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Old 01-18-2008, 09:52 AM   #1
CQ
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Just thought I'd drop in and say hello. I've recently bought a 77 Rambler Imperial 5000 30' MH. This seems to be a great place to find some information. And I thought It'd be a bit nicer if I at least introduced myself a bit first. So...
I'm living full time in this beauty with my wife and 2 children who are home schooled. We've always wanted to travel and after a few recent bumps in the road, we decided this was as good a time as any to become mobile. So, we jumped in head first into the great unknown and luckily there were no rocks in the bottom of this river. This is our first RV and I made this decision in less than 2 months.
I have to say I'm loving it. We're parked in a park while I fix a few of the normal things needed on a classic like this. But we are able to run off on the weekends a do a bit of exploring. I do work fulltime, so we're not running off too far yet, but I figure this is a great way to get started. I'll happily post some pictures next week of the MH and a few of what I'm doing for repairs. So before this gets too long I'll stop.

Btw thanks to those of you who have documented pictures of your rebuild. It's great to see some classics coming back to life.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:52 AM   #2
CQ
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Just thought I'd drop in and say hello. I've recently bought a 77 Rambler Imperial 5000 30' MH. This seems to be a great place to find some information. And I thought It'd be a bit nicer if I at least introduced myself a bit first. So...
I'm living full time in this beauty with my wife and 2 children who are home schooled. We've always wanted to travel and after a few recent bumps in the road, we decided this was as good a time as any to become mobile. So, we jumped in head first into the great unknown and luckily there were no rocks in the bottom of this river. This is our first RV and I made this decision in less than 2 months.
I have to say I'm loving it. We're parked in a park while I fix a few of the normal things needed on a classic like this. But we are able to run off on the weekends a do a bit of exploring. I do work fulltime, so we're not running off too far yet, but I figure this is a great way to get started. I'll happily post some pictures next week of the MH and a few of what I'm doing for repairs. So before this gets too long I'll stop.

Btw thanks to those of you who have documented pictures of your rebuild. It's great to see some classics coming back to life.
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:26 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the classic Holiday Rambler. We are in our 2002 Rambler, and only hope that it lasts that long. A little TLC will go along way, and we wish you many happy times aboard your motorhome.
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:41 PM   #4
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CQ, Welcome to our forum and congrats on the 77 HR. Capt. Dan said it!!
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:51 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CQ:
...I'm living full time in this beauty with my wife and 2 children who are home schooled... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Make sure you stay legal according to your "home" state's laws. We lived in the campgrounds during part of the years I homeschooled the girls. I never had a problem with anyone. Just keep your documentation handy just in case.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:49 AM   #6
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CQ, welcome to IRV2; I have learned a great deal about our RVs, repairs, trips etc from this site.

Post a picture of your unit when you get a chance. I've never seen a HR MH older than about 1983 or so.

We have an 86 HR presidential (motor home, 32 foot) which has had TLC all its life. I am going through the unit "head to tow" getting it ready to sell. In those earlier days it appears that HR techs and workers "hand-built" the unit...cabinet work etc is so neat. A picture of our 86 Holiday Rambler is:

Holiday Rambler Presidential

What engine do you have? 454...were they made then, I think so. One good reason to have an old RV is that you can "work" on it...that is no computers and microprocessors.

We also have a 2002 HR Vacationer...its real nice too, but we have a great soft spot for the 86.

Good luck, enjoy the world,

HEMI
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:48 PM   #7
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Like the charm of those older motorhomes,of course I'm an old timer myself.

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Old 01-25-2008, 02:51 AM   #8
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Thanks for the welcome, and we are always very well documented for the homeschooling side of things.

Hemi: I do believe these were hand made. Nice to see all wood cabinets. Engine is the classic 454 and is one of the reasons I bought it. Everything in it seems to be quality. already had the headers replaced and exhaust system rebuilt(dual) to relieve and back pressure issues. Has a K&N filter on it, though it needs to be ducted to bring in cool air.


I'll tackle that when it's warmer. Actually after looking at your picture, there's not a great deal of difference. Think we had the same paint scheme.
There's a definite amount of charm indeed. That along with a rock solid feel. No stress of slides and poor sealing issues. Just hop in and be on the road in ten minutes.

Did have one issue with the charge sentinel not charging the batteries.



Had been parked for about 2 weeks and noticed the fridge turned off. Checked the 120 volt supply and it was fine. Checked the house batteries and read 5 volts. So after playing with the 12v relay in the Charge Sentinel. I hooked up my trusty battery charger and topped off the water and let the house batteries charge overnight. Let it trickle for the next day, then took it off. Still reading 12.7 volts now. So I either cleaned up the contacts enough on the 12v relay, or it fixed itself (which has been known to happen around me a time or two).

I just sanded and sand blasted and painted the propane tank so that I could get new seals and/or valves put in by Amerigas.


Looks a lot better now, but i've not taken a new picture yet. Have to love these old ASME horizontal tanks. 1/4 inch thick solid steel.

