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Old 05-11-2015, 06:29 PM   #15
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I wish there was a way to add photos on this app. It's not the common manifold bolt problem. This thing has a 3 in crack. Non the less. It would be a easy-ish fix. Just time consuming.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:12 PM   #16
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I had a 97 35' HR Vacationer Ford. Good quality coach, over loaded chassis. Check your CCC. It's less than 500 pounds.
When you fill the water and walk in it is over loaded. Handled poorly on less than very good roads. 16" tires. Front axle was almost at full rating when I weighed it. I had re occurring brake problems even after I replaced calipers, slides, hoses and rotors all OEM. Never felt it had enough brakes.

I would hold out for a V10 after 2002, preferably after 2005 with the three valve motor. Bulletproof.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:31 PM   #17
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What is the life expectancy of a well maintained 460 and what ever trans comes with it?
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:54 PM   #18
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Welcome to the forum....

As for the motor home, if you were my son I'd say go for it as long as it doesn't strap you financially. You said you're handy around cars so just pull the heads, make sure the valves (and cam) is good and fix the exhaust bolts right (with low miles this shouldn't effect the lower end). Don't worry about the little things like leaking water lines because they're "pex" and easy to fix. The things to really look at are the holding tanks, refrigerator (this can be VERY expensive), electrical issues and lastly water intrusion from the roof.

This little project should be fun and can be slowly done as money is available.

Enjoy the project and have fun! I hope we meet around a campfire someday and laugh about the little challenges.

Happy Trails
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:54 PM   #19
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I purchased a very similar MH. '97 Rexhall Aerbus, F53, 460, tag axle w/ single super slide and 59K miles. Also had an exhaust manifold leak due to 460 issues. I purchased it for $10.5K and book was almost $20K at the time. It had been sitting for about 1 1/2 years due to the passing of the gentleman and the widow didn't know what to do with it. Unfortunately she didn't know much about it and records were scarce. It was in need of a good cleaning, both inside and out but I could tell it had great bones and it seemed to run very smoothly, other than the exhaust leak. . Based upon my research, it seemed like MH of this type and year were selling for about $17-20K. I went with my hunch and took a chance. It has turned out to be one of my best purchases ever and we absolutely love it. I bought it as is and without knowing for sure if anything, appliances, plumbing, etc. worked as I bought during the winter. I've put a lot of elbow grease into it and it has turned out to be a real diamond. I've done basic maintenance to it, fluids, belts, bearing service, etc. and so far so good. I have owned a ton of cars, trucks, RV's during my lifetime and I have always trusted my instincts. I have never bought a lemon and I have walked away from a bunch of vehicles because my instinct told me so. If the motorhome that you are looking at seems to fit the history and you've checked out as much as you can check out...I would follow your instincts, make a decision, and don't look back. Good luck!
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:41 PM   #20
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Thank you for the great advise. Dave&ginny I don't believe at the Mikes it has it needs the top end pulled. I will do a leak down and compression check before we hit the road. Exhaust would be fixed before anything. The whole rest of the exhaust system was just replaced. I was told the muffs rusted. After being told that I got scared and got under it to check the chassis and not even a spot of rust. As said above I believe it has very solid "bones". It does need a fender. And the lower end needs paint work and buffing I can nock that out in a couple of weeks. I'm going to see if the guy will bring it to my house for a few days so I can check everything by myself. (I hate people standing over my shoulder while checking systems).
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:54 PM   #21
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This is a couple pics of it. Along with the broken fender pic. Don't freak out. I can fix it. Lol
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:10 AM   #22
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Broken exhaust manifold bolts are typical on the 460. I would recommend replacing with headers if possible. Thorley and Gibson both make "RV" headers. They will not break bolts and they will allow the engine to breath a little better and probably run cooler. I would also look at a Banks Trans-command for your transmission. Firms up the shift points and improves drivability.
When we had our '98 35' Santara I had CW put a Banks kit on and I installed a Transcommand that I had on the '97 Four Winns Type C MH. That gave more power but no more fuel mileage. That took care of the exhaust manifold problems. I don't think Banks makes that setup any more so the above ones are your choices now. Be sure and stick with the RV ones as they're tuned for the correct RPM range and not drag racing!
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:31 AM   #23
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Be sure to get all the paper work that comes with the R.V.

It's nice that you want to get into Raving but if you do decide to buy it you better get all the written material that he has on everything in the Motor Home because if you keep it long enough something may go wrong with something in or on the out side of the M.H. I know because I have a 1997 36' dolphin M.H. and I would not trade it for a new one because I think I just about replace or repaired everything in it that could go wrong so far.
just a thought.
I have a large folder with over 4 pages of repairs and additions that I had made sence I bought it in 1997.
Plus everything that went with buying a new rig.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:53 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by dave&ginny View Post
Welcome to the forum....

As for the motor home, if you were my son I'd say go for it as long as it doesn't strap you financially. You said you're handy around cars so just pull the heads, make sure the valves (and cam) is good and fix the exhaust bolts right (with low miles this shouldn't effect the lower end). Don't worry about the little things like leaking water lines because they're "pex" and easy to fix. The things to really look at are the holding tanks, refrigerator (this can be VERY expensive), electrical issues and lastly water intrusion from the roof.

This little project should be fun and can be slowly done as money is available.

Enjoy the project and have fun! I hope we meet around a campfire someday and laugh about the little challenges.

Happy Trails
Our Dometic refer cooling unit went out (found the dreaded yellow powder when the unit quit) in our 2002 Dutch Star. Bought a new Amish cooling unit for around $400 and replaced it myself. So not really that expensive nor hard.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:53 AM   #25
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More pics. And you can see how the manifold cracked. Which like i said would be changed prior to the deal.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:25 AM   #26
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The HR is a good coach, I worked for AAA FOR 14 YRS AND SAW THE RESEARCH, towing and overall satisfaction. It was very good. I agree with these guys about the manifold to headers change. headers run cooler and give more power,and cooler means less bolt problems..and as one person said, check ALL the water hoses for leaks and ALL engine hoses and belts! I think you are getting a good buggy. but get a compression check of ALL cylinders! good luck! congrats We just bought our first too, about to retire.. this site is a blessing!
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:12 AM   #27
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I have a 99 Endeavor had it for 4 years it had 23,000 it now has 37,000 I have had no problems with the engine or any part of the Ford drive train. The coach has had little to no problems. The Holiday Rambler is a very well built unit and I have found it easy to maintain. In four years it has never been in the shop, I do all the maintenance myself.

JH, Manchester, TN
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:13 AM   #28
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Are there any rv part books?
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