1983 Coleman Columbia Restore

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by AaronWard, May 28, 2011.

  1. AaronWard

    AaronWard "Measuring is the key to a successful rebuild...."

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    Hello all,

    My wife and I have been waiting patiently to get a good deal on a PUP. Found one off Craig's List for a steal. The canvas and the body/frame are in great condition. So far I have ripped out all of the old cabinets, flooring and side interior side panels. Based on all the mods done to other PUPs here is what I am working on over the summer:

    First 4 weeks:
    • Demolition of interior
    • Move external access vents and such for new layout
    • Build new cabinets with space for a 1.7 cu.ft fridge
    • Build new benches with new upholstery
    • 8,000 BTU A/C installation under bench
    • Upgrade 30AMP service with RV Power 6730 unit for both AC, DC and Battery charging
    • New interior side panels
    • All wiring/units for exterior towing lights replaced
    • (2) GFI circuits installed for misc applicances

    Mid-Summer:
    • Trailer Tongue extension by 5 ft. to provide storage
    • Car Radio Installation
    • Battery Installation
    • 6 Bike - Bike Rack
    • Rebuild of interior PUP table

    Upcoming Winter:
    • Exterior paint job to match TV

    Pictures: (I will keep posting them as I take them)

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2960861699663.8094448.1205187015&l=38b787c223
     
  2. Cindy F

    Cindy F New Member

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    I can't wait to see how it turns out!
     
  3. AaronWard

    AaronWard "Measuring is the key to a successful rebuild...."

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    Things are moving forward....

    I have the following complete:

    • Kitchen Cabinets fabricated
    • Bench #1 fabricated
    • Bench #2 - A/C enclosure fabricated
    • Bench #2 - electrical enclosure started
    • Bench seats reapholstered (thanks to the wifey)

    Photos posted on FB on above link.
     
  4. carolinacampers

    carolinacampers Nights camped: 2008-10, 2009-25, 2010-6.

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    Just viewed your link... Nice work Aaron! I like that your whole family is involved, too. It is a great learning experience for your son! Good choice on the fabric for the cushions--beautiful!
     
  5. AaronWard

    AaronWard "Measuring is the key to a successful rebuild...."

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    Thanks Carolina Campers! It is a fun project. More excited about getting to go camping in June.

    [:D]
     
  6. invictus74030

    invictus74030 New Member

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    Looking good. I will be interested to see how you handled the AC installation.
     
  7. jshulenberger

    jshulenberger New Member

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    Good work Aaron!

    I installed a 12,000 BTU window unit where my ice box used to be. Incase you haven't seen it. http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=46329.msg342345#msg342345

    The two ports you have should be enough for exhaust. I'll be watching to see how you plan to partition off the hot/cold zones. How are you planning for return/cool air in, and consensation drippings out?
     
  8. AaronWard

    AaronWard "Measuring is the key to a successful rebuild...."

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    The A/C unit will be in an aluminum box forcing the air out. There will not be any gaps or holes to ensure the unit can only push the air out through the newly installed vents. I cut a 3x6 inch hole in the floor for airflow in and dripping of condensation. I am painting all the units over the next few days and installation will begin early next week. My first goal is to get the power hooked up so I can get the A/C unit going while working inside the PUP and 90 degree heat. Will keep everyone posted on how it goes.
     
  9. bud121156

    bud121156 Western North Carolina

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    Nice work Aaron....continued good luck with the redo.
     
  10. AaronWard

    AaronWard "Measuring is the key to a successful rebuild...."

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    Thanks Bud!

    Making progress...painting what I can right now. Hoping to have the cabinet doors installed tomorrow and then the rebuild inside the PUP can begin. Hoping to see some good progress by the weekend. [:D]

    I am all prepped to secure everything in...I imagine another week and I should have some pics of the rebuild.
     
  11. themetells

    themetells New Member

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    My husband and I are 95% done with our 1983 Coleman Columbia Restoration and looking at your pictures I can see we have done almost the same things as you, except the a/c unit. I reupholstered the cushions and made a couple of new ones. I can't wait to see your finished product! :)
     
  12. nukowch822

    nukowch822 New Member

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    Looks great so far Aaron, can't wait to see more. Your model camper is very close to my 78 Concord, so its good to get an idea on what to do. Did you use partical board for the paneling? Did you use the same dimensions from the old cabinets/benches when making the new ones or are they custom dimensions(minus what you did for the a/c fitting of course)?

    Keep the pics coming! [:D]
     
  13. AaronWard

    AaronWard "Measuring is the key to a successful rebuild...."

