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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have zero automotive skills. I've been searching for a small (Class B-Van) RV and have found one that looks to be in very good shape for very cheap. ($30,000). It has 116,000 miles on it. The dealership I am getting it from spends lots of time detailing the outside and the coach (living area) but say they do limited inspection of the mechanical parts. They drive it, check under the hood, but don't pull wheels, take things apart, etc.

Can anyone tell me if this year/model has issues? Should I be worried setting off across country in this van with 116,000 miles? I am not sure if they have any info from previous owners. What should have been replaced by now? What is likely to fail around this age/mileage?

Anything you can tell me, any advice you can give me on the reliability of this van at this age and mileage would be greatly appreciated.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There you go. That should confirm my total lack of knowledge of anything automotive. The Class B RV is built on a Dodge 3500 chassis - GAS 5.9L V8 -
 

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No such thing as a 2002 Dodge Promaster van. What is it really?
There you go. That should confirm my total lack of knowledge of anything automotive. The Class B RV is built on a Dodge 3500 chassis - GAS 5.9L V8 - Sorry for the mix up.
 

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I've really liked the dodge vans throughout the years. I've owned them as daily drivers and driven them as company owned work vans. Way better than either the GMCs, Chevys, or Fords. It all depends on how they've been treated though. They can last 350k miles or 90k. If it was a trade/fleet vehicle before conversion it's probably had it's teeth kicked in and will be quirky. If it's a single owner, well maintained pleasure vehicle it may still be early in it's life. Dealer doesn't have vehicle history? Rusting out is often the final end of those in most areas, but number of smaller problems it's likely to have is very dependant on how it's been treated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've really liked the dodge vans throughout the years. I've owned them as daily drivers and driven them as company owned work vans. Way better than either the GMCs, Chevys, or Fords. It all depends on how they've been treated though. They can last 350k miles or 90k. If it was a trade/fleet vehicle before conversion it's probably had it's teeth kicked in and will be quirky. If it's a single owner, well maintained pleasure vehicle it may still be early in it's life. Dealer doesn't have vehicle history? Rusting out is often the final end of those in most areas, but number of smaller problems it's likely to have is very dependant on how it's been treated.
Thank you. That's quite helpful. I've talked to this dealer before, but not about this van specifically. I will call tomorrow and see if they have any background on the owner(s). It was built as a Class B RV in 2002, so it probably has been driven There you go. That should confirm my total lack of knowledge of anything automotive. The Class B RV is built on a Dodge 3500 chassis - GAS 5.9L V8 - and not to rough. The rust thing is good to know! The van has been painted even though carfax shows no accidents or damages. Possibly due to rust?

I like the idea of 350K. I'll be happy if I get it and make it to 250k!
Thanks again for the input.
 

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Paint job could be covering rust, or could just be that the original was peeling after the years. You should be able to spot any major rust areas or dents even through a paint job, but some people are actually really good with Bondo. If the rust was small and treated well it won't grow. 116k in 18 years seems like kinda light usage, so it may have just sat for awhile. You can often get prepurchase inspection on used vehicles at a mechanic of your choice
 

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Look for rust, carefully, everything else is mechanically pretty simple. The 5.9 V8 is pretty much as simple as a engine gets, the transmission is pretty simple although not as robust as the earlier torqueflights. Everything else is just a matter of time, age, and mileage, but most things are easy enough to fix. Check the front end, brakes, etc for problems.

As with all RVs, leaks, leaks, and leaks should be the focus of attention. No leaks, you don't want leaks, also watch for leaks.

The only things on these that are show stoppers are rust and leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Look for rust, carefully, everything else is mechanically pretty simple. The 5.9 V8 is pretty much as simple as a engine gets, the transmission is pretty simple although not as robust as the earlier torqueflights. Everything else is just a matter of time, age, and mileage, but most things are easy enough to fix. Check the front end, brakes, etc for problems.

As with all RVs, leaks, leaks, and leaks should be the focus of attention. No leaks, you don't want leaks, also watch for leaks.

The only things on these that are show stoppers are rust and leaks.
Thanks. While I'm at it, I'll check for leaks! :)
Scott
 

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If it is built on the dodge / sprinter TIN chassis then it might be a very good vehicle in general, but very few people are still supporting that model. I only know one person in this area who is an active mechanic who is constantly seeking out parts for those and has the tools and scanners to fix them. MB, Fiat/ Chrysler dealers won't be able to help you no matter how much they might want to. This chassis was caught up in the politics of MB partially owning Chrysler and selling that model through the Chrysler dealerships. The division went bankrupt and Fiat ended up with it.

Most people who own these are really into self automotive repair to an extreme level.

If it is built on a pickup like truck chassis that is more likely to be supported more broadly. Pick up / flat bed trucks are built in very large numbers and there are mechanics and
 

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The first Sprinters were built on ‘02 chassis I expect if it’s a factory conversion van it was probable just built on a good old Tradesman left over ‘01 chassis and titled as an ’02. The converters pull a lot of (legal) but shady tricks like this on unsuspecting buyers
 

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If it's the 5.9, it's just the regular dodge van, not the MB.
I think $30k is way too much.
 

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$10k probably more in the ballpark (if that). You couldn’t give it to me😝
 

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My old Class B was build in a dodge B350 one ton chassis. These things don't get driven much in many cases. I am not surprised by the mileage being relatively low. That said its an older design one ton can chassis, rear wheel drive. It drives like a heavy van. I got rid of mine after a year of driving it in the Northeast, it was top heavy. Every time I drove it in the bad weather I felt exhausted when I got where I was going because it takes a lot of effort to drive safely in inclement weather. I drove it for years in the south and only once or twice felt the same way, just be aware of what it is.

I got the Promaster because it was the opposite, absolutely inspiring in bad weather by comparison (it still isn't like my subaru, but good for a van). The Promaster is everything the the 1989 B350 wasn't. Front wheel drive and more importantly to me, low center of gravity. I kept everything heavy low in my build and love to drive it. I avoided driving the B350 in any snow or even cold (< 40F) rain when I could help it. The freedom of not dreading having to drive makes me feel good.

30,000 is way too high. If it is perfect, maybe 15,000 tops.
 

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Yeah. I didn't look/see the asking price. These are the vans you can pick up for a few hundred to a couple grand for the base vehicle. Would have to have an extensive conversion to be 30k. I never minded driving the ones with decent brakes in the snow, but may differ on the term 'safely' since I like to 'play' in the snow. You actually feel the wind more in those style vans than the hightop PM. They also get about half the mpg. It's definitely a different vehicle
 

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Where I work in central Connecticut the roads are all curvy two lane roads and my work location routinely has high winds. I have a lot of snow driving time, but the wind and high center of gravity just made it an exhausting experience, constantly ready to correct slide. and 8 mpg was a good day.
 

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Almost $31k for an 18 year old dinosaur gas hog with well over 100k miles? What are people thinking? Are they nuts?
 

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Not a bad setup. Especially for someone that doesn't want to do a diy build and just get right on the road. Especially someone with a couple kids.
If it's in perfect condition.
Problem is the $30k price tag and then the 8mpg thereafter.
 
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