Saturday, November 20, 2010

Celebrate small successes

Today I replaced Gypsy's door handle/porch light. The original one was old weathered & did not work. Now she has a shiny new one!

I bought the new part at General RV Center in Wayland MI. Here are some pics of the store & the gals in parts. Very knowledgeable & helpful. If you need Fleetwood parts, give Carol a call.


  1. Would have loved to have had one of those style grab handle, but sadly, I just have the regular handle and no framing in the wall to upgrade to the illuminated kind.

  2. I can't believe how much demo you did on your rig!! WOWZERS! I bet that was fun though ;)

  3. Thanks Nellie, welcome to my blog. It WAS fun but it is not over yet. I need to remove & replace the roof yet, and have the windshield reset. Then the real work starts, rebuilding. It is a good thing I still have a house & a job....hitting the road will have to wait until I can get things finished.

  4. How much of the roof do you have to replace? From your picture it looks like the top, at least, is intact. I've rebuilt a couple of travel trailer roofs where there's been quite a bit of water damage and rot, but I've not had to actually replace them in total. Is the roof metal or rubber? That's the first big question.

  5. ChuckB - The roof is aluminum over luaun on steel framework. At least 3/4's of the luaun was rotted beyond repair. The aluminum could probably be saved, but I can't see how to replace the upper luaun decking without removing the aluminum. I also found at least one steel roof support that needs to be replaced because of rust. This is the worst water damage I have ever seen & it was not obviously this bad when it was still covered up.
    If you have experience & ideas, I'm all ears. Thanks.

  6. It's great you have a steel structure. In most travel trailers the super structure is light weight pinewood which I've had to reconstruct using some creativeness.

    In the last rig I fixed it had a rubber roof on it, so all the rebuilding I did was from the inside.

    Your best friend will be a simple box cutter, available from your local hardware store. If you don't have one get a simple but sturdy one. The blades are razer sharp so you'll use this to cut the existing luan out inch by inch. At some points you'll want to use a hammer to tap on it as well so that you're shearing the luan and not tearing.

    Get all the damaged luan out first using this method. It's time consuming, but it's about the only cost effective way to accomplish the task on a rig this old.

    Leave the aluminum sheeting in place as that will be one of the last items you'll want to address, and there are materials available online to help you seal them.

    You'll want to plan to replace all the roof vents. The AC is probably inserted into what used to be a roof vent, so you'll want to get the AC off the roof as well. You may have to build a platform so you can crawl on top of the rig without caving it in.

    Once you have damaged luan out, you can start to visualize how to replace it with new. Replace it piece by piece, now trying to chew the whole enchilada at the same time.

    Use something like Thompson's Water Seal on the luan you're using to replace it with to seal out any moisture in the future.

    I know I have some picture of the last job I did but I'd have to locate them which I will try to do and post so you can at least get an idea of how I approached the task.

    Inch by inch it's a cinch, someone once said.

    Good luck,


  7. Thanks for the advice. Since I have plenty of time, I'm going to replace the metal too, so I might as well rebuild the deck from the top. Then after the new metal in on, new vents, rebuilt AC units, new Antenna, etc. Some of the new sealing tapes & coatings so I should not have trouble down the road. My Dad used to say, "ba**S to the wall, or not at all!"

    Thanks again.


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