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RE: Which old motorhome to buy

There was a time when I thought an old bus would be just the thing for traveling. Then I realized that a tire for a bus might cost $500 if you can find one. Then I realized not every auto parts store has parts for a 1958 Bluebird. Old motor homes lose value quickly. I would find a late model unit like 2000 or newer if possible. Good point. Anyone familiar with the RVMiles Podcast? The family that started that became full time RVers in a converted schoolie, and not a terribly old one. They got rid of the schoolie, that they built themselves, BTW, and have moved into a trailer and used medium-duty pickup, and now onto a fifth wheel and heavy duty pickup. The point here is that the schoolie was becoming a maintenance nightmare for them. There is a big difference, too, between most old buses that are built into a Class A and the chassis for a vehicle that started its life as a Class A. They sold off the schoolie to RVers that were not going to put on as many miles as these folks were doing. The bus, while fairly late model, had a lot of miles on it when they got it, and it just gets worse from there. I've always found it odd that the vanlife and schoolie folks seem to ignore that they are taking a used chassis, one which may have been maintained well, but still has the underlying miles on it, and they are then adding a lot of weight, much more weight than they are probably removing as they gut the rig, and then using the rig as a "daily driver" and planning on crossing long distances on a regular basis. This is not a recipe for success.
jeromep 12/17/21 12:12pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Air-conditioner availability

One final note: As my RV tech says Colemans Suck, others blow What this means is that the Coleman sucks air in through the condenser and blows it out the sides.. Others do it the other way around blowing air through the condenser. Why is this important. Cleaning coleman.. Remove 4 bolts, lift lid, peal crud off condenser, Replace lid (Cowel) and 4 screws.. Finished. Others Remove outer cover (Cowel) often 10-12 screws Remove INNER cover (Not always easy) If you have large hands remove fan Now you can clean the condenser. I knew there was a reason I liked the Colman units better than the others. This is a very logical way to make a packaged A/C, whether it RV rooftop or any other configuration.
jeromep 12/17/21 08:25am Class A Motorhomes
RE: zero G water hose

I have a Zero G as a utility house for use around the house and not for drinking water and think it is great. I was surprised at the customer comments that were on the item listed at the Camping World web site, it was like they were talking about some other product. The only thing I would recommend, but this applies to any RVer, is to make sure you have a quality water pressure regulator at the top end of your fresh water setup and keep your water pressure in the 30-40psi range.
jeromep 11/02/21 03:01pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Gasser guys and gals ...why not a diesel ?

So going down the engine upgrade, I seem to remember back in the late 1970's or early 1980's some company in Detroit took a Dodge 440 and punched is 60 over, stroked it 1/2 inch, and came up with 511 CI. On the dyno they measured, if memory serves, about 475 HP, and 550 ft-lbs of torque (with AL intake, 800 or 850 Holly, good cam). So I think your numbers are reasonable. Too bad the gas engine manufacturers can't come up with an engine like that for our motor homes... Al They have. The new 7.3 V8 from Ford is being sold as a crate engine from Ford Performance as a 600 horse naturally aspirated engine for performance and racing folks. It goes out the door in F53 and F59 chassis as a 350 horse 468 lb-ft torque engine. They pair it with the 6 speed automatic. Then look at the same engine in the F-250 or F-350. It goes out the door with 430 horse and 475 lb-ft of torque. They down rate the engine for stripped chassis, oddly. The F-series is also mated to the 10 speed automatic, not the 6 speed. That said, like the V10 before it, a number of third party modders are already developing computer adjustment tools which an end user can plug in to the OBD port to change engine and transmission performance. The right company with the right mod instructions can do tremendous things to an engine and transmission pair. I suspect there are already Class A owners with the new 7.3 which have gone to 5 Star or another company and are getting significantly improved horsepower and torque with nothing more than plugging in a device to the OBD port. I haven't looked, but I wouldn't be surprised if Banks hasn't already developed performance gear for the 7.3.
jeromep 10/29/21 01:57pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: WINDSHIELDS ... for older Class As ? ......

