All-Terrain VehiclesAuto Buying & SellingAuto RepairAutomotive IndustryCampers & MotorhomesCarsCommercial VehiclesMotorcycles & ScootersSafe DrivingTrucks, SUVs, & Vans

How To Repair, Remodel, and Restore an Old Camper or RV Interior

Updated on February 10, 2017
Randy Godwin profile image

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

Source

Older RV's-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 type campers for sale which merely need a little fixing up and modernizing to make them comfortable and safe for our families to enjoy.

The following RV repair article describes the renovation of an 86 Nissan mounted camper body which had only been used for a couple of camping trips. The engine and interior of the truck itself was in great shape as it only had 38,000 miles on the odometer. The camper body itself, however, was in very bad condition due to a bad roof leak which caused much deterioration to the interior.

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. Since the RV was only $400, it was well worth repairing.

86 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.
Wood corner supports are deteriorated on the rear of the camper.  This is directly behind the stove and sink area.
Wood corner supports are deteriorated on the rear of the camper. This is directly behind the stove and sink area.

Getting A Materials List Together

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

This is easier than one might think as, unlike remodeling a home, the materials needed are usually in small amounts.

This goes for wood paneling screws, nails, glue, or just about anything else required in most RV interior repair jobs. For plumbing or RV electrical repairs, the same goes for them too. Many older RVs may be updated by using the newer flex plumbing to replace old copper or PVC water lines.

A new breaker box is also suggested for the very old travel trailers as microwave ovens, and other new appliances, may require more amps than the old RV electrical breaker panels were designed for.

RV refrigerators may be replaced by new efficient 110 volt models for a great savings if the old 3-way evaporation fridge is too far gone. Think ahead and be prepared. This will save you time and money if you properly plan your material list beforehand.

Interior Water Damage In Small RV

Damaged ceiling caused by leaking roof.  The entire ceiling needs recovering and bracing up.
Damaged ceiling caused by leaking roof. The entire ceiling needs recovering and bracing up.
The walls and counter tops also would need recovering or replacing in the little motorhome.
The walls and counter tops also would need recovering or replacing in the little motorhome.
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.

Removing The Deteriorated Material

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.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.

We decided to add 4 pieces of angle iron as rafters to add strength to the 4x¾” boards we replaced in the ceiling. This added support would keep the AC unit from bouncing and recreating the roof leaks.

We also removed the stove and sink from the cabinet, as well as the cabinet itself. The floor would be replaced by new plywood and we needed to get to the rotten corner wood supports behind the cabinet.

The same was done in the bath next to the stove as it needed new corner wood replaced also. 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.

Removing and Replacing Damaged RV Interior

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.
Replacing cabinets after rear wall and support braces were repaired.
Replacing cabinets after rear wall and support braces were repaired.
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.

Removing and Replacing Damaged RV Walls and Ceilings

With the AC and stove/sink cabinet removed, we started out by replacing the wooden corner braces which the luan/Styrofoam panels were attached for strength and stability.

The thin paneling was discarded and replaced with new ¼” luan which may be stained or painted. The liberal use of Liquid Nail, or a similar adhesive, is highly recommended for use while repairing these RV’s and travel trailers.

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

This thin plywood is great for bending into the correct shape which many RVs use for the interior ceilings and walls. It paints or stains great too.

Often thin sheets of paneling may be turned backwards to the wood side to substitute for luan and are occasionally offered at clearance prices at Home Depot or Lowe's building supply stores.

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

Often, a water damaged floor will continue to deteriorate if it suddenly gets traffic on the surface and will eventually give problems if not recovered or reinforced properly.

A Plan Comes Together: Don't You Love It?

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.
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.
The sink and stove area before reinstalling the counter top.
The sink and stove area before reinstalling the counter top.

Bath and Kitchen Area RV Repairs

The small bathroom shower unit was fine, but the paneling above the surround was replaced with luan paneling as was 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.

As you can tell, the new paneling does 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 other more obvious places, we relied on finish nails and more Liquid Nail to ensure a tight long lasting seal between the luan and the wood supports.

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.

Adding extra receptacles in the kitchen area is always a good idea during renovations. It's better to have too many than having to run extension cords across the limited floor space in most RVs.

The stove was cleaned up, sanded, and painted with high temperature paint to resist the heat from the gas burners on the stove. The gas lines were reattached and sealed properly during the reassembly.

The Finished Product : A Little Beauty of an RV

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.
renovated bath area, also ready for the paint finish.
renovated bath area, also ready for the paint finish.
Refurbished stove and kitchen area.  All Plumbing and electrical lines reattached.
Refurbished stove and kitchen area. All Plumbing and electrical lines reattached.
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 even hiring 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.

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. A wonderful permanent or emergency repair roofing product which pays to have along on any camping trip.

The roof was then coated with a rubber based rood sealant to ensure against any possible new leaks.

The examples of repair methods used in this article may be varied according to your own taste in design or in 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 expensive. Almost anything you do wrong can be repaired with no problems.

Good luck with your own project and thanks for stopping by my RV repair hubs.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Teddletonmr profile image

      Mike Teddleton 5 years ago from Midwest USA

      Randy, great hub on repairing and remodel old camper trailer motor home and RV interior. Sounds like a great way to refurbish the old camper, save money, and have a good time remodeling a classic motor home or RV.

      Thanks for the tips, enjoy your next camping or hunting trip. Mike

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for checking out my latest RV hub, Mike! Yes, it is quite enjoyable to rebuild one of the old classic Airstreams or motorhomes and to use them on camping trips.

      I appreciate your time,

      Randy

    • Teddletonmr profile image

      Mike Teddleton 5 years ago from Midwest USA

      I enjoy reading your useful information filled hubs.

      Enjoy your next camping trip. Mike

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks again, Mike! It's almost time to hit the road for this camping season!

      Randy

    • profile image

      violalanders 5 years ago

      This hub is very useful. Thanks!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for your time, Viola! And for the nice comments too!

      Randy

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Randy, what a great job you did on what looked to be a unsalvagable. It just goes to show you some people can work miracles. Rated up.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @KoffeeKlatch Gals--Ha! This one was a piece of cake compared to some I have remodeled. It is fun to give the old camping trailers and motorhomes a new lease on life and to save money in the process.

      Thanks for the vote of confidence and the nice comments!

      Randy

    • rickahyatt profile image

      rickahyatt 5 years ago from Saratoga, WY

      VERY enlightening article, and well done!

      I have an old Travois camper that used fiberboard as ceiling and walls, and has substantial water damage. Plus, I'd like to lighten the load as much as possible: I think there's a steel frame structure, at the jack hoist points, at least. From what I read, there must be 2x2's that form the frame, and the fiberboard attached to that. So, can I take down the fb and replace it with styrofoam, anybody? Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Rick!

      Thanks for stopping by and for your questions. I too have a smaller old camper trailer which used fiberboard for the ceiling but not the walls.

      We usually replace it with Luan paneling which is lighter than fiberboard and also stains or paints great. It bends easily for those curved ceilings and is very inexpensive too!

      There is a styrofoam backed Luan paneling, but it might not be as easy to apply if the walls are studded with 2x2's. But you can easily add extra insulation if you intend to remove the wall and/or ceiling fiberboard panels.

      Please let me know what you decided to use in your remodeling, it will help others with their own "classic campers"!

      Thanks for reading and for the questions!

      Randy

    • rickahyatt profile image

      rickahyatt 5 years ago from Saratoga, WY

      Thanks, Randy, for your swift reply.

      We are undergoing a "Rocky Mountain High" cold snap, and it's snowing now that it's spring here in Wyoming, so I'll have to wait to dig into it. But any other suggestions on lightening my load would certainly help. I've even considered cutting the front of the overcab off and angling it so as to provide better wind aerodynamics. Some of the other postings on your site help and are very interesting. Is my guess correct, that in that age, only fiberboard was available as insulation and/or structural strength? Slowly, but surely, as it warms up, I shall have rebuilt this camper for camping season - And then it will snow.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Rick, it was a favored material because of its toughness, flexibility, and of course, low cost. But it is rather heavy for its strength, so replacing it with other modern materials should help a bit with the weight problem.

