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Old 05-06-2021, 09:03 PM   #1
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RV maintenance questions plz help

So I just bought a 94 Winnebago Adventurer and it hasn't been started in a few years. The batteries were disconnected but other than that I do not think any preventative measures were taken to aid in the storage process. My question is what are the most important things I should go over/replace before I start it up and/or more specifically drive it? This is my first RV and other than my mother swearing to me that I was intelligent I am not entirely (at all) familiar with the inner workings of an RV, or cars for that matter so please be easy with me. The most I have ever done is replacing the alternator in a bmw. The RV has 35k miles on it, the tires are in good shape and it is leak proof. I bought a little kit to check the quality of the contents of the radiator and gas tank and so other than the obvious like checking the fluids if Anyone could help me with the crucial things I should do before starting it and driving it I would be most appreciative. Nothing too in depth but if this rudimentary list were to be listed in order or importance that would be most helpful.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:42 AM   #2
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Before you drive the RV at highway speeds, check the date codes on ALL the tires. If they are over 7 years old, they should be replaced. Just because they have good tread, does not make them road worthy. With only 35K miles, those could be original equiptment tires and a real hazard. EDIT: If the tire date codes are good, you still need to check tire pressure. Even good tires can loose pressure, when sitting for several years. There should be a tire pressure decal somewhere on the vehicle, usually beside or in a door jamb.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:57 AM   #3
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Only 35K miles in 28 years. Did whoever sold it to you have any service history on it?

It could have a lot of maintenance items you'll have to take care of, if you want it to last and be reliable:

- transmission service , at least fluid change, maybe drop pan and change filter too
- brake service, at least fluid change
- engine service, at least oil / oil filter change, maybe new air filter too
- as was mentioned, tires may be unsafe
- suspension components: sway bar bushings, shocks
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Old 05-07-2021, 12:40 PM   #4
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Not a crisis things to prevent driving it home a short distance but I have found in buying old Rv which have set, the brakes are a major thing to check.
We bought an Rv for a specific trip from Missouri to California for a graduation and planned selling it right after but I did all the work I thought of to check it out for a major one time trip with elderly folks onboard.
Worked well and we had a fine time but a month after we got back and sold it, the new owner casually asked if we had any trouble with the brakes. No of course not!
But he found that all the wheel cylinders had rusted inside and using them scored the m to the point they all had to be replaced. Cheaper to check for scoring/ rust before driving and ruining them if they can be saved by changing fluid, etc.
Likely to be shop job and not cheap but better than finding they are gone when in the middle of a trip!!

Two handy and vital info:
https://www.winnebago.com/owners/own...s-and-diagrams

https://catalog3d.winnebagoind.com/menu/Parts.htm

Don't skip over the parts catalog just because you are not ready to buy parts as it has lots of drawings for locating parts and how to take things apart! Just knowing what's in there can be a big help on deciding whether to take it apart!!!

Add a note about which exact RV you have can cut the chase on questions so that we all know what you have like a 37RQ, etc. A sticker under the drivers window can give lots of info.
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powercat_ras View Post
Only 35K miles in 28 years. Did whoever sold it to you have any service history on it?

It could have a lot of maintenance items you'll have to take care of, if you want it to last and be reliable:

- transmission service , at least fluid change, maybe drop pan and change filter too
- brake service, at least fluid change
- engine service, at least oil / oil filter change, maybe new air filter too
- as was mentioned, tires may be unsafe
- suspension components: sway bar bushings, shocks
My bad.....I meant to type 53....thank u for the advice though. The oil change I thought was just a given. RV or not I can probably think in terms of Any car that hasn't been started for A few years as far as what needs to be done. I for sure wouldnt mind cutting some corners for cost savings but only the corners that won't kill me or the RV....like tires.....yikes!! Luckily for me they aren't that old. I guess I just need to read up on what happens to cars that sit forever. Like does the gas turn bad? I was going to test to see if had water/rust etc in it before I start it. I guess I'm being extra paranoid but alot can happen in three years or no starting. I was thinking j should manually crank the pistons to make sure they move??? Maybe get some oil in key parts like the tin man did,?? I dunno......it's seems like I have my work cut out for me.....but yeah I do have a decent amount of the service history there. I have a few much bigger issues right now......lol......right now right now I even have a more important problem, my new.puppy who is nine weeks and is about to pee on the tacky carpet I'm pulling out soon.....I shall return with more questions for you awesomely friendly people......I was giving you guys the easy stuff to draw you in so as not to scare you all away with the few nightmare issues I. Dealing with!!!!
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:50 AM   #6
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I don't think of rust in the gas as much as I think of the volatile stuff having left and more than normal sludge being prone to clogging fuel filters, etc.
I am more inclined to do the oil changes, check the anitfreeze, etc. but the brake cylinders are one which was overlooked and cost much more than if I had gone with having somebody look them over and clear the rust BEFORE it was used enough to let the rust score the wheel cylinders to the point of replacement needed. A rusty cylinder can be reamed to clear the light rust and new seals put on but not if they are scored so deep! Just one of those things that "might" happen that I should have looked at before driving through Colorado!!
GOD, the nightmare potential of hauling elderly grandparents to a see a major graduation, only to have it turn up with no brakes coming out of the Rockies!

