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Old 10-20-2005, 08:51 PM   #1
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Question My new '89 370 LE

Well, here I am a year later, and I've finally taken the plunge. I have the '89 370LE in my yard, and it's mine. Took a year of back-and-forth, but we've finally decided to give ownership a try. I had the good fortune of having a relative owning the coach, so I was not only able to wait and really think things over, but I was made the proverbial "offer I couldn't refuse". The pictures I posted last year are still on page 4 of the Classic Motorhome photo section, and everything still looks the same. It now has a whopping 16,600 original miles, but much "catch-up" maintenance has been done during the past year. Just a couple of quick questions: There's an auxillary coach heater still hooked up that runs off the engine coolant, and the original hoses to a long-gone water heater that was also heated by engine coolant when under way. I'm thinking the auxillary coach heater is totally unnessary, since I don't plan to travel in severe cold (could use the furnaces or even electric supplementary heaters if needed), and the unused hoses from the disconnected earlier water heater are both just major problems waiting to happen. My thought is to remove both connections back at the engine to prevent any possibility of blowing either while on a trip. If the heat exchanger on the coach goes, that's another potential flood and maintence breakdown. Anyone have any experience with the coach heater's reliability and usefulness? Advice on my idea of blanking both sets of hoses at the engine? Lastly, how about the usefulness of getting some of the dog-house insulation like Camping World sells, and double insulating the dog-house, and perhaps the generator? The heat and noise of the engine is one of the few objections we have, as well as the generator when parked. Lastly, is there any danger using a cover for the coach like the SFS covers sold through Camping World? I have no way to garage this thing, and the cover seems better than nothing.

Our sincere thanks to all who helped out with advice last year. I probably am presenting these issues in the wrong place. If so, I apologize. Just tell me where I should post these things, and I'll gladly do that. I've put these questions here simply because they pick up sort of where I left off last year.

Love this forum. Invaluable information.

noiva
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:01 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your new obsession, er, purchase!
From a pure maintenance standpoint, you can bypass those points, and have less chance of a coolant leak on the road. You should, however, bypass them, and not just block them off, because the coolant needs to flow though those hoses, pipes, and fittings in order to properly circulate in the engine. If it was me doing it, I would also cap off the lines away from the engine too. This way, if the heat exchanger springs a leak, it won't cause a flood of fresh water on your engine, or carpet, or wherever the hose dead-ends.
As far as I know, there is no reason why you can't use the insulating material for the doghouse cover on your coach, just exercise good sense as far as what you want to cover with it. Now, the generator...It is already a tight fit in that compartment, and adding another layer of insulation may block off the last little bit of air circulation, causing more heat problems than you have now. You can experiment with insulation on the underside of the top of the compartment, if there is room, just make sure you use material that can withstand the heat of an engine in close quarters, most of the correct stuff has a foil liner on one side.
Also, I have separated your post, and this one into its own thread, so you can have a thread of your very own to document your adventures with your new baby. Good luck with it.
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:11 PM   #3
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Congrats Noiva! Great coach. I think you scored... but then I'm the guy Dennis mentioned who HAD an '85 325 and went back to trailers...

Frankly, IMHO, I think you'd be wise to plug the additional heater hoses at the block if you're concerned about the hoses blowing in the cabin. The smell of antifreeze inside the coach is just a miserable smell, and I can understand why you wouldn't want to chance it. You certainly won't harm anything by capping off those hoses.

I don't think you'll have any issues putting more insulation under the doghouse either. They do heat up the cabin. I'd be a little more circumspect about the generator cabin however. The tolerances are pretty tight as it is, and it can get pretty warm in that box without much ventilation. I'm not sure I'd want to hold any more heat into that area than what it does already.

I'd also be hesitant to cover your coach using anything. Theres a real possibility of having dust trapped by the cover scratch and abrade either the clearcoat, the aluminum or both... neither is a good thing. You're much better off finding indoor storage for the coach if possible than covering it. I used to block the windshields and side windows with sun shades, and the coach sat out all summer, but we found inside winter storage for it. I also covered the tires during the outside summer storage.

Best of luck with your new 370!

Roger
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:14 PM   #4
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Thanks so much, Terry. I had planned to bypass rather than block the points, but I was thinking I could trace them back to the engine area and do the work there. That way there would be no coolant running INTO the coach at all. I hope that makes sense. On the generator, I just finished getting it in top running condition. You're so right about the lack of space. On that one I planned to put the insulation (foil type - as you mentioned) on perhaps the inside of the coach up against the generator compartment walls. My thought is that should cut the noise level a little (although it's not that loud), and reduce some of the heat anyway.

Thanks, noiva
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noiva
Thanks so much, Terry. I had planned to bypass rather than block the points, but I was thinking I could trace them back to the engine area and do the work there. That way there would be no coolant running INTO the coach at all. I hope that makes sense. On the generator, I just finished getting it in top running condition. You're so right about the lack of space. On that one I planned to put the insulation (foil type - as you mentioned) on perhaps the inside of the coach up against the generator compartment walls. My thought is that should cut the noise level a little (although it's not that loud), and reduce some of the heat anyway.

Thanks, noiva
Yes, my (and Roger's) thoughts were for you to bypass the lines in the engine compartment, but I also suggested capping the lines back at the heat exchanger, so if it starts to leak, it won't leak water all over, it will be contained within the lines.
Also, you probably should update your profile, since you are now a proud Airstream owner.
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:53 PM   #6
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Rivet Value of 89 370LE

Thanks Roger and Terry. As always, the tips help me refine what I was contemplating. By the way, I've gone in and updated my profile. Will put the serial number in tomorrow, as soon as it's daylight and I figure out where it is. I'm sure it's fairly obvious, but I haven't seen it yet. In fact, I
could actually look up the location in the owner's manual.
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Old 10-21-2005, 08:24 AM   #7
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Way to go on your "new" MoHo. Looks like it's in great shape.

I blew about a gallon of hot coolant into the cabin on a family camping trip. Absolutely bypass those lines. On mine they were fed through Y connections off of the main heater lines. Pretty easy to remove and replace with new hoses while you're in there.

I have sound/heat material on the inside of the doghouse and the inside of the get compartment. I did not install it, but it seems to keep everything quiet. There is more space on the outside (inside the coach) on the genny box if you need to add some more.

Don't use a fitted cover. It will beat the clearcoat up. Instead consider one of those "CoverIt" garage enclosures if you can swing it. They run about $1700 online for a 40' coach.
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Old 10-22-2005, 09:19 AM   #8
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What is the "get" compartment. I'm sure this is a stupid question, but I'm used to towing trailers.

Tim
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Old 10-22-2005, 09:45 AM   #9
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Tim,
My bad - typing too fast. I meant gen (as in generator) compartment.
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