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Author Topic: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip  (Read 2348 times)

Offline tmsnyder

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  • Posts: 595
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« on: July 21, 2017, 11:38 AM »
Just got back from almost a month trip in my 1990 Holiday Rambler Alumalite XL 31'.   Me, wife, and three kids (14,12,9 yo) on the 4th grader pass (free admission to all the national parks) It was amazing.  From Buffalo NY we spent two days at the Ford museum in Dearborn, MI.  Could have spent another easily, so much to see.  On the way to a bluegrass festival in MO (Rhonda Vincent's festival in Queen City) the brand new AC Delco Pro fan clutch locked up and blew like a jet engine.  Stopped at an Autozone along way and picked up one of their brands, installed at the festival by laying over the top of the engine (that sort of sucked).  Then drove around the Badlands and on to Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park for a couple days.  Over Bighorns on Rt 14 was fun, to east entrance to Yellowstone.  Drove all over Yellowstone for several days.  Up to Glacier for a couple days. Used shuttle to explore that.  Stayed north as long as possible to avoid heat, then headed south to Salt Lake City, UT where I discovered my roof AC wasn't up to the task.  Swapped on a new one in the parking lot of State Trailer Supply, they were kind enough to deliver the AC to the roof and remove the old one.  Hiked in and soaked in hot water spings and cool waterfall at Fifth Water mineral springs in Uinta National Forest. Then headed south to Arches, then Bryce, then Zion through the tunnels and down the windy road.   Ended in Las Vegas for a couple days where we went and saw the Hoover dam with my brother.  He flew out and we flew back home.   He's driving it back now. 


I was very glad that I changed out all the belts and hoses, radiator, and added tranny cooler and gauge.   Fluid returning to tranny never exceeded 250F, most I ever saw was 230 which meant that the pan was less than that.   Temp in engine head never went above 230 either.



It shut down in traffic once in Las Vegas, 108F outside.  I think it was most likely the ignition module on its way out, so I swapped out that and the coil with AutoZone new parts.  Fingers crossed that was the problem and it won't do it again while my brother has it b/c that sucked.  Vegas traffic is the worst for motorhomes, I won't do Vegas again.


We put over 5000 miles on it.  Averaged 7.2 mpg and most of that was in mountains.  It also includes a 6mpg fillup that was after running it in the driveway for months while working on it in preparation for the trip.  Looks like 7.5 is a more typical number.   Here's the fuel record:  http://www.fuelly.com/car/chevrolet/p30/1990/tmsnyder/454843


We stayed in 0 Walmarts.   Instead we found rest areas were the ticket, they often have free dump stations.  I also learned that trying to skimp on onboard water was not worth it, after running short a few time I just said f'it and kept the tank half full as much as possible.  What's another couple hundred pounds? 


We also stayed in 0 Harvest Hosts.  I was hoping to do these but when traveling they are usually closed by the time we would arrive, and they open too late in the day for us to stick around to be there when they are open.


Also discovered first come first serve state park camping sites.  Cheap and sometimes with electric.  Online app was useful for finding these, but even more useful was our road atlas, they are all in there.


Had a bit of a shock towards the end, I put the coach in 'store' mode overnight to conserve coach battery and in the morning it wouldn't switch into 'use' mode.  The latching relay wouldn't latch.  Probably a bad solder joint in the control panel.  So I bypassed the relay, connected the coach directly to the battery.  It's fine by me b/c the biggest draw on the battery is the relay itself!  All my lights are LED which draw almost 0 amps.  I was just turning it off to turn off that relay, so that's no longer an issue LOL. 


Also added a big Brita countertop filter so we could filter the onboard water for drinking since I add a capful of bleach every time I add water.  I love having virtually unlimited great tasting water on hand at all times.


One surprise coming from Upstate NY, I was surprised how poor cell phone coverage is almost everywhere we went across the country. Let alone data coverage.  Wow, I was used to having a good signal almost everywhere, we must be spoiled here.  I often wondered why bother with AAA, most of the time there's no signal on the road (Verizon).  I would have had to hitch a ride to the next town to get a phone signal.


It was a great time, hopefully made some great memories for the kids and was relatively incident free. 








Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5540
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 03:16 PM »
Wow, That sounds like a hell of a trip. Don't know if I would attempt that or not in an older unit but hey, it worked out good for you. If you are going to have one of these you have to be able to do on site repairs sometimes. That is going to be a trip the kids will remember for a very long time. I still remember going to Gatlinburg, Tn. in my dads pickup camper in the early 60's.

Offline tmsnyder

  • *
  • Posts: 595
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2017, 07:23 PM »
Thanks Rick, it was a great trip, hopefully we'll keep using the rv for trips south in winter and road trips.  Our typical vacation is a long weekend at bluegrass festivals in PA and NY anyway so this rv has been great.  I was a bit worried about the miles too but all my tools were with me and we were flexible in our timing so that helped.  And hey if we break down we weren't going to starve or be stuck outside.


A typical travel day was 250 to 350 miles and about 60 mph.  We had to add about 30-40% on to the gps predicted travel time, or more in the hills.



