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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Vintage TT's

 > '71 Starcraft Wanderstar- "The Hilton"

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jay427

Anoka, Mn

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Posted: 01/11/12 07:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is great, I have not been here in some time and came to post a thread about a camper redo!!

I'm thinking of taking on somthing similar. 16-20', complete gut, no shower, room for a pora potti and thats about it. Towable with a 1/2 ton truck.

I'm also wood worker fix most anything type of person so it appeals to me.

One question I do have, IIRC the older TT's had a lower roof height, true? I have a second garage with a 10' side walls but only a 8' door. Would be sweet if I could get it inside. Currently our TT sits outside.

Keep the pics and progress comming. Maybe you could keep a running list of dues and dont as you find them!! Edit you first post maybe?

Thanks for taking the time to share.

Jay

westend

Shorewood, MN

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Posted: 01/11/12 08:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jay427 wrote:

This is great, I have not been here in some time and came to post a thread about a camper redo!!

I'm thinking of taking on somthing similar. 16-20', complete gut, no shower, room for a pora potti and thats about it. Towable with a 1/2 ton truck.

I'm also wood worker fix most anything type of person so it appeals to me.

One question I do have, IIRC the older TT's had a lower roof height, true? I have a second garage with a 10' side walls but only a 8' door. Would be sweet if I could get it inside. Currently our TT sits outside.

Keep the pics and progress comming. Maybe you could keep a running list of dues and dont as you find them!! Edit you first post maybe?

Thanks for taking the time to share.

Jay
Well Jay,this isn't the task of wise men, maybe, it's a lot of work. I took it on because of the unusual situation of having to live in it in extreme climate and nothing I could find fit the bill. The older TT's are barely insulated and the newer ones, although manufactured to a better standard, still are inefficient for cold weather. This is mainly due to the use of inefficient propane furnaces and the construction. I know a few mfg.s tout figures of R-28 or R-19 in floors and walls but there just isn't enough physical dimension to get to those values with the materials involved. /rant
If I was just restoring the Starcraft (or any other vintage TT), one of the first "do's" would be: do inspect the trailer for the amount of water damage. I knew this TT was riddled with rot and had extensive damage but since I had a complete gut-out in mind, I wasn't shocked by the extent. That, and I have stacks of lumber in my yard from my profession and all the tools a guy could want. I also am blessed with time at this time of year. It is easier to do a project of this scale if there is some continuous schedule involved. Do budget some time, I guess, don't think it can be done in a month of weekends, you'll probably get disappointed.
One of the good resources for a frame-up restore is this series of videos from Mark's RV garage In the series of videos, he totally restores a Yellowstone TT. He is lucky to be a pro and receive a lot of freebies from his sponsors.
Don't think that it will be possible to do the restoration and not have some expense. They are not giving away materials, even to contractors, lol. I think I have North of $50 just in sealants and adhesives. I don't have a total for the whole expense but it will be a fair bit.
AFAIK, none of these vintage trailers are going to clear an 8' door height, maybe a Scamp or one of the smaller canned ham trailers but what you sacrifice in clearance height is good for usable headroom, when in use. The Starcraft's ceiling height is 6'3".
Don't be dissuaded from the project by my caveats and the amount of work, though. Sometimes the journey is as important as the destination.


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

westend

Shorewood, MN

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Posted: 01/11/12 09:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This post will cover the toilet relocation.
The original layout of the Starcraft's bathroom left a lot to be desired. More than 20 sq. ft. involved a closet and sets of drawers. The toilet was almost amidships and was towards the forward bulkhead of the bathroom. The shower is placed along the drivers side wall and the vanity was along the rear bulkhead wall that separated the inside from the back storage area.
An investigation of the storage are showed that the DC converter and battery were housed inside and there was little room for storage. I knew the converter and a new AGM battery would benefit from reloaction and, since I no longer needed a vented battery compartment, the storage area was incorporated into the new floorplan. The closet and drawers were also removed.
I realized that if I could relocate the toilet farther back and towards the edge of the underneath tank, I could recover some valuable space, enough for a set of bunks, possibly. The old toilet flange was removed, along with the adjacent vent, and pipe plugs were installed to seal them off. I took this picture when I had the plywood floor removed:
[image]

Since I wanted to move the toilet opening to the farthest possible spot from the original, it was necessary to measure the tanks edges from the underneath and then transfer those to the top of the floor. I was certainly nervous about this since a misplaced hole would require buying and installing a new tank and I had no clear idea of any extrusions or baffles inside the tank. I drilled a 1/4" pilot hole through the remaiing bottom skins and placed a bent wire into the tank to check for obstructions before drilling out the opening. Here is the hole saw set up to drill the 4" hole required for the through-tank flexible fitting:

[image]

I then slathered the rubber flexible fitting with silicone and placed a length of 3" ABS pipe into the opening. The new hole and the fitting ready to be placed:

[image]

The pipe inserted into the hole to compress the fitting:

[image]

I have, since, removed the pipe for ease of working and will glue a new flange onto the correct length of 3' pipe when I have most of the work done in that area.

