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Old 03-22-2016, 10:52 PM   #1
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Just wanted to show off our 1981 Tioga we bought

I know shes a bit rough around the edges but a little TLC, and a few upgrades she will be rocking and rolling in about a month.

Here is a public facebook link to the pics I have of it, after tomorrow I will have fresh pics of the outside and the solar array too.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...2&l=45eee82dd4


Basic Information:

1981 Fleetwood Tioga on a 1979 Chevrolet G30 van chassis
400ci 6.6L V8 (seized after PO drove 50-200 miles with oil leaking from the plug )
TH400 3spd Auto
4.10 Rear Axle Ratio
Engine A/C installed but unverified yet.
Overall Motorhome has 83895 miles so far.



What has been done by the PO:
Engine transmission and carb have roughly 4,000 miles on a complete rebuild with paperwork
4 - 100W solar panels on roof
60A Solar controller
2 - 125Ah AGM batteries
Fuel and Brake lines all redone
Complete Dual Exhaust system replacement
Brakes replaced
PEX plumbing replaced all original
Gravity Fed shower option
20 Gallon roof mounted solar water heater (this only gets 10-20F above ambient and i have already decided on a new design)
Bathroom fan was replaced with a 3spd hi efficiency fan
Most light fixture were replaced with LED fixtures
Old fridge/freezer was replaced with a dorm model
Bathroom sink removed and Commercial sink installed in kitchen
Furnace removed and replaced with Catalytic Olympian Wave ventless heater
USB wall outlet by the bed
3 total inline filters and a drinking water filter on the commercial sink
And probably more I am forgetting lol


Intended upgrades either before june or september depending on how soon we buy a house.

6.6L will be pulled to be rebuilt (again) and replaced with a 1987 300HP 5.7L TBI instead
Factory engine A/C will be recharged if needed
Rooftop A/C will be removed since it is a energy hog.
I will find a location to either semi or permanently mount the Hi-Efficiency 10,000BTU portable A/C in the picture.
Battery charging/maintainer circuit will be replaced with a schumacher or other standalone unit for the winter months when the solar gets little sun.
Air horn will be added
Exterior lights will be converted to LED as well and headlights will get HID, and a set of fog lights
The "camping" side with the regular door will get 3 LED flood lights on the roof to use as "patio" lights
4 scissor leveling jacks will be added
Tow Hitch will be reinforced
Front hitch will be added to carry my mobile tool box.
Air bags will be added to the rear suspension
Looking into raising the front 1-2" as well for offroad clearance.
Range hood will be replaced with a 2 speed model and LED lights
Replace the outdated USB charger outlet with a more powerful model
3-5 addition 100W solar panels
175Ah battery to add to the bank
Might buy a small HF 900W generator if the solar somehow runs out since I traded the original genset for a 454 to complete the engine swap.


More to come depending on how fast I can pull off all that
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:45 AM   #2
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Subscribed to watch progress, good luck with it.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:03 AM   #3
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Have fun with the TLC projects. While looking thru the pictures it looks like the space heater is very close to the curtains. You may want to re-position it for more clearance around it.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:47 AM   #4
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Congratulations on your rig and I love it when you talented people save the older rigs. These were well made or wouldn't still be here and this one apparently had some good care.

Look forward to seeing your redo on her.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:07 AM   #5
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You're gonna love that wave heater! They work great and you get maximum benefit from propane and no battery draw while boondocking! Congrats and keep us informed.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:50 AM   #6
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Congrats on the new-to-you Tioga.

You didn't say if you plan to tow, but our 1976 23 ft. class C Midas Mini chassis had been extended beyond the rear leaf spring mounts, and the welds broke from our car trailer tongue weight. Be sure to check your frame channels closely; what may appear to be continuous frame may actually have been spliced and need reinforcement.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:26 PM   #7
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It looks like you have the same refrigerator that I have. Very quiet, and it stays cold a long time without power (ten hours and my thermometer still shows the temperature in the safe zone).

You didn't mention the new kitchen sink and fixtures, something I need to do.
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:20 PM   #8
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why would you remove your rooftop ac to have a portable unit taking up space in a small space already? I'm not seeing much difference in so called hi efficiency a/c units unless the older are in need of a tune up
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Schweikle View Post
Congrats on the new-to-you Tioga.

