The March Madness of my 94 Palomino Restoration - very detailed with pictures.

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by driftin by, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. driftin by

    driftin by New Member

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    Often a reader but seldom a poster, I thought I would contribute to the community my remodel project of our NTU 1994 Palomino XL-SC or Thoroughbred as I believe it to be known. For those of you that enjoy a good read with excruciating detail and incoherent ramblings, you'll enjoy this. For those that don't, I'll be posting lots of pictures.

    We purchased her on last September of 2013, the 26th to be exact off Craigslist from what may have been the most unintelligible of those capable of thought. This was the first PUP we looked at, mainly because it was the first to offer what we considered required features at a price our budget considered feasible. Long story short, I knew from reading here what to look for but again, considering the price, I tempered my expectations and was willing to forego what was otherwise sage advice from those whom may be reading this. Tires shot, battery dead, empty propane tank and no shore power available to test any of the mechanicals. However, solid floor, operational lift system, acceptably clean inside and out, new looking furnace and water heater and a clean title... it was ours! Drug her home and immediately replace the tires and repaired a broken water line followed by a thorough cleaning inside and out while sanitizing the water tank, toilet, shower and sink.

    Happy...
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    UP....
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    Inside with mattresses removed.
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    Broken water line.
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    While set up in Camp Driveway (although we didn't actually camp in it) all the mechanicals tested fine, much to my surprise. I hope I'm never surprised again after buying something like this to find things actually work! The roof vent was basically non-existent which I replaced with a Fan-tastic fan along with the trim seals on the roof which were cracked and possibly leaking water. Also the wiring that connected to the TV was a mess and I sorted it out with a flat-4 connector to be compliant with brake, signal and marker lights and nothing else.

    Stocked with our usual camping supplies, she was now fit for our maiden, 1-night voyage to our local Chatfield Reservoir on a crisp Colorado Fall Saturday afternoon in October- just a short 2 weeks after bringing her home.
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    Followed by a 2-night trip 110 miles away to beautiful Pueblo Reservoir 2 weeks after that. But before I was going to let her whip our TV (2010 Toyota Highlander) around anymore, I decided to address the flat-four connector and replace it with a more substantial 7-pin connector and junction box I sourced from Amazon. With this I sorted out the wiring mess partly for the dead and removed Group 27 battery and the 100-yards of electrical tape the last shade-tree mechanic thought would suffice. Coupled with the Tekonsha P3 brake controller I found on Craigslist for $70, the brakes worked. I also managed to find a Thetford 12-gallon gray water tank used (it was just returned not actually used, for about 35% savings) on Amazon and my wife bought an electric heating blanket/pad thing for our king mattress. I also picked up some plastic wheel chocks and leveling blocks along with a new city water supply hose and water pressure regulator, both of which went unused this trip. Both nights dipped below 20 degrees Fahrenheit and I worried about the single 5lbs propane bottle emptying however, our 110v space heater did a nice job keeping the furnace from running constantly.
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    Amazing sunset.
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    With the single LPG bottle causing me much stress I opted to remedy that immediately with a new double tank mount and new dual tank switching regulator from Amazon.

    Installed...
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    At this time, winter was bearing down so into the vacant 3rd bay of our garage she went all winterized. Through snowboarding and the holidays she called to me but many a sleepless night was spent thinking what opportunities exist for me with this camper. Needless to say, much too much time passed. It started with plans to remove the flaking vinyl stripes. I researched the best method and landed on an Eraser Wheel that attached to my drill. Again sourced from trusty Amazon for $13, I quickly removed the stirping from one side in about 40 minutes and the wheel worn down to the arbor.

    Before...
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    After...
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    As you can see, it took a bit more than just the vinyl strips. It's okay, all I needed was an excuse to paint the whole exterior of the camper but that will come later. While thinking about what I could do to the exterior, I also decided that it would be best to cover the fore and aft bulkheads with diamond plate for not only a bad-ass look but also to cover up some dents and dings caused over the years. Again, a project planned for warmer weather.

    We also planned during the winter months to make new curtains and valance and potentially install a new vinyl tile floor over the existing sheet vinyl in the spring as our improvements before the next camping season. This is where my sickness for perfection sets in. While watching a home improvement show I was impressed to see painted cabinets and how good they looked. Earlier during the winter, we refinished the wood base of one of our aquariums by sanding and painting the shoddy pine construction a solid black color with a foam roller and was very impressed with the results. I put one and two together and came to the conclusion that we would be painting the interior of our PUP in order to cover up some blemishes and bring the interior decor current!

    About 3 weeks ago, I pulled her out, raised her up, removed the bunks so she'd fit in the garage with the roof raised, shoved her back into the garage backwards (tongue first so that the door would open into the open bays) and started removing everything... well everything except the base cabinet that houses the furnace, fridge and water heater.

