Our $1 Camper Facelift

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by Abrams1997, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Abrams1997

    Abrams1997 Member

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    Ok. We were blessed to get a 2001 Palomino Mustang for $1. My father-in-law's coworker, the original owner, was getting rid of it, and wanted it to go to a handy family that would enjoy it. Because, after 12 years, the AC leak and the canvas leaked, he just bought a new one. Here it is with my TV the first time I opened it up. [​IMG]

    So, I did the basic repairs like checking all of the appliances...the furnace, the water heater, the water tank, the AC/Heater, the refrigerator, the sink, the LP gas. I repacked the bearings, straightened out the dented bumper, re-caulked all of the exterior joints, replaced some light bulbs, and got ready to check the ceiling and the AC leak. Before I got to the hard roof, I determined that the canvas leaks were due to cracks and found a great product...a $7 tube of glue that fixed all of the leaks.

    Here is what I found when I removed the inside cover of the AC. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    When I finally went to pull the top off, it had sunk into the roof so bad, I couldn't even apply pressure to break the gasket. The last shop to "repair" the roof leak had used a silicone caulk on the gasket and it would not separate from the roof. I had to use a hack saw blade out of the saw to get the roof up.

    The roof membrane was cracked and torn from the previous removal and my removal...I am sure that is part of the leaking problem.
    [​IMG]

    I was a little intimidated about the damage, but figured I would just jump right in and began tearing out the old, wet wood. One cross beam was so wet that I could ring water out of the wood with my hands. And rotten...let me tell you it stunk.

    [​IMG]

    I was afraid to do too much roof at once because I was doing this from the inside. There is one steel u-channel that runs from side wall to sidewall down the middle of the roof. I did one side first and got all the rotten wood out.

    [​IMG]

    Not too bad I guess. Cutting out the wood beams mid point across the roof wasn't easy. I did put one hole into the roof membrane, but I used my RV caulk to cover it with a silver dollar sized patch. It was really just a crack in the roof.

    After all the wet and rotten wood/ insulation was removed, I started to rebuild the structure and replace the Styrofoam insulation.

    [​IMG] New main beams under the AC.

    [​IMG] I used a finish grade, 1/4" plywood to cover and replace the old finished ceiling. 1) It was the cheapest sheet product. 2) I know it will add some structural support to the roof. 3) I figured it would hold any hanging accessories we may want in the future. 4) It was about the thinnest thing I could find for the weight. 5) We knew we wanted to paint the ceiling anyway. The Plywood was flexible enough to bend over and around the braces I used connecting the main beams.

    I finished putting back the wood structure and insulation and was ready to finish the first half of the roof.
    [​IMG]

    The first half complete!
    [​IMG]

    The 2nd half had almost no water damage and I simply removed everything attached to the roof and installed the plywood directly over the old roof. Here it is with everything put back.
    [​IMG]

    We then primed and painted the wood a light blue while leaving all of the trim and metal pieces the glossy white. It is a great looking ceiling and feels warm and inviting.

    Here I used scraps of the plywood to move the AC, with a new gasket, into place. My DW and DD were able to help me lift it onto the roof, but I had to move it into position myself.

    [​IMG]

    The inside...you can see the blue ceiling.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the painted ceiling, the new valance and new curtains my wife made. Plus the new cushion covers she made and the faux finish she put on the table.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Today, prepped and painted most of the frame.
    [​IMG]

    I don't have the finished pictures of that yet, but I will get them up soon. This is all still a work in progress. Our first trip will be before school starts so we are trying to Glamp up the trailer before we go.

    I will keep you posted. I can certainly say we are blessed. The damage was minor overall for the price...we are still in shock at how good a shape it is in.
     
  2. smoreking

    smoreking Member

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    Looks good.
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    That looks great ..............
     
  4. CommaHolly

    CommaHolly New Member

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    WOW! fabulous deal and what a great looking camper!

    I'd be showing the guy who sold it to me for a buck!!!!!!! I bet he'd LOVE to see it!
     
  5. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    Lots of time and talent went into that repair. Good job and please post final result photos
     
  6. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    WTG! Great stuff!


