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Old 12-11-2015, 08:33 PM   #1
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De-RVing and un-1980s-ing the uglyness

I'm about at the midpoint of redoing a 1986 Winnebago Chieftain 27RT. I've been attempting to get rid of everything that screams "RV!" and remove all the stuff that looks like an explosion of the set of the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Gone are the floral prints, the stripes, the tweeds, the rose colored velour trim with the turquoise cushions, and especially the wood-grained everything. I spent a year looking at old RVs before I bought this one, and the thing that stands out about the process is how much they all look alike, regardless of age. Even new ones suffer from a taint of mediocrity. The nicest thing about working on an old coach is that I don't have to face the regret of changing something and then thinking I would have been better leaving it alone.

I'm not at the point of before-and-after photos yet, but I paused for a moment today and realized that, even in the chaos of unfinished construction, everything just looks so much better now. In the wall above where the dinette used to be was inset a niche; a box with a couple of shelves only 5" deep, useful for nothing I can think of except perhaps displaying knickknacks of some sort. I took it out and filled the hole so it's now just a plain wall. Amazing how much better it looks!

There was another inset next to the entrance steps, perhaps a magazine rack, although I don't know why you would want one there. I took out the cross bars and painted it and the wall (wood grained of course) and saw that it was an ideal spot to mount an inverter, close to the batteries, out-of-the way while remaining accessible from inside.

Welcome to the 1980s:
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:02 PM   #2
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WOW my 82 has no colors like that, they must have been special order.???
Tim
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:09 PM   #3
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Construction photos are always appreciated.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
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WOW my 82 has no colors like that, they must have been special order.???
That photo is from the 1986 Winnebago brochure. Mine was in a little (!) worse condition when I got it. The photo below is what the walls looked like. Someone had attempted to remove the wallpaper previously, but was unsuccessful. It took me about a week to finish getting it off. The photo is after the beds and nightstand were removed:

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Old 12-11-2015, 10:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
Construction photos are always appreciated.
I could not agree more with that statement.
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alvo View Post
That photo is from the 1986 Winnebago brochure. Mine was in a little (!) worse condition when I got it. The photo below is what the walls looked like. Someone had attempted to remove the wallpaper previously, but was unsuccessful. It took me about a week to finish getting it off. The photo is after the beds and nightstand were removed:

O M G,
I tried, and also gave up but no where that bad. I took some mudd (USG Joint Compound) and feathered it out and then painted over the paper. Man that stuff was stuck so hard on that paneling. It would take a act of God to get it off.
JS,
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:16 AM   #7
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I used a product called Kilz to cover up things like that. I ended up putting on 3 coats before finally painting. Here are a few pics of before, during and after. Good luck!

Before


During the remodel



After
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:28 AM   #8
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Well done. Another well loved classic is back on the road. Wave as you pass by, we will recognize you by the big smile.
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:28 PM   #9
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I used Zinsser 1-2-3 primer on the walls after removing the paper and on the fake wood grained walls everywhere else before painting. The wallpaper is hard to remove because isn't not ordinary wallpaper, it's vinyl that's been bonded to the panels that the walls were then made out of.

77Travco: It's amazing, isn't it, how much much nicer these things are without all that printed wood grain everywhere? I like the tin around the stove and the flooring you picked out. Very non-RV looking.

My goal in my project is to have a "small city apartment" feel to it, or as it's known in the San Francisco area, "spacious one bedroom apartment." A friend, trying to be helpful, was suggesting to me ways to give it a Southwestern look and was suggesting a Civil War Theme for the bathroom. I'm thinking closer to Ikea than Disneyland.

Here's the bedroom today. The carpet has been rough cut to fit, but hasn't been put down yet because I want to fix the water pump first. The bed is going sideways, with the head against the right side of the RV; the center section will become storage; there will be a custom table on the left with the TV on it. The walls are painted a really light yellow, chosen because the ceiling and light fixtures have yellowed over the years and I didn't want to emphasize that by painting white walls. The overhead cabinets, the only "RV thing" that remains (if there had been sufficient storage without these things, I would have ripped them out) were painted a strong reddish accent color (one of four for the project). The wall with the mirror is blue, the wardrobe on the other side is green. The carpet has specks of all those colors in it.



This is the color pallette:



Using darker colors in the middle for the walls is a visual trick that de-emphasizes that area and draws attention to the front and back of the space, giving the illusion that it's a tad bigger than it actually is.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:13 PM   #10
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If it wasn't for my wife helping out, it would still have an old linolium floor and dark wood paneling... lol. Sounds like you know what you want. Be sure to post up some pics when completed!
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:12 AM   #11
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What amazes me about these older rigs is how good a condition some of them are in even after they have been used for years and or abused and neglected.

I see rigs all over our area that are sitting out there and don't appear to have been removed. Years of sun and snow and they still seem solid. Wonder why people keep them if they are not going to use them.

I have painted paneling before in older homes and it sure was an improvement just like yours improved. Makes a huge difference and the good part is you can change that color any time you want.

Nice Job!
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:35 AM   #12
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77Travco,
Will you come over and do my floor? Man yours looks excellent.
When I redo mine next summer I'm going with carpet. I'd like to add radiant heat is possible. That would be great.
Thanks,
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:12 PM   #13
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As I mentioned, there are two niches in the walls of this RV. One is some kind of display area for knick knacks, I think. I unfortunately seem to have forgotten to take a "before" photo, but this is what was in the wall:



This is what the wall looks like now:



The other inset seems to be a magazine rack of some sort, oddly placed by the entrance steps:



It now holds an inverter:

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Old 12-15-2015, 08:21 PM   #14
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Well I'm interested in seeing your before and after photos as I will be doing the samething to our 1988 Itasca Sunflyer after the first of the year. What do you have in mind as far as upgrades.
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