    The Stable
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    Toward the front...
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    and back....
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    I wish I had more before pictures of her but I don't so you'll have to take my word for it. Next to the door, this model had an ice chest that was in the void in the cabinet pictured to the left below. Besides the cooler's plastic construction succumbing to the test of time and breaking, it was just a bad idea in my opinion because to load it, one would have to raise the roof and fully extend the rear bunk to open the lid. We believed this space would be better served as a compartment accessible from the entry door. Also, between this cabinet and the aft dinette seat was a pitiful step that was broken and in the process destroyed the paneling. We also felt that extending the rear dinette seat all the way across would add more storage and seating and still provide the "lift" to enter and exit the rear bunk. All big pluses as far as I'm concerned. YMMV

    Ice Chest cabinet to the left, step scar in the middle. Frame for new seat/step.
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    Ice Chest cabinet converted to 2-tier storage compartment.
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    Since I had decided to go whole hog on this project, I just knew the cabinet doors would have to change.
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    And they have! 14 beautiful new doors milled out of 1/2" MDF await warmer nights (tonight) for primer and paint.
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    We scored this 16-yard, bolt of fabric off FabricGuru.com for $60 plus $5 shipping to ship the 25-pound beast!
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    When I run those figures through my computing machine that is less than $4/yd which by my standards is dirt cheap for upholstery fabric. Also, my computing machine indicates this will conservatively be more than enough to make new covers for the dinette cushions, cushions for the extended area I made to the aft dinette seat and curtains to cover our bunk-ends. This however, we will not tackle this ourselves. Like baking, I don't sew but luckily, we have commissioned one of my wife's co-workers to do the sewing work for $100.

    In this semi-high wall design by Palomino to accommodate the fold-a-wall concept, there is a cover at the ends that you fold down to extract the bunks. These were edged with aluminum screwed in place but the screws would work themselves out. I was suspect of this and lo and behold, I found rot!

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to miss the playful, mid-century bubble font used for the branding...
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    The rear piece was completely rotted (in the trash) while the front was relatively solid and in tact. I was thinking I would need to replace these anyway to accommodate the diamond plate in these end pieces.

    Well that's about it for now. I'll update my progress every few days.
     
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  2. Genie2010

    Genie2010 Active Member

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    Looking good!
     
  3. shelmily

    shelmily Well-Known Member

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    Wow, Nice looking Palomino. You will have it in tip top shape in no time. Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. jjg

    jjg Member

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    Keep up the good work! You're doing great. I also have a palomino hard side. I love it.
     
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  5. driftin by

    driftin by New Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement.

    You got any pictures of your TXL? I like to see how the differ from year to year.

    As planned, I was able to do some priming last night after work but was only able to get about halfway done due to all the taping I had to do.

    Taped....
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    Primed...
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    Doors...
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    Hopefully I can finish up the priming tonight and get the first coat of paint on the doors. That's the plan anyway.
     
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  6. jjg

    jjg Member

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    We're in the process of making new curtains. If it ever warms up and I can pop it up, I'll post pictures of it with the new curtains.
     
    Woo likes this.
  7. driftin by

    driftin by New Member

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    I look forward to it. We too will be replacing our curtains and am looking for info on how to.

    With the help of my wife and daughter, we managed to make good headway on the painting tasks which happen to be my least favorite.

    Finished priming everything and got the first coat down on the door fronts.
    [​IMG]

    This progress we made, got me thinking about what's next. I am planning to cut all the counter and table surfaces out of 5/8" Particle board tomorrow and laminate them over the weekend. We got these 2, 4x8 sheets of Travertine Formica from Lowes and asked them to discount them because they had a chip in the side. They happily obliged taking 35% off! Never hurts to ask.

    [​IMG]

    For flooring, we were thinking about a wood-look, vinyl planks but couldn't resist the deal on these 18"x18" vinyl tiles for $.19 each also from Lowes on clearance. In other words, $5.70 for flooring instead of $100 or more and it almost matches the Formica we got perfectly!

    [​IMG]

    Also looking ahead, I wanted to ask if anyone uses something other than that nasty butyl tape to seal things on the exterior or if people are using caulk or silicon nowadays?

    [​IMG]

    I hate this stuff because it never dries and becomes a magnet for dirt and dust....
    [​IMG]

    I appreciate any feedback with respect to alternatives.

    Also, my budget on this project is quickly approaching the red so one alternative is for us to sew the dinette covers ourselves. My question is, should this be tackled by someone that has very, very limited experience sewing or would it be an easy $100 to spend to let a professional do it and minimize the stress and aggravation?
     
