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Old 10-08-2013, 10:21 AM   #1
OneSiren's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 75
Firan Raven Renovation (1995)


I'm new here. =)

I'm doing a renovation on a 1995 Firan Raven RV for me, my husband, and our fur kids to move into it and live FT. We'll be selling our home in MD and moving to CA as soon as this project is complete.

Sorry for the long post, but I figured the background and current situation on my RV would help. =)

Here's a blog with the photos/progress to date:
OneSiren RV Renovation

Past & Now - General:
- In 2004 I bought this 1995 Firan Raven RV through a dealership. The rig was owned by a man who owns a big bar in Baltimore, MD and raced Cigarette boats as indicated by the custom vinyl on all sides of my rig.
- I took about 8-10 weekend trips to dog shows, and one longer trip (over a week) to IN between 2004 - 2006.
- In 2006 I had the oil changed on the generator and the rig and new tires put on. I then drained all of the tanks and did all of the general maintenance stuff that you do at the end of a regular trip. Then it sat in my driveway and turned into a storage unit until this year.
- It was not maintained, started, secured (mice in bathroom and above fridge that are gone now, but their damage remains), etc. It was not covered, but had a big pine tree over it protecting it from some of the high noon and afternoon sun until earlier this year. Nothing was done to protect the tires. We put a leveling jack on one side to raise the rear pax tires, but didn't do the same on the other side. =)
- I've had the following changed in the engine: air filter, fuel filter, oil filter, oil, antifreeze, distributor cap and lines, spark plugs, serpentine belt, carburetor cleaned. I've also had the pipe that goes from the gas input down to the gas tank replaced as there was a huge hole in it. The engine started right up and purred like a kitten even though it sat there for seven years. Breaks were inspected and they're great. Tires inspected and although they have a little white discoloration on their outsides, they are in great condition. I also have three other spare tires from when I had all 6 replaced that can be used if one should blow.
- The generator needs an air filter, a spark plug, oil filter and oil change.
- I've tested the A/C, the outlets, the inside lights and all are in working order.
- I have a lot more to test (fridge, hot water heater, water systems, etc. =)

Now - Roof & Ceiling:
- As of today it has at least one leak in the roof. I suspect its more and it's a combination from the seam that runs down the entire RV on the roof; and the refrigerator vent. We've attempted a "patch" of a pretty big area in the seam of the roof on the side where we felt it was leaking, but after a hard rain yesterday we still see that there's leaking so we'll need to revisit that again.
- I've gone inside the rig and pulled out any roof material that I could pull with my hands, a small demo tool, and a small jig saw that I have.
- I then took a video of the area above the fridge, hall closet, and bathroom shower/bathroom. I can see further wood damage in there and I'll have to take down those areas as well for replacement.
- I've pulled the full headliner out of it's center plastic strap so I can inspect the rest of the roof. It's currently secured on the sides, but hanging in the middle. There are two smaller damage areas on the same caulk line on the seam of the roof. This will all need to be pulled out and replaced.

Current Roof and Ceiling Plan:
1. Stop all leaks on the roof. Plan is to remove all of the old caulk and caulk all of those areas again and test through the rain that will be coming for the rest of this week. Consider treating the roof? Seems to be in good condition other than the old caulk.

2. Continue to remove all of the damaged wood from inside the rig. I'm unsure how I'm going to handle the bathroom wall/shower on the one side; and the closet/fridge cabinet on the other side. I'm probably going to have to remove the cabinets to do a good job on this repair. I think that I can cut out the bad wood without removing those walls, but I don't think I can do the full repair and put new wood up without removing the walls/cabinets.

3. For the headliner I want to vacuum out all of the old dry foam from the plywood and headliner. Then I want to reuse the vinyl (except for the moldy part in the hallway that's been cut off and removed from the rig). So my plan was to put this stuff:
OneSiren RV Renovation: Photo between the wood and the headliner. This will give it that "padding" between the vinyl and the wood, and create another layer of insulation inside the rig so we can keep it cooler in the CA sun. I have some high temp tacky spray, but that may not stick as I don't plan on cleaning the headliner or the wood with mineral spirits since I'll be screwing the headliner back in place.

