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Seeking pre-purchase advice
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posted
We found and fell in love with a dormant'75 Class C. All original and in "used" condition inside. It is said to have been in good running condition prior to sitting for about 5 years (in upstate NY). I offered to help get it started again which I understand might entail replacing all of the fluids. It’s a 1975 Barth V8 C30 Motorhome with a Chevy 350, a newly replaced Transmission (Turbo 400), retrofitted radiator and (I think) 4 core carburetor. The owner thinks I should just charge the battery, top off the oil and gas. Does anyone have any advice on this?

Also, there are some leaks around the vents and heat/ac unit. There is not a moldy/mildewy smell in the camper. I suspect that leak remediation is not as threatening as in a fiberglass rv. Advice? Expectations?
 
Posts: 2 | Location: New York State | Member Since: 03-22-2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/21
Picture of Steve VW
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Cool! Welcome to the site!

After 5 years of sitting I would be inclined to change the engine oil. The gasoline may be pretty stale but if you add some fresh gas it might be alright. If not, drain and replace the fuel in the tank.

The battery may not take a charge after all this time. You will likely need a new one. Try charging it and use jumper cables if needed for initial start, plan on a new one soon.

I would check the coolant level, be sure it is full. A good idea to change it but I would start the engine first to check for leaks. (water pump, hoses, etc) If it leaks you'll need to drain it anyway. If no leaks you can change it later.

Assuming it runs, (it may be rough for a while due to old gas in the carb) try the trans to see if it moves forward and reverse. The brakes may be rusted stuck and need some power to break them loose.

Before you drive it, be sure to check tire condition and inflation, brakes, lights and power steering. Plan on greasing and inspecting the front suspension as soon as possible.

After initial drive you will want to do a thorough inspection of brakes, brake lines, shocks and suspension. Given the age, many items, especially rusted brake lines and coolant hoses may need replacement. Fortunately most of the chassis components are still available.

Ancient electrical systems are potentially troublesome due to vibration and corrosion. Again, these can be fixed but may be a challenge.

As for the coach itself, if not too musty, chances are good it hasn't leaked too much. Check/seal the roof and windows soon.

All appliances, especially gas stove, heater, and frig should be checked for leaks and proper function. All can be fixed but not always cheap. Roof AC also.

Beyond that it is mostly aesthetics. Barths were fairly well made and are usually worth the trouble to fix. The aluminum frames and skins are very durable. As we say, you can usually fix them faster than they break and get good service. Good luck!

Lots of good info here on the site. Do some searches and ask questions, that's why we're here.


9708-M0037-37MM-01
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
 
Posts: 4478 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 7/17
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if you would like call me. I would mind talk to you about your new find. I also have a 76 C class and a 31' class A Barth. you can call me 937-776-4223.or text me. Craig


1986 31' Regal -1976 Class C
454/T400 P30 -350/T400 G30
twin cntr beds - 21' rear bath
 
Posts: 965 | Location: Dayton, Ohio | Member Since: 09-27-2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 6/19
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If it were me , I would check all fluids and charge the battery to get it started and test it out .
If I bought it , I would definitely do a complete service and chassis inspection on it before driving it much.
Most likely it will need new tires , check the date codes . Some folks run tires 10 years , I run my steer tire five to six years and around eight years for the drive tires .
The brake system should be checked and perhaps flushed out with new fluid .
The leaks you described sound like the air conditioner needs a new roof gasket and the vents probably need resealed .

Good Luck with it and Happy Motoring Tooling Along


Harold
Cat
Sam is 12 year old Miniature Schnauzer

93 30ft Breakaway
9209-3823-30BS-11B

KE5WCW
 
Posts: 343 | Location: Mooringsport,LA | Member Since: 05-30-2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/21
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I would suggest checking the ball joints, spring shackles and bolts, u-joints, frame to camper mating areas for electrolysis.
If it starts and moves grease soon, then you'll only need tools and a check book.
Good luck


If your not Royal don't get Coronated!
 
Posts: 979 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Member Since: 10-09-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of BarthBluesmobile
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Given the moisture of upstate NY, I would be worried about rust on the brake rotors and drums, and also worried that the brake pistons might be rusted in place. That, and everything the other people mentioned. But, even if that is a problem, parts for the 1970s C30 truck are very easy to find and affordable. Just factor these things in your pricing.

