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Author Topic: Remodeling a 1985 Minnie Winnie  (Read 3070 times)

Amaly

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Remodeling a 1985 Minnie Winnie
« on: May 20, 2013, 08:29:22 PM »
Hi. My BF bought a 22ft Winnie to live in during his work week. I think it was mostly original aside from really simple cosmetics like contact paper, curtains, carpet, etc. I have lots of pictures I'll try to learn how to post them on this site. Yesterday we spent the day tearing the interior out. We are down to bare metal/wood in much of it. The mattresses/cushions have all been thrown away and will be replaced, likely DIY. We have a month to get it live in ready again because he is giving his landlord notice today. He has permission to park at work and won't need to continue paying rent :) So we are hoping to really improve on this since it will be mostly used as his residence after a hard day of rowing on local rivers.

It is a 350 Chevy and he thinks it has the turbo 400 transmission on a 1 ton chassis. We aren't sure of the mileage, between 64K and 164K, or more I suppose. Mechanically it is in good shape from what he can tell, although the generator is not running steady. He thinks it needs a new carb, but is also considering just replacing it as he thinks it is the original. He was told it uses 1gph and would rather put a modern honda gen. in that space instead. It is big and ugly for sure! One goal is to lighten the load and put Winnie on a diet so to speak. So we will look for lighter materials when we can. It came with a really nice fridge/freezer that is new and runs propane or electric. That is my BFs favorite part I think is the new shiny fridge.

Yesterday we went from carpet and curtains to metal and wood. In the process, we found a couple of places with rotted crumbling wood. The tail end window over the master bed had rotten wood under the window. He scraped that out and has a smallish space down to a couple of inches between the bottom of the window and the next piece of wood below that which wasn't water damaged. IIRC about 5-ish inches? The plan is to use 1/4" stryo cut to fit and glued to the metal wall and then gluing 1/8" finishing wood to the top.

Another really rough spot is the front window of the over cab bed space. Actually it appears that most of the wood on the front sloped window of that space is rotten. The side between the window and the rv edge are mostly styro aside from the wood around the frame of the window and along the seams where the front meets the side. I pulled a bunch out yesterday, some even still damp. Since I'm smaller, I will be doing most of the tear down up there because I can move around easier in that space. I didn't really get to do much aside from remove the curtain buffers and contact paper on the sides over the cab. On the drivers side at least, the wood seemed pretty solid and appeared to have little evidence of getting wet. I think the panel on the passenger side might be in rougher shape though. Even the wooden platform for the bed is warped and damaged in the front passenger side corner. That is awaiting our next time to work on it in a few days.

There are two other locations with obvious signs of water damage. One is under the window in the dinette area. And the other is below the exhaust for the stove. In both places, the wood appears solid and not rotten. I'm guessing it's a thin wood veneer over styro in both locations which gives the "solid" feeling. To fix the water coming in from the exhaust he is going to put a better cover, similar to the hooded ones used as dryer vents on homes.

One thing that didn't get tackled yesterday was the toilet. It is sitting on top of this old yucky pink carpet that we pulled out. We are both fairly handy, but neither of us has pulled a toilet. That is one thing I'm supposed to research in the next few days so that we can get that done next.

Another thing is getting wallpaper off of two walls. The side wall of the master bed area with its window and the other side with the window, sink etc.

And, one last thing on my mind... is replacing the mattress and bed cushions. I've got measurements. I can kinda sew and am thinking that I could find good strong foam at a Joanns, Michaels or other such place. Fabric as well. For the master bed we are thinking of memory foam cut to fit. Is there a such thing? IDK, but I plan to find out. That or I guess order a mattress. It's 76" x 48".

Feel free to comment or ask any questions. I have lots of pictures of what we did yesterday. Funny thing is, I don't have a single picture of the whole exterior. We were so focused on getting the interior cleaned out. I am here to learn in hopes that maybe the good knowledge of others around here will help us along on this journey.

Thank you!  :)


Amaly

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  • Posts: 8
Re: Remodeling a 1985 Minnie Winnie
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 03:38:25 PM »
I'm going to try to post some pictures of this project. Bear with me...it may take a few tries.

