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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Vintage TT's

 > '71 Starcraft Wanderstar- "The Hilton"

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westend

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Posted: 01/09/12 09:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thought I should post this up because the "Search" feature doesn't return any results and there might be some useful info for older Starcraft owners or those that are mad enough to embark on a complete restoration.

I purchased this 1971 Starcraft-Wanderstar from a local chap with a special purpose in mind: Gutting out the interior to insulate and make comfrotable for working stiffs like myself and, in particular, for those doing work-camping in the upper Midwest. My criteria was: a name brand with solid fame construction, a body that could be worked with (no accident damage, and good running gear (wheels, tires, bearings, and hitch, etc.) I also focused my purchase towards a TT from 19'->26'. I have a Ford F-250 4x4, CC with trailer and tow package. Pictures of "The Hilton" (named and painted by a previous owner) as bought:











I am currently still working on the Hilton and have about three weeks into it, so far. I am keeping a pictorial work log and will share most of it if others are interested. I have totally gutted the inside and am discarding most of the mechanicals, along with replacing and eliminating windows, repairing water-damaged framing (all of the wall top plates and half of the studs), relocating most of the plumbing, replacing all of the wiring, and installing a completely different decorative style.

To give an idea of what I found after gutting out the inside, here is a picture of the driver's side and the wheel well:



Here is that same area after reconstruction, the new wheel well frame is skinned with 16 ga. steel sheet, inside, and sprayed with truck bed liner. The frame is insulated and there is a thermal break between any out side joining surfaces and the inside sheeting.



Two of the most cantankerous aspects have been the replacement of the top wall plates and aluminum trim rail and removal of the floor to insulate. The major obstacle to the first is the amount of various goop that was used by previous owners to stop water intrusion. That, and the thousands of clutch drive screws and staples that were removed. The basic carpentry was simple, I replaced the rotten wood with pressure treated fir and, after a day with a grinder fitted with a steel wire wheel to clean the trim rail, the surfaces were all sealed, stapled, and screwed back together.

This picture shows the new top plates and the rafter reinforcement I thought was necessary:



While diving into the wheel well repair I noticed the floor had deteriorated under the water heater. Closer examination showed that the 1 1/2" space underneath the floor was uninsulated, excepting the 1/2" Buildrite on top of the aluminum belly skin. I pulled all of the plywood and installed 1 1/2" of extruded polystyrene in that space:



I've replaced two of the three windows I planned on and have removed two, all together. Those vacated jalousie windows are framed and will become insulated wall.



Tomorrow, I'll be replacing the 72" front window and will then move on to the wiring. The existing Precision Dynamics converter tested to be OK and has a solid state battery charger so I will use that for the DC. I am upgrading the older 30 amp service to 50 amp. If there's interest, I can post some more pictures up of the restoration, as I progress, and am always open to any ideas from others.
FWIW, I am going with a Western motif for the interior and have already renamed my baby, "The Cowboy/Hilton".

* This post was edited 01/12/12 09:13am by an administrator/moderator *


'03 F-250 4x4 CC
'71 Starcraft Wanderstar -- The Cowboy/Hilton

gemsworld

Sunny Southern California

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Posted: 01/09/12 10:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Keep those pictures coming!





gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 01/10/12 09:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great project. Please, keep us updated.
Is it possible to insulate the closing cover on the front window?
That may help a little on cold nights.

dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 01/10/12 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yep, keep up the work and pictures! We like to watch other Peoples hard work!


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texasclarks

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Posted: 01/10/12 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Indeed, keep the pictures coming. I really do enjoy labors of love like this, makes me want to tackle a project like this when I retire from the Army and get a 'real' job!


Posts are for entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as endorsement or recommendations. YMMV!

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westend

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Posted: 01/10/12 05:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dodge guy wrote:

Yep, keep up the work and pictures! We like to watch other Peoples hard work!

Great minds think alike. I am going to replace the detiorated fiberglass that was on the shade with aluminum plate. I may insulate that in the process. I will use some 1/8' sheet around here from my other hobbies. I think the new front window will definitely be an improvement. It is less glass and is 3/4" argon filled, tempered, thermopane. I decided to mount it towards the top for privacy and better durability from road hazard.



Here are some more pictures, starting with the wheel well since I know some guys (that would be me)scratch there hair out trying to get a good solution. The passenger's side wheel well:



This is pretty much the stock plastic wheel well but I added some galvanized steel to reinforce it should it suffer a blowout. Next, I built a monkey coffin around it and insulated with R-11 fiberglass:



The frame was sheeted with 5/8" and 1/2" plywood.



The driver's side wheel well was beyond recovery and I wanted to end up with something that was blowout-proof. The electrical distribution, the kitchen plumbing, and other critical bits are adjacent to this wheel well. When I picked up the trailer, the breaker box had 2" of mud on the back of the box. That won't be happening again.

I removed what remained of the plastic wheel well:



I then fashioned a frame of 2 x 4's and 1 x 4's. The exteri or wall was flashed with aluminum coil and the outer skin of the trailer is now supported by solid wood:



Finally, I covered the inside surfaces of the frame and exterior wall with 16 ga. steel, screwing and using construction adhesive. I also caulked the seams and sprayed truck bed liner on the steel to prevent rust:



The finished wheel well:



Next post will cover the toilet relocation and new through tank fitting.

* This post was edited 01/12/12 09:16am by an administrator/moderator *

TexasTiger220

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Posted: 01/10/12 05:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I love these threads. Please keep it up.


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cpaharley2008

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Posted: 01/10/12 06:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, me too, I get tired from looking at all the work others have done.


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texasclarks

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Posted: 01/10/12 06:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cpaharley2008 wrote:

Yes, me too, I get tired from looking at all the work others have done.


I know...I am beat from looking at his work. I think I need a cold one!

gmw photos

midwest

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Posted: 01/10/12 09:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry I can't give you any info on it, but it looks like a fun project ! Keep posting photos and progress of the work on it....would love to see how it ends up.

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