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Old 04-16-2017, 10:40 AM   #1
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2000 Holiday Rambler Endeavor Remodel

We're in really deep now...

I've been away from the forums for a while, attending to family obligations. We decided recently to do a partial remodel of the interior. We wanted to replace the existing carpeting and ceramic tile with vinyl tile, and add bunk beds for our girls, ages 13 and 10. We really like the Fleetwood/Holiday Rambler 35E floorpan, and the basic mechanics of the 35E are very similar to our 40PBD, with two slides on the road side of the coach. We intend to make the "waist" of the coach, between the slides, similar to the 35E, with the bathroom on the curb side and bunk beds between the slides on the road side.

While removing the ceramic floor tile, I got to the point where I could remove a section of tiled OSB sheet, and discovered water damage in the sub-floor. I followed the damage up into the wall and discovered more. Some of it is old and dry, but not all of it, so I have a small leak somewhere above the 18-foot curbside awning.

Since I happened to be at the only ceiling panel that doesn't have a component that penetrates the roof, I peeled-off the cigarette smoke-stained, padded vinyl layer, followed by two layers of paper-coated styrofoam board insulation.

I have a lot of work ahead of me.

I have suspected that there was rodent damage to the ceiling insulation, and I found plenty of it. The smell of rodent urine was very strong, and the insulating properties of the fiberglass batts have been destroyed. The structural design of the ceiling offers zero resistance to mice traveling the full length of the coach through the insulation, and there are several places where openings for electrical wiring permits access to the walls, which also offer zero resistance to mice traveling the full length of the coach. In short, nothing less than removing all of the ceiling and wall panels will fix the problem.

The wife and I looked at it for a few minutes, slept on it, and decided to order a dumpster. It is arriving tomorrow. I expect to take about two weeks to completely gut the coach. All of the furniture, flooring, walls, and ceiling, will be completely removed and thrown away. We will save our recently-purchased washer/dryer and refrigerator. Everything else will be hauled away, and we will start from a clean slate.

The rodent damage wasn't a big surprise, but what I found next is a more serious problem. On this coach, the structural ceiling members (like ceiling joists in a house) are aluminum I-beams, with a double header on the top for extra resistance against bending. Each I-beam has two rectangular holes in the vertical section for the HVAC ducting. Holding a 6-foot carpenter's level against the middle of the I-beam, I estimate the the center of the beam is about 1/2 to 5/8 inches below the ends. Sometime in the past, a previous owner probably failed to clear heavy snow from the roof, and the weight of the snow bent the beams. The owner of a local repair shop says that he has repaired another Holiday Rambler with the same type of roof that was caved in 8-12 inches from heavy snow. On that insurance-covered repair, they removed the entire roof from the outside and welded-in new I-beams. He recommended that I continue to work from the inside. I ordered some 1/4" x 1 15/16" aluminum flat stock, and I am going to attempt to lift the center of the beam until it is straight, insert the flat stock in each side of the I-beam, and secure them in place with through-bolts spaced along the length of the sandwiched I-beam. This should add a large amount of stiffness to the beam and prevent future damage of this type. The weak point in the I-beam is the hole for the ductwork. I am going to lose the in-ceiling HVAC ducting in the process.

This level of repair is a bit intimidating, but Iím fairly confident that I can manage it if I take my time and think through all of the trickle-down effects of the changes that I make. Iíd be happy to hear from anyone with practical experience at this type of repair, and Iíll keep posting my progress here in this thread.
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Old 04-16-2017, 11:21 AM   #2
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I will be following your progress with interest. For starters I did not realize the tiled section has osb over the sub floor. I have been deciding between just replacing all the carpeted areas (with vinyl plank) or h=just doing the whole thing. Can always learn.
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:46 PM   #3
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I'll be glad when the dumpster arrives.

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Old 04-16-2017, 03:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbyII View Post
I will be following your progress with interest. For starters I did not realize the tiled section has osb over the sub floor. I have been deciding between just replacing all the carpeted areas (with vinyl plank) or h=just doing the whole thing. Can always learn.

