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Re: [classicrv] Digest Number 307

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  • Karl Kroll
    We are moving up from a tent trailer to a class C RV ~23 ft from the 1980s. I have several questions: Safety is an issue because we have three children. What
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 2, 2001
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      We are moving up from a tent trailer to a class C RV ~23 ft from the 1980s.
      I have several questions: Safety is an issue because we have three
      children.
      What year did RV's get seat belts in the rear areas?
      Is it easy / safe to add seatbelts to an older RV?
      Are there any RVs in the $5-10K price range that are safer in a rollover
      than others?

      What engine / tranny are the most reliable?
      How many miles can I expect to get out of the motor / tranny?
      What engine / tranny will have the best gas mileage? What should I expect?
      Can I effectively tow a small car behind a 23 ft class C with a small 318 cu
      engine or similar?

      What brand of RV's are most trouble free in my price range? (refrigerator,
      pumps etc.)

      I hope I have not opened up every can of worms in the USA but I just want to
      be careful in this big purchase.

      Thank you very much,

      Karl
    • mike_w@prodigy.net
      Karl, I ve seen rear seat belts in models as early as 1975. I wouldn t be too concerned with rear seat belts in a motorhome as they are rarely mounted to
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 2, 2001
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        Karl,

        I've seen rear seat belts in models as early as 1975. I wouldn't be too
        concerned
        with rear seat belts in a motorhome as they are rarely mounted to anything
        substantial plus the seats at the dinette have the table to contend with.
        If your going to tow a car I'd recommend a big block such as Ford's 460 or
        Chevy's
        454. I think you'd be asking too much of Dodge's 318, I'd say their 360
        would be the minimum.
        For the refridge try and find one with a Dometic or Norcold these two are
        still in business.
        The Chevy and Ford motorhomes usually command a higher price probable since
        Dodge
        is now out of the motorhome business.

        Mike W.
        Latrobe, PA




        "Karl Kroll"
        <karl@interco To: <classicrv@yahoogroups.com>
        mpco.com> cc:
        Subject: Re: [classicrv] Digest Number 307
        02/02/01
        11:52 AM
        Please
        respond to
        classicrv






        We are moving up from a tent trailer to a class C RV ~23 ft from the 1980s.
        I have several questions: Safety is an issue because we have three
        children.
        What year did RV's get seat belts in the rear areas?
        Is it easy / safe to add seatbelts to an older RV?
        Are there any RVs in the $5-10K price range that are safer in a rollover
        than others?

        What engine / tranny are the most reliable?
        How many miles can I expect to get out of the motor / tranny?
        What engine / tranny will have the best gas mileage? What should I expect?
        Can I effectively tow a small car behind a 23 ft class C with a small 318
        cu
        engine or similar?

        What brand of RV's are most trouble free in my price range? (refrigerator,
        pumps etc.)

        I hope I have not opened up every can of worms in the USA but I just want
        to
        be careful in this big purchase.

        Thank you very much,

        Karl






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      • cburgess@columbus.rr.com
        I agree about the seatbelts in the back, these are usually anchored to the seat, not the fram and the seat is usually anchored to the plywood deck with a few
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 2, 2001
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          I agree about the seatbelts in the back, these are usually anchored
          to the seat, not the fram and the seat is usually anchored to the
          plywood deck with a few bolts. Not much help in a major accident.

          I can't tell you much about the different brands and their
          strong/weak points but I can help give you some pointers in your
          search.

          Having purchased an older Class C just last spring, I can tell you
          some of the important things to ask about and look for. We bought
          ours from a friend (yes, he is STILL a friend) but most of the
          maintenance items were still a surprise to me. Here are some things
          you might want to consider:

          Check all mechanical systems yourself or have your mechanic check
          them. I know this seems like common sense, but a low Master
          Cylinder, transmission fluid level or even oil level can point to
          poor maintenance at best or in the worst case, a failing system. Pop
          the hood/dog house and pull that dipstick! Running the engine with
          the hood/dog house open will let you hear things like the hissing of
          a vacuum leak.

          Turn on the propane and light all the appliances. Pressurize the
          water lines and make sure there are no leaks. Make sure the water
          heater heats, heater blows (and fires), faucets work, fridge cools,
          roof AC cools, 12-vold system works on SHORE AND BATTERY power, etc.
          Any of these systems can be VERY expensive to repair or replace and
          some guys trying to sell an older RV will put off a repair on these
          systems hoping that you will not notice it until the deal is done.

          Holding tanks are expensive and a pain in the ass to replace, make
          sure you run some water into the gray and black tanks and check for
          leaks. Make sure the dump valve operates easily. A leak in the
          system will have to be fixed before you go take it out the first time
          and they are no fun to work on.

          A good time to go look at RVs is after a big rain...look in the
          corners and behind all the furniture for dampness, soft spots or
          water stains that might point to a major repair bill down the road.

          Make sure you road test the RV on a nice bumpy, curvy road, as well
          as at highway speeds. Pulling, swaying or rocking can point to a
          fairly expensive or dangerous suspension problem.

          Find out when (if ever) the engine and trans were rebuilt or
          replaced. Any RV with 100K or more on it should have had a rebuild
          at least once. If it hasn't been done, you are going to have to do
          it at a big $$$.


          For what it is worth, our 1976 Rockwood 'C' 22' (built on Dodge
          frame) seems to have held up very well so if you see a good deal on
          an older Dodge, you might want to stop and look.