Forgot to mention, there's actually 85 octane gas out west.  I didn't know they even went that low.  I used it, it was the cheapest, and the 454 didn't seem to care but I was glad the timing was retarded a little from where I had it set last year.




Offline 1990HR

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  • Posts: 76
  • Member since: 2015
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1990
  • Make: Holiday Rambler
  • Model: 33csxs
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2017, 10:14 PM »
This is funny because we just did a 1500 mile trip in our 1990 Holiday Rambler.
Went from the Black Hills, SD where I live to farmington, UT to Lagoon amusement park.
Averaged 7.39 MPG cruising about 65 MPH.

Offline Shawn62

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  • Posts: 26
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1987
  • Make: Fleetwood
  • Model: Southwind
  • Chassis: P30
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2017, 07:35 AM »
tmsnyder,
     Thanks for the report. That was awesome. Loads of good info there.  You are a great representative of Western New York.  Adventurous and self reliant. Did you find any good wings or pizza on that road trip? 

Offline tmsnyder

  • *
  • Posts: 595
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2017, 07:22 AM »
Hi Shawn,


I learned long ago not to try wings outside the the Buffalo area.  I would have thought that it would be tough to mess up deep frying some chicken until the pieces are crispy then shaking with Franks Red Hot and butter, but I was wrong.  And it has to be blue cheese dressing with good size (marble) chunks of blue cheese in it.   Never ever ranch, that's just sick.  Ranch is for dipping vegetables, not wings.  I'm sure there's good wings out there but it's too hit and miss for me to risk it lol.  In Buffalo they are everywhere except the place that invented them, last time I went there they were pretty bad.  Best place I ever had them was at a bowling alley. 


We tried but were largely unsuccessful at not eating out.  Had pizza a few times, very good stuff, better than Buffalo.   I've not found great pizza at home.  On the trip we probably got it down to 10% breakfasts out (b/c cereal and pop tarts and coffee are easy),  20% lunches out (sandwiches are easy)  and 50% dinners.  Dinner was toughest b/c I had no easy grilling option and I like meat for dinner.  Might have to invest in one of those propane grills that attaches to the trailer receiver.  Eating out a lot like that was pricey, probably $60 a day average just on eating out, so I probably spent more on food than on fuel for the 5000+ mile trip, about $1700.


1990HR we probably drove right past each other.  Wife and kids did the Black Hills helicopter ride, is that anywhere near you?  Yup, something between 7-8 mpg is what I'm getting too. No toad, you?  I'm going to weigh it when it gets back home.


Mine starts hard after it gets hot.  Have to crank it w/o touching the throttle, until about 5 seconds of cranking just barely touch the throttle.  Any fuel at all beyond that and it floods, a few times I had to hold the throttle wide open and crank a long time to clear out the gas and it would eventually fire up, all the while holding the Aux Battery button.  When it's cold, pump it twice and it fires up quick.   All that heat under the doghouse plays havoc with the gas in the carburetor I believe.   When the engines not running I think it's boiling the gas in the carb and lines.   I'm thinking that an EFI system or a diesel engine wouldn't have those problems under the doghouse but it doesn't get used enough to justify the expense of upgrading the engine or fuel system.







Offline Rickf1985

  • *
  • Posts: 5540
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 08:20 AM »
I never have problems starting mine hot, is your float too high maybe? I don't touch the gas but it starts in half a crank.

Offline tmsnyder

  • *
  • Posts: 595
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2017, 11:12 AM »
I'd love to know the reason for the hard start when hot.  What would be the reason for the float setting effecting it when hot but not when cold?

Offline Rickf1985

  • *
  • Posts: 5540
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2017, 06:02 PM »
Gas boiling over into the the manifold and flooding it. The gas will boil in any carburetor when the engine is shut off hot and the carb sits there and heat soaks. If the float level is too high then instead of the gas turning to vapor and going to the carbon canister it will boil out the overflow tube. That could be another issue, are your canisters still hooked up and operating? Vacuum lines on them correctly.

Offline tmsnyder

  • *
  • Posts: 595
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2017, 12:54 PM »
My RV is back home.  Brother drove it back from Vegas with his wife and got in last night.  He put over 2500 miles on it, I put over 5000 miles on it getting it out to Vegas.


Complete fuel mpg record is here for every drop and mile during both our trips:


http://www.fuelly.com/car/chevrolet/p30/1990/tmsnyder/454843


7.3 mpg over the 10,000 miles so far the last couple years. 

Offline Rickf1985

  • *
  • Posts: 5540
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2017, 01:04 PM »
Not bad considering mountain driving.

Offline Fescue Farmer

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  • Posts: 1
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1988
  • Make: Holiday Rambler
  • Model: Imperial
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1990 Holiday Rambler trip
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2017, 09:53 PM »
That sound like an awesome trip!  I am currently in the Sand Hills of Nebraska at a campground checking the ohm resistance of my plug wires......:)  I have a 1988 34 ft Holiday Rambler that I purchased several months ago.  My wife and I have 6 children (17 to 9 years old), with one being handicapped and on a ventilator and g-tube.  We are on a month long trip (hopefully) and my rig is running poorly......I am fixing to make a technical post for help with everything that I have done to the rig and what symptoms I am having.

 

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