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Old 11-22-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
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New to RV's. Just got a 76 Itasca

There are 4 of us friends who just acquired a free 76 Itasca motorhome and we're going to pool our resources to use it. I guess its about a 22footer, Chevy van cab and SBC powered. Overall it appears to be in fair condition. 1970's aesthetics (guacamole green carpet, used-car-salesman-pants brown plaid upholstery).

- Is there a good message board for RV owners?
- I'm a little scared about the old LP gas system. Aside from using soapy water to check for leaks, (not even sure if it has any gas) are there regulations for how old a system can be and still be refilled? What things here would be problematic and need special attention?

People are quick to tell us they are a money pit, but it seems to be coming from people who go to a dealer for everything. We have some advantages:
- It was free
- We're not snobs. Everything doesn't have to be perfect.
- One guy works at a tire warehouse and gets good discounts
- One guy does P & B and his wife can sew
- One guy runs the warehouse for a major RV parts/accessories supplier and gets free or cheap parts
- We're all pretty mechanical and can handle all that.

It hasn't been started since 1999. We plan to take the usual precautions with starting a motor that hasn't been cranked in a while. We will bypass the fuel tank and run off a gas can till we see how it behaves then prob drop the main tank and drain it. Any advice appreciated.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:40 AM   #2
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have your propane checked out. i just did mine and the valves were leaking. so it went to a propane shop to get it fixed and certified. also the gen if you have one. mine needs some work. mine is a 1978. have fun.

Outlaw
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:23 AM   #3
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dont worry what people say you are my neighbor (almost) im just south of you at 35W & 67 if it comes to it give me a PM or call out ill come over for free and help out
dave
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:01 PM   #4
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Hey welcome to the group, and a free MH can be fun too. I am the owner of a $300 Winnebago that has been more fun than I ever thought, even my wife loves it. Ask away on anything we can help with, but with the friends you have you got it made.
Take a look at my Blog to see some of the fun we have. Les
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:37 PM   #5
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We had it towed to our place yesterday. Tonight was the first real work. We managed to get the engine to fire pretty easy with some starting fluid which gave us all an excuse to have another drink. We disconnected the fuel line just before the pump and ran a line straight to a clean gas can. Tried and tried and wouldn't pick up the gas. Checked the fuel filter and the gas isn't getting to the carb so we figure the fuel pump is bad, and its cheap insurance to just replace it anyway.

Electrical question...why are there places for 2 batteries under the hood? What does the 2nd battery do? We wondered if it was for starting the generator? We plugged in to the house by extension cord. We couldn't start the generator though. Not sure if it would start connected this way or not. We didn't have a 2nd battery we could use.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:59 AM   #6
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the reason for more than 1 battery one starts the motor (mine is torward the center of the rv the other 1 or 2 in my case supplys power to inside lights, and appliances now if your not getting gas to motor do you have a elect fuel pump it should be mounted to frame above rear end also should be a filter there also filter in carb
dave
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:10 AM   #7
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the reason for more than 1 battery one starts the motor (mine is torward the center of the rv the other 1 or 2 in my case supplys power to inside lights, and appliances now if your not getting gas to motor do you have a elect fuel pump it should be mounted to frame above rear end also should be a filter there also filter in carb
dave
We haven't checked further back in the fuel system yet since we plan to drain the tank. I just disconnected the feed line from the FP (standard small block Chevy fuel pump on the block) and attached a new line into a gas can only about 2 feet away, but with all the cranking, it never picked up. Pulled the line from the carb and dry as a bone. Luckily this should be a cheap fix with a new pump and maybe fuel line. I never thought about an electric one too somewhere between block pump and tank.

So how is the generator started? Is it a 12v starter? We can't see it. Its a Kohler motor and not sure how to get to the starter to check it out. When we hit the Start button nothing happens but the choke-heat solenoid clicks.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:32 AM   #8
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it has to be 12v mine is a onan check elect connections at battery and gen
dave
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:48 AM   #9
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your gen. is doing the same as mine. don't know yet what the problem is as the dealer hasn't got the mh back from the propane shop. too much snow and ice. hopefully it will get done by next week. will let you know what it was so you can see if yours is same thing unless you have gotten it running by then. at least the dealer is picking up the tab for all this.

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Old 11-24-2010, 04:58 PM   #10
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Frank, you might want to take a look at a number of books Good Sam has that can acquaint you with all of the systems on motorhomes and how to maintain and fix them:

Books at the Travel Store - Good Sam Club
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:47 PM   #11
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your gen. is doing the same as mine. don't know yet what the problem is as the dealer hasn't got the mh back from the propane shop. too much snow and ice. hopefully it will get done by next week. will let you know what it was so you can see if yours is same thing unless you have gotten it running by then. at least the dealer is picking up the tab for all this.

Outlaw
Once we figured out how the battery connections work and on the right circuit, we were able to start it. Cleaned the carb and plug, replaced the end of the spark plug wire, cleaned the points and with a few squirts of ether, its running well now.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:35 PM   #12
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great. got mine back. had to put a new pump on, clean the carb, drain the tank. i tried to start it up later and had a heck of a time. still looks like some bad gas is still in it. could smell it. finaly got it started, runs fine now. have to replace the muffler. has a hole in it. so much fun.lol.

Outlaw
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