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Old 03-27-2019, 05:54 PM   #1
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
Airstream 325 Info

Hello, my father was active on this forum, so I'm hoping I can also get some info here. My dad recently passed away very suddenly. We don't know exactly what happened but believe it was a tear in his aorta which led to heart failure. He didn't feel well and went to lay down. He just closed his eyes and went to sleep, it was peaceful and there was no signs of struggle.

So, now I have to get his 1985 Airstream 325 motorhome from Calgary, Canada to Ft. Worth, TX. I'll be driving down with my wife and 2 year old son, starting some time next week. I'm guessing it will be a 5 day trip.

So, I'm asking for any info that will help with things like general operation of the coach, using pumps or anything for water and waste water, commonly overlooked things, or little tricks you may know about travelling in one of these.

No piece of advice is too small. Anything that you think might help to know is welcome.

I do know that the coach batteries and the generator was replaced last year. I'm comfortable driving a vehicle of this size, but I'm not sure about the functions of every button and switch.

Thanks I'm advance for any replies.
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:31 PM   #2
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 361
Hey,
I'm so sorry to hear that. My little brother 44 years old passed suddenly. Really hard on my mom.youll be in my prayers.
First thing,check the tires. Look at the DOT numbers, the last 4 numbers indicate the mfg date of the tires. Air pressure at 74 pounds.
Get some octane boost. That lol give old gas a little help,
Make sure the fuel pump is working. You may have an aux one back by the tank, with the key on, you should hear it buzzing, if not, give it a tap with a screwdriver . Sometimes they stick when sitting a long time.
Make real sure your airbag compressed is fully operational. When you turn on the ign the compressed should come on, and pump up to 80 pounds.

Did your dad use this thing. If so he probably went through stuff like brake lines, master cylinder, calipers, fuel lines filters. Your going through the mountains, don't take a chance on stuff. You blow a brake hose, and your are screwed.
If you don't know for sure, take it to shop, or if you can do it yourself, go through the systems cooling,fuel,brakes,tires,belts,windshield wipers,batteries,lights,trans fluids,and oil. If you change oil, don't forget to put a moly/ zinc additive in the new oil. Our old engines need that for cam ludrication. Lots of stuff to do,before you pull it out on the road. A tow for one of these pigs is minimum 500-1000 bucks. Nothing to be scared of, just routine checking of stuff. Biggest thing? Fuel lines and brakes. If you got to change all five hoses, do the master cylinder too. St Christipher metal on the dash, a twelve pack of coke and some oatmeal cookies, and it's a road......triiiiip. DJ out
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:21 PM   #3
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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Sorry for your loss. My dad died relatively young, and it was a shock.

All good points above from Davejay. If you have the time to put together a list of when the coach was used and what work was done on it while your dad owned it, you might get more good advice. Here is what comes to mind for me:

1) How old are the tires? Tires sold in the US have DOT date codes that will tell you, not sure about Canada. I have replaced most of my tires because they were too old, not because the tread was gone.
2) Roadside assistance insurance, Good Sam or other. If you need a tow, it will pay for itself many times over.
3) Speed. Your coach was built when the national speed limit was 55 mph, that is how fast it wants to go unless the driveline has been modified. You can burn up an engine trying to keep up with interstate freeway traffic. I stay off of freeways and use state highways as much as possible for that reason. I downshift by hand going up and down steep hills, trying not to work the engine or brakes too hard. I think I made the moderate continental divide pass going west into Butte at about 30 mph in second gear, thinking hard about backing down to first gear near the top.

Depending on how your dad winterized the coach, you may need to flush antifreeze from the water lines before using them. We travel with about a half tank of fresh water so that we don't need to hook up to a hose when we stop. There should be a water pump switch on to control panel with all the other bells and whistles, our panel is across from the kitchen at eye level.

If you have the time to take the coach to a campground for a night or two to see what works and post your questions, we will be glad to help.
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:26 PM   #4
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
DJ,

Thanks for the quick reply. All very good tips. I'll be giving it a good check before we hit the road. He had it out 3 or 4 times per year and I know he was always checking belts and hoses. The tires were all replaced when he bought it, roughly 5 years ago.

I see your profile says you have a 345. I'm guessing a lot of the interior switches and buttons are the same. Any tips for operating the interior systems?

Sorry to hear about your brother too. Way too young. I hope your Mom finds the strength she needs to get through this.

Thanks again
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:38 PM   #5
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
Waipio Rim, great advice thank you. I didn't think about what he may have some to winterize. He once told me that they never got it over 60, so neither will I. I like the State Highway idea, stay away from the interstate.
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Old 03-27-2019, 09:17 PM   #6
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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Posts: 874
Post #49 in this thread (a very good thread, keep it handy) :

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...d-95034-4.html

has a link to your owner's manual.

