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RedGT
RedGT HalfDork
3/21/17 11:17 a.m.

I see you're bringing the pets too but...dang. That is a big bus.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
3/21/17 11:42 a.m.

In reply to RedGT:

Beyond a certain point they get cheaper as they get bigger- nobody wants to fuel or store something this size.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
3/21/17 6:47 p.m.
java230 wrote: How did I miss this?! So much win! You know you want to keep it for race car hauling!

Retrieving a broken rally car on stage with that thing towing a trailer would certainly be interesting, lol.....

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 UltraDork
3/21/17 7:35 p.m.

I missed this the first time too!

Owning an RV scares me more than owning a cheap Porsche.

java230
java230 SuperDork
3/21/17 8:19 p.m.

In reply to irish44j:

Sounds like a fund adventure

jr02518
jr02518 Reader
3/21/17 8:21 p.m.

I have a 31 foot 1987 Pace Arrow, 454 with a Rochester. The quantity of gas used by this thing acts like a cooling agent for the carb. No? But I treat it like an old truck. Anything over 60mph is a epic waist of fuel. But it will crawl over every hill I have pointed it at with water, fuel and towing an Alumina trailer loaded with my Miata. I am the third owner and have put just over 9000 miles on it over 10 years. I use it as a way of getting my wife to come out to the autocross events in Fontana and El Toro. Without this rig there is no way she would ever endure the sun or heat. It has made the run to Flagstaff twice and got the same milage going up the hill from Kingman on Highway 40 as it did going down. The head wind going home saved the breaks.

The old AC units are R12. They are loud and not very efficient. Camper World is your new best friend. Enough said.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
3/27/17 6:42 a.m.

Last week, with impending rain and above-freezing temperatures, the RV needed to get back onto pavement- it had already sunk at least 6" into the ground where it was parked and would only get worse. So we tried to pull it out, broke a tow strap, got Chief stuck, and generally dug it in further.

The next day, Sara called up one of our neighbors (who runs a tow business) and got a wrecker over there. I wasn't present and don't have the full story, but I know the wrecker had to be chained to a tree, a winch was overworked, and after the RV escaped the lawn, the wrecker was then stuck and Sara had to drive it out, which she enjoyed immensely and now wants to purchase one.

Lawn damage:

Back on the pavement:

Then on Saturday, with nice high temperatures, we pulled the giant tarp off the top, and put 3 tubes of caulk onto the roof, basically trying to fill every seam/crack/joint in the hopes of preventing leaks:

Then we took further advantage of the warm weather by removing the big decal the PO had applied to the side of the rig, and changing the oil on both the main engine and the generator:

In addition, since we bought the thing the generator has only been able to start using jumper cables- I poked around a bit with the multimeter and found that the battery to start it (30 ft away at the front of the RV) had a crappy ground, so I added a new one and the now generator fires up without issue. Then, while running it in the driveway, the voltage started dropping- a quick voltage check of the alternator indicated that it had taken a dump and was only outputting 10v

So I went and grabbed a remanufactured one from Advance, and swapped that along with the TPS and MAP sensors I had ordered- the alternator swap wasn't super difficult, but would have been a lot easier if the bolts didn't all face toward the front of the engine:

Jump started the main battery from one of the house batteries and it fired up and charged the way it should- so I drove it! It drives pretty well, but it does take a great deal of mental adjustment to pilot this thing: it takes up the full width of the lane on our tight local roads, the ass end swings super wide, and it does NOTHING with any sense of urgency so you have to plan as far ahead as possible- you are not going to accelerate OR decelerate OR turn very quickly. 0-60 mph is a 45 second or so affair, and it seems most happy around 55 mph- it will go faster but the amount of effort required to get from 55 to 60 is just silly and probably represents a pretty serious difference in fuel economy.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
3/27/17 7:08 a.m.

