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Old 07-06-2010, 04:58 PM   #15
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You hit the nail on the head. If this project continues we are eliminating the front bunk window and we might make it a rear bath unit. Not sure on that. The frame is a sticking point and what I want to do and what the money allows is a another story. I want to put a few foot stretch in the wheelbase and shorten the overhang. Doing this is not the issue I can do most of it it is just space and time. As far as the hack job on the siding is that I am hoping to solid side it.

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Old 07-06-2010, 11:34 PM   #16
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Forest River Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vaughn, WA
Posts: 1,378
Hey Tommy,

I get the "project" thing. I've had several crazy projects myself over the years.

BUT, at this point, consider the GOOD and the BAD . . .

> You have a wimpy van chassis not a full frame like you thought. Adding several feet to the wheelbase will only make it long and wimpy.
> Everything is rotten.
> You have virtually nothing to work with. You may consider that a good thing, but if you at least had a solid coach, you would just be looking at a full interior redo which can definitely be a fun project.

You neighbor offered to buy it from you. This is a blessing from heaven - take it!

I really think Leadman had good advice. Find a solid coach, like his 80's Winnebago/Itasca Class A, maybe one that has a wasted interior. Gut it and make a cool updated interior that fits your needs. You'll be way ahead with a motorhome you'll enjoy.

1995 Coachmen Santara 360MB 36' w/slide.
Ford F53/460 chassis, 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee "toad"
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:35 AM   #17
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 515
Sorry you have discovered so many more problems than you thought you would.
I was a mechanic in Michigan for many years then moved to Arizona. I restored many old vehicles here in Az. and it was much easier than trying to work on the rusted vehicles in Michigan.
A guy I know traded a hunting rifle worth about $300 for a fifth wheel trailer. Sure, he had some work to do but did not have to deal with the rust. I see motorhomes here for $1,500 on up. We paid $3,750 for ours and it has always been in Az. so no rust at all even though it is a "87 chassis.
My concern with continuing restoration would be about the diminished strength of the frame due to rust. I would really hate to do all that work and have it destroyed by a weak frame flexing or breaking.
You really have a ton of work ahead of you. Good Luck.

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