      Sorry about your weather there, it was in the upper 90's here in southern Georgia today! Too bad we cannot trade a little of our air temp! LOL!

      Good luck and keep me posted on your project! And maybe you'll get to try your camper out at least once before winter returns!

      Thanks again!

      Randy

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

      Great job, Randy - and what a great subject!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Rickahyatt-Sure thing, Rick! I'll trade you a jar of clean, humid country air. I also fish and hunt as much as possible as we own a farm with 5 lakes and plenty of woodland and swamps. Plenty of trophy bucks, turkey, and other animals to enjoy watching.

      Thanks for your input and the mason jar! LOL!

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks AK! I really appreciate your taking the time to read and comment on my hub, as always!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Roger 5 years ago

      Hi Randy (again)

      Your plumbling tip worked out great for me. Thank you.

      My 1988 class c has a soft spot on the overhang. The front paneling is showing sign of dry rot, which I assume is most likley worse behind the paneling. The ceiling is also soft in this area. Standing on the outside of the RV the bottom portion of the overhang also seems soft.

      I read many of the questions/answers regarding repairs, which you make sound farily easy. My question is would the siding on the outside need to be removed to rebuild the overhang? Or can all the wood repalcment be done from the inside?

      Thanks again,

      Roger

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Roger! I'm so glad you solved your plumbing problem. I am always happy when I can help an RV owner do their own repairs which saves time an money in most cases.

      It is usually easier to replace the paneling from the inside, Roger. It does depend on the particular construction material and method of attaching the paneling to the walls.

      Since I am unfamiliar with your particular RV, I cannot say what sort of framing or support is used in your model.

      But whatever is used, it should not be a difficult job to strengthen and repair these damaged areas. Unless you are able to see what is underneath the paneling by looking in an nonpaneled area, such as underneath the cabinets, inside a closet, or in a storage area, etc. you must remove the old paneling to discover the method used.

      Feel free to ask for more detailed info when you find out the construction method used on your RV.

      Thanks for your time and for considering my RV repair articles again.

      Randy

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 5 years ago

      What a thoughtful write up. Sometimes it feels more rewarding to fix something up and make it your own. This was a thorough hub. Great job and thank you!!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Rorshak! It does make a difference when you add those personal touches when remodeling these wonderful classic RVs.

      I appreciate you taking the time to peruse my hub, and also, welcome to HubPages!

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Great hub,Thanks for the post

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      And thanks for your time, Htodd!

      Randy

    • profile image

      deanber 5 years ago

      Randy, Great Article but I would like to have seen some pictures of the roof structure when you got inside it. I have a 1973 Diamond Class C on a Dodge chassis. I got it about 3 years ago and it appeared to have had a leak next to the front roof vent. this spring it has taken a hit with part of the ceiling coming down and what appears to be a deteriorated spot in each corner of the front bunk. The roof appears to be tin and the only penetration appears to have been a nail driven up through the roof. There obviously has been more than that as I will probably find out. After reading your article I am not nearly as fearful of tearing into it. How is the roof structure typically tied into the side walls and what is the likelyhood of cementing a rubber covering over the roof?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Dean! Actually, the roof consisted of Styrofoam sheets with 2" X 2" wood rafters for support. We added a few pieces of angle iron over the replacement rafters for added strength.

      The roof, in this case, was tied to the vertical wooden studs which were also interspersed between more thick sheets of Styrofoam making up the walls.

      Often the leaks are found along the edges of the metal roof where screws are used to attach the metal sheeting to the walls.

      I foresee no problems with using a rubber roof over the present metal covering on your RV. I'm glad you have gained a little confidence in doing the repair work yourself. There is very little chance of making mistakes which cannot be rectified in this sort of project.

      Thanks for the questions and please let me know how your repairs turn out.

      Randy Godwin

    • scott33thomas profile image

      Manuel Porras 5 years ago from Germany, Colombia, USA, Panama, Mexico, Spain

      I think a good hub because many people have this type of vehicle and not know what to do when need it repair

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for your time and comments, Scott. Welcome to HubPages too!

      Randy

    • Pam Pounds profile image

      Pam Pounds 5 years ago from So Cal Girl in the Midwest!

      What a great makeover to this poor RV! I have a friend who just purchased a used sailboat that needs a little TLC. Some of the ideas in your hub are transferable to boats.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      You are right, Pam. Most modern materials are used in both applications. One must merely be confident in one's ability to repair these simply constructed items.

      Thanks for the input and for your time.

      Randy

    • profile image

      deanber 5 years ago

      Randy,

      I started removing the ceiling panels on my 73, what a pain, nails and screws with stripped phillips heads in delaminating plywood. I am not in a demo mood so going slowly. I am digesting your 2x2 structure but I am seeing only 1-1/2" with plywood included. So it should be interesting when I get inside to actually see something in the open.

      Dean

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Well Dean, there were so many different types of construction methods used in these old campers that you never know what you will find until you tear into one.

      I usually make the repairs stronger than originally designed because, unlike the original builders, I don't have to go cheap on materials. Don't feel as if you have to replace the bad spots exactly like they were.

      I sometimes add extra rafters in the roof for added strength. Check back and let me know how things are going!

      Randy

    • Jennie Demario profile image

      Venture Boyz 5 years ago from Floating in the clouds

      This is rad. I wish I was able to do this. How cool would it be to travel across the country in a camper. Maybe if I start working on one now, gas prices will be down by the time I finish! he he

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Jennie, it is sorta fun to do too. You should see the the one I remodeled for myself. Of course, my wife enjoyed decorating it too. Like a little girl with a dollhouse! LOL!

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving the nice comments.

      Randy

    • profile image

      LesBerg 5 years ago

      I'm om the process of decontaminating a 20' (or so) Aristocrat Landliner. It took snow damage to the roof sitting out in the weather in northern Idaho. One of the roof trusses snapped close to the outer end and it sagged pretty bad. Unfortunately, this was one of the trusses at a roof vent, so all the water pooling on the front half of the roof for the last eight years has poured into the trailer.

      The ceiling had delaminated like the one in your article, but it drooped all the way to the floor. The floor on the entire front half of the trailer is soft - some spots only hold weight because of the vinyl flooring.

      I'm looking to repair the roof, floor, and all the interior wall paneling because of the extensive damage, but I cannot find replacement roof trusses - these are shaped unfinished 2x2 (meaning they measure a full 2x2, not 1.5x1.5). The trusses are tapered to the ends where they are just over 1" thick.

      As a long time mechanic and fabricator, I'd considered adding angle iron to the trusses for strength, but over half of them have permanently sagged nearly three inches at the center.

      I'm currently mulling two possibilities:

      1. fabricate steel trusses out of angle and strap steel (angle for the flat bottom and strap for the curved top)

      2. fabricate new wood trusses and reinforce with angle iron.

      What are your thoughts about materials, alternatives, etc?

      Thanks

      Les

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Les, it seems you have quite a project in front of you, but you know what you wish to achieve and that's a good start.

      You may consider using aluminum angled like the typical angle iron to keep the weight down somewhat, but replacing the original wooden trusses should be fine. I do like to use reinforced trusses on either side of the A/C unit as this is the roof area most likely to sag under normal conditions.

      Using only metal trusses makes attaching the ceiling material difficult without also adding some wood lath to nail or screw the ceiling material to.

      Both of your possibilities listed should work well so it remains for you to make the decision.

      Any other questions you have may be asked here if you need more info. Thanks for the query and for your thoughts on the repair aspects of your RV.

