Dodge Ram Van 3500 Reviews
Dodge Ram Van 3500 Reviews and Owner Comments
I have a 1998 Dodge B3500 conversion van by Pleasureway. The excessive rear end sway was nearly totally eliminated by installing 2"spacers on rear wheels and raising air pressure in rear air bags to 75lbs.Front steering problem (wander) improved by replacing all four ball joints, shocks & steering damper. Steering wheal still wanders a bit, but havingit checked on 4-22-15. I'll let all know outcome.
Two 2011 reports discuss steering stability problems. I have recently purchased a 1997 Dodge Roadtrek (an extended van, modified to allow standing in the center and fitted with cabinetry and plumbing). It drove beautifully when we got it, like a car. On our maiden trip, it had some intermittent shimmy so we took it to a local garage we have used before that has sufficient lift capacity and height. They replaced ball joints and front shocks and all four tires. The old tires had good tread but were apparently original and showed considerable sidewall checking. They had recently gotten alignment equipment and so could do so on the van. Now the Roadtrek is quite unstable, making it very difficult to control exactly where it is on the road. It does not pull to either side but tends to wander. It is back in that shop where they hope to fix the problem. Any suggestions from owners with similar problems?
I bought a 1997 dodge ram 3500 12 passenger van with 240,000 miles on it from a church, they said it ran fine. A craig's list special for 2,000 dollars. I drove it around the SF Bay area for a few days before loading it up and heading to burning man in the desert above reno nevada. As I was driving around testing it, unloaded I noted that it was hard to start and it heated up to 4/5 of the temp range on the gauge. I replaced the thermostat and changed the coolant, and changed the oil again (replaced the 10w-30 with straight SAE 40 due to the low engine oil pressure light coming on at idle when warm). I also added a bottle of chemical to the coolant to keep the temp down. Then I loaded it FULL to the top with camping gear (3,000 lbs) for the party. It made it the whole way and never overheated or went above the 4/5 gauge mark. GREAT VAN!! It is still hard to start, leaks steering fluid and A/C problems, but for 2K, what a machine. I'm keeping it for next year's burning man party as well. Thanks to the church for taking good care of it and servicing it regularly. Christian
I have the Dodge 3500 with a coach house conversion. I found that if I put more air in the air bags, it added more weight to the front and took away the sway.
I have the exact same Roadtrek. I had the exact same problem. Tried the T-bar, but the Bilstine shocks helped the most. It's not perfect, but tolerable. I have had it with the shocks for 13 years now.
This 97 Dodge Roadtrek is very stable insofar as "sway" is concerned. The problem is the steering gear cannot hold the vehicle from wandering or swerving when encounering a side wind. I think the problem is the gear and perhaps too much caster adjusted in the alignment.
I have a 1997 Coach House. I had a major swaying problem. I remember when we where in Fargo, ND when a huge gust almost threw us on the middle of the highway. I replaced the shocks with a Bilstein and it solved 90% of the swaying. I still had to drive with both hands to be sure that don't happen again
My 1997 Dodge Roadtrek 190 also sways over 60mph. I had the front end rebuilt and installed a Safe-T bar on the front axle. It helped, but I must stay at about 60 mph or under. The Chevy Roadtrek doesn't have this handling problem.
Get A New CAR!!!
I own a Pleasure-Way Excel TS Dodge Ram Van 3500 which is an RV, not a regular van. It sways on the highway. I have taken it to the Dodge dealer several times for repair. Never could fix this problem correctly. Also, ball joint pushed out on front passenger side and A frame needed to be replaced. But that is the mechanics fault, not the vehicle itself. Never really got to enjoy my van due to so many problems.