New wall and flooring

The interior of the vehicle is quickly taking shape after months of prep.  Before the new flooring could be installed, a few more items had to be completed, including fixing one section of wall that had some water damage from the window.  Since no structural damage had taken place and the damage was old, we simply sanded the wood flush and installed a piece of paneling over the old wall with adhesive and fasteners.  The results were pretty dramatic, as you see in the image above.

Next, the floor had to be prepped for the EZ Click flooring.  Generally, not much prep other than sanding is required, but we went ahead and put some stain on the subfloor in case it does get wet in the future.

Next week, we’ll have a full flooring update and show the finished product. (You can see a sneak peek in the first photo, juxtaposed with the original green shag, which will thankfully be hidden by the dinette when it’s reinstalled.)

Interior Improvements Cavalcade

The floodgates of mini projects have now opened! There’s a lot of simultaneous action going on, and I’ve tried to document as we go along.

First, I’ve never been a fan of the stock Norcold refrigerator doors.  It’s a great refrigerator, but the old, warped plastic was like staring into a black hole.  I hadn’t come across a great replacement unitl I stumbled upon 2 x 4 foot whiteboard panels at the lumberyard. These were just the right thickness to slide in where the plastic panels had been, and it’s a great place to write out our very long to-do list!

Next, the toilet needed some attention, including a thorough cleaning and three new seals.  We rehabbed the old toilet because it’s actually a very nice porcelain unit – something that would be quite expensive today!  (Most RVs today have plastic toilets.)  In addition, a factory “oops” was corrected under the toilet where they missed and drilled the hole too big.  This was corrected by routing out part of the floor and filling in with a new wood doubler.

Finally, the stove top looked kind of sad and boring, so I decided to spice it up with some spray paint that will match the curtains (coming soon!).  I used high-temperature engine primer and enamel, so the heat from the stove shouldn’t be an issue.

Wall repairs, plumbing goodies, and hopefully flooring coming next week!

A Winnebago Birthday

The Winnebago has permeated into every aspect of my life, including my birthday cake.  Mrs. Copeland really outdid herself this year with a first foray into fondant, which turned out to be quite the crowd pleaser.

Steady progress on the RV continues.  The very complicated brake system has now been restored and is fully functional after months of research and several days of work under the vehicle. The original Bendix hydrovac brake boosters (the shiny things in the picture below) are increasingly difficult to find, but rebuilt units from Mexico can be had with some Internet digging.  A couple of heat shields will have to be fabricated to keep the exhaust system from melting the new boosters, which is what happened to the old ones.

Inside the vehicle, DC wiring continues as we move towards installing the solar panel charge controller and inverter.  Before that, plumbing tasks have to be finished up.  All of this is holding up the flooring install.  It’s a never-ending jigsaw puzzle!

The roof is finished!

I thought I might never type those words, but here we are, with a roof that has survived its first storm!  One air conditioner, two powered vents with covers, one refrigerator vent, two solar panels, one TV antenna, one antenna junction box, and one luggage rack and a ladder make up the inhabitants of the roof, plus a few sundry plumbing vents.  Everything is buttoned up with Butyl tape and self-leveling sealant, and I’m quite pleased with the results.

Most of the inhabitants of the underside of the roof have made their way to their new homes, including lots of LED lighting fixtures, vent garnishes (yes, that’s what they’re called), and cabinetry above the kitchen and dinette areas.

Some of you may ask, “Why isn’t he painting that disgusting 70’s wood veneer?”

My answer is:

1. It will probably come back in style.

2. Once you paint them, there’s no going back to the way it was.

3. I’m not ruling out paint in the future, but let’s put everything back together and see how it looks.

The carpet, however, is coming out, with the exception of the driving area (or The Bridge, as I think it should be referred to from now on).  I’ve been inside probably 30 RVs over the past few months, and not a single one had carpet in it, so “wood” laminate flooring is certainly “in” right now.

Stay tuned for a flooring update coming soon! There’s also lots of electrical work going on, and plumbing is just around the corner.

– James

Taking shape

They say painting a house is 90 percent surface preparation and 10 percent actual painting.  That’s how a Winnebago roof seems to be as well.  We finally got the roof material (TPO) applied after literally months of preparation.  Before that could happen, the remainder of the direct current wiring was tucked away and lauan plywood was applied on top of everything.

Fun Fact – there are nearly 1,000 screws or plastic rivets within the Radio Nomad roof structure…

After the plywood was screwed down (with over 500 #6 3/4″ screws), fleece tape was applied between the plywood sheets to cover any gaps.  Then, the edges were sanded down with an air sander.  Next, adhesive was applied with a paint roller before the TPO was set on top.  After that, a push broom and sock feet aided the removal of bubbles from underneath the surface.

Now, the actual legitimate fun of installing all those roof accessories can start, which is what we’ll get in to next week!


The quest to finish the roof

Finally, some dry weather to get this roof thing finished.  Progress has been great as we cut and fit insulation, route wires and custom build everything as we go.  Progressing from the back to the front of the vehicle, holes for the rear vent/fan and air conditioner have been cut, and the wiring harnesses have been modified for the new roof structure.  In between the wood is 3/4 inch extruded polystyrene insulation.  Eventually a thin sheet of plywood will be put on top of this, and the entire works will be bonded together.

The air conditioner was hoisted atop the vehicle, and a test fit has been completed.  Since one of the output ducts from the air conditioner was right up against the refrigerator and wouldn’t do much good there, a custom duct attachment was fashioned from sheet metal that routes air into the radio studio/lounge area and ensures air flow even with the dividing curtain closed.

A platform inside the vehicle supported by jacks ensures the roof sections are in the proper place while they are being fitted and screwed down. This also helps crown the ceiling slightly.

The vehicle radio up front has also been replaced with a similar period unit which makes work more enjoyable (can’t live without that cassette player, after all). Plus, it was free.

So, we continue on by leaps and bounds everyday in 97 degree heat!