How I Repaired, Remodeled, and Restored an Old RV Camper

Updated on December 12, 2017
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy is a lifelong lover of the outdoors and especially camping. This article is intended to help the RVer save money and time on repairs.

'86 Nissan Nicky Camper
'86 Nissan Nicky Camper | Source

Older RVs: Classics and Bargains

Many of us cannot afford those fancy motorhomes and luxurious travel trailers even though we do love to visit America’s great state and national parks. Fortunately for us DIY types, there are many used or classic travel trailers and other types of campers for sale that merely need a little fixing up and modernizing to make them comfortable and safe for our families to enjoy.

This article describes the renovation of an 86 Nissan Nicky mounted camper body that had only been used for a couple of camping trips. The engine and interior of the truck itself were in great shape, with only 38,000 miles on the odometer.

The camper body itself, however, was in very bad condition due to a roof leak which caused much deterioration to the interior. Damage from leaks is a very common problem in old RVs. As you can see by the photos, the ceiling and walls, as well as the sink and stove area, were all badly damaged. The structural integrity of the camper walls and ceiling were at risk also, as the wood used for support was badly rotted and would have to be replaced to restore stability to the RV itself.

But since the RV cost only $400, I considered it well worth repairing.

Getting a Materials List Together

We started off by giving the little unit a thorough examination in order to make our materials list.

The secret to doing a quick and reliable repair job on any travel trailer or motorhome is to plan ahead and save trips to the hardware store. At least when you remodel a motorhome instead of a house, you can buy your materials in smaller quantities: wood paneling, screws, nails, glue.

Upgrades Worth Considering When You Remodel an Old RV

Plumbing: Many older RVs may be updated by using the newer flexble tubing plumbing to replace old copper or PVC water lines. One advantage of flexible pipes is that they stand up to the vibration of a moving vehicle. As a rule, an old toilet is easier to replace than to fix.

Electrical system: A new breaker box (with more breakers) is also suggested for very old travel trailers, because microwave ovens and other new appliances may require more amps than the old breaker panels were designed for.

Adding extra 110-volt receptacles in the kitchen area is a good idea; it's better than having to run extension cords across the limited floor space in most RVs.

An old three-way evaporation refrigerator can be replaced by a new efficient 110-volt model (as described in this article on RV repair) for great savings.

Assessing Interior Water Damage in This Nissan Nicky Camper

The roof seams were bad and would first  have to be resealed and coated to prevent even  further interior damage before beginning the repairs.
The roof seams were bad and would first have to be resealed and coated to prevent even further interior damage before beginning the repairs.

Roof and Ceiling Damage

We began at the top, to see where the water that had caused so much trouble was coming from. We removed the ceiling assembly and hold-down bracket from the Coleman rooftop AC unit so we could better access the roof and ceiling damage. One of the bolts securing the rooftop AC to the hold-down bracket was loose and this may have been the cause of the leaking roof.

But the damage was so bad it was difficult to determine exactly where the leak originated on the roof. We did determine that the roof seams were bad as well, and that before we began other repairs we should reseal and coat the roof to prevent even further interior damage.

Damaged ceiling caused by the leaking roof.  The entire ceiling needs recovering and bracing up.
Damaged ceiling caused by the leaking roof. The entire ceiling needs recovering and bracing up.

This camping unit, like many made today, relied on Styrofoam panels for much of the roof and walls, with this particular model using wood panels glued to the Styrofoam to give structural support. The old roof was made of 4x¾' Styrofoam sheets with 2x2" wood rafters.

As we describe below, we used luan as a replacement. We decided that when we replaced the ceiling we would add four pieces of angle iron as rafters to add strength to the 4x¾” ceiling boards we replaced. This added support would keep the AC unit from bouncing and reopening the roof leaks.

Damage to Kitchen, Walls, and Counter Tops

The stove and sink area is in pretty bad shape.  They and the cabinet will be removed to get to the rotten corner braces on the rear of the RV trailer.
The stove and sink area is in pretty bad shape. They and the cabinet will be removed to get to the rotten corner braces on the rear of the RV trailer.
The walls and countertops also would need recovering or replacing in the little motorhome.
The walls and countertops also would need recovering or replacing in the little motorhome.

The water damaged the counters and other parts of the kitchen. What's more important, it damaged the wood corner supports, which were behind the kitchen cabinet and in the bathroom near the stove.

