2004 Fleetwood Wilderness 27' trailer, big remodel...

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USMC_Warrior_0311

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Hello all,

My name is Marc and I am new to the forum :)

My wife and I bought our trailer from a friend of mine who had taken pretty good care of it through the years. A few months after we bought it another friend of ours fell onto some hard times beyond his control and he talked me into letting him stay in the camper for "a few months"... Well after more than a year of him living in it he had rigged some things that needed fixing, broke stuff, ruined the carpet and so much more. Unfortunately for all we are no longer on speaking terms and a court date has been assigned...

So, now that we had our "camper" back we decided to book a big trip to Flaming Gorge this summer and actually get some use out of the trailer.

I went in and had the carpets cleaned and other things, but the smell just wouldn't go away...

This week I went in and removed everything from the inside of the camper, including cushions, mattresses, and well, everything. It still smelled after a day plus of having fans going and windows open, so I proceeded to remove the sleeper couch and dining area, plus all the carpet and anything that could seemingly hold a smell. Still there... Then while doing other stuff noticed some water damage in the main sleeper area which resulted in several wall and ceiling panels being removed, plus all the insulation and more being removed as well. The roof will need to have at least 1 piece of plywood replaced, and 2-3 roof joists are likely not salvageable, which has now opened so much more of a large project.

Then I decided ok, since we're doing the floor, (rubber lifeproof click lock) let's see what else we can upgrade, and it has turned into a long term project at this point.

Here's a decent list of what we want to do starting from the outside and then the inside...

So, now the goals/checklist for what we want to do
Outside:
1. The rubber roof is torn/cracked/weathered so that brings on the need for a new roof. Been reading into a lot of different things, and I'm undecided on TPO or the liquid roof. I read that the liquid roof can be applied straight over the wood if an oil based primer is used first. That appeals to me, as well as the price, but not sure it's the way to go...
1a. Will need to replace at least 1 section of plywood on the front of the roof
1b. Will likely need to replace at least 2-3 roof joists
2. Fix the current solar array- The previous owner added two solar panels, and ran them through the roof but not sure how to power it up etc... so that will take research and probably a new charger unit.
3. New vent fans/ all weather covers 1 cover is broken, and both fans are super loud so I am hoping to find something that's a little cheaper but quieter
4. New exterior lights, 4 flood lights at each corner of the camper, 2 spot lights towards the back for night time cooking, 2 more lights towards the front for general lighting, LED strips along the top of the camper (under the awning) for mood, under carriage lighting, pass through storage, 2 lights on the front facing the propane tanks and batteries
5. New battery box/tool storage- Saw a post where someone made a diamond plated box and he had 2 batteries on one side with a separator to be able to load levelers and other items on the other side. Will likely somewhat mimic that idea.
6. New rear bumper
6a. Bike rack for 4 bikes, will likely need to be custom built
6b. Ice chest carrier/wood carrier I have a hitch rack I bought that has a storage bag, or box that should be able to fit what I would need. I may need to customize that too, maybe a double decker design ice chest on top, wood below... Not sure yet
7. Siding repairs/replacement. There was a small section of damaged siding near the main sleeping area that I didn't get to as quickly as I wanted, so that needs to be done. The wheel well flairs need to be replaced along with a few other items
8. Paint outside of trailer. Not sure what type of paint to use, but I want to give it a refresh, the biggest issue I think is the graphics. Need to peel them, clean them and then paint it, but also don't want it to be so blank that it just looks like a utility trailer... Was thinking about a red white and blue theme
9. Pass through storage area organization and build drawers to come out of it on both sides Thinking about 2 drawers/rail sets that would pull out on each side of the pass through. Increase other storage/organization options in the pass through. Fishing poles, etc...
10. Add battery shutoffs
I am sure there's more, but that is what is off the top of my head

