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Old 08-31-2011, 02:27 AM   #1
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Syphoning out bad gas

I have a dumb question. DISCLAIMER: Mechanics are not my field of expertise, I'm a retired nurse, anything without a pulse, I don't know.

I'm going to try to get my motor home started myself as calling a mobile auto repairman would probably cost an arm, a leg, a foot and part of my elbow. The MH has been sitting for years. I'm sure the gas has gone bad. I want to syphon out the main tank but I'm not sure what to do with the bad gas. Can I syphon it into the aux tank for now? Until I get it running and to a repair shop? I know to syphon as much out as possible then get underneath it and either undo the plug if it has one or undo the fuel line to get it all out. I have a pan for it to drain into. At the same time, I should replace the fuel filter. Not sure where that is, I need to get under it and look. This should be fun.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:29 AM   #2
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Pam,

I'd think gas tank and fuel filter issues could be handled by most car knowlegeable types. Perhaps a neighbor or maybe call the local high school auto shop teacher and ask if there is an A student from last year they might recommend.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:53 AM   #3
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79 Chieftain came in 26ft (rear bath) and 29ft (rear bedroom). Both were based on a Dodge chassis with a 440. Original fuel filter was located at the fuel pimp on the passenger side of the engine. Crawl into right front wheel wheel and look below and just aft of the alternator. Rust accumulation in the gas tanks is the biggest enemy. At first you will go through many filters trying to clear it out.

How much gas in tank? Getting rid of old gas is a BIG pain. You will most likely have to dilute with new gas, add some STA-BIL to to the tank, and burn it through.

I see from another posting (Hi from CA) you have already got it to run? (ran rough but you did go camping with it?). That thread inducates you need a tune up also.

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Old 08-31-2011, 10:55 AM   #4
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Thank you for the info. I have the MH with the back bath. I got it to run when I bought it, but that was years ago. It's been sitting since then as my life got complicated (my house burned down, I destroyed my ankle, stuff like that). Could the cutting out when I switched it to aux been because of rust and sediment? I don't mind changing out the fuel filter often if it means I can start using it. And for now, can I siphon the gas out of the main tank into the auxiliary tank?
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:29 AM   #5
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Yes you can transfer the gas. You might want to figure out a way to filter it though so you do not transfer stuff from one tank to the other. It is possible the cutting out was due to rust and sediment if that was clogging up the filter restricting the flow of gas to the carburator.
Though it could have been several things. Fouled spark plug, dirty carburator, bad spark plug wire, cracked distributor cap, burned rotor, stuck choke, etc. When a rig sets like yours did, the gas can turn to varnish which gums up the carburator passages and jets. Thats why they tell you to winterize a lawn mower or start your RV and run it for a bit once a month. STA-BIL helps prevent that from happening. The gaskets and seals inside that old Thermoquad carburator dry out and create problems.

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Old 08-31-2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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Thank you so much, Dave! It had had a tune up right before I bought it. I know sitting for years isn't good for it and as soon as it's running, it's going into the shop for a tune up, oil change, air filter, get all the levels and belts checked and new tires. I just got to get it running. And I just want to put the gas in the aux tank until I can get the MH somewhere to safely dispose of the old gas. Again, thanks for all the good advice.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:07 PM   #7
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IF the motor home is new enough to have an electric, in-tank, fuel pump then.

1: Locate the fuel filter (Get a replacement, NOTE there is an issue with Workhorse Chssis units, but there is also a solution if it's a workhorse, then look on the forum for the answer).. Disconnect the fuel filter and connect a "Rubber" fuel line to proper container.

Hook up an external battery charger

Turn on ignition and let it pump itself dry.

Replace filter with new one (See note above if it's a workhorse)

And refill from a proper container or tank.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
IF the motor home is new enough to have an electric, in-tank, fuel pump then.

1: Locate the fuel filter (Get a replacement, NOTE there is an issue with Workhorse Chssis units, but there is also a solution if it's a workhorse, then look on the forum for the answer).. Disconnect the fuel filter and connect a "Rubber" fuel line to proper container.

Hook up an external battery charger

Turn on ignition and let it pump itself dry.

Replace filter with new one (See note above if it's a workhorse)

And refill from a proper container or tank.
It's an old 1979 Winnebago, it doesn't have anything so fancy.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:34 PM   #9
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Hi Pam,

You will probably want to have a tire professional throughly check your tires before you travel. Sitting for long periods is hard on tires. Wouldn't want you and the girls to get stranded.

