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Old 06-12-2004, 09:18 PM   #1
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Question Introduction - would you try this

Hi all,
I'm new to the forum and just bought my first Air Stream. On Monday June 1, my wife and I bought a 1984 310 Limited from Forum member Ken Zener. First I want to say that Ken is a real gentleman and a joy to buy your first motorhome from.

As you may know, he had upgraded and/or repaired all of the systems in the motorhome. It has a Banks system, the fuel system (pump and carb) have been recently replaced. The ignition system were just gone through. It has new (or relatively new) air bags, generator, refrigerator, and furnace. It has a few minor cosmetic issues (things like lights which don't work) but seems very sound. The engine has about 78,000 miles and the transmission about 30,000 miles since it was rebuilt. Tires and brakes are excellent. Driving it from Portland to Medford Oregon it ran well. Climbed hills, ran cool, etc.

Here's my question: My wife and I are considering taking the motorhome to Washington D.C. via North Dakota and back this July/August.

Would you do it?
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Old 06-12-2004, 09:57 PM   #2
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Nope.














I'd go today
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Old 06-12-2004, 10:00 PM   #3
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Congrats on your new MH and welcome to the Forum!

In answer to your question: Why wouldn't you take the trip???
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Old 06-12-2004, 10:42 PM   #4
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Why not? I just bought my 345 three weeks ago with no work done on it (OK, it had only 9000 original miles on it, but 20 years nonetheless!), and we went from Texas to California via Santa Fe and Grand Canyon with no problem.

As Funchucky1 said: Why not today? OK, maybe an oil change first? Hehe!

Congratulations on your new Airstream! you are going to love it!

Francois.
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Old 06-12-2004, 11:32 PM   #5
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guy99,
First of all congratulations on your "new" MH. (You too Francois!) Owning one of these rare beauties is pretty darn cool. The first time I had someone chase me down as I was pulling away from a gas pump to ask me questions about it I was blown away. Pride of ownership has new meaning in an AS.

We've had our 345 for about a year now. I've replaced a bunch of mechnicals and am getting her more and more reliable and confortable each time I work on her. I've also put a lot of miles on her since we brought her home (almost 20,000 of her 180,000 are ours) and I've not had the misfortune of blowing an engine or having a transmission let me down (yet). But I have had more the my share of roadside repairs and unexpected delays in travel plans due to simple failures here and there.

Since I'm reasonably mechanically minded and I've spent a fair amount of hours working on the AS in the driveway, "getting to know each other" I would not hesitate to take her on any trip. But I really know this MH now and I've spent a lot of time "undoing" things the PO did...or in many cases bringing things "up to snuff" where the PO ignored them. It sounds as if your MH was well loved, cared for and most importantly - actually used.

I also have driven enough miles in her to know each little noise and groan and rattle and squeak so when something feels new or a noise is out of place I know something is wrong immediately. Time in seat is invaluable. I would get some miles under you before such a long trip.

Another thing many MH owners on the forum have in common is to keep a well stocked bin of parts and spares along with a decent toolbox (actually up to three toolboxes now) and a little knoe how. I've only had a few trips where something happened that put me in a truck strop for the night or on the side of the road for a hour (mostly wiring) but in each case (so far) it's been repairable and we are back on the road.

I think you are honestly the only one who can answer this question. If you are mechnical and have confidence in the MH...take it. A good set of tools and the fact that there is a NAPA, AutoZone, PepBoys or other big box car parts store in just about every town in America and the fact that they all stock Chevy truck parts will keep you moving. If you are not...maybe some "starter trips" are in order. The thing to keep in mind is that things WILL break so be prepared. In some cases thats a spare belts or gallon of coolant in the locker, in other cases it's a Good Sams Roadside Assistance membership and a credit card. It all depends on your comfort level.

Having said all of this...we jumped in our 345 within one week of purchase and drove 2000 miles round trip to NH for two weeks. We didn't break down, had an abolute blast and by the time we returned had the generator, fridge, roof airs and water heater all working again. I guess ignorance truely is bliss as when we got back I found torn belts, a bad water pump a leaking radiator and all six shocks were shot.

