Total Conversion Project - 1998 Coleman Sea Pine

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by arkangel, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. arkangel

    arkangel Member

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    Beginning in July of 2012 I embarked on a restoration project like no other. I rescued a damaged and abandoned pop up camper from the slow death of life in a pasture and decided I was going to do something with it. The trailer is a 1998 Coleman Sea Pine. The katalyst for it's current situation: The notoriously weak and poorly designed Coleman ABS roof. This particular unit was apparently still under warranty when the roof failed (I think Coleman may have still been giving these a lifetime warranty). The owner couldn't afford the freight for the new roof and was unable to find a solution. The rest is history...
    [​IMG]
     
  2. jeeper88

    jeeper88 Let's go Camping and Jeepin

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    Looks like it has friends all around!! [:D]
     
    Pup tent dreamer likes this.
  3. steveandlisette

    steveandlisette New Member

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    Looks like a fun project.
     
  4. chasw98

    chasw98 Chuck, Debbie, and grandson Jacob

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    I own a fairly well preserved 1998 Sea Pine which is almost all original. Let me know if you have any questions about how things should be or what might be missing. Ours is in great shape and we use it almost every other weekend. I have owned it since January 7, 2013 and bought it for $2800.00. We are extremely happy with it. Post pictures of the progress.

    Chuck
     
  5. arkangel

    arkangel Member

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    After a few years not only did rainwater penetrate the roof and cause some water damage but the rats got into it and made it a stately home.
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    Chasw98 I'll bet yours is looking a little better than this...

    When I first popped it up the smell of ammonia was choking. I realized very quickly that the canvas was toast. The curtains, cushions, and much of the cabinetry was either rotten or fouled by rat excrement. I decided that the best option would be to gut the entire thing and start from scratch. It was also at this time that I began to formulate a plan for the rebuild. I did some research and discovered that very few people had attempted a full scale conversion from pop up to travel trailer. I made up my mind to remove the ABS roof and rebuild the trailer from the bottom half up as a travel trailer.
     
  6. arkangel

    arkangel Member

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    The first step was just a deep thorough cleaning of everything top to bottom. I trashed all the fabrics, cushions and mattresses. It was a huge undertaking just cleaning up all the rat feces and various items that they had dragged in there either to eat or to horde. I think the girlfriend and I actually cleaned it twice over before I could even get started on any construction.

    [​IMG]

    At this point I started to get a little discouraged. I could tell that I wouldn't be able to afford to do some of the things that I would have liked to right out of the gate. I was forced to resort to more creative methods of gathering materials for this project. Luckily I work for an RV dealership with a large service shop. We constantly have a pile of used parts from RVs that are being repaired. Most of the stuff is useable, just requires a bit of refurbishment. I was able to find most of the things that I needed for RV specific construction right there in the junk pile. And so the project was officially off the ground.
     
  7. arkangel

    arkangel Member

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    After the roof came off, I cranked the support arms down one last time. I decided not to remove them in case I ever wanted to part them out or needed to use them on another project. They are still nestled nicely within the walls. After that the logical first step was to anchor a baseboard to the bottom frame of the PUP to build the walls on.

    [​IMG]

    We happened to have a pile of 2x6 boards that a constructiuon company left behind. Each one was cut somewhere between 49 and 56 inches long. I was able to use these throughout the project. Later on I ripped them in half to make custom "2x3s" for the studs.
     
  8. arkangel

    arkangel Member

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    As part of the teardown I removed the rear bed and track assembly. At that point I was still planning on removing both beds. Then something struck me. I knew that most modern campers have slide rooms to allow for more living space while camping. I also knew that in order to incorporate a bed into the new TT I would have to sacrifice a good deal of the already limited floorspace.

    [​IMG]

    Around this time I started to formulate a plan. I would leave the original bedframe and track assembly and build a fully enclosed sliding bedroom for my new camper. This decision has changed the nature of the project significantly and added a whole new level of engineering, but I am glad to have the challenge.
     
  9. arkangel

    arkangel Member

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    This is the view from the rear as the baseboard comes together. You can see the master bed frame still extending out from the front.

    [​IMG]

    It was important to realize that the only bed I could retain would be the forward bed, suspended over the tongue of the trailer. Otherwise the weight would have been distributed all wrong. It was just lucky the larger master bed is located in the front.
     
