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 > Appliance help chevy southwind 87

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Los Angeles

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Posted: 01/31/18 08:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello hello this is my first post it's nice to meet you. My husband and I recently became the joyful owners of a lightly-used 87 Chevy Southwind by Fleetwood. We live in Los Angeles and this RV is going to be our home for the foreseeable future. We love it but the only problem is at this time we have no idea how to run our appliances. Mainly the refrigerator stove and shower water heater. We also have absolutely no clue where we can go to fill up or dump are water and sewage in the Los Angeles area. Other places we've lived there were clear rest stops along the highway one could easily go to but in the middle of this Concrete Jungle I'm not sure where Urban campers take care of business. If we could even find one helpful person who is knowledgeable about the workings of RVs willing to help us we would be extremely grateful. Thanks for your time guys have an awesome night bye bye for now


Pronounced Ore-gun

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Posted: 01/31/18 08:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Where are you going to park? RV parks, there are a few around Dissyland, will usually allow dumping for a fee. There are three systems in an RV, 120VAC, 12VDC, and propane. 120VAC runs things like microwave, refer (partially). 12VDC runs lights, water pump, and supplies control voltage for the refer. The refer is really the only weird appliance. Usually you need strong 12VDC, and either propane or 120VAC for it to run. Water heater is probsbly a manual light, standing pilot type. Fill with water, light the pilot and turn the gas valve to run. Just like at home.

Don,Lorri,and Charlie Bear 2016
8 years OSP Camp Host
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Salem OR

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Posted: 01/31/18 09:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

as newbies, there is a lot for you to learn, but luckily its just a lot of simple stuff.
there is a number of books one can purchase that will set you in the right direction, and most of them are a fun read.

you can also go to an rv dealer in the area and someone there will give you some basics on what you need to get started....

its really tough to give the widely ranging advice you need, here on the forum, but if you have specific questions about specific models of the components you have, then its much easier for us to give specific answers and hints on how best to deal with what you have....

I cant stress enough about getting a couple books (or more) aimed at beginner RV owners, as they are and will be helpful many times over the next year or so for you.. and there are several that cover every aspect of RV living and traveling.. and they cover the basics of all the components and appliances you have... make sure the books are written in the era of the rv that you have, as a 20 or 30 year old rv can and probably will have much different appliances than an rv that is only a few years old.... the appliances still do the same things, but the maintenance and operation can be very different.

as for rv dumps in your area, armed with a map or book of the area for RV'ers, get in the family car and go check out the dump areas.... once you use a few dump sites, you will find they are all about the same, but just in different locations...

and with the books, you will learn there are other options for hauling the waste off, so that you may never need to move the rv from where its comfortably parked..

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Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 02/01/18 07:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well Tangles,

For starters what you have is -- an 87 Fleetwood Southwind Chevy. Very early on you need to find out what the chassis actually is. I would suspect that it is a P30, but you should confirm that.

I can't even begin to help you with where you can dump and load potable water. What I know that might be a help is that if you look up the websites for the owners groups of older hardware, you may be able to download the manuals for the installed appliances. One I know of, but might be too old is the GMC Motorhomes group at Manuals and scroll way down. Other owner's groups have similar.

Start a notebook, that has as the first page, a list of the installed things with the manufacturer, model number or type and if possible a serial number. When you can, print, punch and file all then manuals you can glomn onto and build a notebook so you have them when you need them. You will need them. Parts for many older things can be hard to come by, but there are many on-line vendors that have these parts or can tell you how to substitute a replacement.

A note of caution. Your coach is way newer than ours, but yours is at the age where the rubber parts will be going bad. Be ready. Not just tires - They are a given - but hoses, fuel, coolant, power steering and brake lines too.

I hope it works out for you.


Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 02/01/18 09:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This book will give a lot of basic information.
Bob Livingston's book
I would suggest trying to locate each appliance make and model. Then look at for manuals. If not there a search on internet will help.
87 Chev would be P-30 chassis. Basic chassis repair work can be found in Chilton's manual 28642

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Gresham, OR, USA

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Posted: 02/01/18 10:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For dump sites, I usually just get online, and google "dump sites near me". I'm not in LA currently but this is what I came up with googling about LA: Dump sites in LA

As far as the water heater goes, consider buying an electric aftermarket heating element. Screws into the tanks drain hole. Saves on gas, but does need a nearby electrical outlet. Extension cord, or patio outlet works. Here's one: Hott Rod

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Wherever I happen to park

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Posted: 02/01/18 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can google for RV DUMP Stations and then call ahead, MOST campgrounds ofer dump service as does Flying-J and selected other Truck/Auto plazas. And some rest stops along freeways but that is getting rare as .. Well some folks like to make life hard for others.

