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Old 02-12-2016, 02:30 PM   #1
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1981 Fleetwood Tioga Class C

We just went to kimball, SD and towed this 1981 Fleetwood Tioga back home, its been converted to pretty much be entirely off grid once the power inverter and solar controller are re-installed. we only have about $700 invested into it including paying it off out of storage, gas, trailer rental, motel room, etc. took 2 days to go get it and come back. I think it weighed around 7,500 but i cant be sure with out a scale. Just wanted to show it off before we start cleaning it up.

Engine/trans/carb were all rebuilt ~3500 miles ago
new tires at the same time

downside: they drove 200 miles with no oil and siezed the engine. going to attempt to break it loose in about a week when the temps are above freezing, and see if/any of it is salvageable. ive unstuck a 80's 5.7l before and drove it for many many miles after. so i like my chances lol. any input or questions i welcome with open arms.


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Old 02-13-2016, 05:52 AM   #2
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Not knowing the extent of the damage may make the following tries moot. Having said that, my ex brother-in-law freed up a 390 in a '69 Mercury using Kroil penetrating spray. This was about three years ago, and there seems to be no ill effects; no smoke, lots of power,etc. He said it was a bit expensive as Kroil is only available locally in aerosol form. However, I've heard the military can get it in drums, so a larger quantity may be available. I read recently someone used a mixture of acetone and transmission fluid, 50/50. Hope this may be of some use.
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Old 02-13-2016, 06:59 AM   #3
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Two points.

The tires with 3500 miles don't mean much if they are 8 to 10 years old. I found that out !

At least it's a Class C, getting the bad engine out is much easier then a Class A. Engines seized due to lack of oil, usually burn up and spin the crank and rod bearings. Ain't no can of fixit for that.

Good luck with it.
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Old 02-13-2016, 08:16 AM   #4
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I’ve had two cars each with a seized piston, one from an unknown reason the other was when my late wife tried to drive home after blowing a radiator hose. Both times my repair was the same. The first was a 1950 Studebaker I purchased while in college in 1968 for $15. I pulled the head, squirted penetrating oil onto the cylinder walls around the piston and then after placing a large block of wood on top of the piston I gave it a few whacks with a sledge hammer to free it up. Apparently, the cylinder walls weren’t damaged because the car ran fine when I put it back together. My 1986 Doodoo Scooper (Isuzu Trooper) was a different story. I did pretty much the same thing as the Studebaker and while the engine ran okay for about six months it gradually lost power and began consuming more and more oil. I finally sold it mid-winter as junk. BTW I considered rebuilding the engine but parts were horrifically expensive.


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Old 02-14-2016, 02:24 PM   #5
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The tires were replaced less than 4 years ago and show no signs of weather checking or wear, held pressure fine for the 4 weeks it sat in subzero temps. I was a certified tire technician for 2 years so im positive ill be ok on tires for a while atleast.

Yes i know the extent of the damage is unknown, but on a different note, i pulled the dipstick after it had sat level in my driveway overnight and there was oil on the bottommost 1/4" of the stick, so it wasnt "bone" dry but very close, I added a qt of syn ATF i had around to see if the level would come up and it did, albiet only another 1/4" but the ATF is now mixed with the oil, as i have heard ATF is sometimes useful for helping get stuck valves moving,etc. It snowed another 4" last night but were supposed to be up in the 30's-40's so i can mess with it next weekend. I will run it extremely hard if i do get it running again because if something is wrong i need to know before i am 900 miles from home.


I have decided that if i cannot get it fixed, I will need to find out the procedure to remove the 6.6L and i will just put my 5.7L TBI that i used to tow it home, into it, then find a 454 for the suburban.
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:41 AM   #6
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From the pictures and description, someone cared for the thing in the past. Assuming no water damage, and you are handy, everything else can be repaired and you will end up with a nice motorhome.

Please provide updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by MudiGGer25 View Post
The tires were replaced less than 4 years ago and show no signs of weather checking or wear, held pressure fine for the 4 weeks it sat in subzero temps. I was a certified tire technician for 2 years so im positive ill be ok on tires for a while atleast.

