Hi all !

I have been looking at diffrent places on the web and actually was surprised to run across as many people as I have who were doing the same thing as I am going to do..

Namely, rebuilding our camper rather than buy a newer one.

We bought a 1988 Coachmen Catalina 26' class C last fall that we knew had water damage.

But it was so mechanically near perfect that I decided to buy it and rebuild.

Two previous owners and 30.000 miles and everything is operating at near perfection in regards to engine, trans, drive train, brakes all interior appliances etc.

Too bad the original owner didn't look for water issues until it manifested itself inside the coach.

As having spent 15 years in the trades as a cabinet maker and furniture builder, I have all the tools and knowledge to do the actual work, but am having to really study up on the areas I am not as confident in, namely electrical and gas.

I intent to note, diagram and photo document everything in great detail, and would appreciate any and all suggestions as to what mistakes others have made in how to proceed, things to not overlook, etc.

We intend to reconfigure the insides for a more updated and spacious (as possible) floor plan. I look forward to any helpful observations, thanks.



Tags: RV Parts, RV Suppliers

Views: 4837

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

JIm, with your skills the end results ought to be sweet.  I'd click on some of the Restoration links for our other members with class C restoration photo albums and maybe ask them quesitions direct and "Friend" them.  


If you find some infor. I would thank you, to forward it to me because like you, I am trying to rebiuld a class C with water damage.So I am looking for ideas to change the floor plan.

I am having to fix some of metal frame work so it is way harded than i felt it would. But like they

say if you start something you have to finish it.

Maybe we can talk back and to as we work on our two projects







Hi folks.

We plan on starting this fall after the last camping trip, with the focus mainly being on opening the back wall and stripping the inside of everything.

Once the cabinets and appliances are out I can take down the interior wall paneling and get a better idea as to what extent the damage is.

There are some places that I know are a total loss, but am hoping that most of the frame is intact.

I have done some mental calculations on the new floor plan, and it is not too different from the original. The emphasis was to squeeze every available square inch of floor space out of it. We have a 26' Coachmen Catalina that the company decided to stuff full as much furniture as a 40' bus would hold!

It feels cramped and busy inside.

I took out one bench seat behind the drivers chair so we had more room for the dog and I could re-mount the captains chair 4" further back to give me much needed leg room.

We lost the storage under that bench but still have plenty.

We took out the dinette table that went with that bench as we also have a small pull out table on the other wall between two other swivel chairs! I guess they thought eight people were really going to all be in this thing at one time !

The remaining bench seat contains the furnace, but I can still loose almost half of that bench as well.

I am going to get rid of the angled counter top that sticks out into the walk way and takes up yet more room and remake one that is strait along the wall to give us a couple more square feet there.

Because I don't want this to turn into 2 or more years of rebuild, I'm simplifying things by leaving the major components, toilet, shower, plumbing, water heater, gas lines etc. right were they are so I wont have to reroute lines or pipes or move holding tanks.

I have turned the bed 90 degrees so there is now almost seven feet of room to stretch out.  Now that the foot of the mattress is not against the bath wall, it will enable me to expand the rear wall of the bathroom about 18 inches so it doesn't feel like you need a shoe horn to fit in on the toilet.

We are going to get rid of our 40 gallon fresh water tank and put in a 10 gal. since we never boon dock for more than one night and don't drink from that tank anyway.

This will free up more space for storage.

Since we moved the bed, we covered up a dresser on one side of the bedroom, this space will be made into an outside access storage that slides out on heavy duty ball bearing glides.

Since we are residing, we can put doors wherever we want as long as the is a void behind the wall.

We are also getting rid of the front and two side windows up on the cab over.

Less work to rebuild and less places for sealant to fail and water to creep in. 

The carpet will be gone ! absolutely.

I have some red oak parquet flooring squares found at a tag sale that will do just fine.

That is about all I can give you for the moment.

If you want, sometime I can draw an existing floor plan and then side by side it with what I am planning to see the differences in area and function.