RV Glass Solutions is a sister company of Coach Glass, arguably the largest supplier of OEM specialty vehicle glass in the US. Just had my windshield replaced by them. 2001 Fleetwood Flair. They were very easy to deal with and they even found a mobile installer that came to my home. The windshields on my RV are original and they are marked with the Coach Glass brand, and it's a 1995. My windshield glass was shared on a couple of other mid-late 90s motor homes, too, with a similar cut, corners, and edge rounding. I've quickly learned things about owning an older RV: 1. Your RV service shop knows nothing about the chassis, save for maybe some stuff about your hydraulic leveling system or the hydraulics that operate some RV's slides, but that really isn't chassis. Just because they don't service the chassis doesn't mean they don't know where you should go in the area for competent chassis service. If they are a good RV shop they will tell you where their expertise ends and where somebody else's begins and tell you who the somebody else you should go to is. 2. Manufacturers don't have replacement parts after an RV gets to be more than about 3 or 4 years old. That isn't a hard and fast number, and your mileage may vary, but house parts are all "off the shelf" for most manufacturers, so the part maker is who you have to go to to get replacements, not the RV manufacturer. Don't bother calling them unless it is warranty service. Even if it is warranty service, you are still going to have to go through an RV dealer or service center to get the work done. 3. Independent RV service shops (you know, the family owned kind) often scavenge parts from their various jobs and the work they do every day. If they are like most I've interacted with, they have spare parts from old appliance replacements, door handles, cabinet hardware and just about any other house knick-nack you can think of from years of servicing stuff and keeping around whatever was good from the job, "just in case". I got a whole Winegard batwing antenna from a local dealer that they had scavenged from an antenna upgrade job on another rig. I just needed the antenna head as the previous owner lost one half of the antenna element and the Winegard antennas are all componentized for easier service. Your big name service centers are not doing this. Once your RV is past about 5 years old, contacting the manufacturer is probably going to get you poor results if you are looking for parts, however you'll get better results dealing with a local RV service shop and their network to find aftermarket parts.
jeromep 10/26/21 10:13pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Gasser guys and gals ...why not a diesel ?

The torque converter clutch failed and filed the transmission full of shrapnel. The oil was cooked and the front seal failed on the way home, covering the toad with ATF. Think out the whole concept of what your purpose. First the ECU would not be happy not finding the E4OD that is was programed to control. That would create a whole new problem as it also controls the engine. My EEC-IV (catch code MOO0) was only used in a 1995 F53. Then an Allison and an adapter would cost many times more that my old coach is worth. Then finding a computer that would interface with the 460 and an Allison would be impossible. You must be really out of touch if you think THREE LARGE for a special tranny such as I ordered is over the top. Richard Let's see here, a 460 stroked to 528 is probably putting out 400 horse and 450-500 lb-ft of torque, or are my numbers way too high? Maybe 350-375 horse and 425 lb-ft of torque? It is impressive that you have such a fun engine in a motorhome, but I bet it is a kick to drive. I'm not surprised that the E4OD gave up the ghost if your torque numbers are as high as I think they may be. It is a stout transmission, but with those possible numbers, it's time was going to be cut short for sure. 3k to have a performance build of an E4OD sounds like a good deal. There is a YouTube channel for Precision Transmission out of Amarillo, TX and they do lots of tear down videos. Just this week they have posted two for Ford 4R100s, which are the successor of the E4OD and have significant similarities. The C6, A4OD, E4OD, and 4R100 are are all related to each other and are great heavy duty transmissions. A previous poster remarked that the transmission was automotive. Not really. It was always a heavy duty unit for heavier applications, and they have been built by Ford in so many ways to accommodate medium and heavy duty applications, like large passenger cars, all the way to use in the F-series, E-series, and F53 and F59. Ford hasn't used this transmission in a passenger car since maybe the very late 70s or early 80s. After that it was always in a heavy duty application.
jeromep 10/26/21 09:40pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Handling “hard dried stuff” in the black tank ?

I'm a huge fan of Unique Camping and Marine's product line. Magic elixir? Maybe, but their tank cleaner product is part of my yearly tank management regimen and their RV Digest-It drop ins are part of my ongoing tank treatment. Every time I dump, when finished I go back in the rig, let about 2 or so gallons of water flow into the black tank and throw in a drop-in. No odors, no backups, very easy and complete dumping. Their entire product line is backed up by a regimen of tank best practices, like never operating your black tank with the valve open when at a full hookup campsite, using plenty of water when flushing the toilet, etc. I suspect their tank cleaner product will do wonders on dried feces and tank gunk. Just follow the instructions and you are sure to get good results. In fact if you may want to use their tank sensor cleaner. It is my understanding that it is their super concentrated tank cleaner product and that may be more useful or work faster for dried up tank sludge, than the regular tank cleaner. Take a few minutes, read the content on their site and maybe take a chance on them. Plus, their tank cleaner and sensor cleaner can be allowed to sit for an indefinite period of time to allow the bacteria and enzymes to digest whatever is in the tank and liquefy it. Considering the time of year, I'm not sure where you are located, but up north it is getting cold at night and I've already winterized, but if your weather is still above freezing, throwing in a bottle of tank cleaner or sensor cleaner and a reasonable amount of water in your black tank and letting time work on it should do the trick.
jeromep 10/26/21 08:56pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Which old motorhome to buy

