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Author Topic: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare  (Read 6996 times)

Gods Country

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Re: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2016, 05:52:25 PM »
Well finally it is beginning to look like a camper again.
Most everything is completed inside.
The trim still needs to be placed, some flooring, and some repairs I wanted to do to the bathroom because I'm a glutton for punishment.

Wired up everything a few days ago, and zero problems. :)

Probably another week of messing around.

I took it for a 2 hour haul today, and everything felt good. Everything still functions, so it's on to the final phaze....hopefully.

What a project.


Gods Country

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Re: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2016, 06:03:04 PM »
Some finish pictures hopefully coming soon.
The only thing left is to place some some trim, and give her a good bath inside and out. :)

Gods Country

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Re: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2016, 07:36:14 PM »
Apologies to those that may be waiting for some pics.
Just been real busy and when I did try to take a couple shots the batteries in my camera were dead.

I'm taking her on a quick trip this weekend and will update with pics when I get back.

BTW thank you to all that replied and those that have been reading this thread.

slavco

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Re: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2016, 01:50:26 PM »
Apologies to those that may be waiting for some pics.
Just been real busy and when I did try to take a couple shots the batteries in my camera were dead.

I'm taking her on a quick trip this weekend and will update with pics when I get back.

BTW thank you to all that replied and those that have been reading this thread.

Amazing job! I can appreciate the amount of work, sweat and frustration that went into this having done a floor replacement earlier this summer. I wish I stumbled on this thread earlier as it would have been a great reference. I was under a bigger time constraint which didn't allow me to remove all of the insides, in addition I have a slide which made some of the work tricky. I ended up replacing the front half as it was completely rotted through. Although it proved to be a saving in terms of materials and time, it also limited my choices in how I could tackle the project as I had to match the height of the existing floor. I ended up welding a couple of support beams underneath to the frame and recreating the foamboard sandwich.  As couple of folks pointed out, it's a miracle the body doesn't blow off the frame while towing especially when the bottom structure has been compromised by water and rot. In case of my HTT (2003 Starcraft TravelStar 21SSO) the way it is secured to the frame is by 6 2x6 blocks which are maybe 6" long and were embedded into the styrofoam sandwich and screwed into the frame with carriage bolts. When I was doing the demo. everything around the 2x6 block just crumbled in my hand leaving the entire front half only supported by the outer aluminum frame which as I'm sure you're aware is not strong at all. Crazy!

Gods Country

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Re: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2016, 03:54:43 PM »
Well pulled the trailer a week ago for a few days.  About 600 mile round trip.  Everything seems fine thus far.
Everything functioned, and still does.  No apparent shifting or settling thus far.

We have a couple fall trips planned.  One to Maine and one to WV.  Hopefully everything goes well.

Haven't tallied the final cost, but it's going to be in the ballpark of $1,500.  About $500 over what I expected.
Mostly due to the countless $40 trips to the hardware store, and changing/fixing things as I went along.

The job has been complete pretty close to a month now, and came out to about 225 hours. :o

Clearly I'm insane.

This thing better last 10 years, or there is going to be a big bonfire.

So with no further ado some final pics, and the haul vehicle thrown in for good measure.

I hope to never have to update this thread again. ;D

Gods Country

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Re: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2016, 04:07:58 PM »
Amazing job! I can appreciate the amount of work, sweat and frustration that went into this having done a floor replacement earlier this summer. I wish I stumbled on this thread earlier as it would have been a great reference. I was under a bigger time constraint which didn't allow me to remove all of the insides, in addition I have a slide which made some of the work tricky. I ended up replacing the front half as it was completely rotted through. Although it proved to be a saving in terms of materials and time, it also limited my choices in how I could tackle the project as I had to match the height of the existing floor. I ended up welding a couple of support beams underneath to the frame and recreating the foamboard sandwich.  As couple of folks pointed out, it's a miracle the body doesn't blow off the frame while towing especially when the bottom structure has been compromised by water and rot. In case of my HTT (2003 Starcraft TravelStar 21SSO) the way it is secured to the frame is by 6 2x6 blocks which are maybe 6" long and were embedded into the styrofoam sandwich and screwed into the frame with carriage bolts. When I was doing the demo. everything around the 2x6 block just crumbled in my hand leaving the entire front half only supported by the outer aluminum frame which as I'm sure you're aware is not strong at all. Crazy!

