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Old 06-24-2015, 01:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 19
Young RV owners looking for help

Hello, we wanted to introduce ourselves to the community. My name is Rick, Im 30 years old, living down in Miami with my 26 year old girlfriend. 6 months ago we purchased a 19ft 1984 Mobile Traveler/Ford E350 Dually. We are planning on moving cross country with our 2 dogs (German Shepherd and Siberian Husky), and figured it would be really cool to buy an old rv, freshen it up, and do the cross-country road trip thing.
We are very excited about seeing the Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands National Monument, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Roswell, Death Valley, Yosemite and much more. We planned an epic adventure on our quest. We purchased our RV and drove it home, and started assessing out situation. We figured the tacky red carpet and wood grain everywhere had to go. A fresh coat of paint, rip out the carpet, put in laminate, and call it a day. As Im sure many of you know, things never simply go that way. Peeling back the carpet in one of these old rvs is like the opposite of Christmas morning, or at least so we found out. What started as a $2000 purchase was quickly beginning to look like it was going to take a bit more money to get this thing liveable. Water damage and mold all over the place. Each step of the way was another surprise, and eventually our motto became Well I guess we should just rip it out and replace it at this point. and slowly transformed to Hey, its better than it was!
We ended up ripping out all the plumbing and redoing it, dinette table and bench seats were gutted and a new long bench seat was built as a custom bed for the dogs. We installed new usb outlets, speaker enclosures, new stereo and wiring, new electric water heater, gutted all the old propane and patched the holes in the walls, rebuilt the whole overcab area, put down a new subfloor and then laminate floor, painted everything. Engine work included radiator flush, new thermostat housing and valves, new carb, 6 new tires, new paintjob, oil change, belts replaced, outside sealed and caulked everything up, and much more Im sure Im forgetting.
6 months and a ton of blood, sweat and tears later. We had just finished all the interior renovations, had to go replace our dry rotted old tires, and had just finished painting the outside of the body. We go and get our tires (which was a fiasco in itself) and finally on the way home, I let myself start to take some pride and accomplishment in all our hard work, as a smile crept across my face, my hands drumming on the stereo wheel while jamming out on the way home, as life would often have it, murphys law struck and our baby that we put so much time, effort and money into, burst into flames. I was quick with the fire extinguisher and we were able to get it towed home. It took me a week just to be able to decompress and climb out of my depression and write these posts up. We are here seeking refuge amongst the more knowledgeable of you at this forum. During the past 6+ months, I have spent many hours researching and teaching myself more than I ever cared to know about RVs or Carburetor based vehicles for that matter. Very very often, my google searches returned results that led me to threads on this forum. This forum has already helped us immensely before I even became a member and we are hoping now that this time you all might be able to advise us on our next step forward of carrying out our dream. I dont want to abandon it, but I dont want us and our dogs to die in a firebox deathtrap on wheels either. Please click here to read the post about our recent issues and offer any help.

Desperately seeking advice,

p.s. Before anyone mentions it, in retrospect, yes we should have gotten a 5th wheel instead. But such is life, and here we stand.

p.p.s. Here are some Before and After pictures of the work we did on the interior renovation:

Before (or rather middle of deconstruction):

Tearing out the cabover:

Subfloor and Cabover Rebuild:

After Photos:


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Old 06-24-2015, 01:46 PM   #2
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Posts: 1,145

Wow, it looks great, good job!

Tell me about the fire? Where/how did it start? What was damaged?


2008 Thor Mandalay Presidio, 400 ISL
RVing since 1974!
Lots of Motorcycles
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:02 PM   #3
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Here is the link to the other post, sorry about the formatting, the text editor keeps changing my text when I paste it in. Frustrating.

1984 19ft Mobile Traveler/Ford E350 V8 7.5l 460ci Meltdown
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:49 PM   #4
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Hi Rick! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Congrats on the new rig! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:12 PM   #5
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:13 AM   #6
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Welcome, glad to meet you!
FMCA #F431170, GS #822128658, Escapees SKP #112655
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Old 06-27-2015, 01:53 PM   #7
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That's some project you've taken on, but it all takes time.
John & Cathy R.
06 Pace Arrow 38L W24
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See My RV Upgrades
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:04 PM   #8
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Congrats you two and nice work! Your commitment is inspirational! I love your dogs.

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Old 06-27-2015, 02:13 PM   #9
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So far even with all the issues you have the right idea. Your persistence will pay off. When you get all these issues fixed you will become an expert in the art of RV restoration. You will be the fix-it guy at every CG. The secret is get advice and direction on what you don't know which you are doing, tackle one issue at a time and they will all get fixed.

Best of luck!!

TeJay (Tim) Auto Instructor 35 yrs (4-yrs USAF) Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/ CHF/5-Star/Koni/Centramatics * Bella- Golden/Cocker mix & Louie-The cat / All Retired
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:40 PM   #10
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Welcome aboard the forum. Impressive interior upgrade. Happy travlin'

2006 Sea Breeze LX 8341 on a Workhorse W22 Chassis with 22.5 Alcoa Alum wheels,
2011 Chevy Colorado 4X4 with Ready Brake
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:00 PM   #11
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I think you may have found a career option when you get Cali.
RV: 2016 40' Chaparral 360IBL Fifth Wheel
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:13 PM   #12
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Wow! You are talented and you both have a lot of energy and initiative to have done what you did. I am so sorry to hear about the fire and resultant damage.

Yes, sometimes when I've had similar things happen I've gotten really down in the dumps, but the main thing is...no one was hurt. I know it hurts to have this amount of time, money, and effort go to waste, but you all still have one another and that is what counts.

Good luck with future endeavors!
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:29 PM   #13
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You folks did an excellent job on the interior.

Hope the JB Weld idea came from another forum
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:56 PM   #14
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First, Welcome and you all did a very good job with the remodel. Pat yourselves on the back!!!!!!
Next, any idea what started the fire? With all of the system in our MH's things tend to 'happen'. We all just need to take all of the pre cautions that is possible. How much damage was done by the fire? Is it something that you all can repair?
Hang in there, as once the hurdles are taken care of, you all should have a good trip and enjoy many miles.

2009 38' Diplomat
CSM- retired, wife as co-pilot
Reka & Ali providing security (our 2 labs)
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