      Randy

    • profile image

      LesBerg 5 years ago

      Thanks Randy,

      My thought with the metal-reinforced wood trusses was to use an automotive structrual adhesive to attach the wood to the metal. Thses adhesives are designed for installing/repairing collision-damaged sheetmetal. To give an idea of the bond strength, a typical robotic spot weld has a shear strength of about 750 psi, while the adhesive is good for about 21,000 psi.

      the current trusses are installed on 14" centers. If I were to make metal-reinforced wood trusses and replace them all, would covering the roof with plywood under the sheetmetal make it strong enough to walk on, or would I need to reinforce the walls as well.

      Bear in mind that the wall paneling in the front half is all water damaged, so I'm planning to redo all the paneling on the exterior walls as well. It wouldn't take much extra work to reinforce the wall studs while I have the them exposed.

      Thanks again,

      Les

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sounds like a really good type of adhesive, Les. I'll remember this when doing future repair jobs. As far as the plywood reinforced roof is concerned, it would depend on the thickness of plywood used whether the roof would support being walked on.

      I think the walls would support the roof fine. Sounds like you are doing a great job ensuring the strength and durability of your repairs. Let me know how it turns out and the progress you make.

      Thanks, as always, for stopping in.

      Randy

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Outstanding article, Sir - I hope to never need to reference it though!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks, WTS. I try to create articles which help RV owners save a few bucks and enjoy their camping experiences. I'm always pleased when people reply that my advice solved their problems.

      I hope you never need this article too! LOL!

      Randy

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 5 years ago from South Wales

      Tremendous job you've done here Randy. You're a man like me, just can't stop working and after all it's not work when you love to do it. Voted up and following.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      So true, Scarytaff. I answer lots of questions everyday from RVers who have problems they need help with. I'm always pleased when they tell me I've been of assistance in solving their problems.

      I end up enjoying writing the articles and helping others as well. Not to mention, the money is great too.

      Thanks for the comments and I am following you too!

      Randy

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      This was a wonderfully informative hub. My uncle rebuilt an aunts RV after a small fire in it. The wind blew some paper towel hanging above the stove into the burner. They moved the paper towel holder after that. (Why was it put there by the manufacturors?) I helped him a little with that as he needed some help holding the paneling up. They put walnut paneling on the walls and it looked so pretty when it was stained.

      I also bought an old Winnebago Class A that was in pretty rough shape. Used hard, not water damage. I did put the rubberized seal on the roof just because it was old. I lightly sanded the paneling and restained it. It brought it back to its former good looks. I made new cushions for the seats and changed the fiberboard used in the expandable bed for some good plywood. Also put veneer on the cabinets to freshen them up. Replaced the plumbing pipes with the flexible, they were in the way and the flexible could be moved out of the way so more could fit in the cupboards. I also removed a cupboard door and installed a small microwave to get it out of the way. It looked like a show trailer when we got done and provided many more years of service.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It woulde be tempting to find an RV and fix it. Something to look into.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @bigtrailers- Sorry I haven't responded to your comments till now, but somehow I wasn't notified when you posted here for some reason.

      Yes you're right, BT. sometimes work can be extremely enjoyable. Thanks so much for stopping by this hub.

      SSSSS

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Becky Katz--Wow Becky! You must be a "Jill of all trades" with your experience rebuilding RVs. I have a couple of small travel trailers I love which I've completely remodeled to today's modern specs.

      One a 1959 Serro Scotty Sportsman--you remember the little ham can shaped campers of long ago, and the other one being a larger 1969 Phoenix which we use every few weeks or so.

      It's amazing how you can take an older camper and rebuild it to your own idea of what a camper should be. Not to mention the huge amount of money one can save doing so.

      Thanks for telling me about your own camper remodeling experiences as others will surely be encouraged to the same.

      SSSSS

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @dahoglund--It is tempting, dahoglund! Irecently meta fellow who had rescued a 1946 Spartan 25' trailer from the woods and had completely rebuilt it. The design for it was from a B24 bomber fuselage made by the same Spartan aircraft Mfg. company. A wonderfully shiny RV it turned out to be too!

      Thanks for reading and your time!

      Randy

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Randy, I just like to refinish antique furniture and a lot of the techniques used in that will work in fixing RVs. I also sew and worked for a while in an upholstery shop sewing the cushions. Works for cushions in an RV. The worst part was the plumbing which I learned to do off the internet.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Becky, it just goes to show you a person can do many things if they try. I've always been able to do whatever I wanted to if I just put my mind to it, but this writing business is a bit different! Five years ago I would never have dreamed I would have even tried my hand at it.

      Thanks for commenting as always!

      SSSSS

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Randy, I chose this hub because in a year from now I am planning on purchasing some kind of motor home or travel trailer. I am beginning a new job after retiring from my old one. I'll be traveling around the country working for 13 week stints at hospital laboratories. I'd like to use a travel trailer for the warmer climates. I think I would have more of a sense of home if I did that instead of getting a different apartment every three months. I am thinking a fifth wheel or other type of trailer would be best as I would need a vehicle while staying in each location. It would be nice to get a trailer that needed some repairs because I might be able to get a good deal. Thanks for all the information. Good hub.

      Chris

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Chris, if you've never camper of any kind you'd be amazed at how comfortable they are when you get accustomed to them. No matter which direction they are facing or what location they are in one feels at home. You just can't get that homey feeling in a motel room or apartment.

      You can indeed get a good price on an RV which needs a little TLC and if you are good with your hands you can save a bundle on restoration.

      Thanks for stopping by and for the comments too. Please feel free to ask for any advice on RV repairs if you need it.

      Randy

    • profile image

      adam 4 years ago

      Randy, who is the manufacturer of the nissan nicky? I bought one for $1500 and am trying to get a real value out of it. I immagine it would be on the low side right now because the cabover will need to be rebuilt. My concern is that i will invest too much to get any return. Not that i plan to sell, but what should my investment be? I figure i can do $2k - $3k in materials and be above water. If my wiggle room permits i will do an entire overhaul if not then i will make needed repairs to be campable.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Adam. I really don't know who manufactured the "Nicky" but this one was sold for $3000 after repairs were made. Even though the truck and engine only had around 15,000 miles on the odometer it still didn't bring much profit to the owner after repairs.

      The material and labor costs on this one was around $1500 if I remember correctly but doing your own labor will save you a bundle. I hope this helps answer your question.

      Thanks for the query and for reading this article. Please ask if you have any more concerns.

      Randy

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Hi Randy, I stopped in here three weeks ago and told you about my future plans. You can go back to that post if you want a refresher. I've been looking online at old travel trailers. Not that I'm quite ready to buy, but just educating myself. How old is too old for a fixer upper. I see some 1960s and 70s Airstreams. I want to get into something around 27 feet. I suppose all the wheel bearings would need some attention at that age. But if I got an old Airstream, it looks like I would have to get a bumper hitch instead of fifth wheel. I'll buy whatever I need to to pull it. I guess my questions are these. How old is too old. What do I watch out for in one that old? Is there a brand you wouldn't buy no matter what? I have also browsed through some new models and some very recent models by Lance. What do you think of those trailers? For a 27 foot, don't know right off hand the dry weight, would a 3/4 ton Ram diesel be adequate? I'm thinking a 2500. I'd like to get the trailer in the late winter or early spring and pay a friend to do the work. I will be traveling with work and won't have the time let alone expertise. I can work okay with tools and things, but I want it done really well. there, that's all. Thanks for letting me pick your brain.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, Chris! You can't go wrong with an old Airstream if it has been taken care of properly, although looks can be deceiving unless you know what to look for.

      Perhaps the most expensive fix for these campers is a bad floor if the exterior seems solid. Be sure to look underneath the trailer as some of them have been used or stored in the salt air along the coast and the steel frame where the bottom aluminum cover is attached can become thin as the steel can react to the aluminum.

      I would hesitate to specify other makes of camper trailers without personally examining them beforehand. I 've written a hub about what to look for when buying a used camper so here's the link:

      https://axleaddict.com/rvs/How-To-Inspect-An-Rv-Be...

      Feel free to ask if you find a prospect and I'll be glad to assist you any way I can. Thanks for the question and your time.

      Randy

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Thanks Randy, you are a good man and a great resource.

