If you are mechanically inclined, you can do a lot of the work yourself. But if you are not, then this project will cost you a lot of money to get it back in shape.
If the propane/ac fridge can run by just cleaning it out, blowing out the flu and making sure no gas leaks, I would definitely keep the fridge. I know many are switching to residentual fridges, but you got to have shore power most of the time and if you are going to run the generator just to keep the fridge going, it is just not practical to me.
I also like old coaches that have been refurbished, but it does cost a lot to getting them in great shape.
2002 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser
330 HP Caterpillar
3000 Allison Transmission
Neway Freightliner chassis
2013 Honda CR-V EX
How have you checked the fridge?? sitting that long my have settled the ammonia, drive it on a rough road, then plug it in for the A/C then try it on the propane. Whether you keep the old fridge or not, replace it with a gas/elect, you may not think you are going to boon dock with it, but I bet you will. You can also take it out, turn it upside down and "burp it" .
Keep your propane system, you probably have a 20 gal system, two 5 gal tanks won't last very long and I doubt you have room for two 10's.
You have exactly what I have , a 454 on a p 30, no, do not pull the 454, the 350 will not give you better mileage as you will be working it harder and it won't last as long. I have modified mine, here in Idaho we don't have vehicle inspections ( north Idaho ) the first thing I did was to replace the exhaust manifolds with a set of Thorly headers and 3 inch exhaust pipes with Flow max mufflers 40 series, loud but nice, this also removed the air pump, cutting down on the amount of belts and pull on the motor...... The next thing I did was to cut the front of the air cleaner intake tube and slip a flex pipe off a new truck, I ran the snout out in front of the radiator so that it pulls cool air. I then went to a MSD ignition and gaped the plugs to 60. I then removed the truck air conditioner, pump, condenser and all. I can now pull any hill in any temp and it does not over heat. We run the gen while going down the road and use the house air conditioners, keeps the coach a lot cooler and no drag on the motor.
You do not want to remove the tag axle, it is there for a reason. You can carry more weight, most people over load their coaches, me included, that third axle lets you carry more weight and you like that Cadillac ride, don't pull it.
Yes a 6000 will meet your needs, but why, why spend more money on that, you are better off to spend it where you need it, don't replace something that is not broke. believe me you will spend enough money replacing stuff.
OK ,tires, not knowing just how old they are, I would replace them, there goes 1,500.00 dollars, replace all belts and hoses, not fun to do along side the road ( ask me ) check all seals, pan gasket and trans gasket, rear differential, filters, oil and fuel, if it doesn't have it use a water separator filter.
Clean it up, and use it, then change what you don't like. Mine gets 10 to 12 mpg, more with a tail wind, has been across country 3 or 4 times, and we love it. the wife wants a slide and I don't..........
Rodger & Teri
1985 Sportcoach / crosscountry
1983 Camaro / 1971 Chevy 4x4
chessie's named sonny & choc and a red setter named star
If you do not have a 12 Volt Coach/House Battery, the Reefer will not work in any mode. The control board requires 12VDC to operate the relays for the AC power and to open the gas valve for propane operation. You can test the cooling unit by hooking 120VAC up to the electric heating element after disconnecting it from the control system. It will run wild with no temperature control, but if it cools, you only have a control issue and a circuit board and cleaning the gas train is a lot cheaper than even a cheap AC only frige.
U. S. Navy (RETIRED) 1993
1995 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser 34' Diesel Pusher Cummins B5.9 12 Valve Engine, Allison MD-3060 6 Speed Transmission.
TOAD: 2005 Ford Focus Automatic Station Wagon
Road Master Sterling All-Terrain
Hey, I have an '87 34 foot gulfstream. Same engine and frame.
Have had it for 3 years and we live in it full time. Had to replace
refer off the bat, 1500.00, New tires,1500. New master cylinder 500
installed. Cooling system flush, Tranny flush, Brake system power
flush. Replaced belts on the road, Had GS Road Side Service Tow into
Bakersfield new Hose, 250.00 for hose tow was free. Yesterday saw
a 32foot 5vr for sale for 1500. was considering it, but have decided
to continue our remodel of the interior and other mechanical and
keep her for the time. Were stuck here in Wa till the fall so will
be doing a lot of work b4 then. And then we are headed South, am not
doing another cold winter. lol. Guess what I am saying is it takes
time and money and labor to get it in the shape you want.
take care and Happy Camping. Oh and the guys on this board have helped me more than I can say. thanx BJ
We have a 1982 Triple E with 454 and 3spd auto. Current milage is 230k km or around 150k miles, roughly half of that in the past 7 years that we have owned it.
Had a dometic 2dr frig that ran on elec/12v/propane. About a 2 years after we bought it on a trip I could hear something gurgling and turns out there is a leak in the cooling unit. BIL had a smaller frig sitting in an old truck camper so gave that to us. Worked much better on electric than propane for some reason but we had a lot of problems getting it to maintain a set temp. Don't know how many things we froze (that aren't supposed to be frozen) so last year we replaced it with a straight electric bar frig which for the last trip worked really well. Normally we don't boondock so we almost always have electric. When the Dometic worked it was great and once we left it was on all the time. Cheap to run them on propane...
Ours is on a p-31 frame which I gather is a bit heavier and has 4 wheel disc brakes. Engine when we bought it ran on either propane or gas but when we bought it, it had been propane only for some time. Put a bit of gas in it and tried but gas leaked everywhere. In the end we replaced the carb with a rebuilt, figured it would be nice to have the gas side working as well, and it worked good until 2 years ago. Left on a trip and got to the family farm (around 2.5 hr drive) and next day wouldn't start on either gas or propane. BIL and I tinkered for a couple days and finally got it running on gas. Propane we could get going with lots of ether but would stay running only a few seconds. Anyways we thought about cancelling the trip until we figured out what the problem was so drove back home on gas and it ran quieter and cooler and seemed to be not too bad on gas. Once we got home we decided to go to Calgary and make up our minds after that. Well it has been only gas since then and I replaced the carb again with one that had a choke in it (w propane didn't need the choke). Propane only made sense when the price of it was at least 30% less than gas. Right now propane locally is the same as gas. With propane I had to stop more often to fill and with two tanks for gas I get from home to Calgary (around 500 miles) on a little over one fill. Two years ago we drove from Kelowna BC to Calgary without stopping (outside of a couple traffic lights) and we averaged just under 10mpg so I was pretty happy with it.
Another thing to check on something that old is rubber hoses. We had a top rad hose blow in pretty much the first long trip and getting a dealer to change it was expensive and time consuming. A year later I had a heater hose split on another trip so when I got home I replaced all the rubber heater hoses and changed the lower rad hose.
When we bought the MH we had to replace tires and a couple years ago we replaced the rears and last fall replaced the fronts. Got a pretty good deal from a small shop in the middle of farm country. Changed the brake pads after a really hard trip out to the west coast. but other than that it has been pretty easy to run and maintain. I like things being simple so I can work on it.
Originally ours came with a 4000 watt genset but it was gone before we bought it. I had a small 1200 watt that we used (still have it) that was good for lights and frig etc. Last year it was hot and we were going to be camping in a little park in BC that had no services for 1-2 weeks so we bought a champion 3500 watt that would fit in the compartment and it has worked really good. Starts on first or second pull and will run air and lights. Just turn the air off if we are going to use the kettle or microwave. Running it for a 4hrs or so a day kept batteries charged and frig cool.
One of the best things we did was to get get CAA RV Premium Plus coverage. Have used it from time to time and wouldn't leave home without it, nice thing is that it also covers ours other cars/vans.