No matter your plans...enjoy your new wheels and let it take you places. Someone on the forum once reminded me (and some of the other gearheads on here) that the R stands for "Recreation[al]" in RV.
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Old 06-13-2004, 11:06 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I'd love to hear from you all regarding what would comprise an adequate traveling tool kit and what spares it is prudent to carry.

In my younger days I did all of my own auto maint. and repair. So I'm not afraid to get greasy, alas the years have made me wider, less flexible, and more sore. So often I'd rather have someone else get greasy for me.
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Old 06-13-2004, 12:16 PM   #7
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GUY- Go for it, you are as readyor more so than most of us when we took our first plunge. Many did it on the day of purchase--just to get the thing home...Good luck, you will love that 310 it looks great.
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Old 06-13-2004, 12:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99
Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I'd love to hear from you all regarding what would comprise an adequate traveling tool kit and what spares it is prudent to carry.
Okay, you asked for it. Others will think of things I have forgotten, but here is a start:
1- A quality tool kit, say a Craftsman 200 piece tool set, in its own blow-molded case. This will include most sockets, screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers to make almost any minor repair. A small hammer(12 oz to 16 oz) is a good idea.
2-WD40, or similar spray lube. Your coach has been around for a few years, and some bolts are gonna be rusty.
3- A set of belts for the engine. Upper and lower radiator hoses are a good idea, along with a couple of feet of both sizes of heater hose, and hose clamps of the appropriate sizes.
4-A gallon of coolant, a couple of quarts of motor oil, and ATF, and a bottle of brake fluid. ATF can be substituted for power steering fluid in a pinch, so that is one bottle less to carry.
5-Jumper cables. The smaller gauge number the better they are, and the better they will work.
6-Fuel filters for both the engine and the genset.
7- A pair of work gloves, and a long sleeve shirt, wearing the shirt while working on a hot engine will help reduce contact burns with hot engine parts, a flannel shirt works best, if you can stand it.
8- A good flashlight, with fresh batteries.
9-A long funnel.
10-A tire gauge, good up to at least the maximum recommended pressure of your tires.
All this should fit in one of your outside bins. There are probably a few other things you could carry, but these are the basics
Happy motoring!
Terry
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Old 06-13-2004, 04:02 PM   #9
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Adding to Terry's list:

7a- An old table cloth or small tarp to use for a ground cloth.

11- A decent air compressor that will put out enough air for your tires and a tire plug kit. They are heavy to wrestle with and real easy to plug without removing. If you don't want to go that route a jack heavy enough to safely lift it and jack stands, I also have a couple of pieces of steel plate that I can put under them. On hot black top or soft ground the support is nice.

If you are going to pull a toad any length trip is no big deal, you have a parts chase vehicle. Get some decent towing coverage (FMCA, Good Sams) for the major problems that might leave you stranded and enjoy.

John
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Old 06-13-2004, 04:13 PM   #10
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I can't believe thse guys are forgetting the most important tools of all - "passenger lubricant". If you breakdown and have to spend the night in a Truck Stop it is absolutely imperative that you have at least enough "passenger lubricant" to keep your traveling companions happy while you toil under the AS. They are sold almost everywhere (except truck stops so keep some spares on board) and you can buy them in a blow molded case which will hold six. I also find these work better if you drop the temparature down before using them.

Can't tell you how many times I've had to use these "tools" when broken down.
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Old 09-07-2004, 10:49 PM   #11
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Smile We did it, we're back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99
Here's my question: My wife and I are considering taking the motorhome to Washington D.C. via North Dakota and back this July/August.

Would you do it?
It was a great trip. I'll post a fuller report in another thread.
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:49 PM   #12
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Post some pix too
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Old 09-08-2004, 01:39 AM   #13
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Hate to say~

Quote:
Here's my question: My wife and I are considering taking the motorhome to Washington D.C. via North Dakota and back this July/August.
Would you do it??
Greeting guy99~~
The last time I was on the beltway around Washington, DC..signs were posted that stated,"NO RV ALLOWED IN DC" or something to that affect..
I would say, rather than be disappointed in your travel..Plan on staying at CherryHill Resort in College Park, MD..Take the shuttle bus into Washington..
It leaves every hour on the half hour..Simple~!
While at the RV park, enjoy the hot tub in the evening~!!
cheers
53FC
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