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Old 07-19-2014, 10:03 PM   #1
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Bringing a 1994 Montara Back to Life

We just acquired a 1994 Montara with only 25k miles on it. I'll use this thread to document how I bring it back to serviceable use. It's not been used as a Motorhome in many years, and we don't know the condition of the systems. We fortunately do have all of the manuals.

Our first step was to replace all 6 tires with Toyo's from Les Schwab. We then drove it 300 miles to our home with a brief stop to do a quasi camping visit with our daughter.
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Once home I noted the Onan generator had only 5 hours on it. I checked the oil and it was very clean. So I pressed the starter and it actually started. It didn't run very well and appears to be running rich. I'll pull the carb and clean it which should fix that issue.

I discovered that the accessory battery was dry, so I filled the cells with distilled water and put it on an external charger and possibly I can save it. If not, it will get replaced.

The propane tank shows 1/4 full but no LPG is reaching the range. I suspect the lack of electricity is keeping a valve closed.

On the left entry wall are two on/off electrical switches that I've found no documentation for. Would anyone have a clue as to their use?

That's all for now.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:30 PM   #2
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Congratulations on the new mh, here is a site that you will find helpful, it is specifically for older rvs

Good Old RVs - Vintage RVs for the rest of us...
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:04 AM   #3
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Welcome I have a 99 Winnie I'm doing the same with nice project.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:51 PM   #4
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Propane, not likely there's anything electrical in that class and year of unit. More likely there's just no gas in the lines. With the tank valve open, turn the biggest burner of the range on to high and listen for a hissing sound. If you hear airflow, try to light the burner. If not check the valve and or top off the tank.

The two switches are usually a) interior overhead light, and, b) outside entry light. Without 'house battery' power neither will light up without engine running.


Enjoy you're new purchase!
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:44 PM   #5
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Propane, not likely there's anything electrical in that class and year of unit. More likely there's just no gas in the lines. With the tank valve open, turn the biggest burner of the range on to high and listen for a hissing sound. If you hear airflow, try to light the burner. If not check the valve and or top off the tank.

The two switches are usually a) interior overhead light, and, b) outside entry light. Without 'house battery' power neither will light up without engine running.


Enjoy you're new purchase!
I'm thinking the propane tank is empty as I've tried what you suggested.

Re: the switches, I figured them out. One shuts off the overhead interior lights and one the outside light (the bulb on the outside light was burnt out, so that's been replaced).

The house battery has taken a charge. but I'm thinking it will need replacement.

Thanks for the response.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:02 PM   #6
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You will probably need too get the propane system pressure tested as well if it has been sitting that long. A dry battery is probably toast too. Good luck with it.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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Gauges have certainly been known to be worng, LOL.

Try putting just a few dollars worth of propane in the tank (in case it needs removal or repair) and try the test again 24 hours later.

Even with dead batteries, try plugging it into shore power, even if only from an extension cord.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:45 PM   #8
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For the propane.. Is your LP Leak detector turned on and showing a green light. Did a search on google and an rvforum.net blog says this should be at floor level just inside the doorway. I think it needs to be on and show solid green light for the safety valve to disengage and allow gas to flow. Good luck
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:51 PM   #9
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It is often over looked but important. Make sure you replace the LP leak detector, smoke detectors, CO detector and fire extinguisher. They all age out.

Good luck with your purchase and have fun!
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:15 PM   #10
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Gauges have certainly been known to be worng, LOL.

Try putting just a few dollars worth of propane in the tank (in case it needs removal or repair) and try the test again 24 hours later.

Even with dead batteries, try plugging it into shore power, even if only from an extension cord.
I've got it plugged into shore power with an extension cord and we'll see what that accomplishes.

I'll put a few $$ in propane in the tank for testing purposes. Thanks for mentioning that I only need a partial tank for testing purposes. My first inclination was to fill it.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:16 PM   #11
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After a 10 day break to do a 2k mile ride to Montana and Idaho on my dual sport motorcycle, I got back to being productive on my rejuvenation process.

Today I installed a combo CO2 and LP alert system, eliminated the automatic gas shut off valve, mounted a fresh fire extinguisher, replaced a roof vent cap, and replaced the water tank drain valve.

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We now have a functioning range, oven, and furnace. I'll level up the unit and test the refrigerator. On the docket next is to replace the rear lower clearance lights, and oil, coolant and brake fluid change. I've fired up the Onan and it has some issue with the fuel delivery system. I've disassembled the carb, and all was surprisingly clean.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:46 PM   #12
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Today I took a slight step backwards. The Hot Water Tank has a hole in it and as I was testing for leaks, I proceeded to get parts of the inside of the motorhome a bit damp. Fortunately, the Atwood tank is replaceable and it's on order.

On the plus side, I replaced the lower rear clearance lights and now have good visibility from the rear.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:48 PM   #13
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today, I also cleaned the awning and have gotten the refrigerator to work on gas. I'm slowly making progress.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:10 PM   #14
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I made some more progress today by doing an oil change and brake fluid change. The brake fluid was the nastiest I've ever encountered, but it's now clear in the reservoir and at the wheel cylinders!

Plus now we have ice cubes in the refer. T-3 days and we depart on the maiden voyage.
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