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Old 09-19-2021, 07:15 PM   #1
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New member from Saskatchewan!!

Hello! Glad to have found this forum.

I have a class C GMC G3500 van 1985 vanguard. Modal number VMG23D.

Traded my vehicle for it. Was a steal. In my eyes anyway. I call it my ship. I've fixed many things on it. And have been on a couple adventures with it already. One of them being stranded in a small town when I first bought it.

Let's just say the spark plugs were never changed. There was nothing left of them. So it was basically pissing out gas. I made it 147km on a full tank that night.

So since then I've replaced spark plugs and air filter, all belts, water pump even though it didn't need it (wow did they ever build things to last back then). Oil and oil filter. I installed a oil pan heater as well. Two leaky oil lines near the filter. Completely cleaned out the transmission and fluids replaced. I have a new distributor, belt pulley, and spark wires coming in the mail. The pulley is questionable. I'm hearing squealing sometimes but I don't know if that's my alternator or not. Hard to pinpoint where it's coming from. I get noticable power draws when turning the headlights on. There old as well. I'll probably change those over soon.

For the inside I changed all the fuses where the dash is. Changed the dash light bulbs. Don't like how dim it is during the day.(switching to LED) I can barely see the two gauges in the middle as there deeply recessed for some odd engineering reason.

Switching all the light fixtures to LED. Some have been switched already. I'm in the process of replacing the vents but that dang stuff they put on to seal it is hard as a rock. Looked up I guess a heat gun will loosen it? Would take me forever trying to chip away at it. This goes for everything on the roof. Not sure why there's back rails on the roof in the first place to be honest.

Unfortunately some of the wood on the roof in the bathroom has rot away some. But it seems like there's another thick piece behind thinner board so I might be ok where the vent goes.

Right now I'm fixing my stove. It seems the little rubber grommet on the burner valve connected to the manifold is going. I smelt propane coming from it and it seems weathered.

Many other things I'm going to replace. I tried cleaning the sink pipes with a crap ton of baking soda and vinegar for a natural way of doing it but after running hot water down to flush it out the smell is still there. It's easier to just replace at this point instead of buying product after product.

I still have the original Onan Genny on this thing. It fires up no problem but the problem it has is that it will only stay running if I hold the start button down. Apparently it's the oil level or the sensor. I'm just going to remove it and replace it with a more modern unit. Wish I had a need to keep the thing. Old reliable. But no where to keep it so it's on the net for someone.

Still have alot to go but I love my ship. I work on the road and when they ship me back home for a couple weeks I live in it. Cold is coming though so I need that power.
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Old 09-19-2021, 08:25 PM   #2
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Nice to have you here with us.

Sounds like you've been busy getting it in shape. Good luck with your projects and let us know what we can do to help you.
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Old 09-19-2021, 08:32 PM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2

From the currently very damp west coast .

Sound like you're well on the way to getting a reliable RV . Hope you can button things up before the winter.

Was your Vanguard built in Winfield BC ?
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:24 AM   #4
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Sounds like you've been a busy boy!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-20-2021, 05:07 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. That is quite the project!

You are joining a good group of friends here with good information to share. Read the various threads here and ask questions as they come up or add information if you can.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Welcome to iRV2

From the currently very damp west coast .

Sound like you're well on the way to getting a reliable RV . Hope you can button things up before the winter.

Was your Vanguard built in Winfield BC ?
I just checked the printout in the closet and yes it was!

I don't suppose you have a Manual for it by any chance xD
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by R0ughhab1tz View Post
I just checked the printout in the closet and yes it was!

I don't suppose you have a Manual for it by any chance xD
Sorry no manual for the RV , probably wouldn't have enough good info to be of any real use, vague to say the least .
The reason I asked was , I had friends who worked in the Winfield plant , and I worked at Chrysler in Kelowna , saw more than my share of Vanguards on Dodge chassis.

Appliance manuals available at .

www.myrvworks.com/manuals/
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TonyDi View Post


Nice to have you here with us.

Sounds like you've been busy getting it in shape. Good luck with your projects and let us know what we can do to help you.
Any sort of idea how the electrical system goes in this thing? I just removed the old Onan generator. Bought a new Furman. Going to be wiring it up today.

My question is do I need a house battery? And how does the house battery get charged back up? The alternator or generator?

If it was the alternator wouldn't simply putting the two positive and negative wires together make the lights come on? Probably doesn't work that way does it?

I've been trying to find a manual or a glimpse of how this this is wired up but it's so old. I'm sure the vague manual would state what powers or charges what.
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Old 09-28-2021, 12:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R0ughhab1tz View Post
Any sort of idea how the electrical system goes in this thing?

My question is do I need a house battery? And how does the house battery get charged back up? The alternator or generator?

If it was the alternator wouldn't simply putting the two positive and negative wires together make the lights come on? Probably doesn't work that way does it?

I've been trying to find a manual or a glimpse of how this this is wired up but it's so old. I'm sure the vague manual would state what powers or charges what.
Sorry I missed your question the day you posted .

Having a separate house battery is the preferred set up , if you connect the house battery wiring to the chassis battery ; interior of the RV will be powered up BUT!!! you run the risk of running the chassis battery dead and not being able to start the RV.
Both the house battery and chassis battery will charge from the alternator .

Gen set powers the RV converter, by suppling 120 volt power to the RV power cord ; same as shore power.
The converter, also acts as the charger for the house battery ( more than likely NOT the chassis battery )

Have you seen a unit like the blue one in this picture , anywhere in the coach ?
Back in the day , this was the unit that charged both batteries from the alternator then separated the two when the motor was off.
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Old 09-28-2021, 10:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Sorry I missed your question the day you posted .

Having a separate house battery is the preferred set up , if you connect the house battery wiring to the chassis battery ; interior of the RV will be powered up BUT!!! you run the risk of running the chassis battery dead and not being able to start the RV.
Both the house battery and chassis battery will charge from the alternator .

Gen set powers the RV converter, by suppling 120 volt power to the RV power cord ; same as shore power.
The converter, also acts as the charger for the house battery ( more than likely NOT the chassis battery )

Have you seen a unit like the blue one in this picture , anywhere in the coach ?
Back in the day , this was the unit that charged both batteries from the alternator then separated the two when the motor was off.
I haven't seen anything like that unfortunately. Maybe it's in where the power cord is. I'll have to dig around some and see. And I'll supply some pictures of the battery box tomorrow.

I'm thinking of getting a solar setup and was going to make an Inside thing for a battery as the current battery box is sort of exposed to the outside elements. Not so good for any battery. Plus the box itself is small.
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