Dodge Ram Van 1500 Origins
While Dodge’s van was technically introduced in the 1970s as the Dodge Tradesman, the vehicle was redubbed with the Ram nameplate in 1981. The 1500 model officially debuted in 1995, when Dodge changed the name of its Ram Van B150 to the Ram Van 1500 in order to remain more consistent with its Ram pickups.
As with Ram trucks, Dodge names Ram vans by weight. The Dodge Ram Van 1500 is the half-ton model in the van series. A passenger-only version known as the Dodge Ram Wagon 1500 is also offered.
The first Dodge Ram Van 1500 features a 3.9-liter, 175-horsepower V-6 engine paired with a three-speed automatic transmission. This engine remains standard throughout the Ram Van 1500’s lifespan. As with later models, all Ram Vans have a rear-drive system, a sliding side door, and twin rear doors. Regular and extended versions are also available.
The Ram Van 1500 was produced until 2003, when DaimlerChrysler replaced the van with the Mercedes-based Dodge Sprinter.About the Dodge Ram Van 1500
The Dodge Ram Van 1500 is best known for its basic utility and, in older models, its affordable resale price. The model has proven popular for many service jobs from plumbing to installing cable TV.
While standard features on the Ram Van 1500 are fairly bare-bones, it’s hard to beat the amount of cargo space it offers. The Dodge Ram Van 1500 has just two seats, leaving the rest of the interior open for storage. Base models include a total cargo capacity of 200 cubic feet, while the extended Maxi increases cargo volume to 294.6 cubic feet.
The standard 3.9-liter engine allows the Ram Van 1500 to tow up to 5,950 pounds and carry up to 2,410 pounds. Upgrading to the Ram Van 3500’s standard 5.2-liter V-8 engine increases maximum towing capacity to 8,600 pounds and its maximum payload to 3,070 pounds.
The Ram Van 1500 is also known for low gas mileage ratings. Paired with the standard three-speed automatic transmission, the van is EPA-rated at just 13/15 mpg city/highway. To help counteract the low fuel efficiency, Dodge equipped standard wheelbase models with a 32-gallon gas tank and extended models with a 35-gallon tank.Dodge Ram Van 1500 Features
The last Dodge Ram Van 1500 was produced in 2003.
The 2003 Dodge Ram Van 1500 contains a 3.9-liter V-6 engine that produces 175 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. A 5.2-liter, 225-horsepower V-8 engine, standard on the larger Ram Van 3500, is optional. Buyers can also upgrade to a 5.9-liter V-8 that offers 330 lb-ft of torque and the ability to tow trailers weighing up to 8,600 pounds.
Two trims are available: a base 1500 and an extended 1500 Maxi. Both trims come standard with a three-speed automatic transmission, though a four-speed automatic with manual overdrive is available.
Standard equipment on the base 2003 Ram Van 1500 includes 16-inch steel wheels, all-season tires, variable intermittent wipers, two vinyl bucket seats, a tilt steering wheel, power steering, vinyl flooring, a front storage console, front cup holders, 12-volt front power outlets, a cargo light, cargo floor mats, front airbags, anti-lock brakes, and a four-speaker stereo system with a cassette player.
The 1500 Maxi comes with the same standard features but increases in length to 234.5 inches and total cargo capacity to 294.6 cubic feet. In both models, the driver and front passenger receive 40.5 inches of headroom, 39 inches of legroom, and 68 inches of shoulder room.
Individual options on both lengths include air-conditioning, a camper/towing package, a limited-slip rear differential, a chrome bumper, chrome wheels, sunscreen glass, power windows and locks, cloth upholstery, keyless entry, cruise control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and an anti-theft alarm system.
The 2003 Dodge Ram Van 1500 comes in eight exterior colors and two interior colors.Dodge Ram Van 1500 Evolution
Dodge introduced the half-ton Dodge Ram Van 1500 cargo van in 1995 alongside similarly equipped 2500 and 3500 models. The new Ram Van 1500 features a smaller grille and a more steeply sloped hood and windshield than the previous generation Ram Van B150 models. However, the new van offers the same standard 3.9-liter V-6 that powered earlier vans. A five-speed manual transmission replaces the three-speed automatic transmission found on B-Series models.
In 1997, Dodge updated the Ram Van 1500 with wider cargo doors, a new ignition switch, and a more modern stereo system. Front quarter vent windows were eliminated. In 1998, Dodge shifted V-8 engines in all Ram Vans forward to reduce noise. These models also include dual airbags and a new stereo system. For 1999, Dodge offered fleet customers the option of a 5.2-liter Compressed Natural Gas V-8 engine. More minor changes came in 2000, with the addition of a six-speaker stereo system, optional chrome-clad wheels, and windshield-wiper nozzles.
Dodge made its last notable changes to the Ram Van 1500 in 2001, when the brand added new positions to the tilt steering wheel and offered a trailer-tow package with a Class IV receiver hitch.