We needed to access and replace these rotten corner wood supports. Furthermore, we wanted to replace the floor with new plywood. So we removed the stove and sink from the cabinet, as well as the cabinet itself.

All wiring over the stove was detached until after the job was completed. This is recommended for all electrical wiring you may encounter during the repair process.

Damaged Wooden Corner Supports

The wood corner supports in the rear of the camper were damaged.  This is directly behind the stove and sink area.
The wood corner supports in the rear of the camper were damaged. This is directly behind the stove and sink area.

Water damaged the supports at the corner of the RV. After we removed the AC and stove/sink cabinet, we replaced the wooden corner braces.

Before: Getting Ready to Install the New Ceiling

With the AC ceiling assembly and hold-down bracket removed, the damaged ceiling is ready to be removed and replaced.
With the AC ceiling assembly and hold-down bracket removed, the damaged ceiling is ready to be removed and replaced.

After we removed the AC unit, we inserted the four pieces of angled steel into the ceiling, attached them to the replacement ¾ x 4” ceiling joists, and covered them with new luan paneling.

After: The New Ceiling

A view of the refurbished ceiling with the AC reinstalled.  Ready for painting.
A view of the refurbished ceiling with the AC reinstalled. Ready for painting.

Finishing the Roof

After the ceiling was repaired, the roof seams were covered by a strip of roof repair aluminum backed with a very sticky adhesive. It is sold as “Peel N’ Seal” in Lowes or Home Depot. This is a wonderful permanent or emergency repair roofing product which pays to have along on any camping trip.

We then coated the roof with a rubber-based roof sealant ("Kool Seal") to ensure against any possible new leaks.

Removing and Replacing Damaged Walls

We removed and discarded the original panels attached to the corner supports--thin styrofoam and luan—and replaced them with new 1/4" luan. Luan is a soft plywood made out of tropical deciduous trees. It can be stained or painted. Since it's thin it is great for bending into the curved shapes many RVs use for the interior ceilings and walls. It paints or stains great too.

You can use Liquid Nail or a similar adhesive liberally to connect luan to wood, and for other repairs on RVs and travel trailers.

As an alternative to luan, you can use thin sheets of paneling turned inside-out to display the wood-grain side. These sheets are occasionally offered at clearance prices at Home Depot or Lowe's building supply stores.

As you can tell from photos below, the new paneling did wonders for the badly damaged interior of the RV. We used 1” or 1 ¼” drywall screws to attach most of the paneling and hid the screws with molding strips.

In more visible places, we relied on finish nails and more Liquid Nail to ensure a tight, long-lasting seal between the luan and the wood supports.

A view of the new ceiling and rear wall during the restoration process.
A view of the new ceiling and rear wall during the restoration process.

Rebuilding the Bath and Kitchen

Replacing cabinets after rear wall and support braces were repaired.
Replacing cabinets after rear wall and support braces were repaired.
The sink and stove area before reinstalling the countertop.
The sink and stove area before reinstalling the countertop.

We checked the plumbing and electrical system in the sink/stove cabinet area and added a new 110-volt receptacle to replace the rusted unsafe outlet beneath the overhead cabinets.

We cleaned up the stove, sanded it, and painted it with high-temperature paint to resist the heat from the gas burners on the stove. We reattached the gas lines and sealed them properly during the reassembly.

New luan paneling was used above the shower surround in the small bathroom.  The new paneling will be finished with water resistant paint.
New luan paneling was used above the shower surround in the small bathroom. The new paneling will be finished with water resistant paint.

The small bathroom shower unit was fine, but we replaced the paneling above the surround with luan paneling, along with the ceiling and walls.

The paneling above the surround will be painted with a water-resistant paint, which should do fine for the occasional weekend trips planned for the small camping unit.

Reinforcing the Floor

Although the floor was not completely ruined, an extra layer of plywood was added to ensure a solid floor.
Although the floor was not completely ruined, an extra layer of plywood was added to ensure a solid floor.

We decided to add an extra 3/8” layer of plywood to the floor area for added strength, even though the floor was still in usable condition.

Often, a water-damaged floor will continue to deteriorate from foot traffic and will eventually give problems if not recovered or reinforced properly. If you have had serious water damage, you can completely replace the RV floor.

