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Old 08-16-2014, 06:41 AM   #85
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Another option depending on how ambitions you are is to buy a bus and use the innerds of the motor home to convert the bus.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:41 PM   #86
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I took the rest of the lower panel off the passenger side this afternoon... so now there is a 4' wide strip the length of the RV that does not have any siding. I pretty much found the same thing under this section as the first section... lots of water damage to the luan... with lots of powdered aluminum underneath.

On top of that, I found that over the years there has apparently been far more vermin living in the RV than people. They have the interior Styrofoam panels all chewed to heck in several places... and God only knows how much of the moisture that is in between the walls is vermin urine...

Nice.

Also, in the rear of the RV, the inside of the luan was actually completely exposed to the engine compartment with nothing to protect if from road spray... and of course it was all rotted back there. What a poor design.

One good thing... since the frame is all aluminum, there isn't any structural damage caused by water infiltration. Actually, I don't see any signs of water damage inside at all. Even when I had the carpet ripped up to put down the new hardwood I didn't see any real damage.

I just don't know what to do. At this point, I'm not afraid of the work involved in re-skinning... The old stuff comes off easy, and since it doesn't need to be glued to the frame, putting up new panels would be not that terrible of a job. I feel pretty confident that it would look really good when finished, and we'd have a one of a kind RV. What I am worried about is the cost. No matter which way I go here, the expense of continuing the RV dream gnaws at me just a bit. Not that we couldn't afford it over a period of time... just that I don't know if I want to afford it given how much I've already invested... and lost completely... Right now we're $20k into this one with everything we've done to it. Looking back, I could have gotten something quite a bit nicer than this one for that kind of money plus what it will cost to fix it now... problem is... you can't look back. That money is gone, and I'll never see it again. C'est la vie.

The most affordable route to continuing the RV dream would be to repair this one. I would not probably ever take a chance on a 20 year old RV again... not even sure I would take a chance on a 10 year old one knowing what I know now... Actually... I'm not sure I would ever take a chance on ANY RV... EVER again. At least with this one, I would know exactly what I've got.

The bare minimum to repair the engine and the body is probably gonna be around $7k plus a couple hundred hours of my time. If there is one saving grace in all of this... it's that we don't owe any money on it. I can't imagine how I would feel right now if I was making payments on this one with a blown engine...

Right now, I think i have 2 choices to pick from, and neither of them seem to make me feel very good... either take probably 2 years, maybe 3, and refurbish this one to like new... or scrap it right now, let the dream die, and maybe take up fishing or something... Theoretically, I could borrow some home equity money and have it done before winter... but I just don't think I could ever borrow money for an RV... not after all that we've been through with this one.

At any rate... I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining if that's what it sounds like. Just trying to work this all out in my head, and sometimes it helps to write it down.

Thanks again for all the encouragement and empathy...

All for now.

-cheers
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:39 AM   #87
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I don't hear anyone complaining. Writing out your thoughts trying to make logical choices is pretty reasonable to me? If you think you can get away with doing just the center 4', that's still going to be a big project, but nothing like replacing the entire side. Much more "do-able"! Makes sense too, as you already have moldings in the right places. Going to a different (wider) one at the upper part of this repair would cost very little, seal much better, and be hardly noticeable. You may be able to pull this off yet! -Al
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:42 PM   #88
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If you shove your hand up under the top section of the wall, is it dry?

Kind of makes me wonder if the water intruded at the seam. I remember looking at a an Ultrastar with the same problem. In that case, the lap joint was made wrong, in that the bottom over layed the top layer. The joint filled with water and corroded. Everything lower than the bottom joint was full of water. I was thinking that on the older HRs, I saw a rubber strip between the 2 pieces, which to me, seamed like it could trap water.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:37 PM   #89
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how to fix walls

hello piker
this can be fixed and you do not need luan you can put alum or fiberglass
filon on. what you have going for you is the alum. framing. there is no rotted
wood you need to do a search for bus conversions [ bcm fourms ] is a good
start. type in roof rasieing or window skinning tons of imfo and help out there
you see most bus conversions start by removing all windows then cuting roof
off and raiseing the roof many go 12'' then reskin window area and area from
roof raise whats used to bond new alum or fiberglass is SIKAFLEX 221 you
can buy it in cauking type tubes but in your case i would buy there pro gun
that uses the large sasage packs that gun comes with dispoable tips that
are pre cut for the job the sikaflex 221 is used to bond your frame work
to your new alum or fiberglass once dry its not coming off i would replace the fiberglass bat in your walls with ridged foam i did this with 40 long sheats
with only two helpers and came out very good i did get a little wave very
hard to see
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:44 PM   #90
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as you can see in pictures no luan was used . also i gutted a 40'' monico
and pulled off the sidewalls and used them you might go to a junk yard
and pull off the side walls and do it for cheap if i can help you pm. me
and send me your phone # and will walk you throught it i am beater at talking then typing wishing you best of luck on your project it can be fixed and if it
was me i would fix it john
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:36 PM   #91
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Thanks to everyone for all the input. I really appreciate the ideas and the encouragement. Sometimes this whole deal can really get me discouraged. I try to stay upbeat, but it's hard sometimes... so again, thanks for the encouragement.

