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Author Topic: First RV...No experience...  (Read 1034 times)


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First RV...No experience...
« on: March 12, 2017, 12:05:10 PM »
Bought a 1979 Dodge Brougham Sportsman. I'll be living in it full time, everything seems to work. I'll probably need to replace the propane tank, but I also want to redo/restore the entire inside. Where do I start? What should I leave alone? Where can i find a manual? Any direction or advice is greatly appreciated!
1979 Dodge Brougham Sportsman
First RV, Fixing while living in full time.


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Re: First RV...No experience...
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2017, 01:31:46 PM »
Welcome.  Living full time?  Remodle?  Good luck.  Remodeling an old RV can wind up costing way more that its worth.  Are you doing the work yourself?
Strip to the studs, repair all dry rot and water damage, and yes there will be plenty.  Once thats done, replace or rewire as necessary to fit your wants.  Then, spray foam the entire interior followed by new luan paneling.  Thst will give your best shot of keeping the interior warm in cold weather.  Now you can start building inside to your needs.
New appliances or newer used appliances will set you back a bunch of dollars.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: First RV...No experience...
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2017, 03:25:22 PM »
What does "remodel" mean to you? Painting cabinets and hanging wallpaper? Tearing out walls and plumbing? There is a really wide gamut of possibilities.

I agree with donn - I wouldn't spend a lot of money on a 79 Brougham unless you are going to turn it into a collector piece. And there aren't many collectors of old RVs, despite the tv shows that show some absolutely stunning remodels. The Brougham, though, is one of the neat-looking ones and a better candidate than most.

If you are thinking an owner manual similar to a car, don't bother. RV builders don't spend much money on that sort of thing and it will have little useful info. You can probably get a Dodge chassis service manual, though, and that is likely to be useful.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: First RV...No experience...
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2017, 10:41:50 PM »
There is lots of info on Youtube, just do a search for 'Dodge Sportsman Brougham'.  Good luck.   :)
Wandering aimlessly through life...


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Re: First RV...No experience...
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2017, 11:02:43 PM »
Welcome to the club!

I'm about...half-wayish through my first remodel of a small 21' trailer. Like Gary said, "remodel" can mean a lot of things. I've seen people who gut the entire thing and start from the chassis.

I chose a medium-level project so I've demoed the dining area seating, the bunk beds, the vanity in the bathroom, resurfaced the tub, and put in a new floor. But all of my walls, kitchen, cabinetry, plumbing, and lighting is staying in place. Minimal electronics work, mostly carpentry and redecorating.

You need to start out by determining a few things - what in the trailer is damaged and needs replaced, what is good that you want to keep, what you don't want to keep, and what you have the ability to build or put in place. If you don't have the right tools for the job it's going to be difficult to build some pieces.

Good luck!
Check out my trailer renovation web series here: