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Old 04-17-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
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?'s on a 1985 Itasca Windcruiser.....I think.

Hello Everyone,
I just purchased a 1985 Itasca Windcruiser. I believe it is 34' and its powered by a 454ci Chevy. I purchased it with a blown engine with 88k miles on the clock. I think I got it for a song. I believe it is a Windcruiser. The driver and passenger doors are definitely full doors like the windcruiser. But my floor plan is exactly like the Sunflyer. My stove, sink, microwave, and bathroom are on the passenger side. the refrigerator is on the driver side. Anyway everything seems to work on this thing. Which brings me to a few questions. I plan to live in this thing while I do a total remodel on my home.

1.) It has an Onan 6500 generator which is out of fuel. Does it run on the built in propane system, or does it get fuel from the main gas tank for the engine? And how do you check the oil in this older Onan?

2.) How do I operate the propane system, to get the stove to work, etc. The stove and oven looks to never have been used.

3.) How do you fill the propane tank that is built in to the passenger side of the MH?

4.) Can I leave the sewage dump hose hooked into my house's septic system? Or do I just let the black tank fill then dump it? And can I just leave a water source hooked into the drivers side of the MH?

I'm sorry for all the questions. The only owners manual I received with it was the one for the Onan Genset. The MH is in great shape, has dual A/C units on top and all the equipment is there. If I can just figure out how to work this thing.
Thank you in advance.
Shawn
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvnewb View Post
1.) It has an Onan 6500 generator which is out of fuel. Does it run on the built in propane system, or does it get fuel from the main gas tank for the engine? And how do you check the oil in this older Onan?

2.) How do I operate the propane system, to get the stove to work, etc. The stove and oven looks to never have been used.

3.) How do you fill the propane tank that is built in to the passenger side of the MH?

4.) Can I leave the sewage dump hose hooked into my house's septic system? Or do I just let the black tank fill then dump it? And can I just leave a water source hooked into the drivers side of the MH?
Hi Shawn and Welcome to the Forum!

First off, here is a link to the Winnebago/Itasca brochure archives. Not all the info but a start:
Previous Model Year Product Information
You can often find manuals for the various appliances and such online. Here is a link for a nice library of manuals, just find the Model Number for your specific ones: http://bryantrv.com/docs.html

As for your questions, I'll answer what I can.
1 - Generator runs off of gasoline from the Main fuel tank. Tank need to be OVER 1/4 full to pull fuel for the generator. If the oil level is low the generator will not run. Gotta be a dipstick on it somewhere.
2 - First you need propane in the tank (see #3). The older stoves usually have a pilot light. Lift up the stovetop and look for the pilot hole, it should be lit first then the burners will light. Same for the oven - pilot light. Same for older hot water heaters, pilot light. Newer water heaters have an ON switch (usually on the wall in the kitchen area) which kicks on a spark ignitor. Furnace ON also triggers a spark ignitor.
3 - Propane tank on motorhomes is not removeable. You must drive it to a place (like a gas station) that has propane and they will fill the tank. If the MH is not driveable there are propane suppliers that deliver. Check the phonebook.
4 - Yes you can leave the water supply always connected but it is recommended to turn it off when you leave in case something starts leaking. Happens, especially in older units. Black tank valve should remain closed until nearly full, then emptied.

Congrats on the "new" motorhome and hope you enjoy it!
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply and links Nick, that helps alot. My wife thought I was crazy when I decided to go look at a 1985 MH with a blown motor for 2k. She quickly changed her mind when she walked in it. I guess these things are like boats you can find some nice old ones. I'll eventually stick a crate engine in it and roll on. Oh yeah, the appliances in this thing are propane AND electric. So how does that work? If there is power available do they use Electricity first?
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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FIRST OFF - WELCOME TO THE FORUM (I don't know how to get the signpost)

Since your MH isn't drivable I'd put an extend-a-stay (Ebay $35-$40) in the propane line ahead of the regulator. Then I bought a 40# propane tank (PPL $92) and use it instead of the "house" tank because I can take it to the propane store. We also take it on the road with us. It cost over $100.00 for a service fee for local delivery of propane since we aren't in an RV park, but they fill us for FREE.

The ONAN has a dipstick located on the oil fill cap. When I was using an Allegro 34 with a 454 in it I put Rotella 15-40 wt oil in both of them. I was in the charter bus business for 25 years and got good service out of that oil. Before you start the gen go down to the auto parts house and by an automobile gas filter with a clear case so you can see when it gets full of crud. My MH had not been driven for 9 years and the tank had a lot of crud in it. I ended up buying a dozen filters and this was after I dropped the tank and had it cleaned, they just couldn't get it totally clean.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:23 AM   #5
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Hi ..and thank's for asking the same thing I wanted toask ..I have a 87' Itasca 31 ..still trying to learn how to start and run this thing !!I can't afford the 115 bucks an hour the RV center wants to check mine just to tell me "it's broken"..for the price ..Itasca is a nice unit ..but Damm is it big in there !!
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:41 AM   #6
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Hi Ken,
Yes they are quite large. I'm really impressed with the room. I'll post up some pics of the old war wagon here in just a bit. I'll get more time to play with mine this weekend with the suggestions here.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:10 PM   #7
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Here is my 1700 dollar Sweetie!

This is what 17 Franklin's and the power of Craigslist got me. Yes her 454 Chevy has bought the farm, but that is no big deal to me.

LOL It IS a Windcruiser, says so right here. LOL I'm a duffus!



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Old 04-18-2013, 09:39 PM   #8
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Nice unit, I have the same year but mine is the eland an model. Same also great Craigslist find because motor was bad. Right now I am in the middle of rebuilding an engine and transmission for it. Lots of fun.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:46 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reply. How did you get your engine out? I'm thinking forklift.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:22 AM   #10
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nice !!! and you have the laminate flooring ..my next project ..
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:54 AM   #11
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Yes used forklift, took pass door off and seat and it came out easy, transmission drop out through bottom. After taking the radiator out and taking the grill,bumper and the other supports out to reprint and clean up some of the wiring, the engine will fit going through the front end, so you could take the front apart and remove it that way.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:50 AM   #12
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Ok, sounds like a plan! I was going to remove the heads, and all accy from the front first. I've been toying with the idea of a 6bt Cummins Swap. The po told me she got 10mpg on the highway. The diesel may not do any better than that so it might not even be worth the trouble to swap it.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:55 AM   #13
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Paint?

As you all know the body on this thing is fiberglass. Can I roll on new paint? Something like a Marine Epoxy paint?
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:20 PM   #14
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Ok, sounds like a plan! I was going to remove the heads, and all accy from the front first. I've been toying with the idea of a 6bt Cummins Swap. The po told me she got 10mpg on the highway. The diesel may not do any better than that so it might not even be worth the trouble to swap it.
I didn't have a tach on my older MH with the 454 (so I didn't know how fast the engine was turning) but I do on the "newer" one with a Cummins 5.9 and if you replace the engine you may have to replace the rear end as the Cummins runs slower then the 454.

On my older unit I had to have the tranny rebuilt and I decided to recore the rad, I had them put in a thicker (+50%) core to help with any up-comming cooling problems. It didn't run hot but I only had a chance to use it in the winter and spring before the tranny went south. The temps in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona get pretty bad in the summer and early fall.

I also built an air dam between both sides of the new rad and the fenders (?). When you opened the front of the coach you could see the front tires and ground so I figured that a lot of air would take the path of least resistance and cool the tires and asphalt instead of the rad.

When I put the second water temp gage in, I left the old one there and now the new owner can see the temp on both heads. Just as a precaution I also added an electric oil pressure gage.
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