My wife has been wanting to get an RV to restore and we done did it. We picked up a 1978 Dodge Sportsman with a Georgie Boy Cruise Master box. (Class C of course).
It has more water damage than we thought including the cab-over area and the back half of the ceiling and roof. It looks like there was no real membrane or such on the roof so I'm guessing a replacement is in order.
To get started, I figured I'd start at the top and deal with the roof / ceiling issues. So with that in mind, I have no real clue how to get started as I don't really know how this thing is constructed.
It looks like I'll need to pull down some cabinets but can't see how they are attached. Also, once I get all the goo scraped off the roof I assume I'll find plywood. I'm guessing there is a plywood sheathed roof on top of studs, hopefully some insulation and then the inner ceiling. I'm thinking the cabinets will need to come down to deal with the ceiling issue.
My plan would be to remove the upper cabinets first, so how do I do that?
Then I would scrape the roof and see what I have. Do I need to remove any trim around the roof or ?
Totally out of my element here and looking for any and all help.
I do have car restoration and wood working / construction experience so I think the key is understanding the construction of this beast. Are there any diagrams / books / blueprints out there that show any of that?
Long post but any help is much appreciated!
Over reacting's not necessarily a bad thing Tim. At least you've prepared your self for the worst case scenario and anything better will be a blessing.You seam to have all the skills to jump in with both feet and you have a good attitude and a good since of what you will need to see this through. When I bought my M.H. I was apprehensive about every aspect of RV ownership and almost put a for sale sign on it just an hour after I bought it ; I had a blowout 20 miles out on the trip home then after buying 7 new tires I had a caliper lock up and flat spotted one of my brand new tires with just 200 feet on it but, I stepped back took a few and moved on. I think after you do a diligent inspection and truly know just how bad it is you well find the right solution. Any way it goes I hope you stick it out, The rewards of restoring is well worth your time and financial sacrifices. especially when you pull into a spot next to one of those rolling bank breaking mansions and every one stops and compliments your classic R.V. L.O.L.
I had a few minutes and thought I'd post an update. It's been HOT here, so much so that working on the roof would be a very bad idea. I do have a cover on the RV so it's protected from the rain, so at this moment the roof can wait for cooler weather.
That being said, I did decide to go ahead and start gutting the interior. I know there is damage inside that will need to be repaired and we will be changing the floor plan anyway. I managed to find an old brochure on Ebay that lists all the variations of my RV and shows all the floor plans. That presents another issue that I'll talk about later.
In any case, I figured out the cabinet issue. There are 2 1x1 rails attached to the ceiling and wall with square-drive screws. The 'cabinet' (just a bottom and face frame) simply attaches to those rails. My thought is that I can just support the cabinet, remove the square drive screws and the whole thing should come down. I'm already seeing past water damage in that area so we are off to the races!
I also took a look at the 'wardrobe' area in the rear bath and it appears it doubled as storage with a hatch to the outside. That hatch doesn't seal so we have some pretty good damage back there as well.
In short, this thing is going to be a total remodel but in the end it should be pretty nice. It's just carpentry work... (I hope)
Cabinets are not as bad as they look to remove, you just have to remember that your smarter then your average bear Yogi. (OK bad joke). With any water damage, it usually travels just beyond what you see, so don't get discouraged if its a foot or so, hidden under something. I had the Tioga class C Dodge and it was constructed with 2x2 supports. The front windows are notorious for leaks, that's why 90% of the new class C,s don't have upper front glass. I've learned from numerous repairs to the cab over class C,s that its best to just pull the interior paneling, repair the window framing and reseal the front glass with fresh butyl tape and replace the paneling with some sanded lexan (easy to work with).
F.Y.I. the nose of the class C , cabovers do take a tremendous amount of stress from the wind while traveling and they do flex under the pressure. When rebuilding the nose area, I've reinforced with a couple more cross braces, up and down and cross ways. Made a huge difference on the flex factor and wind driven rain around the glass seal.
So we took a new approach and decided to gut the interior before starting on the roof. That should give decent access to the interior ceiling and walls. My thought is that once the interior demo is done, I'd take care of the roof and any wall and floor issues, then start the remodel / rebuild. With that in mind, we started the demo today.
We removed the upper cabinets, the microwave, range hood and refrigerator. The fridge is trashed; all rusted out and just plain nasty. I still need to figure out how to get the rest of that cabinet out and remove the little furnace. I posted photos in my albums.
We then put the RV cover on so it's protected until we start again..
smart change Tim, having better access to all the bad areas will make your remodel that much easier