I might mention that I learned old propane may lose the smell after a few years.
But it will still burn if you are careless! Smelling none, I struck a match and it looked like something out of Star Wars.
Did you know you can't jump up and run fast enough to get away?
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:27 PM   #7
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Not knowing how long it has setup I would drain all fluids and refill with fresh, especially the gasoline as it will turn to varnish which will cause more issues than you can imagine. Also clean battery connections before starting the engine. This will save some time troubleshooting bad connections. Take the time up front and save headaches later.
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Old 05-12-2021, 05:19 PM   #8
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Along with all the other great advice already stated, I would replace anything made out of rubber- radiator hoses, fan belt(s), brake lines.
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:06 PM   #9
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A note on the oil, normally you would want to change it hot but in this case I would drain it before starting as there is most likely going to be some condensation which always runs to the bottom of the pan and can add up to a considerable amount over the course of a few years. If you start it now it will suck that water up and distribute it throughout the engine which is not too good for the bearings in particular. So change the oil first and after running it a bit it wouldn't hurt to change it a second time. Also consider changing the transmission fluid that is in the pan for the same reasons.
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:48 PM   #10
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An F53 being a Motor Home Chassis is considered under Severe Service which means that aside from normal oil changes and chassis lubrication needing to be done more often, every 2 years the coolant along with the brake fluid needs to be flushed out and replaced with fresh new fluids. Each wheel needs to be removed so that the slides and pins on the brake calipers can be cleaned and lubricated with a high quality high temperature brake caliper grease.

Is this the V8 or V10 powered F53? On the early V10 F53 there was a design flaw due to the air intake for the engine being below the front bumper that would act like a vacuum cleaner sucking up any rain you were driving through so that during a heavy downpour the engine air filter would get wet and once saturated would collapse getting sucked into the cylinders destroying a few of them. Quite a few engines had to be replaced due to this and there are still motor homes out there that have not had the updated intake installed on them correcting this. Some of the owners never bothered because they personally never drove in the rain which where I live is basically impossible to do since from June to September/October we can have multiple sudden tropical downpours daily.

As Brian mentioned changing the engine oil along with the transmission oil doing the engine oil twice changing it a second time after running it up to full operating temperature for a while would be prudent.

On the brakes be mindful that the power assist is not like on a car. The power assist for the brakes comes from the power steering pump so the power steering fluid should also be flushed and the hoses along with the engine belt may need replacing, While there is also a backup electric power assist pump for the brakes it is not anywhere near as powerful as the power steering pump. Any thing that would cause the power steering to fail such as a broken belt or hose will result in greatly reduced stopping power.


Wheel fires from sticky brakes or wheel bearings requiring servicing are one of the more common causes of loss in an older RV so don't delay on the brakes nor on having the front wheel bearings checked.
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:32 AM   #11
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V10 F53 air intake woes

Not so early on the V10 F53 air intake issue. Went through a heavy rainstorm in our 2012 Vista 26P. Couple of miles later, engine died. Same problem: wet air filter so no air. At least the filter didn't collapse and get sucked into the engine. Now have a Home Depot ABS elbow on that front-facing air intake. Probly causing 0.n% horsepower loss due to slightly constricted air flow but we can live with it.
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:35 PM   #12
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Starting an engine after sitting a long time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PickleRick View Post
So I just bought a 94 Winnebago Adventurer and it hasn't been started in a few years. The batteries were disconnected but other than that I do not think any preventative measures were taken to aid in the storage process. My question is what are the most important things I should go over/replace before I start it up and/or more specifically drive it? This is my first RV and other than my mother swearing to me that I was intelligent I am not entirely (at all) familiar with the inner workings of an RV, or cars for that matter so please be easy with me. The most I have ever done is replacing the alternator in a bmw. The RV has 35k miles on it, the tires are in good shape and it is leak proof. I bought a little kit to check the quality of the contents of the radiator and gas tank and so other than the obvious like checking the fluids if Anyone could help me with the crucial things I should do before starting it and driving it I would be most appreciative. Nothing too in depth but if this rudimentary list were to be listed in order or importance that would be most helpful.

