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Old 03-02-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
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RV Stupid

Bought our first RV (1997 21' gulf stream conquest) about one month ago. No experience, no clue of what to look for. Sun City AZ couple bought it new and decided they were too old to use anymore. Seemed like a good deal. Well, it's been in the backyard for a month now, quick trip for new tires has been it. Went up into the cab over and almost fell through. Also turns out all the areas that the wall paper had any issues was a leak spot. Fortunately (I guess) we had some AZ rain which was not pretty! After scrape, clean and reseal, no more leaks (another rare AZ rain storm). Ripped out the cab over head flooring, fortunately have an aluminum frame, re-did the plywood skin, foam, skin, though through the years the frame has some bend to it. Not too worried about that which may or may not be another stupid decision? Engine and drive train look good (have some knowledge in that area thank goodness), all components work (fridge, heater, water heater, AC, water pump, generator, LPG systems, lighting, electrical, tanks, and on and on).
Taking it to the local AAA shop for full service, replace engine cooling hoses and flush, tranny filter and flush, oil and lube, new belt, ect.....
I have already replaced the toilet, new microwave, new cabinet/door faces (have some wood working tools), rear view camera, sanitized the freshwater system, cleaning and painting and numerous other things.
We bought this thing to travel and give me an EASY distraction (on disability after 30 years with the same company due to RA and some not too good neck surgeries).
If anyone has spent the time to read through all this babbling, any advice on what may blow up next or what to look for? Want to take it on a minimal shake down cruise soon and don't want to end up along side the road calling Good Sam or Geico!!!

Any advice (no matter how bad) on what to look for will be greatly appreciated.

Greg and Karen, new and stupid RVers.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:44 PM   #2
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Sounds like you've got a great attitude, and are handling things that come along with grace. Can't predict what may be next. It'll be more fun as a surprise anyway.

As those surprises pop up, don't be shy about sharing, or asking questions. Collectively there's probably nothing you can come up with that someone here hasn't already conquered.

And welcome to IRV2.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2.
I am sure you will get plenty of advise. Good luck with your motorhome!
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:00 PM   #4
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With our '97 Adventurer we always made a service appointment before we left on a trip because we KNEW something would break while we were gone. The scouting motto applies here 'Be Prepared'. It's all good (as long as it just the RV that breaks down) just to be somewhere else.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:30 PM   #5
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Not stupid at all! It happens! Only stupid thing would be to pay someone else to do what you can do yourself
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:46 PM   #6
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Brake fluid... Suck it all out of the master cylinder with an old turkey baster and refill with DOT type 3 and bleed the brakes. If it's been sitting a long time, the fluid may be saturated with moisture that can corrode system parts. Although this could expose any brake system weaknesses (like a bad/weak master cylinder), better NOW than later while on the road.

Sounds like you've done an excellent job in the maintenance department so far and well on your way to some trouble free camping. Enjoy your new camper and welcome to iRV2. Bob
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:05 PM   #7
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I think you will be giving the advice to others at the rate you are going. Good job!
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:34 PM   #8
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Like you said in first sentence (Bought our first RV (1997 21' gulf stream conquest) about one month ago. No experience, no clue of what to look for.)
You now have the experience and making more improvements so you should be close in enjoying your motor home.
Good luck and welcome to irv2 Greg & Karen new and now experienced but not stupid.
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:33 AM   #9
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Not feeling quite so stupid

Many thanks for the good words and encouragement! The beasty is down at the shop today for preventative maintenance (drives me crazy paying someone else to do this, but just can't do it anymore), at a AAA facitility with a service manager from an RV shop.
Good advice on the brake fluid, hadn't given that a thought!

Thanks for the support,

Greg, Karen and the kids (Clementine and Atticus, golden retriever and choc lab).
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:51 AM   #10
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Maybe you would benefit from the guideance of one of the PDI checklists folks here have generated . Might help you methodically work thru all systems and identify some items.

Once the chassis, brakes, tires and engine issues are addressed, I'd start with the water and plumbing systems.

Identify hookups, and inline filters, heaters and tanks. Know what all valves are for.

I'd hookup city water, with a pressure regulator to assure no more than 40psi and make sure it holds tight with no leaks. Do not walk away during this test. Mke sure no leaks, or locate and fix any you have. Open cabinets under sinks, in storage areas and crawl under the rig. Listen for water running.

Fill up the hot water tank. Does it leak? Turn on the power to the h/w tank. Does it get hot?

Put some water in the fresh water tank. Disconnect the city water and turn ON the water pump. Does it come on for a bit to build pressure and then shut off? Or no pressure? Or does it run and not shut off?

Be very careful to not leave water pressure On, until you have verified no leaks in the plumbing.

Put some water into the black and grey water holding tanks. Test the dump valves. Test the toilet. (toilet flush water valves can leak so look behind it to check.)

Self inflicted water damage is not fun.

hoep this helps

safe travels
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sway & trac bars, Koni FSDs and SafeT+
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:20 AM   #11
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Be sure to check the propane components for the proper pressure and be sure there are no leaks. I would start with a new regulator at the tank as a minimum. Then check and be sure the system will hold 11" of pressure for 15 minutes. Goog luck with your project.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:13 AM   #12
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Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you are about ready to go. The advice about brake fliud is a very important one. I would recomend a complete flush, all new fluid.
An often neglected item is the generator. Moisture is not as big a problem here in Az. but is is a good practice to run it for an hour each month.
Have fun. Harold
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:23 AM   #13
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More great information. Loved the list by jackrobinryan - most helpful. So far so good on plumbing, no lines blew out or leaks at 35 psi water.
Generator starts and runs well, sounds good, loads/unloads properly under varying power requirements (though did find a leaking fuel line, easy fix), a bit more vibration than I would like. It's not a rattle your teeth thing but can definitely feel it inside. Have no idea what may be considered normal. It was rarely used by the previous owner, probably not a good thing. I haven't looked close but assume it's on rubber bushings, possibly in need of a change?
And brake fluid is next on my list!

Thanks again to all,

Greg, Karen, and the mutts.
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