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Old 06-01-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dearman Avenue , Tennessee
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"Third Time's a Charm"

DW and I have chronicled our journey searching for a Classic Airstream Motorhome in the forum.

I have always enjoyed the look of a classic airstream as a child. I was introduced to the Classic Motorhome several years ago and knew then I would one buy one, fix her up and hit the road.

Joined the forum in 2011 in order to learn everything I could about this Iconic Classic. I have read and re-read every post on the Classic Motorhome forum and I am so anal, I even went so far as to gather all the invaluable advice and save into hundreds of folders on my iPad

First Attempt
While enamored with the Classic Airstream Motorhome and searching for a couple of years, wanted to start enjoying traveling this great land...so we purchased a 1995 Airstream 30' Land Yacht in April 2012. Our adventures with "Katy" is shared in this thread aptly titled "Dad's Folly":

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f312...lly-89972.html


Second Attempt
We find our dream Classic Airstream Motorhome!
"The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!"
Shared in the thread "Dad's Folly Redux":

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...ux-103713.html


And now, "the Third Time's a Charm":
Depressed over the loss of "Kimee" to an electrical fire, a good friend admonished me to start searching as "...when God closes a door somewhere he opens a window".
Good advice, I jumped up and searched the AirForum Classifieds. Amazingly enough, staring back at me was a new listing:
1982 Airstream 310

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I contacted the owner and over the course of a week of emails and telephone conversations with the DW and I, we reached an agreement.
Will be traveling to Pennsylvania to pickup our "last" Airstream Motorhome in two weeks!

Standby for the chronicles of "Penny" (as in "Pennies from Heaven")...



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Old 06-01-2013, 01:33 PM   #2
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Things are as they should be. Glad to hear you've got another "on the way"!
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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What a GREAT thread starter!
Loving it!
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:20 PM   #4
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Cool!

Glad to hear you're jumping right back in the saddle. What part of Pennsylvania?

Brad
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:46 PM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
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Marvelous trailer! Looks very well kept.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:14 PM   #6
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dearman Avenue , Tennessee
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Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Cool!

Glad to hear you're jumping right back in the saddle. What part of Pennsylvania?

Brad
Brad,

Cranberry Township (25 miles north of Pittsburg).
Should be an interesting Roadtrip and good opportunity to check out all the systems...
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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That is beautiful, good luck.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:45 AM   #8
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dearman Avenue , Tennessee
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Our Journey to purchase "Penny"...or, you really learn who your true friends are

13JUN13 Departed home at 12 noon Drove to the other side of Columbus, OH



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Friday 14JUN13 Columbus, OH to Cranberry Township, PA - 3 1/2 hours Checked coach out, test drove, purchased Filled up with gas, about 45 gallons, ouch" Noticed tow connector wouldn't work with our Blue Ox towbar. Made the decision for the girls to drive the Toad to Cleveland, we would take the coach. Departed for Cleveland, OH Ran fine for first 30-60 minutes. Came to a stop would not idle, died Restarted, kept engine running with accelerator Girls went on ahead of us, we would meet up later Finally made it to Cleveland, OH Checked carburetor, fuel leaking out of accelerator rod, Running real rich, excessive black smoke from exhaust pipes Cleaned with carb cleaner, no change

Saturday 15 JUN13 No auto parts store had Quadrajet in stock, nor rebuild kit Could get in 3-10 days, hah Napa Auto had rebuild kit at another store and began thinking this was our only option. Suggested we try Summit Auto Racing in Talmadge, OH 50 miles away. Drove the Toad there, an auto enthusiast dream, they had carb in stock, and even loaned us tools to transfer carb parts to the new unit. Returned to friends house in Cleveland. Installed carb in about 1 hour, had some minor issues to overcome Still have to adjust idle mixture and speed, running a little rich Left 1300 hours Outside Columbus , OH, engine died after backfiring twice Let cool off 30-45 minutes Checked engine, no obvious issues Tried to restart, no joy As we had pulled off to side of freeway just before exit ramp, DW and best friend elected to walk to gas station while we attempted to isolate the problem. The engine turned over, we are getting air, check. Was not sure we were getting fuel...wives returned with gas can, poured a little in, cranked engine and...no joy. Pulled spark plug wire, inserted screwdriver into plug wire, held near ground, cranked engine, we have spark. Got zapped twice and engine started, huh? Quickly put plug wire back on and drove on. Engine was running a little rough... Think I broke carbon connector in plug wire from metal end Have to check when we make the next stop. At next gas fillup, noticed antifreeze dripping on ground. Upon inspection appears coolant tank is split along seam. Have to find parts store when we stop for the night. Stopped in Carrolton, OH at the local Wal Mart. While the wives perused the "Next Exit" (great resource while travelling) to find hotel, restaurant and a nearby Auto Zone, took the opportunity to check spark plug wire. Yep, The metal connector stayed on the spark plug and I broke the wire removing it... Shore Power cord looked a bit dodgy, had 110, 20 amp. male end instead of 30 amp. Cord cut too short and frayed. Needs a bit of work. Tested generator, wouldn't start from control panel. Tried to start from generator, no joy. So started engine and let idle, attempted to start from generator, fired right up! PO said coach batteries are new and converter just replaced. Control panel says coach batteries are fully charged. All Items added to the list. Went to auto parts store, picked up universal coolant overflow tank, antifreeze and spark plug wires. Getting dark, wanted a hotel room, shower and clean bed. Stayed in motel, first room felt like a sauna A/C unit blowing hot air and missing knobs. Switched rooms. Despite all the minor troubles and issues, feel God is looking over us and grateful for friends traveling with us.