Well, again that's enough for now. If anyone has seen an old wiring diagram of that charge sentinel, shoot it on over. In the meantime, Have a great weekend.

*Edit to add proper link to pictures.
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:39 AM   #9
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CQ, Yes, I marvel at the quality of these older units...and the benefit is that with old technology you can actually do a lot of work yourself. That 454 has a real carburetor!

The units look about the same even though they are separated by nearly 9 years. Your control panel appears more sophisticated than ours. Ours has the water heater/tanks just above the door. The rest is under the bed.

Here are a couple of questions:

1. Do you have a large great switch box somewhere (under the bed) for switch to alternator (generator), then to neutral, and then to shore power.

2. Have you had any problems with your coach furnace? Our quit few weeks ago. The fan comes on but the furnace does not light....I will be removing a few days and taking to an rv repair guy.....I suppose I could repair myself, but it would be trial and error.

3. Do you have two AC units? It looks like you have a rear one, but that could be a cargo holder. I removed our cargo holder. There is a spot in the bedroom to wire in a 2nd AC.

4. On headers; about 3 months ago I had the old headers replaced (they were warped....the engine sound like a dragster...and smell was getting into the coach--engine nice a quite now).

I don't have any type of wiring diagram for the charter. I have nearly a complete set of manuals but nothing on the sentinel.

You mean the propane tank is 1/4 inch...why so thick...safety?

Again, nice unit and thanks for sharing with us, HEMI
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:04 AM   #10
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1. No great switch. Haven't played with the generator yet, but have a feeling it runs to the plug for shore power. So either the cable is plugged into the receptacle in the coach, or it's unplugged so it can unwind and connect to shore power. the second a/c would be wired in before the 30 amp cord

2. Coach furnace. no issues, the most common issue would be that the sail switch isn't moving enough to make contact for the igniter. I've 2 manuals for mine in pdf format(about 1mb total if you want I'll send your way).

3, yes, 2 units and a cargo holder. First one runs like a champ. Can't try out the other without the generator running. But I've a feeling it's in good shape as well since the first one works.

4, Headers are a must. Still has quite a sound to this one, but that's a lot of engine. I'll Insulate more after I route in cool air into the breather.

Haven't seen any wiring diagrams for this beauty yet, but i'm still just starting.

Yes the ASME tanks are very well constructed. I could easily take the 20# portable propane tanks and hit it with a claw hammer and puncture it. The tank on the Motorhome is much stronger. It would take a lot to tear it up. Have to be a fairly major accident to even have to start worrying about it.

I'll probably start doing a few more interesting mods when the chance comes. I work in aerospace and have access to more goodies than most could imagine.

Thanks again, and let me know if I can help at all.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:24 AM   #11
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Great looking Rig - what kind of Gas mileage are you getting, or expecting. I am toying with the idea of getting an old gasser, and need to find a comfort level with fuel mileage..
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:39 PM   #12
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Congrats CQ! We just sold out 30' 1981 Apollo 3000DB (double bed) a few months ago after getting out "new to us" Gulfstream DP.

We had the Mopar 440 in ours and did quite a lot of upgrades to it along the way (typical for me... )

As for the contact issue on your charge controller, with all older MH's, I have found that it is necessary to disconnect or remove all contacts including fuses. I then use a Q-tip dipped in muriatic acid (barely) which is "swimming pool acid" and is available from your local hardware or swimming pool supply store. I dab the Q-tip on the contacts and it eats all corrosion up in a few seconds.

I then do the same with a Q-tip dipped in a baking soda/water solution to neutralize the acid. I dry the contacts, coat lightly with dielectric (conductive) silicone grease and insert new fuses. Where there are bolted contacts, I make the connection first, then coat with the grease.

Good luck and show us some more pics when you get a chance.
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:41 PM   #13
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Oh, and we used to average 6-6.5mpg regardless of terrain. If we "coasted" down Tehachapi Pass with a tailwind, we "might" see 7.5...
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:07 AM   #14
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Mileage? Hasn't even been a concern yet. Next time I get up the nerve to fill up the tank I'll track it and see. If I were a betting man I'd say 8-9 mpg. 10 would be great and an easy way to calculate trips to boot .

Cleaning contacts. I have acess to quite a few acids here. Including muriatic and phosphoric(which is great for cleaning up rust). I'll give that a shot and see how it goes. Might only be designed to change from the genny or the alternator. Not sure what they had in mind back in the 70's. Need to buy a decent voltmeter to check it out better. Probably do that this weekend.
Did get a call yesterday that my tank was ready. $48 for new valves and bleeder. Can't beat that with a stick. I'll be glad to put that back in and save the hassle of the 20#'s I'm switching back and fourth on now. it's a 15 gallon tank so It will fill up for $34.35 as opposed to the same amount in the 20# for $44.58. And not having to change the tanks out 3 times in the same span. I'll try to remember to take the camera with me tonight and take a few pictures before installing it again.
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