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97sx 05-03-2011 12:29 PM

1985 310 Limited
Hello to all! Long time reader.....first time poster! Looking to become a regular on the site.

So I am looking at possibly purchasing an 85 310 motorhome. It has a freshly rebuilt motor, new transmission, and everything appears to be in good working order.

My question is what are some specific areas of concern I should look at before I commit to buy? Are these motorhomes notorious money pits? I am very familiar with AS trailers but not so much on the motorhomes. All to often I hear about problems with motorhomes, and I didn't know if the airstream product was any more or less reliable than other motorhomes.

There doesn't appear to be any water damaged areas, the exterior is straight and no rust. The interior appears to be original and everything except a tail light looks to be working.

I would appreciate any advice or opinions on a purchase like this!


Mike Leary 05-03-2011 12:34 PM

How about some pics?

97sx 05-03-2011 12:36 PM

Took a bunch with my phone. I will try and get them up in an hour or two.

97sx 05-03-2011 01:10 PM

Also a quick note. The majority of the time we will be using it is in the fall...making weekend runs that are 300 miles each way with several major mountain passes. Did the 310 have the same breaking issues as the 345? 10 miles of 7% grade makes me leery after reading all the braking issues guys have had with their 345s.

Mike Leary 05-03-2011 01:24 PM


Originally Posted by 97sx (Post 988093)
10 miles of 7% grade makes me leery

I've done a ton of mountain passes and a 7% grade is nothing to sneeze at.
The four wheel disks have done fine as long as they're in tip-top shape. First thing I'd do is have the brake system completely re-built, and that includes the master cylinder. If you've got some spare change, a "Jake Brake" would be at the top of my list. :) Hey, you're "leery", so am I.:lol:

pmclemore 05-04-2011 04:24 PM

Welcome to the Forums, 97sx. And glad to see that you've hooked up with an expert on your first try! (Thanks to you too, Mike).


Keyair 05-04-2011 07:11 PM

Jake Brake is for Diesels only?

Mike Leary 05-04-2011 08:30 PM


Originally Posted by Keyair (Post 988599)
Jake Brake is for Diesels only?

Umm, as far as I know.

97sx 05-05-2011 12:27 AM

It has a gas engine. 454 no Jake option. I am still trying to get the hang of posting the pics. I am going to try and get them up tonight.

97sx 05-05-2011 09:39 AM

2 Attachment(s)
First pics. More to come.

97sx 05-05-2011 09:42 AM

3 Attachment(s)
More pics as promised.

cooperhawk 05-05-2011 09:44 AM

Light the furnaces, run the frig and ice maker, run the Genset, check all the electrical outlets and systems, look for any sign of mold or rot.

We have had our 345 for fifteen years now and I doubt it is any more of a money pit than a trailer with a tow vehicle. She still functions like new.

cooperhawk 05-05-2011 09:46 AM

Looks like a nice unit from here. When we first had ours it was a bear to drive in any wind until I found that the rear shocks were broken loose from their mounting brackets. Got them replaced and now it drives really well.

Take if for a test drive!!!:D

Mike Leary 05-05-2011 10:15 AM

Good looking coach, check the suspension for air in the front and rear bags.

John H. 05-05-2011 05:41 PM

I would say that Most, many issues come from Lack of Basic, good, consistent maintenance.

Check all battery's and battery cables. Grounds.

Mike Leary 05-05-2011 06:54 PM

I'd sooner buy a high mileage coach where most of the system has been replaced at least once. We bought ours with 28k original miles, I prolly spent 5k in the next few years replacing stuff that the p.o. had not serviced. Any coach (or boat, for that matter) does not like sitting around.

97sx 05-06-2011 07:39 AM

Pulled the trigger.

For the most part everything seems to be in good working order. This a low mileage coach but it has sat unused for 10 years. Before that it had a new motor, tranny, and tons of maintenance. New owner bought it from an estate to flip and claimed to have gone through most everything. Although I can't count on that.

I plan to have the brakes looked at first thing. Do you guys recommend going to an RV repair shop for brakes or more of a specialty shop that does brakes and suspension like a Les Schwab (northwest tire, brake, and suspension store?)

Fluids have been replaced and belts and hoses look good. Tires have full tread but a little checking up front from sitting. Plan to get a few trips out of them.

Because it has had such little use the last decade any suggestions as to specific areas to look over?

cooperhawk 05-06-2011 08:20 AM

If the tires are more than six years old they will probably blow even if they look good.

I had my brakes rebuilt in a regular shop. It is a Chevy P30 or 32 chassis and all the parts are available. I also replaced most of the wheel bearings.

Check the hoses that run from the engine to the rear heater and water heater. I just replaced all of mine and just in time I think.

Gypsy Jo 05-06-2011 09:36 AM

Congratulations on your Motor Home and I hope you many fun and exciting adventures.

Keyair 05-06-2011 10:03 AM

I have bought and revitalized a few "Sleeping" Vehicles in my time..
The list is based on my personal experience...
If it has been sitting unstarted and unmoved for 10 years its a lot..
I will concentrate on the mechanicals, as others are more familiar with the "House" systems.

Change engine and transmission fluid and filters.... and after 500 miles change both again. On the Engine, use a Diesel oil with C4 designation, as it has more detergents, and will flush more gunk out.
Drain and Flush cooling system, run a hose thru block, and radiator. Check condition of all hoses.
Replace fuel filters, dont miss the Carb filter too.
Add fresh fuel, and run a moisture absorber(like ISOHEET) and a fuel conditioner thru for a couple of tanks.
Check all belts.
Bleed/flush Power steering fluid.
Check driveshaft UJ's and bearings.
Change rear axle oil.
Check/repack wheel bearings, and check pads/linings.
Replace any tires older than 6 years old.

Brakes are more tricky, and again it depends on the ambient temps and humidity where it was stored.
Bleed/flush brake fluid as a minimum. I would pull each wheel and have the seals examined. Rust is the enemy here, as it forms on the walls of the calipers, both from the outside and inside due to moisture absorbsion in the brake fluid.
This rust/pitting rips the seals up, and you have a brake failure looming.

The brakes are the most important thing here... You can buy calipers pretty cheaply, but maybe rebuilding them with a light hone would be better than buying a cheap rebuilt unit.

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