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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Newbies Need Advice on Holiday Rambler Imperial

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digitalcrone

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 03/28/12 06:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Going to look at a 1987 Holiday Ramber Imperial 33' being sold very cheap. 40,000 miles. Been sitting with gas in the tank for 4 years. No batteries. She had an attempted arson fire in the middle of the unit which supposedly got put out quickly. I'm sure the ceiling is damaged. Owner said something about putting up foam board and also something about a failed gasket in the roof over the bathroom that caused a leak which they "sealed".

Yikes!

My home remedies....

* Gas tank should be drained and refilled. New filters and carb cleaned out?

* Anyone know how many batteries this unit needs?

* Is a ceiling replacement something a person of moderate skills can accomplish? I also want to pull off a ceiling light and see if the wiring was damaged. Supposedly current owner lived in the unit for a year after all this bad stuff happened. But…???

* No stove - are they easily found?

We plan on moving the RV about 75 miles and parking it in a RV park and start working on it. Any and all help will be appreciated. Unfortunately I have fallen in love with Holiday Ramblers and with limited funds, this may be the only girlfriend I can afford.

* Are parts available to place roof gaskets?

* I'm sure it is going to need 6(?) new tires? $1200.00?

* How does one go about resealing the roof?

Are manuals/specs downloadable on the Internet.

Son of Norway

Denver, Colorado

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Posted: 03/28/12 07:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There a lot of older coaches for sale out there, and many great deals. I would highly recommend an HR, but I think maybe you should pass on that one and keep looking. They come up for sale in this area frequently. Let us know what happens.

Miles


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1989 Holiday Rambler Crown Imperial
Denver, CO


gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 03/28/12 08:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check for water damage from leaks. A small leak can cause a LOT of damage, especially if it's been sitting four years. Check the floor for soft spots. If you find any damage I would walk away and not consider this unit. Then there's the engine and transmission, driveline, brakes, etc.. After that check all the systems, heat A/C, fresh water, holding tanks, refrigerator, lights, steps, etc..
As you can see there are a lot of potential problems with an older unit that has been sitting unused.
On the other hand it may be a great unit with a some work.
Personally, I like the Holiday Rambler units in the 85-92 range.
But, think about it before you buy, it may be better to spend a little more and get something that has been in current use and everything is working.
Welcome to the forum and, let us know what you decide.

Son of Norway

Denver, Colorado

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Posted: 03/28/12 08:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fire and water damage, and roof repairs would be my major concerns.

Miles

digitalcrone

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 03/28/12 08:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Miles. Thanks gbopp.

We're not planning to do a lot of traveling in this. We are going "full-time" and will hookup locally for a few months, while searching for a a couple of acres in the Great Smokies / Blue Ridge to park it permanently.

We'll go look at it-that is free. Before making an offer we would want to have a professional take a look and advise about frame/roof/ceiling/etc. Problem is that it is going to take even MORE $$$ just to see if the engine will fire and if will roll. I would need to come up with some low ball offer in case it turns out to be a 33' door stop and maybe more $$$ if it runs. I guess that would depend on how motivated the seller is. Just thinking out loud. Maybe I will see it and run away screaming?


Until then, we will go to sleep counting HRs instead of sheep.

Thanks.

Bill & Mia

digitalcrone

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 03/28/12 07:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for your great advice.

Around here there seems to be a lot of people pushing junk for about 5-6K.

If you get to 8-12K you seem to get some better maintained HRs.

This one would be about 2K. I thought we might be able to absorb some repair at that price and come outOK.

What concerns you the most?

Executive

California/Arizona/South Dakota

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Posted: 03/28/12 09:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Depending on the size of the tires, you may want to reconsider. 6 new 22.5s will run you about $3000-3500...otherwise...look at it then make a list of what's wrong, what you can fix and what you're going to have to sub out. Add it all up and see if you can live with the bottom line.....good luck...Dennis


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Dale.Traveling

Newport News, VA

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Posted: 03/28/12 09:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

* Gas tank should be drained and refilled. New filters and carb cleaned out? That would be a starting point. No telling how much the carb is plugged with varnish. Ignition system might also be DOA and the brakes calibers frozen, suspensions, transmission,,,.

* Anyone know how many batteries this unit needs? Should only need one for the engine. Probably two maybe three for the house systems.

* Is a ceiling replacement something a person of moderate skills can accomplish? I also want to pull off a ceiling light and see if the wiring was damaged. Supposedly current owner lived in the unit for a year after all this bad stuff happened. But…??? Replacement ceiling tiles are available. Not sure myself how to install.

* No stove - are they easily found? Not too hard. Call around local junk yards to see if they have a coach. The dimensions for the stove haven't changed in years.

* Are parts available to place roof gaskets? Read up on EternaBond tape. It's going to be your new friend.

* I'm sure it is going to need 6(?) new tires? $1200.00? Yes six but maybe eight if the coach has a tag axle. I'm going to guess 16". Not sure off the top of my head size or price. Should be a sticker somewhere in the coach that will tell you what you need.

* How does one go about resealing the roof? Dicor (another good friend) and EternaBond. Not hard but easy to do wrong.

*Are manuals/specs downloadable on the Internet. More than likely someone may send you a copy from the forum.

My advise, walk away. Just too many potential problems and unknowns. And based on your questions this is all new to you. Keep searching and at least find one that is in safe running condition. I would expect this one just in repairs to get it mobile and livable is going to run you several thousand and take all summer to accomplish.


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dale007

va

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Posted: 03/28/12 08:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

look at rv dealers for older trades i got mine 1985 sportscoach for 3500 only 38000 miles have spent veary little new tires tuneup ect they are out thear dale007

digitalcrone

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 03/28/12 08:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

007 - Thanks for the encouragement, good advice - sounds like you got a sweet deal, and we'll certainly keep looking before making any major decisions. We appreciate everyone's input. We may not be spring chickens but we are newbies in this field so we are only too happy to listen to the advice of those with more experience.

Bill, Mia, & Snoopy (the 5lb. Chihuahua )

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