We ended up buying this 2001 31' National RV Sea View after a several month search. National built a lot of very nice RVs. We used to have a National dealer locally until around the time of the financial bust of 2007-08. I think they went bankrupt in 2007. Too bad as their older stuff has really stood the test of time. That looks like a really nice rig.
jeromep 10/07/21 03:48pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Which old motorhome to buy

There are a lot of good, used, class A rigs at varying price points, and the older units which are still fully driveable and haven't had the snot beat out of them will give you a much better RVing experience than taking a schoolie shell and building it from scratch. Any older class A that you look at, especially if it is 15, 20, even 25 years old is going to need some work. There will be delayed maintenance unless you find the perfect seller that kept all of it up, but just couldn't use it anymore. Those are pretty rare and go fast. But if you find one that is in decent condition there will be delayed maintenance in some areas that you have to work through. I picked up a much older class A last year. The house was in great condition, but there was a lot of delayed chassis maintenance that cost me a bit, along with the rig needing a new roof. But after spending the money on the chassis and the new roof, I still spent a whole lot less than buying a new rig or buying a used late model rig, and I was able to get out there and camp very quickly after dealing with the chassis repairs.
jeromep 10/07/21 02:38pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Does such a Class A exist?

I'll also follow the bullet point reply to the topic. Toilet: Yes, easy to swap on whatever you get... unless the toilet is a very short one that sits on a box. Some Class A makers did that extensively in the 90s and some even into the 2000s. That means you have to find a toilet with similar vertical dimensions, or you have to remove the old toilet, the framework it is sitting on, determine how to cover the floor in the bathroom where the box void is and hope that the down pipe from the toilet to the black tank is in the proper place to put in a new toilet. Keep in mind that many of these manufacturers put the toilet on a a box so they could put in an angled down pipe to the black tank because the toilet was not located directly over the black tank. A/C: Lots of older Class As have two A/Cs. Ducted systems with wall thermostats are most prevalent on anything from about 2000 forward. With two roof airs you have two cooling zones in which the front A/C handles the front of the coach and the rear unit handles the rear. If the coach you are looking at has 2 roof airs, one for sure is handling the rear of the coach. Slides: Finding a post 2000 Class A with no slides is going to be very challenging. Most manufacturers started to dabble in slides on Class As in the late 90s and the popularity and quantity of slides has increased since then. If you really don't want slides you are either looking for a unicorn or you will have to make your age range for your used coach go back a whole lot farther than 2000. As others have said, a used unit in which the slides work now, can always have some extra inspection and maintenance done which can ensure that slides continue to work well into the future. Twin beds: That is a pretty rare option to find in older coaches, I haven't seen twin beds in anything more modern in years. If that is make or break you will have to buy new and find a maker that will do a one-off custom order to fulfill that.
jeromep 10/05/21 03:50pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Where to get steering alignment done for a class A?

You say you are east of Seattle? Come to Yakima. The White Front Shop in Yakima, WA is locally recommended as the best place in our area to deal with large vehicle alignment and suspension issues. They seem to do all the alignment work for just about everyone's heavy trucks, motor homes, school buses, etc.
jeromep 09/30/21 12:04pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: New again, remind me

Keep in mind that both Tiffin and Newmar have been sold and it is yet to be seen if the new ownership will maintain the previous good customer service. Tiffin was purchased by Thor. I understand that Bob Tiffin will remain involved for a while through the transition and then for a while afterward. I suspect that Tiffins will remain a quality option. My observation of Thor Industries is that they are the umbrella that watches over numerous brands. Thor's goal is to have an RV in every class and every price point to cover as many potential new RV buyers as possible. This means that some Thor brands are going to put out lower cost and lower quality rigs, and there will be brands that are higher cost, and hopefully higher quality. Airstream is a Thor brand and I don't hear too many Airstream owners complaining about their rigs quality. Plus, Airstream seems to still be Airstream even under the Thor umbrella. Thor's purchase of Tiffin was to have an Airstream-like manufacturer of motorized RVs in their brand line which they don't have right now. Some RV industry analysts indicate that Thor is unlikely to do much to Tiffin, at least in the near term. They purchased Tiffin because it was a quality motorhome manufacturer, not to tear it apart.
jeromep 06/16/21 01:54pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Engine idle surges up and down when stopping at lights

