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Author Topic: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION  (Read 1038 times)

tmise

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TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« on: March 21, 2018, 03:05:03 PM »
Bought a 2002 Cherokee Caravan knowing it would need a bit of work. I liked the layout of it and the fact that the master bed and dinette were slide-outs really sold me. Looks like it's going to need all new subfloor and some parts of the exterior and interior walls and styrofoam replaced due to water damage. Removed a ceiling panel today and there is some damage to the wooden ceiling joists as well. Question is where do I start exactly? Side walls first followed by front and back then ceiling and roof for last? It's a bit overwhelming but I'm good at woodworking, electrical and plumbing. Just kinda need a game plan. Looks like the interior and exterior walls are 1/8" plywood with styrofoam sandwiched in between. Should subfloor be replaced with 5/8" exterior plywood?

ClickHill

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2018, 03:19:32 PM »
If it were me - If you have a garage large enough to keep her inside during the work I would open her up and see exactly what you have and go from there.  There really is no right or wrong and trust me once you get in it you will find more that requires your attention and talent.  My best advise is to go into it to have fun with it.  If you are handy, and it sounds like you are, this will be a lot of fun and even therapeutic for you.  I have had three buses and we bought our daughter a pop up and all four needed some level of care, the pop up requiring the most by far, much like what you wrote.

Don't think the job is overwhelming, because its not.  many, many, many have done just what you are undertaking and at the end they loved, loved, loved the end result.  Go to the "Remodeling you RV" section in the forum and you will read a lot of stories just like yours and see a lot of photos and how they did it articles that will likely give you some good ideas and some lessons learned. The life of our lemon (BikerFlex & Happy Jen) was a good one.

Have fun with it!!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 03:22:23 PM by ClickHill »
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

grashley

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2018, 07:52:34 PM »
Welcome to the Forum!

VERY GOOD ADVISE!

I would fix the roof first.  Stop the leaks.  There is little sense fixing something that gets wet and damaged again.  If you can house it inside, then that really helps, too!
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tmise

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2018, 06:58:33 AM »
Thanks for the advice! Will be doing this project on the front yard lawn, no where to put it inside. Do you think I should apply a Dicor rubber membrane to stop the leaks first followed by replacing the subfloor?

ClickHill

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2018, 04:20:58 PM »
Wait until you know you will have good weather for long enough to tackle whatever the roof will throw at you.  I wouldn't go to a new membrane until I fixed all of the roof wood problems.  If the roof wood isn't to bad you could leave the old roof in place and just do a layover, much like they do on a house.  Lay down new lauan (this will not be structural so the light lauan will be fine) and then lay a new rubber membrane over the lauan.  Seal the seams around the roof openings and secure and seal all four sides.  Once that is done I would likely tackle the floor and then the walls.  Hard to say for sure without seeing it and really looking hard at what is needed.

You can go on youtube and find some good videos on how to do the roof layover. Its really not difficult at all and know that RV dealers do it ALL the time.  If you see a TT at an RV dealer with a new roof they likely did a layover with lauan and a rubber membrane.

Good luck and have fun.
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

tmise

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2018, 06:53:36 AM »
Great advice ClickHill, thank you! What I'm seeing so far with the roof isn't so bad. Leaks at both front corners resulting in some rot on the sides extending about 2-3 foot back from the front. I suspect some leakage from the rear corners as well. Will know more as I remove the interior walls. From what I'm seeing at the moment a layover maybe good enough. Any particular reason for using the luan plywood rather than something cheaper? It's great looking plywood but pricey.

Lou Schneider

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2018, 03:45:30 PM »
Lauan plywood is thinner (usually around 1/8"- 1/4" thick) and is made from tropical hardwoods, so it has more strength than conventional softwood plywood of the same thickness.  Lauan will weigh less since you can use thinner lauan instead of thicker plywood.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 03:51:02 PM by Lou Schneider »

tmise

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2018, 12:21:05 PM »
Thanks Lou, looks like Home Depot and Lowe’s both carry the 1/4” but only in 2’x4’ sheets for around $6.32 a sheet. What would be good to seal all those seams with if I went this route?

ClickHill

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2018, 04:39:53 PM »
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

tmise

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2018, 10:57:03 AM »
Then rubber membrane over the bare wood? Least that's what I'm seeing on youtube anyway.

ClickHill

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2018, 02:40:30 PM »
Yes - the rubber directly over the lauan, its actually pretty easy just keep it tight as you glue it down.
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

tmise

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2018, 03:29:48 PM »
Looks like the majority of the roof trusses are in good shape just the first three front and back will have to be replaced. Looks like all the roof plywood is wet along both sides and has black mold so I'm going to just re-roof it. Also it looks like the floor is 1/4" plywood top and bottom with 1 1/2" styrofoam sandwiched in between. Any thoughts on building that stronger say with 1/2" plywood top and bottom with 1" styrofoam in between? Also the plywood underneath has a fabric membrane covering all of it. Think if I just primed and used porch paint would be ok?

ClickHill

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2018, 11:21:20 AM »
Sorry for the delay.  If you want to beef up the floor there is no reason not to but be careful of the weight - as you can see from the chart below the weight adds up very fast.  As far as using porch primer vs a membrane, again no reason not to, you are just looking for a water seal on the wood.

Plywood
1/4 inch   0.71 ppsf (22.72 pounds per 4x8 sheet)
3/8 inch   1.06 ppsf (33.92 pounds per 4x8 sheet)
1/2 inch   1.42 ppsf (45.44 pounds per 4x8 sheet)
5/8 inch   1.77 ppsf (56.64 pounds per 4x8 sheet)
3/4 inch   2.13 ppsf (68.16 pounds per 4x8 sheet)
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

tmise

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2018, 05:12:15 PM »
Thanks ClarkHill, I used exterior plywood which I primed then painted with porch paint for the deck of my pontoon boat that I restored a couple of years ago. So far so good with that so I agree it should work for the the underside plywood in the camper. Still undecided as to the thickness of the plywood I will use on the floor. Do you think the rigid foam insulation that Lowe's sells would be ok to sandwich between the floor plywood? Or would that compress too much? Currently it has the white styrofoam but that sure is expensive.

DearMissMermaid

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2018, 06:27:22 AM »
RV carports...

Many companies offer a rent to own program.  ;D

Then you have shade and space to tackle the matter.

I am renovating a 1992 5th wheel,  but my needs are more minor, just esoteric. LOL!
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Living, working. playing  in a 1992 Holiday Rambler Imperial 36' 5th Estate, formerly 8 years 24/7 in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
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ClickHill

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2018, 06:26:34 PM »
The foam insulation will be fine, but don't use less than a 2" thick board.  The R Value for foam board will be about 5 per inch thickness and an R value of R 10 on the floor should be fine.  If you want a higher R value just double the boards or even use 1 2" board and 1 1" board which would give you an R value of 15 or 2 2" boards for an R value of 20 (that's pretty high).
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

tmise

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Re: TRAVEL TRAILER RENOVATION
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2018, 12:42:26 PM »
Sounds like a plan. Getting ready to order an all weather tarp so I can start on the roof.

 

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