1989 RV maintenance questions

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by motohead, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. motohead

    motohead New Member

    Hi! My father has a 1989 Tioga Arrow (I believe) which is 21' and has a 350 Chevy engine. He bought it brand new in '89 and only put 9k miles on it. Never took it further then 400 miles RT with most trips being less then 90miles RT. This RV has sat on the side of the house 99.9% of it's existence in the CA sun. Now my family is planning on going on a long trip this summer roughly 3k miles RT, but my dad is worried his won't make it. His heater and air conditioner don't work and I think he needs to change his fuel filter.

    My question is, what can I do to test this thing to see if it's road worthy? I know that sitting is worse then driving it a ton. Should I feel comfortable with just changing the hoses and belts? I have no idea even where to begin. Any and all advise would be greatly appreciated. If this was your dad, what would you tell him or have him do? Thanks!!
     
  2. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    RE: 1989 RV maintenance questions

    I wouldnt change anything. I would inspect the belts and hoses and look for cracks, they will be easily noticable and look at the ends of the hoses for the worse cracking. I would also look at the tires for cracking along the side walls. I would do an oil change if more than 2000 miles on it, possibly the transmission oil change if it has more than 50,000 on it, and the fuel filter if its got more than 10,000 miles on it. Replace what needs to be replaced, top everything off and have a great trip. My father had a truck that had sat in his driveway for nigh onto ten years or more with a full size cabover camper on it. I inspected and started it up and had to change the power steering pump, and had to change the oil and gas in the tanks which had basically turned to turpinetine and was off and running with it. Had to replace fuel filter twice on the trip but I had figured on that, I had to carry some extra oil in case of leaks and was lucky to have none.
     
  3. motohead

    motohead New Member

    Re: 1989 RV maintenance questions

    Thanks for the reply utmtman. He only has put 9k miles on it. I forgot about changing all of the fluids. That's a great recommendation. So change the trans fluid, engine oil, antifreeze (?) and break fluid. Those should be easy to do! Thanks again.
     
  4. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: 1989 RV maintenance questions

    Yes, I would change fluids, belts, hoses and tires. I think someone got lucky. The worse thing is to not use a vehicle. Tires and all rubber items dry rot with time. You are talking about a vehicle that is about 18 years old.

    If you want a great trip and not spend a lot of time with mechanics, fix it now and then have fun.
     
  5. Texas_Camper

    Texas_Camper New Member

    Re: 1989 RV maintenance questions

    Rubber and neoprene (belts, gaskets and seals) deterioriate over time. Tires suffer from UV damage. I would not attempt a long trip with tires over 6 years old. Best to have the battery checked too. Once all that is done, take it on the road a few times. Even if you have a campground close to home ( 5 - 10 miles), you should drive the long way to it. Go 50-60 miles up the road, turn around and then go to the campground. Loosen that rig up and test the appliances a few times before you tackle a long trip...
    Just my opinion...and most of the time I don't know nothin'
     
  6. motohead

    motohead New Member

    Re: 1989 RV maintenance questions

    Yea, I'm most worried about the seals. He used it about 3 months ago with no big probs. I just want to make sure it can handle the long trip.
     
  7. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: 1989 RV maintenance questions

    Like I said earlier a lot of it can be inspected for cracking and that will tell you if you need to replace it immediately. You dont need to change brake fluid just top it off. With only 9000 miles on the vehicle, I would just check the tranny fluid and if its still red and dont smell burnt I would run with it. Definitely dont hurt to change oil and coolant. Be sure to also check your power steering fluid as well as the power steering hoses for cracks. And enjoy the trip.
     
  8. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: 1989 RV maintenance questions

    Do not make the mistake of thinking that a rubber part that shows no visable signs of a crack is good! A few blown tires can not only ruin your day, they are dangerous! All tire manufacturers say to replace any tire, regardless of wear after five to seven years. No 18 year old tire is safe for highway speeds! And consider the cost to replace a radiator hose now, versus out on the highway on a hot day? What do you think would cost least and be more convienent? And brake fluid tends to absorb moisture and if it does then when under heavy braking the moisture will turn to steam and that steam can be compressed. That means that brakes will get spongy or fail. This is not a good thing so do the maintenance.

    The choice is, go cheap, or go safe and prepared. Which do you want the family to choose?
     
  9. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: 1989 RV maintenance questions

    Replace the freon in the air conditioner if a air conditioner is needed to make the trip more enjoyable. Yes the freon. It probably slowly leaked out and may be replaceable . It takes a little looking and quite a bit of money, but you can still find freon. The TIRES must go. Replace them first. Flush the radiator and replace the coolant and install a new thermistat.
     

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