2002 Sportsmobile on a Dodge 318 van

I'm considering the purchase tomorrow of a 2002 Sportsmobile on a Dodge 318 van. It has 46k miles, the prices is 32k. I haven't owned a motor home before. I'd like this to be my primary vehicle around town as well, I'll then sell my 2005 subaru outback wagon.
A couple of questions if you can help:
1) Is the mileage truly around 15-18mpg (gas)? That's what they tell me.
2) It only has a 2.7 sq foot Norcal 2 way fridge for 12V and 110. Will a 12v battery last for a 3 day camping trip for the fridge if I have minimal use of other appliances, say in 80 degree weather? Or should I plan on putting in a 3 way fridge? Would that be more than $600, with installation?
3) I can buy a 1 yr warranty bumper to bumper for 3k, or a 4 yr warranty for 4k. It's transferable as well. Sounds like a wise idea to me.
4) The pop top is quite difficult for one person to lift. With great effort it can be done, but you feel like you might strain your neck or back. It's on a spring mechanism. Is there anything that can be done about that?
thanks for any help! this is a whole new world for me ;-)
portland oregon


Senior Member
Re: 2002 Sportsmobile on a Dodge 318 van

Check out that warrantee company really well. Many have taken people's money and then gone out of business when the repair bills start rolling in. Others write their contract so it is practically impossible to get a repair paid for. Make sure you know what is covered and what is not, and what you have to do to qualify for coverage.

I've never run a refridgerator off of 12v, but I'll bet that it sucks the battery pretty good. Does the van have the generator option? That might help with your extended refridgerator usage by running on 120v for a while while the batteries are being recharged.

YOu might check with Sportsmobile to see if there is a fix or maintenance you can do on the pop top. The one I saw worked pretty good.
Re: 2002 Sportsmobile on a Dodge 318 van

It doesn't come with a generator, not sure if it can be added. They did say that if i run the engine for 1.5 hours it should recharge the battery. Is the advantage of a generator that it's quicker and quieter than running the engine?

A big question for me is the mileage the vehicle will get...if anyone has experience with the Dodge 318 engine, especially around 2002, that would be great.


Senior Member
Re: 2002 Sportsmobile on a Dodge 318 van

Sportmobile offers a generator option, but back when I was looking at getting a dodge van converted, only on a 1 ton chassis.

The advantage of the generator is that it generally uses a lot less gas than the main engine, and has less problems running when the vehicle is standing still (due to cooling). I would imagine that the recharge times should be about the same. But the really big advantage of the generator is that it provides 120V AC.
Re: 2002 Sportsmobile on a Dodge 318 van

You can't run a refrigerator effectively with 12v. It's ok to hold a temperature while you are driving and the alternator is charging, but it won't cool a warm refrigerator and without the engine running it won't last an hour.

I'd be amazed if you got 18 mpg. I'd suspect 13 mpg would be good.
Re: 2002 Sportsmobile on a Dodge 318 van

Well, the mileage issue is a huge factor. If anyone else has leads on how to figure it out that would be excellent.
Here is an informative response from Sportsmobile regarding the fridge question:
Hi Joe,

The two refrigerators are designed very differently. The 12v on a 3 way refrigerator is meant only to be used while driving. The 2 way refrigerator has its own compressor whereas the 3 way does not. The 2 way can run for days on the 12v. Our standard refrigerator is the 2 way and it is very efficient.

I do not recommend switching the refrigerators you may however want an extra aux. battery.

Re: 2002 Sportsmobile on a Dodge 318 van

With the price of gas, Why would you want to make this your primary vec & get rid of the Subaru :question:

Darlin :cool:


New Member
RE: 2002 Sportsmobile on a Dodge 318 van

I drive a one ton '98 Dodge Maxivan at work with a 360, and it gets less than ten miles per gallon. The Sportsmobile that you're looking at is probably on a 3/4 ton chassis, and the 318 is ever so slightly more efficient versus the 360, so the previously mentioned 13mpg is probably right, especially if you account for all of the extra weight and worsened airflow characteristics compared to a stock empty Dodge van...


Senior Member
Re: 2002 Sportsmobile on a Dodge 318 van

It may be a 1 ton chassis. Sportmobile will convert a 3/4 ton, but will not install some of the 'best' options. They really prefer to work on a 1 ton.