September 10, 2016

Motor-home Make-over :: the introduction

So there I was. Yeah, most of my relatives always begin a story that way... but to be truthful, it should begin with so there we were. On our way to a much loved hiking trail, when my husband glances over at me with the 'I wonder if she saw it' look in his eyes. Which I had not. Until... I saw his 'I wonder if she saw it' look... then I quickly turned my head to see what I could have possibly missed.

There she sat. In hideous orange... nineteen seventies burnt orange, but with a shine of  'best offer' across her window that looked like diamonds. I returned my eyes upon my husband, and judging by the quick dive across two lanes, up through the parking lot and settling right next her... he knew exactly what I was thinking... and within the hour we became owners of a 1976 Tioga motor home.


On the surface... she appeared sturdy, a little beaten up - but not bad for her age. She is strong in motor, mostly held together at the seams. Great tires. Perfect widows for maximum light, so you don't have that 'I live in a tin can' feeling... and a nice floor plan.

However, once we started to get to her - we discovered... she has issues. Not so many that it's hopeless... but if we don't deal with them now, they may lead to her demise... mostly likely at seventy miles an hour and six hundred miles away from point a.


So begins the process of making her over. And to start we removed just about every thing on the inside, including the rotten wood... cutting out the bad all the way to the frame. Dare I say root. This included the removal of the stove, fridge, sink and bathroom... except for the shower, which will become a storage closet.

All over head cabinets are gone, as well as the water tank and a good portion of the over cab will need to be removed. The floors were taken back all the way to sub floor, and each ceiling vent and window are undergoing examination. This may become our home for a year and I want no staple unchecked...


Have we ever renovated a RV before? Nope. Never. Don't you think you are in over head? Oh most likely... but it's kind of like the time my uncle pushed me of the diving board. He knew I could swim, he spent hours teaching me the basics, and he knew that is was fear that kept me back. So he pushed me off... and guess what. He was right... and I have loved the water ever since.

What's the worst that can happen? Time and money, I know. But just think of the education we are receiving... honestly, you should see the faces I get when I am standing in conversation about chassis, rv roofing materials and mold inhibitors. But between the Makita impact driver, my remaining teachable and Providence I have peace about this adventure, and I am looking forward to the experience.

If you are interested, I invite you to read along. And if you have renovated a camper before and have wisdom to share I would welcome it. Below is a list of what's most pressing to take care of next and the cost {not counting time} of the project thus far, prior to those things being taken care of.

What's Up Next:
  • finish over cab, window and vent check with removal of wood as needed.
  • rebuild the back, lower section of the camper... primarily the corners.
  • add supports for the roof, and reseal the whole thing.
  • remove old corner seals, replace and re-secure.
  • rebuild the remaining areas where wood removal took place.
  • removal of wall surfaces and take care of any protruding staples, nails or screws. 
  • clean and paint the entire interior with mold and mildew primer.

Project Budget to Date: this includes the cost of the motor home, landfill run, gas and any other purchases made for the initial work that was shared above: $1,120.00 rounded

~ Blessings!

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