Restoring my 1986 Rockwood XL. I'll try to update every few days as I go.

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by lugoismad, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. budlight

    budlight Member

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    Cheers to you lugoismad!
    That is a lot of Great looking work done in a short amount of time. With young'ns around you have accomplished a lot.
     
  2. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Dang man, you gotta give her some time to heal back up!

    We had twins, then 6 months later I went and got snipped. 2's enough.
     
  3. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Thanks! Goal is to be camping ready by April or so.

    We're going to do a few local trip then a 4-5 day trip to the Gatlinburg, Tnn area (about 200 miles away). If all works well, we'd like to do a trip to the beach in the early fall once school is back in session so less crowds. I was thinking about surprising the wife and seeing if I could find a cheap 2 or 3 night cruise to take us all on as part of the trip. But I'd need to figure out where to store the camper.
     
  4. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    More Progress!

    Its 1pm, and I'm taking a break because the fumes were making me light headed and short of breath.


    I found that the whiz wheel was the best method for cutting the fiberglass to size.

    Got everything cut perfect, then I put down a bead of liquid nail under it, and put screws in the corners to hold it still temporarily.
    [​IMG]


    Then I patched the tears and holes.

    After thinking on it for a while, I ended up using some drywall fiberglass tape, to give myself a medium to lay the patch over. Then, I used bondo fiberglass repair.
    Its kinda funny, as soon as I opened the can, it reminded me of being 16 and working on my shitty S10 that was full of rust holes.
    It smelled just like bondo, but it was dark green, and had another acetone like smell over top of it. It was about the consistency of bread dough.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Waiting on this to dry, then I'm going to sand it out, and then start putting all the metal trim back on.
     
  5. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    ROOF IS DONE!!!!!!! [8D]

    [​IMG]

    I just need to wait for a warm day to apply caulk and paint.
    Also, need to order a vent, the old one is beat to hell and back.


    So, the metal trim for the front and back, where the roof meets the sides. When I pulled the old off, it got bent up really bad.
    After deliberating on it for a few nights, we went to lowes today to look for a solution.

    $1.66 for 10 foot sections of 90* trim for metal roofs!

    That + a ton of DAP acrylic/silicone caulk means I think I could drive this sucker through a hurricane and it stay dry.

    [​IMG]

    New 1" rubber gasket to go over the screws in the trim on the sides is on its way from amazon.

    Its funny, it looks exactly like it did when I started, because I reused everything.
    [​IMG]

    But, once I paint it, it'll look brand new.

    Tomorrow I plan to start taking apart the bottom.
     
  6. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    Wow, you're moving quickly and it looks like you know what you're doing. Great thread!
     
  7. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    I finished putting the door in, and ordered a new vent for the roof, the old one was gross and didn't seal well.

    Then I started taking stock of my situation and figuring out what I have left to do.

    1. I need to figure out how I'm going to mount the AC.

    2. I want to flip the axle under the springs and put on higher speed rated tires. 55mph on a road trip doesn't seem enjoyable.

    3. I need to paint the interior and exterior.

    4. I have some rot to fix in the back.

    I took apart the back to figure out what I'm in for.

    [​IMG]

    Really not as bad as I thought it would be. The rot only extends along the sides right to where the roof lifters are at.

    I can rebuild a new rear end in an evening, and get the skin back on it in another.
     
  8. wykika1

    wykika1 New Member

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    Hello,

    I like what you are doing. I have two questions. First, where are you ordering replacement parts from? I have a 1987 Starcraft Constellation and I can't seem to find replacement parts. I am in desperate need of a new door. Second, how did you know where to begin dismantling the side of the camper and the roof. Did you just go for it? If you have never done anything like that before, could it be done? I am pretty handy for a female and I love to remodel things. I guess that was more than two questions, huh!

    Great Job!
     
  9. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Well, I've not really needed any replacement parts except for some trim, which I just used some extruded aluminum angle stuff from Lowes as a replacement. I'd suggest for your door that you just fab one yourself out of some 3/4" plywood. You can buy new camper latches on amazon for really cheap.

    And yeah, I just went for it. I just started unscrewing and pulling things apart, taking measurements and rebuilding. Previous to this, I'd done a little bit of carpentry work, working on my house. I built one interior wall, and fixed some rot in a floor.

    You can always fix it. If you screw up, just pull it back apart, evaluate what you did, and try again. There were a few times working on the roof I just to throw away an idea and redo it. Eg, I used a nail gun to attach the masonite, then found out that wouldn't keep it up because the nails weren't barbed. So I had to go back over everything with screws.
     
  10. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    As far as not having any experience? I mean, everyone has to start somewhere, right? Its not that big of a job, compared to other things I've done in the past. I'm just working on it a bit at a time, an hour or two a night.

    Its been too cold lately, my garage was in the teens last night, outside it was -6.