Both of our coaches were modified by PO's with a toggle switch like a house light switch that makes you choose to charge the house batteries by either the engine's alternator or by the converter when connected to ac power. Not sure how common this is. I have to remember to switch it to the engine alternator position to charge up the batteries while driving during the day.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:44 PM   #7
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 874
The thread that I was trying to point to above is “the Airstream Classic Motorhome Sticky Thread”, trying again with a link:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...d-95034-4.html
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:05 PM   #8
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 361
Hey,
Sorry for the long winded explanation.
We did have a 345. Now we got a 325. 5 year old tires aren't to bad. I'd drive them. If your dad is like most old guys, he was always putzing with some thing on the motorhome. If he took it out 3-4 times a year, I would think driveline stuff is in goo working order. My real concern on these things Is the fuel lines. The big one one up front, off the frame to the fuel pump, particularly. Loses of heat there, it's a formed hose, not like hose from Napa. The ends of that hose gets brittle under the hose clamps. My hoses were really bad, and our coach was not even used that much. The new gas of today is really hard on old rubber. Master cylinder too. If it was used regularly, I would think you can trust it. Plus your not driving hot summer temps. That helps. You may want to check with Canadian DOT guys on re titling it in the USA. You may have a duty tax or something like that to contend with. Just a thought.
Give a shout out when you get it home. I know this 325 of ours better than I'd like to. So, pretty much anything you get into, I've been there. Glad to help. DJ
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:12 PM   #9
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
Need Help ASAP

Guys,

We're getting ready to leave tomorrow, so today I'm going through some checks.

I filled the potable water tank and then flushed/drained it. I then re-filled it to check the water pressure at the faucets.

I get good pressure in the bathroom sink, but very little at the kitchen sink.

I noticed that when I had the water pump on at the kitchen sink, there is a stream of water coming out of a threaded hole on the drivers side. I think it is at the water heater. Is this supposed to be plugged?

Also, can you walk me through how to fire up the water heater?

I'm trying to attach pics.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:13 PM   #10
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
More Help Needed

These are valves I see under the sink. I'm assuming it is some sort of bypass system. How do I direct water to the sink faucet and not out of the side of the coach? Thanks
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:17 PM   #11
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
More Help Needed

Can anyone tell me what this furnace is for? It is under the bed, next to the potable water tank.

Also, I'm not getting water to the toilet. I see a copper line next to the furnace that seems to be coming from the same area as the toilet. Does this connect to something?

Thank you.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:19 PM   #12
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2019 27' Globetrotter
Salem , Oregon
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If you are missing a plug in your water heater, yes it needs to be closed. I am guessing this is a drain for the water heater and was not put back in.


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Old 04-04-2019, 01:22 PM   #13
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
One More Pic Under Sink

I'm trying to figure out if these valves need to be open or closed for normal operation. Thanks
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:23 PM   #14
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
Dave, thanks for the reply. Any idea what size that plug would be? I can run down to the hardware store and grab it.
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:39 PM   #15
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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Airstream 325 Info

Our plug is white plastic, I think that I might see yours sitting next to the drain hole. The valve lets you bypass the water heater for winterizing. Since you are getting water into the tank, it is probably where you want it to be. We have water heater switches in the bathroom and near the kitchen. Once the tank is full of water and propane is turned on, hit the switch and listen for it to fire up. Mine tries thee times and quits if not successful, sometimes I have to cycle the switch again. The copper line looks like a capped off propane line, my guess is that the rear furnace has been decommissioned.
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:55 PM   #16
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
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Those valves look like a water heater bypass for winterizing the rig. I don't use mine but if you search the forum you'll find lots of threads. "Water heater bypass valves"

The copper pipe next to the furnace looks like your propane feed to the furnace. Can't really tell from the picture but that's my guess.

Mike
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:59 PM   #17
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
Water Heater Help

Thanks to everyone for the replies and helpful info.

A couple of more questions...

There is a switch in the bathroom that I'm wondering if it's for the water heater. It is not a labelled white switch like the lights and water pump. It is a red switch that looks like it should light up when flipped. Nothing happens when I flip it. The propane is on and I had the generator running when I tried it. Can anyone confirm what the switch is for? Also, I cannot figure out how to start the pilot light for the water heater. I can't find any kind of pilot button that usually is pressed for 30 seconds or so. Any ideas?
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:01 PM   #18
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
Automatic Transfer Switch

Can anyone tell me what the Automatic Transfer Switch is for? There is a fuse box with a single breaker located next to it, are they together?
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:29 AM   #19
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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I don’t see a red switch in your photo, but the red switch in our bathroom is for the water heater. No pilot that I know of, the heater just fires up when the switch is on and the water in the tank is not hot enough. The transfer switch selects your ac power source, either shore power or generator. My guess is that the breaker is downstream from the transfer switch.
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:22 AM   #20
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 48
Yes, the switch is hard to see in the photo. It is a red switch surrounded by a black housing. I put a 1/2" plug in the water heater tank drain and opened the bypass valving. So, the water tank has filled with water and now I'm getting just a slow trickle out of the kitchen faucet. The pump is on and is functioning. When I had the water heater tank bypass valves closed, there was good pressure at the kitchen faucet.

Any ideas why the pressure would drop once I open the bypass valves?

The water heater seems to be functioning fine. The burner tube has flame.

Thank you
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