The Finished Product: A Little Beauty of an RV

Refurbished stove and kitchen area.  All plumbing and electrical lines reattached.
Refurbished stove and kitchen area. All plumbing and electrical lines reattached.
Renovated bath area, also ready for the paint finish.
Renovated bath area, also ready for the paint finish.
New plywood counter tops and wall paneling complete the renovation of the motorhome.
New plywood counter tops and wall paneling complete the renovation of the motorhome.

Through With This Guy! Road Ready at Last!

There’s nothing as satisfactory to a DIY guy than seeing the results of his own work. The roof and walls, along with the ceiling and bath repair, turned out great and should last for many years to come.

There are other small areas which need a little spit and polish, but this little camper is now ready for the road.

The owner decided to paint the interior himself and save a little more money, which was fine by us. He still came out smelling like a rose though he hired us to do the work for him. Besides, we hate to paint anyway.

The owner now has about $1400 in this neat little rig and could sell it for much more than he invested if he so chooses to do so.

Don't Be Afraid to Try It Yourself

The repair methods used in this article may be modified according to your own taste in design or the depth of your wallet. We chose the most economical materials while maintaining durability and safety as much as possible.

Don’t be afraid to take on one of these projects, as the labor is not too time-consuming nor the materials too expensive. Almost anything you do wrong can be repaired with no problems.

Good luck with your own project and thanks for reading my articles on RV repair.

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    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Julie, in this particular remodel we didn't have to remove the cabinets to redo the ceiling. Yours may be different.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Julie S. 

      3 weeks ago

      When u redone ur ceiling did u take out ur cabinets first? Im gone try and redo my 1978 Jayco J series ceiling myself. Thanx for telling and showing details on urs.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jean, you have the option of regular fiberglass insulation or you can use Styrofoam solid insulation, whichever is easiest for your application.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jeanathompson1957@gmail.com 

      3 weeks ago

      I picked up a 1988 jamboree for 825.00 with water damage. What insulation would you recomend?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      David, you may have to rig some sort of jacks to lift the roof, but other than this idea, I have no clue. Sorry!

      Randy

    • profile image

      David Beauregard 

      3 weeks ago

      Randy

      Just came across a 96 Dutchmen pop up

      It's been sitting 2 yrs and looks like the a c rotted roof in corner so bad that the lift support is no longer attached. And the roof is pin pretty bad shape back there

      There is also roof mount a c. Probably adding weight to this issue

      I can only crank so far before it looks like an accident waiting to happen

      How can I at least get this thing to raise up so I can see what I have inside?

      Any help would be appreciated

      Thx

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Larry, if you need some advice I'd be happy to help you.

      Randy

    • profile image

      LARRY BOYD 

      4 weeks ago

      ITS really nice I wish mine was done I hope its just half as nice as yours I am good at most things but not a good finisher

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Richard, I don't understand your question fully.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Richard 

      5 weeks ago

      How to fix overhead bunkbed that has a sprin 1986 Winnebago?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Ronald, you can find many different exterior materials online. You can use the Contact Author icon at the top of this or any other of my articles to email me pics and any questions you may have.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Ronald Emery 

      5 weeks ago

      Need help with the outside of my 63 Shasta + running the outlets and wires for the inside. For the age it's in pretty good shape. But I need help finding new skin for the outside maybe new ideas on remodeling the inside would like to have a shower in the closet toilet. Thanks!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      deedee, sorry I cannot help you there as I'm in southern Georgia.

      Randy

    • profile image

      deedee barr 

      6 weeks ago

      Randy,

      i have an 1971coachmen park model camper im looking for someone to come to my camp to refurbish it, do you know anyone in the Brookville pa area that does that kind of work.

      thank you Deedee

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Joann, I have absolutely no experience with this type of waste disposal. Sorry!

      Randy

    • profile image

      JOANN WATERS 

      2 months ago

      Hello Randy,

      My husband and I are restoring a 1972 Holiday Rambler travel trailer, 28'. It has a unique sanitation system that I'd like to reactivate.It has a Thermasan Incinerator that uses the heat of my truck engine to "burn off wastes". Therefore, dumping the black tank is not necessary. I called Thetford, the company who produced the system, but they're no help. I need a Thermasan Control Center Module to use the system. Does anyone have any idea as to where I may purchase one?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for reading, Gabriel!

