Here I am again!
Because there have been so many requests to "Please keep us posted", I thought I would post an update on my project. For you newbies that haven't seen my posts, I have been doing a total rebuild of a rotten old carcass that was once an 1981 Citation 25' TT. It started as a quick - fix the leaky roof and the soft spot in the bathroom floor and has progressed to a full fledged rebuild. I am astounded at the sheer number of you who have taken an interest in what I'm doing. Dozens of PM's voicing encouragement and amazement. I thank you all. You guys are what kept me going when I wanted to burn it. I don't need to write all the details here because that is what my website photo story is for. If you follow the link in my sig, you can view it from beginning to now. If it doesn't show, sometimes too many people are trying to access it and my server gets overloaded. Try later. I have replaced about half of all the joists, including the entire perimeter framework. The roof has been removed completely, but left sitting there in place on top of the walls. The siding has been all removed. I have now relaced all of the walls in their entirety. There is not one original piece of wood left. Two weeks ago, I laid the new lino floor down. As of this past weekend, I have re-panelled all the walls inside. I am now starting to put the furniture back in, replacing bad wood as needed and also replacing the panelling on the cabinets etc. Whew! I have not tracked my time accurately, but my best guesstimate is about 6 or 7 hundred hours so far. I started at the beginning of December 2003. This is being done in my driveway in front of my house, so every evening I have to put it all back together so it looks like a trailer for the neighbors benefit. My current roof is a tarp. I have a ways to go yet, but its getting there. It looks like an RV again.
Once again, thanks to all of you who have supported me and commented and PM'd me and given me ideas of extras to put in while it's apart. You guys are awesome!
My hope is that through all this, I can be of encouragement to others who may not be able to afford a newer unit and have to fix an old one. That is where I am coming from. I can't afford a nice TT. If I can do it, so can you!
One last thing. I had the feedback link in my sig go to another thread I started a couple months ago. Mel the Mod has informed me there is a conflict of purposes in the other thread. Hats off to Mel for doing a good job. I am going to change that link to this thread here and keep the topic about fixing up an older TT.
Bob (the builder)
2007 GMC 3500 dually ext. cab 4X4 LBZ
Duramax / Allison Fire Red
I have a 1973 Terry 23' TT that was in worst condition than yours. We tracked the leak down to a row of staple holes in the roof where the factory missed hitting a timber. Instead of replacing the metal, the factory pulled the staples and covered the holes with sealer. Unfortunately, the sealer did not stay attached to the metal, so water was seeping into the roof cavity by the kitchen wall. The water ran down the wall, rotting the wall studs, and into the floor space between the plywood and the aluminum bottom cover, rotting the flooring. The ceiling insulation also soaked up water and rotted the wood in the roof. This leak was above the cabinets close to the wall, so it went unnoticed for a very long time. It wasn't until the roof began to sag that some water ran out into the ceiling over the living area and dripped instead of running down the inside of the wall. By this time the damage was so bad that we began to notice soft spots developing in the floor in the kitchen and bathroom. When we decided to do an inspection teardown to determine the extent of the damage, we found the wall studs near the leak were rotted, and found the top and bottom of the wall and studs were rotted over more than half of the wall. Following the route the rot had gone in we found that the entire rear wall was rotted at both sides where it was attached to the side walls and at the floor. The floor itself was rotted under the entire back half of the TT, from the wheel wells on back. The frame was rusted and the supports that extended out from the frame to support the walls and floor were rusted out.
At the time we discovered all of this damage, we were in the middle of moving into our new home, so we didn't have time to mess with it. I threw a tarp over the TT and left it parked. A couple of years later, a friend and I decided to give it a try to see if we could rebuild it. We started by supporting the shell while we replaced the rear half of the floor framing, floor plywood, and bolted in some angle iron supports to replace the rusted out metal under the floor. We replaced wall studs and top and bottom timbers in the rear of both walls, and replaced all of the lumber in the rear wall. Some of the timbers had to be cut to fit the odd sizes and shapes used to make up the curves. We replaced the rotted rafters in the ceiling. That was pretty much where we stopped. As we progressed forward, it looked like we were going to have to replace so much wood that it was going to get very expensive. Up to this point, we had used materials that we had on hand, so it was mostly labor invested. I had to make the hard decision to give up on the TT. The walls and ceiling inside are almost half bare metal and studs. I have moved it from my RV pad to a spot lower on my property and set it up on blocks. At this point, I plan on turning it into a chicken coop or something. I just don't have the energy to invest into restoring such an old TT in such poor condition. My hat is off to you for taking on such a huge project yourself. I will be looking forward to reading updates from you.