Appliances,, Stove, Fridgem Water heater Furnace.
Without make and model info I can not give SPECIFIC advice but I do have generic advice,, and some of them are kind of "only one set"

Starting with the fridge.. Three options here..
The fridge is likely a dual power (or tripple) 120 volt AC/Propane/(12 volt) I would not use the 12 volt setting. Deptnding on the mnodel the propane side will be either Direct Spark Ignition or some kind of manual pilot. I can not help you with manual pilot. DSI Fridges do the work for you

On ELectric Turn it onm let it sit overnight, should be cold tomorrow
On gas You need to make sure you have Propane, it is turened on and it lights
DSI units will have a FAULT indicator that comes on if it does not work.
I have neer seen a manual pilot so can not advise

Find the make and model then Google Make Model Manual
(Substutite the mnake and model numbers) these are often on the "Frame of the unit inside the Fridge door,

Water heater. Same google but different make and model
Manual pilot models you turn the knob to PILOT and either depress the knob or an assoicated Safety button while using a match or long lighter to iight the pilot. Hold button for 1 full minute after it lights.

MAKE SURE WATER HEATER HAS WATER IN IT beore doign this (Make sure water flows from teh HOT taps) Make sure the water heate ris not bypassed (nore in a second) once you are sure there is water in teh tank turn to ON.

Electric you sinmply turn on after making sure it's full of water.(Well mnostly full)

Bypass. One or two or 3 valves. OFTEN on the Rear (inside) of the water heater but somnetiems .. Well sometimes they put 'em in other places. YOu have a set of bypass Valves
The single vlave is a 3-way valve should be labed USE.Bypass (if labled) else USE points to the water heater
Two vlave is also 3 way if they point at each other.. It's bypassed point to heater to use

Three you want top and bottom open and center closed to use.

OVEN.. Oven is often just like the manual pilot water heater. Turn to PILOT or LIGHTm press and use a long lighter to light the pilot. hold for full mninute and turn to 350 or whatever settign Put thermomemter in oven and run for 14-30 minutesm take reading and adjust as needed, Mine is off 50 degrees.

Stove top.. YOU MAY have an ignition system or not, I use a lighter on one burner where the ignighter broke,, But then I always have.

Finally... There are two books you might wish to pick from (Either one no need for both)

The RV Owner's Handbook
The RV Book
Most larger RV dealers and Camping World will have one or the other.

Generic "Owner's manuals" for nearly all RV's. Lots of stuff that will NOT apply to you.. But also most of what you need to know.

Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377


Wherever I happen to park

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Posted: 02/01/18 04:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FOr the moderators and managers
Thanks to the CAPTCHA passing bad info back to the FOrum it took me 4 tries to post.

Please delete this reply after forwarding to management.. Thanks.

Branson N Tucson


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Posted: 02/01/18 09:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another good source of information is to find a RV park close to you. Drive over and talk to other RV ers. RV ers you will find pretty willing to help you or answer your questions


California/Arizona/South Dakota

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Posted: 02/01/18 10:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First off: WELCOME TO THE FORUM.!! [emoticon] [emoticon]

Not sure where you are in Los Angeles as it's a pretty big let us know exactly where you're parked. That said, I'd stay away from places like Disney as most folks will either be tired or broke from visiting the Magic Kingdom and most likely will only be interested in relaxing. There are a couple closer to LA such as Dockweiler in Playa del Rey or Golden Shore in Long Beach. These will have hookups to empty your tanks and play with all your "stuff". While at one of these parks, strike up a conversation with one of your neighbors. Generally we're a socialble bunch and will only be too happy to help. One of the camphosts at one of these parks will also give you tons of advice. Another source would be a salesman at one of the RV lots, even Camping World. Understand you might have to pay a nominal fee to them to give you a PDI walkthru. No matter which route you go, be sure to video tape the entire event as you'll wonder what was said because your brain will be on overload. As for simple dump stations, some rest areas have them but none in the LA proper due to vandalism and cost. Most truck stops will have them. Expect to pay from $10-15 to dump. Finally, if none of this works for you, make a list of each appliance you need help with-Make/Model number and ask for assistance individually. Most of your appliances are not RV model specific and may have been used across several years. Best of luck...Dennis

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