      Chris

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Pleased to be of assistance, Chris! Stop by any time.:)

      SSSSS

    • profile image

      mike989 3 years ago

      I have a 73 mini Winnie. I started out thinking I was going to replace some ceiling panels and some wall. I noticed the wood around the edges was just gone and kept taking more and more apart till I had the whole thing gutted. I was gettin almost sick with fear that I woulnt be able to fix it at all but I was able to leave the blue foam on the walls and strip the panels. This is our first rv and your roof repair was similar to my idea accept for the angle steel. And I was goin to put 1x4s on 24in centers liquid nailed between two masonite panel with insulation inbetween. Does that sound like it would be strong to you?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Mike, I believe the 1x4s should be strong enough especially with plenty of liquid nail to strengthen it. Good luck with your repairs and please ask if you need more advice. Thanks for reading !

      Randy

    • profile image

      Theresas1strv 3 years ago

      I Bought my first class c motorhome. Remodeled the whole inside and now doing the outside. it's a 1981 gmc. Was in great condition just outdated. No leaks or damage. The hardest job to me was getting the old carpeting out. Trying to cut it out close to all the cabinets etc. was crazy. I guess it was installed before anything. I did not remove the cabinets they just needed a facelift. My question is can I change the air vent in the bathroom and replace it with a sun vent? Can it cause a leak. I don't want to open a can of worms after so much hard work. Thanks Theresa

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Congrats on the remodeling job on your motorhome, Theresa. I can foresee no problems with changing the bath vent if you seal it properly and use the correct size for the opening. Thanks for the question and your time.

      --RG

    • profile image

      Theresas1strv 3 years ago

      Thank you Randy. What would to use to seal it? Where is a good to place to buy a sun light for motorhomes at a good price? I am new to motorhomes and don't know many places. Thank you Theresa

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      There are multiple products for sealing vents and skylights, Theresa. Just Google RV accessories and I'm sure you'll find a multitude of parts.

    • Carl8033 profile image

      Alexander Okelo 3 years ago

      Great hub, I have an uncle who owns an old camper trailer and he was planing on literally throwing it away since he believes that it would be too expensive to repair and restore it. I would definitely recommend this hub to him. Great hub once again.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Carl! Always pleased when someone recommends one of my RV repair hubs. :)

    • Carl8033 profile image

      Alexander Okelo 3 years ago

      Your welcome Randy.

    • AlienTaylor profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      Hi Randy . I just purchased what I think is a 82 Holiday Rambler alumi frame . for $400. There are no identifying plates left on it. The am radio i tore out has a manufacturer date of 1982. I do have some pics . I am about to totally gut it and start over . I'm gonna need you .

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Alien Taylor. Bring it on, AT! :) I'll be glad to advise you as much as I can. Rebuild it as you want it to be while you're at it. You got it for a good price to begin with.

      --RG

    • AlienTaylor profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      Can I send you some pics? Maybe you can figure out the make and model for me, and We can let the fun begin . P.S. This is my first rv and I bit off a huge bite .

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sure AT, go to my profile and click "fan mail." You will find where to send me an email at the top in blue letters. You can't tear up much that can't be fixed. lol!

    • AlienTaylor profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      I've been an Electrician for 15 years, so I know my way around a tool box. I'm doing 100% of this project . Check your inbox buddy!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      More years ago than I care to admit my then husband and I refurbished a tiny rv...it was done on a very limited budget but it got the job done. This is such a helpful article....many will find it a guide to transforming their rv's. Thanks for sharing.

      Angels are on the way ps

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Will do, AT!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for the input, Patricia. My first RV project was a 1959 Serro Scotty which I still own. Shaped like a canned ham and we loved to take weekend trips in it.

      I have helped many RVers repair and remodel older campers and I'm proud to do so. Thanks for your time! :)

      --RG

    • AlienTaylor profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      I finally found the link for email to you . give me your honest opinion . Scrap pile or worth fixing?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Got your email, AT. Send me the photos and I'll have a look-see.

    • AlienTaylor profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      Hey RG, Since you saw the pics, did they give you any clue as to the year and model? I can't. for sure say, but I suspect between 78-82? Will begin re flooring this weekend, do you see anything wrong with 7/16 osb for the subfloor? I has 1/2 plywood now , which is same size as the osb. 7/16 osb is ten bucks. a sheet at home d. big difference

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello AT! Yes I googled an 82 Holiday Rambler and it does seem to resemble the one you bought. OSB is fine for the flooring as long as it matches up with what's in there now. Good luck with the remodeling and feel free to ask for advice when you need it. :)

    • AlienTaylor profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      Hey RG, so I finished getting the subfloor up yesterday evening. It consisted of 1/4" ply x 1" foam x 1/4" ply laid directly on the frame and bolted to the joists with a headless bolt. the whole floor needs replacingv, so I cut along the walls with a sawzall. I soon discovered that I possibly made an error in judgement, because the floor runs under the walls, and I cut it flush with the wall. I need a suggestion on how to tie the new subfloor in and make it rigid along the walls. the two main beams running longways are approx. 1 foot from the wall. Or possibly remove the leftover cut that is under the walls. I think in hindsight, I should have left a little lip all the way around, and scabbed a 2x4 underneath?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey AT. You may able to use some "L" shaped steel brackets along the wall and screwed to the floor to connect the two together. Then you can cover the brackets with molding to hide them. I've used the brackets before and if you place them close enough it gives plenty of support for the walls and floor.

      --RG

    • AlienTaylor profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      Cool deal. I was able to pop the rivets from underneath and access the bottom piece of 1/4". It was screwed to an aluminum bar underneath. I suppose i can screw down the first layer of new floor from underneath and then put the roll out insulation, and the next layer of plywood, and screw that off to the aluminum wall studs with L brackets. What are your thoughts on that? I have read of a few people actually jacking the wall up and putting the new floor down, but that seems like treading on dangerous ground?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I too have heard of jacking up the walls to replace the floor, but I'd avoid this procedure if possible. I'd be afraid of causing a leak in the roof or getting walls out of line if the walls are flexed too much. I've always had good luck with the L brackets if placed fairly close together. Sounds as if you've got it going on. :)

    • AlienTaylor profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      Thanks for all the encouragement man. I do have it going my way, but it is proving to be a chore.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yep AT, it's a bit of a hassle, but look at the money you'll save, and you'll also have it custom built to your own specs. You'll also gain a lot of experience at keeping your RV in good shape.

      --RG

    • AlienTaylor profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      Okay, so I'm going to buy the floor material tomorrow. Do you think I can get by with 7/16 on top of 3 1/2 in R 13 insult. With 7 16 bottom? What would be your bare minimum to save $ but keep the integrity. Should I go back with foam board instead?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I don't know if the 7/16 will be sturdy enough, AT. I suppose it all depends on how nuch you want to spend replacing the floor. I usually go back with 3/4 treated just to be sure, but that's just me. I dislike the foam board and would rather use R13 instead.

    • profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      Ok, I got the floor finished!! I decided to keep the foam walls, not in bad shape . I have to peel the 1/16 fake paper off because it is blistering in places . What do you recommend to patch dings and skim the foam with that won't crack?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Great news, AT. I know your pleased to be through with the floor. I've used a lightweight spackling compound to smooth out dings in rough surfaces as some compounds consist of a foam-like substance. You may consider different types of wallpaper to recover the walls. In some cases I've used 1/8 wood paneling turned with the unpainted wood side out and then painted the desired color. It goes up quickly using contact cement or liquid nail with a few brads to hold it in place until the adhesive sets.

      If you don't wish to paint or wallpaper the walls there are many different designs of paneling available at Lowe's or Home Depot.

    • profile image

      AlienTaylor 3 years ago

      Thanks RG. Great idea turning the paneling around . I am very excited about this project . I can see the big picture, Wife can't. Thanks again for all the tips.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      No problem, AT. I'm excited for you and your project. Hint : Right before you get the project finished take your wife tent camping for a weekend. I'll bet she'll look at your project in a new light after that. lol!

