Hi all, new here but have been lurking!

 

I'm considering purchasing a 1983 22.8' Winnie Brave.  It's in really good shape.  75000 miles, everything works.  454 engine.  A couple of things are stumping me though, maybe someone can help?


From the manual, it says it takes 7.50 x 16 tires.  Those seem to be kind of hard to find.  Are there other options if it still has the original rims?  Also, how hard is it to find chassis/engine parts for this?  I've read here that the 454 runs really hot and has overheating problems, is that true for all, or just some? 

 

Any thoughts appreciated.  Thanks!

Tags: RV Tires to buy, Winnebago Brave Tires

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Hey Ron:  Could be a nice find. Depends on condition and price, of course.  Some info that I know is: Dodge eight hole rims will fit Chevy/GM but not the other way around.  Chevy wheel center holes are to small to fit Dodge.  That gives you more options than the other way around.  Engine/chassis parts should be no problem with Chevy.  Dodge is another animal.  Just keep reading the web sites you have been looking at and see what people who have them say.  Good luck on you find!!!
Nope, they pretty much all run hot so get as much cooling and air to them, a good exhaust sytem and shield the wiring and you'll go down the road fine... usually.  See our posts on how to keep cool in Forums.
I didnt take the time to look up any tire size charts, but I'd guess todays LT 225 75 R 16 is a close match (they are common as apple pie on smaller Class RV's) AND BE SURE AND BUY 10 PLY LOAD RANGE E TIRES. ANY tire shop can tell you and any will stock plenty of LT 225 75 R 16 tires in 8 and 10 ply. The 10 ply around here go for like $110 to $150 or more depending on brand.

The Chevy 454 is also an old reliable very standard (used for yearssssssss in many vehicles, pickups, light duty trucks, RV's etc) workhorse of an engine for which parts are very readily available. In those years RV's (depending on size and year) one saw a lot of Dodge 318, 360, 413 and 440 also used, but Id say the Chevy 454 is easiest to get parts for of all them. My 1995 26 ft. Class C has a TBI 454 and the 4L 80 E OD Tranny which really helps on fuel mileage but I doubt your older unit came with an OD Tranny???

Ive read antecdotal evidence of 454's in Class A units that tended to overheat and crack exhaust manifolds. I owned several Class A and C units in that time frame and on many the very first thing I did was trade out the stock 3 core radiator for a 4 core which eliminated any overheating. At the least give your old radiator a total cleaning and flushing,,,,,,,,,then use that "super cool" water wetting agent additive and I use distilled water and anti rust additive to boot. I dont think their manifold cracking was due so much to general overheating as just how some Class A's restricted airflow over the manifolds as compared to if installed in a car or truck. The most potential for cracking in my opinion would be a long hard pull up a mountain when they get almost cherry red followed by a sudden too fast cooldown when you coast down the hill, but I have no evidence or science to establish that whatsoever.

Similar, chassis and brake and related parts for that vintage of Chevy will be more standard and much easier to find versus Dodge parts in my opinion.......

On that vintage some Winnies used a pressurized water tank system (small air compressor to crate tank pressure), I always replaced that with a standard demand pressure pump system which worked much better and was easier to get parts for an maintain.

Thats my story n Ima stickin to it lol

John T in Indiana
Boy, I think John is right on, per normal!, with his cooling and other parts recommendations for 454's. We actually did just what he said, including the radiator upgrade which made the most difference, but using "trial and terror" method; but this was before we met John T. Ah ha!

Thanks for the replies!

 

It's in good shape, but I know I'd still have to sink some cash into it for my piece of mind. It's only on the second owner, been stored under cover most of it's life, and they're only asking $2500.  I think I could get them down to 1800-2000 pretty easily.  They said the first owner didn't use it much, but they use it a few times a year, but have to move and are going to upgrade when they get settled in to their new situation.


All in all it sounds like an ideal situation, and your feedback on parts, etc.  helps set my mind at ease. I'm not a big fan of the floorplan, and I've had my mind set on a Class C, but the length is right and it's hard to beat the shape its in for the price they want.  We'll see what happens.

 

Thanks again!

Just a boring update.... didn't end up getting it.  Decided I really do want to stick with finding a class C.  Thanks again for the replies, the info on here is amazing.

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