This web site is an excellent place to find people doing just what we are, giving new life to our good old RVs.

You can find multiple sources on the web for everything you will need in the way of siding, electrical, fittings etc.

Good luck and post your pics when you get going !


Im very much looking forword to see your work, any links you have we would greatly appreciate!

Here is a list of suppliers and parts sources.

there are more online depending on what you are replacing.

I personally have not used any one of these yet as I won't  begin my tear down until after Columbus day weekend.

Depending on what I find, I'll most probably be looking for replacement exterior fixtures such as wheel skirts and electrical/water access doors. etc. as well as completely residing and a new roof.

The wood, insulation, wires etc. I can find at any Lowes.

I hope I know what I'm getting into !

Good luck.





  • All-Rite California, 1500 Shelton Drive, Hollister, CA 95023
    All-Rite Georgia, 2580 Jeremiah Ind. Way, Conyers, GA 30012 - Aftermarket RV repair parts and supplies. Siding, roofing, doors, and windows.

  • Amercan Stonecast Manufacturer of "Premium SINKS designed specifically for the RV industry"

  • Arizona RV Salvage inc., 2737 W. Lincoln St. Phoenix, AZ 85009
    "We own an R.V. wrecking yard. We sell tons of used appliances and other R.V. goodies. Everything we sell is completely tested and comes with a warranty."

  • Bontrager's Surplus
    18719 E. U.S 12
    White Pigeion, MI 49099

  • Bunkley RV Superstore
    PO Box 190206
    Mobile, AL 36619

  • Camper Capitol USA
    4233 Forest Ln.
    Garland, Texas 75042

  • Camper's Choice
    502 4th St. NW
    Red Bay, AL 35582

  • Camping World
    Various locations
    800-626-5944 (Ship anywhere)

  • Certified RV
    8340 San Fernando Rd.
    Sun Valley, CA 91352

  • Cherokee RV Salvage
    7102 Raleigh St. #8
    Westminster, CO 80030
    local # 303-295-3433
    "Where Old RV's Go To Heaven. We have thousands of parts including hard to find parts."

  • Colaw RV Parts and Salvage
    I-44 Exit 22
    10389 Cimmaron Rd.
    Carthage, MO 64836
    local # 417-548-2125
    Colaw RV Parts & Salvage
    "Home of the 'We Have Your Part' people, Colaw RV Parts & Salvage Super Store. Need a new RV motor? We've got 'em! A generator? No Problem! How about an RV refrigerator? You have found the right place. Colaw’s staff will assist you in finding late model parts as well as new parts."
    Colaw’s RVExit.com
    "RVExit.com is an online RV Parts retailer. RV Parts and Accessories on Sale. Order online and get RV products delivered to your house or campsite."

  • Giant RV
    800-266-6444 (Ship anywhere)
    • Upland, CA: 909-981 0444
    • Corona, CA: 909-279 2450
    • Colton, CA: 909-824 3742
    • San Bernardino, CA: 909-384 0444

  • Dyer's RV
    An online RV supplies and accessories catalog.

  • Factory RV Surplus
    1611 West Bristol Street
    Elkhart, IN 46514
    (800) 325-1461
    E-Mail: johnnysurplus@gmail.com
    "Please check out our on-line store if you have a couple of minutes, you never know what you might find! A truely unique shopping experience if you like camping. Go Rving, Life's a Trip..."   ...John Stoffer, Web Developer/Sales

  • Fish House Supply
    P.O. Box 205
    Buffalo, MN 55313
    (763) 682-2953
    "You wouldn't think about this place as a RV supplier, but they carry everything. Stoves, Furnaces, Dinettes, Bunks, Lighting, Siding, etc. I bought my siding from them at a very reasonable price. " ...Scruffy

  • GO-RV.com
    RV parts and accessories

  • Hitch Supply.com
    This is a Links page.