    • gorilla24 profile image

      gorilla24 3 years ago

      Awesome hub dude keep it up!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Pleased you think so, gorilla! Thanks for reading and commenting.:)

      _RG

    • profile image

      desertrosearts 3 years ago

      Hi Randy, I saw your hub on fixing up a water damaged travel trailer. It looks like the one I recently acquired, a 1976 travel trailer, same as the pictures you are showing, the wall paper, kitchen, cabinets, etc. We just discovered that there is a lot of wood rot in the supporting beams behind the paneling. We tore off the paneling (which started buckling) to look deeper into the problem. The area from the door to the bed loft was all bad. We took out the insulation and now have a shell supported by the wood strips which also would need to be replaced. Then we discovered the outside shell was buckling near the bathroom area. We tried to nail it back in but found that the nails would not go into the wood, probably because of the rotton wood! The floor and ceiling seem to be o.k. as far as we know. Now we are not sure if we should put the effort into trying to fix it or scrap it! There is a RV/trailer salvage a little more than an hour drive from here. We are considering calling them and seeing what they will give us for the trailer. What can we expect? We don't want to get cheated once more! All the windows, doors, cabinets, bathroom and kitchen stuff is in pretty good shape. We are also debating about finding a knowledgeable person that can help us fix it up. We have already done quite a bit of the demolition ourselves. We do know some basics about home construction. The main thing is we don't know what we are in for and what the total expenses could run. We can't afford an ongoing project that will keep us forking money over with no end! Do you know where we could find a blueprint or book on how these Terry Travel trailers are constructed? If we knew a little more about how involved this is, we could make a decision on whether to keep it and fix it or not. We would hate to see the trailer pulled apart for parts. Visually it looks o.k. in many places. Would appreciate any advice on these questions. Thanks for taking the time to read this

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi, desertrosearts. Sorry, I don't know where you may find a blueprint for your RV. It's too bad as they would be great for DIY owners and repairmen to have access to. Most of the time it's a fix-it-by -the seat-of -ones-pants type project as there's so many different models.

      I can tell you that most the repairs can be done without any great outlay of expense if you have the time to do it. Sorry I can't be of more help but feel free to ask me if you face any problems with the repairs.

      Randy

    • ttravis5446 profile image

      ttravis5446 3 years ago from U.S.

      This is a very well written hub. I have been thinking about picking up an older camper trailer and this gives me more confidence in fixing any interior damage I may come across.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for dropping by, Travis. Repairing RV's are easier than many imagine and can save one a bundle of moolah. :)

    • profile image

      big daddy 3 years ago

      I have a 1959 zipper camper trailer that is all original and in real good shape need to sell can guide me in the right direction

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sorry Big Daddy, I suggest ebay for the best option of selling your camper. :)

    • profile image

      Gary Louton 3 years ago

      Randy, just bought a 1997 Dutchman classic gl. I knew that the plywood needed to be replaced, but I have since found that the wood that is on the bottom edge(like a sill plate in a house) is rotted around pretty much the entire trailer. Would really like to fix this. Is there a practical way of doing this?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      hello Gary, There's no easy way to repair the damage but it can be done. You may have to jack up the sides to replace the damaged areas of the sill plate, b ut be sure to add some ell shaped brackets to attach the walls securely to the new material used for the sill plates.

      This article may help somewhat as it is on a Dutchman RV floor repair project.

      https://axleaddict.com/rvs/RV-and-Camper-Trailer-H...

    • profile image

      CJRoss 3 years ago

      My husband and I recently purchased a 94 gulfstream scenic cruiser diesel pusher, we got it very cheap, less than $2000.00 it only has 60,000 miles and runs great but has major water damage. My question is, where did you purchase the lauan board for the celing? I have located other needed materials for our rebuild but I can't seem to find anything for the ceiling.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi CJ, we purchased the luan from Lowe's builders supply but I believe Home Depot carries it also. Good luck on your repairs and have a great camping season.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Alex D. 2 years ago

      Hi! I just got a '74 Chevy Van 30 RV conversion and I'm looking to be gutting the interior and repairing it from the ground up, effectively. I've been looking all over the internet and I think your site is going to be very helpful! This article in particular answered several questions I've had going into this! Thank you!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Alex, glad you found some useful info on this page. Check my profile page--my Photo at the top--for more useful articles about other facets of RV repair. Thanks for reading and commenting. Feel free to ask me anything about different RV repairs. I'll help you save a few bucks if I can.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Grace c johnson 2 years ago

      Thank you for this site. I bought a sun line coach last year that is parked on a site and will remain so. It has water damage, and only one ac outlet works. It is 36 feet by 12 feet and am thinking it is late 80's-early 90's model. I plan on having the amish build a roof structure over camper so as not to have to worry about leaks in the future. I plan on starting to gut it this summer from the inside. I am anticipating more damage than I can see and am doing as much research as I can find before I bite off more than I can chew. My concern is with the electrical, both ac and the dc systems. I want to run all new wiring and in my internet searches have found little useful info on camper wiring systems. Any resources you have would be appreciated. Thank you

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      If you're not planning to move the camper again why not do away with the 12 volt system entirely, Grace? Then you can rewire the RV just like a house and rid yourself of the 12 volt converter as well as the troubles associated with the 12 volt system.

      I do not know of any resources that would help you with the wiring other than a basic electrical handbook. I'll be happy to assist you any way I can during the remodeling phase if you like. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      SubSailor 2 years ago

      Randy, I have a 1993 Winnebago Brave. The roof was just replaced with 3/8 osb. The repair shop mention that I might want to jack up the back end bedroom walls approx 1 to 1 1/2 in because it is a little low. He said it was only cosmetic.

      I didn't understand until I got the motor home to my house. The inside walls are buckled at the top. Wasn't like that when I brought it in to him.

      We know he will say the walls were damaged by water and delaminated.

      I don't have a leg to stand on, Can't prove he did it.

      Can I fix it by the method he suggested ? jack up one side of the wall ( on at a time) outside using 4 jacks after removing screws raise it up a tad and replace with 3" deck screws and re-install channel trim

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I believe it could be done, SS. Be careful to not jack the walls up no more than needed to repair the damaged areas. It may be easier than you think when you get started. At least, I hope so. I'll advise you as you go if you need it.

      Randy

    • imtii profile image

      Imtiaz Ahmed 2 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      I will say that you are a very good expert in both building great hubs and remodeling old RV's Randy Godwin.

    • nathalia27 profile image

      Nancy 2 years ago

      The remodel outcome looks like you bought a brand new motorhome.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, the outcome was better than expected, Nathalia. Thanks for checking this hub out. :)

      Randy

    • velzipmur profile image

      Shelly Wyatt 2 years ago from Maryland

      that was an impressive job, great article, voted up. I have a 1997 motor home it is still in good shape, but we are having a hard time finding the money to put gas in it LOL

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Velzipmur, that's why I use a tow behind as a camper. Those motorhomes will guzzle gas on a camping trip. Thanks for the input!

      Randy

    • Penny G profile image

      Penny Godfirnon 2 years ago from Southern Iowa

      Great Hub. Retiring in 2 years 8 months. Hope to be able to afford one in fairly good shape as we will be living in it. If not I will be looking back to your hub with great step by step information.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      My wife and I recently retired and we're spending a lot of time at Jekyll Island, Penny. We just bought my brother's 25 foot tow behind. It was in great shape even being 20 years old. I hope you find a good camper but be sure to check it out closely before you make a deal.

      I have several other RV hubs for different repairs needed and also one on inspecting used RV's and tow behind campers. Feel free to ask me about any repairs you need info on. :)

      Thanks for your time and input.

    • Penny G profile image

      Penny Godfirnon 2 years ago from Southern Iowa

      Great thanks. We haave decided on a 5th wheel for sure. Will be heading to the mountains. It seems they willl be a better pull.

