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Old 12-29-2015, 04:23 PM   #1
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American Coach Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,736
Hello from Florida

Thank you!

I want to start by thanking all of you that have posted answers to issues on this forum. Please allow me to explain.

Last month I purchased a (very used and ill-maintained) 1996 Wilderness 35V to convert into working space. I knew it had issues, including lots of mold from previous and current water leaks. The tires were old. It had been parked and used in one spot for years. Before it was moved, I was told that they had to detach the porch roof that had been built next to it. In short, it was a mess.

I did find it on Craig's List by a small RV dealer (not in FL) and bought it "as is" so I got what I got, problems and all.

So far I have removed ALL of the interior cabinetry, appliances, flooring, fixtures, etc. Most of the walls and ceiling are removed. The LP lines inside have been removed. Some of the wiring is out (more on that below). The tanks have been flushed and emptied, and the vent pipes removed.

There was water damage to the wood frame above the shower. Some of the wood frame was simply missing due to rot. I found old water leak damage along most of the walls. The roof has been replaced and that evidently stopped most of the leaks. But, the skylight above the shower was still leaking. I found standing water between the inner and outer skylight lenses during demolition.

There has been rain since I covered the skylight and opened the walls. I do not see any more leaks.

I do want to completely remove the skylight, replace the missing framework, and recover that section of the roof. (A complete roof replacement may be at some later date.) From what I can tell the roof is 60mil black EPDM. Not just black from dirt. Inside the RV I can seen black on both sides of the material at all of the roof cutouts. It never was white and was probably a cheap replacement since the trailer had been parked for years, probably in the shade.

I also need to figure out how to patch all of the holes in the floor (pipes, wires, etc.) I need a solid floor to walk on.

I am removing the original power center and separate converter. It is being replaced with a Progressive Dynamics PD4060.

So far I have the PD4060 connected to the battery (the dealer installed a "cranking" battery for me; nice guy), and to "shore power" via a 50' 10-3 extension cord. I may install a 30A power panel next to its parking place and plug in directly with the RV 30A cord. Right now the weak link is the 30A to 15A adapter. The extension cord should be able to handle the load during the "remodel."

Today's big news is that I was able to wire up the thermostat to the rooftop AC unit and the power center. The AC is working.

That will make the rest of the remodel more bearable. The outside temps are in the 80s right now (yes, it is December).

The "Thank You" at the top of this post is for all of the assistance I received by searching through old threads on this forum. I have learned a lot of what to do, what not to do, and more.

Today's big assist was wiring up the AC unit. The dealer had "replaced" the wall thermostat before I took delivery. He said they "tested" it and it worked fine. But, since it was parked in a field about 200 feet from the nearest building the day I first saw it and also a week later when I towed it home, I seriously doubt it. Anyway, the wiring was spaghetti. Your help to others in the past got me through the wiring. I know how to wire 110VAC. I know 12VDC. But, RV wiring is new to me. The Power Center is new territory as well. And, thermostats, though they seem simple enough, had me guessing with all of the different letter combinations. But, now it is working.

BTW, I just checked. The AC dropped the temperature from 82 to 74 in about 30 minutes. Nice. Do keep in mind that it is an empty shell, so the AC did not need to cool down all of the furniture, cabinetry, etc. The sun is not shining right now (very cloudy). And, the thermostat worked as it was set on 74 and the AC turned off as planned. "I'm a happy camper!"

Again, thank you!!!

Here it is at an interstate rest stop on its way home. Yup, the Jeep can handle it. Not very nicely, but it was within weight specs given the 5.7L engine and the towing package on the Jeep. But, I would not want to tow this cross country with this combination.
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:17 PM   #2
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Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Congrats on the new rig! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:27 PM   #3
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Good luck with your project. Have fun.
Bruce & Nancy
FMCA F280542
2004 Bounder 35E
US Navy Vet.
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:33 PM   #4
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Spartan Chassis
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Tricia & Dennis Lockhart
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:55 PM   #5
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Location: Pensacola, FL
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A suggestion: Rather than worry about rebuilding small sections of the roof penetrations to support your full weight, just make a map of them. After you finish re-roofing or just patching, mark them with a bold "NO STEP" just like on parts of aircraft wings. Lots of sources for stickers if you want to get fancy.

2008 Itasca 37H
2011 & 2012 Len & Pat's "One lap of America"
27K miles & 41 states in 13 months
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:02 PM   #6
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Good luck with your project
Hal & Jackie .... 03 TS Select 45DS01
02 Haulmark 20' Edge .... 02 Corvette Rdstr

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Old 01-01-2016, 11:46 AM   #7
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American Coach Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,736
Where to ask questions? So many forums!

Thanks for the warm welcomes.

I have spent hours already looking through some of the older posts. I've learned a lot in a very short period of time. Love it!

Thanks for the idea about labeling "soft spots" on the roof. That might be handy.

Progress on my TT conversion is also coming along well. Yesterday I received some flush LED light fixtures I ordered. I set one up temporarily last night and am impressed with its performance as compared to a traditional two bulb (1156) RV ceiling fixture next to it. A lot less amperage, and an easier color temperature for reading/working. Now I need to figure out the overall plan for the work areas and put lighting as needed. I will probably put in "too many" lights and have them switched on separate zones with a set of wall switches.

OK, enough about that.

My real question is, being that this is the "New Member Check-In" sub-forum, where should I be posting all of these questions? Obviously, this is not the correct place. However, there are so many choices, I got lost somewhere late last night trying to figure it out. So, I am asking those more experienced with the forum structure for advice.

Further questions that I have will probably be for electrical, roofing, flooring, exterior, etc. This is a Travel Trailer, but the questions often seem to apply across the board. Where do I start?

Charles and Beverly
"The Eagle" - 1991 American Eagle 38J - Cummins 6CTA8.3 300hp DP, Allison MT643 4spd. Trans., Spartan chassis.
Link to our Eagle Thread
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:22 PM   #8
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Vintage RV Owners Club
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Welcome from East Moline, IL. Wishing you the best of outcomes for your new project.
26' 1991 Class C Ford Tioga Arrow
DW, 2 Shih Tzu furkids and me
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