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Old 04-27-2013, 02:48 AM   #1
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What to do now??

Well we did it. We just purchased our first RV for a crazy low price. It's a 1995 Itasca Sundancer with 23,000 miles on it and looks like it hasn't been used much at all. In fact the interior is pristine. The lady that had it said it had been stored it indoors most of it's life.

My question is where to start? We live in Wisconsin so the winters are cold and nasty although the RV was stored inside from the elements. She did have it "winterized" by a dealer last summer. I also know that she pretty much brought it home and parked it. The batteries and everything was left in it.

What steps do I need to take to get this back into running condition?

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Old 04-27-2013, 03:47 AM   #2
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Depends upon how RV "saavy" you are! In my opinion, if you're first timers, I suggest calling a few dealers in your area to inquire if they would perform a walk-thru with you guys. I don't know what they charge for things like that, but if it's not outrageous you may find it money well spent with the initial learning all the systems of the Coach, operation and things to look out for. As you gain experience and meet new RV friends you'll quickly learn more than you ever wanted to know! :-) Good luck! Get out there and have fun.

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Old 04-27-2013, 05:23 AM   #3
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"IF" everything is original,,, TIRES !! Check the date codes, not just the tread depth. You can find plenty of info on that on this site... A full service on the engine/chassis, belts and hoses a good idea for a 95 (like ours) . As Newmar said above, a walk through with someone would be a good idea, to show you things and see if they work.
I take it it runs ok ? That's a good start for any vehicle that has sat so much. Batteries are another thing to look at. Some things go bad with age,,, not so much miles. Not trying to dampen your spirits at all, just trying to help you enjoy your new rv and camping !! Much nicer to pull back in the driveway after a fun camping trip with no problems !! Any questions, this is the place to ask !!
Monkey, pilot of a Great Dane hauler,
2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax/Alison 4x4 CrewCab 2016 Cougar 28SGS
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:44 AM   #4
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Posts: 79
Anything rubber can dry out with time, so belts hoses and tires are all priorities to check. It's worth the investment in any replacements.

Also, seals in the toilet and dump valves may be stiff and dried out. A little silicone lubricant will help. An RV tech can walk you through and point them out.

The fresh water tank and plumbing should be sanitized -- there are multiple ways to do ths, including using highly diluted chlorine bleach which is cheap andbasically the same chemical used by water treatment plants. There are also many sanitizing concentrates. No matter what, you'll need to fill, drain, and fill, drain again the entire fresh water system to clean and rinse it out -- including the water heater tank. It's a lot of in, out, and around the coach, but safe water is worth it! If you choose to pay for an RV services to de-winterize for you, this will be done and all the other systems will be checked.

Nothing on the "house" side is terribly hard to do if you're comfortable with DIY home maintenance, and you'll find loads of help and advice here.

The vehicle systems are just like any light truck/van. A class C like yours is a little less intimidating to some mechanics than a Class A with it's under-floor engine compartment; you'll find more willing to work on it since it's no different from a van.
Eric & Holly + 2 kitties from New Hampshire
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:19 AM   #5
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I would take it to a dealer and have them do a full maintenance, flush radiator, oil change, fuel filters, engine tune up and diagnostics, flush transmission, etc.
Next would be new tires, brakes, and alignment. Yes, it is going to cost but if the coach is in really good shape it will be worth it. Peace of mind makes traveling so much more fun.
Paul, Kathy, and Tux a 4 month Mini Schnauzer
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:34 PM   #6
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Wow thank you all of the help! I'll call around on Monday to find a dealer. What about the batteries and the generator? I know nothing was run all winter and all of the batteries were left in it. What should we be looking at doing/replacing before using it for the first time this spring?

Tires were new about a year and a half ago with virtually no miles and its been stored inside an equipment shed since.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:52 PM   #7
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Will the engine crank? How about trying to fire up the generator? You might add a gas treatment to the tank. Good luck.
Sarah (RVM69), Hubby, and Harry the RVin' Dog
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:54 PM   #8
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Flush and replace the brake fluid. This stuff absorbs moisture which will boil. Steam doesn't make a very good hydraulic fluid since it compresses under pressure.

Originally Posted by Specsgirl View Post
...What steps do I need to take to get this back into running condition?
George Schweikle Lexington, KY
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:18 PM   #9
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You are on the right track with going to get a service tech to help out.
the various systems you will need to be familiar with/check
Mechanical - engine, brakes, hoses, belts and so on. Best to change the fluids in the engine and make sure that all rubber hoses and such are in good shape. Brake and steering function is of particular importance from a safety stand point.

Electrical - 2 types here, one for coach and one for systems related to driving.
For driving systems - you want to make sure all lights, gauges, signals and so on are working. You should also check the starter battery. If it is over say 6 years old, probably better to replace. They have a time limit.
Coach systems will include anything using electricity for living needs. Make sure all the switches work, lights power on, AC powers up, fans work etc. don't forget water pump, batteries should be checked here too. Charge em up and see how long the lights last in the coach (turn them all on). Again after 6 or more years, you may be living on borrowed time but they are the kind of thing you can test out pretty easy with a short trip.

Plumbing. Run water through the various vanities, make sure the pump is working, put the hot water heater through it's paces as well. Look for leaks from any of the water appliances, look under sinks, around toilet, under coach etc. Be sure the dump valves work. Fix or lubricate things are required.

Generator is both mechanical and electrical. Should be serviced if it hasn't been done. Then it is a run it and see. Generators like to be used under load. Run it for a few minutes to warm up (say 10 mins). Then put on an AC unit and let it run that way for awhile. You should be ok if you get to that step but be sure to exercise it once in awhile. Be sure to let it run without load for a few minutes before you shut it down.

AC - both electrical and mechanical. If it blows cold, then you are probably ok. If not they will need servicing

Hydraulics - levelling jacks (if so equipped). Again a hose check thing. Check for function of these things, make sure you know where the fill reservoir is and the kind of fluids to take with you. The service tech can also help you with this.
1999 - National Tropi Cal
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:22 PM   #10
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When you pick a dealer if you have time before taking it in do a search here using the dealer name, not all dealers are created equal and some will just flat stick it to you.

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