New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

New to camping and have questions? Wondering what the switch in the control panel does? Post your questions here and we'll (try) to answer them.
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Sarterfish
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2023 8:18 pm

New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by Sarterfish »

Hi, I am lookinf at buying a 96 B190 with just under 60k miles. Looks like it's in relatively good shape from pics, but I've not seen it "in the flesh" yet. They want $19,500, which seems in the right range, maybe a bit high? The front seats are worn and I'll see what the rest is like tomorrow or Tuesday. Also looking possibly at Dodge 3500 Pleasureway. An advice from you seasoned B-van veterans would be greatly appreciated!
- Sarterfish
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skater
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B190 Year: 1991
WBCCI: 13270
Location: Annapolis, MD

Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by skater »

Watch for leaks - these are known for leaks in the vent above the bunk and the windows around the bunk especially. Look for discoloration or pieces of the ceiling hanging at odd angles. Of course, look for signs of leaks everywhere, but those in the bunk are the most common issue.

Check all of the appliances work, note you'll need the generator running or a 30 amp connection to test the air conditioner.

It's a used car, too - take a test drive and feel for vibrations, weird noises, etc. Keep in mind it's a moving house, so it's definitely not going to be as quiet as or handle like a modern car. But, it shouldn't be wandering all over the road either.

Good luck!
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
Sarterfish
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Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by Sarterfish »

Be careful on the FB site; "Tina" from Oklahoma says she had one for $20k with 76k miles, and in perfect condition. Said she "Gave it to E-bay and they will deliver it with a 5 day recision period". She asked for my full name, address, and other details so she could "put E-bay in touch with me". I called E-bay and they said they have NO such service! :-O The internet is rampant with scams and thieves it seems. :-( Oh well, I will keep searching... :evil:
Last edited by Sarterfish on Sun May 28, 2023 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Junkyard_sal
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B190 Year: 1991

Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by Junkyard_sal »

Hello

I just sadly listed mine for sale.

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=3451

No pressure.

Best regards,

Carl
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skater
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B190 Year: 1991
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Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by skater »

Sarterfish wrote:
Mon May 22, 2023 6:27 pm
Thanks everyone, but it looks like this turned it to be a scam. "Terri" demanded cash only, and when I texted I could get it if everything checks out but would not bring it, she text replied "Sold!". The add went down, but is back up today. I asked by text today if her deal went south, and NO REPLY! Also another one on the FB site; "Tina" from Oklahoma says she had one for $20k with 76k miles, and in perfect condition. Said she "Gave it to E-bay and they will deliver it with a 5 day recision period". She asked for my full name, address, and other details so she could "put E-bay in touch with me". I called E-bay and they said they have NO such service! :-O The internet is rampant with scams and thieves it seems. :-( Oh well, I will keep searching... :evil:
Is it on Facebook? Can you link the ad? I know it's a scam, I'd just like to see it.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
Sarterfish
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Posts: 20
Joined: Sun May 21, 2023 8:18 pm

Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by Sarterfish »

Well, I pulled the trigger! I am now the proud owner of a '97 B190! :-D I need a little advice if anyone can help;
- The ABS light is staying on. Any ideas?
- The tank gauges for the propane and black water don't seem to be accurate. Is there a way to fix?
- The 97 specs say there is a solar charge controller hookup... Can someone direct me to where that might be?
- Any good resource for custom 4" firm-ish memory foam matress(es) for the top bunk?
- The cruise control is not working, any ideas on how to trouble shoot and fix?

I drove her home from S Lake Tahoe yesterday, over the winding pass on Hwy 50 with no issues. :-D
Happy Camper! :-D
Last edited by Sarterfish on Sat May 27, 2023 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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skater
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B190 Year: 1991
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Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by skater »

Sarterfish wrote:Well, I pulled the trigger! I am now the proud owner of a '97 B190! :-D I need a little adivec if anyone can help;
- The ABS light is staying on. Any ideas?
- The tank gauges for the propane and black water don't seem to be accurate. Is there a way to fix?
- Is there a solar hookup? Can someone direct me to where that might be?
- Any good resource for custom 4" firm-ish memory foam matress(es) for the top bunk?
- The cruise control is not working, any ideas on how to trouble shoot and fix?

I drove her home from S Lake Tahoe yesterday, over the winding pass on Hwy 50 with no issues. :-D
Happy Camper! :-D
Congratulations!

I'm no help for ABS. I haven't had to do much with it on any vehicle I've owned.

Tank gauges are always a bit dicey, especially the black tank. Gunk tends to build up on the sensor on the tank. There are various treatments you can try, but honestly it gets to the point where you just kind of know how much you can use it. The one in our trailer hasn't worked correctly in the 12 years we've had it.

