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Old 07-20-2016, 02:06 PM   #211
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Oh No! You mean the RV industry misleads potential customers by lying in their brochures?
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:35 PM   #212
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At this point, I'm thinking you can just build new walls and a ceiling. Build it they way Newmar and Entegra build theirs. Either way, I'll definitely be following this project.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:50 PM   #213
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Wow, shame on Winnebago, Man, they missed this all the way around!
I guess those little screw's and that pressed thin plate are just as good as welding?:f acepalm: Rail!
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:46 AM   #214
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At this point, I'm thinking you can just build new walls and a ceiling. Build it they way Newmar and Entegra build theirs. Either way, I'll definitely be following this project.
How does Newmar and Entegra build theirs? Are they one complete body unit? I'm always up to stealing good ideas.
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:00 AM   #215
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How does Newmar and Entegra build theirs? Are they one complete body unit? I'm always up to stealing good ideas.
They build their walls as you would build the walls of a house, except they use aluminum instead of wood. So you have aluminum 1x3 box beams 16 inches on center for the walls, bolted to the floor, with household insulation in the walls. Rather than use the vacuum laminating process that Winnebago uses they just hang a thick sheet of fiberglass on the outer wall that gets glued to the wall studs.

If you look here you can get an idea for how they build them. There's no break down, buy you get plenty of views from different angles.

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Old 07-21-2016, 08:37 AM   #216
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I would be inclined to use a better product, like Baltic birch, rather than Luan, on a rebuild.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:45 AM   #217
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Second vote for total redesign of at least the roof.

Laminated construction totally sucks when it comes time to rebuild or repair. The only real structure in the roof is there to support the weight of the AC's. The rest depends on the laminated structure, which IMHO, is going to be very difficult (if not impossible) to replicate on a project like this one.
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:53 AM   #218
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Thanks for the video posting, Scatterbrain. I had to watch it several time, including some of other factory tours also. Lots of good ideas in there to steal. I was especially mesmerized by the air pallets they used to move stuff around in their shop. I might try building some of my own. Had to immediately look up how they worked!

The frames for the walls I believe are good. The outside has bad delamination where the fiberglass is attached to the luan and the luan has separated. The Winnebago outer fiberglass is really thin which is how they can bend it across the top of the walls to the roof.

The roof frame I would consider the outside rails good, but the rest IMHO is scrap. Steel and aluminum do not mix well in this kind of construction unless they are separated to avoid galvanic action. Not even a layer of paint on the steel to protect it from rust. Seeing the Newmar construction gives me a lot of ideas on possible ways forward. I'll have to look up the R-value of the current XPS and the stone wool batting to see if I need to go thicker and how much. The current insulation isn't much to speak of as it is, so there is an area for improvement. There is also the weight difference. How much more/less will the new construction weigh. I've been hoping to reduce the weight of the house construction some, and I've noticed that the luan sandwich construction is quite heavy, especially with the steel inserts.

Plus it's fun just to see how they do it at the factory with the design mock-up of the interior prior to putting it on the vehicle. Don't remember which video showed that, but it looked like a lot easier way to do it rather than trying to figure it all out when it's on the vehicle.
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:05 AM   #219
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I would be inclined to use a better product, like Baltic birch, rather than Luan, on a rebuild.
I've been looking at birch plywood instead of lauan plywood. The difference in price is 321SEK ($40) vs 213SEK ($27) per sheet(!). There is also the weight difference of 1.1Kg (2.4 lbs) per sheet. That adds up both in cost and weight. The birch plywood is much nicer to work with, though, and it is stronger for attaching things to.
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:10 AM   #220
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Second vote for total redesign of at least the roof.

Laminated construction totally sucks when it comes time to rebuild or repair. The only real structure in the roof is there to support the weight of the AC's. The rest depends on the laminated structure, which IMHO, is going to be very difficult (if not impossible) to replicate on a project like this one.
I'm voting for that too! I agree that the laminated construction totally sucks for the roof, and while it is possible to redo, why redo a crappy construction? You can definitely tell that the steel beams where only there to support the A/C units. When you walked on the roof you could tell where the steel beams were because the rest of the roof flexed.