  • Hitch Web
    Trailer hitches
    Van Nuys, CA

  • Manchester Tank
    Manufacturers of propane tanks

  • On-Line Directory of wrecking yards and used parts
    www.junkyarddog.com/search.htm Choose Category: RV

  • Northern Tool & Equipment - Trailer parts
    Burnsville, MN

  • Pelland Enterprises
    Arnold, CA
    Holding Tanks (1600) Water Tanks (600) Windows, fenderskirts, surrounds, tubs, Shower Doors, etc.

  • RV America On Line

  • RV Parts & Accessories from PPL
    Houston, TX

  • RV Stuff USA
    "...one of the oldest and largest RV Accessories & Motor Home Parts sites"

  • RVSupplyDepot
    Charlotte, NC
    www.rvsupplydepot.com "For all your Recreational Vehicle needs"

  • RV Surplus/Salvage
    Elkhart, IN
    www.rvsurplussalvage.com "...doors, windows, aluminum and fiberglass siding, roofing, furniture, holding tanks... 65,000 square foot warehouse to explore in Elkhart, IN... on-line store"

  • RV Surplus Inc.
    Elkhart, IN
    www.rvsurplus.net "I purchased my aluminum siding from RV Surplus Inc." ...Rexford Billings

  • RV Workshop
    8729 Lyon Valley Rd.
    New Tripoli, PA 18066

  • Southweat Wheel - Trailer parts
    Lubbock and Dallas, TX

  • Todd's RV & Marine - We have a large parts inventory of older repair parts for RV appliances dating back to 1970's in Dometic Norcold, Suburban Coleman, Faulkner, and more. Also have available some Holiday Rambler and Winnbago body parts and windshields.
    2918 N. Rugby Rd.
    Hendersonville, NC 28791
    (800) 438-5858

  • Trimco-Trims & Seals
    472 Newbold Street
    London,Ontario,Canada N6E 1K6
    Tel: (800)265-6074 (519)681-1090
    "Manufacturer of plastic profile extrusions."
  • Ventline
    Bristol, IN 46507
    (219) 848-4491
    www.ventline.com "....produce range hoods, roof vents, and electronic products for the Recreational Vehicle Industry."

  • Wheel Wedge
    Atlanta, Georgia
    www.wheelwedge.com Supplier of lightweight wheel blocks... "The Wheel Wedge prevents accidental rolling of cars, trucks, RV's, & Trailers."



  • Interstate Metal Fabricators, Inc.
    13509 Johnson Road
    Milwaukie, OR 97222
    800-587-3463 or 503-786-8860



  • Hehr International
    PO Box 219
    Plymouth, IN 46563
    (Note: Hehr's windows exactly fit the specifications in the plans)

  • Buccaneer Manufacturing Co
    Florence, Oregon.
    "We are an international hehr window supplier." www.buccaneermfg.com

  • All-Rite
    "RV repair parts specialists." Supply windows and window parts, plus other after market items.

  • Pelland Enterprises
    Arnold, CA
    Hehr windows

  • Peninsula Glass Company
    6005 NE 121st Ave.
    Vancouver, WA 98682
    Phone: 360-892-2029
    "We have been in business since 1975 and manufacture new and replacement RV windows manufactured under the trade name 'Motion Windows'."

  • SpectAL Industries Inc.
    850 Moeller St.
    Granby, P.Q. J2J 1K7
    PHONE (450) 378-6722
    FAX (450) 378-3657
    A window manufacturer for R.V.'s. We do round corners aluminum windows, with or without louvers, sliders and push-out emergency windows to custom sizes.

  • Interstate Metal Fabricators, Inc.
    13509 Johnson Road
    Milwaukie, OR 97222
    800-587-3463 or 503-786-8860www.interstatemetals.com


  • All-Rite
    "All-Rite custom builds tanks as well as windows and other items such as entry doors. All customers have to do is send us a drawing and we can build it."

