First Camper! 83 Coleman Columbia

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by JessRossetti, May 8, 2016.

  1. JessRossetti

    JessRossetti New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    Let me start off by saying that I'm a complete newbie when it comes to pop up campers. We were big on tent camping but now we now have a 7mo old son and a little dog, so we decided it was time to upgrade.

    My husband and I just recently purchased a 1983 Coleman Columbia for ...... 300$! I've been looking around for a some-what project camper for a while and a few days ago I found it on Kijiji.

    The reason for the low price is that the canvas has a TON of holes. All four corners where the beds are are torn, and there's a bunch of small holes in the screens and on all the walls. Other than that the camper is in perfect shape; no water damage (that we can see... I will be checking), and no musty smell. Also, the covers on the cushions are removable so I can toss them in the washing machine (yay!)

    The first thing I'm going to do once we bring the camper home is remove all the canvas and scrub, and scrub... And scrub. I'll also be washing the covers for the mattress & cushions. Then give the camper a full bleaching.

    I've also ordered roughly 1.5yards of beige canvas (40$ CA) and I plan on cutting my patches from it. I would've bought repair kits but the patches that come with aren't big enough.

    My question is: What's the best brand of "patch cement"?

    I'll post pictures when I get the chance :) [PU]
     
  2. Mally

    Mally Member

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    Congrats on the purchase!
    For cleaning, I would recommend oxyclean. Stuff works wonders.

    Also, is your tenting material sunbrella/canvas, or a fabric backed vinyl?

    If it is Vinyl, I would recommend VLP Vinyl Adhesive
    http://www.amazon.com/Performix-075815100016-Leather-Vinyl-Repair/dp/B000PS6N4E
    IF its Canvas/Sunbrella, others have had great success with "Bishs Tear Mender"
    http://www.amazon.com/Val-Chicago-Fabric-Leather-Mender/dp/B00GVKXFI2

    Good plan on taking it all off. Cleaning and patching is so much easier when its off the camper.
     
  3. sdn40

    sdn40 Member

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    Second vote for Tear Mender.

    Also, make sure the rest of the canvas is not dry rotted. Considering the age, and failure at the high stress areas already, test the strength of the remaining canvas. I would hate to see you put in lots of time repairing something that was already gone but you didn't know it yet. Just do a pull test on a section and see if you hear fibers breaking.

    If all else fails you can purchase a new canvas (I purchased from Bear Creek Canvas - you can also just order pieces parts IIRC) and still come in at a fraction of the price of a new pup. That's what I did to an 85 Columbia - click the camera for pics if you like. The mid 80's Columbia's are awesome to work on

    Keep us posted
     
  4. Jeepguy93

    Jeepguy93 Active Member

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    Awesome find, I love older colemans. Get some pics up I wanna seeee [8D] I got my 84 sun valley for about the same price. I took the canvas off and soaked it in my tub with a little oxyclean then re waterproofed with 303 fabric guard.


    [​IMG]
     
    Mamie and Bebe123 like this.
  5. JessRossetti

    JessRossetti New Member

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    Thanks for the replies! I've been trying to post a few pictures but I keep getting an error message... Could it be because I took them with an iPad? I guess I'll have to dig out my camera to get actual .jpeg pictures lol

    I gave the guy we bought the camper from a call and he said the material used for the canvas is Sunbrella, which is prefect because that's what I ordered. I also went out and bought a big tub of oxyclean. I've never looked so forward to cleaning something [:D]

    And I tried searching through store websites and couldn't find Bish's tear mender anywhere, but then I stumbled upon a post for Canadians and someone said that its available here at Canadian Tire but it's not listed on the website, or something along those lines. Definitely have to go in and check it out.

    Another question: if I wanted to update the floor, would peel and stick tiles work? It's actually a really nice floor, considering its age. I'm just wondering for future reference if I decide to do a full remodel.

    TIA!
     
  6. sdn40

    sdn40 Member

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    I used peel and stick tiles for my remodel and its working fine. The issue is removal of the old linoleum. Take it from me because I tried every trick in the book. You will need a belt sander for the last 5% of removal. Anything less aggressive takes forever
     
  7. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Don't lose the baby in that tub!!!!
     
  8. JessRossetti

    JessRossetti New Member

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    I've figured out how to post pictures without attaching them lol
    You can see the "before" pictures on my Flickr (below))
     
  9. Jeepguy93

    Jeepguy93 Active Member

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    Thats a nice little camper. With a little work itll be good to go.
     
  10. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Hi Jess and welcome to the portal!

    If you'd like to add your images to your posts, just lcick on the little image icon and enter the url where the image is hosted. In your case, open your flickr library, click on the image you want to share, then click the > arrow at the bottom right corner of the image to bring up the flickr sharing interface. Click "BBcode" to get the image URL, select it and copy with "CTRL + C" or right mouse click and choose "copy".

    Here's the BBcode flickr provides:

    [ url=https://flic.kr/p/GSs6mb ][ img ]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7312/26825186422_81c006c8ab_z.jpg[ /img ][ /url ][ url=https://flic.kr/p/GSs6mb ]image[ /url ] by [ url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/140869333@N07/ ]Jessica Rossetti[ /url ], on Flickr

    Paste the code into your post editor here at the portal and strip off everything except the [ img ] tag, the image URL and the closing [ /img ] tag.

    In this example, I've added extra spaces in the [ img ] tags so you can see the code we'll use:
    [ img ]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7312/26825186422_81c006c8ab_z.jpg[ /img ].

    Removing those extra spaces, you'd see the following image:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. samh

    samh Campin'

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    McNett Seam Grip (also called Gear Aid Seam Grip) is what I have been using as I repair the canvas on our '83. Great to have another Columbia owner on the Portal. Be sure to share some pictures in the "Owner's Club" thread.
     
  12. Kodiakgh

    Kodiakgh New Member

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    I also have an 1983 Coleman Columbia that was given to us. The canvas is new but I decided to gut the inside. I replaced the wood as it had some water damage and repainted the inside. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. HisnHersSmith

    HisnHersSmith New Member

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    I just replaced the ceiling in my 1983 Coleman Columbia, and just painted 1/8" plywood, plus all the brackets. I love the way your ceiling turned out - what did you use there, and did you remove the roof to do it? 20170708_091640.jpg 20170903_121532.jpg IMG_20160625_201115_433.jpg
     

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