Sunday16JUN13 Up at 0345 hours, Replaced broken spark plug wire, Replaced coolant overflow tank with universal tank from Auto Zone Adjusted mirrors, needed Allen wrench Departed by 0800 Coach ran better About 1300 hours it was 84 degrees outside and climbing Dash air blows, not cold (I know, but one can hope.) Fired up generator and turned on front a/c After about 15 minutes, didn't feel like it was cooling enough Yep, original a/c unit So, turned on back A/c...Now we're beginning to cool off... Oops, spoke too soon...front a/c turns off Turned controls off, waited 5 minutes, tried to restart A/c, no joy Went to bedroom to check breakers Yep, one popped. Felt breaker box, it was very hot. Uh oh, after recent electrical fire with Kimee, felt it was better to turn off all A/c units and shut down generator. Opened all the windows an overhead vent and made the best of a bad situation. Arrived in Memphis about 1600 hours Parked across the street from my house in order to disconnect friends toad. DW went to move cars from the driveway. Started coach and depressed accelerator pedal to pull into driveway. Pedal goes all the way to the floor and lays there...engine not racing, what the...? OMG the accelerator cable is broken. Friend takes the wheel, I pop the doghouse and follow his instructions to manually depress the accelerated until coach is in the driveway. We shut the Motorhome down and stare at each other in stunned silence...4 days, 1600 miles, one situation after another...what a guy! We unload all of our stuff, hug each other and wives...tomorrow is another day and I have a rather large list (4 pages) of items to repair, replace, remove, re-attach, re-engineer...you get the idea! Wife wanted to make last Mass... I wanted to at least repair the throttle...

Stay tuned for the further mis-adventures of our intrepid heroes...
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:44 AM   #9
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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Wow, thanks for the report!

Sounds like there is some adjustments to do, but that part of the fun... Right?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #10
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Ludington , Michigan
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Makes me realize how lucky we were on our maiden voyage. I had to move fast. Found exactly what I was looking for after a two year search with several others showing interest. I flew out, looked it over, test drove it, and flew home. Made an offer, got a check, insurance, flew back out, did the paperwork, checked the fluids, topped off the fuel, and headed out through the Seattle rush hour traffic. Crossed two mountain ranges, one desert, and 1500 miles. All in 3 days. No issues!

Congratulations and remember, it a labor of love!
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:01 PM   #11
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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I am impressed that you pulled all of that off on your own. I would have been looking for a mechanic as soon as I saw the leaky carb, although I have been met by blank stares from younger mechanics when I say the word "carburetor".

Our maiden voyage was interrupted by a failing ignition coil that did not like to produce spark when hot, we had backfire and stalling issues too.

I did manage to get the original front a/c unit cooling again by replacing the start capacitor. I don't think the generator will run both a/c units at once. My normal generator start procedure after it has been sitting: try to start for five second (it won't). Pour coffee, look at map. Try again, and it starts.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:28 PM   #12
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Love your write-up! As time goes on you'll appreciate the motorhome even more when you think back on what you had to go through driving it home

Overall it sounds like just a bunch of little issues that by themselves don't amount to much but put them all into one trip and you're in for some exciting times.

Glad you made it home safely.

