Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

Discussion in 'Class B Motorhomes' started by TWX, May 11, 2008.

  1. TWX

    TWX New Member

    Hi, new around here...

    I've been looking into Dodges converted to Class-B for a little while now as my wife doesn't like road trips when not knowing where the next bathroom will be or where we would be staying, and I figure that I could also use such a vehicle as my tow vehicle when I have to do some occasional towing.

    A neighbour of a friend has a '97 Dodge 3500 Roadtrek 190 Versatile conversion that he inherited a few years ago. They're apparently not terribly interested in it based on what it looked like inside (unkempt, some old food and used linen), so I'm considering lowballing an offer to buy it. I've seen many similar vehicles going for $10,000 to $15,000 with similar miles (40,000), so I'm considering offering something like $9000 to see if they bite or not.

    Anything I should know about Roadtreks that are known problems? I assume that I'll have to go through all of the RV-specific systems in addition to all of the Dodge chassis components before putting the vehicle into significant use...
     
  2. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    Tannon, if you walked over there with $5000 CASH in your hand, you might have a bit of a surprise! :) That's "lowballing" the price!
     
  3. TWX

    TWX New Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    Well, I guess that I'll need to talk to my wife before going back; we've talked about it before but she hasn't seen a Class B, has only seen my work van for size comparison ('98 Dodge 3500 Maxivan), and has typically wanted to have an, "in a few years, maybe," attitude. We're around 30 years old each, yet she still dislikes a lack of bathroom on road trips with unplanned deviations or destinations. She was real leery on our last trip back home from LA when I detoured to the Salton Sea because she didn't know where any services were. I want the RV so that she won't have that as a concern, and so that if we find ourselves away from civilization at bedtime or meal time we don't have to worry about trying to find something. But, I figure that my wife had better be involved, given that some of her money will be involved in buying it... *grin*

    I figure that a Class B is perfect, and I've driven Dodge vans at work for years, and furthermore I work on Mopars as a hobbyist, so I've got a lot experience with Mopar small blocks, Torqueflites, 9.25" rear axles, and the like...
     
  4. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    Tannon, that's exactly how we ended up with our Class C. I wanted a 5th wheel so I would have a vehicle to drive when we stopped.

    Now we use our Class C to go anywhere we want. Just went to a funeral home parking lot yesterday. No problem getting around at all.

    A Class B would be really easy to get around in.

    By the way, welcome to the forum! :laugh:
     
  5. elkhartjim

    elkhartjim Senior Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    Inquiring minds again. Did you use the Class C for any other purpose than for transportation to the funeral home? No other passengers...right.
     
  6. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    I took the same folks away from there as I brought! :clown:
     
  7. TWX

    TWX New Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    Well, there are a couple of snags that will delay my foray into the RV world for awhile...

    My wife, for one, wants to refrain from purchasing an RV until two criteria are met: 1) we have to do things to/around the house that we've been talking about for the last several months, like attic insulation, concrete, pavers, etc, and 2) we have to rent one before buying one to make sure that we can feasibly use such a unit.

    Secondly, my friend (neighbor to the owner of the RV that I was planning on sniping if I could) said that the guy has it in his head that this Roadtrek is worth a LOT of money, based on what his father paid for it. Personally, I've seen similar units in excellent physical cleanliness and repair advertised and not quickly sold in the $10K-$15K range, so I'm thinking that if he wants more than $9,000 he's wanting too much. So, I'll wait. I don't need it right away. So, either when we're looking to go on more road trips or when I finally definitively need a tow vehicle I'll have to do some more looking. I may end up with this exact unit if the owner realizes that the market isn't what it used to be, though I'll admit that I think I'd like one based on a '98-'03 Dodge, as they revised the front fascia, extending it for better aerodynamics, better crash survivability for the passengers, and better ergonomics with the position of the doghouse, dash, etc, and the cupholders are MUCH better.

    I'll just have to see. I'll probably still lurk on here though, so that I can get a better idea of what to look for and what to specifically avoid.
     
  8. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    Tannon, please don't tell Sallyberetta that there's an RV with a doghouse in it! I'm always in trouble now, but at least I get to sleep on the couch! :clown:

    You don't have to have an RV to participate here, so stay active. :)
     
  9. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    Hey TWX, Keep looking and subscribe to MotorHome magazine. It will give you lots of info. Also, start pricing used Class B's to see what would be a good price to offer on the Roadtreck.
     
  10. TWX

    TWX New Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    Yeah, I saw a used RV dealer (there are TONS of RV dealers in Mesa, AZ along what used to be the highway before the new freeway was built in the '70s) with an '01 Roadtrek 190 Versatile built into a Dodge one ton maxivan. They were closed for lunch so I left a voicemail.

    It seems that some higher mileage, slightly older models can get pretty cheap. There's an RV built into a '90 Dodge 3/4 ton maxivan with most of the same amenities, with about 140,000 miles on it that's being advertised for $4800 or so. Depending on how those miles were put on (ie, roadtrips versus being used as a regular around-town vehicle) that might not be too bad. My main objections to that particular unit are that it's a 3/4 ton (I'd like to tow my 4200lb Chrysler on a 1000lb trailer behind whatever I buy) and it's a 318 predating multiport fuel injection, so it might be throttle body EFI, or it might be carbureted. If it's carbureted it might use that dreaded lean-burn ignition system that was such a pain on my Chrysler too. I'd much rather use a Magnum ('92+ for 318/5.2L, '93+ for 360/5.9L) mopar small block engine than the older LA ('64 up to '91 and '92, respectively) small block just because of all of the goodies like a roller cam, higher lift rockers, better breathing in the exhaust manifolds, a lack of exhaust crossover and EGR, and the like that were introduced in the later motor. And as I said before, ideally the '98-'03 van front end is more aerodynamic and safer, so it's top pick. The '94-'97 front end is next, and the '81-'93 is last choice as it's the least aerodynamic and, in my opinion, the least attractive, plus the availability of a vehicle in that range in the condition that I want and with the features that I want will probably be smaller too.

    I'm pretty much going to stick with Mopar though, whatever I do, because I've got a lot of experience with engines, transmissions, and axles with the Mopars, and because at work I've driven Dodge vans of every era (an '84 one ton Maxivan with a Rochester Quadrajet on the 360, a '97 3/4 ton LWB with a MPFI 318, and a '98 one ton Maxivan with a MPFI 360) so I'd hope that I'd know what to listen for if something is starting to go wrong...
     
  11. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    Go Dodge. ;) :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: The smoke smells better too.
     
  12. TWX

    TWX New Member

    Re: Looking at a Roadtrek 190 Versatile / '97 Dodge 3500

    I stopped by that little RV dealer that I mentioned above and they were open this time. Apparently the Roadtrek is on consignment and the owner wants $27,995. I did some looking at it (ignoring the salesman as it was pretty clear that he had NO idea what he was talking about) and I found that it only had a 318, not a 360, and it looks like the seller hasn't been doing the greatest job keeping it clean, as the sink was kind of nasty around the drain. Worse, it only had a Class-II hitch and couldn't tow my Cordoba safely without that being changed out too...

    I think that I'll continue to keep observing the market. There's another nice Dodge (a Pleasure-way I think) that's dropped ten grand in the last couple of months, and even though it's got a few more miles than the Roadtrek I was looking at (70K vs 40K) it's still low enough to be acceptable, and their asking price has dropped below $10,000...
     

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