Starting any engine that has been sitting for years, is a process. If not done properly, the bone-dry cylinders and pistons may be scuffed, at the very least. This includes removing the spark plugs and squirting lubricant into each cylinder. Google: "starting an engine that has been sitting", for further suggestions.
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Old 05-16-2021, 12:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeminnie View Post
Starting any engine that has been sitting for years, is a process. If not done properly, the bone-dry cylinders and pistons may be scuffed, at the very least. This includes removing the spark plugs and squirting lubricant into each cylinder. Google: "starting an engine that has been sitting", for further suggestions.
Yup, the worst thing for any piece of equipment is to just let it sit. Take the plus out, squirt an ounce of oil in each one, cover the plug holes with a rag and crank it over for about 5 seconds. Then put the plugs back in.

Brake fluid should be drained and fresh fluid pushed through all 4 calipers before even moving.

If possible, get the wheels off the ground and rotate each several turns to make sure all are free.

Before even trying to start it, replace the fuel filter. Should be in line on the frame just behind the drivers seat. If there was any water in the fuel filter they have been know to rust completely through. If possible hook a hose to the fuel line while you have the filter off and drain as much of the old gas out as possible. Expect to change the fuel filter again after running for maybe an hour or so.

Oil and filter should be changed also. Normally I don't do this, but after sitting I would fill the oil filter before installing it.

You probably would be ok driving it home but as soon as possible do a complete flush of the cooling system. This would include back flushing the heater core.

The transmission fluid should also be changed. Completely. This involves taking the pan off and draining the fluid from the torque convertor.

Once you get it home time to take the wheels off and inspect the brakes. These things can be a bear to get the calipers loose but you should take them off and make sure the will completely compress. Use a big C clamp to squeeze them all the way in.

The rear diff oil should also be replaced. Ford says from the factory they came with full synthetic that never needs service. I say that is false. You can use semi synthetic 80/120 or 90/140.

How do I know all this. I bought a 2000 same situation. Five years back and forth to Mexico, I had one front wheel bearing fail. My guess is if I had taken them apart I would have caught that at the same time.

My son bought a 1984 on a chev chassis with low miles. The PO used it about 3 times a year to go fishing. My son used it twice a year to go 250 miles each way to a swap meet. That thing got used regular, just not hard and he had no drive train problems with it. Of course on a coach this old, you are going to have the usual coach problems. Unavoidable.
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Old 05-16-2021, 01:15 PM   #14
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Holy crap, that sounds exactly what I would do if I were to have an RV that I planned on driving for years to come. I probably should have elaborated a little more in my initial post. I really do appreciate your reply, I totally plan on doing at least 20% of what you recommended. Lol. You see I didn't pay much for this thing because there were some issues that needed to be dealt with that aren't exactly cheap. Mainly the passenger side windshield needs to be replaced. Before I purchased it I did what you would expect someone who was going to do 20% of recommended maintenance, the minimal amount of due diligence on the windshield. I saw that there was one on eBay for $600 and so I figured I'd be under 1k to fix it. Nope, the windshield I looked at was on the east coast and of course I can't find a used one on the west coast. My point is that I have no intention of shelling out a lot of money for something this old. Of course I don't want to do unnecessary damage by driving it all Willy nilly either. I figured I would do.minimal mandatory maintenance and maybe do a road trip or two until it requires any significant amount of money at which point it would become a giant paperweight on the side of the road for some lucky tow truck company to sell at auction. Although this might not be a popular way of doing things I don't really care at this point after getting some of the windshield quotes. I think the least expensive have had was $1700.....eek....not to mention I sent away for the title and it's taking forever. As of right now I don't even have a key for the ignition, doors or even the gas tank. Any help on this would be most appreciated. I was going to just Jerry rig the ignition so I could at least start the thing. The handle for the driver's side window broke today as did the outside door handle.....good Lord this is why it is very hard for me to want to put a lot of time and money into it. I'm on the verge of saying f it already. If anyone else is reading this and can offer any insight on anything I would appreciate it.
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Old 05-27-2021, 05:50 PM   #15
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I need guidance asap

So today I am finally going to begin to work on my RV that hasnt been started in years. I have some questions that will hopefully make my life easier possibly quite a bit in the long run. Although I appreciate all the advice I have been given I am in no way going to be able to do all the maintenance needed or advized so I am going to start with what I feel is most important so please if I could be putting time and money into something more important please let me know. Also please keep in mind I am super duper not experienced at doing my own maintenance and I won't be able to Jack this baby up for any sort of tire and brake stuff. So I'm just going to list my questions numerically and in order of what I deem to be most important.... For sure correct this order if you know what your talking about. The issue at hand is that this RV hasnt been driven in an few years and it's just been sitting. I'm not looking to spend alot of time and money on it because I'm still in need of a close to $2k passenger windshield and I need to replace the locks on all the doors and ignition... Ok here goes..