Just playing devil's advocate -- Are you sure that a 33 year old RV is a good choice for your family? I am a single female full-time RVer. I decided that buying a used RV was just too risky and potentially expensive for me. Like you, I'm not a mechanic. There are SOOO many things that can go wrong in an RV.

Having been a single mom with special kids, I was often concerned about being an easy target 99.99% of the people we met were either very nice or frankly scared of my girls. It's that occassional bad apple that sent a chill up my spine. PLEASE think carefully about safety before venturing too far. There is a solo RVer forum on irv2 that you might want to read thru the old posts.
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Forgive me if it seems that I am coming across as bossy. I feel that you are where I was 9 months ago -- getting ready to make a major lifestyle change. You have the added responsibilty and joy of your girls. I hope you look back on this decision years from now as being the best idea you ever had. Careful planning now will tip the scale to the good side.

Good luck,
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by okmunky View Post
Hi Pam,

You will probably want to have a tire professional throughly check your tires before you travel. Sitting for long periods is hard on tires. Wouldn't want you and the girls to get stranded.

Just playing devil's advocate -- Are you sure that a 33 year old RV is a good choice for your family? I am a single female full-time RVer. I decided that buying a used RV was just too risky and potentially expensive for me. Like you, I'm not a mechanic. There are SOOO many things that can go wrong in an RV.

Having been a single mom with special kids, I was often concerned about being an easy target 99.99% of the people we met were either very nice or frankly scared of my girls. It's that occassional bad apple that sent a chill up my spine. PLEASE think carefully about safety before venturing too far. There is a solo RVer forum on irv2 that you might want to read thru the old posts.
Solo RV'ers - iRV2 Forums

Forgive me if it seems that I am coming across as bossy. I feel that you are where I was 9 months ago -- getting ready to make a major lifestyle change. You have the added responsibilty and joy of your girls. I hope you look back on this decision years from now as being the best idea you ever had. Careful planning now will tip the scale to the good side.

Good luck,
I know you mean well. Don't at all take this the wrong way, but you really sound like my mom does when I come up with some life changing idea. I am not a shrinking violet type of person. I'm 6 feet tall and built like a linebacker. Been everywhere on my own all my life, never married. Never had any problems, I can take care of myself. My foster brother even taught me how to box though I'm not a violent person. I am also very strong and kinda intimidating in person when I want to be.

I plan on getting all new tires before we go anywhere. They've been sitting way too long. Found a shop nearby that has the tires I need, so as soon as I get it running, that is one of the first places we will go.

I can do a lot of repairs, just my dad did a lot of the engine repairs himself and, while I helped him, I'm afraid he wouldn't let me do certain things because "I might mess it up" lol Like spark plugs and wires and timing. I've changed radiators, alternators, starter motors and tires ever since I had cars. I am not a mechanic, but in a pinch I can make do until I can take it in if it needs something more than I know how to do. I don't like doing it, but I can do it. I also can follow directions really well, if someone can tell me how to do something, I can do it. Who knows, maybe a good deal will come along on a newer RV that I can afford and we will upgrade. And if it doesn't work out, I won't go full time. Thanks for your concern and I will check out that solo forum.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:30 AM   #11
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Hi Pam,

I'm glad that you are not the vunerable little lady that I envisioned. Thanks for setting the record straight. I will temper future replies with this new info.

Have fun!
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:15 AM   #12
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Hi Pam,

I'm glad that you are not the vunerable little lady that I envisioned. Thanks for setting the record straight. I will temper future replies with this new info.

Have fun!
Vunerable and little have never been words used to describe me. lmbo Big, stubborn, walking mountain, pigheaded, willful, these have been used and quite frequently.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:06 PM   #13
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Nice to meet the real you. Hope to meet you and the girls somewhere along the way.

Your sister from another mother,
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:09 AM   #14
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Nurses are the best!

As far as the fuel tank(s) and rust and crud, we also revived our motorhome, Titanic, which had been sitting a long time. We changed all the fuel filters including the one in the carb and then built this super filter to protect everything while the crud worked its way out. Install it on the line coming out of the tank. Keep an eye on the amount of junk that builds up and change when approaching maximum crudiness....



My wife, Marilyn is also a strong, do-anything woman. She worked right beside me as we transformed Titanic from worn-out hulk to reliable adventure machine.

Good luck and we'll see you on the road!
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