And that is the great thing with doing a custom renovation. You can change things you don't like!
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:09 AM   #221
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IF you want to reduce weight, try building it like Revcon or Airstream. Aluminum skin is easier to work with. The skin is prestressed, which adds strength to the structure. It is done the same as an aircraft. The big advantage is that you get rid of all the wood, which weighs a ton. You only have skin and frame. The aluminum is riveted to the frame. No worries about delamination. No worries about leaks - ever.

Second thing would be for the interior cabinets. Revcon just built solid wood frames, and then glued Wilsonart laminate over the top of the frame. The inside are hollow, with a honeycomb core. You could use a foam core instead.

Getting rid of all that weight up top makes a huge difference in handling and safety. I've swerved so hard, the front wheels slid, but yet no remote signs of loss of control or rolling.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:14 AM   #222
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We replaced a few Fleetwood roofs (trailer and motor home) for winter/busy work at the shop I ran. I knew going into them there was no money to be made, but they beat paying the help to sweep floors and perform "busy work" in the depths of the off season.

We had a source for custom cut rafters that really worked well for us. They started out as regular 2"x4"x8's with very few imperfections, but were tapered down to 2"x2" on each end, leaving a crown of sorts in the center (maybe 36" wide?) that would allow for drainage. Used on 16" centers, doubled up for AC supports. Wires that needed to be run through the ceiling were run down the center, AC on one side, low voltage the other.

There was no need to be built up in large assemblies. Could be built pretty much in place, 4' at a time, starting with the interior ceiling panels. Made for a pretty fool proof install, and very sturdy. I never had one come back on me for any reason.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:38 AM   #223
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IF you want to reduce weight, try building it like Revcon or Airstream. Aluminum skin is easier to work with. The skin is prestressed, which adds strength to the structure. It is done the same as an aircraft. The big advantage is that you get rid of all the wood, which weighs a ton. You only have skin and frame. The aluminum is riveted to the frame. No worries about delamination. No worries about leaks - ever.

Second thing would be for the interior cabinets. Revcon just built solid wood frames, and then glued Wilsonart laminate over the top of the frame. The inside are hollow, with a honeycomb core. You could use a foam core instead.

Getting rid of all that weight up top makes a huge difference in handling and safety. I've swerved so hard, the front wheels slid, but yet no remote signs of loss of control or rolling.
My biggest concern with the weight is that here they do weigh RVs occasionally, and being more than 10% over on the load risks your license. Also, as you say, getting rid of all that weight up top really affects handling. Roads here are narrower than in the States, and certainly not as straight, at least out west. Driving on curvy Norwegian fjord roads is bad enough in a Suburban, let alone a swayey motor home.

I have looked at the Airstream construction before, and have considered the aluminum skin an option. It will definitely be lighter than the current sandwich construction. Not sure I would rivet it or attach it using another method. Aluminum is easy to work with in large sheets, and not too hard to weld. I think the rivets may look strange on an Elandan with a fiberglass front and rear caps. I intend on painting it no matter what, and I would prefer a smooth side.

I haven't looked at how the Revcons are built. I did a quick search but couldn't find any information on how they are constructed.

The suggestion on the cabinets is a good one. The original cabinets were solid oak. I have thought about building foam core cabinets - the foam core to add strength and avoid any resonance while driving. I have a friend who is a cabinet maker, and when it comes time I may just let her do the cabinets.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:45 AM   #224
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We replaced a few Fleetwood roofs (trailer and motor home) for winter/busy work at the shop I ran. I knew going into them there was no money to be made, but they beat paying the help to sweep floors and perform "busy work" in the depths of the off season.

We had a source for custom cut rafters that really worked well for us. They started out as regular 2"x4"x8's with very few imperfections, but were tapered down to 2"x2" on each end, leaving a crown of sorts in the center (maybe 36" wide?) that would allow for drainage. Used on 16" centers, doubled up for AC supports. Wires that needed to be run through the ceiling were run down the center, AC on one side, low voltage the other.

There was no need to be built up in large assemblies. Could be built pretty much in place, 4' at a time, starting with the interior ceiling panels. Made for a pretty fool proof install, and very sturdy. I never had one come back on me for any reason.
That sounds like a good solution, and I'm happy to hear that you had no issues come back. That's an indication of good workmanship!

I assume that your rafters were made out of wood. I want to avoid wood construction as much as possible. I don't think rolling aluminum square to the shape of the roof will be all that difficult. But I agree that a strong roof and a good crown is important to get good runoff. I like the thought of running high voltage down one side and low voltage on the other. It helps to avoid confusion.
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