Brad
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:20 PM   #13
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dearman Avenue , Tennessee
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Question for the forum members:

When connected to shore power and running the front Air Conditioner, how warm does your circuit breaker box in the rear bedroom feel?

Mine Is warm to the touch...

"Inquiring minds want to know"

Thanks!
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:44 AM   #14
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I wouldn't think it would be overly warm, probably not much more than room temperature if that. I really don't think it should be any warmer than the power cable going to the air conditioner itself.

Brad
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cesalie2 View Post
Question for the forum members:

When connected to shore power and running the front Air Conditioner, how warm does your circuit breaker box in the rear bedroom feel?

Mine Is warm to the touch...

"Inquiring minds want to know"

Thanks!
I would be concerned if it generating heat!
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:32 AM   #16
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Our breaker gets pretty hot...I'm taking Scrap in for an ac check this coming week...our breaker for AC throws after about 5 minutes of running when the outside temp gets above 97...which is , well, almost every day, now, in Austin...
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:06 PM   #17
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Redwood City , California
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Mine will get warm at times as well. Basically everything is new from the pedestal plug up to the breaker box, that includes the transfer switch and power management system (surge protector) which all are located in the left rear corner closet. However, some of that heat is from the radiant heat from sun shining on outside aluminum and transfered to the inside wall and closet. The breaker panel will feel warm but not really hot. With the electronics in the transfer switch and power management system, they will feel warm as well.

When I run the A/C, I try to be aware of anything else that is drawing power. I usually turn off the electric water heater. Even though it is a 30 amp service, I try not to max that out. Funny enough though, last evening I had the A/C on, the electrical water heater on (because I forgot) and while I was outside BBQing, the power went off. I switched everything off and checked the breakers, they didn't seem to be popped. The breaker panel was slightly warm and the cables were not warm at all. The power management system was warm and the transfer switch seemed to be warmer then I remember it getting. I went out to the pedestal and reset that breaker even though it didn't seem to be tripped. I also pulled the plug from the pedestal and checked the three prongs...they were not warm at all.

I had power back on at this point. The normal draw with refrig, A/C, etc. on is 15-18 amps. I think when the elec water heater kicks on it could draw up to another 10 amps. So what happened was that the converter kicked into it once a day high charge mode to condition the coach batteries. I've seen the converter also draw 10+ amps at times. So this is what tripped I believe the pedestal 30 amp breaker (which looks like it is about 50 years old.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:18 PM   #18
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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Originally Posted by ScrapIrony-2 View Post
Our breaker gets pretty hot...I'm taking Scrap in for an ac check this coming week...our breaker for AC throws after about 5 minutes of running when the outside temp gets above 97...which is , well, almost every day, now, in Austin...
With the outside temp in the 90's, ran both A/C units. The breaker box got pretty hot on our return trip from Pennsylvania, the front A/C breaker popped. I shut down the rear A/C and the generator as well.

Running on shore power with just the front A/C running, the breaker box feels very warm to the touch. Outside temp was in the low 90's. On the positive side, the breaker did not pop...(am running on Low Cool with the temp setting about 2 notches above coldest setting.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:31 AM   #19
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dearman Avenue , Tennessee
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Let the repairs begin!

Alternator fan belt was squealing so off with the doghouse to gain access. An hour later, I finally find the hidden screw on the side. (Added by one of the 3 previous owners...). Loosened retaining bolt and with a little aid from the DW, she crawled under the coach and applied pressure to the alternator via a lever (2X2 board), we got it done. She is definitely an amazing gal!

No obnoxious belt squeal...Priceless!

Since the doghouse was removed and I had access to the carb and all it's lines, hoses, wires, etc...decided to do a little straightening up. Noticed there were quite a few vacuam lines not connected to anything with screws inserted as plugs. Replaced cracked, brittle hoses with new and removed hoses going nowhere, capped the vacuam ports at the carb with these handy rubber plugs:


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Many thanks to the PO for leaving them in one of the storage lockers!
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:43 PM   #20
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1992 36' Land Yacht
Grayson , Georgia
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Sorry to hear that your return trip was so... well… eventful. Sounds like you'll be spending quite a bit of time in repair mode with this one. Luck has not been on your side so I hope things change. Sure hope the price was right and the PO was honest about any issues. Just curious what you paid, since I'm in the market for a classic as well.

I'd try to trace down where all those vacuum hoses need to go. You may very well have a few vacuum leaks to plug. I'd replace all the belts as well. Well, you know the routine. Replace everything rubber that doesn't have a known history. Good luck on your newest MH venture.
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