For the propane gauge, this one is usually fixable once you find the problem. On the tank, there should be a gauge with a wire terminal or two on it. One is ground, one goes to the sensor panel. Make sure that wiring is present. The gauge itself might be bad, and they're replaceable, I think they basically just snap on the top (don't have to open the tank). Another possibility is the float in the tank is stuck, and that issue is harder to address, I haven't had it happen so I'm not sure what to do. For the portable tanks they tell you to bang it on the ground.

There should be solar wiring in the small box on the roof in front of the AC, just above the light on the ceiling. The wire runs to the fuse panel and should be capped off in there somewhere.

I need to find the mattress too. I'd start with Amazon, and assume I'll need to do some cutting.

Sent from my Lenovo YT-K606F using Tapatalk

1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
User avatar
skater
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Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:00 am
B190 Year: 1991
WBCCI: 13270
Location: Annapolis, MD

Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by skater »

Forgot the cruise control. Check the fuse and check the cable, but it may be a bad module. I've had that happen in another Ford from that era. If you can find a set of factory service manuals, there are troubleshooting steps to narrow the problem. Because it could also be the clock spring in your steering wheel, for example. It's hard to tell.

Sent from my Lenovo YT-K606F using Tapatalk

1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
Sarterfish
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Posts: 20
Joined: Sun May 21, 2023 8:18 pm

Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by Sarterfish »

skater wrote:
Tue May 23, 2023 2:37 pm
Sarterfish wrote:
Mon May 22, 2023 6:27 pm
Thanks everyone, but it looks like this turned it to be a scam. "Terri" demanded cash only, and when I texted I could get it if everything checks out but would not bring it, she text replied "Sold!". The add went down, but is back up today. I asked by text today if her deal went south, and NO REPLY! Also another one on the FB site; "Tina" from Oklahoma says she had one for $20k with 76k miles, and in perfect condition. Said she "Gave it to E-bay and they will deliver it with a 5 day recision period". She asked for my full name, address, and other details so she could "put E-bay in touch with me". I called E-bay and they said they have NO such service! :-O The internet is rampant with scams and thieves it seems. :-( Oh well, I will keep searching... :evil:
Is it on Facebook? Can you link the ad? I know it's a scam, I'd just like to see it.
Hi Skater and all,
Turns out that the listing by Terri wasn't a scam after all. She was just tired of all my texts with questions I think. 🙄 I ended up going up and buying her van! :) The one on Facebook though I'm pretty sure was a scam, it was gone when I tried to find it again. Be careful there everyone! 8O
Sarterfish
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2023 8:18 pm

Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by Sarterfish »

skater wrote:
Sat May 27, 2023 5:05 pm
Sarterfish wrote:Well, I pulled the trigger! I am now the proud owner of a '97 B190! :-D I need a little adivec if anyone can help;
- The ABS light is staying on. Any ideas?
- The tank gauges for the propane and black water don't seem to be accurate. Is there a way to fix?
- Is there a solar hookup? Can someone direct me to where that might be?
- Any good resource for custom 4" firm-ish memory foam matress(es) for the top bunk?
- The cruise control is not working, any ideas on how to trouble shoot and fix?

I drove her home from S Lake Tahoe yesterday, over the winding pass on Hwy 50 with no issues. :-D
Happy Camper! :-D
Congratulations!

I'm no help for ABS. I haven't had to do much with it on any vehicle I've owned.

Tank gauges are always a bit dicey, especially the black tank. Gunk tends to build up on the sensor on the tank. There are various treatments you can try, but honestly it gets to the point where you just kind of know how much you can use it. The one in our trailer hasn't worked correctly in the 12 years we've had it.

For the propane gauge, this one is usually fixable once you find the problem. On the tank, there should be a gauge with a wire terminal or two on it. One is ground, one goes to the sensor panel. Make sure that wiring is present. The gauge itself might be bad, and they're replaceable, I think they basically just snap on the top (don't have to open the tank). Another possibility is the float in the tank is stuck, and that issue is harder to address, I haven't had it happen so I'm not sure what to do. For the portable tanks they tell you to bang it on the ground.

There should be solar wiring in the small box on the roof in front of the AC, just above the light on the ceiling. The wire runs to the fuse panel and should be capped off in there somewhere.

I need to find the mattress too. I'd start with Amazon, and assume I'll need to do some cutting.

