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Old 03-17-2013, 04:56 PM   #1
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Aledo , Texas
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Best batteries for 1982 28' Excella Diesel MH

Greetings,
This is my first entry. I purchased a 1982 Excella 28' Isuzu powered MH. this past fall. It needs new batteries both house and chassis. We initially plan to feel out in park camping but probably will do some dry camping in the future. Location is North Texas. I can get Interstate Batteries advantageously. I am going to pull the Battery box out and do some minor rust repair to the bottom, paint it and reinstall. Any suggestions regarding Battery brands, specifications and maintence will be muchly appreciated. What about some kind of anti vibration mat under the batteries?
Also while driving it home I cut a right turn too close and graised the step which had not retracted on a kerb. Any ideas?
Thirdly, I want to have the engine checked out by a competant shop in the Fort Worth area. I have heard Industrial Power is acceptable. Suggestions?
As far as oil is concerned I have read some excellent reviews about Royal Purple for the engine, Trans, and rear end. Claims are made for up to 8% improvement. Anyone have comments or experience?

It has around 100,000 miles on the odometer. I am the third owner. The interior is all original. Probably will be replacing the carpet

This will be the first of many questions. Many thanks for your thoughts and guidence. My wife and I are eager to get on the road for a shake down!

I will post picture when I figure that out.

Mobilboar
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:10 PM   #2
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Welcome to the forums Mobileboar!

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Originally Posted by mobilboar View Post
Greetings,
This is my first entry. I purchased a 1982 Excella 28' Isuzu powered MH. this past fall. It needs new batteries both house and chassis. We initially plan to feel out in park camping but probably will do some dry camping in the future. Location is North Texas. I can get Interstate Batteries advantageously. I am going to pull the Battery box out and do some minor rust repair to the bottom, paint it and reinstall. Any suggestions regarding Battery brands, specifications and maintence will be muchly appreciated. What about some kind of anti vibration mat under the batteries?
I've always laid some sort of rubber matting under batteries if for no other reason than that it just seems the right thing to do

Quote:
Also while driving it home I cut a right turn too close and graised the step which had not retracted on a kerb. Any ideas?
Check out this thread for step replacement. I just replaced the one on our 310 last fall. The steps are available mail order from PPL which is somewhere in Texas.

1984 310 Kwikee electric step installation

Quote:
Probably will be replacing the carpet
Carpeting will probably be the first of many changes you make!

Brad
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:30 PM   #3
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Honokaa , Hawaii
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Our steps would not retract after my father in law backed his truck into them. Maybe I was just lucky, but just using basic tools and leg power I was able to bend them back enough to where they work fine now.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:52 AM   #4
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Port Angeles , Washington
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Congrats on your 280, sounds like a twin to mine. As they say here "If we don't see pictures, it don't exist"

For batteries Interstate are a quality battery and will do just fine. Get a high amp rating for the starting battery and deep cycle for the house batterys. There is an automatic switch that momentarily connects all the batteries together when you hit the starter. Vibration isn't much of a problem as the batteries are pretty close to center between the axles and are in about the smoothest riding position in the coach. Clean up the rust and use a good quality paint. Use rubber, wood or whatever makes you happy for a base.

For the steps there is a push button switch in the door jamb that operates a solenoid behind the step that allows vacuum to pull the steps in. They only pull in when the door is closed and the engine running. Make sure you have vacuum at the chamber behind the step. Using a meter or test light check for 12 volts at the solenoid while someone opens and closes the door. There is also a fuse under the dash.

Use any good quality oil as long as it is diesel rated. Dello 400, and Turbo Shell are good. I use WalMart's Universal Oil which is Quaker State. Check with Blackstone Labs They are reasonable and give you the straight story on oil.

Any more questions feel free to ask. Lots of knowledge available here on Airforum.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:06 AM   #5
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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My thanks to you all. You will hear from me again!

mobilboar
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:32 AM   #6
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waipio Rim View Post
Our steps would not retract after my father in law backed his truck into them. Maybe I was just lucky, but just using basic tools and leg power I was able to bend them back enough to where they work fine now.
I don't think a person can be considered a true motorhome owner until they have smashed their steps against something at least ones

I've done it twice, once on an old Winnebago where I hit a stump by my shop and the second one was when loading the little Argosy onto a trailer that was to small for it. The steps caught on the end of the trailer.

The first time I straighten the steps and on the Argosy I opted for nice new electric steps!

Brad
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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Hey there Mobilboar, and welcome!
Looking forward to more posts and pictures!

Not knowing the layout of the 280 so well, I am guessing... if there is rust in the battery tray, its possible or wise to deepen it to accept two 6v's if you are after capacity for boondocking?
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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Hey there Mobilboar, and welcome!
Looking forward to more posts and pictures!

Not knowing the layout of the 280 so well, I am guessing... if there is rust in the battery tray, its possible or wise to deepen it to accept two 6v's if you are after capacity for boondocking?
The 280's don't have a pull out battery tray like the 34.5. It is just a self bolted to the frame rail with a access door in the floor next to the plastic entry stepwell.

Personally I use Costco batteries and have not had any problem. In the rural area where I live 6 volt batteries are hard to come by. Only one auto parts house has them in stock and they don't go on sale. The 12 volt battery market is competitive and always on sale. To me the limited extra capacity doesn't justify the extra cost and hassle. Then again I seldom use my battery charger. We move around enough that runing the engine keeps the batteries up.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:10 PM   #9
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Good input as always Dan!
I also swear by Costco Batteries... my 6v's are also Costco!
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:52 PM   #10
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Good input as always Dan!
I also swear by Costco Batteries... my 6v's are also Costco!
You are lucky if your Costco has 6 volt batteries. Several of my antique cars and a couple of my tractors use 6 volt and not having any purchase options sucks. By the way in my last post the 280 batteries are on a shelf bolted to the frame rail. My proof reader is asleep sometimes.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:36 PM   #11
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Cactus Hug , Arizona
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AC Delco "Voyagers" have been the best we've ever used. Being full-time, we had to replace the (name your cheap brand) batteries every few years, but the the ACs keep on cooking and I check them with my VOM every once in a while.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:08 PM   #12
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Batteries and steps already have good answers, as far as the oil, you answered it, claims not actual, check most places and you don't find facts supporting more than a couple percent due to oil. Bigger question is can you go thinner oil or will you get leaks or burning, engine has 100K not high for diesel but I would stick to whatever PO have been using.
Good luck with your new venture.
Dave
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:38 PM   #13
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
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Welcome

I also just picked up my 310 turbo diesel last fall and am anxious to get working on her this spring once everything thaws out.

As for batteries (just my 2c), it pays to get as much capacity as possible. If you hooked up two of these puppies together for the 12V you'd have enough power to run LA for a night or two.

Trojan T2 Series 435 a/h 6 VDC Deep Cycle Battery

These would especially prove handy if you were to run an inverter solar system like this.

GoPower Solar Extreme Kit 465W

But I'm just dreaming.......for now.

Goodluck with keeping the Silver Queen on the road where she should be.......and be prepared to answer many questions.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:22 AM   #14
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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We went with AGMs-29's and keep the house charged with 2 Kyocera 130 solar panels...the chassis batt, an Optima red, has a drain that has so far eluded me, and we've replaced it twice(free, as the warranty is 5 yrs)...solar is a really nice thing for boondocking...have a Blue Sky controller, and are converting to LEDs...welcome to the never-ending hobby/tinker toy/sometimes PITA...but it's YOUR PITA!
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