1986 Coleman Sequoia Renovation Journal

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by LavaWeb, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    Hey fellow PUPers, is that even a term?

    I wanted a place to kind of journal the work that we're doing to our NTU 1986 Coleman Sequoia and I figured this might be the best place. After looking and looking and looking we stumbled onto this one off of Craigslist and can't wait to see how it turns out in the end. We'll be traveling with our four kids so space might be a little tight but I'm confident that we're going to make it work. Half of my reasoning for going small was that if there isn't a lot of room in the camper, the kids won't want to stay in it! Have you had this experience? I'm really excited though, I grew up camping in Southern and Northern California and I look forward to many trips with the family exploring the outdoors!

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    It does need a fair amount of work...

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    The canvas was the first thing that we took out...

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    (My three year old has designated himself the "keeper of the lift wrench" and therefore holds it at all times.)

    Next we're rebuilding the roof, which will be in the next post.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  2. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    So rebuilding the roof started with removing the ceiling panels that were screwed in first, I figured this would be easier to let gravity help me rather than pull everything up and out. We knew we needed to dig into it because the front right corner cap was completely gone and the PO used white tape to try and hold the side and front panels together. We could see inside there was a good amount of rot and that we needed to replace the inner materials. Taking the white plastic paneling off the ceiling revealed a metal frame that spanned the entire roof that I haven't seen in any Colemans before nor on the parts diagrams I have looked at. So figuring it was added later on, away it went! From there we took the roof off the four posts and laid it upside down on the garage floor.

    The brackets around the roof mounts are pretty badly damaged so I'm going to have to try and find a spot to get new ones, and the four brackets that bolt into the lift posts were badly rusted. So we're trying a vinegar bath and maybe some Rustolem to be able to reuse them (as I can't find them anywhere online.

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    Anyone know a place to get these covers for the mounts?
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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  3. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    Next we started removing the material of the roof. We've looked at countless threads on here as well as attended a good amount of YouTubeUniversity and just started going to town with scrapers, mallets, and wonderbars, whatever we could get under what was discovered was only foam and luan for the entire roof!

    After getting all four sides done, we moved to the bottom errrr the "top" of the roof. This proved to be a lot harder so it was time to whip out the bigger guns! Thankfully my 7 year old wanted to be a big helper!

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    Next step is to patch the little holes that have popped up (get it?) in the roof!

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  4. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    Here are the current questions I'm pondering for this project...
    • Should I take the time to remove the pink adhesive that is still remaining on the shell?
    • When framing out the new ceiling, how can I frame it in a way so that the center won't sag?
    • Also, how can do I frame it so that in the future I can add AC and maybe even Solar?
    • What can I do to pre-wire for the future AC and Solar additions?
    Thank you all so much for any help you can give. I can't wait to see this pop-up in a campsite!
     
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  5. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    Just letting everyone know, removing the pink adhesive is no joke... Took almost two full days to get it out of there but finally the aluminum roof is clean!

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  6. lksdrinker

    lksdrinker Active Member

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    Looks like a lot of work! Gonna be quite satisfying to see it come together
     
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  7. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    Catching up on the journal here. Next step was to patch the holes and pinholes that were in the aluminum. To do this I used Aluminum flashing from Lowes and some gorilla glue, I was going to cover them with flex seal but after looking into that stuff more I saw is wasn't worth it, so I left it as this. I'm also going to be patching the exterior and painting the whole thing, so I'm ok with these being a backup measure.

    We also used the flashing and glue for the center seam, trying to make a bond that would be water tight also as a backup measure should the exterior seam fail. Then I weighed everything down and let it cure.

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  8. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    A little more progress, got the first side of the roof glued and clamped, took a bit of work to do though because the top center seal is still on, so the board sagged in the middle when we aligned the edges, we just kind of muscled it into the right place and clamped it. I hope it works right lol!

    Note: Because the top center seam is still on I couldn't use just one board on the outside to clamp to, so I cut two identical boards that rest on either side of the seal and that made it easier to sandwich the aluminum and get a good bond. Also, there's never enough clamps!!! I bought out the local Harbor Freight and fear I will need to again when I do the sides because I don't have enough!