Thank you for the information and great advise. I will call around and ask if anyone has this test equipment. I hope I didn't send you on a wild goose chase. I might also add, you want to deal with a shop which does a fair amount of vehicle mechanical work on RVs and has the heavy lift capability to put 10 tons of weight into the air. If the shops you are dealing with don't have this, I'd be locating a different one. In reality, when you take an RV to a mechanic, they need to have the skills and background to deal with large, heavy vehicles. Think of it like this, your Class A and C are less like a regular vehicle and more like a UPS truck; they need to be worked on by a shop that knows that kind of stuff.
jeromep 04/26/21 12:55pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: New again, remind me

Avoid any post-2007 diesel. This is part of what I was looking for. But why? What are we avoiding here? That photo of your old Diplomat looks really good. Photos can be deceiving, but looks like you took good care of it. I'm just guessing, but it could be related to the need to fill the rig up with DEF, in addition to fuel? Also could deal with emissions equipment that those diesels require, maybe in addition to the DEF? My problem is I'm not sure when the DEF stuff became normal on diesels.
jeromep 04/24/21 10:09pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Engine idle surges up and down when stopping at lights

I have a 97 ford 460 that has an idle surge and sometimes stalls when stoppingat traffic signals or signs. The mechanics has replaced the throttle positioning sensor and the idle air control and cleaned the fuel system. The idle rpm's still surges.there are no codes. Any help is appreciated I think you need to find a different mechanic. They are just throwing replacement parts at the problem, they don't really know what is happening. If they knew what was happening they would have already fixed it. I really don't like it when mechanics throw parts at a problem and you pay for their experiment. I don't know what the issue is either, but my advice costs you nothing and if I were in your position I'd be more than just a little annoyed at paying for something to not be fixed. But I do know this, 97 was the last year of the 460 on a vehicle chassis. For MY 1998, the V-10 was introduced and a totally new era of computer control was introduced. The 460 was never built in an OBD or OBDII equipped vehicle, therefore getting codes out of it for diagnostics requires much older hardware. They are technically Ford EECIV (Electronic Engine Control 4), vehicles. Ford used EECIV in just about everything from like 1982 all the way till the OBD era. EECIV had numerous changes and variations over all those years and the computer unit was basically entirely different from vehicle to vehicle. My guess is that only a Ford dealer, or a very well equipped independent shop, will have the proper equipment, probably sitting in a corner or on a shelf, to get the codes and information that might lead to a direct fix. If you can find a dealer or mechanic with a Ford SBDS (Service Bay Diagnostic System) with the 168-pin connector, which is probably what your 460 has to connect to the onboard systems, they might be able to find out what is occurring, assuming that the on board sensors are able to identify an issue. My point is that if you have a mechanic that is throwing parts at the problem, they don't have the right equipment to complete a diagnostic.
jeromep 04/24/21 10:04pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: lock/latch for rear compartment door - need source

Have you checked with your local, independent RV dealer or service center? A lot of the smaller, family owned, shops have drawers, racks, and cabinets full of parts for older RVs and applications. A lot of these places scavenge old rigs for parts, strip good parts off from broken objects and store them for later use.
jeromep 04/24/21 09:43pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Child safety seats

I am a parent of a 5yo who is beginning to enjoy RVing. We do not try to put any kind of child seat or booster in the RV. The seat belts in the living area are just not correct for use with any child restraint. The barrel chair behind the front passenger has a retracting lap belt, but it is in a strange position and won't work with anything but a no-back booster, there is no real point there. The seat belts in the couch and the dinette are the non-retracting long strap type which have to be pulled tight and again won't work with anything, except maybe a no-back booster. The point of a booster is to bring the child up to a height in which the shoulder belt will go across their body at a proper point. Since none of these seating positions have a shoulder strap, the booster is unnecessary. As pigman1 said, the point of the seat belts in the house are concerned is to keep the occupants from being projectiles in a collision or an unexpected maneuver. None of the seats or seating positions are structurally sufficient enough to provide occupant protection as you would have in a vehicle car seat. This doesn't mean it is unsafe, just that seat belts and restraints are not as useful or beneficial and the type of benefit they provide is different.
jeromep 03/10/21 06:34pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: First Time RV Buyer