My old 1990 E150 conversion van was the same way - it didn't like to do ANYTHING quickly. Designed during the national 55 mph speed limit era and was happiest at that speed. While it would easily go faster, when you're pushing a brick of that size down the highway, the gas mileage would drop exponentially. A big old Fleetwood would be even worse. I'd try to plan hwy stints for non-rush hour times. I wouldn't want to think about what life would be like puttering across the PATP at 55 when everyone else is doing 75 to 80 trying to get to work.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
3/27/17 7:24 a.m.

The big highway runs are going to be on weekends, so hopefully we'll be OK for traffic. I'm not super worried about rush hour in middle-of-nowhere Arizona, it's just getting out there and back home that should have potential for major traffic.

wae
wae Dork
3/27/17 7:25 a.m.

They do drive funny. Try putting 20ft worth of trailer behind it and then back it down a narrow drive. It's Marty McFly and you're Marvin Barry's band: It does its thing and you've gotta just try to keep up.

After putting a couple miles on it, though, you'll find that it starts to become second nature. At least the going forward down the highway part will. The most unnerving part is getting passed by a truck. It pushes you out then pulls you in and then pushes you back out again .

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
3/27/17 7:39 a.m.

In reply to wae:

It's probably not any worse than riding a tall, underpowered dual sport motorcycle on the highway and having a big rig induce a speed wobble by passing you- I'm pretty familiar with that sensation.

wae
wae Dork
3/27/17 7:55 a.m.

Yep, it's pretty similar to that!

Biggest difference is that you've got less lane to play with

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
3/27/17 9:02 a.m.

Another outstanding thread I missed originally.

The biggest thing this thread has done is a total Oh Sh!t moment. We only have a little pop up camper, but with back surgery leaving me mentaly and physically out of it at the end of last season I realized I completly forgot to drain the water tank. Balls. I'll have to head over the the in laws and check it out next weekend.

I totally see a used RV in the future. They are stupid cheap. I know it's no where near as cheap as what you bought, but a couple of years ago a good friend bought a 2000 Rambler I think. It's around 30 or 33' with a Ford V10 in the front. It's one of those that looks like a class A with a flat front, but is built off a Ford chassis more like a Class C. I know it drinks gas, but it's hella nice inside and it was stupid cheap even from a dealer with six new tires and a new generator thrown in. I think it was only like $20K and looks brand new.

Where are you going on your mega trip? We rented a 33' Class C around 2002 and drove it to the Key's I tell you driving a 33' motorhome around key West was interesting to say the least.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
3/27/17 9:07 a.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson:

The plan is to get out west as quickly as is reasonably possible, wander aimlessly in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah for a couple of weeks, and return home. The reality may very well be that we break down constantly and spend nearly the entire trip just trying to inch further and further west until we finally make New Mexico and set fire to the thing in the desert somewhere before renting a van to get home

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
3/27/17 9:13 a.m.

In reply to ¯_(ツ)_/¯:

I can totally see this

Wall-e
Wall-e MegaDork
3/27/17 12:30 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote: The next day, Sara called up one of our neighbors (who runs a tow business) and got a wrecker over there. I wasn't present and don't have the full story, but I know the wrecker had to be chained to a tree, a winch was overworked, and after the RV escaped the lawn, the wrecker was then stuck and Sara had to drive it out, which she enjoyed immensely and now wants to purchase one.

I'm not surprised. My daily drivers when the wife and I were dating were tow trucks. She still talks about what good times they were.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
3/30/17 5:29 a.m.

Memory foam mattress arrived from Amazon- it feels comfy but needs 9" taken off of the width to fit perfectly. Bread knife to the rescue!

After trimming it fits perfectly with the dog beds in the corners of the bed area:

I have two new tires that need to be mounted, as well as some lights, then it's time to start messing with the propane system.

java230
java230 SuperDork
3/30/17 9:37 a.m.

Very nice! I like my amazon memory foam mattress

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
4/3/17 11:04 a.m.