Yes i know the extent of the damage is unknown, but on a different note, i pulled the dipstick after it had sat level in my driveway overnight and there was oil on the bottommost 1/4" of the stick, so it wasnt "bone" dry but very close, I added a qt of syn ATF i had around to see if the level would come up and it did, albiet only another 1/4" but the ATF is now mixed with the oil, as i have heard ATF is sometimes useful for helping get stuck valves moving,etc. It snowed another 4" last night but were supposed to be up in the 30's-40's so i can mess with it next weekend. I will run it extremely hard if i do get it running again because if something is wrong i need to know before i am 900 miles from home.


I have decided that if i cannot get it fixed, I will need to find out the procedure to remove the 6.6L and i will just put my 5.7L TBI that i used to tow it home, into it, then find a 454 for the suburban.
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Old 04-13-2016, 06:29 PM   #7
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Just a couple quick updates to this thread:

1. There are a few more pics on that link now, some of the outside/solar panels from how high i could get on the ladder.

2. Also pictures in that album of the relocation of the solar AGM batteries and the 1400CCA 8D tractor batttery that is serving dual purpose as both additional capacity for solar power storage, as well as being the "auxillary" starting battery, currently only has a 10AWG going to the front but I have a 25ft 4AWG piece on order to run all the way up to a solenoid on a dash switch for those "just in case" moments.

3. The "house" chassis is now wired to the solar system, as well as the 12V circuit breakers that keep the 12V coach battery topped off.

4. Due to budget and time constraints I intend to simply pull the 400 out and install the 454 in its place after installing a "RV" cam and matching lifters. should be well over 450 ft-lbs for moving the RV

5. I have decided on installing the Window AC unit in the cubby where the furnace used to reside, this will allow several things: I can use the furnace ducting to run the A/C air, and the only part that will be visible on the outside is the fins inside the frame of the AC unit, it will be mounted flush to the outside wall, and since it is located directly above the wheel well I can run the drip tube out right there. And its "digital" so we can control it with our phones and set the energy saver feature too. its 8,000 BTU, and 810W on HI A/C so about 900W or 70A of 13-14V. whereas the rooftop uses 2X that for either 2,500 or 5000 more BTU.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:09 PM   #8
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2 ; shouldn't run AGMs and 8D wet cells together. Different charge profiles.

5 ; most window ACs draw air in the side louvers. They need to be outside. Add the invrerter loss's and your drawing 80 amps. Make sure you have a 160 amp alternator and cables to cover that load.

With the engine off you have a bit over 2 hours of AC time.

I have not read of a success story of running ACs off inverters.

My 8000 btu AC was just a bit to much for my 8, 6 Volt GC2s.

Honda eu2000i is the way to go.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:21 PM   #9
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Another problem with the AC are the vents. The heater vents are low to the ground so the hot air (which rises) can mix with the cooler air. And vice versa for the AC-it needs to come out near the ceiling.
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:05 PM   #10
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2 ; shouldn't run AGMs and 8D wet cells together. Different charge profiles.

I know they have different charge profiles, and Specific Gravities, however next week im buying this device (i cant remember what its called at the moment) but its rated for a 75A load through it and I can isolate the 2 wet cell batteries (1400cca 8D and the 850CCA 78 group for the engine) while still using the power from the solar to charge them but the voltage would be fed through a second controller to regulate it for wet cell.

5 ; most window ACs draw air in the side louvers. They need to be outside.


Sorry i guess I wasnt specific, the location of the "window" unit will allow me to build a "box" that is vented to the air under the RV i.e. shaded and cooler than the air directly in the sun which should theoretically allow the rear coil to cool off faster VS having the entire back half of the unit exposed to the sun. Meanwhile not wasting my cooled air inside

Add the invrerter loss's and your drawing 80 amps.

If i use the 168A Maximum input on the bottom of the inverter casing / 1500W which is the maximum sustainable power level for more than 3 minutes * by 850W give me 95A @12V and 82A at 14V now keep in mind that is MAXIMUM amperage load. I switch the fan to low and energy saver mode on my meter reads about 720W with the compressor on.

Also I am using my calculations from last summer in a 1952 25ft camper bumper pull we used this same window AC in a window so it was actually in the sun, and on the HOT days (85-95F+) it cycled 15-20 minutes on and 40-45 just fan each hour or shut off the fan in energy saver mode, so thats a 25-30% duty cycle of 95A =28A-33A per hour assuming 5% of that is used to run the fan to circulate air, on the cooler months such as april-may and mid-aug->sept where the day temps dont usually pass mid 80's the duty cycle will be less.