I have a terminal illness now so I would like to get back into RVing again before it's too late to do some traveling. I am trying to gather the parts to build something worthwhile. I had a bus given to me (for the chassis) and I'm looking for an old 30' to 33' Airstream TT shell that maybe has a rotted floor or bad frame that I can restore and fit onto this bus chassis. I want to go with lightweight aluminum because this will be an all electric propulsion vehicle. I have built electric cars and done electric vehicle conversions of detroit built cars, so I'm pretty sure I can accomplish this. With a roof covered in solar panels, a decent sized battery bank under the floor, and an onboard generator for hybrid operation on long trips or cloudy days, I think I can pull it off. I just want to try to make it look good as well so it won't be an eyesore.
'73-23' Terry, parked for good
Designing a MH replacement
Hey Bob, thanks for the pm. As I mentioned to you before, great job. Its the people like you who are willing to share your project with the rest of us that are a true inspiration to those of us who like to fix things ourselves. Can't wait to see the finished trailer. Too bad it isn't a little longer, you could put in a gas fireplace to really make it unique. (Just Jokeing!) The paneling you got looks great. I do hope however you get some better looking hubcaps though, those wire wheel hubcaps make it look like it's owned by a pimp. (Again just jokeing!) But some baby moons would look good.
Keep up the good work and keep us posted.
Like everyone else, I'm very impressed with your project. I realize that you are very busy, but I think it would be great if you could write up some description of how you went about doing the work, techniques used, etc. As I was looking at your web site, I kept thinking, "how did he do this" and "how did he do that". If you were to write a DIY book on the project, I would buy it.
2004 Cougar 304BHS
2003 Ford Excursion, 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel
XTENTER, Thanks for the comment. maybe I should take up the art of holidaying instead of using my TT as a portable motel when I work out of town.
kb4iqm - wow! sounds like that one is not worth repairing. Mine is not worth repairing, but here I am. Its too late to quit now.
Sorry to hear about your illness. Thats a hard one. Nothing anyone can say on that except enjoy the time you have left. Do things you have always wanted to but never took the time. That Airstream project sounds interesting. I'd like to see that when its done. Certainly sounds like you are qualified for the task.
I was thinking of putting a hot tub in it and maybe stretching it a little for a bowling alley, but I scrapped that idea because I'd have to put a hinge in the middle to go around corners.
Now, as for the pimp... Thats funny. I read it an hour ago & I'm still chuckling. Theres a story behind those hubcaps. When I bought the TT it had none - just ugly bare rims. We have a local spring cleanup here where you can put all your junk... I mean treasures out at curbside and they pick it all up & haul it away free. They call it Re-use weekend. The scavengers go around dragging all this crud home. I was driving down the road about 3 weeks ago and someone had put out 4 matching plastic spoked hubcaps at curbside. I flipped a u-turn and went back & got them. I didn't think they looked that bad until you called me a pimp! Thanks Gene, now I have to go looking for some decent ones to get rid of the stigma. haha
By the way, Where do you park your rig? I'll send over a couple of my girls to swipe your hubcaps.
Thats a great idea you have there. I had never thought of that one. I could insert various comments and split up the pictures with decriptions between them or maybe have a separate page with links to them or something. I'll give it some thought. Got to keep it simple and uncluttered, though. Thanks for the comment
WOW. What a project. I tend to tackle a few projects myself like designing & building a house but this one looks like a work of art in progress. You should have been featured on This Old House. Keep the pictures coming as you progress to the finish line. Hope everything thing works when you "flip the switch".