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Old 06-16-2022, 12:43 AM   #1
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Hi- First RV and Very Scared 😂

Hello guys- My name is Miranda

I have a 1987 Winnebago Chieftain 31RT. Bought it April 2022. It sat for nearly 8 years in the dry hot Temecula sun before it was donated and then ended up with me!

Iím moving into it July 1st and am really nervous. Being a San Diego native, we are seeing some crazy economic times and I have been pushed to move my sewing business to an RV for survivals sake!

Hi!
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Old 06-16-2022, 01:08 AM   #2
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Hi Helveteca,
Hopefully, your Chieftain is in operating condition. I would keep an eye on the tires, as the hot sun can damage them after eight years, and I'm assuming the tires weren't new when the sitting-around began. Also, batteries don't usually survive for eight years either; at least not without being on a maintenance charger.
Yes, we are entering a period of economic strain, to be sure. The annual inflation rate from May 2021 to May 2022 is:
--- CPI-U = 8Ĺ%
--- 1980 Standard = 16ĺ%
This creates a strain on everybody.
Here is the electronic version of your Owner's Manual. It is an older scan of the manual, so the <Ctrl/F> feature does not work.
Welcome to the forum.
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Old 06-16-2022, 01:15 AM   #3
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Yes thank you! Itís currently in the shop getting itís brakes done. (If anyone wants to know for future reference the front end brakes only replacement was $1795 here in San Diego 🤦*♂️)

New tires definitely on the list but just barely got it to pass smog so Iím slowly ticking off the boxes.

Batteries being replaced soon and contemplating solar if engine is ok.

Engine is burning oil somewhere, smoking a lot.

Other than that just taking it one day at a time, run the business from it, save money and see where that takes me!
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Old 06-16-2022, 01:27 AM   #4
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Yes, that motorhome is one year older than my F-350 Crew Cab truck, and I replaced its engine some six years ago. If you go down a hill under compression braking and then apply throttle at the bottom of the hill, do you get more smoke then? If so, it could be worn piston rings, and a slightly thicker viscosity of oil might help; perhaps a 20w-50?
The brake job sounds pretty expensive; sorry it was so much.
You are right in that all any of us can do is to take it one day at a time.
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Old 06-16-2022, 06:03 AM   #5
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That's funny!
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Old 06-16-2022, 08:12 AM   #6
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If new to keeping an RV, I might guess the most frequent problem to try to avoid is battery problems as that seems to be confsuing.

If you drive it often, the battery in a car gets charged as wedrive, but if we have twosets of batteries in an RV and we DON'T drive it often, there are small drains on both start and coach batteries that WILL run them donw and damage or ruin them!

So watching how the batteries get charged will be one way to avoid prttey big expense.
When plugged into power only the coach gets charged. As we drive,both are connected together and both do get "some" charge but it takes 6-8 hours to get them all fully charged.
Just be aware and do watch them for charge as well as making sure the water is kept right in them.

Best of luck to the new adventure. We are having to prove once again that ignoring problems like the virus is not a good plan and letting a million people die is sure to effect the economy!
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Old 06-16-2022, 09:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helveteca View Post

Engine is burning oil somewhere, smoking a lot.
Welcome. When you say "somewhere" is it smoking from the engine or transmission area or is it smoking out the tail pipe? It would not be unusual for a rig that has sat for 8 years to have leakage that drips onto the exhaust and smokes as it burns off.
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Old 06-17-2022, 05:00 PM   #8
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Old 06-24-2022, 12:04 PM   #9
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Welcome. When you say "somewhere" is it smoking from the engine or transmission area or is it smoking out the tail pipe? It would not be unusual for a rig that has sat for 8 years to have leakage that drips onto the exhaust and smokes as it burns off.
Actually I got it looked at and discovered it was an easy repair, one of the easier gaskets to get to needs to be replaced so thats a relief. But not a relief for long because now I need to replace all the batteries, repair the roof, get new tires and then prepare myself for all the other common and not so common issues coming my way��*♂️
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Old 06-24-2022, 07:51 PM   #10
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It's a big leap of faith to do what you are doing.
There are a lot of friendly knowledgeable people here that are happy to help out another Winnebago owner!
Check off one box at a time and you'll get your Chieftan good to go.
Congratulations and welcome from Columbia South Carolina!
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Old 06-25-2022, 01:00 AM   #11
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