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Author Topic: To remodel or not to remodel? Remodel an older RV or buy new or almost new?  (Read 2332 times)

TXRV

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Hello everyone!

I am seriously thinking of buying, possibly, an older model Winnebago and doing some remodeling, or possibly, if it is a 1990's model, completely redoing it. This is just a thought so bare with me if I miss some things. I have been thinking of finding an older model Winnebago and literally redoing the WHOLE thing! New cabinets, new furniture, new…well, everything. Or, at least redoing parts of it. Not sure which parts exactly as I'm sure it would depend on the actual RV to be remodeled. I would like to hear from people who have done this, regardless of RV manufacturer, what your suggestions are and how to find a good "reputable" company to do all, or most of the remodeling.


SeilerBird

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  • Everything I state is my opinion.
It would be much cheaper to buy a new unit. RV mechanics charge like $100 per hour and it would take a few hundred hours to do it right. Add in the cost of materials and you are really getting expensive. You can get a quality used RV for under $20k.
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TXRV

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It would be much cheaper to buy a new unit. RV mechanics charge like $100 per hour and it would take a few hundred hours to do it right. Add in the cost of materials and you are really getting expensive. You can get a quality used RV for under $20k.

Yea, it would be cheaper, but I was hoping to bypass rebuilding the engine and trany. I was mainly referring to the interior and exterior paint. I found an older Winnebago online that was (looked) really in nice shape. This is just a thought. I won't know until I really sink my teeth into it and see if that is really the route I want to go. Just getting some ideas.

cobra 1

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I bought a 1984 cobra 26' Class B about three months ago, I was told it had a few problems, but not about the extensive water damage in the over cab bed area. I have been in the process of repairing the water damage myself for the past month and a half (I only have weekends to work on it).

I am no carpenter what so ever, but its not really that hard to do. If I was to take it to an rv shop to have this done, it would probable cost $2000 to $3000 dollars, if not more.

If you want to remodel your rv, do as much of the work as you can, your self, you will save a huge amount of money.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Remodeling is a great idea, but paying somebody to do all the remodeling for you may not be any cheaper than just buying a newer rig to start with..  A local handyman might be reasonable, but RV shops and professional RV remodeling firms get high dollar rates in most areas.  I would not be afraid of buying a nice older rig that needed some updating, e.g. new flooring or upholstery work, but stripping it to the skin and starting over doesn't seem wise except as a DIY project.

i think Cobra's estimate of $2000-$3000 for dealer repairs for his rig is wildly optimistic. I would forecast more like $5000+. Labor at $100+ per hour adds up quickly, plus you pay premium prices for all materials used.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

TXRV

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I bought a 1984 cobra 26' Class B about three months ago, I was told it had a few problems, but not about the extensive water damage in the over cab bed area. I have been in the process of repairing the water damage myself for the past month and a half (I only have weekends to work on it).

I am no carpenter what so ever, but its not really that hard to do. If I was to take it to an rv shop to have this done, it would probable cost $2000 to $3000 dollars, if not more.

If you want to remodel your rv, do as much of the work as you can, your self, you will save a huge amount of money.

Cobra 1: I hear you! I am mechanically inclined so I have done some repair work and restoration work on my own in the past. I just need to hit some RV shows as well as look at some older model RV's to see what I can come up with. I have heard soooo much about roof leaks in RV's! One good thing, as a temporary fix, later down the road in a bind, I mean, you can buy clear silicone at Home Depot for those trouble spots. But as far as repairs to that may involve structural, I think it best to leave it to the professionals.

TXRV

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Remodeling is a great idea, but paying somebody to do all the remodeling for you may not be any cheaper than just buying a newer rig to start with..  A local handyman might be reasonable, but RV shops and professional RV remodeling firms get high dollar rates in most areas.  I would not be afraid of buying a nice older rig that needed some updating, e.g. new flooring or upholstery work, but stripping it to the skin and starting over doesn't seem wise except as a DIY project.

i think Cobra's estimate of $2000-$3000 for dealer repairs for his rig is wildly optimistic. I would forecast more like $5000+. Labor at $100+ per hour adds up quickly, plus you pay premium prices for all materials used.

