I purchased this van with the intention of making a weekend adventure mobile. I chose this platform for a few reasons:
Price- half ton dodge vans are a fraction the cost of modern Sprinters.
Reliability- modern Sprinters seemed awesome till I read of all the diesel emissions issues. Domestic half ton vans have proven themselves as reliable workhorses.
Parts availability- you can go anywhere in the country and be able to find parts and someone who knows how to work on it. Furthermore there are thousands of webpages that detail out how to do common repairs.
Flexibility- I can set this up to carry 7 passengers and gear, 5 passengers and ability to have everyone sleep inside (very tight but doable with two on bed, three on floor), 2 passengers with TONS of space, or pull the rear bench and captains chairs out and have tons of space to move a couch, carry lumber etc.
Factory conversion- Mark III converted this van from the factory so it has a ton of campervan features including:
Tons of storage cabinets throughout. We can fit all our bedding and random things in the cabinets, saving a ton of space for gear on trips
Second battery built in that charges off engine
Insulation throughout the vehicle
Windows the open with screens for ventilation
Electrical system with fuse panel
6 speakers throughout vehicle
Privacy shades on all rear windows
The first thing I did when I purchased was go through and make sure the van was up to speed. My fiance and I do a lot of long trips and I didnt want any troubles down the road so I performed the following maintenance, all with quality parts:
Front wheel bearings
Transmission fluid and filter (not a flush, just a drain and fill)
Rear differential fluid
Wires, cap, rotor
Exhaust manifold gaskets
Brand new tires (these were installed by previous owner at time of purchase)
From there the modding began. Mods include:
Renogy 100W solar panel
Renogy 40A Wonderer MPPT controller
Renogy 100Ah AGM battery
Renogy 1000W inverter
Yakima roof rack with 60’ bars. Able to carry a paddleboard/ kayak/ surfboard etc on one side of van with solar panel underneath on the other side!
ARB 50QT fridge with fridge cover and optional tie downs
Factory dome lights are converted to LEDs
Additional LED strips on a dimmer- amazing for hanging out on the inside
Blackout curtain between front driver/passenger seat and rear
USB and 12V outlets throughout.
Custom storage bin up front where factory TV was located. This is pretty big and you can easily fit a weeks worth of groceries up there or a few daypacks.
Hooks on ceiling to hang a Mr Buddy heater (included)
Hardwired CO and Propane detector
Front and rear cameras- easily toggle between the two with a switch on the dash. Great for parking as well as just driving along since rear visibility isn't the best on these.
Quick Fist mounts for holding the blackout curtains
Reflectex sheets for more complete blackout / insulation
Set of Laclede Alpine Sport tire chains (perfect for Sierra runs in the winter)
As with any van of this age, there are a few issues such as:
Various scratches and dents.
Slight rust on gutter mount. This is a SoCal vehicle so it isn’t rusted out but there are spots
Title is a manufacturer buy back. I don't know the history behind this (guy I bought it off said original owner had a wheel bearing issue when vehicle was new. Since then it has provided over 90k trouble free miles so I didn't put too much weight into this when purchasing). Note this is not a wrecked vehicle and is not a salvage or rebuilt title.
Why am I selling it then? I have a wedding coming up and really don't need a third vehicle. Perhaps down the road I will build another van ( I would pick this platform in a heartbeat) but for now I will have to make do with just a regular car and SUV between my fiance and I.