Sent from my Lenovo YT-K606F using Tapatalk
On the mattress, I found a place that will make custom mattresses to fit. 1-1/2" memory foam over 3" high density. two 28" x 65" matresses will fill the space in my 97 with the slider installed. The palce is Matress Insider, specs below;

"28" x 65" x 4.5" Deluxe Gel Memory Foam Sofa Bed Mattress

· Organic Cotton Cover (zippered and removable)
· 1.5" of 3 LB Cool-Gel Memory Foam
· 3" of Heavy Duty 1.8 LB High Density Support Foam
· Pass CFR1633 (passes the federal flammability guidelines)
· 10 Year Warranty

Total cost $279.00 per mattress (+ tax, if applicable) , Delivered

This mattress can be viewed on our website by clicking on this link:
https://www.mattressinsider.com/the-del ... -foam.html

My gf and I are both under 5-7, so we can sleep perpendicular to the van up there and have almost the same width as a queen bed, just shorter! This seems like a lot for a mattress, but comfort is king when it comes to getting a good nights sleep, so will probably pull the trigger unless someone has a better place to check?
Sarterfish
Weekend Camper
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun May 21, 2023 8:18 pm

Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by Sarterfish »

skater wrote:
Sat May 27, 2023 5:05 pm
Sarterfish wrote:Well, I pulled the trigger! I am now the proud owner of a '97 B190! :-D I need a little adivec if anyone can help;
- The ABS light is staying on. Any ideas?
- The tank gauges for the propane and black water don't seem to be accurate. Is there a way to fix?
- Is there a solar hookup? Can someone direct me to where that might be?
- Any good resource for custom 4" firm-ish memory foam matress(es) for the top bunk?
- The cruise control is not working, any ideas on how to trouble shoot and fix?

I drove her home from S Lake Tahoe yesterday, over the winding pass on Hwy 50 with no issues. :-D
Happy Camper! :-D
Congratulations!

I'm no help for ABS. I haven't had to do much with it on any vehicle I've owned.

Tank gauges are always a bit dicey, especially the black tank. Gunk tends to build up on the sensor on the tank. There are various treatments you can try, but honestly it gets to the point where you just kind of know how much you can use it. The one in our trailer hasn't worked correctly in the 12 years we've had it.

For the propane gauge, this one is usually fixable once you find the problem. On the tank, there should be a gauge with a wire terminal or two on it. One is ground, one goes to the sensor panel. Make sure that wiring is present. The gauge itself might be bad, and they're replaceable, I think they basically just snap on the top (don't have to open the tank). Another possibility is the float in the tank is stuck, and that issue is harder to address, I haven't had it happen so I'm not sure what to do. For the portable tanks they tell you to bang it on the ground.

There should be solar wiring in the small box on the roof in front of the AC, just above the light on the ceiling. The wire runs to the fuse panel and should be capped off in there somewhere.

I need to find the mattress too. I'd start with Amazon, and assume I'll need to do some cutting.

Sent from my Lenovo YT-K606F using Tapatalk
Update on the mattresses; I ordered from a place called "Foamma" in So Cal. There website is Foamma.com . The cost for two custom cut 28" x 65" mattresses that are 3" high density foam and 1" of gel memory plus two organic cotton covers foam came to $376.78 with tax and shipping. I will post as to how nice they are once we receive them!
User avatar
skater
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Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:00 am
B190 Year: 1991
WBCCI: 13270
Location: Annapolis, MD

Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by skater »

Sarterfish wrote:
Tue May 30, 2023 8:14 pm
Update on the mattresses; I ordered from a place called "Foamma" in So Cal. There website is Foamma.com . The cost for two custom cut 28" x 65" mattresses that are 3" high density foam and 1" of gel memory plus two organic cotton covers foam came to $376.78 with tax and shipping. I will post as to how nice they are once we receive them!
Sounds good, I'm interested to hear, as we'll be replacing ours at some point.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
Sarterfish
Weekend Camper
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun May 21, 2023 8:18 pm

Re: New here, and looking at buying a 96 B190... Advice anyone?

Post by Sarterfish »

skater wrote:
Wed May 31, 2023 6:40 am
Sarterfish wrote:
Tue May 30, 2023 8:14 pm
Update on the mattresses; I ordered from a place called "Foamma" in So Cal. There website is Foamma.com . The cost for two custom cut 28" x 65" mattresses that are 3" high density foam and 1" of gel memory plus two organic cotton covers foam came to $376.78 with tax and shipping. I will post as to how nice they are once we receive them!
Sounds good, I'm interested to hear, as we'll be replacing ours at some point.
Update on the mattresses we ordered. They came today. We unboxed and unrolled them. They came compressed, rolled and wrapped. They fluffed to full thickness and size very quickly! Laid them out on my hardwood floor for a "trial lay down. SUPER comfy and could only feel the floor underneath when standing or kneeling on it. The sizes are right on, and they appear to be good quality! No off-gassing that I could detect, and I have a pretty sensitive nose. Can't wait to get them in and get a great night's sleep on them!Image
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