Gary RV Roamer: I have been thinking that it may be best to look at some newer models. I've heard the older models, at least some of them, aren't very good in the winter months if one was to find themselves in a cold spell somewhere. Now, this may be true or not, but I have heard that RV companies have been addressing issues with concerns people have been having with their RV's that have been using them full-time. RV companies were, at least at one point, just making them for occasional vacations and not really for living in full-time and driving. So, unless I find a good person who can do a lot of the work, as I won't have the time, it may not be financially feasible to restore from the ground up, at least in my case right now.

cobra 1

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Most water damage if not caught in time will destroy the over cab bed area of most RV`s.
I got lucky, somewhat, in that the front of my rv over the cab area is all fiberglass.

I am in the process of rebuilding right now, and did make a few changes in the bed area after looking at some newer rv`s.

Roof leaks don`t just happen, in most cases its caused by laziness and lack of maintenance.
That`s the category that my rv falls into from previous owners.

From what I have read, silicone is not recommended when it comes to properly sealing an rv roof.
I use Dicor Lap Sealant on the roof of my rv, and nothing else.

 

TXRV

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Most water damage if not caught in time will destroy the over cab bed area of most RV`s.
I got lucky, somewhat, in that the front of my rv over the cab area is all fiberglass.

I am in the process of rebuilding right now, and did make a few changes in the bed area after looking at some newer rv`s.

Roof leaks don`t just happen, in most cases its caused by laziness and lack of maintenance.
That`s the category that my rv falls into from previous owners.

From what I have read, silicone is not recommended when it comes to properly sealing an rv roof.
I use Dicor Lap Sealant on the roof of my rv, and nothing else.

 

Cobra 1: One of the things that worries me (unless I decide on doing a full redo) is just what you were talking about. It would be great though to buy new but the depreciation is crazy on RV's! But, with anything, you just can't go off of what the previous owner has said. If he said that he has taken really good care of it, the question arises, did he actually take care of it, and if he did, what is his definition of "really good care"? Laziness is something that concerns me especially if I decide on buying something only a few years old.

As far as the silicone goes, I meant that more as a temporary fix, but temporary could be a year or so depending on the situation and finances. I'm sure it wouldn't be a bad idea to have some or similar on hand for a quick fix if need be.

cobra 1

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All of us would like a new rv, but how many of us can really afford it ?, I know I cant. I would rather buy a used rv that needs work, and fix it up as time and money allow. And as I have learned, you can`t trust most previous owner, they will say anything to make a sale.

Why waste your time using silicone as a temporary fix, only to have to go back later and remove the silicone and apply the proper sealer later on ?. Yes, silicone is good as an emergency fix, but if you are going to seal you`re going to seal you`re roof, do it right the first time, it will save you time and money.

As I said, I use Dicor Lap Sealant on my roof. I can`t afford to buy enough all at once to do the whole roof, so I buy four tubes at a time and go as far as I can with them. When I can afford more, I buy four more tubes. I have about two thirds of my roof done so far, with eight tubes. I have four more tubes waiting to be used, but not right now while its snowing here.

Doing it right the first time will save you money later.

TXRV

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Re: To remodel or not to remodel? Remodel an older RV or buy new or almost new?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2016, 09:59:38 AM »
All of us would like a new rv, but how many of us can really afford it ?, I know I cant. I would rather buy a used rv that needs work, and fix it up as time and money allow. And as I have learned, you can`t trust most previous owner, they will say anything to make a sale.

Why waste your time using silicone as a temporary fix, only to have to go back later and remove the silicone and apply the proper sealer later on ?. Yes, silicone is good as an emergency fix, but if you are going to seal you`re going to seal you`re roof, do it right the first time, it will save you time and money.

