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Author Topic: Taking the leap  (Read 488 times)

B737doc

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  • 1992 Challenger
Taking the leap
« on: August 21, 2017, 06:41:01 AM »
    Hoping to got take ownership of our new (to us) 32 foot "Challenger" motorhome today.  Very big decision, and a bit scary, as I know NOTHING about RV's. I have been a airline maintenance technician for 35 years now, and working on cars all of my life.  I had prayed on the idea for guidance and had not had any luck after an endless search.  My wife begged me to make one more stop Saturday coming home from yet another disappointing trip to look at one.  It was about 95 degrees out, so I was quite frustrated and tired of looking at used RV's. 
  We put in the address of a motorhome that I thought was too big (32 feet), and arrived a short time later.  We pulled into the driveway of one of the most immaculate, humble houses and property I had ever seen! Everything was perfect and very impressive. There were hand made Jesus glorification signs posted along the roadside in front of the house that warmed my heart, and made me feel relaxed and welcome. 
  "Jim" was waiting in his driveway, a very kind gentle and feeble gentleman that had a firm handshake, looked me eye to eye welcomed us to his home.  Beside the house was the VERY impressive motorhome. A 1992 "Challenger" by Damon.  He commenced taking us on a tour of the vehicle which like everything else he owned, was immaculate.  The inside appeared new, with an AC unit blowing frigid air from the ceiling. The refrigerator was running, as well as the microwave having power, and all lights functioning. 
   Now the big question.....Does it now, or ever had any roof leaks?  "Yes Sir it has, and here is where we had it, how we fixed it, and recovered the roof".  The evidence of the repair was very professionally done, as well as the roof, that was flawless as far as a quality application.  "It's been pouring rain here the last couple of weeks, as you know, and there, as you can see, are no leaks".  I personally inspected every crevice, nook, and cranny with my light, and found no evidence of water encroachment ANYWHERE. Underneath the vehicle, I find a brand new engine starter, that's actually sealed with white RTV around the mating surface. All tanks, exhaust, and drivetrain are impeccable, with no evidence of fluid leaks anywhere.  Brand new brake lines freshly installed, as stated, as well as new disc brakes all around. Tires appear new, but could not determine date of manufacture. Popping the hood, a new air conditioner compressor, as well as all new hoses are evident.  He replaced these components on the Chevy 454 engine that was showing 115,000 miles on the odometer.  All fluids appear fresh, as well as a full windshield washer reservoir. And all new in appearance batteries.
   I asked him if the onboard generator ran, and told me "absolutely".  He tried to start the generator, but with a very healthy spin, she tried, but just couldn't quite get started. This angered him, and swore it had been starting right up every time.  "Of coarse it's gonna do this NOW"!  He assured me he would have the generator carburetor freshly rebuilt today (Monday).  He then showed us how everything works, and the procedure for connecting, disconnecting, filling, dumping, switching, and storing everything on board.  All equipment and necessities were stored in their place, almost OCD style.  We couldn't figure out how to deploy the awning, as he said he had never used it.  What we could see of it, it looked serviceable. 
   I winked at my wife that had a satisfying smile on her face, and shook Jims hand and made the deal. "I don't sell no junk, and everything I own is a reflection of me personally". The integrity and ethics of this man was very rarely seen, and very obvious. 
  So today, we do the paperwork and bring her home hopefully.  Tried to post pictures, but deletes my entire post when I try.  There's a picture of it underneath my profile name...
1976 BMW R90/6 "Airhead"
2005 Triumph Bonneville "America"
1992 Challenger Motorcoach

SeilerBird

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  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 06:53:52 AM »
I lived in a 32 foot 1994 Class A Damon Challenger for five years full timing it with my three cats. I was very happy with the unit. I paid $6200 in 2012 and basically gave it to my nephew last March when I bought a much larger fifth wheel since I have been permanently parked since 2013. I drove it across the county and I was very happy with it. It was not trouble free but then again I paid almost nothing for it so I expected a few problems (brakes, toilet, refer). Here is some photos I posted right after I bought it:

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,52922.msg489211.html#msg489211
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 07:57:04 AM »
Hopefully the coach has been as well-kept as the home you visited. Best of luck!!!
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

scottydl

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Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 10:59:57 AM »
Good luck and thanks for sharing!!  Your account is a perfect example of why I like to seek out & purchase from private sellers.  You never would have gotten the majority of that information or satisfaction buying from a dealership concrete slab & dealing with a salesperson who probably knows less about RV's than you do.  ::)  ;)

Stay involved here in the forum, and (along with actually owning the RV) you will meet all kinds of great people and learn more about RV ownership/maintenance than you ever realized you could!  Your experience with airliners and vehicle maintenance will be major assets in keeping your motorhome up and running... so don't think for a minute you know NOTHING about them.  :)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Howard R

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Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 05:26:31 PM »
B737doc ...

as a former R & E, let me just suggest you must develop and use restraint ... when you look behind most of the panels the first few times, you will have an over riding desire to want to start fixing the wiring  :o   ::) ... resist that urge, no matter what it looks like, (Boeing did not build this !)   ???   :D

Repeat after me ... "if its working, do not try to fix the mess... if it's working do not try to fix the mess ..."    it will take a little time, but you will recover.   ;)

Enjoy your new ride and Welcome aboard!   ;D ;D  :))

Howard
2001 Fleetwood Southwind 35R
V10   F53
2003 Jeep Liberty Toad
Minnesota

Lou Schneider

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Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 05:38:31 PM »

"if its working, do not try to fix the mess... if it's working do not try to fix the mess ..."      ;)

ROFL!   I've used that mantra frequently over the last 30 years, on several different RVs, and I still have some of my hair left.

billwild

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Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 06:03:18 PM »
Well  B737doc  Let us know how after a trip or two, (the new to you)  rig is holding up.


