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Haven't posted here for many moons but have a problem with the 'basement' compartments that needs to be addressed ASAP. The aftmost compartment on the driver's side, which in my 95 Monarch is the shore power compartment, has almost completely broken loose from its attachment to...to whatever it attaches to at the top of the compartment. It was still well attached to the skin of the coach but that was all.
I used a floor jack to elevate the compartment back up into place, drilled out a few rivet and re-riveted with what I had on hand but a small handful of aluminum rivets doesn't inspire much confidence even though this isn't an especially heavy compartment.
This concern prompted me to eyeball some of the other basement compartments most of which appeared to be okay except one - the one in front of the rear wheels on the passenger side which I had repurposed as the house battery compartment (roughly 350 lb load ).
Part of the problem is that whatever framework these compartments attach to is covered by a sheet of aluminum so you can't really see what's there. I'm not sure how to go about re-attaching everything securely. Steel rivets? Tech screws? Nutserts?
Any thoughts welcome.
my 1990 regal has a apx 8.5 x 23 foot piece of apx 1 1/2 inch multi layered plywood which appears to he the very first thing put down on the Barth assembly line . it appears everything was built up and also down from this .
my guess is sometime later ( maybe a few hours ) this finished thing was hoisted on to a chassis. thus everything underneath including all your cabinets go up to this and you have to bolt to it .
hope it clarify your figuring out process
Pictures may be upside down or sideways, because of Photobucket. Try this link anyway.
This is not an easy project to properly do. Photobucket mixed up my water tank pictures. Here is one picture to show you the proper way to rebuild the basement storage. If you need more information send me a Private message with your phone number.
Did you also drill vent holes in the new battery basement storage? Battery storage needs ventilation.
My batteries in the basement are on 300 pound sliders. This provides ventilation all the way around. The sliders are about six inches above the floor.
I had the same problem in our 97 Monarch. I found a mobile welding company that came to the house. He cut the whole compartment out from the central air cabinet back to the power cable cabinet and installed new frame work and welded in a new formed floor. Sprayed two coats of paint. The whole unit was 8’X8’ when it was finished I installed carpeted 4’X8’ plywood sheets to finish it off. It cost about $2000. It should last another 25 years. I miss the coach but Bob and Evon are enjoying it.
First, thanks all for the replies. I'll try to answer questions posed in your responses.
The subfloor in my coach is plywood but more like 3/4". I suspect the subframe in question is similar to what is pictured in Kevin's post: mostly 1" square tubing. A few years back I had a slow leak in the fresh water tank that ultimately led to removing and repairing the tank and rebuilding some of that compartment. The framework though appeared to still be sound so I just replaced the floor plywood and reinstalled the tank.
In any case, I'm hopeful that this won't involve anything like the extensive full undercarriage rebuild that you did Kevin. While my coach is overall in pretty good shape I suspect such an undertaking would cost much more than the coach is worth.
Regarding the battery compartment, yes, there are vent holes. They had been sealed up with spray foam but I cleared them out. I think this may have been the original house battery compartment but I don't know. FWIW the batteries are contained in a Mor-Ryde slide (they just barely fit).
While circumstances where I live won't allow me to use a mobile welder, I think my next step will be to talk with a local fab shop to see it this is something they would be interested in taking on. Kevin's comprehensive photo documentation may prove useful there so thanks for the link.
Thanks again all. Keep the feedback coming.
Formally known as "Humbojb"
Never had a problem with the compartments coming away from top connection.
The storage compartments are always one of those annual maintenance things. I have found that keeping carpet out of them is good for keeping the floors from rusting through. On Old Blue I spent a lot of time going through, finding rust, treating the rust, then using chassis saver. It is an awesome product. Would love for Roger Pence to take a picture of one of those compartments that I worked on 10 years ago just to see how they are holding up.
I have seen some Barth's over the years where the compartments were so rusted they were basically gone.
Good luck with whatever you do.
The narration posted here does not exactly match the picture order. That is why I suggested to you communicate by way of telephone. I can give you a better understanding. I do not presently have the time to figure out why the pages are not order.
Tere and Jim have used another way to correct the problem. Maybe Tere can find the posting for you.
trying to add a little lightness to some of these posts , please don't get offended
as one who purchased a stored inside , very excellent condition 90 regal BARTH for $15,000 and has spent far far more that that on it ( in a year ) . i think one should never tell his wife (or himself) what he spends on fishing rods , or Barth repairs ..
i love the thing ( wife not so much) we have found a great garage to fix anything (MAIN AND HUDSON royal oak mi) and a with a almost unlimited stack of $100 in my sock draw that my wife pretends to not know , about all is well . i don't care others do .
i think this forum should tell all new buyers " expect to spend $20,000 on repairs the first year" or don't buy it . would be more "honest" than not
and i have done a lot of repairs myself .
Jack, I agree with your statement. I think you should POST your warning in the “Community Announcements.” It does not matter what you buy, Barth or Some Other Brand, you need to maintain your motor home like any stationary home.
Oh thread drift.... Back to topic for a little more information. When I worked on the floor in my Barth, The was 3/4 inch plywood and that was covered with 3/8 inch plywood. The ceramic tile was glued to the 3/8 plywood.
|Official Barth Junkie|
Kevin has a point. (not on the top of his head!)
