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Old 10-29-2006, 05:49 PM   #1
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My Overland is a 30' HSCR built on a Dodge M500 Chassis with a 440ci engine. All well and good, but how do I get wiring diagrams for the coach? Will the parts store know what I'm talking about if I say I have a 77 Dodge M500 Chassis? I have been having a devil of a time trying to find info on this rig! Now I find that it is not only an orphan, it is "vintage". Well, I guess that explains a few things I do have to say that for being 30 years old, this rig is in great shape. I'm hoping to live in it for the next 40 years (so I'll need info to repair it).
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1977 Overland 30' Class A (Felicity)

Dodge 440 in an M500 chassis
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Old 10-29-2006, 05:49 PM   #2
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My Overland is a 30' HSCR built on a Dodge M500 Chassis with a 440ci engine. All well and good, but how do I get wiring diagrams for the coach? Will the parts store know what I'm talking about if I say I have a 77 Dodge M500 Chassis? I have been having a devil of a time trying to find info on this rig! Now I find that it is not only an orphan, it is "vintage". Well, I guess that explains a few things I do have to say that for being 30 years old, this rig is in great shape. I'm hoping to live in it for the next 40 years (so I'll need info to repair it).
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1977 Overland 30' Class A (Felicity)

Dodge 440 in an M500 chassis
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:06 PM   #3
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Welcome Sanjay R to irv2.
Although I can't help you with a answer I can give your question more exposure by adding to another forum. Just might have someone with an answer. Have you tried a Dodge dealer or web site to see if they can help with the chassis? Alot of a vintage coachs you will learn by fixing things as they are required as long as no water damage and bodys in good shape its the appliances you may have to change out.
Good luck and post some pics as your work progresses.
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Old 10-30-2006, 08:49 AM   #4
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Well, the chassis is a Dodge M500 (I did find that out in my searching), and Dodge wants $60 for the manual for it. there is some water damage, in the right rear corner, that I plan to repair. The damaged area includes a bit of the roof, and two walls. . behind the closet in the bathroom. I do not know if there is any more convienient place for wood rot to be. Just put a blind up and I can continue to live in the rig while I repair the bad section.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:14 AM   #5
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In the Vintage forum there are some posts where people have replaced wall board or paneling and saved coach from rot. If you have it open and can see damage if any along as it has not had a chance to mold you maybe ok.
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:02 PM   #6
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OK, I thought rot was mold? Am I misunderstanding something? There is a guy here at the marina (where I live) who has been very helpful in most respects. He is saying that replacing the decking that has given way is not worth the trouble, and that I should just put a layer of new plywood over it. I pulled up a section of flooring in the galley and found that the construction was not at all like what he described. Where he said there would be plywood over foam (styrofoam, I guess)over sheet metal, I found carpet over cloth padding over particle board over formers over plywood (I'm guessing that the next layer is the sheet metal I found when looking from the underside). Is what I found normal for the vintage that I'm working with? Is what he described perhaps from a later era? Lastly, why do my posts show up in both the newcomer's area and the vintage area? I'm not trying to cross-post. . .
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Old 10-30-2006, 02:18 PM   #7
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Yes for the age of your MH particle board would have been used water will make a mess of that type of floor. If its soft I would do what your friend surggested just use 3/8 or 5/8 which ever seems the firmer just try to keep weight down. The pad under rug could be foam and cloth mix. If you can see the subfloor carrying boards it will make for a stronger floor also.
Your bathroom if you have to replace floor may require a new floor flange unless its ok than just a dress molding where the door is. You may also see staples thru old floor.
I short cut your original post from Vintage Forum to Motor home problems & solutions for more exposure. Don't worry about it the more people that see your question the more answers. Vintage Forum doesn't get the traffic all the time.
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:47 PM   #8
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Thank you 007, for all the help so far. I have pulled up the carpet (it was worn completely bare in a few spots, and needed to be replaced anyway ) I found out that the "soft spots" are where the particle board had collapsed. What I see is the top of a sheet of plywood, then 2x2 stringers/spacers with fiberglass insulation between them, and 3/4" particle board on top of that. On the particle board, there is the cloth/foam padding, then carpet. the depth of the step inside of the door is 10.5". I have been told that there is a regulated limit of 8" for this step, which would mean that the spacers, insulation and particle board would be "after market". I cannot see anyone paying the kind of money that it would cost to raise the floor 2.5" and not use reasonably good materials. This leads me to believe that this is factory, adn the regulation may have come into effect after this rig was built? The reason for the question is "would it be worth it to re-floor with just 1/2' plywood on foam sheeting, lowering the floor by 2" (I have 6.5" celiengs), or should I just replace the insulation and keep the height I have? What considerations should I be looking at in this decision?
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1977 Overland 30' Class A (Felicity)