Bill
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 06:05:39 PM by billwild »

sadixon49

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  • Fishers, Indiana
Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 10:31:38 AM »
Love this thread! Repeat after me,"If it ain't broke, don't fix it, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I'm not an A&P, but I did spend 40+ years working as an industrial instrument/electrician. I know that the way to really screw something up, is to try to fix that which isn't broken.
steve
2017 Jayco Redhawk 26XD
E-450 Ford, 6.8 V-10
EEZRV TPMS

B737doc

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  • Posts: 62
  • 1992 Challenger
Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 03:15:56 PM »
Deal complete, I drove the RV home Monday, about 35 miles, and she ran sweet, with no leaks from the engine, and plenty of power.   I have taken the carburetor off the Onan generator and cleaned it out, working good now.  I need an extension that will run from the motorhome to my dryer outlet.  I called the local RV supply store, she said very prominently...'DO NOT DO THAT, YOU WILL FRY EVERYTHING!!!".  My wife wants to turn on power to move some things in, but don't want to fool with the APU as I call it LOL.....Is there really anyway I can plug my motorhome into my 110 volt outlets from the house?  I understand that the current will be excessive, but If I just use it for a couple of lights (no A/C) ?    He gave me an adapter for a 110 outlet, but said he wouldn't recommend doing it...And apparently running 30 amps from the house dryer connection is a no no....
   I would really like an owners manual for the Rig as well, but not finding any resources on this material from 1992.  Any resources would be Awesome!  Thanks for having us Newbies, we're taking the motorhome out Sunday until Wednesday to a local reservoir North of Atlanta (38 miles to start with) pulling the trailer with our 2 motorcycles.   Should be a good trial run!...
1976 BMW R90/6 "Airhead"
2005 Triumph Bonneville "America"
1992 Challenger Motorcoach

scottydl

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Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 03:59:49 PM »
I need an extension that will run from the motorhome to my dryer outlet.  I called the local RV supply store, she said very prominently...'DO NOT DO THAT, YOU WILL FRY EVERYTHING!!!". . . apparently running 30 amps from the house dryer connection is a no no....

She's right!  You remembered the amperage difference but not the voltage.  That household dryer outlet is 220 volts and WOULD potentially fry everything in your RV.  For that reason, there is no available adapter you would find... even though the plug looks similar to the one on your RV.  One of the pins is turned a different way I think to prevent exactly what you were wanting to do.

You're fine using the 110v adapter provided and a household extension cord, as long as you aren't running high demand devices like the roof A/C.  For lights and battery charging on the RV, no problem.  Many of us keep our rigs plugged in 24/7 for that reason.  The fridge is always cool that way too, and uses very little power to stay that way.  When we had a 2nd garage build a few years ago, I had the electrician install a proper 30A RV connection box on the exterior... so now I can run everything at full power in my trailer if desired.

Even if you had a manual for your 1992 rig (which would probably be impossible to find at this point), it would not tell you much.  RV makers put out so many different makes/models that change every year, that historically they rarely offered detailed manuals... such as the one that came with your car, for instance.

Any questions you have about how things work... pretty much gotta play around with it and figure it out, or ask here!  ;)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

johnaye

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Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 05:48:42 PM »
I am assuming your unit requires 50 amps.  Do what I did.  have a 50 amp outlet installed in a good location on your house or in the garage,  I have had it done twice and it cost less than $100 each time. You can use a 30 amp circut by using a 30 amp to 50 amp adapter.  I keep one in my unit so I can have power is 50 amps is not available,
John and Becky
2004 Alfa See Ya DP
2008 Honda CRV

scottydl

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Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 06:09:32 PM »
I believe any RV made in 1992 would be 30A, but I'll let the OP confirm.  50A rigs did not become too common until post-2000, except maybe the larger diesel pushers.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

johnaye

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Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 08:01:28 PM »
I will defer to those with more knowledge, but I had a 97 Rexhall 36' that was 50 amp.
John and Becky
2004 Alfa See Ya DP
2008 Honda CRV

scottydl

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Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2017, 08:57:22 PM »
I guess there are always exceptions to the rule!  ;)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Charlie 5320

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  • Posts: 2002
Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2017, 09:49:21 PM »
I owned a 95 Challenger for 7 years, it was a very good  coach, sometimes I still wished I had it back. Good luck with your Challenger. Have a 30 amp RV box installed on your house, won't cost that much.
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
SOLD

B737doc

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  • 1992 Challenger
Re: Taking the leap
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2017, 10:06:44 PM »
   First camping trip complete.  Absolutely no problems with the motorhome, but park host very much against motorcycles. They informed us that we couldn't "joyride" through the park, but could only come in and go out with them. I asked the host to have the Corps of Engineer Ranger stop by and see me when he makes his rounds.  Around 9:00 pm, the Ranger showed up, and told me that the hosts were over reacting, and to do what we need to do as far as the motorcycles. 
   Ants were discovered in our bed around 9:45, wife freaked out, and I grabbed a can  of OFF and declared war.  I found a train of ants comin up the power cord and quickly populating the RV.  I was able to kill most of them, and the rest of the trip was in-eventful.  Got some bike riding in around the area, then returned home.  Still no leaks from drive train, no overheating, and backed her into the driveway on the first attempt.  We absolutely LOVE our new RV, and have reserved a site for 4 nights and 5 days starting the day after tomorrow a bit farther from home.  This time, an hour and a half North of Atlanta....
1976 BMW R90/6 "Airhead"
2005 Triumph Bonneville "America"
1992 Challenger Motorcoach

 

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