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Old 01-01-2014, 04:25 PM   #1
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New Exterior Siding

Well, it's official... as of today, our 1994 HR is "vintage" according to the forum rules here for posting in the Vintage RV threads.

We've been down here at Lazy Days in Tampa for about a week on a mini winter getaway. Of course the first thing I notice when we pull into the campground is how shiny most of the RV's are here... and how beat up ours looks in comparison. What's great is that all the campers we've met here have been nice and really encouraging when it comes to the fact that we have one of the oldest rigs in the campground, and perhaps the roughest looking as well. That said... the shiny campers all around me are quite alluring... and man, would I like to have that same shine someday.

We spent some time looking at all the used motorhomes down here... there are some nice ones for sure, but nothing in our price range that I would consider to be a significant upgrade given the price difference between our RV. I've been looking at coaches that cost maybe 30 or 40k more than ours is worth, and I personally just can't justify the cost.

At the end of the day, we really like our motorhome, and it's about perfect for us. It's got a great running gear... The old Cummins/Allison combo runs super strong, and the Oshkosh chassis is solid and pretty much rust free. There is no apparent water damage inside, and we've reupholstered and refloored most of the interior. It's also big enough for our little family, but not so large that you find yourself not being able to get into some places... it's pretty maneuverable. No, it doesn't have slides or air suspension, but it really does suit us pretty well.

The only drawback... is how rough it looks on the exterior. The paint is yellowed pretty bad, and there are holes corroded through the siding in several places. When I think about spending an additional 30 or 40k to get something super nice on the exterior, I cringe just a bit... and think to myself if I put half of that into this old girl, I'd have a pretty sweet ride.

I'm a pretty handy guy... I've done all my own mechanic work on this coach since we got it, as well as all the remodeling to the interior except for the upholstery. What I'd like to do now is put new siding on the exterior walls and have the entire coach painted. I feel confident that if I get the right information, I can hang the new siding myself... I've got a garage big enough to do the work in, and I can even prep everything for paint... and then I have a buddy who paints from whom I can get a deal on a paint job.

I'm in no hurry, but what I need now is some guidance on just how to replace the exterior panels, and where to get the materials. Currently the coach is covered with sheet aluminum that is laminated to luan, and then attached to the aluminum wall frame. I found these guys who appear to have Filon laminate panels that don't use luan as a substrate... which seems like a plus. I'm not sure they sell to the public though... and I'm not sure exactly how to attach the panels.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the walls on this RV were created in a one shot deal type manner with the interior panel, structural aluminum studs, and exterior aluminum siding glued together all at once in a press. not sure about that though... It seems like that would be hard to replicate that process.... it also seems like it would be hard to get the old stuff off if it's glued to the foam in between the aluminum studs which is glued to the interior paneling.

At any rate, if anyone has any ideas or experience... your sharing would be appreciated.

cheers
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:48 PM   #2
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Wow, what a project to think about.. just an idea, how about getting an estimate for body work and a new paint job? Then get another 20 years out of it.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:52 PM   #3
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Wow, what a project to think about.. just an idea, how about getting an estimate for body work and a new paint job? Then get another 20 years out of it.
That would certainly be cheaper... and I haven't ruled that out totally, but I am concerned about the corrosion. It's coming through from the backside, and it may be some sort of galvanic corrosion that would bubble up through any body work that is done... perhaps a lot sooner than 20 years. I'll have to look into that though... I just assumed that it would be a similar problem as rust on steel.

There are also some slight bulges here and there that I won't be able to flatten with just body work... I'd be ok with that I guess... but I'd have to figure out the corrosion thing.

thanks for the suggestion.

-cheers
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:34 AM   #4
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I lucked out on ours its Fiberglass and it took a good week of buffing to get all the oxegination(sp)off and another week of waxing and she almost looks new again. 1982. The interior is near perfect. I have pictures in the vintage section. I say redo it like you said they have a look all to them selves where as the new ones today pretty much all look the same to me anyway. You have started on the inside already and she runs tops I say go for it. Keep us posted as you go along with the redo if you decide to go that route.
Welcome to the vintage section. Tim
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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I forgot to ask any Pictures of the outside and the redo you have started inside?
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:30 AM   #6
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Ya, we just went over and looked at the used lot here at lazy days again. It's actually good for me to be here, as I appreciate our rig more and more every time I start looking at other options and crunching numbers. For what we've got into ours, I'd say we're doing better than average.

Here are a few pics of the interior when we bought it...




And here are a few of the new upholstery and the new floor. If we decide to stick with this RV, I might have the front seats redone to match. I'd also like to get rid of the little bit of leftover blue carpet under the dash and replace the window blinds and reupholster the valances.






Here's a pic of the exterior. It's a little hard to see in the pics, but if you zoom in, you'll see some of the corrosion to the right of the entry and underneath the front window in the decal area. There is also corrosion on the other side as well. I'm pretty sure this was caused by water infiltration through the seam right above the storage compartment. This seam was never maintained, and it was so bad when I got it that the rivets that hold the storage door hinges on were completely corroded. I've since repaired the seam to get us by for now. Luckily, when I pulled the flooring up, I did not see any places where the wood underlayment was damaged. It definitely was wet a time or two, but no rot has set in.





Note... These pics do not show how yellow the paint is for sure. Another good reason to just replace the siding is that it would allow me to rebuild the storage compartments behind the rear wheels. While the chassis itself is in perfect condition, the storage compartments which are made from cheap angle iron, are getting pretty punky back there. Up towards the front they are great...

Well, all for now. I've got a list of distributors I can call for Crane Composites... plus it looks like the guys at Hemet Valley RV might be able to help with some traditional luan backed filon. My guess is, the shipping for 30 some odd foot long panels is going to be ridiculous.