    • profile image

      Chris P 2 years ago

      Hi Randy,

      I have a 1983 Toyota Dolphin motorhome. The right rear corner was dented near the base of the ladder. I stupidly used the ladder frequently when weatherproofing after purchasing, as well as loading gear on the roof for a long trip.

      Because of this use, a gap has opened between the side and the rear panel of the RV. (Much like your picture above This has led to some, but not much wood damage in the area. I'd like to fix this myself, without spending a whole lot of money. Could you point me to good resources on how to complete this work, and what tools I would need?

      I love my Dolphin, and I want to make sure everything is okay. It doesn't have to be pretty.

      Here is a link to some photos I took

      https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BwEQVpaThB...

      Thanks for you taking a look!

      Chris

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Chris, you usually just take a look at what the original material was and build it back better than new. No special tools are typically needed other than common handyman items unless major repairs are needed.

      I'll be pleased to give you advice during the repair process if you do decide to fix it yourself. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Chris P 2 years ago

      Thanks for responding so quickly Randy. I guess my biggest question is with the process in general.

      I realize that to access the damaged area, I have to start taking out screws on the rear molding of the damaged side, starting from bottom and working up. I'll also have to remove the ladder and tail light on the damaged side, but, is it also necessary to remove screws from the undamaged side as well to gain access? If not, this work doesn't seem too bad. I just want to get a sense of what I'm getting into.

      I've only owned the Dolphin for a year, and have no experience taking apart RVs!! I have done my fair share of DIY jobs, however.

      Thanks again,

      Chris

    • profile image

      Jim T 2 years ago

      Although you did a great job of making a rotted motorhome usable it is far from a restoration and "Repair" now that's debatable as covering up soft floors with plywood is hardly a rapair .

      I have dealt with a lot of rotten RV's over the years and I just completely rebuilt a travel trailer from the ground up so I of know a bit about this subject. Basically you put a band aid over a bullet hole. With that much visable rot there is no doubt there is much much more down in the corners under the flooring and lower walls.

      Your article should real "How to make a rotted out motorhome usable"

      That being said there is nothing wrong with making a RV usable and then doing just having fun using it. Calling this a "restoration" and on some things you did "repair" is misleading.

      Jim

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Jim, the floor was not rotten and the plywood was added merely to reinforce the floor. All rotten wood was replaced and the structure was reinforced as needed. Thanks for your input though.

    • Elliott Shifman profile image

      Elliott Shifman 2 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Very interesting topic to read about. #elliottshifman

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Elliot, and welcome to HubPages. :)

    • ckingwevl profile image

      ckingwevl 2 years ago

      You provide awesome information! I have some floor work that I need to do and your step-by-step instructions convinced me its doable. I was ready to throw in the towel!

      On another note, I have a 2007 Cikira (out of business) 18FB pull behind. I have grown tired of the layout. Bathroom is too small and the eating area is intrusive to flow of traffic. Rebuilding the eating area is a no brainer. But for the bathroom I could use some guidance or recommendations. I have to replace the floor in the bathroom due to a leak. So I am pulling everything out anyway. I want to enlarge the space allocated to the shower by eliminating the sink and cabinet. In a 18 ft trailer, the kitchen sink is two paces away! Currently the shower is a square pan open on two sides that is just enough room for me to stand up in. Dirty ankles...forget about it I ain't reaching them in this space. I don't have the exact measurements but would guess the current shower pan is no larger than 24x24. I am larger guy at 6' and 270 pounds, so showering can be challenge.

      By removing the sink/cabinet I would gain another 12-18 inches and could install a n elongated shower pain or maybe even a tiny tub. This seems straight forward.

      What I am curious about is if you have any experience with drop-in all in one shower-toilet units? Pros/cons of them? Positioning of the toilet due to the black water tank below the toilet seems like it would be in a fixed location. So I would think the drop in would have to be custom fitted. Yes/No? Putting in a longer shower pan might require some redirecting drain plumbing below. Pros/Cons to that? Seems doable. And finally what is a good resource for finding shower parts (not accessaries) that has reasonable prices? Thanks in advance!

    • ckingwevl profile image

      ckingwevl 2 years ago

      In reference to drop in all in one, this is kind of what I had in mind. Of course since my bathroom is enclosed I would have walls and door, but you get the idea.

      http://www.pinterest.com/pin/422775483741722635/

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello ckingwevl, your project shouldn't be a big deal if you can handle simple tools and have a modicum of carpentry experience. About the plumbing, you can extend the black and gray water drains as most use standard ABS pipe and connections. If you are removing the bath floor it should be an easy modification if you need it.

      No, I haven't had any experience with drop-in shower/toilet combos, but they may serve quite well for projects such as yours. Feel free to ask for any assistance I can give you if you run into trouble. I'll be pleased to help you if I can. :)

      Randy

    • nicolas-ray profile image

      Nicolas Ray 2 years ago from Stamford, CT

      Well thought out article...just started the process of locating and purchasing an older RV and a space to start the restoration. Some great advice, Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Glad you found the hub useful, Nicolas. If you have any questions please feel free to ask when you beign your RV restoration.

      Randy

    • Ranch Hand profile image

      Ranch Hand 23 months ago

      Hey Randy, thanks for the great article. I'm looking at taking on a 1977 Coachmen Cadet 5th wheel that was never used, but has been sitting in one place since the day it was purchased new. The ceiling is buckling around the roof vents in the kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area. The wall paneling reveals water damage around the window air conditioner and in other areas. There are soft spots in the floor, and the end of the kitchen cabinet next to the door is badly warped by water. Is the roof the best place to begin? Should I start by coating it to create a seal, then pulling down the interior ceiling to find out what my rafters look like? Would I then move on to remove paneling in order to reveal my wall issues before pulling up vinyl and carpet to assess the floor?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yo Ranch Hand, yes start with the roof and then proceed as you've planned. Stopping the water damage is the first step. Feel free to ask for more advice when needed.

      Randy

    • profile image

      erincol22 21 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      My husband and I recently purchased a motor home similar to the one you restored in this post. It's a '91 Toyota Americana from Leisure Odyssey. Not sure if you are familiar with this particular make and model, but it appears to have the same overall appearance. I think we may have gotten a bigger project vehicle then we bargained for and need some expert advice. Against our better judgement we purchased this motor home although it was showing signs of water damage. Upon further inspection we found that most of the roof has severe water damage, although it doesn't seem to be as extensive as the photos you have posted above.

      My question is two fold. First, I was hoping to send you a link to view our RV pictures and get your professional opinion. Secondly, if we get into this project and it is too much for us to handle, are you available for hire to take over the work on the project? Thanks in advance. I am attaching a link below to view the pics. We got a quote from someone in our area (Houston, TX) for $3500 to replace the roof. We felt that was quite steep, no? Maybe we are just inexperienced greenhorns that got taken. I hope not. Thanks again for having a look.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Erin, what sort of roof do you have on your camper? Is it metal or rubber? If metal, it can be coated with a rubber based material which should prevent any more damage. If your're talking about the interior ceiling, this too should be a rather inexpensive job as far as labor and material is concerned.

      $3500 seems a bit too high in my opinion, however I haven't seen your RV so I cannot say for sure. I'm available to give advice if you need it but am retired now and these type projects are a thing of the past for me. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      erincol22 21 months ago

      Thanks for the quick response Randy. The roof is fiberglass, steel reinforced and rubber clad. I sent you an email with picture links, not sure if you got it...Just trying to get a game plan in place. Let me know if I need to send a better link for the photos.

    • Ranch Hand profile image

      Ranch Hand 21 months ago

      Hey Randy, the camper I plan to restore was brought to my home yesterday. Now it's time to get busy! Looks like the Coachmen Cadet has a metal roof. I saw that you recommended a rubber coating material to Erin, but I've found there are many different brands such as Kool-Seal, Dicor and Liquid Roof, to name a few. Keeping costs low is definitely a priority in this project, but I certainly want to use a quality product. Is there a brand you would suggest?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yo Ranch Hand, Kool-Seal is a good product and has worked well for some people I know. I've used it myself on older model campers. I haven't heard of the other products you mentioned being used for such but they may work well also. Good luck with your repairs. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Dkdubya 21 months ago

      Hi, Randy

      We are redecorating an '07 Newmar but can't see how to remove the factory art attached to the wall. We also plan to remove the sofa bed and dinette set. Do you have any suggestions for disposing of these items?