Make sure you have a 160 amp alternator and cables to cover that load.

Based off my math I would only need 75A from the alternator to supplement the 20-25A coming in from the solar during the hottest hours, if i intended to idle to maintain it, however i only intend to use the inverter to power the A/C when either A. we are driving down the highway and its hot out, so therefore the engine will be spinning 2800RPM and my alternator is rated 120-160A output at those RPM's or B if the generator runs out of gas in the middle of the night


With the engine off you have a bit over 2 hours of AC time.

I have approximately 400Ah at a 20A draw, but obviously that will vary when the compressor is running because battery capacity decreases with increased load so lets say a 10% loss of capacity so 360Ah on the conservative side. using a 30% duty cycle for the compressor and 5% more for the fan or standby mode thats an average of 30A per hour so I should theoretically have almost 12 hours of runtime with that duty cycle.

I have not read of a success story of running ACs off inverters.

I have but not ever solely off of solar power, most of the time i just had a really big alternator (like the ones for 3Kw+ audio systems) and 300-600Ah of battery capacity (which i must admit was always a mix of battery types usually SLA, LA, and Li-on, but i never had a fire, i always oversized my wire, and the only ones that failed were either dropped or over 5 years old and drained well past 50% SoC) and i never ever used the roof units, they are just power guzzlers, i always have had better luck with a window unit even if i couldnt hide it as well as this RV will allow.

My 8000 btu AC was just a bit to much for my 8, 6 Volt GC2s.

What kind of inverter are you running and what kind of AC unit? I have an inline 110V meter that i use to measure realtime usage, my inverter is 1500W sustained, 1750 for 3 minutes, and 3000W surge and grid tie and it so far has handled every bit of it, I will be trying my 8 Gallon air compressor tomorrow to really test it.

Honda eu2000i is the way to go.

I guess you saw the bit about the generator possibly running out in the middle of the night, We will be buying a simple 2cycle 800W/900W generator from HF, just need to make sure it can handle the quick surge for the compressor, because they are only $88 and run up to 6 hours on 1 gal of gas which isnt terrible. if I really needed to I could just simply make a 12V generator using a 49CC engine and a 150A one wire alternator but thats more work than I want to do lol
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Another problem with the AC are the vents. The heater vents are low to the ground so the hot air (which rises) can mix with the cooler air. And vice versa for the AC-it needs to come out near the ceiling.

Sorry I wasnt specific here either, I intend to use the existing pathways just to get it to that area of the RV, then run it up in a 2" duct in the back edge of the cabinets to dump it near or at the ceiling. Its just easier to hide it that way.

I have never had a grid tie inverter before nor tried to use solar to supplement the power usage this much.

Let me know if my #'s seem off anywhere, i did go through alot of engineering mathematics when in school for computer science but im a bit rusty by now.

I do know that when we visit missouri in june more than likely the AC will be on more like a 50%-70% duty cycle because of our parking and the fact there will be about 16,000 other people there in a single mud park making heat and noise. but im thinking for the general spring/fall usage.

Also not sure if i had it in this forum or not but I will be doing 2.5%VLT limo reflective tint on all windows back of the drivers seat and the ND lawis as follows:

What tint is allowed on my windows?
Front windshield – at least 70% light transmittance (no more than 30% tint)
Other windows – at least 50% light transmittance (no more than 50% tint)
When calculating total tint, the factory tinting on windows must be included. For example, a 50% tint added to a window with a 30% factory tint would exceed the allowed limit.
Windows behind the operator may be tinted with zero light transmittance as long as the motor vehicle is equipped with outside mirrors on both sides.

Now most states i have visited (only about 20 so far) honor the licensing state laws and regulations when visiting or passing through.


That should knock alot of the heat away and the insulation was just redone by the PO in 2013 i think blown in or something, but a single edenpure heater kept it decently warm down to 10F above, so it kept a 50F difference with 10-40MPH sustained winds, and those windows are HUGE lol


let me know if anything is lost is translation and thanks everyone
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:50 AM   #11
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Glad you got it figured out. My math and testing was way off.

Enjoy.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:23 PM   #12
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just an update

well I got the 400 out and on the ground, trying to sell the carb to get a little extra $$$ for parts lol.

