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Old 06-07-2023, 01:57 AM   #1
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Help me first time owner

Hello, Iím currently an owner of a 1989 Allegro Chevy P30. I bought today at the Portland auction and have to pick up tomorrow and bring back 150 miles to central Oregon. This was something my husband and I wanted to do, but in 30 years we only rented small class Cís three times. He unfortunately passed away March 14th, so we wonít be doing this together.

Question: the auction said it needs a new rear tire asap but it runs and drives with 43k. I know Iím taking a risk, but I just want to get it home. Besides a tire what do I need to check to get it safely to Prineville about 150 miles to my house. The paint, decals, interior all look very clean but according to carfax it appears itís been possibly sitting as it just shows about 10 yrs of vehicle registrations. Any help to get it home safely is so appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2023, 05:37 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard!
Hoping you can find a tire dealer close to the auction before you drive any great distance. I've bought used vehicles myself and some were immediately treated to a new set of tires. I'm going to bet that the rear tire in question is one of a set of very old tires that was not shaded from the sun and is showing a gross amount of cracking. Good luck to you, and visit the forum often for advice. We can help you from being scammed by those who would prey on you in your situation.
Good luck!
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Old 06-07-2023, 06:14 AM   #3
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For it to be stated up front a tire is bad, I don't think there's any subtlety to that - it's visibly damaged and in my view there's no "pushing it" with something known bad. Ideally you'd reset the clock with a whole new set of tires but I get that you might not want to address this at a place away from home. But if the thing has sat for 10 years it may very well be they're all expired and none would be safe to drive on for any distance, good tread and holds air or not. You'll know when you get there and can inspect the date codes. My take would be to identify shops in the area that can fix you up with new or at least safe tires, and be prepared that you might end up spending your first night in this thing, or a hotel, in the event it takes more than a day to get this done. In my view this is part of the "deal" when buying a vehicle remotely. If this seems unappealing, consider what your day would be like with a blown tire on the side of the highway calling around for a tow and what that costs.

Before I'd run a vehicle that old and that far as a unknown I'd be going over it for everything - fluids, hoses, belts, brakes, electrical, the whole schmear. You can address maintenance and repairs once you get it home but at a minimum everything should check out at least to the extent of appearance and function. I'd entertain having someone accompany me in a car with my tools along just in case.

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Old 06-07-2023, 06:54 AM   #4
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What Mark said--the fact is you bought a 34-year old vehicle which may well have set for years. Bad tires and a long period of time in storage are not good indicators of previous care. Even under the best of conditions, this will be a project to return it to safe operating condition. Where it currently sets right now, or at home is where you want this process to happen, not on the road in between. I would recommend two things: 1- find a trustworthy mechanic to help you with: a- find used tires to get you home, and b- get engine running and check vital fluids and components, eg, brakes, lights, tranny, etc. And 2, with this initial evaluation, you can decide whether this is the right vehicle for you, and if not, cut your losses before any more money is "invested."
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:15 AM   #5
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! Weíre sure glad you joined the gang here!

So sorry about your husband!

Congrats on the new rig! I would just have the place that puts the new tire on check all the fluid levels. Other than that, you just roll the dice!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:38 AM   #6
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Tire date codes

Congratulations on your coach. There is a tire date code on each tire that I would check. I would replace any over 6 years immediately. ( I would assume that they are all over 6 years old.) I then would take it to the nearest tire center and buy a set of new tires before driving 20 miles.

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Old 06-07-2023, 10:58 AM   #7
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Congrats on your new addition!! I am so sorry for your loss.

You can, most definitely do this by yourself. I have been solo RVing for 18 years. I have purchased all of them myself and upgraded/remodeled them alone as well.

I also know, at times, it will feel overwhelming. That is normal. If you are having issues, come here to ask. If you are camping somewhere and say the hot water heater does not light, ask a fellow camper for help. I have helped many people, over the years, at campgrounds (the hot water heater being the most common).

