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Old 11-29-2013, 12:20 PM   #1
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New from NW Montana

howdy from the northwestern corner of Montana, where I own a 1986 Chevy Transvan (Champion)...it's a challenge to take care of this rig, on my budget. I wonder if there are folks on here who can help with tips and ideas on how to keep an older rig in working condition without breaking the budget! (granted, my budget is pretty pathetic LOL)

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Old 11-29-2013, 12:39 PM   #2
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Old 11-29-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:04 PM   #4
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Magpie- Welcome!!
W/a Chevy van conversion, your long term maintenance costs are really only containable by vigilance. Expensive oil is the cheapest long term chassis maintenance, i.e. regular oil changes, don't scrimp. I wouldn't recommend synthetic oil, as your rig has stabilized on dino oil, and you will likely start seals seeping if you change to syn. But a good grade of dino oil. trans oil changes every 3 years (your trans works pretty hard).
Other than that, vigilance & the old "stitch in time"- look for signs of issues cropping up, do an annual overall inspection for cables fraying, belts cracking, radiator hoses getting brittle, etc. Its a good idea IMO to carry a spare set of belts; my practice is to buy a new set & put them on, then carry the old ones as the spares (less chance of breakdown on the road). Watch for leaks & stop them early if they are something coming loose, or keep after the cleanup if its a big dollar repair (letting things get way messy makes repairs harder & way more trouble).
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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Good luck and those transvans are only outcooled by the ultravans Keep that ole' girl on the road for the geeky ones like me to admire. No way I'd have the skill to keep her truckin'. Heck I literally had rear door fall off of an '09 Chevy. Beat that. We all have budgets even the rich. Consider their dilemma, should I buy an island in the Caribbean or in the Ivory Islands or... Oh wait that's something we all wish we could deal with. If only those were our problems.

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Old 11-30-2013, 05:52 AM   #6
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:29 AM   #7
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Hey, I'm glad you came. Do you have pictures? I don't know what your 1986 Chevy Transvan is.
I think it is easier to keep my motor home is great condition by using it more. I'm more aware of what's going on.
I have had only one expensive repair. That was when the mechanics threw parts at it until one fixed it. A bad coolant sensor caused a $2,800 bill.
Send pictures and keep it rolling.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:37 AM   #8
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welcome to irv2
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:12 AM   #9
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang here!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:45 PM   #10
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:29 PM   #11
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Trans van

As Mr walker mentioned use it as much as you can. Make a list and prioritize it. A basic safty check by a reputable shop and hit the road.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:36 PM   #12
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