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Old 06-04-2016, 06:36 AM   #1
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1978 28' Ambassador
Wray , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 2
Appliances need replacing?

Picking up 1978 28 ft. Ambassador today, looks to be in generally good shape, pretty much original. We plan to update as needed. It has been sitting for the last 16 years basically unused however in a dry climate, no mice, no leaks that I can see. My question concerns all the appliances, ac, refrigerator, furnace, water heater, etc. should I expect to have to replace everything? Water tanks, plumbing hasnt been explored yet, hoping for the best but bought it right in the event it needs major work.

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Old 06-04-2016, 06:49 AM   #2
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2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 10,796
Our first RV was a 1977 Barth, bought @ 25 years of age.

We didn't have to replace any of our appliances, so I would say take a thorough look at things and try them out before automatically replacing.

Good luck.


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Old 06-04-2016, 08:49 AM   #3
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,287
If everything works then keep them. Most likely the AC will need replacing. The fridges can last for decades. If it cools on heat or gas it can be put back to 100%. Most of the time the heaters fail or the gas system get clogged with rust. End of life is when the gas leaks out. Usually you will see yellow deposits around the leaks.

Furnace is probably something you should consider replacing. Those tend to rust out or get full of wasp nests.

I am still using the fridge and the stove in my 81. I also replaced the power converter with a new one.

Swollen rubber hoses coming out of the regulator restricted gas flow on my propane system. Regulator should probably be replaced.

My plumbing system the dreaded plastic PB stuff is still working mostly but you need to replace the pressure regulator so you don't put much stress on that stuff. The plastic fittings fail way before the grey plastic tubing does. Most go back with PEX and I have not tackled that yet. I had to do some repairs.

My sewer valves were shot and I had to replace them.

Potential leaks at the rear of the trailer need to be addressed.

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Old 06-13-2016, 10:30 PM   #4
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,400
Don't borrow trouble. You'll find out soon enough.
"Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?" - E.C. Bentley, Trent's Last Case
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:05 AM   #5
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,904
Welcome to the Forums!

In addition to the information above regarding the furnace, your fridge may give you some headaches, but don't give up hope too early. There are some fairly exhaustive troubleshooting threads for fridges on these forums, probably best found by doing a google search for various refrigerator terms + "Airforums" from outside the forums. If you are lucky, the biggest problem to expect from your old fridge may be that the rubber door gasket will be old and hard and won't make such a great seal anymore. I had this problem, and eventually replaced the refrigerator because I couldn't find a workable replacement for the seal.

Then again, many of these "update as needed" projects turn into a full monty, in which case, don't get too anxious about the condition of your appliances. I have ended up doing a complete rebuild, and now that I am finally putting the interior back together, and practically everything is new, the old (working) appliances look really tired next to all my new-built stuff.

good luck!
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:09 AM   #6
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,400
Keep in mind that the front panel on the refrigerator can be easily replaced with a sheet of aluminum to give it an updated look.
"Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?" - E.C. Bentley, Trent's Last Case
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:48 AM   #7
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,323
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The simple fact that the trailer was in storage does not warrant the assumption that the appliances need replacing. You will have to look at the axles as storage is not the best thing for them. Tires are a must after 16 years. Batteries yes.

When you light the frig on gas if it does not light off the first thing to check for are spiders in the burner tube or orifice. The furnace sometimes will have wasp nest from the outside that may stop the fan from turning. If the fan can not turn the sail switch will not make and the furnace will not light. There is no reason to assume the AC will not work. It is a hermetically sealed unit. Check for nests and start it. On a warm day start it. If the fan turns the compressor should cycle in a few minutes. After it has run for an hour or so look at the face of the coil. It should be wet and no ice on it.

2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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