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Old 10-04-2010, 01:46 AM   #1
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Just bought a 1978 Dodge Delta!

23 feet motorhome....just got it home. $2200 and the interior is in AMAZING shape. it's so 70's tacky its unbelievable. everything original even down to the 8 track tape player, and it came with "kenny rogers - the gambler" in it to boot! upholstery is in excellent shape. barely any vinyl or carpet or anything out of place. I hope 2200 is a good price!! mechanically sound, some minor things....lights out, ac system needs belt, needs 2 new small ventilation ports in the top.

i wonder where i can get a manual?!

will post pictures of the very WOOD and very GREEN interior. It looks like a Forest Tavern....right down to the plastic "stained glass" trim. unbroken mind you!

steph
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:25 AM   #2
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Post exterior also.
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:54 PM   #3
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Will do. I want to hear opinions on if I got a good deal. I will have my mech look at it Friday. Needs fuel gauge fixed and makes really pound metallic screechy grind when turning wheels all the way. If we can get by with no heat or ac then we r good.

What are the main rules on these? Can't drive with the fridge running cuz of the pilot light? It has a second battery not a gen. Should I get a trickle charger for the second batt?

Steph
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:58 PM   #4
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The noise when turning sharp is probably the power steering belt. If the a/c has no belt the compressor could be seized up, not uncommon.
There is probably a converter to change the voltage from 110v AC to 12V DC to run the lights if they are 12vDC along with other things like the water pump, there should be a built-in charger in the converter to charge the battery when it is plugged in.
The converter might be inside where your fuse box for the coach items are.
My Itasca has to have the electric cord unpluged from the coach to be plugged into "shore" power, then plugged back into the coach to use the generator or battery power.
Your engine driven alternator should have a relay or isolator so it can charge the battery when traveling. Follow the coach battery wire back towards the engine and see if the is something like that in between. Sometimes there is a switch on the dash to activate a constant duty solenoid to charge the coach batery.
I run our fridge on propane when on the road, but ours has electriconic ignition. Someone with experience on the pilot light will have to advise you. I do make sure the fridge is off when fueling.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:12 AM   #5
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The noise when turning sharp is probably the power steering belt. If the a/c has no belt the compressor could be seized up, not uncommon.
There is probably a converter to change the voltage from 110v AC to 12V DC to run the lights if they are 12vDC along with other things like the water pump, there should be a built-in charger in the converter to charge the battery when it is plugged in.
The converter might be inside where your fuse box for the coach items are.
My Itasca has to have the electric cord unpluged from the coach to be plugged into "shore" power, then plugged back into the coach to use the generator or battery power.
Your engine driven alternator should have a relay or isolator so it can charge the battery when traveling. Follow the coach battery wire back towards the engine and see if the is something like that in between. Sometimes there is a switch on the dash to activate a constant duty solenoid to charge the coach batery.
I run our fridge on propane when on the road, but ours has electriconic ignition. Someone with experience on the pilot light will have to advise you. I do make sure the fridge is off when fueling.

thanks....i am crinkling up my nose at having to pay 20,30,40 bucks to camp with my rv and plug in (kinda why i got it in the first place...to avoid costly motels!) so i want to know how to be able to park/boondock and stay the evening and night on just the rv's power...somehow? to run the tv, a laptop, the fridge, stove, lights etc while self contained. what do i need to have to do that?
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:01 PM   #6
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First get the fridge running on gas, this will draw too much power on electric to boondock very long. Stove should also be gas, lights should be 12v but check this.
Find out how your engine alt. will charge the batteries, you should have at least 2 deep cycle batteries to run the coach.
You will need an invertor big enough to run the tv and laptop, these should have the wattage they use on them, but buy a larger invertor to allow for any extra power used to start the devices. Buy a quality invertor as some of the cheap ones draw too much power to run themselves and also may draw power when turned off.
Look at my post here on the Harbor Freight Solar I installed on our coach. This helps replenish the batteries but does not replace the generator. We can camp 3 to 5 days without running the generator now.
If you install LED 12v lights in your coach you can cut the draw for lights by 2/3 or more. Cabela's has these in there marine catalog and are a little pricey but will save money in the long run. 3 incandescent bulbs drew 4.5 amps, 4 LED lights draw 1.5 amps.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:58 PM   #7
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Hi Mamasnap,

You need to get acquainted with your new motorhome slowly and one step at a time.

Leadman has some good suggestions. However, I am unclear just how familiar you are with the various appliances and systems. It seems like you are just learning and are ready and able to learn. That’s good. We can help some with messages here on the forum but it sounds like you really need to find someone (friend, neighbor, relative) who is RV savvy and can get “hands on” with your motorhome and help you to check out and troubleshoot things like the fridge, furnace and water heater, etc.

As an example, a few years ago a friend of mine bought a truck-camper and he said the water heater was no good and asked if I could help him put in a new one. I said “let me check out the old one first”. Turned out the water heater was fine, he just didn’t understand how to light it. Once you understand how these things work it becomes easier to diagnose when they DON’T work.

Once you determine what things needs repair/replacement/additions and what items are critical to how you will use the coach, then you can determine a priority of what to spend your time and money on. You mention boondocking which would put a priority on battery condition & capacity as well as running the fridge on propane since you won’t have 110v power to plug into. You can add a second “house” battery but you are limited in your Class C as to where to put it and extra work getting it wired in with the primary house battery. Solar can be a great addition but get the current electrical systems working the best they can before diving into another system.

