1979 Bethany Citation 86 rebuild

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by dwwscran, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    The DW and I just picked up this gem. Roof has a couple small holes, front bulkhead is in need of rebuild, and as you can see the cabinets are pretty beat up. the up side is the canvas is in great shape and so is the rest of the box. I plan to rebuild the bulk head and repair the roof over the next month. After that I will spend the rest of the winter renovating the inside. to include new cabinets, removal of the sink and water tank, making new cushions and table for the dinette, and installing LED lighting. In the spring I may repaint the outside.

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    <a href="http://s268.photobucket.com/user/dwwscran/media/camper%20rebuild/IMG_20150920_150836409.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj20/dwwscran/camper%20rebuild/IMG_20150920_150836409.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_20150920_150836409.jpg"/></a>
    <a href="http://s268.photobucket.com/user/dwwscran/media/camper%20rebuild/IMG_20150920_170740641.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj20/dwwscran/camper%20rebuild/IMG_20150920_170740641.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_20150920_170740641.jpg"/></a>
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  2. edh

    edh Active Member

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    Jun 2, 2008
    By the shape of the galley cabinets it looks like it's had a pretty good leak at one time or another. The MDF they use for cabinets swells easily, is useless stuff in a camper environment but that's what most manufacturers use. The good news is that when you rebuild it you can configure the way you want it to be and build it the way it should have been built. Lots of rebuild threads here for inspiration--go wild!
     
  3. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    you are correct on the water. the boxes themselves are in fair shape but i will be removing them all the same and building new. The DW and I are thinking a knotty pine for the cabinets and inner wall panels. Give more of the North Woods feel. But alas the front bulk head needs attention first and foremost. will post pictures of that later. I opened that up the other night and just haven't taken any of it.
     
  4. Beecoach

    Beecoach Member

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    Jun 13, 2014
    Another Bethany survives!
     
  5. flat_twin

    flat_twin Member

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    Jun 10, 2015
    Looks like a good project. Bethany made nice campers. If you copy your photo's IMG code and paste it here it should appear like this...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    Thanks flat_twin.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    some other pics of the old girl.

    Front right corner
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    other side of the galley
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    built in dresser
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    yes its the 12' model. [:D]
     
  8. edh

    edh Active Member

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    Jun 2, 2008
    Someone recently posted about an interior build with knotty pine, looked nice, was an easier install than paneling because it went in plank by plank; dont have the thread handy but a search should turn it up.

    For my money, if you're going to pull the cabinets it's easier to build new than repair the old. Plus it's a lot easier to pull the old ones if you don't need to save them. I saved the hardware from mine but probably won't even end up using those.

    The adventure begins!
     
  9. money pit

    money pit What could be so bad??? We are camping!!!

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    Oct 5, 2014
    [:)C] I really like the split galley look, hope you keep the inset stove! I think that would look great set into a knotty pine cabinet.....keep us updated on the build..... looks like you have a great project there!

    MP
     
  10. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    Thanks money pit. i do intend to keep the split galley and inset stove. It's like new and should serve us well. I do intend to remove the sink and water tank as I may have stated before.
    Edh, I do intend to replace the cabinets as the bottoms are pretty bad. The way Bethany built this thing the old ones shoul come out pretty easy. i want to save as much as possible for reference purposes.

    My Dad came out yesterday and we went to work rebuilding the front bulk head and the short side wall just ahead of the door. here are a few pictures.

    Bulkhead striped.
    [​IMG]

    new pieces in the side wall. The diagonal brace really added some strength to the wall which happens to be where the door is hinged.
    [​IMG]

    This last one is of the old brace that the driver side springs anchored to. It may be hard to see but it has a really good twist to it.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    A few more pictures...

    New bracing and driver side springs attached.
    [​IMG]

    Side wall with new plywood.
    [​IMG]

    Both sides have their springs hooked up again. and the top bar is in place. I still have one more cross brace to install below this one and i can then put the aluminum skin back on. Found it is easier to adjust the springs without it.
    [​IMG]

    That's it for now. should have springs adjusted and skin back on in the next few days. After that i will be moving inside to start the cabinets.
     
  12. edh

    edh Active Member

    1,074
    10
    Jun 2, 2008
    So the lift springs are sealed within the walls? If so that seems like an odd place to put something that will inevitably need replaced... (unless maybe they included an access port?)
     
  13. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    The outer skin comes off to allow access. Not a bad system really. When adjusted properly the roof raises effortlessly. Or so they say. I'll find out this week.
     
  14. Beecoach

    Beecoach Member

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    Jun 13, 2014
    I have a '75 Bethany Compact 560, the roof really does "pop up" very easily.
     
  15. edh

    edh Active Member

    1,074
    10
    Jun 2, 2008
    Your diagonal bracing inside the wall beside your door is a a great mod, and a good example of how a minor change could have been made by the manufacturer to improve the design in the first place. Keep up the good work!
     
  16. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    there are lots of little things they could have done at the factory haha. but thanks Ed. I wish I could say it was my idea to ad the diagnal brace, but it was my father's idea. Sad to say I have done no work to the PUP in 2 weeks due to farming work. With a little luck and good weather I'll have all that done by the end of the month.
     
  17. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    amazing how time gets away from you. not nearly enough has been completed on the old girl. i finished up the side wall and installed the door. it was decided that rather than replace he interior with knotty pie, we would stick with oak for the cabinets and paint the walls an off white to brighten things up. the lift system is at about 95% complete. still trying to get it adjusted properly before i seal up the bulkhead. the first cabinet is ready for assembly and urethane. will have to get some pictures and post them soon.
     
  18. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    so I haven't done a lot of work to the pup the last month. i did scrub the roof and sealed the two holes. decided to work on the electrical before i get things to closed up. the converter needed a new master on/off switch. so i replaced that. next is pulling new wire from the battery box to the converter. this pup was set up to use the TV battery so I'm adding a battery box in place of the 2nd LP tank. Also the wiring going to the TV is shot. so the dw picked up some new wire and marker lights for me. now if the heat wave breaks soon I will get it all installed.
     
  19. Merlin14

    Merlin14 Member

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    Aug 30, 2014
    Excellent work. Subscribed!

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
     
  20. dwwscran

    dwwscran Member

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    Sep 17, 2015
    Well, I don't have as many photos as I thought but here are 3 off the more recent ones. The first is my frame for the curb side cabinet. The next is the oak front with the new doors and drawer fronts mocked up before finish and lastly is the old girl from this weekend set up in the yard. I let my children sleep in it a couple of nights. mind you there are no mattresses and it's not done but hey at least it's now been used ha-ha.

    [​IMG]

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