An oil change is mandatory. My 94 Winnebago Adventurer WCG34A came up as a P30 chassis and that if what I I'm using to get parts on at the orielly website. Yes?


#1 I figure an oil change is up there in importance.. Ok fluid changes..... So my question is the cheapest filters are ok? And what kind of oil should I put in it and since we're on the subject how much? Should i buy a new drain plug?

#2 transmission fluid needs to be changed anything I should know?

#3 should I change the spark plugs? Recommendations on what kind? Will they be pregaped?

#4 I bought a gas tester kit at Fred Meyer but I have to replace the gas regardless so why bother right? Any important tips on this?

#5 same thing with the radiator fluid,.. Bought a kit to test for rust I think...umm? I'm doomed I know...

#6 I have this paper from Winnebago industries that is titled COMPONET MANUFACTURER INFORMATION.....
I don't have the title yet but I have a vehicle affidavit of sale, bill if sale etc.... My point is I won't be able to get a key made from the title and dealership but on this paper in the serial number column it has a key code listed.... Can I get a key made from that alone? Please any help on how I get a key asap for at least maintenance purposes. If someone isn't comfortable telling me such things I can provide proof of semi ownership...vin number whatever.... Am I going to need power just so the key will even turn??¿?


What else?? In a perfect world any answers in the next few hours will allow me to get overnight delivery... Lol....

Talk to me people..... Save me money..... Save me time..... Save me from blowing up this thing and/or the public at Large.... Remember trying to do the bare minimum especially money wise.... Any ideas on a windshield that's not $2k?? Ok I'm going to post this so I can count the lack of responses.... Thank you to all who responded initially my apologies if I didn't respond or thank you directly...
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Old 05-27-2021, 06:36 PM   #16
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You have already been given a lot of free advice. You seem to want others to make your decisions for you. I think you are in over your head and need to find a good/fair mechanic to help you thru it. My suggestion is to post a question asking about a good/fair mechanic/service center in your area.
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Old 05-27-2021, 06:51 PM   #17
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Okay, let me say thanks for being honest, both with us on what you want/need to do and also with yourself! Lying to ourselves is pretty common and it costs us in lots of ways, so best to avoid that!!

So I might go with personal suggestions as this is one where there will be tons of places for disagreements on how an what to do.

I might go for doing some really slow walking/thinking on what is needed and get as much free advise as possible when you get into those areas where you know you can't go the full DIY route.
Step one might be to get as much free inspection advise as practical.
Item one is the oil and that is a place where I might trade off the small amount of savings of buying oil, filter, etc and doing the work versus letting a shop do the oil and also take a look at things like the brakes (pads, fluid and maybe whether the wheel cylinders are leaking. Oil is likely to be pretty standard 10-30 oil and I do not favor anything special like we might like for a life time keeper. Five quarts but more likely six for pricing out but when I look at oil and filter to get it done or do it, I find so little savings on DIY, that having it done by somebody who will take a look around while doing the oil is really worth the small amount if may cost me. I'm guessing it may only save me around five dollars to do a oil/grease job over having it done by somebody who may spot a leaking brake line, etc while they are under there.

How well do you know your area and how does it fit for you to find a local small shop that would take a pretty much free look at things and let you know what they recommend?
Most mechanics are not rich folks and they can often relate to a guy wanting to do more than he can afford, so they may give you a few free breaks on inspecting things like the anti-freeze, etc. etc, if you take some time to just let them help you.
Regular people often help regular people, so can you fit that situation and work a few things out?

Spark plugs are pretty generic but need to meet the type for the specific engine and that may be best found on a label under the engines where engines pollution info , etc is posted. If not look to a parts store guy to bone out the right one. Likely not to be pre-gapped as they get banged around in the shipping and the gap may not be right anyway!
But all things considered, if it runs without missing, I might put off the plugs as "nice" but not truly needed if running okay.

Check glass shops for windshield replacement at less cost. You may get lucky and find a bargain but those are where we need to go slow and work each question as it comes up. I once did a side window that was going to be hundreds plus shipping to get the standard window but I had enough people look at it to finally find a guy who made a terrible proposal.
He proposed he could not get the window in the normal way but showed me he might bend the track down, squeeze the new window in and bend the track back up but it might need painted when he got done. For savings several hundred, I overlooked the nicked paint and just went with it!
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