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Old 02-05-2011, 06:43 PM   #1
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2000 dodge...good deal?

I really like this 2000 dodge extended van with 93000 miles. It has the 5.9 liter engine. It has everything we need to start camping now...aux. battery, 110 inverter, shore power, sleeping for four, penthouse top, sink, microwave, fridge, and forward facing seating for four with shoulder belts for $12,9000. Both interior and exterior is in good shape. Is this a good deal?
Any advice on what to look for when I go to take a look at this vehicle...structural or mechanical?
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Always looking...4x4 Van 19ft or shorter. Sleeps 4 - two together, two separately; 4 forward facing seats with shoulder seatbelts, interior shower, water heater, 110 power, sink, aux. heat, aux air conditioner, aux. battery, generator - all at a price a school teacher could afford...help me Obi-Wan Kenobi you're my only hope.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:03 PM   #2
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Re: 2000 dodge...good deal?

Make sure the doors all shut square with the body. If it's not simply loose hinges, it could be a symptom of body problems (along with cracking at body seams). This is important because the body is the chassis. Sometimes more holes are put into the body (like windows) than should be.

The powertrain is the same as the 1/2-ton pickups of the same year. So look for the basics (maintenance, etc.). I'm not aware of any major powertrain issues, but it is really easy to overload the rear axle because the wheelbase is so short.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: 2000 dodge...good deal?

Where it's from can be a concern like exposed to salt...check for rust. You can also look over the conversion for water damage at the base of cabinets and especially around the roof because they can leak. Ask about records on engine maintenance. Sending an oil sample to a lab might be nice if you can get one.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:31 PM   #4
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Re: 2000 dodge...good deal?

I forgot to add that the dodge does not have 4x4. I've been looking at vans for a few months now and am beginning to wonder if I am being realistic with my price point or just need to continue to be patient. What do you guys think...is $30,000 a realistic number for a used Sportsmobile with these features:
4x4 extended van
seats four up front, front seats swivel and there is a removable table to make a sitting/eating area,
rear sideways seating with seatbelts that makes into individual beds or one big bed with storage under seats,
interior shower, hot water, sink, fresh and grey water tank
penthouse or other top that sleeps two
aux. battery, aux. heat, propane system, aux. AX, 110 outlets and DC outlets, shore electrical and water connections,
generator to run AC when boondocked,

Thoughts...and as always thank you for the advice
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Always looking...4x4 Van 19ft or shorter. Sleeps 4 - two together, two separately; 4 forward facing seats with shoulder seatbelts, interior shower, water heater, 110 power, sink, aux. heat, aux air conditioner, aux. battery, generator - all at a price a school teacher could afford...help me Obi-Wan Kenobi you're my only hope.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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Re: 2000 dodge...good deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by louie
is $30,000 a realistic number
Nope.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:38 PM   #6
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Re: 2000 dodge...good deal?

kind of figured...what if I ditch the generator and the aux ac?
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:50 PM   #7
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Re: 2000 dodge...good deal?

You are not going to have a lot of luck at that price. I was looking in '09/10 and found that there were very limited choices if you wanted a camper van with 4wd. Seems like most complete campers with 4wd were VERY expensive. There were older, much cheaper ones occasionally but with that kind of vehicle age you have to be VERY lucky not to have to put thousands more into it right away and with perpetual, questionable reliability. There was just nothing in the mid-range and I still don't see much.

I looked at 2wd SMB's and the cost of conversion to 4wd but could never find the right van at the right price. I ended up getting a pimped out quigley conversion van and paying SMB to put a PH top on it. If/when the spirit moves me I may build it out as a camper but for now I'm very happy with it as it is.

It seemed to me then that buying a complete 2wd SMB and having it converted was the most economical and probably still is. Hell, SMB charges $6k for the PH top alone and while I don't begrudge them the money it's hard to compare that to $10k for a complete 4wd conversion package.

Good luck with the search and every time you think the SMB prices are ridiculous, and they are, look up the prices at Go-Westy.com for 25 y/o VW syncro vans. That will bring you right back to earth again.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:03 PM   #8
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Re: 2000 dodge...good deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by louie
kind of figured...what if I ditch the generator and the aux ac?
I think the 4 captain's up front is rare. You've got a very specific list, and getting all those things, not one but all together would be amazing enough, then you want a specific layout, then 4x4 and after all to put a price cap like that...

I would scratch everything off the list you can change, add later, or don't absolutely have to have. Then I would be looking for a 90s layout that I can live with, meaning four safe seats and four sleeping spots that fit your family, likely in 2wd.

Adjust your budget to allow for 4x4 either immediately or after a year (ensure you like the van and it's mechanically sound enough to invest), plus it gives you time to save a little more towards the 4x4 conversion and not take it out of your initial purchase price.

If you find a 2wd layout that hits enough of the high points, buy it. If you see a 4x4 that you could endure the setup, buy that instead.

Either way, exactly what you want is expensive, which is why so many people keep going to SMB to get brand new custom builds, or paying so much used when the "right" thing comes up. Personally, I'd scratched my van off my shopping list for features, and then kept coming back and drooling over it. After enough, "If it only had this, if only it was that" I bought it at the last minute, and I sure am glad.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:39 PM   #9
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Re: 2000 dodge...good deal?

Thank you for the helpful advice. This brings me back to the dodge I started this thread with. It's $12900 and has the layout we like and many of our entry level camping features. I live in Phoenix and will have to take a trip to Texas to buy it so I really hope it is as good of shape as the owner claims. This forum has given me a better idea of what to check for mechanically, but do you guys have any red flags regarding the penthouse top or any of the interior amenities?
Regarding 4x4 I'm thinking I might be able to get by with a rear locker and a winch, but am wondering if a rear locker will help me much in sand, ice, snow or mud. Anyone know of any shops in Phoenix that could do this sort of job? How can I do a search to find people who live in the phx area that might be able to suggest local shops?
Thanks again for the advice. It is very much appreciated.
L
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:31 AM   #10
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Re: 2000 dodge...good deal?

Like this: http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/cto/2207794758.html



Leaves about 15K to build the interior you want.
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