Hey, Mike it's great that you got your vintage RV.
When buying any used RV I usually do thorough maintenance before any trip. It's much cheaper at home, some of it you can do yourself and you can use a trusted local source for more technical or difficult work.
Make it a fun project and dedicate a few afternoons to your vintage RV.
- Check and change all the fluids, including the transmission and rear differential.
(Note-have a shop familiar with rvs change/service transmissons and differentials)
- Check and change as needed all hoses, wipers, belts, engine thermostat and radiator cap.
- If the tires are not new and age unknown replace them. A blow out is no fun 300 miles from the back end of nowhere.
- Check to see if it has a spare tire and that it's inflated. How about jack and lug wrench too.
- Check the trailer hitch, safety chains, wiring, brakes and turn signals.
- Have a garage or Les Schwab type company check the brakes, shocks and alignment and grease wheel bearings on trailers.
- Check all exterior and interior lights and fuses. Buy extras.
- I usually crawl underneath and check all wiring... normaly I find some hanging down or worn out. - I also remove and clean all electrical connections and grounds; Many problems are the result of poorly grounded or worn out wires.
- How are the batteries, cables and connections?
- Now up on the roof and look for cracks, loose tape, etc. The roof seals are VERY IMPORTANT! If the roof leaks into the ceiling or walls it's almost impossible to fix. See restorations on the bottom of our home page under RV Repair. Plan on resealing the roof and windows. (VK tells us that any roof vents, seams and windows should be examined and sealed yearly as needed. Eterna bond tape is one product for this
- Check the systems. Does the Roof and dash Air blow cold? All Heaters work? Have an RV technician check propane lines, tanks and appliances. Does the Water heater work? (usually there is rust and buggy things in the burner tube... gently work a baby bottle brush or similar inside the tube and blow out with air.- All vents clear of bird’s nests, mud dauber nests, leaves, etc? Sanitize and flush several times the water heater tank to.
- Get a good RV brass water pressure reducer. RVs water systems will not handle city water pressure. Next, get a new white fresh water hose ( very bad things grow in ones that have been sitting). Sanitize and flush your fresh water tank several times before use to eliminate deadly bacteria. Check or buy new sewer hose(s) and "maybe" a new 30 amp RV electric cable to hook up to shore power at the campgrounds and electrical adapters.
If you do this you'll come away with a pretty worry free rig. And, it will cost far less doing this at home.
The Chevy engines are pretty bullet proof as long as you keep them cool, feed them clean fuel and keep clean fluids in them. Also, parts are readily available either from Napa (my favorite) and hundreds of good aftermarket suppliers. The one thing I don't know about is the 79 Chevy engine vs todays lower octane fuels and ethanol. You might ask Marty about that really knows this stuff.
See you down the road. Pat
The first thing we did was drop off our 1979 Dodge Beaver Sierra at an RV dealership and had them do a thorough inspection and fix anything that was wrong with it. You will also want to inspect it yourself, before every camping trip.
You will also want to get a Sam Goody membership, just incase you brake down anywhere. It is AAA for RVs.
Awesome! We have a 1974 Rockwood on a Dodge chassis. I've posted some info in my photo galleries.
I'd love to see pics of yours!