    I'll be doing the front side tonight and then the sides over the weekend. So hopefully I'll have an update for you again on Monday. I'm off next week so I'm excited to hopefully have the hole roof done by next Friday. That would be AMAZING!

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  9. Nicholmom3

    Nicholmom3 New Member

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    This is exciting! I just came into a PUP that needs a decent amount of work as well, so I'll be following your journey and starting one of my own. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the project.
     
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  10. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    Got the front side and the right and left sides glued up. For the upright cracks we cut plywood to fit the brackets for added support! Next the ceiling!

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  11. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    While we were waiting for the glue to dry we also started taking all of the counter tops off, going with brand new ply. This was actually kind of tough because we needed to remove the sink and stove. So many little screws!

    The sink will come back but the stove will not since we will have one on the door side of the PUP.

    We took special care to measure EVERYTHING!

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  12. NavarWynn

    NavarWynn Member

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    I think the answer to these questions depends on how robust your cables/crank/lift arms are. The short answer is that, assuming they can handle the weight, you could theoretically do all you want. That said, I have no idea how much weight your Coleman's roof can support. You can always add strength and rigidity to the roof itself, but the more you add, the greater the weight. At a certain point it becomes self defeating, and your lift rail's capability (plus arm strength ;) ) will determine how much in total you can lift. Keep in mind that a roof top A/C is going to be HEAVY - like probably about 80lbs for a 13.5K unit. It's also going to require you run (minimum) 12/3 cable to the A/C to provide adequate 120VAC shore power. I would probably get a length of good quality 12/3 or 10/3 extension cord, and use that to provide power. When you redo the canvas, you can just add a flap that holds the cable in place, and velcros shut. You definitely want to use quality fine stranded cable, since the cable is going to be flexed considerably every time you collapse or lift the roof. Frankly though, you need to make an assessment NOW if your roof lifts/supports are strong enough to support the 100+lbs a roof w/ an A/C on it is going to be... If not, you can always find a way to build the A/C into a cubby/nook at ground level...


    Something else to think about is the lighting. Most Pups these days have roof mounted internal 12v lights. Doesn't take a lot of current to run these (even if you go w/ old incandescent instead of modern LEDs), and each type has their merits. You haven't mentioned anything about your Pup's current wiring setup, but I didn't see any roof lamps in any of the pics. Trust me, they are worth their weight in gold.

    As far as roof build out goes, I'd simply reinstall the OEM steel frame, and reinforce it with vertical plywood pieces cut to size. You still want foam/luann between the Aluminum and the frame, but I'd install a vent hole prior to putting the roof on - if you are considering a rooftop A/C - personally, I'd do it anyway, with a vent cover and a small fan for ventilation. If the A/C ever gets installed, that's where it'd go, and if not, you have handy and usable ventilation (and night time fan noises ;) ). luckily there are kits for those.


    As far as a solar setup goes, it really depends on what you want it for. Are you planning to try to go off grid for a week, and do so w/ A/C, and a coffee maker? If so, you'll need a fair amount of capacity, which, given the size of the roof, might need a significantly sized foldout rack. I could easily see adequate solar for that job adding another 50-75lbs+ to the roof. Of course you could compromise by simply building a storage rack for panels that fit into an independent frame. Of course setup/teardown is considerably greater work. Keep in mind that you'd also want to add significant battery capability, and build in charge controllers for any of these setups. Yes, you could just get a couple 100w kits that clip onto the battery - but you'll run into the limits of your battery and your solar pretty quick if you are running that A/C - or anything else of considerable current. Yes, going 'green' is damn sexy, but there are always compromises, and costs... and they can be significant. A better (cheaper, easier, and less complicated) setup may be to purchase an inexpensive inverter type generator. They run very quietly, are very fuel efficient, and provide adequate power for ALL (including AC) your basic needs. IME they run ~$500 for cheap ones to ~$1000 for a similarly specced Honda EU2000 unit. Either that or simply plan to always have shore power, which eliminates the need for all of the above.
     
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  13. jberreth007

    jberreth007 Renoing our 91 Palomino TXL-LB!!! So much work!!!