  • INCA Plastics Moulding Co., Inc, 948 Belmont Street, Ontario, CA 91761
    "Since 1959, Inca has been the industry leader for RV Waste and Water Tanks and has supplied tanks to most Recreational Vehicle manufactures throughout the United States and Canada." www.incaplastics.com

  • Pelland Enterprises
    Arnold, CA
    Holding & water tanks



thank you for sending this imformation


Hey jim thanks so much for that incredible list! we getting into the trenches now, but its going to be worth it! We just got the roof off today

Adding Flxible Bus Restoration experts based on members recommendation:

The restoration shop is HB Industries in El Cajon, California.


"I can't say enough good things about the people there. They have been honest, upfront and very patient from the start. I dread to think what mess I would be in if had chosen a different shop to carry out the work."


Contact details:


Gerry Cote - e.mc2man@gmail.com


Tel: (619) 561-9048

Bus Parts, Flxible, GMC's... very well regarded shop and doing a restoration for GORVs member:


HB Industries  Southern California       bus motors, vintage bus transmissions,  air suspension, bus engines, bus brake parts, frames, etc.  LINK SEE HERE





Adding Arizona RV Salvage to the list. Member used them with good results for parts:



I rebuilt almost from Junk conditions a 1987 Class C Honey. I tried to save money and bought a new smaller Gas/Elec Frig big mistake. I should have stayed with the same size. I also added solar panels that are mounted in the front window it allows filtered light in an keeps the batteries always charged even in the Maine winter. Good Luck it's worth the time we Luv our 1987 Ford Honey




  •         How To Links 

-Search Good Old RV's

-Start a New Group 

-Roof Repair Photos & Products

-Repair an RV Roof

-Pick Roof Sealer   

-Understanding RV Electrical Systems 

-Get RV Insurance   

-What to Look For When Buying a Used RV

-Jack Installs Fuel Injection in his Dodge 


 Paige's VintageTrailer Art  

 Paige's VintageTrailerFabric

 Artist Roads                                            Sandy's Stained Glasshttps://www.pinterest.com/pin/552605816752050167/     



If you love classic and vintage RVs then come Join us. Come on in and have some fun. JOIN HERE NOW


2000 Georgia Boy Cruise Air electrical wiring 2 Replies

Started by Steven K Stone in RV Repair & Maintence. Last reply by Steven K Stone Jan 13.

MCI Buses

Started by William E Carlson in Vintage & Classic RV Restoration & Purchase Dec 26, 2020.

Blog Posts


Posted by Linda Lee Toepfer on January 18, 2021 at 1:40pm

1982 Chevrolet Travel Mate Class A

Posted by Barb Stanley on December 17, 2020 at 9:15am

Looking for help identifying this camper

Posted by Jeff on October 7, 2020 at 12:57am — 1 Comment

Balboa owners

Posted by Bill on May 19, 2020 at 8:11am


Posted by Eddie Marquez on May 5, 2020 at 2:34pm


  • Add Videos
  • View All


If you love classic and vintage RVs then come Join us.

 Come on in and have some fun.         JOIN HERE NOW!

 Dedicated to a simpler, more rewarding and fun way of life in a Good Old RV... 

Vintage Travel Trailers, Vintage Campers, Camper Restoration, Bus Conversions, Vintage RV Forums, Old RVs, Tiny Homes, Boondocking


A work of art by member Paige Bridges

Get your Good Old RVs T-Shirt HERE


 Disclaimer - Please Read it

Enjoy this site and use it totally at your own risk.

By using or viewing this site YOU agree to Hold Harmless anyone associated with it including other members. Also, YOU agree that YOU are solely responsible for ANY and ALL actions, results or damages. Members "opinions" are just that and any repair or alteration comments or recommendations are by folks who are not licensed repair  or mechanical professionals. Any repairs or modifications you do totally at YOUR OWN RISK. Use licensed professionals for all work to avoid possible serious injury or damage. Use  banks for purchases.  Have fun!

Copywrite & Trade Mark Registered GoodOldRV© ,GoodOldRVs©, GoodOldRVs.com©,GoodOldRVs.net©,GoodOldRV.Com©

© 2021   Created by Russell E Johnson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service