Yes. My floor has two layers of OSB beneath the floor coverings. It's a good thing they built it this way, because the adhesive they use for the ceramic tile is really tough stuff. Most of the tile came up with OSB fragments glued to the back. The OSB is destroyed in the process. I haven't found any place where the OSB layers are glued together.

The bottom layer of OSB is laid directly atop the steel frame that supports the floor. The exterior walls stand on top of this layer, and are bolted through it to the steel frame below. Repairing damage beneath the wall is very difficult. I have some around the rear slideout that was damaged too badly to save, so I need to figure out how to slide some new stuff under the wall.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:24 PM   #5
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I have a 99 37WDS pusher with a driver side slide kitchen.

Although I'm sorry to hear about your damage, I am glad to hear you say the floor system OBS sits atop the steel frame and the exterior walls sit on that.

Imagine if the exterior walls were horizontally fastened to the side of the coach and had no footing, so to speak. Yikes!

Would you be able to post a picture of how this looks for me? I would be very interested to see that and will also be following this thread with great interest, as our coaches pretty much have the same bones.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:59 PM   #6
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Here you go, Bad Bolt. It's a bit messy, but you can clearly see the layers and the bolt. Not all of the wall attachments have this type of bolt. Some have lag screws with the head in that C-channel that forms the wall base.
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:10 PM   #7
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If anyone is interested, I have removed the jackknife sofa from the slide and am offering it for free pickup in Alton, NH. It's listed in the classifieds.

http://www.irv2.com/rvclassifieds/sh...-drawer&cat=30
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:40 AM   #8
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Great picture. Those layers are what I saw repairing my toilet area last year.

Are there horizontal exterior screws tapping into the metal sill plate?
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Are there horizontal exterior screws tapping into the metal sill plate?
No. The horizontal screws at the bottom of the exterior wall are lower than the floor. I haven't tried to measure for comparison.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:18 PM   #10
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Big demolition day today. I should have ordered a larger dumpster. It's 90% full already, and I still have a long way to go.
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:54 PM   #11
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Wow, you sure took on a job.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:06 AM   #12
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Wow, that's what I call a remodel...

Only if you have the time and can, is it possible to get some close up pictures of the wall structure risers, sills and what the inside of the exterior walls looks like in a picture or two. Not looking for super close ups. Maybe get all in one frame, but a bit closer that what you posted.

I have a suggestion for you, as I see you have removed the front overhead cabinets by the windshields. Do yourself a favor and inspect the aluminum center windshield divider where it attaches to the top of the roof structure and the bottom by the dash. My divider had two rivets at the top and bottom. Check for a metal fatigue break at each end of that divider. If it breaks, you may have your entire windshields pop out because there's nothing structurally holding them in....BIG $$$$$

I had to replace the entire gasket and have the divider TIG welded at a cost of $700.

And, one other thing. Would you be willing to sell me some of your whole, undamaged tiles? I've got a few in my 99 that are cracked and would really like to replace them. Let me know
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:19 AM   #13
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Maybe even a closer picture of the ceiling structure. I'm sure there are a lot of HR folks that would love to see the bones of your coach.

If you don't want to post, I can PM you my email address.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:58 PM   #14
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Another productive demo day. The dumpster is full and needs to be replaced. Look at the close-up of the floor under the rear end of the slide. The kitchen sink sits on top of this. It has been repaired at least once, but the sub-flooring has completely failed. If you hear crunching noises when your slide is moving, this is one of the likely problems. The floorplan does not allow access to this area for maintenance/repair, so it is a huge problem. When I remove all of the rotten wood, I'm going to put a sheet of stainless steel beneath the slide in this area. My new floorplan will have NO water on the slide side of the coach, and I will be able to access both ends of both slides, from the inside, for maintenance and repairs.

I will be taking photos of everything that I touch. I'll post some of them here, and I am happy to share with anyone who can use them.

And before someone asks, the pole in the center is not for exotic dancers. It's the black tank vent pipe. It will be moved to a different location.
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