1973 Dodge Sportsman


New Member
HI! My husband and I just purchased our first moterhome today, a 1973 Dodge Sportsman. This is our first time getting into this area. It is a great buy and is in good condition except for a few spots. There was a leak in the window of the sleeping area above the cab. We were told it was fixed, but in cleaning it today I found that there was more damage then told to us. When I removed the plywood they had placed down, there was rotten wood. I now have to take out the rotten studs and part of the wall covering...any advice?

Also, the fridge works on gas but not on 110v. There is power to the outlet that the fridge is plugged into, anyone have any ideas as to what it could be?

My husband is a mechanic so he has some know-how of this stuff. I am a teacher and woodworker so I will be doing the inside work.


Senior Member
Re: 1973 Dodge Sportsman

Hi Heather and welcome to the RVUSA Forum. I hope you got a really good deal on you motorhome, because it sounds like you've got some expensive work coming up. I recommend you look at the post Mike (aka Cougarkid) put up on his rebuild of his old motorhome. Or you could send him a private message. Rebuilding outside walls is not easy.

As for the fridge - is it getting 120 volts at the outlet? If not, you could have a blown fuse/thrown circuit breaker) If it is then you could have either a bad switch (gas to electric) or a bad controller board. If this is the original fridge, I would probably replace the whole thing.

I know this is not too much info nor too encouraging - but if you can do most of it yourselves, you will have a better understanding of your RV then most people. Again, welcome to the forum and keep us posted on how things go. :) :) :)


Junior Member
RE: 1973 Dodge Sportsman


I have a '76 and I had same problem. I found out that the fuse switch (mine was in the closet) has to be retripped. Mine was that the switch looked off, but was not all the way. Weird, I know. Trip your switch off (make sure it was all the way off and then flip it on) The switch in these model (AS I WAS TOLD) sometimes only goes half way. Also check your settings, make sure that the gas knob is on OFF and the gas coolness is off. Your electric setting should be set on and coolness for electric should be set to coolest. Takes at least 6hours to cool down to be noticeable. Also check and make sure that the cord is plugged in. Your manual for your refrig should have a troubleshooting page.

Hope this helps you.


Junior Member
bought this one through 29palmsyardsales did we? I live in #49 across the way from you, come by and visit some time, I own an 73 model of the same home. I have similar wood issues inside my home. good luck

Kevin, and Atsuko


Theres a heating element with two wires that is probably bad or the connection to it could be corroded. You can test the element by unhooking it and testing with an ohm meter. Be sure to un-plug the coach before testing. If the meter doesn't move the element is bad, if you get a reading its probably good. You can also test the circuit going to it by connecting a volt meter to the wires and setting the switch on the fridge to electric. You should see 110-120volts. Here is a picture of one to give you an idea.