    • profile image

      Gabriel Teran 

      2 months ago

      I like explaining well step by step thank you guys

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Rodney, sorry to be so late in responding but the spam filter caught your comment.

      I'll email you!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Tammy, I have no experience with either of these modifications, Sorry!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Tammy 

      2 months ago

      1997 5th wheel with slide out is it possible to cut off the slide out and it still be stable and also can the 5th wheel be removed and made into a bumper pull?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Joe, you'll have to look online at RV supply companies to find what you need. It depends on your plans for replacing the present material.

      Randy

    • profile image

      joekan 

      2 months ago

      Can you recommend a place to buy aluminum for the outside as well as for the outside roof?

      Thanks for all your help,

      Joe

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Joe, sounds like you have a good plan for the rebuild. Only you can decide how much of a "pain" the project is. I've been told the same thing before and thankfully, I didn't listen. :) Let me know if I can help you.

      Randy

    • profile image

      joekan 

      2 months ago

      Thanks Randy. I'm afraid that if I gut the whole thing out all at once then it would not be square, so what if I start with the ceiling and once it is tore out, then add my cross beams. That way the walls will stay straight and even. Then I can do the walls, add the studs, then once that is done work on the floor?

      Some people I have talked to about this say to walk away from it b/c its a pain. But I've seen this model that has been renovated and its a beautiful vintage trailer.

      Do you think my plan will work? Any more advice? Thanks!!

      Joe

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Joe, they were trying to save weight and money. Yes, you can add wall studs and rafters in the rebuild.

      Randy

    • profile image

      joekan 

      2 months ago

      Randy, Do you know why Winnebago made their ceilings (and walls) from Styrofoam and 1/8" plywood without using any cross beams in the ceiling? What is the best way to replace ceiling and walls? Should I add more beams and wall studs? I have a 1966 217 1/2 T. Thanks!

      Joe

    • profile image

      Rodney Nelson 

      3 months ago

      Hello Randy. I am show creator / producer interested in having as talent on my RV show. If interested please contact me Sirrjnelson@gmail.com . Any other RV restoration people viewing this please contact me as well! Thanks

      Kind regards

      Rodney Nelson

      https://www.linkedin.com/in/rodney-j-nelson-079787...

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Alyssa, you may be able to remove the framing around the window and not have to remove it. If not, it's probably held in place with screws and not difficult to remove.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Alyssa 

      4 months ago

      Hi-

      We are going to have to replace the luan walls in our bathroom or our 1990 Toyota Winnebago Warrior. Will we need to take the window out in order to do that? What is the process for removing if we need to do that? Thank you!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Elizabeth. I have a 59 Serro Scotty and mine uses luan for the ceiling. I had another Scotty and it used plastic panels with flower shped buttons to cover the screws. If yours has a similar ceiling material, you can find something at Lowe's or Home Depot. Look at Bath panels if you can't find anything in the ordinary paneling dept.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Elizabeth S 

      4 months ago

      Hi Randy, I have a 72 Serro Scotty that has water damage in the roof. Where can I buy this paneling to replace it?

    • profile image

      Nama13 

      4 months ago

      Yes, I've been reading about them but hadn't realized it could be ducted into the floor or roof....was just considering the window for both ducts. Have read where units will freeze up if both ducts are too close together so thought it might not work in the small bathroom. Maybe it will after all. Thanks again!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Nama, have you considered using a portable AC unit? They are reasonable priced and can be vented through a window or duct in the wall, roof, or floor. Just suggestion if you haven't looked into these type AC units.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Nama13 

      4 months ago

      Thank you for your suggestions. I do have a rooftop unit that probably isn't functioning at full capacity. My plan is either to repair or replace it, but that doesn't help the bathroom which has no opening for the cooled air to enter when the door is closed. The bathroom window slopes in at the top due to the trailer's shape. If I bring the bottom of the window unit more to the inside to make it straight up and down, it would hinder using the sink faucet, so it seems to me I need to extend the top of the a/c toward the outside & that is my delima...how to accomplish it and keep a watertight seal. Perhaps I should put a smaller rooftop in the bathroom...I'll check into it.

      It's a 33' trailer that our family uses 10 days during the hottest time of the year. We tend to pack as many in as we can so I'm sure we overload the cooling unit anyway.

