Hello, we wanted to introduce ourselves to the community. My name is Rick, I’m 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 I’m sure many of you know, things never simply go that way. Peeling back the carpet in one of these old rv’s 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, it’s 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 I’m sure I’m 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, murphy’s 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 RV’s 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 don’t want to abandon it, but I don’t 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: