to 20,000 miles per year... you have to know that many of the mileage is on the open road......

Whereas 80,000 miles in 21 years is less than 4,000 miles per year.... could be a lot of local stuff....

I'd look at this and be very concerned.....

Aside from that, look at other vehicles....

Sorry, but, the interior pictures of the 99 PW look cheap..

You mentioned this below,
We work a long distance from home, and also use it to go on trips for climbing, snowboarding, camping, etc. on weekends. Here’s some info of each vehicle:

Neither has AC in the back, without a generator, no air conditioning...

Also, if you are going long distances, the Sprinter is the choice...... and it has the 400 amp solar......

One more thing.....

Diesel engines do last longer than petrol ones. Diesel is a light oil and when burned and used as fuel by the vehicle it lubricates the parts of the engine. This prolongs the life of the engine. ... While diesel engines typically last longer they are more costly to repair. Something to think about...

My 2 cents. Good luck deciding.
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:01 AM   #7
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Of the Spinters I have seen on Craigslist over the years with that engine and trans combination, I would guess that maybe 5% were near 300K and probably 50%++ of the ones over 250K had either replacement engines in them or needed them being sold as mechanic specials. We have seen two on this forum referred to that blew engines in less the 100K, so I would not buy into the 500K predicted miles of life based on what I have seen. The old Dodges, Chevies, and Fords look similar from what I have seen for life.


300K, if it doesn't have a new engine and trans within the last 100K is likely to have one or both fail in a relatively short period of time, IMO.


Yes the Dodges have handling issues which are well documented on this forum, so it would pay to do a bit of searching on that as it could be a disqualifying trait for the OP. The engines will go a long ways, likely about the same as the Spinter, transmissions usually mid 100k miles from what we here on the forum.


IMO, both of the choices have enough downside that they should be very carefully considered, as neither is a standout compared to the other, or other things available in the market.
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:47 AM   #8
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I would suggest to look for more details on this Sprinter conversion on the Sprinter Forum, I think I have seen this one before. It seems as conversion on the very low budget with very questionable fit and finish on the surface, prompting a question what's underneath.

DIY or small shop conversions are tuned for specific needs of the first owner, so if you fit that need profile you are OK but it could be rare. Commercial company aim for average customer market.

For me no heater nor toilet but 400Ah is a strange combo.

I would vote for the real RV option.
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:15 AM   #9
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Default Hmm, sorry.... I absolutely disagree

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
Of the Spinters I have seen on Craigslist over the years with that engine and trans combination, I would guess that maybe 5% were near 300K and probably 50%++ of the ones over 250K had either replacement engines in them or needed them being sold as mechanic specials. We have seen two on this forum referred to that blew engines in less the 100K, so I would not buy into the 500K predicted miles of life based on what I have seen. The old Dodges, Chevies, and Fords look similar from what I have seen for life.


300K, if it doesn't have a new engine and trans within the last 100K is likely to have one or both fail in a relatively short period of time, IMO.


Yes the Dodges have handling issues which are well documented on this forum, so it would pay to do a bit of searching on that as it could be a disqualifying trait for the OP. The engines will go a long ways, likely about the same as the Spinter, transmissions usually mid 100k miles from what we here on the forum.


IMO, both of the choices have enough downside that they should be very carefully considered, as neither is a standout compared to the other, or other things available in the market.
If your engine blows up after 100,000 miles, then you have done a horrible job on maintenance.

I know someone who went 550,000 miles on his Toyota Tundra and had no overhaul...he sold his truck and purchased a new one..... BUT, it's a Toyota.....

Heck, my old Honda Accord went 150,000 miles and I sold the car after 19 years.....

I've also met people with 800,000 kilometers, that's 500,000 miles on their Sprinters...

And, there are plenty of Sprinters for sale right now with over 250,000 miles online..... I don't believe these are just waiting to fail....

Finally, yes, it's a well documented fact about handling on old Dodge Ram vehicles..... let me ask you this.....how much mileage do you think you want to do on an old squirrelly suspension???? I wouldn't...... that's why the Pleasure Way has 80,000 miles....No one wants to drive the damn thing....

