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Old 06-06-2018, 09:38 AM   #1
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New Owner, Old RV

Howdy! New owner to an old RV. Picked up a 1985 Pace Arrow 34 ft because it was at a price point I simply couldnít ignore. Iíd always wanted to build a school bus into an RV but this will do quite nicely as most of the bones are already there. It may even morph into a family project as my son gets older.

Sheís not perfect. Spent 25 years parked in a metal barn after the original owner passed in Ď93. Last run 4 years ago. Last drive 8 years ago. Iíve been told the fridge doesnít work. Appliances are all assumed to be junk unless I find out otherwise. Mice got in and left turds on every surface and piece of fabric under 3 foot high. Surprisingly there was no urine odor and nothing chewed on that I could find. Maybe they were just passing through...

The poop cleanup will be my first task. Iíve got two routes. Number one: vacuum the poo, steam clean the fabrics, and see how I feel about it. Low cost, medium time investment. Number two: Go full OCD and tear out all the furniture, carpet, and contaminated fabric. Remodel with whatever I can find for cheap. High cost, large time investment. Either way Iím already being given a clean RV mattress and corner couch from a friend.

The other first task will be checking on the condition of the fuel system and working my way towards the engine. If I can get this bugger to fire up and move forward and back under its own power, I will be a very happy camper (no pun intended.) I was told the gas tank was dropped and cleaned around the same time it was last run. If thatís the truth and it was done right, she might not be THAT bad of a project.

Some silver linings:

1. NO LEAKS! Roof and exterior is in great shape.
2. Interior in great shape except for the mouse poo
3. Low use (44,000, 580 gen hours)
4. New enough tires to last up until its roadworthy (6 years old, under 5 miles)
5. No mildew, dirt, grime, mold
6. 6.5kW gen set option
7. Central vac option
8. Cheap. I could probably make money flipping it if I wanted to. But I donít want to.

Couple of funny coincidences:

1. I already own an Ď85 Chevy K30 454/4sp truck
2. I also own an Ď85 454 pulled from a C30 auto with 44,000 miles
3. I now own an Ď85 motorhome with a 454 and 44,000 miles


Pictures are coming once I get Ďer in the driveway this coming Saturday. If anyone can point me in the direction of service type information or manuals, thatíd be great. Iíll get the chassis code this weekend and see what I can dig up.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:03 AM   #2
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Congrats on the new rig! I bet you'll have her in tip-top shape in no time at all.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:15 AM   #3
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Welcome. Lots of good folks and info here to help you along. Congrats on the new rig/project. Enjoy the adventure.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:31 AM   #4
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Having been involved in a couple of projects like this I recommend you do the minimum and cheapest method first. After you have it running you may decide on upgrades.
If the refrigerator is bad look at replacing it with a residential. Cheaper and less chance of fire.
The stove should work but be careful you may need new propane hoses and a new regulator.
You won't be able to test the hot water heater till you have water and propane. Hope the water system was drained properly and the mice haven't chewed the water lines or tank. It could be interesting the first time you hook up to shore water.

You can use a 5 gal gas can to provide a auxiliary source for gas to the generator so you can test it without putting more than 1/4 tank in the main tank. As you know the fuel pickup is set where it shuts the generator down at 1/4 tank. Check all the gas lines for dry rot and cracks.

You will still need to inspect the roof for cracks and re caulk all penetrations. This is/should be part of your annual maintenance anyway. It hasn't leaked (it has been undercover) but I bet all the sealant is dried out and cracked. Look around the windows too.
Have you tried to start it? I would pull the plugs and spray some oil in the cylinders before cranking it. I would try cranking with the plugs out to build oil preshure and lube everything before trying to start it.
Good luck, Let me know how what you find.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:37 AM   #5
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Hi guys, thanks for the welcome and positivity!

Bill, thanks for the in depth reply. The appliances are a bridge Iíll cross once itís mobile again. Anything that isnít chewed or rotted is a boon in my book. I will continue to assume worst case scenario unless I am proven otherwise.

