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Old 06-10-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 4
introduction and updates we're doing to our "new to us" Damon Challenger

Hello all, my name is Lawrence (or Lars if you prefer) and I am an active duty Air Force member stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson. I'm retiring from the Air Force in about 5 months and last November my wife and I purchased our first RV, a 2004 Damon Challenger. We're planning to take a year-long trip around the US with our two sons (aged 9 and 11) starting this November and in the meantime we are making updates to our "new to us" RV.

Though this is my first post here, I've lurked here a while and very much appreciated the information that is located here-

I've posted this information on other forums and hope it isn't in bad form to post it here as well... I'd love to hear any tips etc or get advice from you as EVERYONE here has more experience than I do at RV'ing (we've spent a total of one night in a military famcamp in "Harvey" (what our kids named the RV)

The Stats...

34' Damon Challenger 327
2 slides
Ford V-10
54K miles
400 hours on genny
Towing 2012 CRV with blue ox towbar

Newish (~15K miles, 3 years from datestamp) tires
Just got the engine checked out, oil changed, and filters changed for both chassis and generator (clean bill of health)

We're doing quite a bit of facelift type work to the RV- the next post will show some of what we have done so far

Again, thanks in advance for any words of advice or encouragement... we are very much looking forward to our adventure!

Lawrence Richards
Tucson AZ

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Old 06-10-2013, 10:28 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 4
before... an empty space above the door

after- new TV on an articulating locking arm (we still need to hard wire everything in)

Before and after pics of the hardware (there were about 250 individual hinges, handles, hooks, etc) I sandblasted each piece, primed them, painted them with satin nickel finish, and then topcoated with lacquer.

Yes, I'm even anal enough that I did the same process on the screw heads

here's about a quarter of the pieces... we worked in batches

we mounted the towing attachments onto LOML's new car (and saved about $1500 doing it ourselves with help from some folks with both advice and assistance)

and here it is headed out for its first ride

There was originally a wardrobe and tv at the end of the bedroom

nice as it was, we tore it out

The wall between the bathroom and bedroom wasn't quite long enough or sturdy enough to hold the bunk beds we are building for this spot

so we tore it out, extended it, and replaced some of the 1x4s with 2x4s to add some strength.

we also doubled the thickness of the ply for the skin

After priming and painting we also adjusted the electrical outlets so each bunk will have one. I also added a 12v power source for each bunk for charging electronics.

The sink before was white, plastic, and had a really poorly constructed faucet. The countertops were a dingy color as well.

We used rustoleum countertop transformations on them and they turned out much nicer (with some additional effort above and beyond the "out of box" standard)

They even look better with a new sink and faucet

For the bathroom, the shower is getting a new white epoxy coat and the gold trim for the shower is being sandblasted and painted satin nickel.

The original sink was yellowed badly and the faucet was pretty bad too so we re-epoxied the sink and added a new faucet along with a re-surfaced countertop.

We moved all of the switches (lights, AC control, slide) to the bathroom side of the wall so that they won't interfere with the bunk bed additions. The switches are also now straight (before they looked like the person that installed them had one leg shorter than the other...they were very crooked)

All the walls are getting a wash, a TSP treatment, a prime with shellac based primer, and then painted. We are also removing all the top and bottom trim and are replacing it with painted trim.

Here is the wallpaper before....

Here's a pretty lady doing a TSP treatment

After priming, the walls are much cleaner looking (the paint is an off white... There is enough wood to keep the decor looking interesting so an off white seemed a much better color than the grey.

Finally, my beautiful wife began recovering the cushions... from this

To this

The fabric is a non-bleeding fabric that is appropriate for upholstery but we also are treating the fabric with both a stain guard (scotchguard) and a flame retardant.

We still have quite a bit more to do (more sandblasting and epoxy for the shower and surround, a lot more painting, recovering the captains chairs, adding the bunk beds and storage, and making a new dining room table) but we are trucking along and making our home-to-be as comfortable as we can.

Thanks for looking and I'd be happy to answer any questions and welcome supportive (or even non-supportive!) comments.


My woodworking portfolio
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:29 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 4
We are recoating (epoxying) the shower because it was filled with holes from soap dishes etc. and was VERY yellowed. I am using a 1 part epoxy and as with many things, preparation is the key.

First we scrubbed... and I mean SCRUBBED the shower clean, then we TSP'd it from top to bottom. Then I removed the glass surround, bondo'ed the holes, and scrubbed it and TSPd it all over again to remove any silicone remnants.

Then I sanded the whole thing with 240 grit abranet and then wiped it clean.

Finally, I put on a spray basecoat of epoxy. This coat is co thin that it is pretty much translucent.

After that completely cured for a week I put on 3 coats of epoxy, 2 hours apart, in very thin coats using a high-quality poly brush.

You can see the difference in this shot (first coat only)

A good respirator with organic filters is really a must

And the final coat... we will let it cure for several weeks before reinstalling the (now brushed nickel instead of the shiny gold) glass surround.

I'll let everyone know how things go as far as longevity etc. and will continue to do updates as we do them to the RV (If y'all are interested)

My woodworking portfolio
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:46 PM   #4
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Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: In a lawnchair
Posts: 11,201
Howdy and thank you for your service! That is quite a transformation on your motorhome...great job! Thanks for sharing your pics with us; I'm sure you'll get lots of questions about your upgrades. Welcome to iRV2.
Sarah (RVM69), Hubby, and Harry the RVin' Dog
.......2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

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Old 06-11-2013, 04:28 AM   #5
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Location: NH
Posts: 5,100
Thanks for your service as well. Nice job and well planned. It should give you great satisfaction knowing what you've done. Your trip should give you memories that will last a lifetime. Safe, trouble free travels. Had two sons stationed there and visited once. Post more pictures as you progress in your coach, we love pictures.
Bruce & Nancy
FMCA F280542
2004 Bounder 35E
US Navy Vet.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:43 AM   #6
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Welcome to irv2.

Thanks for the pics. Nice job.

Cliff,Tallulah and Buddy ( 1999-2012 )
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:30 AM   #7
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Location: Charlotte Harbor, FL
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Wow ! when you two jump into a project, you land on all four feet. Looks terrific what you two have done together. Shows a great deal of ownership and pride.
Have fun , take your time, and Thank you for your service.

Don and Nancy
[2014 40QBH Phaeton, 2015 Buick Enclave, 2yr old sisters Sara n Kaycee, Havanese, Two Segways
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damon, introduction

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