Vintage Camper Maintenance 🚐 🛠 Full Time RV Living

Vintage Camper Maintenance 🚐 🛠 Full Time RV Living

This week we discuss our ongoing projects on our vintage camper and the routine for RV Living maintenance.

We’re Kyle & Olivia, a young couple traveling the country full time in our vintage camper. We hit the road in September of 2015, with the goal to live a minimal lifestyle and connect with the world around us. We hope our experiences can inform and inspire others to pursue a life of passion and adventure. Join the Vibe Tribe as we discover the joys and obstacles of RV life!

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  1. I have two Class A Motorhomes. A 2011 Thor Seranno 33A Diesel, and my pride and joy, a 1978 GMC Royale. The GMC is the most fun, easy to drive Motorhome I have ever had. They were made from 1973 to 1978….approx 12,900 coaches made. There are approx 8,700 still on the road (or registered) if that tells you anything. I belong to a couple of GMC clubs, and these people are dead serious about their GMC Motorhomes. Parts are still readily available and the motors are either a 455 or 403 front wheel drive. Because of their low center of gravity, they hug the road and you do not get blown and boxed around like you do in the Class C Motorhomes and even many of the Class A's. It is more like driving a long Van. All that been said, they are 40 years old and, of course, require Maintenance. They are completely self contained so there are tanks, propane, air bags, fridges, air-conditioners, hot water tanks, heaters, etc etc that need attention. I have learned it is best to be proactive rather than wait on things to happen than repair them. It is so important to keep the oil and filters changed (including the generator) and DO NOT press your luck with tires. To be on the safe side, it is best to change the tires every 5 to 6 years. I have learned this the hard way.

  2. We totally renovated our 1971 Airstream. I know everything about this trailer from hands-on experience. You are absolutely right about maintenance be an ongoing task. We are finally out on the road and having a great time in Red River, NM.

  3. In the year and a half that we've had our near 20 year old AmeriLite travel trailer we've done our fair share of previously deferred maintenance. Off the top of my head these highlights come to mind:

    Replaced wheel bearings and bearing races
    Upgraded the power convert to a Progressive Dynamics smart converter
    Replaced the smoke and propane detectors
    Replaced the Suburban hot water heater
    Replaced the Dometic fridge thermostat control
    Replaced the Suburban furnace control board
    Upgraded the passive roof vents to MaxxAir fans
    Replaced the old roof A/C unit with a skylight
    Converted the Winegard TV antenna to a directional Weboost cell antenna mount

    Now that all those projects are completed, hopefully from this point forward it will just be the routine maintenance of tire replacement, bearing greasing, brake adjusting, roof sealing, etc.

    If RVing wasn't so much fun, the maintenance could almost seem like another job.

  4. What kind of paint are you using? Not all are created equal. Many high-end units have "Sikkens" paint. It is expensive ($43 a gal) but I think worth it. It never cures so it doesn't dry out. When paint dries out on an RV, it leads to cracking (called spidering) caused by the constant jarring of the traveling down the road. It should increase the resale value when you go to sell it.

  5. Your finished project is going to be awesome after it is all done. Sanding can be a bitch of a job. What are you guys going to put in place of the strip? Thanks for sharing.

  6. Wow, y'all have been working at your jobs, working making an album and working on renovations! Y'all are such hard workers! I can't wait to see pictures of your camper when you are finished!


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