          Hope this helps!

          Chris Burgess


          --- In classicrv@y..., "Karl Kroll" <karl@i...> wrote:
          > We are moving up from a tent trailer to a class C RV ~23 ft from
          the 1980s.
          > I have several questions: Safety is an issue because we have three
          > children.
          > What year did RV's get seat belts in the rear areas?
          > Is it easy / safe to add seatbelts to an older RV?
          > Are there any RVs in the $5-10K price range that are safer in a
          rollover
          > than others?
          >
          > What engine / tranny are the most reliable?
          > How many miles can I expect to get out of the motor / tranny?
          > What engine / tranny will have the best gas mileage? What should I
          expect?
          > Can I effectively tow a small car behind a 23 ft class C with a
          small 318 cu
          > engine or similar?
          >
          > What brand of RV's are most trouble free in my price range?
          (refrigerator,
          > pumps etc.)
          >
          > I hope I have not opened up every can of worms in the USA but I
          just want to
          > be careful in this big purchase.
          >
          > Thank you very much,
          >
          > Karl
        • cburgess@columbus.rr.com
          I agree about the seat rear seat belts, they are usually attached to the seat, not the frame and the seat it usually attached to the plywood sub-floor with a
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 2, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            I agree about the seat rear seat belts, they are usually attached to
            the seat, not the frame and the seat it usually attached to the
            plywood sub-floor with a few bolts. Not much help in a major
            accident.

            I can't speak to the durability of different brands, but I can give
            you some pointers to keep in mind while you are shopping. Having
            purchased an older Class C just last spring, I can tell you some of
            the important things to ask about and look for. We bought ours from
            a friend (yes, he is STILL a friend) but most of the maintenance
            items were still a surprise to me. Here are some things you might
            want to consider:

            Check all mechanical systems yourself or have your mechanic check
            them. I know this seems like common sense, but a low Master
            Cylinder, transmission fluid level or even oil level can point to
            poor maintenance at best or in the worst case, a failing system. Pop
            the hood/dog house and pull that dipstick! Running the engine with
            the hood/dog house open will let you hear things like the hissing of
            a vacuum leak.

            Turn on the propane and light all the appliances. Pressurize the
            water lines and make sure there are no leaks. Make sure the water
            heater heats, heater blows (and fires), faucets work, fridge cools,
            roof AC cools, 12-vold system works on SHORE AND BATTERY power, etc.
            Any of these systems can be VERY expensive to repair or replace and
            some guys trying to sell an older RV will put off a repair on these
            systems hoping that you will not notice it until the deal is done.

            Holding tanks are expensive and a pain in the ass to replace, make
            sure you run some water into the gray and black tanks and check for
            leaks. Make sure the dump valve operates easily. A leak in the
            system will have to be fixed before you go take it out the first time
            and they are no fun to work on.

            A good time to go look at RVs is after a big rain...look in the
            corners and behind all the furniture for dampness, soft spots or
            water stains that might point to a major repair bill down the road.

            Make sure you road test the RV on a nice bumpy, curvy road, as well
            as at highway speeds. Pulling, swaying or rocking can point to a
            fairly expensive or dangerous suspension problem.

            Find out when (if ever) the engine and trans were rebuilt or
            replaced. Any RV with 100K or more on it should have had a rebuild
            at least once. If it hasn't been done, you are going to have to do
            it at a big $$$.

            I can tell you that our 1976 Dodge Class C 22' (Rockwood Roadking)
            seems to have held up well. There are some obvious mechanical
            maintenance itmes that come from simple wear but the body and house
            systems are all in top shape. So if you see a good deal on one, you
            might want to stop and take a look.

            Hope this helps!

            Chris Burgess


            --- In classicrv@y..., "Karl Kroll" <karl@i...> wrote:
            > We are moving up from a tent trailer to a class C RV ~23 ft from
            the 1980s.
            > I have several questions: Safety is an issue because we have three
            > children.
            > What year did RV's get seat belts in the rear areas?
            > Is it easy / safe to add seatbelts to an older RV?
            > Are there any RVs in the $5-10K price range that are safer in a
            rollover
            > than others?
            >
            > What engine / tranny are the most reliable?
            > How many miles can I expect to get out of the motor / tranny?
            > What engine / tranny will have the best gas mileage? What should I
            expect?
            > Can I effectively tow a small car behind a 23 ft class C with a
            small 318 cu
            > engine or similar?
            >
            > What brand of RV's are most trouble free in my price range?
            (refrigerator,
            > pumps etc.)
            >
            > I hope I have not opened up every can of worms in the USA but I
            just want to
            > be careful in this big purchase.
            >
            > Thank you very much,
            >
            > Karl
          • dbblecab@aol.com
            I think the class c s are safer in a roll over than the class A s. Especially in the reasonable price ranges. I would go with the Ford 460, even though I
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 2, 2001
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              I think the class c's are safer in a roll over than the class A's.
              Especially in the reasonable price ranges.
              I would go with the Ford 460, even though I currently tow with a Chevy one
              ton.

              I have seen engines go out at 60,000 and some last as much as 150,000. I am
              a firm believer in have a wet and dry compression check run.
              I think you could easily tow with most class C's, but I would not use an
              engine smaller than the 454 or 460. I think 7 or 8 MPG is GREAT towing about
              4,000 LB's.
              I use a tow dolly with brakes, feel the brakes are a necessity.
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