  10. dannyv11

    dannyv11 Member

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    I'm excited to see how this goes... I'll be checking back often.
     
  11. chasw98

    chasw98 Chuck, Debbie, and grandson Jacob

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    Man, I wish you lived near me, I could help you with a lot of ideas and sweat!

    So I have to ask....... You gonna' motorize that sliding bedroom? Remote control, perhaps?

    Keep the pictures coming, looks quite interesting and fun.

    Chuck
     
  12. pcfeld

    pcfeld New Member

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    I am still trying to determine how the weight of the bunk will be held while it is being deployed. Once deployed with the supports the weight won't be a issue but are slides strong enough to hold the solid wall sides?
     
  13. COdreaming

    COdreaming New Member

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    Very interesting...
     
  14. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    This is going to be fun!
     
  15. ridenred333

    ridenred333 New Member

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    I cant wait to see how this turns out. Take lot of pics.
     
  16. arkangel

    arkangel Member

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    Hey everyone. I am writing this post like an illustrated story, and I work full time so it will take me a while. I will update every day if I can, but if not I'll keep everyone informed as to the status. Once again I'll try to answer your questions as best I can and I really appreciate the positive feedback!

    As I came around to the front corners of the camper with the baseboard I ran out of material to anchor it to. Up until this point I was using the pre-existing aluminum bed slide rails. Since the rear bed was gone I drove 3/8" head, 1 1/4" self tapping screws through the aluminum rail and into the 2x6 baseboard, every 12" or so if I remember right. Once I got to the front I had to figure out how to anchor the baseboard without interrupting the sliding motion of the bed system. I ended up using small right angle brackets made of aluminum (salvaged) to "premount" the baseboard to the framework surrounding the OEM front support arms. This was not initially a very strong mounting point but I bolstered the framing later on which added a lot of strength to the area.

    [​IMG]

    As to the question about the weight of the bed: I have attacked the weight issue in a few ways to make sure the system doesn't fall victim to early failure. I certainly want to use this camper, and for it to be fully functional I need to be able to slide that bed in and out frequently. The OEM supports work great once the bed is out but while in motion there is little to no support for the bedframe. It is sufficient to support the weight of the frame and mattress as a pop up camper, but it became clear early on that the increasing weight of the bedroom was going to be too much for the track system. I began developing ideas for a solution early on...
     
  17. arkangel

    arkangel Member

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    Just a couple of shots I took during the teardown. Grabbed a "new" A/C shroud from the junk pile.

    [​IMG]

    Tore off the bag awning (FOR SALE!), rear bed, and rear track system.

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3697/9071047807_4b4f161dbe.jpg

    Just a side note about the GVW. The curb weight on the Sea Pine is something like 1645lbs (corrections?) I have mentioned that I am still unsure about the final curb weight after the conversion. If I can keep it under 2000lbs I don't have to register or tag the trailer, which is a bonus. I am hoping that the removal of the roof/awning, rear bed and track, and interior extras has taken that number down to something more like 1400lbs. That leaves me 600lbs for construction materials. Sounds good at first but once you start thinking about wood, metal, rubber, sealant, styrofoam, plastic, etc. that number can climb rapidly. I guess we'll see...
     
  18. arkangel

    arkangel Member

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    I am trying to retain the original kitchenette, indoor/outdoor cook surface, and front door.

    [​IMG]

    It seems so easy to just use the existing front door. It fits perfectly in the slot already built into the lower half of the camper. I thought it was a perfect plan. It wasn't until later I realized that the original door was not meant to be waterproof enough to travel down the interstate in a rainstorm. It's usually tucked away neatly under the roof in that situation. I'm still working on the solution to that...
     
  19. arkangel

    arkangel Member

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    Another unique thing about the nature of this project is the kitchenette. The original bed was large enough that it required the design of a folding kitchenette to allow room for it to stow under the roof when it was down. Since I am retaining the bed frame I am also keeping the folding kitchenette. I originally designed a camper with a kitchen in the rear, but eventually decided that the original system worked well enough, why mess with it. It's also just neat seeing how the bed slides out and then the kitchen folds up, just like a pop up.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. jab2181

    jab2181 New Member

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    Wow looking awesome, can not wait to see the progress continue
     

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