      Thanks, Debra

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, throw them in a dumpster. :)

    • profile image

      Dondi4633 21 months ago

      Hi Randy, my 2001 cub hybrid RV (23ft.) had a leak on one of the roof seams and the water damaged the wall and of course the floor. I am sure I can fix the floor without much trouble but I am not sure what the walls consist of especially the front wall that has the pop out queen bed. The rounded top and bottom part under the fold out panel are soft, actually feels like there is nothing there ! Also the side shows water damage but it is all inside the wall. How do I replace it and reattach it to the outside material of the trailer ? I haven't taken the wall down yet just making a list but I'm thinking it is some type of foam wallboard, do I just use liquid nail to join them together ?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Dondi, Liquid Nail works great for joining wood and all types of foam wall material. You'll probably have to replace some of the damaged wood but this should pose no problem. Feel free to ask for more help if needed and thanks for the question. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Shanda 21 months ago

      HELP ! HELP Randy!

      We Purchased a 1976 Itasca a few years ago for $500. Still with the original orange shag carpet (rake not included). I would like to update it some. However, my husband feels as if its way too much work and not worth it. For starters the paneling is coming apart. Is it possible to just panel over it? I would then like to add some color and paint it. Im sure this is a pretty stupid question but, Im pretty much on my own with this project and just know how to work and impact ;)

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Shanda, it is a bit of work but the results can be worth the effort, at least in my experience. In some cases you can indeed place paneling over the old stuff. Usually the older campers used studding in the walls much as a house has. I've used wood paneling turned over to the wood side and painted it with good results. This also enables you to use a thinner paneling which makes reinstalling outlets a snap.

      I'll be glad to advise you if you run into any problems during the make-over. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Vernon Childs 21 months ago

      I have a 79 Komfort single axle trailer. Made it into a nice clamper. However, the toilet is kicking my you know what. I replaced the leaking feed lung and plastic adapters. It still leaked bad during the flush cycle. The water is spilling into the floor from just under the top side. Removed the toilet and about 12 screws that appear to attach the top bowl where the water it's supposed to swirl around and then go down the drain. Problem is the top part will not disengage like I thought it should. Am I missing something or do you think it has previously been worked on and glued down. Sure seems like it should just pop off and a new gasket made to contain the water leakage. Would sure appreciate your advise. New toilet or a bigger hammer?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Vernon, yes, you should be able to easily replace the gaskets all throughout the toilet. And no, it's not unusual for someone to use all sorts of adhesives and caulks in the effort to quell leaks. You can always try forcefully removing the top and then consider replacing the toilet after you fail. LOL! I wish I could take a look at it myself, but alas...... :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Waywardragamuffin 21 months ago

      I am sooooo glad to have come across your site. We bought an 1989 Southwind motor home. Motor runs well and has brand new tires. The insides look pretty good needing some walls replaced and some ceiling areas. I am a fairly handy type of person and can build simple projects...my dilemma is with the exterior... there are some breaks, cracks and uneven areas. It is some sort of smooth type of fiber material. I would like to replace this as it is really faded. The manufacturer is in North East Indiana and I have thought of making a trip to do a factory tour. Can you give me any advise about the exterior can it be replaced with different types of siding or repaired. I am a clueless old fart. Thank you for taking time to keep this site up and going.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Wayward, the exterior may be fiberglass and if so, it can be painted with an epoxy paint. It may also be patched where the cracks and uneven places appear. If it isn't fiberglass, you may be able to recover the exterior with some other type of siding depending on how it is shaped. Feel free to ask for more info if you need it and I'll be happy to advise you. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Martha Wescott 20 months ago

      Hello ,

      Just came across this site and would like to add some input!If it i alright?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Feel free as long as there are no live links in your comment, Martha. Or no ads for a business either. :)

      Randy

    • Nikki Kochsmeier profile image

      Nikki Kochsmeier 20 months ago

      Hi, I found your information very interesting. My husband and I bought a 1986 Fleetwood class c motor home and have actually been living in it for almost a year. There are a few issues that need attention but don't have a whole lot of money to fix them all at once. A few of the issues are, 1. a couple of walls and a couple areas of the ceiling have rotted, (plus I hate the old wood paneling) is there something else that can be used instead of wood paneling? Something more similar to sheet rock for instance. 2. the toilet has started leaking which has now caused flooring issues, 3. Our furnace squeals something terrible so we can't use it, we got the motor home for $3700 and were aware of some of the problems when we bought it, but since it is our home it is difficult to go hog wild on remodeling, plus not a whole lot of experience either. My husband has tried finding help online but keeps falling short on information. I'm pretty sure the toilet problem should be our first project but cannot find answers for fixing it. It is an Aqua Magic 4 and leaks severely every time we flush it. I am on the larger side and am afraid of falling through the floor one of these days because of the water damage to the flooring. Lol

    • Nikki Kochsmeier profile image

      Nikki Kochsmeier 20 months ago

      My husband says that all we need is a gasket to fix the toilet, but seems to me if it were really that easy he would have fixed it by now. I think he is having a hard time figuring it out on his own, so it keeps getting put off. He is good about having excuses for things, me on the other hand, wants things done right away and am willing to jump in and figure something out, but I don't want to insult my husband. Please help!!

      Thank you

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Nikki, it is sometimes difficult to get started repairing things you're not experienced with, but most of the time the repairs are not as hard as you expected.

      I would begin with the toilet just because of the damage it's causing the floor. It probably needs all new gaskets including the water supply lines and the flushing mechanism. You may find a parts breakdown on the net from the maker using the model number located on the toilet. Probably a diagram will be provided so your hubby won't have any excuses to procrastinate any longer. I'd strongly suggest repairing or strengthening the floor as you are repairing the toilet lest you end up on the ground one day. :)

      As for the paneling issue, I had the same problem remodeling an older camper as the fake plastic overlay on the paneling began to peel off because of moisture. I went to Lowe's and bought the cheapest wood paneling I could find, it was on sale as discontinued and I got a real bargain on it.

      I then reversed the paneling where the unpainted side was showing and installed it right over the old paneling, cabinets and all. I then chose a good paint and rolled the new surfaces with it where I could and used a brush to trim with. It turned out great and the old camper looked new on the inside. Sheetrock is not recommended because of the weight and the tendency to crack when the camper is moving.

      The furnace fan may be belt driven and may be slipping causing the squealing noise. or the fan motor itself may have bad bearings or sleeves. It should be a simple matter to oil the sleeves on the motor with a spray can--WD40 would be fine--or to tighten the belt if there is one. Neither of these maintenance procedures are very difficult, so don't let ole hubby slide this time.

      If you like I can research the toilet repair info for you. If so, send me the model number and all the info you have on the toilet and I'll give it a go. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Nikki Kochsmeier 20 months ago

      Thank you so much for getting back to me, I really appreciate it.

      I started thinking after posting last night, that a whole new toilet may be needed instead. Our bathroom layout is actually a little inconvenient, the toilet is raised and sits above the rear wheel well. To be honest, I have a feeling I have caused some of the problem with the toilet. Paperwork (if you know what I mean) is a difficult task becasue of the way it sits, there is just not quite enough room to maneuver without leaning back on the seat, the cabinet under the sink is in the way and uses that extra couple of inches that are desperately needed, the toilet rocks more and more with each use because of this issue, am afraid the problem will keep happening unless we remove it.

      The toilet in there now is an Aqua Magic 4 and the part needed is the water replacement valve. The part number is 13168. Is this the only kind of toilet we can use or are there other more stable models available? Any suggestions are welcome.