Don’t feel overwhelmed. Just take it a bit at a time.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:24 PM   #8
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Posted the wrong readings on my LED lights. The 4 LEDs draw .6 amps, the 3 incandescants drew 4.6 amps.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:30 PM   #9
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007 has some links in this Forum which may be helpful for manuals.

A MH does/did not have a single manual, btw. A MH is a collection of systems from various companies and each system might have had a manual originally. A refridgerator may have been from Dometic, the A/C from Coleman, the water heater from another company etc. Each would have had a manual. My vintage MH came with a 3 ring binder and roughly half the system manuals were still in there when I bought it.

Some stuff can be found on-line or by contacting the original company. Not much stuff, as 1978 was before digital storeage and few to no companies have kept manuals from that long ago.
E-Bay will give online hits for nearly any manual..but manuals on E-Bay is a "buyer beware in capital letters" kind of thing. Personally I would never ever buy a manual off E-Bay..just to much fraud and misrepresentation.

Go over your MH systems and log just what your systems are. Most will have a mfg. name; a model sticker or a model number/serial number, with that information you can begin to look for manuals/spec sheets or ask questions here of others who have/had that system.

I have found owners of other vintage MH systems like mine and we have photocopied some system manuals amongst ourselves.

It is kind of fun to go thru a MH opening up everything that can be opened and see what is in there. Lift up mattresses and the wood that supports them. MH have stuff like inverters, fuseboxes, waterheaters, furnaces in the oddest places and under the beds was a favorite hiding spot early on.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:30 PM   #10
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I joined this forum because I just got my first RV. and it is a vintage 1979 Delta 22 1/2 ft. on a Chevy Van 30 Chassis. 400 small block engine. Few things need attention, but all in all great shape, only 54000 orginal miles. Water heater can't light still need to figure that out, blew the fill hose to water tank, getting new one. Needed new water pump, got that in back asswards first time, reversed it, lol. Live and learn. Now I get water in the cold faucets, but not the hot ones? Haven't figured that out yet. Gas valve leaks when turned on and off, but once all the way on, stops leaking and vice versa. Anyone reading this, any advice, bring it on, I'm listening. Thx
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:02 AM   #11
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Looking forward to pics! I think the price is good if the systems are working and the tires are not old. Be prepared to get a little dirty, these older MH's need lots of constant attention to get them fit. Been working on mine almost constantly since I got it 6 weeks ago, but I am having fun learning about my coach. Good luck and congrats!
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Shaliberty View Post
I joined this forum because I just got my first RV. and it is a vintage 1979 Delta 22 1/2 ft. on a Chevy Van 30 Chassis. 400 small block engine. Few things need attention, but all in all great shape, only 54000 orginal miles. Water heater can't light still need to figure that out, blew the fill hose to water tank, getting new one. Needed new water pump, got that in back asswards first time, reversed it, lol. Live and learn. Now I get water in the cold faucets, but not the hot ones? Haven't figured that out yet. Gas valve leaks when turned on and off, but once all the way on, stops leaking and vice versa. Anyone reading this, any advice, bring it on, I'm listening. Thx
I'm by no means an 'expert' , I'm still learning, A Lot from this forum. But propane valves seal themselves in a full open or full closed position.
On the no hot water, I'd look for a "winterizing" valve, just an on/off valve to prevent water from entering the water heater when you are getting ready to put it away for winter. I'm sure you all will get plenty of good information on this site. Stay tuned !!
Monkey

PS, Welcome to IRV2 !!!!
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:27 AM   #13
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Will do. I want to hear opinions on if I got a good deal. I will have my mech look at it Friday. Needs fuel gauge fixed and makes really pound metallic screechy grind when turning wheels all the way. If we can get by with no heat or ac then we r good.

What are the main rules on these? Can't drive with the fridge running cuz of the pilot light? It has a second battery not a gen. Should I get a trickle charger for the second batt?

Steph
You should be able to drive with the fridge on gas. (Once again, I'm no expert) If it was mine looking to boondock, I'd get a small generator, and do like a friend of mine with a nice 5th wheel trailer, he built a simple metal frame on the rear bumper for a generator, and when stopped, simply plugs it in to the trailer, via heavy extension cord, then you have AC voltage,, maybe even charge your batteries depending on your setup... Just Be Careful of carbon monoxide inside ... (exhaust)
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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23 feet motorhome....just got it home. $2200 and the interior is in AMAZING shape. it's so 70's tacky its unbelievable. everything original even down to the 8 track tape player, and it came with "kenny rogers - the gambler" in it to boot! upholstery is in excellent shape. barely any vinyl or carpet or anything out of place. I hope 2200 is a good price!! mechanically sound, some minor things....lights out, ac system needs belt, needs 2 new small ventilation ports in the top.

i wonder where i can get a manual?!

will post pictures of the very WOOD and very GREEN interior. It looks like a Forest Tavern....right down to the plastic "stained glass" trim. unbroken mind you!

steph
I too would love to see pictures !! I'm a Mopar nut,, and 8 tracks were "the thing" in my day... (can't figure out all the buttons on the previous owners radio replace in ours... )
A big thing if you are going very far from home, is Tires... Not just the tread depth,, but the age. (I learned that the hard way,, ) I looked at the tires when we bought ours,, no big weather cracks, tread ok,, blew one on the way home, a 100 mile trip.. 6 new Coopers and all is good.
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