When you buy a 20 yr old house you expect to replace the roof, the furnace, ACs, the water heater, perhaps the well fairly soon. If you replace them all right away, you can expect good times for another 20 years. With the house you can wait and do them as they are needed without too much trouble.
When you buy an older motorhome, it will need attention to these items, but also includes chassis and driveline wear and tear. Unlike the house, when the items fail on the coach you are not sitting at home comfortably, you may be on the side of the road. A good argument for getting everything done right away on the coach.
In my case I spent the first year or so doing tires, brakes, shocks, etc. On the engine it was starter, alternator, water pump, belts and hoses. (Did I forget: radiator?) Check/clean furnace and refrigerator, replace 25 yr old air conditioners. In 40,000+ miles on the Regal, I spent only one night on the side of the road. In the 30,000+ on the Monarch, I did not replace the radiator and sure enough I had to change it out on the road, so far my only downtime.
After having completed the repairs on the home, most will return some of the investment and retain their market value.
Sadly for some reason it seems motorhome prices are not as likely to reflect their owner's investment. Hence the old saying: "You buy the coach for $10,000, put in $10,000 fixing it up and you'll be lucky to sell it for $10,000."
This leaves the coach owners in a bind. If they plan to keep the coach for sure, they can derive the return on their investment in the trouble free miles they get, as I have. OTOH, the initial expenses may break the unsuspecting owner's budget and the coach is sold at a loss.
The bottom line is the buyer must be VERY careful to evaluate the coach condition prior to purchase and generate a complete list of needed expenses; then expect a substantial front end investment. With luck they will receive many enjoyable miles.
Final note. New coaches are way more expensive and they usually have some problems. While the expense may be covered on warranty, it is still a major inconvenience. With all the bells and whistles, slides, and electronic engine systems they can be a real nightmare when things go wrong. At least our old coaches are much more simple, fewer things to break and more likely to be familiar to the average repair facility.
Getting to the point of the thread topic, Barth coaches have good bones in general but Barth's use of steel in the undercarriage is their Achilles heel IMHO. Both my Barths have needed extensive repairs underneath. Too bad Barth did not put more aluminum down there. (OTOH, they did last 25 years..)
To all fellow dinosaur RV owners, good luck with your coaches and I hope you can enjoy your investment in your coach as I have.
Have Barth, will maintain and travel
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
The biggest expenses I have for the past 15 years has been fuel. I have put 330K miles on the clock, I have documented fuel mileage of 10.2 MPG, 32,353 Gallons @ ~$3.30/gal= $106,765. that doesn't include 33 oil changes @ ~$90 each, plus tires, brakes and the operational costs keep growing.
I have had transmission overhaul $7,000 and currently giving my engine some love, in frame overhaul approximately $3500 for parts, I do the labor.
Had one over night delay waiting for a water pump to arrive.
During my current overhaul, I found water pump blades in the block beneath the engine mounted oil cooler.
Parts availability is REALLY BAD!
94 30' Breakaway #3864
30-BS-6B side entry
230 Cummins, Allison 6 speed
Formally known as "Humbojb"
Now, that's scary!!
Formally known as "Humbojb"
For some, like Tere, they just love to work on these coaches. The satisfaction of taking something that is broken and fixing it better than new, is very important to them, maybe just as important as actually driving one. It's a hobby. We've used our 89 Regal once since 2019, partly due to Covid. But Tere is our there working on it all the time. That's what she likes to do. Cost? Priceless.
Lynn complains a little bit about the time I spend on Midnight after I had everything almost done on DBarth. I am getting major stuff hammered out the current project is corrosion elimination mainly from the main bay but did all 3 in front of the water bay on the passenger side. The water bay had been repaired before. Other side all the way.
Also put full slides in the big thru bay. They pull out either side a total of 60%. The one thing you have to make sure not to put anything in higher than the center. 15”
I think I am going to put a shelf on either side to keep from putting stuff that will impede pullout from the other side. But only on one side. I have things that need the height. They are first out. The shelf will be perfect for things like chairs. All early out items or quick set up.
The original plywood bottom in great condition. Interesting note is the plywood is either cedar or redwood. In the past they must have used the bay to cut something as It had cut the carpet to shreds. When I pulled up it was cut all over. My bet is when the cut the side pieces they just cut thru it on the floor. The adhesive kept it in place. Happen to have a piece of marine carpet same color and just oversized. I will wrap the carpet after cutting down the plywood. The slides will hold the plywood down.
There is room on ether side and in the center for things like my collapsible ladder, folding table. Flat stuff can be slid under the slides.
Getting under the door and lifting things into the bay like Lynn’s folding electric bike are killer for my back. With the slide much EASIER . It will not go under the center so it is a first out item and why no shelf on that bay/slide.
Dana & Lynn
1997 38ft Monarch front entry
Spartan Mountain Master Chassis
Cummins 8.3 325hp
Allison MD-3060 6 speed
Cummins Factory Exhaust Brake
8000 watt Quiet Diesel Generator
Christened Camp Barth
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