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Old 01-01-2006, 12:31 AM   #1
The New Guy
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
San Diego , California
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Question New '89 345LE Owner need's some help

My wife and I just purchased a 1989 Land Yacht 345LE and it needs some love in a few places. First and foremost the couch/bed that has a switch to convert between the two decided to stop working after a night stop at a rest area. The folks we bought it from are real nice just too old to do the motor home thing anymore. Does anyone know why it would just stop working in the bed position. It seems as though the motor that is controling the unit doesn't even move when you push the switch. I am really new at this and don't know a whole lot about motor homes. Any advice would help.

Thanks-
Adam (Airstream Newbie)
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Old 01-01-2006, 07:14 AM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Welcome to the forums, Adam!
From your description, it sounds like you are not getting power to the motor. Check your fuses, and make sure there is power going to the switch, if the fuses are all good. If your switch is getting poser, check to make sure the power is leaving the switch when you use it. If it is, then check to see if the motor is getting power when you use the switch. If it is, try tapping on the motor (gently) with a small hammer. If this doesn't work, you almost certainly need a new motor.
Good luck with it, and let us know when you get it working.
Also, in case you haven't figured it out yet, a 12vDC test light, and a multimeter, are almost essential for diagnosing most of the low voltage electrical system. They can be purchased nearly anywhere, even some grocery stores.
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Old 01-01-2006, 07:43 AM   #3
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1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
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Adam, welcome to the AS forums. The post above said it all. There are lots of things you can do yourself even if you're not mechanically minded.... I'm a great case study of learning by doing.
If you don't have the manuals both owners and service, you can order them through Secretarial Services. Just use the search feature above.
Tell us more about your coach, we want to know all the details, mileage, condition, how you found it.... even the price.... just to make us all green with envy.
Good luck with your project. We look forward to seeing the pictures you'll post here.
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Old 01-01-2006, 09:27 AM   #4
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1994 30' Excella
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Milwaukee , Wisconsin
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Adam
Welcome to the forums. You have purchased a beautiful motor home I love the way they look. Please let us know more and what you do along the way. A tool kit is an essential item and a multimeter is a must. Purchase a good one that can test your batteries, 12V and 120 system. You can find one at Radio Shack or Tru Valu for about $30.00. I have had to do many simple electrical repairs but first you need to know what is wrong.
One other thought on your bed is that possibly the motor home detected you needed more sleep before starting out, thus stayed in the bed position so you would stay in bed too. This might be an option you have not discovered.
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Old 01-01-2006, 12:30 PM   #5
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Adam,

As the relatively new owner of a 1989 370LE, it's great to know you have just joined the best resource group I've ever dealt with. This Forum group is willing to help with almost every conceivable problem - and not to discourage you - but you're likely to experience just that . Anyway, it sure sounds like your bed is doing exactly as Overlander63 has commented. My own experience with things electrical is always start with the simple stuff. That's usually where the problem is. Most likely, as you've read, it's either a fuse to the switch, or the switch. You can always test the switch, assuming you know you're getting power to it, by "hot wiring" the leads. If the bed goes back up, then it's the switch. My switch is just a rocker type, and can be bought at almost any NAPA or other good parts store. I'm sure we have the same set-up. Question ultimately is: Why did they put an electric motor in a couch to make it slide out ! Frankly, I would prefer to just pull it out and back, but the motor makes that impossible. Sometimes the systems on these rigs are overkill. In my humble and inexperienced opinion, an electric couch/bed is one of them. Let us know what you discover.

Tim
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Old 01-01-2006, 02:52 PM   #6
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I would suggest also after checking the electrical parts, etc; that you lube all the points where there is movement..it is possible the previous owners did not use the sofa bed and the stiffness of all the moving parts contributed to an overload on the motor...and possibly fuse or other failure.
Also if you search the forum you will find some good info on systems to check and maintain to head off any future problems. I have found that prevention is essential on our rigs.
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Old 01-01-2006, 06:47 PM   #7
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
San Diego , California
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Smile Whew! Just a fuse

Boy do I feel silly for being so worried at first. I fix communications gear for the Marines so I should have thought about it being a fuse. I replaced the fuse and walla the bed is now a couch. The "House on Wheels" as my 2 year old calls it is in pretty good condition overall. I will get some pictures up A.S.A.P. It has about 53,000 miles on it, but the engine only has about 16,000 miles on it. A peice of tubing got caught in the engine and it was replaced. The people who owned it before us took great care of it. They havent used it much in the past 2 years so it needs a good cleaning and some things need to be fixed. I just finshed cleaning out the window tracks today. I seel that the fuzzy stuff will need to be replaced eventually. We paid $25,000 for it. I think it was a good price. I dunno though you tell me. Thanks for all the advice and I am sure this will not be the last time I call upon the Airstream Gurus. Thanks Again.


Adam (Airstream Newbie)
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Old 01-02-2006, 09:12 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing about your MH. $25,000 was a good down payment for all the fun you are soon to encounter.
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Old 01-02-2006, 09:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
Thanks for sharing about your MH. $25,000 was a good down payment for all the fun you are soon to encounter.
Chaplain Kent is absolutely correct. He's already been a big help to me, and so have so many others on this Forum. Since I own a 1989 370, we have many things in common. I'll be more than happy to share anything I've learned so far as you get into yours. Of course, the experienced folks on the Forum are fantastic resources, and always helpful. The main lesson I've learned over the past 2 years is not to panic when something goes wrong. Typically, it's simpler than I think (but not always ). Would love to see some pictures of your rig. Please post some as soon as you get time. Mine are in the Classic Motorhome Photo section under "noiva's Images", if you'd like to see another 1989. The 370 was a little more weird than others of that year, but the basics are the same. I've done most of the interior things you may encounter - especially plumbing, ice maker, hot water dispenser, axillary heater from engine, etc. Since there were so many 345s (but so few 370s) you will have plenty of folks to help with things peculiar to your coach - but that's not really very much. Most of the systems are the same across the board. Price sounds pretty good to me. I'm no expert, but the "book" range for a 370 of the same year is from $20,000 to $40,000, depending on mileage and condition. And, as the old saying goes, it's really worth whatever someone agrees to pay for it. Thanks for sharing your information.

Tim
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:38 PM   #10
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Adam, don't forget to lubricate everything. That fuse blew for a reason. Somewhere the circuit overloaded, I'd want to know why.
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