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Old 05-17-2014, 11:57 AM   #15
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I think it's a great idea to remodel an older DP if you find one you like that has been well maintained! We love our 2002 Monaco and have made a lot of improvements to make it safer and more comfortable. Good luck!
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:28 PM   #16
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You can do just about anything, except make it wider and longer. As mentioned earlier, get the chassis length and the number of slides you want first. After that only your imagination limits it.
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:22 PM   #17
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There are some great reno's done by several folks over in the National forum. One of the guys is a woodworker and does some awesome finish work. That said,some of his projects are easy for us average folks to do,just not as fancy the woodworking.
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
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You can do just about anything, except make it wider and longer. As mentioned earlier, get the chassis length and the number of slides you want first. After that only your imagination limits it.
Hey, you may not be able to make it wider or longer, but there isn't much preventing you from going vertical ... Adding a second floor that collapses before you get on the road and goes up while Boondocking ...

May be the second floor can be the master bedroom. Just make sure to design in safety so the ceiling does not come down while you're up there
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:05 PM   #19
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Great Idea

It is a great idea if you do a lot of the work yourself. Unless you have unlimited funds, you'll find custom renovators very pricey. The trick is to find some that has good bones. Look for Spartan or Frieghtliner chassis. These guys build fire trucks and OTR haulers. If you go with some of the rigs built on Ford or Chevy truck chassis, you will regret it. Also consider the engine condition as a primary focus. I had to replace the exhaust manifold on my 8.3 L Cummins because the PO didn't think buying filters made good sense. Was just a little $10k wake up call.

If you have experience with Diesel engines, you are good to go. If not, you will learn, but the lessons don't come cheap. They have a lot of filters and other things not found on your daily commuter. The filters aren't found at your local Autozone for $10 bucks either. You might also want to price out a set of new tires - another pricey necessity.

If you can handle all of those sticker shocks, get a good used coach and go for it. We've made ours just the way we want it over the past ten years. It's the best way to go.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:14 AM   #20
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Once you nail down a suitable RV for renovation, I suggest that the first task is to get very accurate internal measurements then do a CAD work-up using the dimensions for the blank drawing. Start installing hypothetical cabinets, and appliances. Move them around ... tinker with the configuration. Once you get the general layout to satisfaction, then you can get down to micro-designing cabinets, etc. I love this part of the renovation!

Here is an old thread that may be helpful:
CAD program for drafting RV floorplan

By the time I was ready to fire up the wood butchering machinery, I had very precise cabinet dimensions and designs printed up on sheets of paper. Carefully following the design, I was able to produce tight fitting cabinets. OK, the larger ones had to be assembled in the shop, then taken apart to fit into the bus, and then reassembled. Smaller stuff just got carried through the door, all in one piece.

I can't count the number of times I've patted myself on the back for being picky with dimensions and tiny details prior to the final assembly and cabinet placement. Everything snapped into place like a jig saw puzzle.

Selection of materials is a massive subject, and each to his own opinion. For me, high quality, and easy to maintain is essential. I don't care to use particle board, chip board, flake board for ANYTHING. And don't ask if I use staples for interior cabinet assembly ... YEOW ... gets me in state of frustration when I see someone using a staple gun to put cabinets in an RV.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:58 AM   #21
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YEOW ... gets me in state of frustration when I see someone using a staple gun to put cabinets in an RV.
That kind of depends. With modern glues, the staples are only there to hold stuff together till the glue dries. Modern glues are much stronger than the wood itself, so there is nothing lost as far as that goes. While most of the time I use a Craig Jig for pocket screws, there are times when I use a brad nailer, just to hold things in place till the glue dries.
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:29 PM   #22
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Crazy idea to remodel a Class A?

I say, "Go For It", read below about our remodel/restoration saga.

We purchased a slightly used 2000 Discovery in Dec 2013. After getting the Gen Set up and running and a few other mechanical / electrical issues, we decided that maybe this rig was not quite up to our standards! Basically this is a complete make over:
1. New MCD day/nite shades.
2. New Whirlpool Stackable washer/dryer.
3. Did not like the color of the cabinets. Repair/refinish different color.
4. New TV's front & rear, w/auto track Direct TV.
5. New Vinyl Wood Plank flooring, the carpet & tile were just god awful.
6. New brushed stainless hardware throughout, polished brass just seemed
too outdated!
7. New brushed stainless light fixtures to replace the broken/polished brass
light fixtures. Will be using led's wherever possible.
8. Upholstery, have sent the driver/passenger/study seats, soffa &
dining cushions to be recovered.
9. Paint, I will probably end up repainting this rig as the paint is well worn.

By the time I finish, I will have spent $5,000 on mechanical/electrical repairs and $6/8,000 on upgrade to the rig including paint. All in all, $43/45,000 for a DP with a Cummins 300hp diesel on a Freightliner Chassis. Oh, I almost forgot, & a little of my time! If money is not an object, you can buy a pretty ready to drive DP for $250,000 to $500,000 and hit the road. Maybe your Crazy idea to remodel is not a bad idea.
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:18 AM   #23
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Thanks!

I'm amazed how things have evolved- we started down this path looking at shorter gassers, mid-price-ranged coaches with floor plans/decor that we liked. Now were looking at much older models, longer lengths, diesel engines and the floor plans/decor really don't matter.
Funny thing is, I was so distressed that the original owner of our less-than-year old TT had already put nail holes in the walls, stained the comforter and modified the dinette and I wouldn't dream of modifying that 2014 Newmar Canyon Star we saw- (I'd have plastic covers on the furniture for years!) But make that, say, a 2000 Dutch Star DP and I'm thinking of all the possibilities.
We have narrowed it down to chassis, length and number of slides. Cucotx, I don't think we have the skill to go vertical but it's an interesting idea. With all the suggestions and links, I am gathering information on what it would take to make/costs some of these changes happen. Thanks for the CAD link, Moonrover. I had just been wondering if I could use this software program that I used for our home renovations to do exactly that.
Iburson, from what we've seen so far, your makeover list is what we're anticipating, so thanks for including some ballpark figures. We should consider that when purchasing.
You're right, Climbon69, the engine should be our primary focus and unfortunately we don't have any experience with them. But, I will let DH tackle that on his own.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:17 AM   #24
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Wow Iburson !! You are really moving along . Six months of significant progress. I believe you have the same feeling that we had, and that is once the project gets rolling, there is adrenalin !!
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:39 AM   #25
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Wow Iburson !! You are really moving along . Six months of significant progress. I believe you have the same feeling that we had, and that is once the project gets rolling, there is adrenalin !!
I find that once I get started the motivation kicks in. I have a terrible time to get started but once I see it is doable it is way easier. The DOUBT goes away.
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