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Old 09-24-2015, 07:33 PM   #1
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Back from a 2100 mile trip.

A couple months ago we bough our 1981 Southwind with the idea of driving it from Atlanta to Wichita to pick up some household items my mother in law had there. The idea was mostly mine... I did my best to make sure it was ready. I didn't realize when I bought what that would actually be though...
Over the past two months I have replace or repaired the following:
Roof A/C leak
Non running Gen - Sticky float needle and adjusted valves
Sound and heat insulation on Cowl
No power to fridge/passenger side of RV
Re-cored radiator
Replaced Water pump
Replaced Power steering pump
Replace Fan clutch
Thermostat - Will be putting 195 back in though...
Sealed/plugged holes in firewall area of RV (still not done...)
Added CO2 alarm
Replace Water Heater
Fixed water leaks under stove area (not sure I like the band clamps...)
Rebuilt Door
Tightened header bolts
Rewired head lights and other stuff in front

There is other stuff I probably forgot to write down, but that is a pretty good list.

I will admit is been a bit frustrating at times. The radiator was the hardest part and the power steering pump followed it up. I finished the power steering pump the day we left...

We left Atlanta Friday evening and made it to Wichita Saturday Evening. We stayed there till Sunday night and headed to Louisville KY. We made it there Monday night. We then left Wednesday and made it back to Atlanta that evening. The entire way we pulled a 6x12 uhaul trailer. It was empty till Wichita and completely full the way back.

We had two issues... The fan clutch failed to full on about 3 hours outside Wichita. The second was the grey water tank filled up to 3/4 really fast. Not sure if this was my wife or the gauge wasn't correct. I will to confirm later on the gauge.

Instead of replacing the fan clutch I bought an electric and removed the clutch and fan. This worked GREAT from Wichita to Louisville. The drive was much quieter and there was a big difference in performance. I was happy, but noticed the engine was running hotter. Before the gauge never made it to the halfway mark. I had a 180 degree thermostat and it stayed right there no matter how hard I pushed it. With the electric fan it would run 1/2 or a little warmer. The thing that surprised me was that I had to run the fan while driving. There was not enough air making it to the radiator to cool things down. I did not expect that.
When I left Louisville the temp would go past the 1/2 mark on some longer hills. I stopped in Bowling green and put the fan clutch and fan back on. Again my temp never went above the 1/3 point even when we hit the 4 mile long climb coming down 75. Temp was never an issue no matter how hard I pushed it. I have work to do here...

I figure around 6 MPG for the trip. That includes about 80 or so hours of gen usage. From Atlanta to Wichita we probably averaged around 62 MPH. In Wichita I added a tach while doing the fan. At 70 I was running about 3300 RPM and felt fine with that so probably averaged 68 to 70 MPH between Wichita and Louisville. The fan clutch locked full on helped to kill MPG. The trailer I am not sure what it did but I could feel a difference with it there.

Overall I am very happy with how it performed. I pushed it pretty hard and had two days of 10+ hours of straight driving. It took a bunch of work to get it ready but I am glad I did it. I still have a bunch of stuff left that I want to do, but feel like I have a proven RV that will end up taking us to many places in the future!

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Old 09-24-2015, 09:00 PM   #2
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Location: Bonsall CA
Posts: 731
They call it "Vintage" for a reason.

1999 Winnie Adventurer 37.5' (we call it a 38' for short) with a Ford Triton V10
2009 Yorkie named Teddy
2010 Ausi named Bear
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:14 PM   #3
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The good thing is you are now familiar with your RV and know what has been done to it.

A bit of a pain at first but now you're in pretty good shape.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:05 AM   #4
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Sounds like a new fan clutch replacement is in your future..!
Ken & Jeannie
96 Vectra Grand Tour 35' DP
Jacey (terri-poo, waiting at the rainbow bridge), Jack (silky terrier)
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:16 PM   #5
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get the distributor recurved
1990 28' Georgie Boy, 454, 4bbl, Thorley Headers, Recurved Distributor, 8.75 mpg. RVM 76
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:27 PM   #6
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Sounds like you are right on track on knowing your RV, glad that you had a safe trip.

What motor? Chassis?
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:18 PM   #7
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Yep, fan clutch is next thing. Again... Maybe the new will last more than a month!

I'll look at the recurve in the future. I think it'll help.

It is a p30 with 454.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Just For Fun View Post
They call it "Vintage" for a reason.
Yep. When you buy new, you get to enjoy waiting for other people to try to fix it in the hopes that you might be able to someday get back on the road. When you buy vintage, you get to enjoy fixing it yourself while you keep the wheels rolling.

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Old 10-03-2015, 10:46 PM   #9
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It is vintage. And Ugly... But it took everything I have thrown at it. Other than the fan clutch (which I replaced with new before the trip!) nothing mechanical failed. I hoped for better MPG, but I won't complain much about that.

I know 80% or more of the RV systems now and I'm confident I can repair anything on it if needed. That made the trip a lot less stressful! I have a spare and carry the tools needed to change a tire if needed. I also carried some spare parts with me and will grab a few more smaller ones for the next trip.

The RV, repairs ,trip expenses and a years worth of insurance and storage cost less than any cruise we have been on. I don't know how you can beat that...
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:03 AM   #10
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Fleetwood Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,524
We bought our 82 PA 5 years ago and the previous owner stocked the space under the couch with spare parts which we haven't needed at all. I don't think there is much left to go wrong with yours. Glad you didn't throw in the towel.
Happy Travels and welcome to vintage,
1982 Pace Arrow 30ft.
KarKaddy SS, Toad:99 Concours
Lilly and Rubie Our 4 legged Kids & Tim & Joe
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:19 AM   #11
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 1,195
You did well and now you know what you have = confidence in your rig. Also might want to keep an eye on the brakes as well by using an IR Temp gun ($20 to $30 on Amazon) to check drum/disk temps when you stop - old brakes/brake fluid can cause grief. I had a caliper hang and crystalize the brake pad - didn't even feel it happen but caught it by observing the brake temp at 400F with my IR temp gun.

Tom and Amy from Northern Virginia.
2000 Allegro 454/Workhorse P32/TST/Crossfire
Life is a DIY project - enjoy it.
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