Ok...first pics are of interior before we tore it apart. The last ones are showing where we are now.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 03:41:39 PM by Amaly »

cnh23

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Re: Remodeling a 1985 Minnie Winnie
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2013, 01:03:29 PM »
Wow, sounds alot like what I am into right now, but I am in no rush. I also sew and will be redoing all the curtain and the mattress in the cabover-I was going to buy a 6-inch memory foam for a queen size bed and just cut it to fit, then put on one of those waterproof type covers then make a fabric cover for that. Then I will convert some sheets to fit on top of that. The memory foam is expensive so I don't want the actual mattress to get wet/dirty. 

I used various methods for dealing with rotted wood-either replace if it was feasable, used wood hardening liquid for "spongy" areas, or hard wood filler and even bondo for others. It all depended on the structural load it was taking. I had a serious issue on the back corner where there used to be a bed. I had to replace the joists entirely, but once I started it wasn't that hard to do since it was already stripped of the bed and frame. Since I will be living in this with my husband we decided to strictly use the cabover bed and turn the entire back of the coach into the bathroom with new sink, toilet and 36" square shower unit so we wouldn't be cramped.  I did have to move the black tank over 4 stupid little inches in order to put the toilet where I wanted. This entailed also altering the piping for drainage-but I did it all by myself. I bought Plasti-Mend and new ABS fittings and got the holes patched, new holes put in and all reinstalled in a nights work.  All I can say is THANK GOD the previous owner cleaned the tank well!

The WALLPAPER isn't really wall-paper-it is the covering on the panelling like those panels you get for bathrooms at the DIY store. It is vinyl-ish and you will probably find that if you start peeling it away you will also peel away some sections of the plywood itself as it delaminates. I suggest you clean it real well, prime it then paint or go along the lines I did and cover it over with something more interesting-like grasscloth or nicer wallpaper. I am gluing on slats of bamboo in a horizontal pattern. I love the look and feel of it-also it will be much stronger than the crappy panel walls, so when I go to hang something on it it will hold. I also stained over all the cabinets I am keeping with a dark walnut color-they instantly look a thousand times better.

Good luck with your project!

cnh23

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Re: Remodeling a 1985 Minnie Winnie
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2013, 01:11:35 PM »
Once I looked at your pictures I see that if you just flipped the kitchen area right to left your unit looks exactly how mine did inside when we got it. Now the entire back is a bathroom, where the stove/sink was is now just a counter-I despise cooking and hubby will use a grill or make a sandwich. I just could not bear to look at a stove and oven for years and think about the wasted space it was! So where you have your dinette I have a couch, more like a long bench with custom made cushions. I pulled out the fold out couch that was there and after putting in a new water tank, built a longer narrower couch that runs up behind the driver's seat. It's coming along inside then next on the list is a new awning after I paint a mural on the outside.

cnh23

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  • Posts: 76
Re: Remodeling a 1985 Minnie Winnie
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2013, 01:18:35 PM »
Ha Ha here I go again-I meant to mention pulling the toilet. Very simple, just unbolt from the sides and lift up. The rubber gasket may be a bit sticky but it should come up fairly simply once you unhook the water line. My toilet dropped directly into the black tank. The flange will be left on the floor over the carpet, unscrew that from the floor then unscrew the flange from the tank underneath. You may have to use a hammer and screwdriver to get it started. I put a screwdriver wedged sideways on one of the openings then hit it with the hammer lightly till it loosened up. Now get up there on the roof and check for leak areas. I had to fully scrap back 20 years of old caulking. It was tedious, but worth it. I resealed all areas with eternabond tape and caulk. Previous owner just kept adding layer after layer of self-leveling caulk over bubbled up and cracking areas, which didn't really keep the water out. Also-check around ALL your lights on outside. Mine were missing most of the caulking and water was also getting in there.

peteduffy

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Re: Remodeling a 1985 Minnie Winnie
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2013, 04:58:06 PM »
Fun, isn't it!

And this has bugged me for a long time:  Who was the genius who decided that carpeting in an RV bathroom is a good idea?  Carpeting in ANY bathroom is a bad idea IMHO.  Just disgusting, especially carpeting under a toilet since 1985.

Good luck, and have fun.
1996 Coachmen Santara 350L Class A (Ford 460)
35 miles N. of Chicago

 

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