New(er) RV!

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irowiki
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New(er) RV!

Post by irowiki » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:00 pm

So, we got tired of the 81 Coachmen's carburetor issues when trying to camp in the mountains, plus the sleeping arrangements were not up to par (we'll need to sleep 5, instead of 4, eventually).

So we found a semi decent deal on a 1994 Jamboree Searcher, this time powered by a ford 7.5 460 engine, and more importantly, fuel injected! Everything is SAE too, so I had to pack a whole new toolkit than the one I haul around with my Toyotas.

Sleeps six with an actual bed in the back, which is a huge plus, the old one slept four on a couch and the cabover, this has 2 for the bed, 2 on the dinette and 2 on the cabover bed.

New fridge, new furnace, new hot water heater. New brakes all around. We installed a new toilet, redid the leaky tank drain valves and a fixed a big leak where the drain pipe went into the black water tank! It has an outside shower, which will be nice for hosing off the kids. Has a nice large "outside" storage area that's actually under the bed in the rear.

Even installed a 30 amp RV outlet in my garage so it can be used as a fully functional guest room!

Got new shocks to install all around, probably this fall.

The tires are 5 years old and we can probably get another season or two out of them, but the spare was original and rotted so we replaced that.
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81 Coachmen RV, 70k miles
95 Camry Wagon, 153k miles
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NWMO
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Re: New(er) RV!

Post by NWMO » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:44 pm

irowiki,

Beautiful picture and a nice looking rig, should be great fun!

Chris
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart"

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T4WD augury?
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dlb
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Re: New(er) RV!

Post by dlb » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:01 pm

Wow, that's a big boy. How long is it? Lol @ "hosing off the kids." I like that visual. I actually really like outdoor showers on campers/RV's, interior space is too valuable to waste on a shower stall that doesn't see much use.

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Mattel
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My tercel:: 1988 Corolla 4wd Wagon (AKA Corolla All-trac) 5speed, AC, Power Sunroof, Windows, Mirrors, Steering, Locking, Diff Lock, 14" Corolla SX Alloys with Silica Hankook Tyres, 4afe, King Springs, Upgraded Headlights, Full Synth oils, 210,000kms
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: New(er) RV!

Post by Mattel » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:48 pm

Heres my little RV. I think David had a Vanagon as well? this is a Trakka VW conversion from Australia with beds for 2 below and 2 kids in the pop top sink, fridge, 150w solar, 50l water and a propane stove that can angle and be removed to be used outside when needed. Mine doesn't have a shower but some of them have factory hot water but you have to keep the engine running for 20mins before. I use a solar shower bag which does an OK job. I payed $20 for the annexe

So far it's proven very reliable.. we will see how that goes though.

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Previous: 83 Tercel SR5 4wd, 84 Tercel SR5 4wd
88 Corolla 4wd Wagon 5speed, All power options, Fact Sunroof, Diff Lock, 14" SX Alloys, Hankook Tyres, 4afe, King Springs, Upgraded Headlights, Full Synth oils, Tow Bar, 210,000kms

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Petros
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Re: New(er) RV!

Post by Petros » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:22 pm

we had a '94 Ford one ton passenger van we used for camping (with all but the front two seats remove, there is a lot of space inside). It should have a similar mechanical configuration as your camper.

the Ford chassis is a good work horse, but I found the twin I-beam front suspension was crap with factory rubber donuts bushings. In cross winds it swam all over the roadway. I replaced them all with polyurethane bushings, and a plastic ball and socket fitting for the radius arms. Made a huge difference, cross winds were no longer a fight with the steering wheel. Fortunately front end parts were always cheap, even for the custom aftermarket polyurethane bushings. When it comes times for new tires, go with the best tires you can find, well worth it, more durable and they last longer. We used 16 ply truck tires, also helped with highway stability, along with new dampers/shocks all the way around.

Also, take good care of that trans, put a big-ass oil cooler on it and change the ATF once a year, and it will last a long time. otherwise it is a $4000 overhaul.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
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irowiki
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Re: New(er) RV!

Post by irowiki » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:33 am

dlb wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:01 pm
Wow, that's a big boy. How long is it?
24 feet long! Actually drives better than you'd think for that size. Though I had the "RV Driving Baptism of Fire" a year ago when we took our old one down to San Antonio!

interior space is too valuable to waste on a shower stall that doesn't see much use.
There's actually still an inside shower, but it at least takes up less space than the tub in the old RV!
Mattel wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:48 pm
Heres my little RV.
Someday I would definitely like to go with something smaller, but with 2 (eventually 3) kids, we need the space!