    Woo likes this.
  8. Fordiesel250

    Fordiesel250 Member

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    Nice buy and even better fixup. Keep pictures coming I like these projects they show how innovative people are.
     
  9. tjwagers

    tjwagers Member

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    Gotta love those hardsides! Look forward to seeing your progress. Great work so far :)
     
  10. driftin by

    driftin by New Member

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    Wow busy weekend thanks to good temps... well good for Colorado in late March where we enjoy the best weather in the country. YMMV

    As planned, got all the particle board cut for the counters and laminated. Nine individual pieces using the majority of 2 - 4'x8' sheets of 5/8" particle board and 2 4'x8' sheets of Formica. For me, this kind of work is really enjoyable and moves along quickly producing great results.

    [​IMG]

    The least enjoyable part is the painting but I do enjoy getting deals. Got this full gallon, of normally $35 paint (a custom mix that apparently didn't meet the customer's satisfaction) from Lowes for only $5 and we decided to paint the "walls" of the camper with it.
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    The good thing is that we weren't picky and knew we wanted to light, warm contrasting color to the dark brown we were going to paint the cabinets. For not choosing this color, I'm not sure we could have picked a better one.
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    [​IMG]

    A bit of a sheen difference from not mixing it well enough but will be smoothed out with a final coat.

    Then 2 exhausting coats of the the dark brown (Frontier Road - such a fitting name IMHO.) on everything else. Hated to pay $28 for this gallon because I wasn't sure we would use more then a quart but I'm happy to report that we used just a bit more than a half a gallon with plenty left over for touch-ups.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The final accent color will be of a greenish hue used on the window trim. Yes, I said window trim... one of the many benefits of owning a Palomino Fold-a-Wall. If for no other reason, we felt like we needed an accent color and was trying desperately to find a place to put it in addition to the window trim without making the camper look too hodge-podge.

    Tent camper owners, while not pretty, they do exist....
    [​IMG]

    But somehow this puke green will bring out their inner beauty.
    [​IMG]

    So with the paint so amazingly dry this morning (Did I mention the best weather in the country?) I couldn't resist the urge to throw some of the pieces in and see how the colors went together. Who's ready for a sneak peak? Uh, yes please!

    [​IMG]

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    Needless to say, I'm pretty happy about the results so far. I just wish I didn't miss painting the cabinet where the fridge and furnace is. Doh!

    It is really nice to be really close to putting things back together. Just one major obstacle which is out of my control remains and that is installing the vinyl flooring which all depends on the weather and getting a few days and nights of decently warm weather. The next week is looking to be in the 50's consistently and we're headed to the Mountains for a log weekend to do some shreding so probably not much happening to end March or early next week.

    We also keep flip-flopping on whether or not to do the upholstery work ourselves and decided to get a second estimate. Lastly, I've sourced the PVC T-moldings from the nice folks at West & Barker. This will be used to both cover the exposed ends of the laminated particle board and the new sections of MDF. However, the back and fourth via email with color, size and styles has been a bit slow going.

    My BIL just emailed me this morning about setting a date in May to make some reservations so now there's that to further motivate me.
     
  11. Sussya

    Sussya Member

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    Wow! Looking good! [:D] Can't wait to see the finished product. Camping reservations in mid-April is what lit a fire under us as well. Haha.
     
  12. driftin by

    driftin by New Member

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    It' been a slow week or more with last weekend's trip to the mountains to enjoy some fresh pow and the always amazing Breckenridge Brew Fest. This week, we finally got some warm temps so on Wednesday I got to install our $5.70 vinyl tile floor. Used 27 of the 30 - 18x18 tiles in about 3 hours and I'm pretty happy with the results...

    One last look at the yuck....
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    and the not so yuck...
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    [​IMG]

    And now comes the fun part- putting everything back together. Yesterday after work, I got busy installing the dinette benches, power supply and getting the wiring all back together.
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    [​IMG]

    Looking at these pictures I just realized that we had planned to paint the ugly metal wheel wells but must have forgot.

    With everything wired back together, I got to try out some new LED lights that arrived after I removed the power converter. They are a 24-5050 SMD 12v 2-pack off Amazon for 12.88. Just as bright as the incandescent ones I replaced.
    [​IMG]

    I'm still waiting to place the order for all the PVC t-moldings I have sourced from West & Barker. I've been told that they are going to have to make a special run of the 5/8, Travertine colored molding that will edge all the counters. I'm just waiting for the lead time but until I actually receive it, I'm forced to wait before slotting all the Formica laminated counter surfaces. This, I'm afraid is going to be my major holdup.

