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Old 07-11-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
Sprdtyf350's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 92
New guy here with old 1985 Southwind..

Hi there! Just found this site and so far really like what I see. Seems like the people are friendly..

Anyway, I am a retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer. Was forced to retire in 2005 after 23 years due to surgeries on my neck, and back.. My new occupation is professional bum.. It's not bad.. Someone has to do it.

My daughters went to the Indy car race in Watkins Glen NY last year in my truck. They camped in a tent. I told them I would go too, I love racing, but I won't do the tent thing anymore after all the surgery. Plus, I lived in one for 6 months before in the military. So, I told them I would find a Motorhome to fix up and we would go next time all together. I can successfully say that it worked, we went for the 4th of July weekend this year, and we had a blast.

They are the ones that picked the RV. I saw it in Craigslist about 125 miles away. It had a blown, should say melted engine. My daughters went and took pictures for me because my youngest goes to school near where the RV was. Asking price was $900.00, I got it for $700.00. Cost me another $900.00 to have it towed to my house. I have worked on it since about mid March. New water heater to replace the little round apartment heater they had rigged. New circuit boards for both furnaces, lots of re-wiring so it would not burn to the ground. Pretty much went through every piece and put it back together like it was supposed to be instead of how the local handyman had it rigged. The engine had broken all the belts, I believe due to the fan clutch not disengaging. The prior owners Father in-law said drive it.. We are almost there! Tow truck driver told me he thought it was going to catch fire it was so hot.. Anyway, it melted the #3 and #5 pistons took all the tension out of the rings on all the other cylinders, and burnt big chunks out of a couple exhaust valves. I have never worked on an engine in my living room, but that's what it felt like working on it. Taking the engine out through the drivers door was fun also. The engine had recently been overhauled so to make a long story shorter I rebuilt the engine with a rebuild kit, and a set of rebuilt heads. Cost right at $1000.00 in parts.
I have a total of about $5000.00 in it now, it runs great, and even drives good after I replaced the front airbags that came out looking like ribbons.

So far, so good. Still have some little things to work on but I could get to like this RV stuff. Made going to the races a whole different experience. Have had a lot of fun most of the time working on it. Serious crash course in RV repair. Learned lot's of new stuff though..

Here are a couple pictures....



Working in my living room..

Melted pistons..

Bathroom got a new toilet and floor.

Had to build a frame to mount the generator. Got this one for $500.00 from a guy that could not make it run right. Clogged jet in the carb was the problem. Runs great now.

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Old 07-11-2010, 08:56 PM   #2
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RobRV's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Wet Coast of Canada
Posts: 557
You don't Need Our help!

After reading Your Story i would have to be one of the First to say well done! there are a few of Us that could use advise from You. I am certain that there are going to be lots of questions!

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Old 07-12-2010, 07:07 AM   #3
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Location: Weyauwega, WI US
Posts: 5,207

Welcome to iRV2. I believe you have found the friendliest site on the Internet. It sure looks like you have done a great job restoring your Southwind. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Post often and share more of your adventures with us.

Don & Bev Morgan Weyauwega WI, 05 Itasca Horizon 40KD, 400 HP Cummins, Delorme GPS LT 40, Toad 07 Saturn Vue AWD, Air Force One, TST 510 TPMS, Mayor of Weyauwega 2007 - 2013, Waupaca Co Board Supervisor 2010 - 2014
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:29 PM   #4
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Forest River Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vaughn, WA
Posts: 1,299
Welcome to the Forums!

Looks like you've got a one-of-a-kind motorhome with that custom paint job. Looks great.
Now with the engine squared away you should be good to go.
ENJOY your new MH.
1995 Coachmen Santara 360MB 36' w/slide.
Ford F53/460 chassis, 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee "toad"
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 92
Originally Posted by Nick-B View Post
Welcome to the Forums!

Looks like you've got a one-of-a-kind motorhome with that custom paint job. Looks great.
Now with the engine squared away you should be good to go.
ENJOY your new MH.
It was painted by a previous owner. I thought it would be unique also but I found a Pace Arrow with the same kind of stripes!. I kind of like the arrows they put on the sides of it..

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