Inside:
1. New lights/switches throughout 12v, dimmable recessed (planning on 20 recessed lights with selective switches for each area) LED accent lighting throughout
2. More 120v and 12v plugin locations
3. New insulation/inside panels where we had water damage
The current panels are thin wood veneer materials covered with the wallpaper looking vinyl. Not sure what to replace them with, but we will be painting...
4. Paint all cabinets and inside panels/ceiling. Cabinets will likely be a darker grey, walls and ceilings will be a light grey (same color for walls/ceiling)
5. Replace stereo and speakers, add speakers, new amp, speakers will be on toggle switches to separate zones. 8 channel amp, 2 speakers in main sleeping area, 4 in kitchen/dining area and 2 new speakers on the outside. 2 channel am for subwoofer, I will custom build a subwoofer box to go under the sink in an area that isn't really great for storage.
6. I haven't dug in deep yet, but I am pretty sure there's a water pump at the fresh water tank, and then a pressure regulator pump that was inside a cabinet as you walk in the door. We removed the cabinet, and the wiring for the pressure pump was funky at best, so I will figure that out as well.
7. Re-plumb all plumbing, currently there is a mix of the original pipe and cpvc patched in, so I want it to be fresh, and possibly routed better (not sure there is a better way, but maybe)
7a. I am not sure if this is feasible in a camper but there are water distribution manifolds that you can use in regular house plumbing and I was thinking that could work. Any thoughts or input would be appreciated
8. Custom build in storage in main sleeping area, and living area. We removed one big cabinet that was just bulky and in the way, so we will add one that is not as deep, but is wider. It will have drawers and a cabinet, plus we will put the TV mount there as well.
9. Build custom bunk beds in the slideout for the kids, re-arrage eating area. We have 2 kids, 2 and 7 and want to give them something to sleep in and kind of have their own areas. The camper layout really isn't conducive to bunk beds, but my wife found something that she wants me to build.

And... I want it all done by the 1st week of June haha

I think that is about it for the moment, but I am sure I will have more to add as this gets going.

Now some pictures...20210414_122946.jpg20210414_122950.jpg20210414_122958.jpg20210414_123001.jpg
 

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USMC_Warrior_0311

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A few more pictures...
 

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prnebs

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That sounds like an incredible amount of work. One thing you might consider is renting an ozone generator to run a couple of times. Might help with the odor.
 

jackiemac

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Good to have you join us.

Wow, that's a ton of work, so please ask anything you need to.

Good luck with the restoration, looking forward to seeing the results.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Big project and far more than a 2004 Wilderness is worth, but you should end up with a nice rig that you know is good & solid.

6. I haven't dug in deep yet, but I am pretty sure there's a water pump at the fresh water tank, and then a pressure regulator pump that was inside a cabinet as you walk in the door. We removed the cabinet, and the wiring for the pressure pump was funky at best, so I will figure that out as well.

There is only one water pump in the factory plumbing. It sucks from the fresh tank and is located near it; it maintains pressure at about 45 psi by cycling on/off (pressure switch internal to pump). I don't have a clue what may have been in that cabinet.

7. Re-plumb all plumbing, currently there is a mix of the original pipe and cpvc patched in, so I want it to be fresh, and possibly routed better (not sure there is a better way, but maybe)
Use Pex throughout. The original was probably polybutyl, which is notorious fro cracking as it ages. Yes, you can add manifolds where suitable.

If you want to travel in June, I suggest you junk the Wilderness and go shopping. You can get a clean used trailer for less cost than your custom rebuild and go enjoy the great outdoors. :cool:
 

USMC_Warrior_0311

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That sounds like an incredible amount of work. One thing you might consider is renting an ozone generator to run a couple of times. Might help with the odor.
That's a good idea. I will look into it. Thanks
Hi and welcome to the forum. Good to have you join us.

Wow, that's a ton of work, so please ask anything you need to.

Good luck with the restoration, looking forward to seeing the results.
Thanks for the encouragement haha
Big project and far more than a 2004 Wilderness is worth, but you should end up with a nice rig that you know is good & solid.



There is only one water pump in the factory plumbing. It sucks from the fresh tank and is located near it; it maintains pressure at about 45 psi by cycling on/off (pressure switch internal to pump). I don't have a clue what may have been in that cabinet.


Use Pex throughout. The original was probably polybutyl, which is notorious fro cracking as it ages. Yes, you can add manifolds where suitable.