Buying an older class A (or C) is not for the weak of heart or budget. The "quality" of one brand or another has to be determined inside the era they were built in, and the original market they were targeted to has to be considered, also. Aside from brands and manufacturers building to a price and a market, which a bit of poking around and asking the right questions can answer; when you buy an older RV you need to be looking at overall vehicle condition, mileage, vehicle service records, vehicle completeness, and past owner "upgrades" and modifications. Also consider this, by the time you buy a 20+ year old RV, any of the build quality issues a rig may have had, have probably been addressed by previous owners. Buyers of brand new RVs not only take the depreciation hit, especially if they trade off the rig after a few short years, but they are also the ones that go through all of the shake down activities which most new RVs inevitably go through during their first few years of use. I think it highly unlikely that you'll find a bone stock used RV of any class that is over 5 years old. Because an RV is a rolling home, people do things to them like they are a home. The used unit I purchased last year certainly did have some prior owner customization, some of these changes were good, some not very well thought out. I also discovered a lot of deferred chassis maintenance which also falls into the category "what does the previous owner care about" As you get used to your new-used RV you learn what the previous owner cared about, because that will be the stuff you see having been addressed by them as the vehicle got older, and you'll encounter the stuff that needs to be fixed or maintained, and this was something they either didn't care about or weren't paying much attention to. In my case the previous owner had done a good job of maintaining the house. Cabinetry and upholstery was in excellent condition. Plumbing was good, along with having a new kitchen faucet, new water pump, and all the bits and pieces of the house were in good working order. On the other hand, while the chassis looked good and mileage was pretty low for the rig's age, there was a lot of delayed chassis maintenance, including a desperate need for new brakes, plus a bunch of stuff under the hood that started to fail as we started to put some serious road miles on the rig. Think radiator leaks, old hoses and tubing that were checked and starting to ooze and leak, and don't get me started on marker lights which were just totally worn out. Try to get the backstory about the rig from the seller. If nothing else, when your new-to-you rig has maintenance needs, at least you might be able to correlate it to the story of the life the rig had before you purchased it. In my case, the previous owner was the second owner, he purchased the vehicle when it was about 6 years old and had about 30k on it. The first owner was a real road warrior and put a lot of miles on it in a short period of time. The second owner was a weekend warrior and the miles it accumulated in his possession, close to 20 years, were to and from home and nearby camping and outdoors stuff. It never really went on long trips with the second owner. This partly explains the deferred maintenance as the second owner wasn't driving far enough with it to really be bothered by stuff that might have been degrading on him, like brakes and hoses. He just kept the liquids topped off and went out on the weekends and had fun. Anyway, this is a long ramble, but I think it kind of addresses your question, by saying, the prior reputation of a manufacturer may not be all that important when buying a used rig if your inspection of the used rig, or the inspection of an "expert" you bring in, shows that the rig is decent enough and worth what the seller is asking. Oh, and be prepared to do some maintenance no matter how great the RV may be.
jeromep 03/10/21 06:23pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Propane Delivery to RV

Sorry for bumping the thread, but I want to say that I had a great experience with Amerigas. The situation wasn't similar to one the OP's friends were, but when I needed propane for my RV, I addressed the AmeriGas customer service. They provided excellent service and delivered the propane fast. In terms of sales and service AmeriGas, where I live, is really one of the best. They have some of the nicest staff and are incredibly responsive to individual needs. They cost a bit more to use, but they also seem the most accommodating. I can purchase propane from other sellers for less, but I usually have to work with their schedule or go to them to get that better price. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
jeromep 03/10/21 04:43pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Need an Education

Wow the big rigs certainly have more to know than 5th wheels or travel trailers. Thanks for the info. I keep looking at all them and are amazed how many there are. Other than the gorgeous paint jobs, the one word that always comes to mind in capital letters is BIG. To me they are just big. Which when in it would be wonderful but I am a panic pulling a small trailer, I think I'd be a mess on the road with one of those. I'm jealous of you all who can drive them so easily. Depending on if you are driving a DP or a gasser (rear axle placement has an effect on handling), you get used to things like tail swing, turning radius, and having a "sense" of where your rear end is when backing up or in tight quarters. Cameras help a lot, and new rigs have lots of them. Older ones are lucky to have a rear camera. The folks driving the big ones do a lot of route planning. When you are that big you don't drive anywhere without a plan. And you gain a certain amount of realistic expectation in terms of the amount of ground you can cover in a day and where you can actually camp vs. where you would ideally like to camp.
jeromep 02/01/21 01:19pm Class A Motorhomes
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