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Old 08-17-2015, 10:50 PM   #1
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Class A Resurrection

The DW and I have been given a Tiffin Allegro Bus, Class A Motorhome.
The coach is a 1997 32' DP, ISB 5.9 275hp with the Allison 6 speed, Freightliner chassis. It's been garage kept and is in wonderful condition with 24k on the odometer.
Her parents purchased the coach new in 1997 and are getting to the age where the no longer feel comfortable traveling.
We are not new to the RV world, we just sold our 32' Class C, but this will be our first diesel coach.

Now the bad, It's been stored for the last 2 years.

I need some help with the resurrection to make sure I bring it back without causing any damage. The coach is 700 miles from our home and we will be flying to TN next week to pick it up. Here are the issues I need to deal with.

1) Fuel
Father In Law filled the 90 gallon tank before it was parked. I have gotten several lines of advice about working with this.

a) Shock treat the fuel with Cummings Biocide and buy several primary fuel filters. Have a can of diesel on board and get ready to change them out on the side of the road.
b) Have the fuel polished, a pretty expensive proposition at it's location in rural TN.
c) Just drive it, the fuel will be ok.

I plan to change the oil and filter and drain the air tanks along with checking the fluid levels prior to starting and moving home.

2) How do I check the air ride suspension? Visual on the air bags inflating or some additional method.

3)Tires
a) The tire date code show them to be 13 years old. They have no side wall cracking at all and I have a quote to replace them, but the tire shop is 50-60 miles away. 50 percent of the drive to the shop is on an Interstate Hwy.
b) How safe is it to bring the inflation pressure up on tires sitting stationary that long on concrete. Should I make sure to stand back while inflating them.
c) Any thing recommended to try and drive it safely that distance.

If it was your coach, what would you do? What is the best course of action and what am I missing?

I know that there are some very experienced owners on this site and any and all responses are welcome.

Help me bring this old girl home.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:12 PM   #2
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Batteries. I have bought many motorhomes with tires that age and drove them far greater distances with cracked sidewalls, it is a gamble but then again you could get hit by a bus on your way to work tomorrow. Check and fill all fluids and look for leaks. I would run it up to temp several times in place and then take it for several short drives before starting your journey home or to the tire shop. Air the tires in place, are they flat or just low? I own a auto repair shop and have a lot of people get vehicles just like you are and they find sometimes there is a mechanical reason why it got parked in the first place.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:36 PM   #3
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Hi 89sandman,

The new batteries, 4 Optima 34DM's will be delivered tomorrow. The coach batteries have been kept on a maintainer/charger, so that's been taken care of. But thanks for the idea. The coach has no known problems, FIL had it serviced on a regular basis. He is just afraid to drive it anymore. He has a few health issues and doesn't have the strength he used to.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:39 PM   #4
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Hi 89sandman,

The tires are just low not flat at all. pressure probably 80-90psi.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:13 AM   #5
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Since your FIL had the foresight to fill the tank prior to storage, I'd run it a bit, then change the fuel filters. That will probably be all you need to do, and may be overkill..!:-) Running it on several short trips prior to heading out would be a good idea. Even the oil will probably be fine, assuming it was pretty fresh when parked. Not being run with repeated warm-ups/cool-downs means any accumulated moisture will be minimized. I've had engines sit for longer periods than that with no ill effects whatsoever. Good Luck.......
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:23 AM   #6
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Your tires is what would scare me the most. I just bought a coach with 11-year-old tires. All had a lot of tread and no cracks. One rear one went bad after a short trip. I replaced all 4 rear tires (tire dealer didn't have 6 at the time) and went on another trip. All went OKAY but I will not leave town without having the front ones replaced. Too many horror stories can be found on what can happen when a front tire blows.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:32 AM   #7
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Thanks Big Oil Guy,