Iíll be starting small with the interior. Get the poo out and the fabrics cleaned up. At least then Iíll feel comfortable working in there. It could be WAY worse than it is. One man working one long day could have it cleaned and taken care of.

I know this unit came with an LP leak detector/detection system but I am not aware of how it functioned or if it still may work. Could be a useful tool in diagnosis though!

Problem with working on the generator is where Iíll be parking it: right next to my house. Once itís there I wonít be able to access the rearward 2/3rds of the driver side until she moves. Otherwise my only entry door into the MH would be squished up against the garage. Iím talking ~1 foot of clearance.

The motorhome has actually been stored outdoors this year. I can see where the windows were all sealed, presumably before moving to outdoor storage. The sealant itself has plenty of life left. Feels nice and rubbery with no cracks or flakes. The roof truly looks amazing for what I paid. Minimal flaking anywhere. Some flaking within a few inches of the perimeter of the AC units. Thatís about it.

I already plan to pull the plugs and oil the cylinders. Cranking it over to build some oil pressure isnít a bad idea. If she fires at all then I may throw some gas in the tank, check the lines, and see if it can build fuel pressure. But thatís pretty hopeful and also far off. Itís still 40 miles Southwest of here right now!
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:33 PM   #6
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The LP and CO2 detectors have a 5-7 year service life. On a coach of that vintage there maybe a propane shut off valve controlled by the detector. I would just remove it if it doesn't open to let the propane flow. They arn't used anymore.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:32 PM   #7
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Glad to have you here in the forum with us. You're gonna like it here.

Congrats on your new rig. Good luck getting it in tip top shape.

Happy Trails!!!
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:10 PM   #8
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Chassis is a P30. I have a 1996. Basic info is all over the net. Find your RPO option sticker right now before you look into chassis parts.

Modern fuels can possibly be hard on the rubber fuel lines, just a warning.

Front brake lines are prone to internal collapse, I would go over the entire system. All brake parts are cheap to buy, really, really cheap. Your hydroboost unit will probably be shot at this point, meaning no reserve assisted brake capacity if the engine dies. You already have 454 engines and may be familliar with this.

Front and rear sway bar bushings are probably toast as well, trust me, it needs them in good shape.

If it has the factory exhaust system look for header cracks, they're known for it on MH use chassis. I put a race set and stainless high flow exhaust on mine, sounds awesome, somewhat annoying on the freeway though, lol.

Make sure the fan clutch works properly, they last about 50,000 miles on a MH.

CHANGE EVERY FLUID before driving it a lot, everything.

Coach interior trim parts will be made of unobtanium at this point. Most of the appliances may be able to work again with dedication and wrenching, the component designs really haven't changed that much. Ebay is good for vintage parts.

It'll be a lot of work, but if you are good at wrenching it won't be that bad!

Happy Trails!
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:43 AM   #9
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Sitting here waiting on AAA to bring Ďer back home. Hour and a half wait and they still donít have a truck available yet. Better get used to that feeling eh?

The sale was not 100% completely honest as Iíve been informed of other issues the PO knew about by the man whoís lot it was stored on. Turns out the engine was stuck, filled with kerosene, and ultimately freed by a mechanic but not run. Since then it has been stored/sitting without plugs for 4 more years! Greeeaat. Too late to go back now.

Fingers crossed the engine isnít stuck again... I guess Iíll find out when I get her home.

Tried to upload pics but the file size was too large. Iíll start a new thread once Iím home and settled.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:04 PM   #10
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Well good luck. Hope it is ok.
Bill
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:55 AM   #11
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Buyers regret has taken hold now that I am aware of how much BS I was fed by old dude. To think I actually felt bad for him and his sob story.

New thread about the RV and plans or lack there of: Ď85 Pace Arrow 34 ft
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:35 AM   #12
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You are in good company. Many of us here bought used motorhomes.
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