People can say anything they want on the Internet.... knowing personally about real situations is not the same as just saying it.

Go ahead.... believe what you want... I'm super meticulous about how I care for my cars and currently have over 100,000 miles on my Subaru Outback.... it's 10 years old and runs great and doesn't burn oil...... And, I have an acquaintance who went over 300,000 miles on the same exact engine..... Boxer engines are really great.....

So is the Mercedes Benz diesel..... you just have to pay attention and take care of it.

Most people don't want to do what it really takes to maintain a car...or vehicle.. they are looking for the cheapest alternative.....

In my opinion, the least expensive option is to fix it and hold on to it for a very long time to get the maximum value... trading in cars and paying the sales tax, financing and higher registration fees is not a good idea.....

The sales tax alone on a $50,000 vehicle is $5,000.... think about that.....
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Finally, yes, it's a well documented fact about handling on old Dodge Ram vehicles..... let me ask you this.....how much mileage do you think you want to do on an old squirrelly suspension???? I wouldn't...... that's why the Pleasure Way has 80,000 miles....No one wants to drive the damn thing....
I'll keep this civil. My 97 PW has NO handling issues. Yes, in high winds. But don't all? It's not an "old squirrely suspension" and I wouldn't be going out every month with it if I didn't want "to drive the damn thing." Stop with your broad generalizations and condescending attitude. Handling was PRECISELY why I recommended driving it to the OP. Let him decide on his own. If it handles poorly he can walk away. But telling him that it WILL handle poorly is poor practice on your part.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:48 AM   #11
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If you want a fully functional RV with all of the usual and expected comforts and features then the '99 PW fits that description.

The PW has a powerful second source of energy and that is propane. It's what cools the fridge, allows for cooking on the stove top, heats the coach and heats water for showering or doing dishes etc.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:04 PM   #12
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See notes in red



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
If your engine blows up after 100,000 miles, then you have done a horrible job on maintenance. I think Interblog had one of them, perhaps she will reply to this. Unless you are a mechanic that has disassembled a bunch of engines to see why they failed, you would not be able to ascertain that and would have do lots and lots of them to get enough data to make that comment. I do seem to remember an Onan engine the must have failed because the owner did something bad to it, because it failed way before it normally should have. It was never disassembled to see why, though, for some reason, though, so we will never know.


I know someone who went 550,000 miles on his Toyota Tundra and had no overhaul...he sold his truck and purchased a new one..... BUT, it's a Toyota..... know someone, again repeated......


Heck, my old Honda Accord went 150,000 miles and I sold the car after 19 years.....Totally unrelated and lower miles than we are talking about.


I've also met people with 800,000 kilometers, that's 500,000 miles on their Sprinters...Again, the I have met people......


And, there are plenty of Sprinters for sale right now with over 250,000 miles online..... I don't believe these are just waiting to fail....There are also lots of Chevies and Fords in the range. Do you know if they have new engines, or need them? if not.....


Finally, yes, it's a well documented fact about handling on old Dodge Ram vehicles..... let me ask you this.....how much mileage do you think you want to do on an old squirrelly suspension???? I wouldn't...... that's why the Pleasure Way has 80,000 miles....No one wants to drive the damn thing....I agree with some of that, but it is premature to say that is why it has low miles as there also lots of other reasons and this is just one of them. Single wheel Sprinters also have a poor history that way. Wendlund sold his first one because of it, because his wife was scared to drive it, IIRC.


People can say anything they want on the Internet.... knowing personally about real situations is not the same as just saying it.You are certainly correct on that, .....we see of that a lot here


Go ahead.... believe what you want... I'm super meticulous about how I care for my cars and currently have over 100,000 miles on my Subaru Outback.... it's 10 years old and runs great and doesn't burn oil...... And, I have an acquaintance who went over 300,000 miles on the same exact engine..... Boxer engines are really great.....Again totally unrelated to Sprinters or this discussion


So is the Mercedes Benz diesel..... you just have to pay attention and take care of it.IMO, they certainly aren't bad engines, just not a whole lot better than many others. Most engines these days will have a few go past 300K and maybe longer, but the bell curve of life will center well below that.


