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Old 06-26-2014, 07:51 PM   #1
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Holiday Rambler Owners Club
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Our 1978 Holiday Rambler Camper

My wife and I just recently purchased our first camper. We know nothing at all about campers, but purchased this 1978 Holiday Rambler for $700 that we plan to live in. Right now it's located about 2 1/2 hours from us and we plan on towing it to a storage facility until August 1st. The roof has either leaked or is leaking and the ceiling is rotted pretty bad in the bedroom and bathroom and a spot I noticed around the overhead AC. We have reserved a spot to move our camper to live in it in a mobile home park. The lady we purchased it from doesn't know much about it, but thinks it's 28ft. long. Can anyone tell me by the pictures how long this camper is? I also need to find out where I can purchase an owner's manual for this camper??? I have never posted on a forum before so this is also a first. I hope someone can tell me something as I am a little worried we are getting in over our heads. Thanks Jeff
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:49 PM   #2
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The length can be determined by simply measuring the trailer.
I doubt that you will locate any manual due to the age.
I cannot imagine all of the items you need to inspect even before it is moved. items like, tires, shocks, springs, the frame, brake, turn and stop lights. The structual integrity will need to be determined. Now when you begin to inspect for leaks, dry rot, MOLD, and critter damage only you will then make the decision if you are in over your head. And you havent even begun to see if anything still functions like the fridge, furnace, A/C water heater, water pump, stove, etc. etc.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:59 PM   #3
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In their day, Holiday Ramblers were well constructed campers, but even the best suffer with neglect. How does the chassis look? I don't see any buckling of the sidewalls, but if there is frame damage, that needs to be addressed.

I guess my question is whether you plan to keep it stationary or travel with it? If stationary, fix the roof, give it lots of good foundation support and treat it like you would a stick and brick home. You can live with just basic electric and plumbing and just decorate to your hearts desire. If you want to be able to travel with it, you'll want some LP/12V options and you've got some learning to do. Not impossible, but grab a notebook and pen and start reading. I've found lots of structural restoration information on bus conversion forums.

Either way, if it were mine, I'd buy a couple of tarps, drape them over it and set off a dozen bug bombs inside the trailer before you move it. When you get it to your location, do it again - but without the tarps (wouldn't want your new neighbors to think you were infested). Steel wool and hardware cloth work wonders to seal off any undercarriage openings.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:32 AM   #4
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I realize that obviously I should have brought a tape measure to find out the length, however, when I spoke to the lady on the phone and drove 2 1/2 hours to see the camper she didn't tell me she was unsure of the length, I only found this out from looking at other vintage campers online, calling her and then finding out she wasn't sure. The Lady was very sweet and just lost her husband and I guess I just let heart felt emotion for her situation over rule common sense thinking. The price seemed more than fair given the condition and well below NADA value and I didn't think to ask the right questions till I was home and called her. I have pulled flat bed trailers most of my life and know that the structural shell and frame are just fine since it will be lived in on a lot and anchored down. The tires are fine and I can add temp lights if necessary for the tow home. I realize I should have done my homework before jumping the gun, but hope that someone can offer some advice or a place I can get advice so I can get more educated about this camper. I really appreciate the advice offered and thank anyone willing to take the time to help a new camper owner out.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:49 AM   #5
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Well Jeff, today is your lucky day. You've come to the right place. Judging from the photos, I'd bet that is about a 30-32 foot trailer. Measure from the rear surface of the back bumper to the center of the hitch ball.

In that era, HR built several levels of travel trailer. At the bottom was the HR Ramblette. The coach is constructed with a wood frame. Moving up from there were the Statesman, the Presidential, and the Imperial, all framed in welded aluminum. The Ramblettes can suffer from the same frame rot problems as other brands of trailer. Aluminum doesn't rot, so the other lines don't suffer frame rot problems if they have leaked. Paneling, flooring, and anything else made of wood may have some rot, but the coach structures will still be solid, giving you a good base to rebuild on.

Holiday Rambler's manuals were a 3-ring binder filled with factory manuals for the components used in the trailer. For example, there would be a Dometic manual for the refrigerator and a Suburban manual for the furnace. So the manual would vary with each trailer,depending on what was installed.

The Holiday Rambler factory owner's manual was a very basic little book, with an emphasis on "little," filled with basic towing and maintenance information. I've attached a copy of the 1978 Owner's Manual for you. I was going to attach a copy of the 1978 sales brochure, but it's too large and not allowed. If you can figure out a way for me to send you a 32MB file, I'd be happy to do it. As far as compiling an actual "manual," like would have come with your trailer, you're on your own. Determine the make/model of components like refrigerator, water heater, furnace, range hood, toilet, water pump, etc. and start collecting manuals. That's what HR would have given you.
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File Type: pdf 1978 HR Owner's Manual.pdf (2.55 MB, 1437 views)
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:39 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kurmudgeon View Post
Well Jeff, today is your lucky day. You've come to the right place. ..........................

This is what makes the internet so amazing
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Old 06-29-2014, 04:32 AM   #7
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Thanks so much Kurmudgeon

Man today is my lucky day!!! I've been searching all over the internet and calling dealers and had pretty much given up on finding an owner's manual. I really do appreciate all your help Kurmudgeon I hoping to find someone on here that knew at least something about this particular manufacture. We just purchased this camper and are waiting till July 5th to bring it home. We are Athens, Ga and it's in Rome, Ga 135 miles from us. Finally got a buddy of mine that's got a truck to tow this camper for us and we are really very excited. Any advice is very much appreciated. We will be living it, but not till August 1st when our current lease is up. Thanks Again for your help.
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:45 PM   #8
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1978 Sales Brochure

Here is the 1978 sales brochure. I found a way to reduce the file to 2MB.









*
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File Type: pdf 1978 HR Brochure.pdf (2.01 MB, 396 views)
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