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Old 06-29-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
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My humble TT renovation project

Ok I guess this is where I should post this... I'm new to travel trailer campers as of February 2, 2012 lol grew up camping in a late 70's Steury pop-up camper once or twice a year. I'm 25 just for reference. I stumbled upon this rig in Feb, or rather it found me. I will cut to the chase. I tend to be long winded. Anyway I knew absolutely nothing about real campers. I have good working knowledge of car/utility/cargo/flatbed trailers though. Never done carpentry, flooring, household electrical or much plumbing in my life. I'm an auto mechanic on the side and as a hobby. So most of this is all new to me.
This farmer had custom ordered this 1998 Starcraft Leisure Star 33SKS new for $19,000. Had it delivered here to Hope, IN from Elkhart, dealer went through it then delivered to his site. They set it up on a slab where a house trailer once had been and had everything hooked up, frame on blocks tires off the ground etc. he used it as a farm office and hangout place. The last 3 years it sat and got used for storage. He even stored new, full fees sacks in it to keep rodents out of them if they were stored in barn. Bad idea, they can get in campers too!! It was in really bad shape when I got it but the price was worth it for the chassis since scrap was up then and the axles good as new, the two 30 lb gas cylinders never cracked open or used (bulk tank was permanently plumbed to trailer). The outside walls were delaminated horribly in spots and absolutely filthy from years of sitting outside neglected. The stripes were coming off and faded bad. There was water damage to the walls in a couple places. Most of the appliances weren't in working condition. It was super nasty inside. Pics will not do it justice. I really thought I was gonna end up scrapping it. I tore into the walls first to assess the damage and see if I could do anything with that. It all went from there, I'll post some pics and let them do the talking and then I'll list all that's been done to it.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:02 PM   #2
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Here are the before pics. Not sure how well they will show up. I spent weeks cleaning it when I could. Tons an tons of cleaning before starting to gut it. It was so filthy I was nervous to fire up any of the systems for fear of fire from all the dirt and debris. I didn't take many good pics because I thought it was all gonna be ashes literally, did not figure it would wind up what it is now.... So you can't see the half of the disaster due to poor lighting and not good pic selection. Every single appliance, fixture and square inch was disgusting. The first two weeks I spent cleaning in it Was making me sick to the point I had to get it all over with but at same time breathing was somewhat difficult.
Basically 3/4 of the interior was custom ordered from what he told me.
Factory equipment:
15,000 BTU Dometic ducted a/c (bad compressor)
Suburban 6 gallon 120V/LP DSI water heater (MIA and lines/wires capped due to busted tank)
Suburban gas central furnace (working)
Dometic 120V/LP DSI refrigerator/freezer combo (was told not working, but worked on electric. Found burner clogged now works perfect on LP)
Mobil Chef large microwave (working)
Atwood 3 burner stove top and oven (he never even used)
Range vent
Shur-Flo water pump
44 gallon fresh tank
ProTechtor gas alarm
Tank/battery indicator panel
45 amp converter
Entertainment center
Free standing dinette table and chairs
13.5' Super-Slide out
Queen Walk around bed, never slept in, crappy mattress, underneath storage
Rear entry door
Full size double sink in kitchen
Ceiling vents- 1 in bedroom, 1 above shower (w/12v fan), 1 in living room
21' awning (MIA thanks to storm)

Some electrical stuff didn't work. All outside lights worked perfect. 120 outlets in slide out didn't work and many interior lights didn't work. Fixed a ground and replaced bulbs and all is good. Plumbing leak in bathroom presumably from not getting winterized properly, no water damage from it. Slide out wasn't getting power, found circuit breaker on frame was rusted not making contact, replaced it.

