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Old 02-17-2008, 07:32 PM   #1
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Because I will probably be on this Vintage forum I figured I would say hi here.
Hi everyone!
My wife and I are the proud owners of a 1978 Southwind.
We bought this for $1000.00 knowing that we had some work to do.
[IMG:left] [/IMG]
We almost made it home before the tranny blew a line. So we towed it 40 miles($400.00) to our mechanic who had worked for a few years at a RV dealer.
The tranny has now been rebuilt, carb adjusted, new driveshaft brake(which was completely missing everything), a new windshield fluid tank, and the inspection. Oh btw...that was all $1500.00.
At this point he says mechanically it is in good shape.
At this point I have $3000.00 invested with $2000.00 left allotted for this project. He mentioned that a new rubber roof would work great on this as well as fix the ceiling inside.
Maybe some of you could lend your experience to us as far as what you would tackle first with the $2000.00 budget.
I am mechanically inclined and plan to tackle things myself along with 2 or 3 friends who need payment in the form of beer. We also have 2 or 3 wives ready to laugh or say "we told you so".
Here is the picture of the ceiling...it looks bad to me. [IMG:left] [/IMG]

Any and all suggestions welcome.....except lighting a match to it.

Thanks!
Mike & Amy
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:32 PM   #2
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Because I will probably be on this Vintage forum I figured I would say hi here.
Hi everyone!
My wife and I are the proud owners of a 1978 Southwind.
We bought this for $1000.00 knowing that we had some work to do.
[IMG:left] [/IMG]
We almost made it home before the tranny blew a line. So we towed it 40 miles($400.00) to our mechanic who had worked for a few years at a RV dealer.
The tranny has now been rebuilt, carb adjusted, new driveshaft brake(which was completely missing everything), a new windshield fluid tank, and the inspection. Oh btw...that was all $1500.00.
At this point he says mechanically it is in good shape.
At this point I have $3000.00 invested with $2000.00 left allotted for this project. He mentioned that a new rubber roof would work great on this as well as fix the ceiling inside.
Maybe some of you could lend your experience to us as far as what you would tackle first with the $2000.00 budget.
I am mechanically inclined and plan to tackle things myself along with 2 or 3 friends who need payment in the form of beer. We also have 2 or 3 wives ready to laugh or say "we told you so".
Here is the picture of the ceiling...it looks bad to me. [IMG:left] [/IMG]

Any and all suggestions welcome.....except lighting a match to it.

Thanks!
Mike & Amy
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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I thought I would throw in a couple more pictures.
[IMG:left] [/IMG]
[IMG:left] [/IMG]
[IMG:left][IMG]
Yes that is a lovely color for tranny fluid-lol.

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w176/mburdge/IMG_5346.jpg[/IMG][/IMG]
[IMG:left] [/IMG]
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:36 PM   #4
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I'd say get ready to strip that roof completely off and rebuild it. Do you have someplace covered to work, or are you going to wait till spring/summer? Odds are you will need to strip all the skin off the unit, along with the roof and start pulling out the dry rot and reframing the unit.

Judging from some of the damage in it, it almost looks like someone rolled the thing on its side or something fell on it.
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:58 AM   #5
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Glad to have you here on iRV2 and hope your project goes well. As suggested, you need to consider completely redoing the roof from the initial look. Have fun!

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Old 02-18-2008, 04:08 AM   #6
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Thanks for the reply. The pictures Amy took of the ceiling are kind of off center & twisted. It appears worse than it is, which is still bad-lol. However, I agree with you & my mechanic that the roof should be rolled up & reframed in order to fix the ceiling. The former owner (the big guy in the knit hat) lived in this for 2+ years in Florida. Could this damage at the seams (where the moulding is gone) of the ceiling be from humidity or from taking showers without proper ventilation? The top side actually looks really good and the sides look straight as well. I really don't think it was rolled. Here is the other side.
[IMG:left] [/IMG]
As you can see the awning needs help as well.
Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:42 AM   #7
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Thanks TXiceman & Joseph!
I am assuming the roof is wood framed. I am also guessing the ceiling can only be fixed by removing the roof. I guess I need to start looking for a materials list. I can work on it at my parent's who do not have any neighbors to annoy-lol. It won't be enclosed so I will also get a huge tarp and plan on doing it during a week of good weather.
Any rough estimates as far as material cost? Not that I can't afford to go over my budget....it is more of a pride type thing-lol. I also prefer not to badger my mechanic for the information as I do not want to pay to have things done that I can do myself with the help of family & friends.
My family & I are very excited to do this, we already have a spot at the campground for the year!!
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:07 PM   #8
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Wood-wise, I'd say estimate around $500-1000, depending on the cost of good 2x4/2x6 material (Use cedar when possible as its naturally rot-resistant). You'll also need new panel board for the inside.

You really should deskin the unit, just looking at the rust around the screws, I can tell you you're probably looking at water intrusion along all the seams. Odds are the unit probably has never been resealed. When RVs are new they put buytl tape behind all the seams and windows, but over time it squeezes out and water can wick in.

The siding isn't hard to remove, you just need to be careful not to damage the aluminum when you take it down.

Behind those corner strips will likely be staples holding it to a wooden structure. Remove all the corner strips, then windows, gutters, etc, (Keep track of the screw size, and replace them ALL with stainless steel). The siding is held together with S-seams between each piece that are usually stapled up into the wood between pieces.

The camper was born in 1978, and the last owner only used it 2 years in Florida, who knows how much rain exposure its receieved over time. You don't get that kind of damage from unvented showers, that's from external water penetration.



That cracked, split paneling there is buckel damage. That wall has been crunched down from the top. Use a razor knife and a small pry bar and remove it to inspect the framing behind.


