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Old 09-20-2019, 10:02 PM   #1
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New to the whole RV thing.

I have been reading (and learning) here for a while now and finally was able to register after numerous failed attempts. I was born/raised in Germany, moved to the US in 1985 and just retired a few month ago after spending 33 years in military (some AD, mostly full-time MO National Guard where I worked as a maintenance shop supervisor).

Anyway, we always wanted to try the RV life. We decided to buy an older RV outright to see if we like the lifestyle before buying a new or almost new RV. I wanted a Winnebago because of the reputation and the fiberglass roof, I also wanted one that either has no slide out or is fully functional with the slide out retracted.

I found a 2006 Sightseer 30B (P32, 8100, 4L85E) which was really cheap because the last owner decided to remove the dinette and couch to put some big recliners in there. So I ordered new Rec-Pro furniture and a new mattress. I spent about two days cleaning and disinfecting and then sanitized it with a Ozone generator (my wife says I have a little OCD when it comes to cleanliness). I also bought a Dometic porcelain toilet (have yet to figure the fittings out) because we didn't like the nasty plastic toilet. Replaced the front shocks, changed fluids and other small maintenance tasks. Next month I am getting all ball joints replaced, Super Steer springs installed, alignment and new tires (6 years old Chine tires).

On the plus side, the RV came with all books, new flat screen TVs and the complete and documented maintenance and repair history for everything that was ever done to it. It also has the Safety-Steer set up, runs and drives really good. All the systems work (haven't tried the water heater yet or the TV antennas).

This is our first RV and we can't wait to start using it. I have been a mechanic all my working life and know my way around vehicles except for the RV specific stuff.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:11 PM   #2
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Looks like you are off to a good start!

We graduated directly from 40+ years in a tent to our pre-owned '07 Journey. Livin' the dream!

Lot of satisfaction and feeling of security doing as much work yourself as is possible. Saving that $135+/- labor charge ain't bad either.

This is a good site with lots of knowledge base out there. You have a question, someone has an answer.

Fair Winds and Following Seas
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Old 09-21-2019, 03:27 AM   #3
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You are off to a good start. The RV stuff is somewhat easy to work on, that's where the forum is great for help. There is a lot to see and do just exploring MO will keep you busy for awhile.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:22 AM   #4
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Yes, it’s not to bad to work on it. It’s just the oddball stuff you face. For example I am switching from a Thedford to a Domenic toilet and have to relocate the water supply line. Thought that would be easy, just cut the straight fitting off and replace with an elbow fitting. I haven’t found anything that fits at Lowe’s or two RV stores. All the have is PEX but the existing hose is about 1/2” inside diameter.

I’ll figure out something eventually.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:27 AM   #5
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Welcome to the world's most relaxing...and sometimes frustrating...life style! Being a mechanic is going to go far as every RV will eventually break down. It's not a question of if, but when. Preventive maintenance goes a long way, but you already know that being retired military! As far as fittings go, try your local plumbing supply house. It's amazing what they sometimes come up with to replace items that are either obsolete or very hard to come by.

Use these forums...they have saved me a ton of time and money! I can't tell you how many threads I've read of someone having an issue with this or that and the responses get me thinking about our MH. I just ordered a couple of tools to have on hand "just in case" similar things happen with us. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure kind of thing.

Good luck and enjoy that well deserved retirement!

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Old 09-21-2019, 09:09 PM   #6
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Got my new toilet installed today and got it plumbed using a 1/2" brass elbow and just cutting a section out of the original water supply hose. For now I use worm-type clamps but I'll switch to EFI type clamps as they provide more clamping force. I also replaced the electric water pump, now I have a working fresh water system without leaks.


I am slowly getting there.


By the way, this is a great forum. I have been on many others over the years and there is usually quite a bit of arguing and some very opinionated members. I haven't seen this here, probably because the majority is a lit bit older and mature...….very refreshing.
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:41 PM   #7
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On of the biggest assets you have as a mechanic is knowing how to troubleshoot. This will serve you well. It also seems like 12v issues seem to be a common issue, including bad grounds, etc. These should be second nature to you.
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC View Post
On of the biggest assets you have as a mechanic is knowing how to troubleshoot. This will serve you well. It also seems like 12v issues seem to be a common issue, including bad grounds, etc. These should be second nature to you.
Yes, I was going to fix a parking light / turn signal issue today and check the reed switches for my auto level system because I have down indicators on with the jacks up. Since it was a dry and hot day here today I switched gears and decided to remove the old sealant where the fiberglass roof meets the roof structure on both sides and reseal it. I had no leaks but there were some cracks starting to appear in the old caulk.

That job really sucked, scraping off and cleaning almost 60" of dried up caulk. If I had to do that again I think I'll pay somebody to do it. Well, at least the roof will be good for fall rains and we get plenty.
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:13 AM   #9
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To avoid having to re-seal your roof edges too soon in the future, you might want to consider covering the roof edges with Eternabond tape. Just read up all the posts you can about the edges of the Winnebago roofs and Eternabond. Here's what I found using the Google search box at the top of the forum page:

https://www.google.com/search?q=roof...nnieowners.com

You'll need to sort through some, and often conflicting, opinions to sort out the mainstream advice. Some are anti-Eternabond but IMHO it's the way to go, especially with older coaches like ours.

Also, if you haven't already found them there's a wealth of information to be found via Winnieowner's "Stickies" at the top of this page:

General Maintenance and Repair - Winnebago Owners Online Community

One of our members, Jim_HiTek has a blog with a good repair section:

http://chaos.goblinbox.com/

You should also read up on Winnebago windshield leaks which can be costly if left untreated. Eternabond tape across the top has worked for me. You'll find many threads on this issue using the Google search box at the top of this forum's pages, which is usually a better way to find things than the "Search This Forum" tool. Here's what my search came up with:

https://www.google.com/search?q=wind...nnieowners.com
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