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Old 04-05-2012, 10:42 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Travel Queen Updates?


I just purchased a 1984 Travel Queen 34' motorhome and I have some questions. I am a first time motorhome owner and need some advice.Please bear in mind that this is an extremely low budget project as I have very limited income. I have tools and my own labor to put into it.

This motorhome has an AC/DC/propane fridge that appears to not be working at all. I obviously can replace that old clunker with a more efficient and inexpensive AC fridge. Is there any benefit in today's world to keeping a gas option to operate the fridge?

The propane tank and system on this old motorhome looks pretty outdated. Reflecting on my first question above, should I keep a propane system, do I need it? Can I tear that old system out and just use two portable propane tanks instead?

This big beasty has a 454 chevy engine on a GM p-30 chassis with an air suspension tag axle. This being an older motorhome, it's built heavier than any modern motorhome. Given that, do you think installing a more modern GM 350 CI engine would move this thing around more efficiently (better gas mileage) or should I stick with the 454?
I've noticed that modern motor homes, even long ones, no longer use tag axles. Is the newer suspension design better/stronger or is it just because the overall construction is so much lighter? If I could do something to upgrade the rear drive axle suspension, could I compensate enough to where I could completely remove the tag axle and all it's inherent weight?

This motorhome came with a big 27 horsepower 7000 watt Kohler generator. If I do update appliances/air conditioning/electrical systems, water heater, etc., can I take out that heavy monster generator and retrofit something more modern that is 10 horsepower and puts out 6000 watts and have it meet our needs?

Thank you in advance for any responses and advice.

In the meantime... imagine this... After rolling around in the dirt for six hours rigging things up, three trips to an auto parts store... That old Travel Queen that had been parked for at least 4 years, set up with a jerry-rigged 5 gallon gas can behind the grill chugging almost 40 miles from it's old home to it's new home with us... the rain starts 1/3 in to the trip, had to swap the better passenger side wiper over to the driver side... laughing all the way. Yeehaw! The old girl drives like a Caddy, drinks gas like I drink beer(shhhh) and has all the power of a tank.

Let's go campin!

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Old 04-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Willow Lakes RV & Golf Resort, FL
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Don't spend the money to buy a new engine. Yours runs, service her, etc and enjoy. If you like the life style and trade for newer you won't get any more money for the upgrades at trade in time. In the words of my dear departed brother "If it ain't broke don't fix it."

Clay & Pebble.. Miss Butter our sweet Goldie (Jan. 2005-Jan. 2015) Sissy our Border Collie
2012 Providence 42 M. Spartan Chassis, 450 ISL
Ford Edge toad, RM All Terrane, TST TPMS, SMI Air Force One, RVM95....
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cold Spring , Minnesota
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Your wheelbase may be short and needs the tag axle to help carry the rear end body weight and help maintain the steering going straight down the road.

Plug the fridge in and see if the coils on the back outside the motor home start to get hot hot. If so the refrigerant may have separated and doesn't circulate. Unhook the fridge and pull it out into the isle and leave it sit upside down for 1/2 a day. Then turn it right side up and let it sit overnight and do this for a couple days and hook it back up to see if the refrigerant circulates and warms the tubes and cools the inside.

If the generator runs use it. If the generator draws its gasoline from the main tank, it may only run down to 1/4 and then runs out of gas. (That's so you can drive the motor home to get more gas.
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