This weekend was lighting and propane time- first I added one of those tailgate LED strips to the motorcycle carrier, which I need to get a picture of at night since the strip is clear and doesn't look like much when it's not lit up. It has a 4-pin connector so that it can plug in where the trailer lights normally would.

Then, since the high beams on this thing throw about as much light as a drunk guy with a lantern, we added this to the front:

300 watts, $60 on Amazon. I think I'll be keeping it when the RV is gone! The bungies are needed to keep it from wobbling since it's attached to the flimsy piece of crap that passes for a bumper on this thing. Dog assisted with wiring:

Sara replaced all of the interior 12v lights with LEDs so that we can hopefully use them without draining much of the house batteries. No pictures but I can provide an Amazon link if anyone wants to know where you get 20x 12v LED bulbs for cheap.

I crawled around under the thing with a grease gun and pumped some fresh grease into all of the balljoints, u-joints, and other various joints- it's absolutely covered in zerk fittings under there! Many of them look like someone overdid it when greasing them in the past, with a bit squeezing out past the boot, but I didn't see any split boots so I'm calling it all good for now. We will be bringing a spare u-joint just in case, anything else will hopefully give us a few telltale clunks if it starts to go.

Then, since we were finally finished playing with things that might spark, it was propane test time- and once the air cleared the lines, the fridge started cooling, the furnace started heating, and stovetop worked (although the auto ignition is broken). The oven doesn't seem to want to light off, I'm thinking it would need a match just like the burners on the stove, but overall I'm calling it a big win for propane and propane accessories!

We also lined one of the drawers in the kitchen with plastic so that it can have a cat box in it without getting cat butt smell permanently baked in, the plan is to have it open unless we need to take the dogs past it, which should really only happen a couple of times per day given that the only reason they need to go further aft than this is to get to the bedroom. Dog butt in shot because she decided that she needed to be near the drawer for some reason:

After heating things up I fired up the generator to test the 120v accessories- while the rooftop AC didn't have a super difficult job since it was warm in the RV and cold outside, it definitely blew colder when the switch was set to "cold" vs "vent fan" so I'm hopeful that it may actually work, I had to find a hidden selector switch in a cabinet to make it turn on in the first place that may have been flipped without the PO's knowledge causing the "no AC" line in the ad.

It's still getting too close to freezing for me to be completely comfortable filling the water tank to start testing that system, but hopefully next weekend the forecast will be more promising so that I can get moving on it. The dogs seem ready to go but I keep telling them there's more to do:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
4/3/17 11:15 a.m.

See here my berkeleying absurd hiking arrangement- yes, the cat does come with us sometimes, and he rides with me because Sara carries the camera:

java230
java230 SuperDork
4/3/17 11:17 a.m.

Tell me the old school TV will stay and get connected to a backup cam

Most excellent hiking arrangement. We took out cat camping a few times.... before we got dogs though!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
4/3/17 11:20 a.m.

In reply to java230:

Unfortunately the 120v outlets only work when the generator is running or the park cable is plugged in, so that would mean we'd have to start a whole separate engine just for our backup camera!

Apart from his preference for draping himself over my shoulders instead of walking, the cat thinks he's a dog- goes on walks, likes being in the car, and eats any food you give him. It probably has something to do with being raised by our dogs, and riding around in the hood of Sara's jacket EVERYWHERE when he was a kitten.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
4/3/17 11:24 a.m.

Count me as someone who missed this. It shouldn't have. Now I want to buy something big and stupid. Tell me you're not going to drive it to Magnum Opus. I don't want to accidentally see how awesome it is in person.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
4/3/17 11:28 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce:

Magnum Opus is cancelled this year

I wonder whether the parts count overall is higher in this, or your R63? A very complex van versus a simple but YUGE one with a house on it...

wae
wae Dork
4/3/17 11:47 a.m.

In reply to ¯_(ツ)_/¯:

I'd like to know more about those 12v LED bulbs served in mass quantities! That's on my to-do list for my coach this spring.

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