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Old 07-08-2018, 10:47 PM   #11
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I havenít seen anything decent with a poptop for under $10k. To me, the $10k is the poptop and the rest of the vehicle is free. Go get it!
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:49 PM   #12
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That motor will go forever. But take the rig for an extensive test drive. That vintage Dodge was susceptible to Death Wobble, and that's not a good thing, especially when you are towing. Make sure the front end is solid. Death Wobble on that vintage Dodge can be impossible to cure.

Good luck!
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider View Post
That motor will go forever. But take the rig for an extensive test drive. That vintage Dodge was susceptible to Death Wobble, and that's not a good thing, especially when you are towing. Make sure the front end is solid. Death Wobble on that vintage Dodge can be impossible to cure.

Good luck!
I didn't know that and I went ahead and read up on the death wobble. Thanks for the tip!

...and thanks everyone. I think I'm going to give it a very thorough once over and test drive. It seems just about perfect for my needs so even if I'm paying a bit of a premium it might be worth it to me, as long as its in good condition. Thanks all.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:09 PM   #14
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Do drive it. As pointed out the Dodge weak point is the steering linkages, that I would characterize as allowing unending wander. You can fix it, but have to deal with it more often than the Fords....However the Fords can get loose as well, but the wander has a bit different feel...
I had a friend who had a dodge home conversion for many years and he went thru a couple of cycles with the steering and in the end was used to it. I drove it at various times and it was fine when fixed, but way bad when worn....Very obvious.

$14K could be fine if it is in good shape and fits your needs...Look at the newer options and you can easily double or triple the price. The value is in the conversion, not the suspension, or chassis...
Enjoy
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:11 PM   #15
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Have the same van with the big v8. Is 14 too much? It's all about condition. I paid 11 and have spent 3 or more on suspension and other maintenance. See no awning, deduct something. I trailer a light boat. Would I trailer something heavy? It's a 23 year old rig with miles on it. I pull my 7500lb trailer with another vehicle. Redid the brakes and I'd say they are up to the task. Love the 30 interior if that's what this has.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:12 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the info folks. This particular van I posted sold before I had a chance to drive it. It went pretty quick so I guess the price wasn't too crazy, at least for California.

But, it did light the fire for me to buy a Sportsmobile, or some other Class B. I really like the fact they are so useful and come in a manageable and practical sized package.

I've also thought about it and think I'd want a larger engine than a 318, 1 Ton chassis, need to be sure I have the headroom for me (6'3"+) and would really like to have a shower and a john. So, it looks like I'll be spending more than the 14K I was looking at originally. I figure if I'm going to buy I should plan on keeping it a long time, and buying the right one the first time.

I'll need to do a lot more legwork, test walk ins, test drives....
I may end up with something other than a Sportsmobile, due to budget, but who knows, I may get lucky.

Thanks again everyone. Please leave any more suggestions that you have, they all help!
Brian.

edit: the "death wobble" tip was especially helpful, I had no idea. The van I was looking at listed "new shocks, brakes, wheel bearings, etc. so it makes me wonder if he was fighting that issue.
cheers!
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:06 AM   #17
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opie MAY be right. A pop top is $10k not counting cabinets! I would consider it at an $8-9k or lower. Get a under/over drive for now. You have Gear Vendors in Santee/El Cajon area. Then I would consider a cummings swap in the future! You look hard and long enough you can find a mechanical Cummings pick-up for $5k and swap everything maybe even one that is 4x4. Depending on the van interior you could look at $15-20k resale with the Cummings done right?
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:10 AM   #18
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If you want insulation, lights, a fan, USB plugs, and a few other basic bells and whistles, expect to pay at least $12K for an installed non SMB penthouse.
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:50 PM   #19
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A member here has what I consider a good platform to build on...add to it as you see fit (no affiliation). Seems to be a good value.
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...top-21849.html
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:50 PM   #20
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I have a '94 dodge with the 5.9 and it really is underpowered. I do have the permanent raised roof and that does catch a lot of wind though. loaded weight is about 7200 lbs. it rolls along at hi way speeds well but dogs on the hills. not sure what the gear ratio is but most likely set up for the hi way. paid $12k last year with 102k miles. strange thing is there is still the factory paint on the chassis and absolutely not a bit of rust. the second owner said he bought it from a guy in Texas, hence the no rust. I tow with my 1 ton chev long body express with the 6.0 litre and it get better mileage that the dodge. wonder what sportmobile would charge me to convert it ???? Hmmmm
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