I do have a question about putting aluminum back on without the luan... and that is, what was the purpose of the luan in the first place then? I assume it was to help even out the appearance so there would be less waves in the side?

The aluminum that is on there now is .035". Even as thick as it is, it seems like if I stuck it up without some sort of semi rigid backing, the body would look VERY wavey. Maybe they used luan panels to hide the crappy job they did on the frame? It is not very even when you eyeball it down the side.

It seems if I want the best looking job, I might want to stick with using luan? (actually, I think I would use hardwood plywood instead...) ... but then again, luan seems like a stupid material to use for this. I dunno. Maybe I should strip what's left of the luan off of the existing aluminum and try hanging the aluminum back up by itself just to see what it looks like... I've got some time to piddle with this while we save up the $$... perhaps a lot of time... lol. Let me tell you though... the frame is not put together very much accuracy at all. Since tearing this old beast apart, I've decided that there were a lot of shortcuts taken in the build process. If this was the standard for a well built RV... then I feel bad for the folks who got the poorly built ones.

At any rate... I still don't know exactly what we're going to do, but here are a couple pics I took today. Just for fun...

Fun...? wait a minute...

Ha... no... fun would be camping somewhere on a mountain right now. This is not "fun..."




-cheers
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:36 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveinet View Post
If you shove your hand up under the top section of the wall, is it dry?

Kind of makes me wonder if the water intruded at the seam. I remember looking at a an Ultrastar with the same problem. In that case, the lap joint was made wrong, in that the bottom over layed the top layer. The joint filled with water and corroded. Everything lower than the bottom joint was full of water. I was thinking that on the older HRs, I saw a rubber strip between the 2 pieces, which to me, seamed like it could trap water.
The wall is damp above the seam, but not as wet as below. It doesn't seem like that seam failed though... nor does the seam at roof seem bad. I do know the seam right above the storage compartments was in terrible shape when I bought the rv. I fixed it up, but probably trapped a lot of moisture inside when I did that. Looks like maybe I had a couple windows leaking just a little bit too.

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Old 08-17-2014, 09:39 PM   #93
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Thicker aluminum will be rigid enough to forgo the luan. However, what I would do is as Kustom suggest and use rigid foam insulation. If the rigid foam insulation is thick enough, it will be flush with the framing. You can glue the wall to the insulation as well as the frame. The rigid foam will support the wall and make it much stronger and more rigid than any luan would be. I made a hatch cover for my old sailboat with super thin cheapo fiberglass sheet from Lowes, laminated to 2 inch Urethane foam insulation. Once the glue dried, I could jump up and down on it, and it did not give at all. I stood on it every time I put my mast up, as well as walking on it regularly. If you glue the foam to the inside wall and then sandwich it to the outside wall, it will be strong enough to drive a car onto.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:51 AM   #94
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Dave, regarding that hatch, what did you use to glue the fiberglass to the foam?
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:33 AM   #95
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On one side I used contact cement, which ate away at the foam some, but still worked. On the other side, I used Urethane PL Adhesive, which did not eat the foam and worked just fine. Epoxy glues also eat the foam, however if you get a fast curing epoxy, it will cure before the foam has time to melt away. That is what the boat builders use.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:36 PM   #96
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you can also rivet new alum right to frame. think about it airstram avon revcon and others. did not use luan. also was thinking since you have your alum sides off. why not acid wash it then power wash it and grind out the
bad from the inside and glue a thin alum patch on back side reinstall and do body work on outside. also if you use rivits use shave rivits they are used
on bus and trucks you can buy a tool for drill to shave them but a dreml tool
will work. it has to be warm when working with alum if you do it cold it might
buck up have seen propane heaters used to heat up before install trying to help i have brought back from dead worse things john
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:10 PM   #97
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you can also rivet new alum right to frame. think about it airstram avon revcon and others. did not use luan. ...john
Yes, however you need to use a thicker aluminum. Probably 3+ times thicker from what I remember of the HR skin. If I think of it, I'll see if there is a place where I measure how thick it is on the Revcon.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:32 AM   #98
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Aluminum comes with varying degrees of "stiffness". The stuff used without backing is thicker, but what makes it able to be used without backing is the fact it's WAY stiffer! Unless you can find an economical source for it, I think it's going to be some pretty expensive stuff.....

You might check around an airport?
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