3. Once roof and ceiling are fully fixed I want to put blow insulation up into the space between the wood and the fiberglass roof (through the holes for the lights). I have a Metro Air Dryer/Blower and I thought about putting that on low and just blowing loose/blow insulation up into those spaces. I'd love to do something like blue jeans material insulation - but I suspect time and cost will make standard Home Depot blow insulation the best bet. Does anyone know any reason I shouldn't fill the space between the wood and the fiberglass roof?

5. For the hallway I'm unsure yet what I'm going to do with the ceiling up there. I'd like something that I can liquid nails to the new surface and be done. Or I could order more foam backed vinyl and replace with that. Or I could get regular vinyl and just continue my insulation plan that I will have done in the front (ideal).

PLEASE feel free to weigh in on everything I'm doing and I'll definitely consider all recommendations, experience, knowledge, etc. I've never done this before, but I'm a jack of all trades, master of none kinda girl and I know I can do this.

I'll try to update the blog and whatever thread we're currently using for this project each day that I make progress (almost daily?). I'm devoted to this project and moving our life to CA as my FT job right now. I appreciate ANY insight, opinions, suggestions, etc. I'm here to learn and try to make the best educated decisions for this renovation as I can. =)

Thanks, everyone!! =)


Hiya! I'm Lorelei and I'm renovating a 1994 Firan Raven for FT living. 24k Miles; Chevy P30 7.4L (Gas) engine. Renovation blog here: http://rvrenovation.wordpress.com
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:42 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 246
After doing a major rehab project on a class C due to water damage, I can appreciate the task ahead of you. Sounds like you have a plan and are stepping it one step at a time. That is the only way you can do it. If you try to grasp the whole thing at once you will loose focus and get discouraged. Keep up the good work and best of luck.

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Old 10-08-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Charlotte Harbor, FL
Posts: 1,792
Wow ! you have far more ambition than I would for a project like what you are facing. Have you given any thought into trading it in for a unit that would be less challenging ? Have you given thought to all of the components that are approaching 20 years old ? Then the chassis condition ? wireing ? plumbing ? shocks, brakes, I mean Wow ?
You go girl !
Don and Nancy
[2014 40QBH Phaeton, 2015 Buick Enclave, 2yr old sisters Sara n Kaycee, Havanese, Two Segways
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 75
HabitatGuy: Thank you! Honestly, just hearing that from you helps so much! I felt like I had a good plan and I appreciate you taking the time to read what I wrote (wow....didn't realize how long until I posted it) and to let me know your thoughts and encouragement. =)

djbmsu: Thanks so much for your comments. All excellent thoughts and I appreciating you raising them. =)

We absolutely considered trading it in or giving it away to one of the guys who stops by once a week offering me $2500 for it and even considered setting it on fire (thought about that many times since 2006...ha!), etc. However, due to a combination of many, many, many...really an amazing amount of factors we decided we'd keep this one and make the repairs.

I had two mechanics spend 5 hours changing out all of the engine items and I was with them the entire time (asking a million questions...). I bought all of the parts (purchasing the higher quality product when options were available) and fluids and they switched out all of the filters, flushed fluids; inspecting the entire underside of the rig, the brakes, tires, shocks, transmission, etc. They are people I know and trust implicitly and they were both amazed at the condition that everything was in considering it had been sitting for so long.

Wiring has checked out OK so far on the inside. Outside lights have yet to be tested. Plumbing is a concern (mice in bathroom) and needs to be tested as well. Right now - roof and ceiling first. =)

Thanks again! Yup... this is a huge undertaking, but it's gonna be done...I mean FUN. =)
Hiya! I'm Lorelei and I'm renovating a 1994 Firan Raven for FT living. 24k Miles; Chevy P30 7.4L (Gas) engine. Renovation blog here: http://rvrenovation.wordpress.com
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