Most people don't want to do what it really takes to maintain a car...or vehicle.. they are looking for the cheapest alternative.....Are you a mechanic and are capable of evaluating how well folks do their maintenance? But you always hire it all done because.......


In my opinion, the least expensive option is to fix it and hold on to it for a very long time to get the maximum value... trading in cars and paying the sales tax, financing and higher registration fees is not a good idea.....Lots of us agree with that idea, and do it, me included, but it is irrelevant to this choice...


The sales tax alone on a $50,000 vehicle is $5,000.... think about that.....Why think about something irrelevant to the topic?


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Old 01-16-2020, 02:46 PM   #13
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booster, you forgot something:

"Diesel provides more torque then gasoline does."

You just can't make this stuff up, you have to hang out on the B forum and wait for it to occur, kind of like regularly. I kinda find it fun, amusing.

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Old 01-16-2020, 06:22 PM   #14
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Where is this Pleasure Way. Wife is interested in it.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:21 AM   #15
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This is for RSadventuous.


This post and two+ before it.


http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f1...html#post95098
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:26 AM   #16
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Default Thanks. Are you trying to say that this premature engine failure is normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
This is for RSadventuous.


This post and two+ before it.


http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f1...html#post95098
Look, anything I suppose can happen?

I don't have any personal knowledge about how this person had the vehicle serviced and used?

I really don't care about your opinion, Booster's or Bud....all worthless. The continued insinuating remarks of people I actually know personally who have had experience with their vehicles is far more important than someone writing on the forum... that's very sad. I know you think I'm making this up... I'm not.

I know that a lot of you, especially Bud, by some of his answers makes me question his knowledge of diesels. He has remarked a couple of times about my 188 horse power and has inferred that it's probably pretty weak.....

What he's failing to understand is that the engine develops 325 foot pounds of torque between 1,400 and 2,400 RPMs and there's a 4.11 rear end in my Sprinter....

It doesn't have any problems accelerating. Also, it's got a 5 speed transmission and climbs up mountain passes with ease....

I think that "TIME" is just as important as mileage... I have almost 50,000 miles on my 2012 RS... and it's a 2011 Sprinter 3500 platform with dual wheels..... Aside from a little rough ride in the back, which is better since I upgraded my suspension, it drives very smoothly and handles well for the size of the vehicle.... And, it's pretty quiet....not like the earlier models...

The 3 litre turbo charged V6 is incredibly smooth ...gets 18 to 20 MPG consistently.....

Finally, I have my vehicle professionally serviced by a qualified shop, I DO NOT work on my Sprinter...ever....

Yeah, I know it's expensive..... I'm willing to pay for the service.... I have 💯 percent confident in my technical team...

I don't expect my engine to "blow up" in 25,000 miles...

Again, there's a world of difference between a 2006 and a 2011 ....for one thing, DEF......

A lot of people have "demonized" the hell out of DEF, but, I had an opportunity to talk personally with a very knowledgeable diesel engine expert.... I told him that a lot of people are upset by the advent of DEF...he said, actually, DEF is great....it brought back power to the diesels......

He said as long as you keep up with your maintenance, the engine is good for a very long time..... other articles also bear out the virtues of diesel and the lubricating fuel in the engine....By contrast, gasoline engines use a detergent fuel that actually wears down the internal components more quickly than diesel......

Most diesel engines only get "broken in" around 50,000 miles..... and actually do go 300,000 miles or more....

Again, believe whatever you want....
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
A lot of people have "demonized" the hell out of DEF,
Who, exactly, had "demonized" DEF? It works great and I don't recall anybody on this list saying otherwise.

