Repairs to '88 Itasca Proved Worthwhile
I had completed some repairs to our '88 Itasca last winter after a trip to Wyomiing from Arizona. The radiator was seeping, along with the carb. The throttle shaft in the carb was worn and hanging up so had that rebushed and carb rebuilt.Replaced the radiator with a new 4 row, along with a 180' heavy duty thermostat. I had already installed a new severe duty AutoZone fan clutch before the trip but it was almost always engaged. Did not help fuel mileage at all.
I also had installed a second set of Harbor Freight solar panels. Due to family issues we did not have a chance to get away until I went elk hunting a couple weeks ago.
The engine temperature runs about 180' unless pulling a hill or bucking a wind, then it will climb to about 195' and the fan clutch engages. This works really well like this. The previous thermostat was a 195' and it and the fan clutch were in a constant battle.
Boondocked for just over a week and did not have to use the generator unless the microwave was used, which was seldom. I had installed LED lights prevoiusly so these draw very little power. Have a small under counter kichen TV that we watched DVDs every night on. Ran the furnace at night with the thermostat set to about 60'. Fridge was on propane but still uses 12v for controls. Water pump was used as needed.
90w from the solar was enough to charge both group 27 deep cycle batteries. The voltage was usually about 12.3 volts in the morning and 12.8 in the afternoon.
Gas mileage going up the mountains pulling a utility trailer was 7.3mpg, coming down the mountains got 10.12mpg. I think this is pretty good for this old beast with a 454!
I had installed the foil type insulation on the firewall and the sides of the radiator brackets that I bought a HomeDepot. Really made a difference in the fan noise in the cab and warmth when parked. It did get down to under 30' most nights.
Still have a list of things I want to do but at least for now the mechanical systems seem to be in pretty good shape. And with the solar I do not need to run the generator hardly at all.
Now it is time to go fishing!