If you want to travel in June, I suggest you junk the Wilderness and go shopping. You can get a clean used trailer for less cost than your custom rebuild and go enjoy the great outdoors. :cool:
I definitely have 2 pumps, one is a pump and the other is a pressure pump (if I am remembering correctly)

I will definitely use pex and distribution manifolds, seems like the smarter way to go. I have a pex expansion tool and the connectors so it should be relatively straight forward.

And, while I tend to agree about possibly looking into a new/er trailer, I am not one to back down from a challenge, and I have good workers to help get things done.

I cannot remember if I mentioned it in this post, but I am a contractor, so the work doesn't worry me, but the timeline does a little...

We are currently in the process of getting somewhere between 3 and 197 inches of snow haha, so that has slowed me a little bit
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I definitely have 2 pumps, one is a pump and the other is a pressure pump (if I am remembering correctly)
Not factory standard, so I can't help you on that. Maybe the former owner thought a booster pump would help water pressure, e.g. in the shower. Complaints about low pressure in a shower are common in older Rvs, but it's actually low flow volume that is the issue.
 

USMC_Warrior_0311

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Not factory standard, so I can't help you on that. Maybe the former owner thought a booster pump would help water pressure, e.g. in the shower. Complaints about low pressure in a shower are common in older Rvs, but it's actually low flow volume that is the issue.
OK, so what would help with the low flow volume issue? If I can eliminate some extra plumbing I am ok with that.

I haven't had much of a chance to get into the plumbing yet, we got 6 inches of snow last night and are expecting a little more tomorrow, so that will have to wait until maybe this weekend. Getting under the trailer will be a good step to getting a lot done.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It can be a variety of contributing factors, starting with a low cfm pump, too many joints/fittings, clogged intake screen on pump or city inlet, plus a flow restrictor in the shower head. Each situation needs to be analyzed on its own merits, but the causes are nearly always flow restrictions rather than lack of pressure (psi). The standard rv system operates at around 45 psi and that should be sufficient.
 

TheBar

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You are likely aware by now but most RV roof and walls are 2 sheets of 1/8" to 3/16" plywood with a 2" layer of structural foam glued between them. I worked for a metal building company for 40 years who builds similar foam insulated panels except with thin steel panels on each side of the foam. This assembly creates a much stronger, lighter roof and wall structure than conventional construction (which was our main business). Cut the foam and you lose more structural integrity than cutting the plywood so keep that in mind.

Rafters and purlins support the seams between the panels. If yours are badly rotted they need to be replaced. There are wood hardeners which can significantly strengthen and stop further deterioration on wood which only has surface damage.

Last fall I had delamination of the top layer of plywood on my RV roof. Water had not penetrated past the foam so the bottom layer of plywood was undamaged. Instead of risking any structural strength I just replaced a 3'x2' section of the top layer of plywood then resealed the roof. This ended up just as strong as the original and did not add any weight which is always a major concern in an RV. In my opinion if you can replace just the plywood above and/or below the foam without cutting the foam that is the best option.
 

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tc tom

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A few more pictures...
Big project but they can be fun and interesting if you enjoy the work. I rebuilt my trailer from the frame up. As far as the plumbing goes I used pex with the stainless steel clamps and brass fittings. I plumbed it like a residential house. It's been six years and no leaks. Completely re-plumbed the drain lines because the ran a separate line for every drain. So in a 5ft span there were 3 separate drain lines. All said and done I gained over 6 cu. ft. of storage. So to me it was worth re-routing supply lines and drain lines. Good luck with you project.

Tom
 

USMC_Warrior_0311

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This camper doesn't have the 1/8 ply and foam, it has straight 7/16 plywood on the roof. I cut out a bad section off the front over the weekend. I thought I had posted the pictures and progress report but must not have hit post haha

Over the weekend I removed all the existing rubber membrane, all the vents, AC, and other parts on the roof. The water damage was caused by the membrane being put under the metal instead of over it, and not under the trim piece that holds it down (not sure of the technical name).

I ordered new vent fans and covers (should be here tomorrow) and plumbing vent covers etc..., and the new TPO roof arrived Monday, about 5 days after it was supposed to, so for now it is tarped with our current rain storm on us.