Anyway the solar seems to be working well in its new setup. I have a 2 or 3AWG stranded copper wire that is the length of the RV to run the high amps of the alternator once i get that sorted out after the engine is installed. its about as thick as my middle finger so it should be plenty large enough.


I have the 454 on a set of jackstands in the driveway, pulled the intake and valve covers off to inspect what the PO did when he installed a new cam, and he did the timing chain and sprocket upgrade already and the rest looks immaculately clean as in maybe 5,000-10,000 miles on it after being cleaned and new cam broken in. New head gaskets it would seem also, and the intake gaskets were in great shape but im replacing them anyway since i pulled the intake off.

I have been told that the 454 was a factory option in the 70's so it will slide right in without any modifications to the RV doghouse. Im ditching the engine A/C completely since most forums I have read claim a 1-3mpg loss while using it, where as the alternator needs much less HP to get the 8,000BTU unit going.

I may or may not install a independant alternator where the AC pump used to be so that the house circuit has its own independent supply of 12V up to 78A or 130A if i use the other alternators i have in the shed.
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:19 PM   #13
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quick update, engine is almost together again, but i may or may not have smashed the transmission pump, will not know until i fire it up and try to put it in gear. i have decided to just install my 78A reman alternator for the 454 that should provide approx 50-60 amps at highway speed that are useable, and the solar will supply 20-30 depending on time of day... that should be plenty ample to run the A/C enough to at the very least take the edge off. I am installing my 105A alternator onto the lawn tractor via aftermarket bracket, we are bringing with. it will be attached into the solar system. it will be auto regulating with its internal regulator so it will only supply what is needed. i will run the lawn tractor at 1100ish RPM which would put it at about 3300RPM at the alt shaft which according to the datasheet curve should be us right at 80-90A of power, and it should be able to run a decent while just above idle speed on the 2.5 gal fuel tank.


hoping to start the engine either late wednesday or thursday and see if the transmission is screwed or not. if its good to go, then i will finish installing the front clip and prep for our honeymoon
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:40 AM   #14
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Ok just a few updates if anyone is still following this thread or my other ones, first off, the 454 is installed and will run but not idle , i have a electric fuel pump rated up to about 325hp on a big block application, i will be working on that issue in the coming weeks.

We did not make it to trucks gone wild because i fell off the RV june 3rd just a few hours after getting married and have lost my job due to being unable to walk/work for about 8 weeks now, the MRI thursday showed that the bone is healed but the ligament is in bad shape, but im on the mend.

Tranmsisssion pump was still pumping when i put the hose into a container and cranked the engine over so i am convinced that it survived my booboo.

The solar output without tilting the panels has been around 120A-160A over the course of the day for the past several weeks, depending on clouds and how much of it was used overnight. I know i have a phantom draw in the engine wiring that needs to be found later on.


We have been living in the RV since our trailer house was totalled in a storm roughly 3 weeks ago, so we are in the process of salvage and storage of what didnt get ruined inside, the red cross has deemed it uninhabitable and i dont have thousands to repair it before winter comes here in ND, so instead we are moving over to bigger city so i can be close to my dr's for my upcoming surgery. we plan to be moved into a rental house by the end of september and i should be able to tinker more with the camper.

The Solar water heating needs improvement, I think i am going to do 4 or 6 100' coils of 3/4 black garden hose, since that heats up very warm in just about 20 minutes laying in the sun. this should give me roughly 8gallons every 20-30 minutes of warm to hot water depending on time of day.

We have had to run the rooftop A/C any days over 85-90F here, but even it is not keeping up well or putting out very cold air so i think i need to get a valve to install on it so i can refill it with some nice synthetic R134A. The window unit i installed does work rather effectively on the solar power but the windows are letting in way too much heat.


I will have to tint all windows to the Legal minimum Light transmittance to block a good portion of the heat.


I did get the alternator installed on the lawn tractor and it works quite well, putting out easily 70-80A at just above idle, and runs 4 or so hours on a gallon of cheap gas. I intend to switch the alternator onto one of the snowblowers i have picked up cheap so that i will have a more mobile platform for my "generator" and it is also capable of cranking that 454 with ease if i run the battery dead.


I probably forgot something but ive been awake for 2 days now so i apologize lol
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