    1996 Viking 2060ST / 1997 F150
     
  7. 3sons

    3sons Only good at Drinking Beer

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    Great job on the make over!! I am getting ready to do the same thing my coachmen clipper had roof damage when i got it. What did you use to hold the plywood up and to hold the door up?
     
  8. TX_F2

    TX_F2 New Member

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    Awesome job, really looks great.
     
  9. jdy2

    jdy2 Member

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    Amazing! It looks absolutely wonderful (and you make it sound so easy).
     
  10. Abrams1997

    Abrams1997 Member

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    Thanks All. It has been rewarding...but a lot of work. I will post final photos when we are done.

    3sons, not sure what you are asking about holding up the wood and door? What I think you are asking...when I did the side with the door, I just took it off completely. That 1/4" plywood is light enough that my daughter held it up one end while I screwed in the other side. The total weight added to the ceiling was probably less than 5 lbs. It is light stuff...but good structure support in all of your lateral directions.
     
  11. 3sons

    3sons Only good at Drinking Beer

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    Abrams I was asking what did you attach the wood to the ceiling with like screws and adhesive or what? As far as the door did you just re use the plastic factory turn style knobs to hold the door up to the ceiling?
     
  12. Abrams1997

    Abrams1997 Member

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    3sons,

    To attach the plywood, I used 3/4" wood screws. The ceiling structure was 3/4" and the plywood was 1/4" so I had a full inch clearance. I set the torque on my drill to give before any of the screws set beyond flush to prevent running a screw through the roof membrane.

    All other accessories I just reused the existing hardware. My door hangers have an aluminum plate that attached with 3 screws and then the latches themselves have their own screw thru the middle. I had very little water damage on the side of the roof with the door so I am unsure what structure is above that side. Because there was basically no water damage, all of that structure was in good shape and I figured that with the additional 1/4" plywood, all of it will hold up.

    While I did the very best I could on the repair, I figure that even with any mistakes I might have made, the repaired roof and the camper as a whole will last many years...enough to get camping into the family DNA. At that point, if it fails again, I can either do a full rebuild or invest in a new camper. Since we are new to camping, we are lucky to get into it so cheap. We are very, very blessed to have gotten a camper in such great shape so cheaply. I have been reading so many rebuilds on here and the condition of some of the PUPs people are picking up...we should have paid a couple thousand for this one. SO Blessed! I can't say that enough! The coolest thing is the previous owner is very happy for us...just happy that another family is going to get years of enjoyment out of it.
     
  13. ridenred333

    ridenred333 New Member

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    Keep up the good work it looks great.
     
  14. SUPERKSR

    SUPERKSR Member

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    Looks great. Nice work. And now that the roof repair is done, the cosmetic stuff is fun!
    Enjoy it!
     
  15. Abrams1997

    Abrams1997 Member

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    Truthfully, what makes the cosmetic stuff the most fun is seeing my wife and daughters sewing and planning and working together on all the fabric stuff. That does it for me...just having the family working together. Maiden voyage in a just a few weeks. That will put the icing on the cake for sure. Thanks for the encouragement. Also, thanks for all who take time to document and post pictures and list products. I spent about 2 weeks reading on here before I did anything with my own. I really had no surprises because of all those that went before me. Hopefully, my post here will be of use to someone in the future.
     
  16. daveo1289

    daveo1289 Well-Known Member

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    GREAT JOB!! It looks better than new.
     
  17. SUPERKSR

    SUPERKSR Member

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    You, my friend, Get it!!!! That's what the portal is all about. [:D]
    That's what having a camper to share with your family is all about!!!!!!
     
  18. mamabean5

    mamabean5 Well-Known Member

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    LOVE the curtains, cushions, and table! How did you do the table?
     
  19. BAPU

    BAPU Member

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    Awesome!!
     
  20. Abrams1997

    Abrams1997 Member

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    Mamabean5,

    My wife has been a paid faux painter in the past (although market evaporated with the housing bust) so I am unsure exactly her paints and colors...but I know she used a stencil for the pattern and then I put several coats of clear from Rustolium. The stencil is the key to patterns.
     

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