You didn't say if you plan to tow, but our 1976 23 ft. class C Midas Mini chassis had been extended beyond the rear leaf spring mounts, and the welds broke from our car trailer tongue weight. Be sure to check your frame channels closely; what may appear to be continuous frame may actually have been spliced and need reinforcement.
Yes I have seen lots of posts about that, we will be flat towing our 1988 suburban that has been modified as a mud runner and 3/4 ton DD

Whens he's all stripped down to be towed he is about 5000 lbs and almost nil on the ball for tongue weight but I will be doing some minor reinforcing anyway because occasionally I will pull something in the 4,000 lbs range with real tongue weight lol

I used our old 1977 Midas as a sleeper cab flatbed, but it had a "real" hitch installed with bracing already. it was beyond repair or restoration by the time we bought it, and spider infested too
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano56 View Post
why would you remove your rooftop ac to have a portable unit taking up space in a small space already? I'm not seeing much difference in so called hi efficiency a/c units unless the older are in need of a tune up
Well I have 2 options since the passenger seat was removed by the PO that did most of the upgrades, and I could set it there and run the vent out the passenger window when camping, or if I were to use the "window" unit I could either put it in the place of the OEM furnace or OEM water heater since both have been removed already. make a simple drip tray to make sure the condensation runs outside or even a sliding platform that slides out once parked, with the A/C running through the old furnace vents. I have not decided, still have to play with it this summer.


As far as the "socalled" hi efficiency units vs the stock (bear in mind we have camped or owned over 10 TT, RV's and pop-ups in the past 5 years varying from 1952 up to a 1996. the roof models are almost always 13,500 BTU or 15,000 BTU and I have a very accurate Amp meter and Watt meter for A/C current and another one good up to 480V commercial power readings. The 13,500 and 15,000 units respectively pulled 1500W-2000W depending on year, condition, etc. but even the 1996 with a very nice unit, and it was immaculately clean and blew ice cold pulled 1400W on low A/C when the compressor was running


Our "window" unit (8,000BTU) pulls roughly 5.5A (590W) of A/C current on high fan and compressor running rated to cool 350sq ft manufactured in 2013 (i think)

Our portable unit (10,000BTU) consumes 630W fan on low and compressor running. Rated for 400 sq ft i think its about 3-4 years old, we bought it used and i dont see a date code on the label.

The RV ceiling in the RV is shorter than the house measurements used to determine sq'ft ratings. and 8' W X 23' L is only 184 SQ'ft so both are well within capacity.

Windows will all be tinted and covered with decent curtains and the solar panels reflect a lot of "sun heat" that would otherwise make the roof hot.


When going off grid especially with the limited real estate on the roof in the first place for PV panels (we have 400W @ 48V {4X100W 12V panels} currently and we only have enough room for maybe 3-5 more. We would only be producing 800W during peak hours in optimal sunlight for 4-6 hours.

The OEM roof unit is old, and uses 2X-3X what a modern residential unit does.


Even the NIB roof mounted A/C units are not close to efficient as residentials
hence why off-grid campers install household units or those with the basement space usually install smaller true "central" A/C and run the lines.

If we were camping with power all the time the 1000W difference would not matter as much, however with most of our events (trucks gone wild, country music concerts, truck pulls, mud drags, dirt track events, etc.) there is usually no power unless you reserve it months ahead of time and usually pretty spendy as well, I intend to have a 49CC generator (900W) that can run 6 hours on 1 gallon of gas as a backup/supplement to the solar, but I really dont like the drone of a generator while im trying to sleep, hence why I grabbed this RV already bundled with solar gear lol.



Hope i didn't offend, just trying to explain it from my perspective.
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alvo View Post
It looks like you have the same refrigerator that I have. Very quiet, and it stays cold a long time without power (ten hours and my thermometer still shows the temperature in the safe zone).

You didn't mention the new kitchen sink and fixtures, something I need to do.


Sorry lol, theres so much done to "refit" this for off grid i am bound to forget some

However i just remembered something about that sink, it has the soap dispenser and a undersink changeable filter for the drinking water so we can "refilter" the water that we want to drink too


and yeah I turned it on and within maybe 30 minutes the ice bag was frozen already and it shut off. (this was ambient temp in the mid 70's with it open )
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:12 AM   #12
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Hey look i just figured out how to multi quote sorry for all the individual responses above lol


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper2 View Post
Have fun with the TLC projects. While looking thru the pictures it looks like the space heater is very close to the curtains. You may want to re-position it for more clearance around it.
I noticed that too, but im hoping to not really need it, i have arthritis in my fingers, neck, back, and knees so fall camping usually gets cut short lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightab View Post
You're gonna love that wave heater! They work great and you get maximum benefit from propane and no battery draw while boondocking! Congrats and keep us informed.

I was told there are no fumes, however in my experience you cant burn a fuel source without an oxygen supply and co or co2 emissions

and i think that the no battery draw was the reason they swapped this out for the furnace, those old blower motors usually drew 15-23A on my other rigs
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:13 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone, Engine install is first and foremost in about a week or two then the rest can begin

I will upload those outside pics sometime tomorrow, shes still dirty but i need some "before" pics to compare to the "after" lol
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Old 04-13-2016, 06:28 PM   #14
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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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