Hello everyone. I have been lurking here for a little while and using the info to help find a SMB. I have tent camped my whole life and my wife and I have tent camped since we have been together. We recently moved to CO and I am looking to go camping more often and she is looking for a little more luxury so the SMB seemed like a logical choice! Shortly before xmas I got extremely lucky and found what I was looking for, a clean older SMB 2wd for a low enough cost that I could justify it's purchase.
Here she is:
1995 Dodge Ram Van B2500
PO seems to have taken great care of the van. He and his wife used it mostly as a hard sided tent and a boat hauler. He couldn't speak to the SMB systems of the van too much, except that the fridge worked. He didn't use the fresh water tank or the sink. However, I asked a few questions and got some pointers from a friend on the forum(rallypanam) so I was able to look over the systems of the van pretty well. PO still had the original SMB 3-ring binder so I was also able to dig through the book once I got it home. Body is very clean for the age, PH canvas is in great shape, plastic windows and screens are in good shape too. There are a couple of splits in a couple of the plastic windows right at the seam where it connects to the canvas, but they are tucked pretty close to the canvas and aren't very large so I am hopeful I can patch them up easily.(Any advice would be appreciated, see pic below)
I am thinking that it will need new house batteries since the ones that are in there are mismatched, one is an interstate hybrid RV starting/deep cycle battery and the other one is so dusty I don't know what it is. Does anyone know what the largest Ah capacity I can get in the typical car battery size(group 24/27)? It seems like a smart thing to just replace them up front and not have to worry about them. However, I will try to do a load test on them once they are fully charged to see what kind of condition they are currently in.
PO said that when he bought the van, it had a water heater as well, but his wife took it out since she wanted extra storage in the sink cabinet. I noticed that there is a second water pump still mounted and wired up in the sink cabinet. I am assuming this would have been hooked up to the water heater but not sure why. Is it common/necessary to have a second water pump to pull/push water into/out of a water heater?
So far the major issue I have seen is that there is a leak in the front driver's side of the PH down on the bottom. Somewhere between the van's roof and the bottom attachment of the PH top. As soon as I got the van it got cold and started snowing plus all that Xmas stuff got in the way so I haven't had a chance to dig in yet. I will update this thread when I know more. PO did say that it happened to him and he had sealed it though.
I am looking forward to getting out camping and taking some road trips in the van. I don't have any plans to do any upgrading to this van(other than getting all the systems in proper working order) since it is not the ultimate SMB goal I have in mind, but it should serve as a good test bed to see if it works for our family,(me, wife, 5 yr old, and two 100lb dogs) and help us figure out what we want/don't want in a long term van.
Rest of the pics:
Wouldn't want to mess up that bling! LOL