    A lot of the time I'll tear into it, and then stop and wait a day to think about how I'm going to approach the fix, instead of just getting right to it. This lets me really think it through, about what I'm going to do, before I waste time and material. I'll take pictures, and sit on the couch and look at them, discuss it with the wife, etc.
     
  11. WendyLouWho

    WendyLouWho Wendy & Marlin

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    Wow! Watching this thread closely. Don't have nearly as much to do as you but we have an '88 jayco.

    For someone who doesn't claim to be a handyman, you are spot on! Wonderful work! Look forward to seeing more. BTW, do you sew? That's coming you know [;)]
     
  12. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    The canvas is actually in really great shape. A few small tears, but nothing major.
     
  13. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    Very nice work, Lugo; you're going to be especially proud when it's done because you have so much sweat equity in it. You do nice work!
     
  14. dcel

    dcel New Member

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    Nice work! Hows the floor for structure?
     
  15. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    95% of the floor is in good shape. I'm replacing a little bit of rot in the back corners, but thats it.
     
  16. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Well its 15* outside, and not any warmer in my garage. But I wanted to feel somewhat productive today.

    So...

    I put some eye bolts in to hang the door up while the roof is down
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And I installed my new roof vent! Half a tube of ALEX Plus is under that sucker - I don't think its gonna leak a drop
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I used 1-1/4" decking screws to screw it into the 2x4 frame I made for it. Much better than the crappy small screws and almost no caulking that was on the last one.
    Plus, this one will actually go up and down!

    I need to do a little trimming with a utility knife to fit the bottom piece in, and at this point my nipples could cut glass so I called it a day.
     
  17. jash1178

    jash1178 You can't fix stupid!

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    This is a great thread!! [MOD] [CP]
     
  18. bigdad

    bigdad Active Member

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    Look good
     
  19. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Really want to work on it today but its ten degrees in the garage. Its gonna be a week until its warm enough to stay out there for long.
     
  20. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Yay! It hit 42* outside! I shoveled a path to the cars before I started working.
    We have about 8" of snow piled up here in southern ohio. I had to clear a path to the cars, then clean out at the end of the driveway where the snow plow so lovingly left me about a 4 foot high berm of snow piled up. Its supposed to drop in temp next week and I didn't want that to freeze solid and my wife not be able to get her van out.

    Bourbon of the day: Well, not quite. Drinking some Bulleit Rye. I've found I like the spiciness of Rye more.

    So, here's what I got done:

    First, I let it warm up and sat on the couch and watched "Captain Phillips". WAY better of a movie than I thought it would be. Highly suggest you check it out.

    Puppah kept my company
    [​IMG]


    Then I got the vent cover in place
    [​IMG]

    Finished cutting out the rot in the back drivers side, and cut a board to fill in the gap and slid it into place. Had to lift up on the roof mechanism with a crow bar.
    [​IMG]

    Patch is in place, and I used some extra treated plywood to go over the seam with some caulk under it. Just trying to play it safe, its not like it has to be pretty, since its under the seat.
    [​IMG]

    Seats back in place. REALLY not happy that the board for the back part of the seat isn't that sturdy. I'm going to figure out a way to improve on it.
    [​IMG]

    I need to get one of those dremel sideways cutting bits tomorrow at Menards on my lunch break. The passenger side needs a much smaller patch.
    [​IMG]

    I accidentally punched a hole in the wheel well on the drivers side. I need to get some aluminum tape to fix it.

    Thoughts:
    Passenger side will be a lot easier, I don't have to unscrew the whole roof mechanism. I'll be able to do it in half the time.

    My wife pointed out an awesome idea. I'm going to use some extra plywood and design something to go over the dinette that is level with the rear bunk. This way, we can put a queen size air mattress in the space, rather than the 4'x6' bunk. I'm 6'4". Really wasn't looking forward to sleeping in there. Our heads will be at the very back, with our feet towards the center of the camper.

    I don't like my back to the door.

    Also thinking about figuring out where to hide a gun safe. My RIA GI 1911 comes along with us on vacation. Never know when your gonna need it. We've gone on vacation to Virginia beach and Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the drive to both areas puts you through some hills with no cell reception. If I have to walk to get gas or something if we break down, I don't want the wife sitting in the car with the kids with nothing to protect herself.

    I want to put bigger tires on it. I plan to take it down to my mom's house, her boyfriend has a 2 post lift in his garage. I want to lift it up, unbolt the axle and put it under, rather than above, the springs. Then put some bigger wheels on so its less wear on the bearings. I'll flip the axle first, then measure to see how much room I have, and figure out what type of tires I can put on. I'm going to need to find at least one more 4 bolt wheel, because the trailer didn't come with a spare. I bought a spare tire mount off of amazon for $20 shipped that I plan to mount to the rear, after I finish rebuilding it.
     

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