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Old 03-18-2019, 02:45 PM   #15
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What everyone else has said is good advice. The most important thing is the chassis, as that is what will leave you sitting on the side of the road. All of the stuff inside the coach will be a PITA but it won't leave you sitting on the side of the road. That said, if you look around the Internet for a "RV predelivery Inspection checklist" it should point you in the right direction. About the only two things in the coach that are critical are the furnace and water heater as they produce carbon monoxide (CO)which is deadly. Get a CO alarm and make sure it works. Also make sure that freezing won't damage it. Same with a smoke alarm. Have fun don't be afraid to tackle something you haven't done before. Youtube is your best buddy.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:02 PM   #16
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Oops, forgot the refrigerator is it's is running on propane. Make sure that its roof vent, and all of your other roof vents for that matter don't have wasp nests in them. Now's the time of year to find them because the wasps aren't active.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:06 PM   #17
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My advice is to take a few weekend shake down trips, and make sure the engine cooling system is up to par, also flush and refill all the fluids, not just oil and coolant, but power steering, transmission, diff, etc.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:34 PM   #18
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Your 97 Bounder is the last year of the old 460 F53. The Recall mentioned is for the pressure switch located on the master cylinder. If there is a fuse next to the switch, the recall has been done. That chassis has 2 major failings. Right exhaust manifold will break the rear mounting bolt and can be interesting to fix.
Brake calipers need to be maintained every 2 years. Remove caliper, clean slide pins and associated mounting surfaces. Grease those pins and mounting surfaces with synthetic brake grease and reassemble. That old 460 is as tough as an engine can get. The E40D transmission will benefit from a Banks Trans Commander. About $275.00. It raises the line pressure and helps eliminate excessive down shifting. When climbing hills, you should hear the fan roar when nearing the top. If the temperature gauge comes up and you don't hear the radiator fan, the fan clutch need replacing.
I drive a 95 F53 with 167,000 on it and wouldn't be afraid to head to Fair Banks tomorrow. I only wish......................
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:15 AM   #19
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This information is gold. Thank you so much for putting here in my thread.
Got the bounder home last night. Feeling much less trepidation after cruising it around more and crawling all over it and checking it out more thoroughly.
I am making my list and will get started on the important things soon. I am sure I will be back with more things...
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:23 AM   #20
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Prior to taking our '99 Bounder on a 12,000 mile trip, I replaced all the belt and hoses on the engine. Had ALL fluids replaced and the chassis lubed. Check the brakes and suspension. Updated the very old television sets, installed new entertainment electronics, took extended weekend trips to confirm everything worked fine, and had my service mechanic go over the entire coach to check out all systems and drive train. One of the leveling jacks needed the seals replaced and the furnace blower motor needed replacement. It screamed like a banshee. We installed new shocks since the originals were shot. I did replace to original fridge, since it was on its way to failure, with a residential fridge and an inverter to power it while driving down the road and when parked with no power. We bought a stand alone satellite radio and subscribed to a service for entertainment when driving. There may have been a few other minor items. We had a fantastic trip with no major failures. Had to replace the O2 sensors at about the half way mark and a bolt broke on the genset exhaust that had to be repaired. W also bought the Venturi exhaust system for the genset that proved to be a great addition. Hope this helps. Chuck
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:25 PM   #21
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A lot of us have older coaches. We can and often do drive them wherever we choose to go, and usually do so without break downs. I do not believe there is any correlation between an older coach and the rate of break downs someone could expect. New or newer units can and do have mechanical failures as anything can regardless of age. Lack of maintenance can certainly increase risk, but if maintenance items are addressed at home instead of on the side of the road then you should be fine for the most part.



Good luck!
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