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Cloud Launch Imminent!

Posted 12-06-2017 at 04:28 AM by bassgirl

I've been restoring my '92 Fleetwood Jamboree 27' Searcher Special (re-christened "the Cloud") for the past 2 months. It's been....a learning experience, to be sure, as well as more work than I had ever imagined! I knew it had been neglected for the previous 5 or so years, but as a complete RV newbie, I didn't know about aaaaallll the little things that can go wrong, break, fall apart, mold, etc on one, and I'd never heard the axiom "It's not IF they will leak, but WHEN".

I started in early September with roof repair. I had initially thought I would be patching the roof, but once I got up there and really looked around, and started reading about RV roof repair on the many DIY and RV'er sites online, I realized that the only way to do it right was to replace the entire roof.
Luckily, I have a very good friend who runs a constrtuction yard, and I was able to get many, if not most, of my roof repair supplies at cost (and some at NO cost- thank you Debbie!!) I'm talking rolls of TPO, 5-gallon buckets of the stickiest substance I have ever encountered, and much more. Really the only things I had to buy new were the OSB and the screws.

I'm going to digress for a moment here and share my counting-of-blessings with you. I have found myself in the quite wonderful position of having a handful of close friends who all have a useful skill or three, and these friends are kind and generous enough to have donated lots- LOTS- of hours of their time to this project. It made me realize that what goes around DOES come around sometimes- all those days &nights last summer that I had a houseful because I'm the only one of us who has air conditioning- we often turned them into impromptu jam sessions or movie nights- stuff like that is really appreciated, as is other stuff I do happily and freely for my friends, like give rides if one's needed, lend $20 between paydays, whatever. In any case, I apparently had a healthy positive balance in the 'favor bank'. Now, I've never done stuff for my friends *because* i think at some point they will do stuff for me- I do stuff because that's who I am. I am just blessed enough that I have friends that that's who THEY are, too.
I've had help with carpentry, (lots), sewing curtains, roof repair, ceiling repair, painting, odds -and- ends contributed, and I want to take a para or two here to make sure these folks are given their due props.

So- here's a huge, enthusiastic and appreciative shout-out to these guys in the CA East Bay:

Marc, for your contributions to all the carpentry and roof rebuilding and just *knowing how to do s**t*- having a journeyman carpenter for a buddy has been so amazingly helpful.

Eric, my tallest friend and one of my favorite people on the planet, you fixed my ceiling and made it look effortless- it looks SO good now. Design ideas and trouble-shooting were largely our domain, as the engineers in the bunch, and your electrical know-how when dialing in the 12-V system was invaluable. Also those days when we were mastic-ing the roof- and our anthem became
(thanks Pink Floyd) "iiiiiiiii----iii-iiii....have becooome.....covered in gum!" is an indelible memory.

Debbie and Arcadio, for your help with acquiring supplies and for waking me up earlier than I ever would have- that right there helped me get lots more done.

Paul- you brought me lots of random stuff that has been totally helpful, from pegboard to boxes of self-tapping screws, and been my big guy when I needed something heavy or large moved from here to there. In addition, grabbing me to go to blues jams was a much needed diversion!

and Joy, you get a super-special shout-out for the mental, physical, and emotional blood-sweat-and tears you've shared with me during this project. From curtains to listening to me vent to waking me up with a "good morning sunshine, ready for coffee?" to slumber parties that went on till 4 am- you'll never know how much I've appreciated your friendship and sunny-ness and silliness and all the rest.

oKAY. the props taken care of, I'll get back to the deets.

After the roof repair was done, I took a (much needed) few days off, then headed inside to tackle the walls / ceiling. I got some nice 1/8" birch luan for the ceiling and to reline the walls in the bedroom- the existing wallpaper and inner layer of the wall / ceiling wood was buckled and peeling from moisture / leaks. The removal of the old stuff was a messy, dusty, ugly affair, and in some places had to go down to the foam and metal to truly clean it up, make sure there's no mold or no way mold can grow, sand the metal clean and rust-oleum it before buttoning it all up again. Lots of work. For a few weeks, I'd say, it looked worse than ever, but once we got the new ceiling panels up, and a few coats of white paint on the ceilings and the front sitting area walls, things started to look so much better.

I pulled up the old, yucky carpeting in the little bathroom and put in linoleum (another skill learned! Thanks, youtube!). Installed a bed platform in the back bedroom, changed the configuration of the rear lower cabinets a little so I wouldn't smack my knee into the corner every time I walked back there, and re-installed the air conditioner (had to move it when re-doing the roof) and the inside vent this point, all the structural stuff is done, and we're on to curtains / blinds, putting up my shelving stuff, tucking wires away, basically getting stuff locked down for traveling.

I am so looking forward to taking my Cloud home to Oregon for the holidays, seeing the kids (and the granddaughter!), and am just generally super-excited about joining the ranks of the RV'ers. I'm really hopeful that I can find other RV'ing musicians for some memorable road jams!

I'll keep the blogosphere posted on Cloud Progress.
(for pics of progress, go there.
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  1. Old Comment
    Sounds like your doing it correctly from the ground up, or sky down, hehe, I can relate to your efforts, I rebuilt a 1973 Field and Stream TT from a box on wheels to a fully self contained unit, it became home for 20+ years, and a 1979 Roadrunner 5ver with roof and structural damage, mostly water rot, {still a work in progress}, now working on a friends 1989 Holiday Rambler with a variety of problems, so I know what your going through, a LOT of blood, sweat, tears, and frustration.
    GOOD luck on all your projects, and hoping they ALL complete perfectly.
    Posted 12-07-2017 at 06:06 PM by Sandflea Sandflea is offline
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