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Old 10-22-2020, 01:55 PM   #1
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Holiday Rambler Owners Club
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1981 Holiday Rambler full timer

Hello! We are first time RV owners of a fantastic vintage 1981 Holiday Rambler Imperial 32' that we are living in full time in the mountains. It's been 3 months and the weather has been great, so thing have been going well with fixing it up and making it functional for our needs. Winter is here now, though, and we are happily sitting in the snow. It's going to be an interesting winter! Anyone that has any info on the 1981 imperial we would love to talk to you. Cheers!
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:18 PM   #2
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Welcome! I am a recent new member as well and I am rebuilding a 94 HR Navigator! Pretty awesome you are living in the mountain in yours!! Stay warm and best of luck!

Ps. Make sure your roof is good
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:50 AM   #3
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If you have reliable shore power, it might be worth your while to get a small electric space heater. Insulation in older rigs can be quite thin and you don't want to use up all of your LP gas to heat it and run out of hot water or cooking gas.

Welcome and have fun!
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Old 10-24-2020, 10:26 AM   #4
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We added extra insulation underneath when we fixed the leak in our holding tank. We also have done quite a bit of remodeling inside beefing up the walls and floor and sealing all the open spaces where cold air leaks in with foam. Also sewed some thick insulating curtains for the awesomely huge windows. (They are great for the greenhouse effect during the day!) So far she’s pretty weather tight. We are off grid using a generator and propane. Now that it’s cold we are finding that our propane lasts about 3 weeks before needing a refill. Fingers crossed we can keep going like this and not have to deal with frozen tanks at any time this winter.
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Old 10-24-2020, 12:59 PM   #5
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83 imperial here, only three weeks of propane? I have a rather big tank 65 gallons. Your size of tank may I ask?
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:19 PM   #6
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We have two tanks tethered but Iím not sure of their size (the man of the house takes care of filling them). We have been having temps below freezing with highs in the 40s the past several weeks so the furnace has been running quite a bit. The water heater, range and frige is all run off propane, plus we tie into those tanks to use the grill outside. The last tanks had to be filled after just three weeks. We will see how long they last this time. I thought propane wouldíve been quite efficient. Even if we do have to fill them often itís still cheaper (was $45 to get them both filled the last time he took them in) than what my utility bill was to heat my house! Iíve not done much research to know what differences there are between the Ď83 and the Ď81 imperial. I might have to pick your brain since we have no owners manual and very little info about the appliances/furnace/water heater.
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbluesky View Post
Welcome! I am a recent new member as well and I am rebuilding a 94 HR Navigator! Pretty awesome you are living in the mountain in yours!! Stay warm and best of luck!

Ps. Make sure your roof is good
Best decision I ever made was selling the house and hiding out deep in the woods. Living the dream! Some camping spots we are completely off grid without cell reception and we don’t have a tv... that means no political ads, no social media, no covid worries, no riots. It’s awesome! Good luck with your renovation!
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mxdancer View Post
We have two tanks tethered but Iím not sure of their size (the man of the house takes care of filling them). We have been having temps below freezing with highs in the 40s the past several weeks so the furnace has been running quite a bit. The water heater, range, and the fridge is all run off propane, plus we tie into those tanks to use the grill outside. The last tanks had to be filled after just three weeks. We will see how long they last this time. I thought propane wouldíve been quite efficient. Even if we do have to fill them often itís still cheaper (was $45 to get them both filled the last time he took them in) than what my utility bill was to heat my house! Iíve not done much research to know what differences there are between the Ď83 and the Ď81 imperial. I might have to pick your brain since we have no owners manual and very little info about the appliances/furnace/water heater.
I have all the manuals, some of the info is good some just generic fodder, with that being said there are volumes of info out there. You may be surprised just how common RV's of our era are. Feel free to ask I've been up and down mine from about every angle one could think of. Most importantly the construction of the HR was very well done, a very solid platform to build upon..tinker and or update/modernize...restore. One area I have not toyed with yet is the house battery switching fusing...It works fine and no reason to go there yet. But w8hen I do it will be a complete rework. As to your propane tank situation...the 83 has a very large ASME tank...meaning it is very robust many abandoned it due to surface rust, it's located under the RV passengers side...one cannot miss it if it's still there..About 7 ft long, rusty old looking thing. Do not let that fool you they can be brought back into service with just a bit of work and parts of course about $80 should restore its functionality.
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by nbluesky View Post
Welcome! I am a recent new member as well and I am rebuilding a 94 HR Navigator! Pretty awesome you are living in the mountain in yours!! Stay warm and best of luck!

Ps. Make sure your roof is good
That's a bit odd in a way, we also have a 05 navigator and I use that as a benchmark to update our 83 imperial. My other half is a life long RVer..she just laughed at me when we began this project. One big update was the aqua hot system, that was a big one. Problem solved with a Girard tankless and an electric tankless mounted to the kitchen sink area...then there were the floors....we now have laminate flooring and heated laminate flooring...As to slideouts well not so much, but then again we can find a pad for the 33 anyplace we go..the 44 not so much. Ohh and tire replacement that is what started this whole adventure, that is another story in itself
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