In my humble opinion, I would stop in at Les Schwab or Costco before you head home. Bad tires on a MH are a lot more dangerous than a car (which is bad enough), especially a front tire! It could blow as soon at you get on the I-5, which is bad enough but if it were on the Terwilligar Hills, that could be very bad.


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Old 06-07-2023, 11:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Congratulations on your coach. There is a tire date code on each tire that I would check. I would replace any over 6 years immediately. ( I would assume that they are all over 6 years old.) I then would take it to the nearest tire center and buy a set of new tires before driving 20 miles.

Van 2008 Ventana 40' no toad
Ditto. DO NOT attempt to drive the RV any distance until you know that none of the tires are over 5 years old not 6 since it has been parked for who knows how long.

Next get all fluids and brakes checked and serviced as you have no way of knowing when and what maintenance was performed.

Ken
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Old 06-07-2023, 01:45 PM   #9
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What you need is tires, brakes and steering and well as a functional engine. And of course a functional engine implies working battery, cooling (radiator) system, power steering pump, starter, etc. A failure of any one of those can sideline you on the road. I'd for sure sign up for roadside assist insurance before moving it.


It's hard to know where to begin. Does it start? Drive it a few hundred feet if you can before leaving the auction lot. And back it up several feet too. Do the brakes slow & stop the coach? Does the transmission shift into the higher gears? Steering seem tight vs sloppy? If all those things seem ok, maybe you can drive it as far as a tire shop to get that known bad tire replaced. And since you think it has been sitting along time, I'd have the engine drive belts replaced and add a couple cans of dry gas to the tank in case there is water in it. Then pray as you drive.
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Old 06-07-2023, 02:59 PM   #10
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I suggest you search for a mobil RV tech/mechanic near Portland and have him on speed dial, in case you get it off the auction yard and then suffer a breakdown. IN MY OPINION, this isn't really something that one person alone should be attempting. Hope you have a helper taking you down there that can help. I wish you good luck!
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Old 06-08-2023, 06:25 AM   #11
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What they all said, but to sum it up:


Check all the fluids before moving it, and by all I mean ALL (oil, transmission, power steering, brake, radiator, diff, ..), not just oil and go. Keep in mind that the power steering powers the brakes on these coaches, and possibly the automatic parking brake if so equipped.


Replace the tires at the nearest tire shop if they are over 7-8 years old, or there is any doubt, as mentioned tire failures on motorhomes are far more serious than on cars, often resulting in thousands of dollars of body damage.


Watch out for brakes, even if they are not seized up now, they may likely seize up after the first time they get hot. Another reason to drive it to a nearby shop, have the tires changed, and have the brake lines fully flushed before driving it home.


While you are there it may be worth it to change the starting battery, if it is questionable.
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Old 06-08-2023, 07:35 AM   #12
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It is far less costly to repair/replace something before it causes a problem than after it has failed causing greater damage. Do you have a knowledgeable friend who has a motorhome? If possible take them along for the pickup. Also, make the tire replacement arrangements before you go, as they might not be in stock. Personally, I would locate a shop that would service the engine compartment, check the brakes, belts, etc. before the trip home. Preventative maintenance is always less costly than after a failure. I hope it works out well for you.
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Old 06-08-2023, 08:50 AM   #13
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It is far less costly to repair/replace something before it causes a problem than after it has failed causing greater damage. Do you have a knowledgeable friend who has a motorhome? If possible take them along for the pickup. Also, make the tire replacement arrangements before you go, as they might not be in stock. Personally, I would locate a shop that would service the engine compartment, check the brakes, belts, etc. before the trip home. Preventative maintenance is always less costly than after a failure. I hope it works out well for you.
In post 1 she says she is picking it up today. We wish her luck!
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Old 06-08-2023, 09:02 AM   #14
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In post 1 she says she is picking it up today. We wish her luck!
Well, maybe the RV Gods will keep her safe.
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