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Old 06-25-2013, 08:59 PM   #1
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Question 1985 Allegro 27ft, First timer!

Hello all !
I am in the process of buying a 1985 Allegro 27ft Motorhome (its mine, i just have to pay the rest of it/ do the paperwork). Ok well storytime, I moved from PA to CA and bought this to live in full time, had dreamed about doing this for a while since older RV's are so cheap. I thought they where cheap becuase they where a pain to maintain and had old gas big block engines. I quickly found out another reason, almost no RV park takes nothing older than 10-15 years some even have a 5 year rule ! Well I finally found a RV park that will take it, I just need to make sure everything works (mostly) and clean it up. The outside looks great minus some paint fade and the old awnings that I will be taking off. Now I know a little about RV's, but my knowledge is some what limited and all from books and the internet, no practical. I do have lots of experience in electronics, wiring, and some mechanics. I was amazed how easy it started, one turn of the key and it fired right up for 454 with a carb i was pretty amazed, all the former owner knows is that it runs good. I am not worried about the fridge, and not to much about the A/C. The two 12v batteries in the back look new, but are dead. They are good deep cell's, hoping i can i get some life out of them. I do not know if the generator runs as the rear batteries are dead. I have a few questions though, aren't the rear batteries supposed to charge off the engine in a isolator circuit ? Also are old propane lines known for leaks/rot ? When i look under the sink i can see daylight from the power hookup, is there normally a box there or is this just how the old ones where done ? I opened up the side panel by the main door and what i think is the water heater and there was a plug which was unplugged, is that the water heater haha ? Also does anyone have any documentation/wiring diagrams on it ? Any suggestions welcome ! Thank you all very much !
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:18 PM   #2
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Moonman,

Sorry I can't answer your questions but if you will contact Tiffin Motor Homes in Red Bay, AL I'm sure someone there can.

Tiffin Motorhomes | Wherever You Go, We Go.

You might also try asking your questions on the Tiffin RV Network.

Tiffin RV Network

Jon
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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Yes, there are many RV parks with that rule about 10yo...but really, I'd say that 90% of them only have that rule to prevent those junk RVs you see here and there. If it's clean, and there's nothing hanging off of it from racks you built yourself, many parks will let you stay.

Before I had my 20yo RV painted in Mexico, it looked pretty sad, so I'd park a little way back from a parks office. One place, in 8 years of full timing, turned me away. One other place that noticed how faded the paint was, how bad the vinyl stripping looked, came out after I'd parked and asked how old it was. Told him 12 years, he mumbled that they usually only allow 10 year or younger but that I could stay anyway. Ended up staying a month with no complaints from my great neighbors. The rest didn't even ask how old it was, or when they did, they'd glance at it and let me stay anyway. They like money it seems.

Next, there are 10s of thousands of RV parks that don't necessarily call themselves 'Resorts' that are comfortable, well located, and beautiful that DO NOT have the 10 year rule.

As far as the mechanicals go, first thing I'd do is check the headers for broken bolts and cracks. Then replace the spark plug wiring with high temp stuff.

The refer and water heater: in the outside compartment, (disconnect power - 12V and 120V) remove the wiring from the control board, spray all contacts with contact cleaner. Check the wire terminals for loose wires, re-crimp if necessary, then squeeze the terminals closed a little. Then find the service manual for your model number for any appliance on-line and follow the procedure for servicing the propane section.

The 2 dead batteries. Service them of course, distilled water, a good cleaning, etc. Then, when plugged into shore power, make sure you're getting 13V + from the converter to charge them. The house batteries will be connected to the converter, but the chassis battery may not be. So, you'll want to add a little float charger ($20 at WM) to them to keep them topped while you're parked.

Yes, the chassis battery should be charged by the alternator, then, after it's been topped off, a circuit closes a relay to charge the house batteries while driving. IF the batteries are already close to charged. The circuit will prevent it to save the alternator if they are bad. You can unplug from shore power, start the engine, rev it for a minute or two, then check the charging voltage on the house batteries to test.

No, old propane lines in an RV are usually metal, so I think that's why I've never heard of a 'rotting' issue with them. Mine are 20yo and doing fine.

Older RVs didn't usually have an electrical element in the tank. It's a 12V appliance that uses propane. There are after market elements for tanks, and yes they need 120Vac. Remove and inspect the heater element, and while it's out, flush the tank (there's a wand for that), fill it before you plug that cord in (I think someone added a heating element).

Take a picture or pictures of stuff and post it. That'll make it much easier for us to help.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:00 PM   #4
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Well I was calling around to find a place to put it once I get it. Almost every place I called said they would not accept it, and they had a rule. Some places where even quite rude about it. I think if i would of just showed up some places would probably let me in, however i just don't really have the ability to take that risk, see I am the whole way across the country with my best friend, however we have two cars, and are buying an RV. So everywhere we are going to go with it, I have to make three trips. I have to go today to the DMV and get all the paperwork and seeing what all i have to do. Since I do not currently have a address in CA, and my license is PA. Fun stuff
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:45 PM   #5
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well thank's for the reply's but I ended up not being able to get it, one minute everything was fine, the next the DMV finds out there was a Lein holder that no one knew about. Well at least we got our money back, so back on the hunt for an RV !
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:07 PM   #6
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Moonman,

Sorry your deal fell through.

Check out PPL Motor Homes. They have a lot of coaches on consignment.

Used RVs, Motorhomes for Sale, and Consigned sales - PPL Motor Homes

Also if you are still interested in Tiffin motor home check out the classifieds on the Tiffin RV Network.

Tiffin RV Network

Jon
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:49 PM   #7
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Be über-nosey when inspecting rigs for sale. Look inside every access panel, nook and cranny. Take a strong flashlight, extendable inspection mirror, knee pad, and rags. If possible take a friend along who is a mechanic. Don't be shy about asking for manuals, and documentation. Check the age codes on the tires.

Like you have already done, post questions on this web site because there are many people here who have "been there, done that".
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:30 AM   #8
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When it comes to advice on 20+ year old rigs, check in the "Vintage RVs" forum. Lots of folks there who can help you sort out the older systems and appliances. Heck, even my '92 is "vintage" now!

Attitudes vary from region to region, park to park about what I call "persnickety" rules like the 10-year rule. A lot of folks make out all right claiming a rig is newer than it is if it's well-kept. Older 1980's styling is hard to pass off, though, but as long as it's clearly well cared for or clearly being restored, reasonable parks should be aware that vintage RVers are good folks, too. Sometimes sending pics with your reservation inquiry helps. A nice older rig often is a surprisingly good conversation-starter!
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