      Could also use any information on the easiest way to get to the furnace, can it be pulled out without damaging it more or would accessing it from under the bed be a better idea?

      I understand that sheet rock is too heavy to install in Motorhomes, but isn't there any options other than plywood? Maybe a plastic paneling or something like that instead?

      Thank you again for your help.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Nikki, there are toilets which may be more sturdy than yours, and perhaps more comfortable also. It may be in your best interest to look into a new one as most install in the same manner as your old one. you still may have to do a little repair work to the floor anyway to make sure the new toilet is securely mounted.

      Yes, there are many different kinds of vinyl coated paneling with which to cover over the old paneling. Check out Lowe's or Home Depot for such material. Good luck on your repairs. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      danielle 17 months ago

      i get the sense from this article that you do rv repairs for other people. is this accurate? if so, i would love to talk to you more about it.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Danielle, I occasionally repair RVs for people. Now retired but still give advice to those who need it.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Donna 14 months ago

      We are trying to replace some of the outside latches but the area behind the old latch is no good. Help me out

      Is there something we can put in old hole area to get new latches to hold up compartment doors?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Donna, sometimes you can use Liquid Nail or other construction adhesive to fill in holes enough for reattaching items to an RV exterior. Hope this helps you out. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Matt 12 months ago

      Randy,

      Hi there we had bought a 69 beeline about 20' not in to bad of shape for its year but it had some roof prob leaking,weak ect resealed it with solarflex hasn't leaked so far but i think I'm going to do another coat just to be on safe side.I like the idea of reinforced beams thanks for that.My question is my back corners are pulled apart like yours was just not sure how to do it without too much expenses. I think I need to replace whole back wall sounds bad but it's just a compartment half way up so should I start outside and pull off siding what do you think

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 12 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Matt, I used quite a bit of construction glue and replaced all of the bad wood in repairing the corners. I'd consider long and hard before pulling the siding off, but then, you know your own capabilities and can have a better understanding of your particular problem than I do. Let me know how you progress in your repairs if you don't mind. I'm always interested in how different people deal with classic camper repairs. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      cindy n wayne 8 months ago

      I have a question about the walls/ceiling. Did you attach the luan paneling to anything such as foam core?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Cindy NWayne--Not on this project, but it is possible to do so.

      Randy

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 7 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Found it! It was right on the front page after I signed up with Flipboard after logging in with my FB account!

      Guess, I'll try putting it on my tablet.

    • profile image

      Laura Giancola 6 months ago

      Thank you for this article! I have looked at so many articles and videos online over the last few days to try to get information on repairing damaged roof/ceiling and interior walls. I found your article very informative and easy to follow. We are beginning to demo a 5th wheel that was left on property we recently purchased, and I will be referring to your articles as we go. Appreciate you sharing your knowledge and projects.

      Cheers,

      Laura

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for the nice comments, Laura. Feel free to ask me about any problems with the repairs you encounter. Or check out my articles on AC, floor, electrical, or power converter repairs.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Charles 5 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      Got a project that I hope you can provide some guidance. I have a 1994 Dutchmen 22' BH that sat covered and unused by original owner since 1995. I recently noticed some deteriorating wood on the wall by the lower bunk and need to replace it. Not sure of the source but the window seal is suspect since the rot appears around and below the window. Any information on how to tackle this would be appreciated. I have the tools and have worked on boats, but this is the first time for a trailer. Thanks in advance.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Charles, you should have no problem removing the window or replacing the exterior rubber seal. I think you'll be able to find a new seal on Amazon or any online RV parts store. Feel free to ask me about any complications you encounter and I'll try to advise you. Thanks for the question. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Charles 5 months ago

      Thank you for the quick response. I'll let you how it goes.

    • profile image

      Kimmie 4 months ago

      Hi Charles, I'm a "can do...Lets try it kind of Girl, with a backround in Interior design and like to take on "fixer-upper houses. Myhusband is great at structual work, yet not to good at finish work- so we often take on projects some fail yet most succeed!

      We were given an old 18-8 ft RV that an aquaintence wanted to get rid of. I use it for art studio and sewing storage.

      With the Tiny House Movement growing I havebeen dreaming of turning it into a traveling home. Jerry, (my husband) is a warehouse manager for a roofing supply company, and brings "throw away stuff". End of the year inventory iscoming up so his bosses asked if we wanted a rolling stair unit.

      It would be tall enough to used as steps up to roof of RV for deck.

      Question: how do we know if RV would support a deck. We had a small leak last year and he covered the roof (and three sides) of RV with heavy dry in paper- I think thats what it is called-so it no longer leaks, yet still will need a surface since dry in paper is black, rough and ugly!

      What do you suggest?

      RV has no title. So it will have to stay my design studio until we can make it legal.

    • profile image

      Randy Godwin 4 months ago

      Hi Kimmie, as far as adding a deck is concerned, I've never heard of adding such to a travel trailer. Not saying it cannot be done, but just never heard of it. There are multiple roofing materials which can be used instead of dry-in paper. Just google RV roof repair materials and you should have a choice of different kinds. Good luck with the repairs. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      BGE 4 months ago

      Randy, I sent a question before I signed in. If you did not recieve it, please let me know. It would have been under the name BGE

    • profile image

      Malone 2 months ago

      Hey, Randy.... I have a 1980 something Fleetwood camper. I won't be traveling with it, but I'd like to make the exterior look like a log cabin or at least like it's a wood cabin. Any way to do that since there's nowhere to nail on the outside? Thx so much!!!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Malone, it's possible to add lathing to the sides of the camper for either log like exterior or board covering to be used. It depends on what the exterior walls consist of.

      Randy.

    • profile image

      Karen in BC 2 months ago

      Hi I really enjoyed this article and looking forward to viewing the rest on your site.

      I have an application problem that I need help with.

      I have a '72 Holiday Rambler made entirely with aluminum framing no wood studs or rafters anywhere.

      The existing wall panels are those luan/styrofoam wall sections that are fuse seamed? At thier mating sides... No visible fastners or moldings.

      Unfortunately these panels are now bowing and i want to remove them, insulate between studs then reuse luan panels again but fix them well to metal studs this time.

      I then wanted to vapour barrier the walls (and ceiling in an envelope) and finally put nice new unmared 3/8 panelling on as finished wall... Existing luan has worth for its insulative value as i live in this trailer year round. It also has minor damage in many small places so it needs to be covered over for pleasing wall finish.

      My problem is... How do you attach wall panels to metal studs nicely?

      All i can think to do is screw old luan/styrofoam panels back in place somehow lightly tack and tuck tape vapour barrier in place and then somehow fix finishing panels by screws with anchours? Into styrofoam and cover screws by doing a board and batten look with 5/8 by 2 3/4 inch wood strips that

      I might glue on?

      Its getting complicated as you can tell.

      My goals are insulation value, non bulging walls and esthetics.

      Im not even sure why the walls are bulging...racking? from sitting slightly unlevel corner to corner? Its not rot so settling downwards from floor or wall rot not the issue. Nothing obvious jumps out.

      It is moist here on the coast of British Columbia so just trying to get her repaired once...warm and snug for the forseeable future.

      Any help appreciated, Im too old and strapped for cash to make costly mistakes from trail and error.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Karen, have you considered using a construction adhesive such as Liquid Nail to attach the luan to the walls? This may be your best option if done correctly.

      Randy

    • jo miller profile image

      jo miller 5 weeks ago from Tennessee

      Many years ago, my ex-husband and I bought an old step van (not running at the time) and made it into a camper, complete with purple paint inside. We took it on several camping trips, finally sold it when we had a baby (it was a little unsafe). The young guy who bought it said he was taking it to California and wouldn't change a thing about it. It still had the 'metal stud' installation signs on one sign and McGovern stickers on the other. The marriage didn't survive but that camper and baby were both good things. Your article brought back some good memories.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jo, I think some of us can remember those days. The 60's and 70's were possibly the best "van" days. Thanks for your time, Jo. :)

    Click to Rate This Article