You sound like a knowledgeable guy with a handle like that. I already have the oil and filter on the way, so i might as well change it out. Cheap insurance and it might get me a little more familiar with the process. FIL has a 40'x60' metal building and I may never get to change it in an environment that nice again.
I'm a little torn on the fuel issue, two different schools of thought on treating it or not. Seems like the old timers say drive it and the new crowd says treat it. I guess I'll be able to offer my own advice on the subject when I get her home.
Thanks for the advice, I'm pretty new with this diesel stuff.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:38 AM   #8
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Hi Dexring,

The tires scare me too. I've already called and ordered 6 new ones from a dealer in Knoxville, about 50-60 miles away. Just need to cross my fingers and say a little prayer until I get there.
If the coach was local it wouldn't be so bad, 700 miles away makes it a little more of a concern.
Not knowing if the fuel is bad and 13 year old tires, should make it a little stressful on the ride.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:52 AM   #9
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If the engine starts and runs fine and there's no bad exhaust or blow-by, I'd probably just run it but I'm not a mechanic either.

Just be sure you have Coach-Net or something similar in case you do run into issues. I just renewed my policy which I believe was $159 for a year and it also covers my family in all their vehicles. I have an 18-year-old who knows everything and I'm sure before winter is over he'll have used the policy a time or two.
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:12 AM   #10
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Thanks Pexring,

Sorry for the misspelled name. It's a roll of the dice, no matter which way I go. If I treat the fuel, I'll never know if it was ok, if I don't treat it, it could be a different story.
I wish there was a definitive answer, I'd sleep better tonight.
I have 3 primary fuel filters on the way and I hope that they will get her home.
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:20 AM   #11
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Is there any downside to treating the fuel?

As for the air suspension, I'm learning that a small leak in most air suspensions is typically. If the compressors can't keep it pumped up, you'll know in short order if you have an issue.

Have the levelers been down the whole 2 years? Hopefully that system works or you won't even get off the driveway. I have one leveler on mine that I have to help up with a bar. I actually bought a steel fence post and keep it for helping up any leveler that wants to be lazy. Soon I need to figure out how to make those work better. Somebody suggesting adding a grease zerk? For sure a topic for another thread.
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:20 AM   #12
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I would look in all the hidden spaces and see if there has been mouse infestation. I had to deal with a lot of horrible cleanup that is still sort of ongoing when I got my old motorhome. I know it doesn't have anything to do with the engine (aside from possible chewed up wires) but you would not believe the damage and unsanitary messes they can create in areas you don't normally look at.

I would also worry about the brakes and possibly have them looked at. I only moved mine 30 miles and had to stop in the nearest town because the brake calipers were frozen and the brakes were about to catch fire.

I'm not sure the condition of the garage this thing sat in for god knows how long either but mine had been under a carport and a lot of the seals on windows and such had dry rotted, something to think about and possibly test for leaks before you drive through a heavy storm or something or at least plan to have somewhere under cover to put it when you get where you are going.
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:51 AM   #13
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Since the MH is inside, put your coveralls on, grab a flash light and crawl underneath. Start at one end and go to the other, checking everything out that you can see. Look for wiring issues that may have occurred, loose fasteners and anything else that might be an issue down the road.
As for the tires, I would not have any issue driving the 50-6- miles to the nearest tire shop and get them change out. Take your time and watch the speed and you should not have an issues.
The 5.9 engine is a good engine and with a little pre-trip inspection it should be just fine. Do carry extra fuel filters and the tools to change the out. Do pay attention to what the engine is telling you and change the fuel first quick if things start to go bad and you have an expensive fuel system repair.
Good luck and enjoy the MH.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:03 AM   #14
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Interesting thoughts and ideas and kudo's to you for asking . Tires are number one concern. If the coach is inside like you said, maybe ask the dealer to come to you and swap out ?
Inspecting the coach underside is number 2, look for mice problems like chewing on wiring.
In many areas their are companies that will come and suck out all of the fuel in the tank and the fee is usually less than $150. Then change all filters and add fresh fuel. You did not mention how cold the area is where the coach is stored and that effect plus the age of the fuel is not worth the headaches.
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