I'm shocked just how poorly these things are put together.  Not so much the manufacturing process, but how they are secured to the trailer.  I like to think mine is secured many times better than the original design.
The only thing I can figure is they easily push out of the way on the ball when encountering high winds.  If they were anchored they would blow off the frame like nothing.

Just before my demo we spent 9 days travelling to the Smokies, Memphis, Kentucky and West Virginia.  I had some really bad cross winds travelling from Memphis to Kentucky from a prolonged storm/rain event.....real bad.
And brief heavy cross wind from a severe storm that I just missed crossing into WV.  There was enough hail on the ground it looked like it snowed. 

So somehow they stay on. 

Have fun with your TT


slavco

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Re: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2016, 01:32:40 PM »
Do you have antisway bar on it? I have one on mine and find it really helps. We ended up moving between parks last trip out, and since it was only a 40 minute drive out of laziness I didn't bother putting the bar on. Could totally notice the difference on the highway and it wasn't a very windy day.

You're right, the way they put these together makes them almost disposable once water gets in.. that's probably what they count on, otherwise people would hang on to their TTs forever. I think the cost increase and extra weight would be minor to do it right. Here's some pics of my reno :)


Gods Country

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Re: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2016, 04:40:35 PM »
Do you have antisway bar on it? I have one on mine and find it really helps. We ended up moving between parks last trip out, and since it was only a 40 minute drive out of laziness I didn't bother putting the bar on. Could totally notice the difference on the highway and it wasn't a very windy day.


I do have a friction sway bar.  I typically don't use it, and don't find it necessary most of the time, but the time I described I kept saying to myself I should pull over and place the sway bar.  It was a very busy stretch of interstate, and between the road and weather conditions I felt it was safer to not pull over along the shoulder.
I just slowed down and the sway was controllable.   I guess i should use it on interstates just in case.  I tend to be forgetful, and know I will forget to remove it when jacking the trailer around in a tight spot, getting gas or something.

Looks like you had fun with your TT.

It's a love/hate relationship to be sure.

slavco

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Re: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare
« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2016, 08:27:11 AM »
I do have a friction sway bar.  I typically don't use it, and don't find it necessary most of the time, but the time I described I kept saying to myself I should pull over and place the sway bar.  It was a very busy stretch of interstate, and between the road and weather conditions I felt it was safer to not pull over along the shoulder.
I just slowed down and the sway was controllable.   I guess i should use it on interstates just in case.  I tend to be forgetful, and know I will forget to remove it when jacking the trailer around in a tight spot, getting gas or something.

Looks like you had fun with your TT.

It's a love/hate relationship to be sure.

Love / hate is absolutely right. I did enjoy working on it as it was a good challenge. The toughest part was trying to figure out how to support the floor properly as there were no support  cross beams at all. Welding a couple of square steel tubes did the trick and the floor is solid. I think the extra 20-30lbs of weight were worth it.
I still have a couple of trips planned for this year so definitely worth all the sweat and tears that went into this project :)

JoeFatz

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Re: Gutting my TT or Welcome To My Nightmare
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2016, 02:31:49 PM »
you really don't want to use marine plywood, the way its made it to retain some moisture, putting it in a closed space will dry it out and actually create soft spots when it starts to decay as well as tons of shrinkage and its like $80 a sheet, depending on the floor system you have and its thickness you can use regular plywood that's whats in my class a once your done make sure you get it professionally under coated.
If you have no leak when hooked up to city water under pressure it could be a drain line, if it stinks its a black water line, if it doesn't probably grey water, you can get a test ball at any plumbing supply store and put a test on the drain lines to check.
I would also consider seeing if your missing some of the factory under coating, the water coming off the wheels in the rain could be the issue as well as a leaking roof, window, door etc.
Resealing the windows is quick, easy and cheap, something I plan to do every few years if it needs it or not.

 
Thanks for the reply Reggie.  The floor design sounds pretty much the same.  I'm still not sure where the water is coming from.  I have been watching it very closely the past two years and have never seen a single drop of water inside the actual camper, so I am assuming for the moment that the windows and perhaps bottom edging around the periphery are suspect.  But I will figure it out.....it's paramount.

I am hoping to find marine plywood, but my area is very rural.
Retired at a young age, but that doesn't mean I forgot anything

 

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