The ceiling would worry me. It is not easy to replace, I had a leak in mine and was looking to replace the ceiling, it involves removing the cabinets and some of the support structure, then there is the problem of matching the rest of the coach. My first was a 1975 Fireball, it had sat for 5 years before I got it, one of the first things we did was call a tire company and have them change the tire on the spot before we tried to move it, on the outside they looked OK, but inside they were rags. The second thing we replaced was the fuel tank, there were holes in the bottom from rust, we had to have it made as there was no replacements available, the carb had to be removed and rebuilt, fuel line cleaned out, all filters replaced, the transmission had sat dry to long and after a while we had to have it rebuilt, replaced the fridge, replaced some water lines that had froze, long story short, by the time we finished we could have bought a newer coach and been money ahead. Sounds like the coach you are looking at is in that category, unless you are into wood-working, electrical repairs, plumbing, I would walk away, no run away.........
Rodger & Teri
1985 Sportcoach / crosscountry
1983 Camaro / 1971 Chevy 4x4
chessie's named sonny & choc and a red setter named star
I had a motorhome that had a full tank of gas that sat in the tank for 5 years. The motorhome started up and ran fine. The engine in the motorhome had not been started for about a year to a year and a half. The biggest problem was that the brakes needed to be rebuilt after sitting for so long.
Nathan and Linda
2000 Winnebago Chieftain 35U Ford Triton V10 F53 Banks Power Pack
Well.... We looked at HR today. Kinda sad. All 8 tires low or flat. No
batteries. Most everything plastic in the kitchen/DR inside got melted at the time of the arson. All they could do without replacing all of the cabinets was stain them dark. And dark they were. TV stripped. Passenger seat removed. Awning gone.
We sat down over a little Chicken Parmesan and a bottle of wine and asked ourselves, if we got it for FREE would it be worth it". Even after 1/2 a bottle of wine, I couldn't say yes.
forgetaboutit even if it is free. There are all kinds of next to nothing - low cost motor homes. See if you can find one that will not drive you into the poor house. Better to spend more on something someone has taken care of. Much much much cheaper than "restoring" a money pit.
You need to get on Craigslist and/or start driving around the farm roads. My husband and I just bought a '89 HR Imperial for $2,700 and EVERYTHING WORKS! She runs a little hot, but that's it. We found her on a farm road in a small town.
We've already tried a lower thermostat. DH says a lot of people have issues with them running hot (based on his online research). We're looking at replacing the radiator.
To hijack the thread here:
It's true that many of the 454s in P30s run hot. Mine does and I've put a lot of research into it. Some say the Chevy 454s run hot in whatever they are in. Some say the MHs have poor cooling after the body and front cap is installed. Some say that MHs have poorly designed cold air intakes and exhaust systems. Others say that the radiators are prone to clogging since MHs sit for long periods of time. There is probably some truth to all of these arguments. Compounding the issue is that the cooling fan clutches were prone to going bad.
Some people have gotten their MHs to run cooler by installing air dams that force all air coming through the grille through the radiator and around the engine. I would have your radiator flow-tested before you put the money into replacing it.
For my rig, it has always run hot but never boiled over. I put a new fan clutch on, it made a difference though it still runs hot. I put a high-flow exhaust on, it made a difference though it still runs hot. If I keep it I will put an air dam on it, and a better cold air intake. But by and large I assume it will run hot and I don't worry about it. I have found that lugging the engine will make it run very hot very quickly, so I'm not bashful about giving it more gas on the hills.
1993 Coachmen Catalina 31'
Chevy P30, 454 TBI, Hedman Hedders w/ x-pipe and Jones Full Boar mufflers. Same mileage as stock exhaust, but we get there faster!
Looking for a better rig...
I had that problem with my Sport coach, so, I removed the a/c unit, condenser and all, now it never overheats no matter how hot outside or steep the hill. We found that the coach a/c didn't really cool the interior so we now run the gen and use the house a/c while driving down the road, a lot better, no drag on the motor, and cools the dogs better. I also picked up a fresh air intake from a newer truck, cut the snout off the air cleaner so the intake tube just fits, routed it out the front just behind the grill, we now get 10 to 12 mpg in the mountains.
I own a loaded HR 34 that I bought last year for 6k with 50k miles. All I had to do is change the fuel filters.
Being a newby, I would walk away from the deal you described. I certainly would not pay more than 2k and then expect to put several $k into it to bring it up to speed. Not a good deal to me, and I have been messing with these units for several decades.
"KEEP THE GREASY SIDE DOWN" On and Off Again Full Timer, Workamper, 43+ years of camping experience, 21+ years towing 5'ers.
New Toy, 1988 Holiday Rambler Imperial, Class A, 34CS,P30 454V8 Chevy Chasis, Onan 6.5, Nisson Xterra Toad.