This is not my first older RV, but it's the first one I've had with so many things that need fixing. I'd love to exchange ideas for renovations and work-arounds before I drop too much money into her in the wrong direction.

Cosmetically, she's a cutie, clean, retro, mostly original. Got her dirt cheap, ran like a top, til I tried to drive her home and she died in the parking lot. Did some rewiring, replaced the power steering pump, changed the plugs, had alternator and battery tested. Put in a new carburetor. She runs now, but hesitates off the line. Pretty sure carb needs adjusting and maybe a new distributor cap.

Sadly, the "mostly original" goes for her water lines and facilities as well. I've already dropped out the rusted through propane tank that was mounted underneath, on the passenger side. What a fiasco, needle went haywire, propane spewing out of rotted seal...cute firefighters, but damn.

Then I tried to start the fridge on electric. Nothing. I've got a new propane tank set up but waiting til this weekend to connect it as the fire extinguisher was out of date and figured I'd just pick me up a new one before lighting any matches. We'll see if that makes a difference. I'm pretty sure it's the original Dometic, so it might just be a dead horse.

Figured water would be easier. this point, why I'd think anything would be easy is beyond reasoning. Suffice it to say, every RV and parts store in town knows me by name now. Had to replace old, flared t's, and of course each opening was a different size, as were the lines they were attached to. I admit, I swore a few times.

Got it together, not a leak. Then. Down a few feet, leak. I'd broken more of those damn flared fittings. The question I'm asking myself now is, do I repair this, one line at a time, or do I rip out the already many-times repaired bathroom and replace it all with shiny new stuff?

Bottom line. I'm a woman who's always up for a challenge, and this mechanical and plumbing stuff are things I've never done, but the learning curve is mighty steep from where I'm standing.

I've attached some pics, comments, suggestions, guidance all welcome!


Tags: 1975, Bathroom, Dodge, Single, Sportsman, dometic, plumbing, refridgerator, renovation

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Checked and changed all the filters first thing. I think it's a combo of the two other. Been parked awhile and serious oil leakage. All the gaskets are shot!

when it comes to plumbing... pex, my love...pex tubing and crimp invention for the tyro RV'er ever...

I LOVE my pex! Water is running, although not without the pump so may have gunk in the lines. Propane lines are sound and running. Fridge is good. Now it's the hot water heater. Pilot will ignite but won't stay lit. Tried to get replacement for thermal coupling but they don't make it so gonna try a generic household coupling and see if I can adapt it. Otherwise a new water heater is 450. Not gonna happen. Grr


I'm enjoying your stick-to-it-ivness!  Don't understand "water is running but not without pump"?  If you are connected to pressurized water you should not need the pump.  Is your tank a pressure tank (metal) or holding tank (plastic)?  Sounds like a good try with the generic thermocouple.

Keep up the good work,


Thanks Richard! I think if I'd tried this at another time in my life I'd have given up. I get overwhelmed by all I don't know, and frustrated at not being stronger muscles, but only sometimes :-)

I think I'm gonna have to change out my hose connection and seriously flush out my water lines. I'm hooked up so shouldn't need the pump, but I get nothing if I don't flip it on.

I really hope I can figure out the water heater. Wish me luck!


If water flows from fixtures with the pump, then it is doubtful that the main lines are seriously clogged.  There are generally two types of water systems used in RVs.  One is a pressure tank system where the pump or city water pressure provides the force to propel water out of the fixtures; this requires a metal, or unusually a fiberglass, tank capable of containing the pressure without bursting.  Another type of system has a vented holding tank that is not under pressure and requires the pump to propel water in the system.  With the second type, you have an outside water fill for filling the tank (not a hose connection); and a separate hose connection.  Both types require a spring type check valve at the hose connection, and the second type also needs a check valve so the tank does not get pressurized, this is usually built into the pump.

As to your water heater; you should have a blue flame that surrounds the tip of the thermocouple when you hold in the bypass.  Follow the connection from the TC to the gas valve (on mine it is a copper tube), then tap the gas valve a few times, sometimes there is corrosion or gunk blocking the valve and this may loosen it.

Good Luck,


Corey, This is Randy Brown in Idaho  2 years ago we bought a 77 Monico on a dodge chassis for what we thought was a good price.  the dodge 440 needed completely rebuilt along with the auto trans, luckily we found a great repair shop that could work on this old of an engine; cost under $5000, which is great. rest of chassis ckd out okay or was upgraded. we put in a new fridge, water pump and electric converter thingy- am currently tweaking the interior cosmetics. we still have a great rv, gas mileage is what it is, but we have power when fully loaded.

my advice would be to get the engine checked by some one who knows what they're doing. when we tinkered with the engine and finally got it running somewhat smooth to drive around we thought we were set.  turned out it had burned valves and piston we could have blown at anytime and most likely burned up.

which happened to me as a teenager and ran an old Chevy pickup out of oil.  

don't know where you are on restoration, but sometimes it pays just to replace--like all plumbing fixtures. of course at my age, this doubles as a hobby--just spent the day a week ago looking through wrecking yard for some powered bucket seats to replace the originals, non powered ones.  so far, they are all too big--luxury cars--too torn up---not powered--the closest so far have been from ford mini vans.

keep posting pictures


Nice rig,,, even with a few headaches,, it will be worth the effort when your done..




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