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    Hey all,

    Huge progress yesterday....where to start...where to start... :)

    A/C Unit Installation:

    This was very painful. Unlike Shuley's installation I didn't have anything to go by. I planned on using an 8,000 BTU A/C unit but my box was way too small for airflow. I created a box (13"H x 24"D X 21"W) and insultated but the idea of just putting holes on the outside of the camper didn't work. The A/C unit(s) do not push enough air to move the heat our of two 4" holes. So after a good week of noodling I decided to put in a 5,000 BTU unit which was significantly shorter in depth than the 8,000 BTU. I next needed to find out how to bring airflow into the box as the compressor kept shutting off do to the lack of air movement. I first invested in a standard $13 bathroom exhaust fan unit and placed it in the A/C box to move the hot air out. It worked great but the compressor was still shutting off because of no return air. So after noodling on this I decided to cut another hole in the camper. This one is on the floor and then I purchased and installed another $13 bathroom exhaust fan unit to suck in clean air. Viola, problem resolved and now the compressor works even in 100 degree heat. Overall all you need is (2) bathroom exhaust fan units, two holes in the camper (one on the side and one in the floor-boards) and a 5,000BTU unit and you have central air. Overall cost for me on this project was $83 verses the $700 just for a roof A/C unit nevermind that my roof is not reinforced so there would be extra costs there as well.

    Electrical:

    I finished up all the electrical I wanted to accomplish. I removed the old Coleman 15AMP service and replaced it with a RV Power 6730 30AMP service unit. This unit provides a 30AMP breaker, 20AMP breaker, (2) 15 AMP breakers, (1) battery recharge and (5) D/C connections all while providing conditioning fro consitant electricity (no brown outs or dimming of lights when using other powered items in PUP). My only regret on this portion of the project is I should have just bought new wiring. I had a bunch of wire in my toolbox but it was the outdoor weather-proof kind and it was really hard to work with as it is rigid and the insulation is very difficult to take off. Make sure to run all wiring prior to putting up your outside edge paneling.

    Benches/Paneling:
    OK...so I learned a valuable lesson in this remodel....measure all of your space BEFORE you demolish the interior. I goofed up by not realizing I needed to be 17.75" verses 18" in height for my cabinets and that the tralier interior is not 82.5" but actually 82". It caused me some hardache havig to tear apart a cabinet to resize it by 1/2". Everything fits in perfectly though. The paneling that is installed all around the camper exterior is just mold resistant basement paneling you can get at HomeDepot. Stuff is easy to install and HomeDepot cut everything down to 18" for me. So installation was a breeze.

    Today I am hoping to install the new peel-and-stick hardwood floors. After this is done all I have left is the top unit which I need to finish painting and then get the coutertop on. Hope to have more photos and updates for you all soon!
     
  14. Dusty82

    Dusty82 Active Member

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    Well, you know the woodworker's mantra - measure twice, cuss once... Oh wait...

    The other one that's applicable to me is; "I've measured and cut this board 3 times, and it's still too short!"

    Great job, though! Can't wait to see the flooring go in!
     
  15. AaronWard

    AaronWard "Measuring is the key to a successful rebuild...."

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    @Dusty82 - I know what you mean...no matter how many times I cut the board it is still short. LOL!

    Flooring is all in. I used a new type of lamenant wood flooring that sticks together and becomes permanent. Pictures are uploaded...

    Things to get done prior to our first camping trip next week:
    • Lamenant Counter top
    • Lamenant side arm rest on one of the benches
    • Fix/replace canvas bungie cords
    • Install sink and hook up water supply
    • Little odds and ends (put light fixture cover back on, replace some screws, etc)

    Until I post again...
     
  16. Liv

    Liv New Member

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    Pretty Awesome. [:D] I wish you had a picture of the fan install under the air conditioner.
    Lov
    Liv
     
  17. fallsrider

    fallsrider Active Member

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    The ambition of some of you people never ceases to amaze me. Nice work!
     
  18. AaronWard

    AaronWard "Measuring is the key to a successful rebuild...."

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    @Liv - I do...it is the picture with all the aluminum tape. There are two bathroom ceiling exhaust fans in that picture. One pointing out to the back to remove heat and the other pointing at the A/C unit to provide airflow back to the A/C unit.

    @fallsrider - thanks! The goal really is to not spend $2-3k for something we could do ourselves. Thankfully we have been blessed in this project.

    I do have another "oh shoot!!" moment....the opening on the right in the cabinets (pics) is for an installed fridge...well even though I was able to reduce a Haier 1.7 cu.ft. fridge down from 19" to 18" after my incident surrounding the height of any cabinet can be a maximum of 17.5" has officially made this portion of the project get postponed. So until I figure it out is works perfectly for storage or the cooler.
     
  19. AaronWard

    AaronWard "Measuring is the key to a successful rebuild...."

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    You have to post and share! Would love to see what you all did. [:D]
     
  20. camping_girl

    camping_girl New Member

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    Really nice work!! Was it easy to find an upgraded power cord for the new converter?
     

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