It is supposed to be nice this weekend, so I will put that roof on hopefully Friday or Saturday.

I will need to replace 2 roof joists and about 2 and a half feet of plywood on the front. I am considering using redguard or aqua defense on it before installing the TPO just as added assurance.

Also over the weekend I removed the rest of the ceiling inside the trailer plus about 8-10 feet of wall on either side of the front of the camper. We removed the existing TV cabinet, because it took up so much floor space. I will build a smaller cabinet (about the depth of DVDs) and will install a RV TV mount and flat screen to that.

I bought a new 50A 240V panel and a 12v distribution panel. I will probably install the 12v panel in that cabinet, and the 240V panel in or near the current location. I think the current spot is a little too small for it, but we will see what I can work out.

I bought a bunch of little recessed dimmable 12v lights (smaller than I thought they would be) but I think they will look great in there. Once I get the roof done I think the inside will go pretty smooth.

I will be adding a few USB 12v ports, and a few more plugs inside and out for whatever I see fit.

I'm also considering some 12v LED spot or flood lights at each corner to help with setup at night while hunting or just pulling into a camping spot. A buddy setup a LED panel for his yard and it is pretty bright.

For the outside, I will be removing all the decals, and then painting the trailer a darkish grey with black trim/accessories. The roof items are all still white to go along with the TPO.

I think that is about the extent of the updates for the moment, but am hoping to have some good progress made over the weekend.
 

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USMC_Warrior_0311

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Got a little more done today.

Copied the front roof joist the best I could with what was left of the original, rebuilt one of the rounded edges on the front to create the roof slope and replaced the osb on the front 2 feet.

Hoping to get the new roof on tomorrow, but before that, I'll sand down any high spots and re-set any nails or screws that aren't recessed.

Has anyone used red guard or something similar under the tpo or epdm on the plywood itself? I'm considering it too create an extra barrier.
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USMC_Warrior_0311

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I saw a video of a roof replacement and they cut off the plumbing vents before putting on the tpo roof. Does anyone know if there's a specific reason for it?

I feel like it would definitely make it easier, but what about reinstalling the caps? Part of their installation depends on the pipe, at least in theory
 

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Lou Schneider

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Those pipes are regular ABS. Cut the hole in the wood a bit larger and slip on a standard pipe coupler to restore them to the original height.
 

Mumzilla

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I purchased an ozone machine from a vendor on Amazon .I thought that I did enough research and used it over the winter to keep rodents from living inside the old shop that I store things .Along with my brand new riding lawn mower.The machine had plenty of warning stickers on it about human health hazards.I had read that ozone machines can also be used for pest control.Well , due to the machine having an option to leave on continuously, I discovered come springtime,my new mower had 4 flat ,melted tires.Who new?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Has anyone used red guard or something similar under the tpo or epdm on the plywood itself? I'm considering it too create an extra barrier.
Can if you like - it's just a little more weight up top. Might help if you develop a leak in the top layer, though it's just going to cause the leakage to flow somewhere else inside.

Since you are re-roofing, I'd definitely choose TPO or PVC over EPDM. EPDM chalks readily, so that any dew or rain runoff creates dirty black streaks down the sides.
 

USMC_Warrior_0311

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I purchased an ozone machine from a vendor on Amazon .I thought that I did enough research and used it over the winter to keep rodents from living inside the old shop that I store things .Along with my brand new riding lawn mower.The machine had plenty of warning stickers on it about human health hazards.I had read that ozone machines can also be used for pest control.Well , due to the machine having an option to leave on continuously, I discovered come springtime,my new mower had 4 flat ,melted tires.Who new?
Holy crap, that's crazy! Good to know.
Can if you like - it's just a little more weight up top. Might help if you develop a leak in the top layer, though it's just going to cause the leakage to flow somewhere else inside.

Since you are re-roofing, I'd definitely choose TPO or PVC over EPDM. EPDM chalks readily, so that any dew or rain runoff creates dirty black streaks down the sides.
I haven't posted pics in a bit, but I did get the roof done with TPO. I ordered all new trim and other parts which just arrived, so I will finish the roof in the coming days.
 
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