      Thanks for helping me think this through!

      Nama13

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Nama, I have two small classic campers which use window AC units. I made a slanting platform to assure the units drain outside. There are units which don't require a drain as they disperse the moisture into the air like a newer rooftop AC.

      You can install a rooftop unit in your camper if you have a vent already installed in the roof. Just something to consider..

      Randy

    • profile image

      Nama13 

      4 months ago

      I need to put some type of a/c in the bathroom of my 76 Silver Streak. The window slants in at the top and thus a window unit drains onto the countertop. What are some fixes for this...perhaps a custom fabricated aluminum "boot" that would replace the window and provide a vertical opening? Or what do you think of the portable a/c units that sit outside?

      Thank you!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Travis, the size staples to use depends on the dimensions of the framing. Also on the type wood used in the repairs because of the hardness.

      The staples should be at least 3/4 the thickness of the wood to ensure a tight bond. A good construction adhesive is also recommended.

      Randy

    • Travis37876 profile image

      Travis Ashley 

      5 months ago from Eastern Tennessee

      Hello! I have a question about repairing/replacing wood framing on a travel trailer. I've been watching videos on Youtube on restoring vintage rv's, and two of them mention staples. One of the videos even showed that the frames crossbeams are actually put together by staples. My question is, what size staples should be used, and has anyone been able to find a good stapler to use for this task?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Good luck, Valetta! Let me know If can help. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Valetta 

      5 months ago

      I just got Dixie, a 1969 Shasta Stratoflyte, home today. She also has major water damage from a leaking roof and your article has given me hope! Unfortunately I don't have the money to do a all out restoration but all the original major appliances and fixtures are still intact and working. Renovation started this afternoon! Thanks for the article and wish me luck!!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Barb, it's a standard repair job requiring little experience if you have basic skills. Be sure and use a good silicone sealant.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Barb 

      5 months ago

      We have a 2004 Chateau that has water damage under the bedroom windows. It has caused the walls to bubble and the blind screws to come out. I am assuming it has come from windows that are not sealed correctly. Do we just take off the panels, replace any damaged studs and put new panels up? And of course rplace or reseal windows? Thanks!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Billy. I haven't run into this problem before, or this material. You may have to build some trusses out of metal or wood to replace these reinforced panels.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Billy 

      6 months ago

      I need to replace roof on rev. Roof has prefab panels,no trusses. I wanted to remove plywood and insulation and brace the sagging panel or repair a break with metal.When I started removing the plywood from the top and from inside on the ceiling I ran into styrofoam stuck to the panels.Any suggestions?

      Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I'll have to see if I can find a photo, Shelly.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Shelly 

      6 months ago

      can you show a close up of the type of molding you used along the seams of the corners and where you got it please.

      Thank you I sure enjoyed your article.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      DH, you can install a doggie door but will have to make some sort of hole in the screen door as well.

      Randy

    • profile image

      DH1644 

      7 months ago

      I am living in a 1990 Fleetwood Southwind RV. I have two dogs that have to wait usually ten hours for me to come home from work so they can potty. Is there a way to cut a doggy door in the entry door? It has an inner screen door plus the outer wood/metal (???) door. Is such a thing possible?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Mike, I'm out of the business of repairing campers so I can't help you with the skin. Search online is the best advice |I can give you on the window.

      Junkyards usually have old campers for parts so that's another place you may look. A glass and window company may be able to make you a new frame as well.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Michael 

      7 months ago

      Great hub! I need to know if I can find new skin for my 1969 JET Camper. I also need to repair a window frame, but cannot find aluminum frame material.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Lana, it depends on the damage you find when you tear out the wall area whether you have to remove the cabinets.

      The area between the walls will determine what sort of insulation to use in the replacement process. Fiberglass is usually the easiest to install.

    • profile image

      Lana 

      7 months ago

      I have a 1995 chateau sport with water damage to the passenger side bedroom wall. I want to replace it in the spring being I am living in it 24/7 in western NY and it is a bit cold right now to rip it out. Should I take the cabinets out around my bed as well? Also what would be the best insulation to use being it gets quit chilly in there. Not sure if I will be stationary for a few years or hitting the road. Thank you for your help

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Betty, if the roof is sound, as well as the floor, then everything else can be repaired at a minimum of labor and cost.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Betty 

      7 months ago

      I have a 96 terry travel trailer i would like to remodel.Can you tell me what to look for to make sure it is worth it? I bought it off the original owners and it was stationary the whole time.They took very good care of it.I see one sign of a leak in the front right hand corner but nothing else.they sealed the roof often.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Unholyoke, it doesn't cost much to insulate the walls and it does indeed help.