Here's a thread on a rig of a similar year, to give you guys an idea of what to expect.

building Freebie......1975 Tioga Allegro Class C.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:15 PM   #9
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We started pulling some of the ceiling down to take a look at what we have and found a metal (from the surface rust I would say steel) frame for the roof & ceiling. Every 4 feet the whole length of the RV is a metal crossmember going from side to side. The only supports(also metal) from front to back are where the A/C units are. We found the serious sagging next to the vents where no additional support was found, also check out the condensation on the underside of the aluminum roof.
Is this a factory set-up or am I dealing with an "after-market" roofing system?

[IMG:left]<a href="http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w176/mburdge/?action=view&current=IMG_5475.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w176/mburdge/IMG_5475.jpg" border="0" alt="Metal trusses?"></a>[/IMG]

[IMG:left] [/IMG]
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:33 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">http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w...e/IMG_5475.jpg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Could have been factory, Galvanized steel was used alot in that part of the 70s. Its not looking like its in terribly hot condition either way.

I'd recommend unmounting and pulling your cabinets for the time being if you're going to pull the roof apart from the inside, though you're going to need to probably remove it in any case to either replace or have straightened the damaged cross members.

Pick a wall section where its in poor shape and strip it down to see if you can find any steel uprights or not.

Judging by how wet and black the wood in there, that's probably not condensation, but residual water from puddling where the water was standing on top of the interior ceiling and the sheet metal, likely there are holes or pitting in the steel and or rust through. You may need to just junk the entire steel roof and start over fresh with some smooth aluminum in one big piece.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:39 AM   #11
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Thanks Joseph.
We will be renting a large pole building to complete the roof indoors next month. Right now we are starting to strip the roof from the inside out. We did find a soft spot in the wall behind the stove(same area as the roof vent). We will pull that away and take a look. I am kind of relieved to find the metal frame now as it gives great support to the areas where it is located. I was hesitant to remove the cabinets for fear of loosing any support they might have been giving.
I have already ordered the Dicor EPDM rubber roof(30'x8'6") and installation kit. We still plan to frame it out with lumber giving it a slight rise in the center to help with drainage. We might use the existing frame or just the steel top rail on the walls with our 2x4s attached to it. Kind of have to wait and see until we dig in to it some more.
All the screwholes around that vent are rusted as you said. In fact the vent areas(both forward & back) are where the main damage areas are and there was no extra support or framing around them. We will fix that!
This is why we are working from inside out-lol.
[IMG:left] [/IMG]

Amy ripping out the old ceiling.
[IMG:left] [/IMG]
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:04 AM   #12
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Great work so far. Don't lose hope as these are relatively easy to fix. Your sweat equity is what saves you on cost.

Any exterior screws should be a high grade stainless steel and the seam strips should be re-sealed with new putty tape and rubber covers. The new roof should include all new vents for the plumbing, fans and new seals for the AC unit(s). These are all available at RV parts houses. Also replace or re-wire and re-seal all marker lights and any other roof/body penetrations such as ladders, racks, rooftop storage boxes and antennas. Once the exterior is watertight, you have a better shot at fixing the interior as time rather than weather permits.

If you want to raise the center ridge of the roof to help shed water to each side, make sure you use a "crown" or "arc" to your roof joists as it works better. You can use a sawzall, jigsaw or other to make the rough cut and then router or sand the final shape. I would use mahogany or clear heart redwood rather than pressure treated due to the chemicals involved.

I would also clean, sand, wirebrush all the rust/corrosion off of non-rotted metal pieces and then use a "one-step" rust/corrosion converter for the rest. It dries hard and will last practically forever.

The panelling can be matched at either some RV surplus yards or a plywood & molding supplier. Keep a sample of your damaged/removed pieces for comparison.

Once you are SURE that the coach is water-tight and the interior ceiling is secure from condensation, rot and the like, there is a "fuzzy" ceiling material that most RV surplus or supply places carry to cover the ceiling "skin". You use a high-strength, non-staining upholstery glue (like 3M-77 but stonger) and spray/roll/brush the new skin and the backside of the rolled material when laid out. You have one shot to get it positioned right but it makes the ceiling look great and trims with scissors or a sharp razor blade knife.

Good luck and keep up the photos and oh, BTW, try to post "image clickable thumbnails" when you post the photo links as it makes it easier to navigate the upcoming saga.
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:20 AM   #13
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Haven't lost hope-lol. This has been fun..except for the cold. My thoughts exactly on the wire brushing and the rust converter. I was actually thinking of using POR15. Thanks for all the info!

Let me try some options with these photos. I use photo bucket and have forgotten how most of this works.
New fire extinguisher & curtains:
http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w...e/IMG_5403.jpg

The other new fire extinguisher: http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w...e/IMG_5400.jpg

I'm not having any luck with posting thumbs that open up so let's see what resizing does.

New curtains:
[IMG:left] [/IMG]
New mesh for generator:
[IMG:left] [/IMG]
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:02 PM   #14
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When you select the images you wish to post from your Photobucket account (with a check mark next to them), scroll down to the bottom and there is the button that says "generate HTML code etc..."

Select that button and the window changes to show you a few options of code.

Select the one labeled "Image Clickable Thumbnails for Message Boards" It will then give a little yellow box in one corner that says "copied". I never trust this box so I always ctrl+c (copy) to the clipboard.

You can now jump back to your IRV2 (or other) message post window and paste the HTML code there. When you post the message (I preview first), the image will become a clickable thumbnail that when selected opens a new window with a full size image.

Magic!

Oh, great images of the recent work. Are you worried about the moisture damaging the new curtains or were they just up long enough for the photo-op?
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