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Old 08-17-2006, 09:23 PM   #1
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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Looking at a 1991 350LE

I'm looking at a 1991 350 LE that the owner inherited and knows very little about the motorhome. Everything works except I can't get the AC units to power up. Is there a breaker somewhere? Where?


Thanks!
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dssauburn
I'm looking at a 1991 350 LE that the owner inherited and knows very little about the motorhome. Everything works except I can't get the AC units to power up. Is there a breaker somewhere? Where?


Thanks!
Welcome to the forums.
A 350 LE is a very nice motorhome. I visited one ata local dealer last year. ( It might have been a 370)
Anyways, as I recall, there might be a chageover switch somewhere for the A/C, so that you can't blow a fuse or trip a breaker when both are running.
It might be located inside a closet. It either blocks the microwave, or the 2nd a/c. I might be totally off base, here, just seem to remember from reading posts like yours before.
There is a home style little breaker panel also, it might just be turned off.
Look inside closets.
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for the information. I'll do some more searching - in closets and around.
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:07 PM   #4
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One of our resident MoHo experts will surely chime in shortly...
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:28 PM   #5
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This may be too obvious but AC will only work while genset is running or plugged into shore power. On my rig (84 310 Limited) the rear AC works only from the genset and there is a switch in the kitchen which allows you to choose between the front AC and the microwave when you are on shore power
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:44 PM   #6
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breakers and switch

I am sure not an expert, but from the setup on our 83 MH maybe this will help.

Forward AC is powered from 110 and shares circuit with microwave. there is a lightswitch in the kitchen area that lets the power go to one or the other. It looks like a regular house wall switch. IF microwave will work you must flip that switch in order to let power to the air conditioner.

the rear AC is powered by the generator or possibly an extenion cord from a seperate ac source.

Our breaker box is under bed behind (drop down door) streetside alligned with power cord. There is also a breaker box between genset and rear AC. that breaker box is under bed curbside just inside genset box. We have mid twin beds so if your floor plan is diferent this may not help a lot.

think inside close to area of power cord for breaker box and close to genset to locate these boxes, they try to hide them like easter eggs.

Lots of luck

Kay and Roy
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Old 08-18-2006, 05:46 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum. The 350 is a very desirable motor home now that Airstream will not be making the classic. Owners manuals are available for this unit which will answer most of your questions. I agree that the AC is most likely a switch somewhere and when you find it you'll never forget.
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Old 08-18-2006, 08:23 AM   #8
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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1991 350 Le

Thanks for the responses!

I had the generator on and neither unit had power. Now that I'm thinking, neither did the microwave. There is probably a main breaker somewhere and the generator wasn't really connected because the breaker was off. The lights were probably on from the batteries.

I can get this motorhome pretty cheap. It will need tires, some brake work, some cosmetics - light covers, tv's, DVD, cleaning, and some paint work on the outside. It has 107,000 miles but the engine purrs like a kitten. It has every option known to man. What should I expect to have in the vehicle after I get it in good condition? I don't want to spend more money than I could have bought a "ready" unit for.

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Old 08-18-2006, 08:36 AM   #9
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dssauburn,
Welcome to the forum! There should be a rotary switch located in the kitchen overhead locker which will allow you to select a single 110 appliance. It will be marked front AC, Microwave, etc.

The rear AC is hard wired into the generator circuit. So it should come on by turning on the AC rotary knob on the roof air unit itself and turning the thermostat to coldest. If it doesn't there are breakers either in the closet, under the dinette or in the rear overhead lockers (depending on floorplan)

Also...once you find the applicance selector try turning on something else (like the microwave) to see if you have 110 coming in. You can also try any of the outlets which are on when the generator is on no matter what position the selector is in.

There is a switch on the genny which clicks on the power when the generator is providing output. Make sure the unit is not also plugged into shore power as the generator will not provide power if the unit is still connected to the short power. Also see if you can get anything to come on with the short power plugged in and the generator off.

It's hard to price one as it all depends on condition. It's even harder in your case becuase the 370 is not a common floorplan. A similar but more common floorplan is the 345. They go between mid teens for units that require a lot of work to high thirties for perfection.

Tires will set you back $2400 - $3000. If you are handy, brake parts, etc. can all be purchased from your local parts house and assuming the 370 is on the Chevy P30 chassis parts are relatively cheap.

If the engine is original then it's probably approaching the end of it's useful life. Hopefully it's either a rebuilt or it's been babied. In any case make sure you get a compression check (leakdown check is possible) and look for tell tails like oil in the coolant, coolant in the oil, excessive oil in the air filter, etc.

For comparison purposes, we bought a 345 which was a bit of a basket case. We put about $5000 in mechanicals and systems into it in the first year, less the second and less each year after (we've owned it for four). We've also put more into things like pergo flooring and interior updates, but those aren't part of the reliability equation. Once you get these old birds working and running again they are fairly inexpensive to keep running given that they are still considered a luxury class A motorhome. They certainly will outlast a newer "white box" motorhome that cost far more money to purchase. The joke around here is we make our motorhome payments at the parts counter instead of the bank...but in all honesty, once you buy it and get it working its hard to beat. It's only when they sit for a long time that things tend to break down.

Lastly, chances to purchase a classic like a 370 for a "good price" don't come along very often. Classics are desirable and people will drive or fly thousands of miles to purchase the right one.

If you need more answers, let us know. Also, pictures can usually help us with any detailed questions you may have so bring your digital camera next time you go over.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:42 AM   #10
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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Thanks Steven.

It's actually a 350 not a 370. I can get it for less than $5,000, primarily because the owner doesn't have anything in it and doesn't want it.

I agree about the engine. It is either on its way out due to mileage or has been replaced/rebuilt. It has 60 pounds of oil pressure and the engine is very dry. It appears to be solid but a compression check is a good idea.

I like a good challenge, especially if I can save money. I may check it out some more before committing. The front tire is flat. It's probably worth my time to put the spare on and take it around the block. The owner really doesn't care about doing anything to it so I'd probably have to change the tire myself but that would be a learning experience too.

Regards.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:56 AM   #11
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My bad on the typo. 350...got it. That one is on the P30 so parts are available and inexpensive.

$5000?...Buy it. If you don't PM me the info and I will!
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Old 08-18-2006, 01:07 PM   #12
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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Roger!!

I'll probably buy it today. I'm sure that I'll need a lot of help.

Regards.
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:28 PM   #13
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$5000?...Buy it. If you don't PM me the info and I will!
Holy smokes. I'm third in line! What a deal!
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Old 08-18-2006, 04:47 PM   #14
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Holy smokes. I'm third in line! What a deal!
Fred, yeah...you would not have to ask me twice on that deal!
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