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    Such awesome work you’ve done so far! You e inspired me and I too will be removing the roof on my 91 Palomino TXL and do basically what you’re doing. I’ve been avoiding the rot issue for a couple years but now one of the rear roof supports is coming loose.
     
  14. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    Oh my gosh thank you so much for the reply!!! Little updates that I will add in below.

    We've scrapped the idea of putting an AC above the camper. IF we add one it will be in the side, maybe even where the heater is.

    Yea when we purchased it, it had no interior lighting. We are going to add lights, preferably the traditional camper style that isn't LED (we HATE blue leds!)

    WAIT WAIT WAIT, that frame was OEM? I haven't seen that frame in any of the parts books or in other rebuilds???

    I do want to do this, just with a vent though and not an AC unit up there.

    We nixed the idea... But thank you SOOOOO much for everything you said. Hopefully posting another picture update soon!
     
  15. Be-Ce

    Be-Ce Member

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    Very impressive work - way beyond my skill set. Kudos!
     
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  16. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    Not at all! It’s actually been much easier so far than I thought, just tedious.
     
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  17. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    More roof work done, getting closer and closer. Now we have all four side complete and covered with the Luan. For the upright supports we took two pieces of Luan and glued them together inside the opening in order to remove the gap between the aluminum and the metal upright support bracket.

    Now we are prepping the outside slightly in order to get the four trim pieces that go on the bottom of the roof back on, this will allow us to bring the sides together again and give us real measurements for the actual ceiling frame.

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  18. NavarWynn

    NavarWynn Member

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    That's probably a good idea. Our A/C unit is mounted in the storage box up front, and, even though the most efficient method is undoubtedly to mount to the roof (since it then has uninterrupted and open airflow), even the smallest off the shelf window A/C unit is enough to get things mighty cool inside a popup (IMO). In the end, I may move it to the hole where the mini 3-way fridge used to be (under the sink), as I have no plans to replace it, and the current location is not ideal IMO. Hopefully you can find a place to put yours that allows good acccess, and good airflow. Not knowing your camper, I honestly wouldn't know, but if there is a heater there now, then that's probably a good location.

    I agree in principle, but I prefer the light to power ratio achieved by LEDs. Cooler running is probably the most tangible difference, but keep in mind that many manufacturers offer incandescent-ish 'warm white' LED lighting that runs off 12v. Something like this: Warm light light bar 12v

    It looks OEM to me. I don't have a parts book for your model/year (obv.), but it looked like the material you removed to access the steel frame was the original roof, or a cheapy replacement for the OEM ceiling. The steel frame was clearly manufactured for precise fitment in that spot. Further, I suspect that the roof would not have had adequate rigidity to stay up and in place and not flex considerably without that frame in place. Your roof consisted of a) top aluminum sheet, b) foam layer, c) thin veneer layer - d) steel frame, e) ceiling panels. With only a, b, and c, that roof looks like it would have bowed considerably - none of those materials - even combined (a+b+c) - are very rigid/strong. Replacing that veneer layer with proper 3/4 ply would likely increase it's rigidity considerably (though I'd still add beams in your shoes if that was the only reinforcement), but, tbh, I think the steel frame was there from day one.

    IMO, a vent up top is an outstanding idea. Getting one with a built in fan is an even better idea (again, IMO ;) ). While these can get pretty pricey (believe it or not), for a pop up, I would think something like this would be adequate: Ventline RV Roof Vent White w/ 12V Fan, ...

    Keep driving on! Adequate solar to live off grid is NOT a casual add-on - and while it's something in our long-term dream PUP plans, I think our short term plans are a PUP we can plug in, and medium term plans will be a battery bank (probably in the 200Ah range), along with a HF inverter generator (to charge the battery bank and run the A/C) for off-grid duties...
     
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  19. bobinfleet

    bobinfleet Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing your journal, I'm sure it will be of great help to many pup owners
     
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  20. LavaWeb

    LavaWeb Member

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    So after getting the sides up and connected we tried putting the metal frame in and seeing what the fit is like, there is NO WAY this is factory, the middle support travels from being centered on one side to three inches to the right on the other, screws are all over the place, it was totally made after the fact and to be honest I can't really understand why. But it's scrap metal now.
     
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