Motorhome Magazine Open Roads Forum: Hello - new 85 20ft MW, from an auction, now what
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 > Hello - new 85 20ft MW, from an auction, now what

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DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 01/09/18 06:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With >99% certainty:

The cooktop (and conventional oven, if it has one) is propane only. Super simple technology, probably no pilot light or sparker for the burners (i.e. match light).

The fridge is two way, propane and 120V electric, and probably needs 12V power from the house battery for the control circuits.

The water heater is likely propane only, not tankless. In general people with RVs with tankless water heaters are not always the happiest with that setup, which might partly be due to the specific water heaters that get installed. The water heater may be DSI (i.e. electric) ignition, in which case it also needs 12V power, or it may have a pilot light and manual thermostat. It's possible it might also have a 120V element in it, but I would suspect it does not.

The furnace is propane, with 12V fans etc. powered by the house battery.

You do have two 12V electric systems. One is for the chassis only, and one is for the house stuff. There's some sort of a combiner circuit to allow the house battery to charge from the engine alternator; there are a few different designs to do this, but one common way is to have a solenoid (relay) that closes with the accessory/run circuit from the ignition. Often there's also a button on the dash to manually connect the batteries together at other times, mainly as a sort of built-in jump starter should the chassis battery be dead. There is also a converter that charges the house 12V battery when connected to 120V power. Between these systems, I wouldn't put a jump starter pack super high up on the list of priorities, though they can be handy things to have.

The generator is almost certainly gas powered, and if not it would be propane powered. I don't think anyone would put a diesel generator on a gas motorhome, especially as diesel generators are more expensive. If gas, the generator pickup in the fuel tank is usually built such that it will not get fuel if the tank is less than about a quarter full (i.e. it doesn't extend all the way down the tank) so that you can't strand yourself by running the generator too long.

Depending on the generator model, it may not have an oil filter.





1995brave

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Posted: 01/10/18 06:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is the link to the Winnebago website. In the lower Right of the webpage is the Manuals and Diagrams section. Select the year and then the model and it will pull up what you need.

Matt_Colie

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Posted: 01/10/18 07:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stewfish,

USE GREAT CAUTION!!

It occurred to me last night, long after I had shut down, that Winnebago manufacturing is all in Forest City Iowa. The finished coaches are all driven to dealerships. From there to Tallahassee I recall as 1300 miles.

So, if you new coach really says 400+ on the Odo, it has probably rolled over 100K. That is not all bad. On an coach of that era, that should not be worn out. If it is actually 4000, then it was just little used.

Matt


Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


tatest

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Posted: 01/10/18 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

400 miles? That is not enough to get it delivered from the factory in Iowa to hardly anywhere else in the U.S. I am suspecting at least 100,400 miles.

Best sources of information, considering the mixed conflicting answers you get in this forum, would be a generic RV book, like "The RVer's Bible" which is now available as an e-book, and the "RV Repair and Maintenance Manual" from Abe Books. Equipment in RV's is generic, but what they were installing 30 years ago would have been significantly different in detail from equipment used today, or even 15-20 years ago, because of shift from manual and mechanical controls to electronic controls, particularly on LPG appliances.

Winnebago has manuals online, but not necessarily that far back. Go to winnebagoind.com, at the top of the page is an clicky for "Resources" that will take you to older manuals and brochures. I don't find even a sales brochure for the MinnieWinnie in 1985, just images of a generic Winnebago brochure. There is a brochure for the Sundancer, the model line in the Itasca brand that was equivalent to MinnieWinnie in the Winnebago brand. There are images for the 1986 MinnieWinnie brochure, but some of the product information may not be correct, as running changes were common although the model offerings did not always change from year to year.

For chassis information, you would be looking for G-series owner and repair manuals from General Motors. The G-series chassis is a different animal from the van, which was unibody. The G chassis was sold both bare and with the cab from the van. A manual for the van might fairly well cover engine offerings and cab equipment, but not chassis components and the heavier duty running gear.

Documentation for most RVs is a package of user manuals and sometimes installation manuals for most of the house equipment installed. For recent years a lot of these were published in electronic form (PDFs typically) and can often be found online, but 1985 is early in the era of electronic publishing.

* This post was edited 01/10/18 08:04am by tatest *


Tom Test
Itasca Spirit 29B


Bordercollie

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Posted: 01/10/18 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get to know the 12 volt DC system that powers the electronic controls for the appliances, alarms,fresh water pump and interior lights. The converter/charger charges the house battery(s) when the rig is connected to "shore" power. There is a switch that disconnects the house battery so that it can stay charged without parasitic loads like appliance controls and alarms while the rig is not being driven. Your converter charger may need upgrading to a modern one that will not overcharge house batteries. House batteries may need replacement if they are old and/or have been left discharged or if electrolyte levels have not been maintained with distilled water. Check house battery voltage with a voltmeter set for 2O volts DC. With rig connected to shore power or with generator running 13.6 volts, with engine running 14 volts, disconnected from shore power, engine not running, approx 12.6 volts. Expect problems with poor 12 volt connections (corroded, loose) in the 12 volt DC system on an old rig. Your engine starting battery is not kept charged when rig is connected to shore power unless a BIRD device or other device has been installed.

Check brake system for sticking calipers and engine cooling system for water pump, radiator, belts, hoses, and "clutch fan". Tires older than 5 years old may be unsafe, check DOT date codes on each and check for sidewall cracks that can lead to tire failure on the road with possible loss of control. Replace old flexible brake lines that can fail internally and cause loss of steering control,and replace brake fluid. Oh, Check dash AC and dash heater operation, and entire house plumbing system including the toilet, faucets, and holding tank dump valves and sewage hose fittings.
There's lots more to know and deal with on an old rig , good luck with your new hobby. It's a roadable motor yacht.

Last PS: Get the maintenance manual for the van that your rig is based on. RV Owner's manuals if you have one, are usually generic and don't include detailed electrical schematics and details as needed for troubleshooting. You may find good "how to" info on You Tube.

* This post was last edited 01/10/18 10:47am by Bordercollie *   View edit history

Stewfish

Florida

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Posted: 01/14/18 08:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IRV2 won't let me sign up if anyone knows someone, maybe they can help me contact them. I wanted to ask a question the other day on a thread there. I guess my "IP is a known spammer" which is not the case but I have heard they have issues sometimes with that type of error. I can't contact them either d/t this [emoticon]

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 > Hello - new 85 20ft MW, from an auction, now what
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