      Randy

    • Unholyoke profile image

      Unholyoke 

      8 months ago

      Hi!

      Gutting and restoring a 69 Shasta. Question: is it worth it to insulate or are the windows so drafty that it's going to be cold no matter what. My gut tells me to insulate since I'm replacing the walls - but looking for expert advice.

      Thanks,

      Mary

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Rich, perhaps some fiberglass may work for you.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Richprior 

      8 months ago

      I have an old Aeorlite motorhome that I am working on , in fabulous mechanical condition but has delamination on the side wall(drivers side) I have repaired with epoxy but need a new trim piece that I am thinking of thru bolting through the wall, old one was just screwed on into typical laminated laun/foam/glass walls, bolts would be in cupboard and bathroom so could put on inside trim to cover , Any ideas what i could use instead of the 3/4" alum half round oval that was original to give it some strength?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Tiffany, if you're not going to move the RV you can use metal sheeting for a more permanent roof. In fact, Id recommend it. Good luck on your repairs.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Tiffany 

      8 months ago

      Trying to completely gut and remodel my 1980 cruise air Rv into a home while living in it. But the situation is the roof is badly water damaged how should I handle repairing it? Should I repair it in sections or have it ripped off and replaced same day? Also would like to replace the current roof with metal sheeting. Would metal sheeting be a bad idea.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Jess, using a good sealant is always a good idea, but unless you want a clear finish any sealant will do.

      Also, any extra insulation or vapor barrier will only enhance the longevity of the repairs.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jess 

      9 months ago

      Hi, just finishing framing and ready to install a wall. Would like to seal it first. Have seen Thompson's deck seal used on the plywood and framing material. Is this best practice? Also, have seen aluminum house wrapping used to insulate and create a water barrier. Is this recommended?

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      9 months ago

      Randy, I will hang a CO detector, not to worry.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Jlol, feel free to ask me if you run into any problems with the repairs. :)Thanks for reading!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jlol 

      9 months ago

      Just got an RV for a steal at 200. It has some pretty extensive water damage, so I'm looking to repair it and use it next season. I have zero experience, and I'm sure it will be overwhelming, but I can't wait. I'm picking it up Monday (it's not drive-able yet). I appreciate your page :)

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Abel, check with a used building material company for a 100 amp breaker box with 4 or more breakers. You should be able to use it instead of an RV breaker panel.

      I dislike any kind of unvented gas heater, especially when the campsite electricity costs nothing extra.

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      9 months ago

      Randy, Electric heater (YEP). Kinda obvious I got (2) 20 amp breakers on a 30 amp shore. For now I just gotta deal with it. That said some time ago I bought a "Lil Buddy" portable LPG heater and the adapters to refill the 1LB bottles.

      Keeping fingers crossed the Generac (Impact 36 plus II) will fire on starting fluid spray.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Look at Home Depot or Lowes, Abel. You really need at least four circuits if you upgrade the system, especially if you're going to use a microwave or electric heater

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      9 months ago

      Randy, I have to make this one work for now ($). Yes 20 amp.

      http://howdoinet.com/itasca440.jpg

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Abel, do you only have two 20 amp 110 volt breakers for the whole system? You might consider getting a bigger breaker box. Meaning one with more individual breakers.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      9 months ago

      Randy,

      I am trying to figure out how to throw pics easily. 30 amp

      http://howdoinet.com/win/prgscon1.JPG

      http://howdoinet.com/win/prgscon2.JPG

      http://howdoinet.com/win/prgscon3.JPG

      I think the "pigtail" is actually the line to the GFCI in the bath. I was trying to re-assemble the fixture and it broke so now I am left to my own devices to upgrade to 2017.