As I said, I use Dicor Lap Sealant on my roof. I can`t afford to buy enough all at once to do the whole roof, so I buy four tubes at a time and go as far as I can with them. When I can afford more, I buy four more tubes. I have about two thirds of my roof done so far, with eight tubes. I have four more tubes waiting to be used, but not right now while its snowing here.

Doing it right the first time will save you money later.

I understand what you are talking about. Silicone, in the manner I was referring, was meant only as a temporary fix. Again, I'm new to RVing so I still need to learn some things before I make my first purchase, which financially isn't feasible right now. I have a whole bunch of things going on right now that I can't walk away from along with many financial responsibilities, which we all can relate to, so I'm kicking the tires right now to see what I can do when the time arises.

I will be in a much better place once I sell my home. I do not have it for sale right now as I have too much going on to concentrate on putting it on the market, not to mention that winter is the worst time to list a home for sale anyway, unless of course you are in southern Florida!  :)

My elderly mother still has her home and she is having a very hard time getting around so I might find myself moving in for a while.

My goal in the future is to sell my home, my parents home, and the family business, and leave! SELL EVERYTHING AND GO!  ;D

As tempting as it might be to buy an more expensive model, even used, would greatly hinder my ability to live LONGER on the road. If I buy that "gotta have" RV and I do just that, the extra money used could have easily shortened my plans easily by a year or two or maybe more. So, I really really really need to look into everything and put a pencil to it and make (hopefully) the right decision.

kdbgoat

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Re: To remodel or not to remodel? Remodel an older RV or buy new or almost new?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2016, 10:27:30 AM »
Silicone, in the manner I was referring, was meant only as a temporary fix.

The bad part about using silicone even as a temporary fix is removing all traces of it later so something else will stick where needed. New silicone won't stick to old silicone and neither will anything else, and it always leaves trace amounts behind when you pull it off. It's very hard to get rid of all of it.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


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TXRV

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Re: To remodel or not to remodel? Remodel an older RV or buy new or almost new?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2016, 10:58:35 AM »
It was just an idea, folks. Just a thought. :)

cobra 1

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Re: To remodel or not to remodel? Remodel an older RV or buy new or almost new?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2016, 09:42:30 PM »
I understand what you are talking about. Silicone, in the manner I was referring, was meant only as a temporary fix. Again, I'm new to RVing so I still need to learn some things before I make my first purchase, which financially isn't feasible right now. I have a whole bunch of things going on right now that I can't walk away from along with many financial responsibilities, which we all can relate to, so I'm kicking the tires right now to see what I can do when the time arises.

I will be in a much better place once I sell my home. I do not have it for sale right now as I have too much going on to concentrate on putting it on the market, not to mention that winter is the worst time to list a home for sale anyway, unless of course you are in southern Florida!  :)

My elderly mother still has her home and she is having a very hard time getting around so I might find myself moving in for a while.

My goal in the future is to sell my home, my parents home, and the family business, and leave! SELL EVERYTHING AND GO!  ;D

As tempting as it might be to buy an more expensive model, even used, would greatly hinder my ability to live LONGER on the road. If I buy that "gotta have" RV and I do just that, the extra money used could have easily shortened my plans easily by a year or two or maybe more. So, I really really really need to look into everything and put a pencil to it and make (hopefully) the right decision.

I think we are in some what the same situation. My mother is in a care home, and we just found out two days ago that she has lung cancer, and I`m sure it wont end good.

I to am new to rv`s, the rv I have now is the first one that I have ever owned, and I am not an expert by any means. I have done lots of reading on many different forums, and I have watched hundreds of youtube videos to learn anything and everything that I can. I am just passing on to you what I have done and learned so far.

If you buy an rv that needs work, do the work/repair right the first time, it will save you time and extra work later on.

If you go to cheaprvliving.com and go to the rv forum and look for a thread titled water damage, the good and the bad. That is my thread on my rv that I am working on to rebuild/remodel right now, lots of pictures there also.