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Old 10-31-2006, 04:59 PM   #9
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I would just replace the insulation where you have to or if your going to remove the partical board in all traveled areas than place sheet foam between the 2x2 stringers.
I would use 5/8 ply for a stronger floor and use water proof glue type. Never know when you might have a leak. I also would keep at original floor level for more head room.
Good luck take your time and by all means have fun.
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Old 11-01-2006, 05:38 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by "007":

I would use 5/8 ply for a stronger floor and use water proof glue type. Never know when you might have a leak. I also would keep at original floor level for more head room.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's just it. I'm not real sure which is the original floor level. Is the original floor the plywood I saw underneath, or is it the particle board in top of the stringers? more head room sounds like you are recomending that I take the 2x2's out, dropping the floor by two inches (and I loose the fiberglass batting then too)?
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Old 11-01-2006, 03:20 PM   #11
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OK, I can find the insulation I want to use between the plywood sheets, and I can put in a sheet at a time, even lowering the floor (though I may want to stock up for areas that I do not want out of commission for very long, like the galley).Once I have the floor in and solid, I'll start on the actual flooring. I want to use stone tile in the forward areas, and ceramic tile in the bathroom. I have been told that this is a very bad idea because the floors will flex as drive down the road. Any truth to this? Is there any grout/adhesive that can mitigate this if so?
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Old 11-01-2006, 04:05 PM   #12
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I think the plywood you are seeing is the plywood in compartments that has the sheet metal on it. Leave the stringers and remove partical board or just place new plywood over just remember to build up floor areas on stringers where the particle board was removed.
I misunderstood you I thought you said the floor was built up 2" above stringers. The stringers are your original support members.
Stonetile floors will add weight to your CCC and not allow you to carry items you may want. There should be a sticker near drivers seat that will give you front axel and rear axel weight limits and maybe your allowed CCC, around here you need coach weight to pass inspection. There are some floor tiles that look like stone tile that will keep weight down and wear quit well. I have these tiles in my coach and you would swear it was the real 12" tiles.
Vibration and temperture changes will cause tiles to loosen up.
Are you useing the stiff fiberin- board or blanket insulation just wondering you live in CA.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:27 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by "007":
I think the plywood you are seeing is the plywood in compartments that has the sheet metal on it. Leave the stringers and remove partical board or just place new plywood over just remember to build up floor areas on stringers where the particle board was removed.
I misunderstood you I thought you said the floor was built up 2" above stringers. The stringers are your original support members.
Stonetile floors will add weight to your CCC and not allow you to carry items you may want. There should be a sticker near drivers seat that will give you front axel and rear axel weight limits and maybe your allowed CCC, around here you need coach weight to pass inspection. There are some floor tiles that look like stone tile that will keep weight down and wear quit well. I have these tiles in my coach and you would swear it was the real 12" tiles.
Vibration and temperture changes will cause tiles to loosen up.
Are you useing the stiff fiberin- board or blanket insulation just wondering you live in CA. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is the way I see it too. You will probably find that your walls and cabinets are built on top of it all.

Verify the weight rating of the axles and chassis before you add anything.

A 30 year old M500 may not be a good choice for real tile I would only consider this in a bus conversion which would have a much stiffer frame and I still probably wouldn't do it. Check out the alternatives that 007 mentioned some are very nice indeed.

Also take care of the structure and envelope first. Many find that on a rig that old that there are pinhole leaks in the roof so the roof and the wooden framework may need some attention before any work is done on upgrades etc.

If I am seeing the trail correctly Overland merged with Mallard which is now part of Odessa Industries in Elkhart Indiana.
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:57 AM   #14
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Thanks, both of you. I pulled up a section of the particle board last night, from the galley. Looking at the construction, and actually getting to check the weight bearing capability of the plywood on the bottom, I decided that the best choice would to be simply replace the particle board with plywood. Thank you for clearing up the considerations for flooring as well. So is lino the only way to go, for weight? How about Pergo, for example?

Niel, thanks! that is better information than I have found in any of my searching. I'll check with them to see if I can find any info on this coach.

Oh, the insulation is fiberglass batting, some of which has been removed in previous repairs. I'll probably replace it with the same thing, only probably a better quality.
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