Good Luck!
Matt


1987 Barth 27' P32 Chassis
Former State Police Command Post
Chevrolet 454
Gibson Exhaust
 
Posts: 373 | Location: Massachusetts | Member Since: 07-28-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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HI
i was a NEWBIE , new to rvs and purchased one last summer , a 1990 regal ,that was stored indoors all its life and very well maintained with new tires all around etc etc .. and very detailed records
nevertheless we have spent in the neighborhood of $12,000 on repairs before our trip south . we just came back from a three week trip to mid florida .plus $1,000 in gas alone . I was in the auto repair business for 45 years so i did some of the work myself in addition to the above costs .

no complaints

the steering still has a wandering problem which may be unsolvable

i love this thing , my wife not so much

Before buying a older RV condition yourself to expensive repairs . if this is not within your " wheelhouse " do not buy or stop now . i would be happy to talk to you anytime 248 xxxx 789 bbbbbbb3803 jack finn
 
Posts: 32 | Location: Royal Oak, Michigan | Member Since: 06-14-2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/21
Picture of Steve VW
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Well spoken Jack. Old RVs can often be purchased at what appear to be bargain prices but will usually need considerable time and expense to bring up to reliable condition.

That said, if the buyer is careful to buy a quality unit, can do some of the work themselves and gets everything done right away, the older units can be very satisfying and reliable. All of this at a much lower cost than a fancy new unit with bells and whistles that still break.

Jack, I think you have the right approach. Get everyting done as soon as possible so you're not on the side of the road doing one thing at a time. Nothing spoils a good trip more than down time on the roadside.

Keep working on your wife. As you accumulate more good trips I think she will enjoy it more. Thumbs Up

Hoping to meet you folks this summer.

Have Barth, will travel Tooling Along


9708-M0037-37MM-01
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
 
Posts: 4478 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 6/19
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I prefer the older units without the computer engine controls . Not real happy about putting in a transmission with a tcm , but I am looking forward to having an overdrive again .
The quality coaches such as the Barth hold together much better than the assembly line stick and staple rigs . Anything mechanical can and will breakdown whether old or new . A properly maintained older coach is just as reliable and sometimes more reliable than a new one . Working on it yourself also gives you an advantage when something does break . The more familiar you are with the mechanics of the coach , the less likely you'll be stranded somewhere and dependent on someone else to repair . That can get expensive Smiler.


Harold
Cat
Sam is 12 year old Miniature Schnauzer

93 30ft Breakaway
9209-3823-30BS-11B

KE5WCW
 
Posts: 343 | Location: Mooringsport,LA | Member Since: 05-30-2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/21
Picture of Steve VW
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quote:
Originally posted by Harold,Cat&Sam:
I prefer the older units without the computer engine controls .

The more familiar you are with the mechanics of the coach , the less likely you'll be stranded somewhere and dependent on someone else to repair . That can get expensive Smiler.


Ditto that! Not only more reliable, but if they do have problems, almost any good mechanic can fix them without needing exotic space age sensors or circuit boards, etc. (read: expensive and hard to get on the road.)

Being familiar with the coach is a huge advantage. Having done all the work on the 86 myself I knew every system. Diagnosis and repair was always quicker and cheaper.

Being older and less ambitious now, I have farmed out most of the chassis work on the Monarch, but with the older Cummins, Allison and Spartan components there has been no problem with reliability or finding someone familiar with them to do maintenance.


9708-M0037-37MM-01
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
 
Posts: 4478 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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i have been " working on the wife " for 53 years but she gets stronger over time . i have to be far more careful


i love this thing and i am sure glad i did not spend $150,000 or $300,000 on a newer unit. i am sure it would have its own set of challenges .

as am example of pricing a few weeks ago at the big RV show or rally in GEORGIA , a new unit was list price $1,400,000 discounted to $1,000,000 . for real .. if there is that much flex in the pricing of a new unit , they must depreciate 50 % in the first two years .

my repair cost are nothing compared to that .
 
Posts: 32 | Location: Royal Oak, Michigan | Member Since: 06-14-2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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THANK YOU ALL for a great assortment of advice and opinions! I meant to respond sooner, but life.
We were able to start the engine with A LOT of starter fluid and got her rolling around a little bit around her parking spot. A visit to the mechanic that had worked on it a few years earlier helped me see the reality of how much it would cost to make it reliable enough to move around the places I would want it to go. With that, I put the vintage RV dream on hold. This is such a sweet little MoHo. Assuming it is worth doing so to someone, where is the best spot in this forum to share it as available for sale (I'm not selling it, but could pass on info).

Cheers and happy Barthing everyone!
 
Posts: 2 | Location: New York State | Member Since: 03-22-2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/21
Picture of Steve VW
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If you are selling a Barth as a site member you can start a new thread in the "Barths for Sale" forum.

Title the thread with year, size, model, and price.

In addition to detailed description, be sure to include contact info for the buyer to get in touch.

After the coach is sold, let us know. You can edit/delete your contact info then if you like.


9708-M0037-37MM-01
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
 
Posts: 4478 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Ian and Lynnette
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quote:
If you are selling a Barth as a site member you can start a new thread in the "Barths for Sale" forum.
But if it is someone else selling, you can still post it on "Barth Sightings" instead.
Either way, can you send me the seller's email address? I'd like to get some photos of the old girl for my collection. lynnian@shaw.ca
 
Posts: 25 | Location: Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada | Member Since: 02-27-2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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