And tons and tons of disassembly and cleaning. Can't stress enough how much time I have just in cleaning. Ridiculous!
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1988 SunLite Hideaway 9.5' TC project

1996 Ram 3500 Cummins dually highly modified
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:27 PM   #3
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1998 StarCraft Leisure Star 33SKS repairs and upgrades performed in 2012 rebuild/remodel:

Extensive disassembly and cleaning inside and outside
Power wash & scrub exterior
Remove graphics & adhesive
Repair numerous wiring issues
Plumbing repair
New flooring w/new flooring trim
New wood moulding trim in bedroom
New blinds
New lavatory/faucet
New shower head/faucet
Removed broken accordion door for shower and replaced with custom shortened rod and curtain, added aluminum drain/trim piece along tub ledge
Resealed shower and tub
New used water heater, same as factory 6 gallon 120V/LP DSI
Furnace removed and cleaned
New furnace registers/filters
Wall repairs to right rear and slide out
Removed half wall between couch and dinette
New furniture ( Ashley leather couch modified for underneath storage, custom built lay down dinette booth conversion w/underneath storage )
Built custom folding changing table
Main entry Door repairs
Screen door repairs/childproof solid panel lower screen replacement/added closing spring
Roof vent repairs
Sound system upgrade w/Kenwood CD player, amplifier, subwoofers and outside marine speaker w/switches for amp and outside speaker
Added 15W Solar panel
Added a MaxAir vent cover to bathroom vent (others to come later)
New fixtures in bathroom/kitchen
New/used awning
Removed, cleaned and Resealed all windows and doors
New & refurbished outside fixtures
Added outside shower
Added pump silencer hoses and accumulator tank
Air conditioner replaced w/used 13,500 BTU Coleman custom adapted to Dometic controller, thermostat and ducted ceiling bracket and cover
Built rear frame extension with receiver hitch and toolbox mounted
Replaced and upgraded the battery
Repainted frame
Wire-wheeled and repainted wheels, added spike lug nut covers to match truck
Checked bearings and brakes, all still good as new
Added 12 volt oscillating fans in bedroom
Added backsplash behind stove
Portable DISH tv satellite mount
Removed all curtains and valances, recovered the trim pieces/forehead cushions above doors with matching black leather/vinyl material
Repaired bathroom door
Added paper towel holder, TP holder, shower caddy and towel hooks etc.
pretty sure there's more I'm not thinking of. If it sounds like TONS of work, trust me it has been!!! But all paid off the first time we took it out!

Luckily there was no real interior water damage just outside walls. Which isn't any more fun especially with fiberglass sides but if roof had leaked or walls leaked longer or worse, I'd have been repairing inside as well... The outside wall was not torn apart when I got it like pictured...
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1988 SunLite Hideaway 9.5' TC project

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Old 06-29-2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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Now for the after pics! A bit of the stuff has been done since these pics. But ya get the idea!
The front entry door's inside skin I replaced too, it looked like it had been kicked in. Crop prices must have plummeted that day lol
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:54 AM   #5
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Amazing! Can't wait til mine looks that good.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:41 PM   #6
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Thanks Echo! I wish you luck with your project! It will take a lot of research and dedication and hard work. The best thing is that most all trailers are built the same way and use similar hardware, appliances and fixtures everything mostly interchanges at least on newer stuff. Get into the 80's and older, I'm not sure on those. But they are all almost the same just layout and styling differences. Even though mine is a 98, I couldn't find anything on it online. I think they didn't make a whole lot of this model. Haven't found another this age and model yet online or in person.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
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Looks great!!
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:47 AM   #8
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Very nice, great job!!
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:50 AM   #9
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Thanks! Get to take it out again next weekend!!! Woohoo!
I've been working so much and we are putting back money for another house, so only have gotten to take it out once this year. I know I for sure have at least two other trips with it this year besides next weekend. I stopped by the biggest RV dealer around here yesterday, and walked through every model of TT and 5'er they had. Didn't see a single one I'd rather have than mine :-)
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:29 PM   #10
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Good for you - now you have a nice TT and look at the education and skills you got in the process.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:30 PM   #11
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Yes I did learn a few new things lol quite a lot actually. Last weekend the previous owner got to check it out and he was majorly impressed. He was going to drag it out to the field and burn it and take the leftovers to the scrapyard. He was very amazed at the fast turn around and how I fixed the walls especially.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:13 PM   #12
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Good looking RV It looks like you did an excellent job of restoring it...
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:20 PM   #13
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WOW its amazing! Your did a great job on the TT. I love how you did the kitchen table and the new couch etc. The bathroom looks wonderful too........it all does
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:29 PM   #14
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Looks awesome! We renovated an old MH recently so I can appreciate the amount of work that goes into a project like this. Luckily for us our walls were in great shape, so we didn't have to go through trouble that you did with the exterior. Changing table was a nice touch.
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