TXRV

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Re: To remodel or not to remodel? Remodel an older RV or buy new or almost new?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2016, 12:18:05 PM »
I think we are in some what the same situation. My mother is in a care home, and we just found out two days ago that she has lung cancer, and I`m sure it wont end good.

I to am new to rv`s, the rv I have now is the first one that I have ever owned, and I am not an expert by any means. I have done lots of reading on many different forums, and I have watched hundreds of youtube videos to learn anything and everything that I can. I am just passing on to you what I have done and learned so far.

If you buy an rv that needs work, do the work/repair right the first time, it will save you time and extra work later on.

If you go to cheaprvliving.com and go to the rv forum and look for a thread titled water damage, the good and the bad. That is my thread on my rv that I am working on to rebuild/remodel right now, lots of pictures there also.

WOW! That some serious damage! I saw the pictures and that is bad, but looks fixable. You got your work cut out for you! This is particularly why I'm worried about buying used.

I watched a video that some attorney put out saying that many purchasers of NEW RV's are having some of the same issues. He recommended buying a used RV that has had all of the warranty and repairs done as buying new isn't always better. I found some 16-17 year old RV's that look really really nice, but when I look at the mileage and the shape of the interior it makes me question (unless they were neat freaks) how an RV that old with so many miles be in such good condition on the inside and outside. Yes, they probably did take very good care of it or something, I don't know.

Keep me posted on your progress!  :)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 12:21:32 PM by TXRV »

cobra 1

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Re: To remodel or not to remodel? Remodel an older RV or buy new or almost new?
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2016, 04:40:42 PM »
If you can, keep checking the thread over there for the continued progress.

There probably wont be much progress for the next couple of months ( will do what I can), the weather here is in the low 20`s, with high winds, rain and snow on some days.

I have been ordering things that I need for the project, as I can afford to, and after the bed and cab area are done, its on to the dining area. The way the dining area was built, it just didn`t fit the rv right, it was to big and took up to much space.




TXRV

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Re: To remodel or not to remodel? Remodel an older RV or buy new or almost new?
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2016, 03:22:29 PM »
If you can, keep checking the thread over there for the continued progress.

There probably wont be much progress for the next couple of months ( will do what I can), the weather here is in the low 20`s, with high winds, rain and snow on some days.

I have been ordering things that I need for the project, as I can afford to, and after the bed and cab area are done, its on to the dining area. The way the dining area was built, it just didn`t fit the rv right, it was to big and took up to much space.

I will check in from time to time to see the progress. It will be interesting to see what you are going to do with it.

Katammers

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Hey! Good luck picking out your RV. I'm a newbie to the scene so I picked a very small 21' RV that had a good structure but an icky interior. That way I wouldn't have major structural issues to fix (so much for that, though) but I wouldn't feel bad if I screwed things up. It's kind of a "practice" trailer that is hopefully going to be a success.

I definitely would second doing the work yourself rather than a professional team though. But it's important to know what you can do and what you can't - I can handle basic renovations but anything heavy and super advanced I get help with. You don't want to get an RV with major problems that you THINK you can learn how to fix and then it ends up sitting in your yard for the rest of your life.
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

TXRV

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Hey! Good luck picking out your RV. I'm a newbie to the scene so I picked a very small 21' RV that had a good structure but an icky interior. That way I wouldn't have major structural issues to fix (so much for that, though) but I wouldn't feel bad if I screwed things up. It's kind of a "practice" trailer that is hopefully going to be a success.

I definitely would second doing the work yourself rather than a professional team though. But it's important to know what you can do and what you can't - I can handle basic renovations but anything heavy and super advanced I get help with. You don't want to get an RV with major problems that you THINK you can learn how to fix and then it ends up sitting in your yard for the rest of your life.

Hi, Katammers!

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had the time to do anymore research on the subject and get some ideas on costs. This last month was really hectic and it had nothing to do with Christmas. Just work stuff keeping me busy busy busy.

Let me know how your renovation is going. I'm curious to know what issues you will find as I may run into them myself.  :)

 

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