-cheers
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:51 PM   #7
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What about cover in place?

Look at just applying a fiberglass sheet over what you have.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:31 PM   #8
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It looks like shipping prelaminated panels might be out... $5300.00 freight from california.

blah.

They guy at Hemet RV said I could probably laminate them myself... I'll look into it.

-cheers
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
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it looks like shipping prelaminated panels might be out... $5300.00 freight from california. Blah. They guy at hemet rv said i could probably laminate them myself... I'll look into it. -cheers
wow! I looked at two hr's just like yours with the same problem and i walked away from them only to buy a 1993 allegro bay, that the fiber glasss wound up delaminating. The cost for tiffin to replace the side was right at $8000.00. I felt like it wasn't worth the cost to fix. We are still traveling in it, bulges and all. My suggestion to you would be to call hr and get an estimate to have the work done at the factory. The factory would be better equipped to do a quality job. That is if you live close to the factory, of course.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:05 PM   #10
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wow! I looked at two hr's just like yours with the same problem and i walked away from them only to buy a 1993 allegro bay, that the fiber glasss wound up delaminating. The cost for tiffin to replace the side was right at $8000.00. I felt like it wasn't worth the cost to fix. We are still traveling in it, bulges and all. My suggestion to you would be to call hr and get an estimate to have the work done at the factory. The factory would be better equipped to do a quality job. That is if you live close to the factory, of course.
At $8000 per side... I don't think I would have fixed it either.

There have been times since we bought this old HR when I WISHED I would have walked away from it. That having been said, it's too late to look back now... besides, now that the bleeding has at least slowed down a little bit with regards to repairs, it all seems worth it.

At this point I can't imagine paying someone else to do this for me. I have a feeling it's going to be extremely labor intensive... just pulling the old stuff off is probably gonna be a real pain. Also, I'm absolutely certain that once you tear into something like this you'll reveal tons of other issues as well. I just don't see ever being able to justify the expense of paying someone else to do this for me. I'll either tackle this head on myself, or just punt, and drive the thing around bulges and all like you are doing. At the end of the day, it's not the worst looking RV I've seen.

I'm still going to look into the crane composite materials... There are no distributors near me, but one of their facilities where they actually make the panels is only 360 miles away in Goshen IN. I might be able to either get one of the distributors to drop ship the panels from the factory or perhaps I just borrow a big trailer and go get them myself. I dunno. I'll have to see.

thanks again everyone for your insight.

-cheers
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:26 PM   #11
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How about driving the MH there and get there opinon. Just a idea. Could you Fiberglass the bad spots and have it repainted? You could get a few more years out of her.
I have a spot and the rear corner of our MH where the PO backed into a tree in his driveway. He semi-patched it and had the bumper streighten. I am going to have it repaired this year and seriously thinking of re-painting it the same colors
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:42 AM   #12
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An aluminum supplier would be able to get sheets to replace what's there. Biggest problem would probably be hanging them. It's thin and will kink easily but if you can work that out you should be able to do it.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:17 PM   #13
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An aluminum supplier would be able to get sheets to replace what's there. Biggest problem would probably be hanging them. It's thin and will kink easily but if you can work that out you should be able to do it.
I was advised by a person who sells both aluminum and filon sheets that I should use filon instead of aluminum. He said that the old HR's with the aluminum siding were known for sweating behind the exterior paneling, and thus creating corrosion of the aluminum from the inside out.

That being said, I also know how brittle the Filon can be, and how it can tear easily when working with it. Booo.

He also said that I should do away with the seam that runs end to end separating the 32" top panel from the 48" lower panel, and make the entire sidewall one piece. Makes sense to eliminate a seam from the perspective of water infiltration, although it seems like the materials would be more difficult to work with in that size... I suppose I could use the trusses in my garage to hang one 80" x 35' long panel when it comes time to attach it to the RV.

I was also told that there would be huge gaps between the aluminum frame members in certain areas, and that I should install additional perlins to make sure I have a stud to glue to every 18".

So far I am leaning towards laminating luan to the back of .045" Filon myself and replacing the old sides... then of course prepping everything for paint. A few things I'm worried about though...

*I'm not 100% certain how to make sure the luan is pressed or rolled good enough when laminating it to the filon... seems like I'd need a big rubber roller the size of a lawn roller. My garage floor is flat, but not perfectly I'm sure... maybe laying down some sort of foam sheet on the floor under the filon will take up enough variance in the floor that I could actually use a lawn roller?

*Of course, laminating the luan to the filon seems easy in comparison to gluing the entire panel to the aluminum studs. I'm not sure how to get that properly rolled/pressed. Turn the RV on it's side and use the lawn roller?

*I'm nervous how much damage I'm going to do to the interior panels of the RV when the foam insulation between the aluminum framing members tries to stick to the old aluminum when I pull it off.

*I'm concerned about how much work this is going to be, and if I'll ever finish it. I guess I don't have to worry too much right this instant... we have some more trips planned for later this year, so I can't even think about starting this until we get past those... basically, I have to look at this as a "feasibility study" for now.

cheers
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:49 PM   #14
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Exterior siding

I'm not a body repair expert. Seems like a good idea to take your coach to a shop that does this kind of work. Pick up ideas as to how they would repair and get a price. Putting all the layers together requires a vacuum/laminate machine. My 1990 HiLo Classic could use a body shop makeover. Would hate to see the cost. I truly believe the older rigs are better built. Keep in mind all the newer rig owners probably have hefty monthly payments. Keep improving the interior and you will be enjoying camping. It is good to live within your budget and not have debt.
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