What is (accurately) criticized is Mercedes' utterly incompetent BlueTec DEF-based emissions system. The unreliability of this system is beyond dispute. It is a disgrace.
Quote:
but, I had an opportunity to talk personally with a very knowledgeable diesel engine expert.... I told him that a lot of people are upset by the advent of DEF...he said, actually, DEF is great....it brought back power to the diesels......
Is this your famous "trusted mechanic", who has provided you with so much "valuable" information in the past? You might want to reconsider your trust in somebody who believes that a fluid that is injected in the exhaust stream somehow "brought back power" to your engine.
Quote:
He said as long as you keep up with your maintenance, the engine is good for a very long time..... other articles also bear out the virtues of diesel and the lubricating fuel in the engine....By contrast, gasoline engines use a detergent fuel that actually wears down the internal components more quickly than diesel......
Sigh...
Quote:
Again, believe whatever you want....
Oh, don't worry about that.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:15 PM   #18
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"I know that a lot of you, especially Bud, by some of his answers makes me question his knowledge of diesels."

Why not do so by Quoting Me, as I did above. I'll quote you again:

"He has remarked a couple of times about my 188 horse power and has inferred that it's probably pretty weak....."

Sprinters are not weak compared to a snail. Sprinters are weak Compared to the other gas vans with those vans having 49-73 percent more power.

Thanks for putting my name in the same sentence as booster. "I really don't care about your opinion, Booster's or Bud....all worthless." You got that a little wrong though. booster and avanti opinions are worth more than mine about 90% of the time. Oh, and booster and avanti facts are not any different than mine or yours. No wait, are you into 'alternative facts'?

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Old 01-18-2020, 08:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post

WHY? Well, my general advice to people is always choose the newer vehicle.... and we're talking 5 years.... listen, that's $1,000 per year.... nothing....

Also, any vehicle that has already gone 300,000 miles is a pretty proven commodity, it's battle tested, and in case you were wondering, diesel engines are known for going the long distance.....

It's not the number of miles, it's how it was driven and serviced.......

300,000 miles on a 16 year old model is close to 20,000 miles per year... you have to know that many of the mileage is on the open road......

Whereas 80,000 miles in 21 years is less than 4,000 miles per year.... could be a lot of local stuff....
Back to the original question, I have to disagree with Roadtrek Adventuous's assessment about longevity of diesel over gas - that's purely speculation (there are Volvo gas engines with over a million miles ) and those of us who have been on the forum for a while are used to him trying to justify his own choices.

I have a 1999 Dodge Explorer and find it a very reliable and solid vehicle, I had some handling issues when I first got it but there is a lot of info out there on how to resolve issues. I have just under 70k miles and, in opposition to RA, I don't think that indicates a problem, I think it means I have a lot of miles to go.

I do agree that proper maintenance is cruicial. When I bought mine with about 45k miles, I promptly had every fluid in it flushed and replaced, engine, tranny, torque converter, brakes, power steering, differential - every fluid both to examine for bad debris and to insure new fresh stuff.

One thing to remember about a 80k vs 300k vehicle is the number of times a door has been opened, the number of times a window has been opened, how many strokes of a windshield wiper, how many times a fan has been turned on and run for how long, how many times the shift linkage has been exercised, how many times has the brake or gas pedal been stepped on. These things all have wear points. My point is that an older vehicle, if maintained properly may have a lot more life left in it than a newer one - I don't believe it's just about mileage, and certainly not just about the engine - there are suspension, tranny, rear end, steering, springs, etc to wear too.

I think you will be better served, as some have suggested, to consider the over-view. Try to decide what amenities are important to you. For example, I wouldn't consider not having a toilet, or not having running hot & cold water, or not having a furnace - but that's me. Some would want TV or internet. How much storage do you need, inside or outside?

You mention snowboarding: what are the cold weather capabilities of your two choices? Are plumbing and tanks inside the heated area to stay warm or are they outside and more exposed to freezing?

Pleasureway was top-of the line quality as far as I have heard and most owners seem to be very pleased with them, I know I am happy with our Xplorer, which I understand was built to a similar quality level.

Take your time and really consider what you think you will need.
Good luck and have fun.
Dave
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