Just dropping in to say 'Hi!' - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-24-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
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Name: Les
Trailer: 1977 Avco 29' Grand Lodge
Idaho
Posts: 15
Just dropping in to say 'Hi!'

We're on our way to go make an offer on a 77 Avco 29' motorhome tonight. From lurking for the last two days, it seems the community is geared primarily towards trailers, but I hope you embrace the self-propelled crowed as well.

It's not a Winnebago-style construction where it's a bunch of flat panels attached with plastic 'cornering' or whatever it's called. It's a curved-sided monster that looks like it is a molded shell - it's actually more curvy than the pictures I've seen of the Avco trailers.

Anyway, I dropped in hoping that someone will have may know someone, who knows someone, etc that may have manuals for this thing.

I'm in IT right now - I'm actually a software developer for PacificSource Health Plans, but I was a mechanic for many years prior to a significant career change. Like the Technomads were, my wife and I are currently full-timing in a 17 foot travel trailer. The big difference is that we have our two kids with us. It's a touch crowded, and we're on our way (hopefully) to a GMC 4104 or 4106 of the retired Greyhound bus variety. We're not there yet though, and that's going to be a journey all of it's own.


Anyway, I thought I'd drop in and say Hi!


Les Berg
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
British Columbia
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Welcome Les

Is that the Avco that is for sale in Emmett? Good looking unit!
When I first read your post, I thought for a second that it was one of the Travco Dodges you were going to see. The ones that are all 'glass but look like a self-propelled Airstream. (Love those!)

And yes, this site is mostly all about the kinds of Fiberglass towables that are constructed like a pair of boat hulls, deriving their strength and form from two 'hulls" joined together (usually one atop the other, but in some cases from a right side/left side pairing.)

Due to their unusual construction they are virtually "maintenance free' (he says laughing!) and often are also quite light and as well as being very strong

However, while many of the topics covered are common only to molded F/G units, there are often topics that may apply to any and all camper-type rigs
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:10 PM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Hi Les, welcome to FiberglassRV

And yes, this forum has a focus for all molded towables. I never purposely run someone off, but often try to provide links to forums where people who don't have towables can get answers to their questions. I've never had a drivetrain problem with my Scamp . So, yes hang out. If you have a question about sealing or windows or camping... we're glad to help. Motors and transmissions... not so much.

In years past, we had a member that had a towable AND an Avco Moho (which they sold and stayed with their Bigfoot).

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Old 04-24-2012, 08:16 PM   #4
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Red face Yes, we are about towables

Quote:
Originally Posted by LesBerg View Post
From lurking for the last two days, it seems the community is geared primarily towards trailers, but I hope you embrace the self-propelled crowed as well.

Anyway, I dropped in hoping that someone will have may know someone, who knows someone, etc that may have manuals for this thing.
Hi Les

If you're asking about motors (engines?) and transmissions and dashboards and such, I'd have to give you the deer-in-the-headlights look.


If you're asking about propane/electric appliances and water tanks and 110 volt AC roof air conditioners and such, heck those are just like any other RV. (Trailers are RVs too)

We can talk about resealing doors and windows, our disgust with silicone, and which awnings we prefer...

Have you checked in with the Travco folks?

I'm trying to be as helpful as I know how, but I may not be up the task.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:11 AM   #5
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Name: Les
Trailer: 1977 Avco 29' Grand Lodge
Idaho
Posts: 15
I suppose it would look awkward to quote the entire thread to this point to answer everyone, so I'll just cycle through.

BCDave, Yes it's the Avco in Emmett. We settled on $3000 as a fair price. We have the title and a bill of sale. It has some significant problems, but the bones are good. The hull is in excellent shape and the interior is mostly intact and in good repair.

We would have driven it home tonight (about 40 miles) but the front brakes are metal-to-metal. the PO drove it (handily) up a mountain road with a significant grade, but the descent torched the brakes. Luckily they held out until the last block on their way home.

I'll be calling around Emmett tomorrow to see if anyone can turn bus rotors - it's (apparently) an Dodge D50 school bus frame and it has front disk brakes. Very nice.

DonnaD: I'm a gearhead at heart and a Mopar fan to boot, so I'm not much worried about the chassis. My main concern is making sure the gas, electrical, and plumbing systems are servicable and safe to start. We have an issue right off the bat with hot water.

It seems that this coach was equipped with engine-heated water. A PO cut a water heater hole (if I understand things correctly) and was going to fit a standard water heater. The gentleman we bought it from was going to install an on-demand water heater, but it's not the right type for the install he wants to do (it seems to be a bulkhead mount). Either way, I have some work to do.

Frederick; My understanding from reading up on Avco for the last few days is that the only thing they shared with Travco was the Dodge chassis and a burning desire to build a quality coach.

One of the peculiarities I'm curious about is that the coach has two roof mounted Coleman Mach 3s. The PO says that the front one is genset powered and the rear one is shore power. Thats a strange way to wire the system if you ask me, but I'm curious to know why it's wired that way. THe only thing I can think of is that it has two AC units and originally had a microwave too, but that shouldn't be too much for a 6.2kw Onan genset.


Thank you for the warm welcome. It's good to meet you, everyone. I'm off to bed - tomorrow is going to be a busy day.

-Les


I'll get some pictures posted.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:38 AM   #6
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its fiberglass,,,,its an rv.....
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:22 AM   #7
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Name: Les
Trailer: 1977 Avco 29' Grand Lodge
Idaho
Posts: 15
a few pictures:
The only damage to the body is the street side of the rear bumper. The fg behind the bumper is splintered where it was backed into something. It's minor, tough to see, and doesn't have interior behind it, so fixing it is a low priority at the moment.

First priority is front brakes, followed by a water heater. Then maybe a cut & buff on the exterior and paint the rims.

Of coures, my wife's priorities (after the water heater) are decent curtains and replacing the mauve carpet with wood laminate.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:50 AM   #8
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Les, we have a sister site, also owned by Social Knowledge who owns FiberglassRV. The site is IRV2.com I just checked over there and there's some posts by Avco owners. Here's one: Unsure!!!! Help! - iRV2 Forums

and I see there's link to a fledging forum just for Avco owners within that post.

Hope this helps
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LesBerg View Post
One of the peculiarities I'm curious about is that the coach has two roof mounted Coleman Mach 3s. The PO says that the front one is genset powered and the rear one is shore power. Thats a strange way to wire the system if you ask me, but I'm curious to know why it's wired that way.
It sounds to me as if you do not have engine-powered dashboard air for the driver and passenger while in motion; or if you do then that system is under-powered. That set-up is so you run the generator while driving in order to operate the front air conditioner while driving.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:20 AM   #10
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Name: Les
Trailer: 1977 Avco 29' Grand Lodge
Idaho
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Thanks Donna, I'll check it out tomorrow afternoon. It's been a very busy week - there were far more problems that the POs let on, but nothing that can't be handled.

Frederick, it does have engine-powered AC. Some of the strangeness we've found is that almost exactly half of the AC outlets don't work.

I'll start a new thread on the work we're doing...
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