Petros wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:22 pm
Fortunately front end parts were always cheap, even for the custom aftermarket polyurethane bushings.
Previous owner (very expensively at a shop) replaced ball joints and one of the tie rod ends, she's actually very stable steering wise, but I did notice some dry rotted something up there, I may post pictures and get some advice on what to do.
When it comes times for new tires, go with the best tires you can find, well worth it, more durable and they last longer. We used 16 ply truck tires, also helped with highway stability, along with new dampers/shocks all the way around.
So, stock was D rated tires (unsure of the ply), on the other RV I bought E rated, and that's what this RV has now, I think it's 10 ply?

Also, take good care of that trans, put a big-ass oil cooler on it and change the ATF once a year, and it will last a long time. otherwise it is a $4000 overhaul.
So it does have an external transmission cooler, I think it's piped where it goes Transmission -> External Cooler -> Radiator -> Back to Transmission. I put a heat gun on it after going up a long grade and it was at 160F. Is that good or should I add another cooler?
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Petros
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Re: New(er) RV!

Post by Petros » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:22 pm

trans oil temperature should stay well under 200 deg F. some sources say 225 max, but that will require an oil change (ATF smells burnt after a temp that high), and risk damage/excessive wear to the transmission.

so 160 is good, I would say 175 max. It should always be a fresh pink color. as it "wears" it picks up some brownish particles, when it is no longer pink, it is time to change it. Even after one summer trip, it could get that burnt smell. why risk the trans? ATF is cheap compared to a rebuilt trans.

I have also found that the valve body cleaner is also a worthwhile additive to auto trans, even one that sits without being driven can get deposits build up in the valve assembly. Again, cheap compared to a rebuilt trans.

I bought a neglect non running Honda CRX for my daughter to drive for $75 in 2006 (blown head gasket, and sitting for ten years, engine was solid rust), and than went about rebuilding it. It had an auto trans, but I also had a parts car with a five speed. I offered to swap the trans to what every she wanted, though I taught her to drive a manual trans, she felt more comfortable with the auto trans, so we kept the auto trans. When I got it together it ran good with fresh ATF, but after a month it was staying stuck in gear at each shift until near the engine red line. the local trans shop said it needed rebuilding ($2000, $1500 if I pulled it out and brought it to him). I asked about an additive, he of course said it will not work, but it might worth a try. I put it in, and within ten min the shifting problem went away. My daughter drove it for another 40,000 miles, and sold it after she graduated form collage with the same trans working well. Repair shops never recommend using chemical additives, it harms their business income.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

The Professor
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Re: New(er) RV!

Post by The Professor » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:52 am

Petros wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:22 pm
Repair shops never recommend using chemical additives, it harms their business income.
There are other reasons for not using chemical additives and stop-leak-type products (a discussion for another thread), but absolutely there are shady mechanics out there.
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1987 Subaru RX 3-door
1987.5 Subaru RX 3-door
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1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
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irowiki
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Re: New(er) RV!

Post by irowiki » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:04 am

I've had good luck with Transtune before, but I will never, ever use stop leak as not only have I found they don't work but they often make the leak worse, or cause new ones!
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81 Coachmen RV, 70k miles
95 Camry Wagon, 153k miles
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splatterdog
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Re: New(er) RV!

Post by splatterdog » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:27 pm

Shocks are always fun on any E-van. I use a Sawzall on the bottom of the upper studs, right thru the bushing. Less drama and rubber smoke vs. torching. You would never just unbolt them here in saltville. Be careful on the front lower nut, sometimes they need heat. If it breaks now you need to make a hole in the radius arm to put an old chevy double ended truck shock bolt in. Hopefully the new front shocks have wrench flats at the bottom of the upper stud.

New poly radius arm bushings makes a huge difference even over new rubber and like Petros said, cheap. That year might still have radius frame bracket bolts that on one side require exhaust removal or complete I-beam disassembly to allow the axle to pivot away from the bracket.

On any vehicle pay close attention to external radiator blockage. Fuzzy tree seeds here will pass through a/c condensers and get hung up on the rad combining with dirt, that only increases it's air filtering efficiency.

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irowiki
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Re: New(er) RV!

Post by irowiki » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:33 pm

Just did a 20 hour, 1200 mile trip for the weekend to surprise my dad for his birthday, RV did excellent!
Former Tercel Enthusiast (not a practical family car anymore but they still have a place in my heart)

Site administrator, if something is broken, PM me!

81 Coachmen RV, 70k miles
95 Camry Wagon, 153k miles
04 Camry Sedan, 250k miles

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