    Other than that, I've got big plans for this weekend. All of the brushed nickle hinges and pull knobs are scheduled to arrive today and that'll be a chore I not too excited for. Planning to get most everything else installed today as well as the sink and plumbing which I'm going to reconfigure. The shower drains on the curb side, so I'm planning to run it to the street side joining with the galley sink drain through the floor to nominal 1.5" waste pipe. No more goofy flexible pipe with no vent that exits the wall of the camper. Also a bit of engineering with with flip galley I have planned but that will be better explained with pictures. Stay tuned....
     
  13. IGYPup

    IGYPup New Member

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    Looks good keep the pictures coming :)
     
  14. pandpcamper

    pandpcamper Lifetime camper, newer to pup

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    That looks great so far. We have a '98 Palomino Mustang softside and are very happy with how the PO took good care of it. He is a co- worker of DH. We won't be needing to replace anything even tho the cabinets, table, etc. look pretty much like yours did. Everything inside is still in good shape. It's only DH and I camping. The kids and their spouses prefer their tents when they do join us. Keep up the good work,
    .
     
  15. driftin by

    driftin by New Member

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    I would say ours wasn't in too bad of shape. It was parked under a carport however that did little to protect the sides of it. The rear faced a hillside where the runoff of the carport poured onto the ground and splashing on the rear causing the rot on the rear board as pictured. The carport did little to also protect the vinyl stripes and graphics from the scorching sun. We knew, considering the deal we got that we'd have to do some work- mostly cosmetic with respect to curtains, cushions and flooring. I just get bored and feel like I can improve everything to perfection. Lucky for me, everything else was fit unlike reading other restorations, I'm a bit embarrassed posting mine here but oh-well...

    So not as productive of a weekend as I hoped for because a cold front rolled in yesterday dropping temps below freezing making my unheated garage pretty uncomfortable especially when lying on the concrete garage floor to work on any plumbing. I also painfully discovered that the 1/2" hinge screws were too long and pierced the front of one of the doors now requiring that I sand, fill and repaint it. Did I tell you how much I hate painting? Now I'm challenged to source some 1/4" screws. In the meantime, I didn't get any of the hardware mounted that arrived on Saturday which would have been a good thing to do yesterday in the cold because I could have worked in front of the space heater.

    What I did accomplish however was slotting everything that would receive the double-lip t-molding. These are the dark brown wall pieces and a couple on the collapsible wardrobe. Uh, I didn't get any pictures of this so you'll have to take my word for it.

    But the major achievement was getting the flip over galley re-engineered that I referenced above. So the problem was that there was this big ole metal (aluminum) hinge that protruded about 6-inches from the base to allow clearance for the fridge door, furnace cover and door knobs.

    Not real noticeable but...
    [​IMG]

    Before, the lower cabinet was covered with a thin 1/8" piece of paneling which is decided to replace with 5/8" Formica laminated particle board to mount a normal piano hinge directly to. However, I would need to accommodate clearance for the fridge door and knobs which led to me coming up with the following:

    Make the surface that the upper cabinet with sink and stove mounts to slide in and out on drawer slides:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mounted and extended for travel mode:
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    Slid into place for camp mode:
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    New steel piano hinge with 1.3738 million screws pre-drilled and chamfer'd.
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    Upper cabinet mounted in travel mode and suck-y Sierra Nevada Wit IPA (not recommended)
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    And here you can see the clearance-
    [​IMG]

    Well that's about it. I've got designs on the plumbing and will post the results of that in the coming days. Now that our April snowstorm behind us, it'll be clear sailing straight into summer which means my deadline is ever quickly approaching. I hope I make it!
     
  16. toasty

    toasty Member

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    looking great
     
  17. jwrober

    jwrober Member

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    Awesome job. Mind posting parts list with total spend ? Good to compare and get an idea of costs.
     
  18. PhillyTitan

    PhillyTitan New Member

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    I like what you're doing here. Keep us updated. :)
     
  19. driftin by

    driftin by New Member

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    No, don't mind at all as long as my wife doesn't find out! [:D]

    Here is what I've purchased so far:
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    And here is what I estimate to have left:
    [​IMG]

    All that and a new Group-27 battery brings it to just a shade under $1500 total and I can live with that because I know there is no way in hell I could buy a pup in this condition with these features for $3000 with every single aspect of it, just the way we want it. Better yet, I'm pretty confident I could easily sale it in our market for $4k if not more.

    I was finally able to get the lead time on my custom order of t-moldings which will be produced the middle of next week then shipped out UPS Ground so I'm looking to probably get it the first couple days in May which will be just in the nick of time for our maiden voyage on May 16th. In order to make this date, I'm planning to wrap up the interior work with the exception of the moldings, this weekend then move to the exterior and prep it for paint, diamond plate and decals. Ugh, now I'm stressed!
     
  20. jwrober

    jwrober Member

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    I was thinking around a grand. Thanks for the detail.
     

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