      ... more pics coming

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Abel, what amp shore power does the camper use, 30 or 50 amps? Is that the pigtail end at the top? And does the other wire go to the distribution panel?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      9 months ago

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      Great let me get some pics!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I've also converted a few cabinets to fit a microwave, Abel. Especially the older models and I'll be glad to help.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      Hey Randy,

      I've been trying to find anything, schematics to brochures. Found brochures on ebay, not much else. Ripped into an overhead cabinet bottom to find a 120vac to outlets. They only gain was I disconnect the 120vac input to the converter. placed a wall plug on it and tested. There was no open ground, I guess next is the genny and inverter. Most prominent suspect is the automatic transfer switch.

      So I will be back at you for help on rebuilding that cabinet bottom. I am considering converting the cabinet to house a mircrowave,

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Tonya, there's usually a metal plate affixed to the camper somewhere. Usually near the main door. If there's not one, then your guess is as good as mine. Sorry! :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Tonya kay 

      10 months ago

      Just wondering, how can I find the make/ model or vin # on an old camper that I bought?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Abel, sometimes researching the problem is the most difficult part of the process. I'm continually getting questions from those who have RV problems I've never encountered. When you think you've seen everything.....

      Randy

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      Hey Randy,

      Well I am over on another forum, looking for another Winnie like mine. No Joy. Had to order a new battery terminal clamp it was military specs. Still haven't found the open neutral but the genny has a breaker that "Off" so I will rule that out next. I am spending so much time online researching hadnt got much done.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Don't know about the "compressor" switch unless it has to do with the air levelers, Abel.

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      Randy, yep I found that ground, got pics will post when I can, finding stuff that works, (a switch that says Compressor)???

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Abel, if you can't find a schematic online then you're outta luck. Be sure to check the battery ground where it attaches to the steel frame as it's prone to corrode badly and cause all sorts of weird problems.

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      Hi Randy, you got a clue where I would look for an electrical schematic. When working on the batteries the skin gave me a little tingle. I had 30a service connect, so I stopped immediately and unplugged. I was running a fan inside. I got a tester out and found an open neutral. I checked my supply I installed. I was lucky I caught it. Batteries* WAY UGLY!

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      Renee, give us an idea what it is you're working on.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      How may I assist you, Renee?

      Randy

    • profile image

      renee 

      10 months ago

      needing to replace interior

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      That works, Abel. My father-in-law has a similar--but a bit longer--RV I've worked on over the years. Let me know what you're working on first and I'll be glad to advise you.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      Let me try it this way,

      http://howdoinet.com/itasca440a.jpg

      I got to find some time to read, dealing with the BIG "C". Thats why I bought this as an option for traveling to treatments. So I guess we start with water leaks. I post general pics of outside first.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Abel, if you use the "Contact Author" link at the top of any of my articles, this will send me an email and I'll send you personal email which will enable you to send me pics of the project.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      Hello Randy,

      Decided I would tackle the forum learning curve later. Here comes the 411 on the class A. Dodge 3500 dually, 440 edelbrock performance low rise/ with a carter carb. Mileage 36,000.

      So this chassis is the upside, biggest issue;

      Generac impact 36 genny

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      Ok, will look for you in the forums, if I can find them.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Abel, you can post pictures on the forums, but not on the articles. You can send the pics to me via my Contact Author link on all of my articles.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      I take it forum members cannot post pictures?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Abel, feel free to ask me about anything to do with your new acquisition. Check out my other RV repair articles as there's some dealing with the electrical systems as well as plumbing and AC systems.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Abel Postman 

      10 months ago

      Randy, well ended up in a 1978 itasca sun cruiser. Floor is wrecked, roof and ceiling aren't perfect but usable. It has only made 2 trips in 10 years once to the sellers house, and 1 to mine. Owner was in the hospital so a friend was the "broker" So this might be working and that maybe working. LOL but no guarantees. But HEY! it had a "REAL" clean title. I started with the genny once I got it home, it has 2 solar panels. I want to get an idea of the electrical. After all is said and done I maybe bugging you a lot. The genny is a Generac Impact 36 Plus. ever heard of it?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Danny, what sort of material are the brackets attached to? Fiberglass, aluminum reinforced Styrofoam, or some other material?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Danny 

      10 months ago

      Hea Randy, Bottom Brackets connected to the awning arms are pulling out. I tried toggle bolts but they wouldn't spring out. How would you repair?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      11 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Abel, I'm not sure if I can help you figure the model, but the basic restoration should be simply if somewhat laborious.

      Randy

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