* This post was edited 01/12/12 09:17am by an administrator/moderator *

jay427

Anoka, Mn

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Posted: 01/12/12 06:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Westend

Thanks for the words of wisdom, I would expect no less work that you describe. Im lucky to have all the tools at hand as well, years of working on our home, building an addition, second garage and a wood shop will do that to a person.

My goals would not be anyware to what yours are, way more simple!

You did touch on one subject in regards to insulation, we have a newer 2009 TT and although its has insulation ours lacks enough outside air to keep it dry. Add 4 people, heat @20 degrees in a small camper = water! Darn near need an heat exchanger.

I'm a electrical engineer by trade and we have been working on a number of living projects in ND, apartments, hotels, etc. Many people living out there in what I would call every day campers. They just are not made for that enviorment as far as I can tell.

Mike_LA

Gulf Coast

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Joined: 11/20/2004

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Posted: 01/12/12 07:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

westend,

Keep up the good work. I enjoy projects of this sort.
I do hope you get a spare wheel. Those type wheels are getting scarce.

Thanks for posting,


Mike
--------------------------------------------------------
2006 Chevy Silverado 2500HD CC/LBZ Duramax
2017 Hyper Lite XLR 26HFS


Previous Trailers:
2003 Aerolite 24RK
2006 Rockwood 3115SS TT
2006 Rockwood 8283SS FW
2005 Jayco Talon ZX24E
2012 Sunnybrook 26FBS

westend

Shorewood, MN

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

jay427 wrote:

Westend

Thanks for the words of wisdom, I would expect no less work that you describe. Im lucky to have all the tools at hand as well, years of working on our home, building an addition, second garage and a wood shop will do that to a person.

My goals would not be anyware to what yours are, way more simple!

You did touch on one subject in regards to insulation, we have a newer 2009 TT and although its has insulation ours lacks enough outside air to keep it dry. Add 4 people, heat @20 degrees in a small camper = water! Darn near need an heat exchanger.

I'm a electrical engineer by trade and we have been working on a number of living projects in ND, apartments, hotels, etc. Many people living out there in what I would call every day campers. They just are not made for that enviorment as far as I can tell.

Jay,
Sounds like you're conversant with HVAC (and a lot of other things, as well). You know what you have to do, get that inside air dehumidified! If you're parked in a CG, then the easy thing is to run a small dehumidifier, albeit noisome but maybe you can run it on "off-peak" times. If you're boondocking then you'll need to rework your heating appliance.
FWIW, in former times, as a deer hunter, I would spend a week inside what was dubbed "The War Wagon", a 19 ft. Avalon TT. This humble abode served three hunters and all our wet gear, drying over a tin can heater. It was a musty and smelly affair, at times, but we loved it. One year, I had the bright idea of supplying the heater with outside combustion air so I ran a 3/4" copper pipe from the outside up into the gas ring, inside the vented heater. The air dried out so fast that we put a pot of water on top of the heater to bring the humidity up! It's little things like that can spell the difference between comfortable and miserable. What type of furnace is in your rig?

westend

Shorewood, MN

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Posted: 01/12/12 12:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike_LA wrote:

westend,

Keep up the good work. I enjoy projects of this sort.
I do hope you get a spare wheel. Those type wheels are getting scarce.

Thanks for posting,
Thank you. Actually, one of my buddies dropped off one of the 4-hole rims and a tire, last week. I think it is a direct fit. I've bought a new 15" ST tire for a spare.
The tires that came with the Hilton appear to be in good shape (I haven't dated them, yet). I was wondering if there are any replacement drum/hubs that fit these axles, ones that accommodate a six lug wheel?
I'll have to do some research but I think I may be married to these.

The weather decided to be what it usually is up here, cold and windy so I'm using my time to get some more supplies and bits for the interior. Yesterday, I picked up most of the 120 v. stuff except for the 8 ga. cord needed for the hook up cable. What length of hook up cord are most of you guys using? I'm thinking 20-25 feet ought to get me by for the new 50 amp cord. If it's less, that would be great since these larger wire are expensive!
I also paid a visit to a local guy that has quite a collection of Western memorabilia and came away with quite a load of cowboy, indian, and western stuff for the interior. Stay tuned for the "Saddle Stool" and the Horse Collar mirror.

jay427

Anoka, Mn

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Joined: 05/23/2006

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Posted: 01/12/12 03:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

westend wrote:

jay427 wrote:

Westend

Thanks for the words of wisdom, I would expect no less work that you describe. Im lucky to have all the tools at hand as well, years of working on our home, building an addition, second garage and a wood shop will do that to a person.

My goals would not be anyware to what yours are, way more simple!

You did touch on one subject in regards to insulation, we have a newer 2009 TT and although its has insulation ours lacks enough outside air to keep it dry. Add 4 people, heat @20 degrees in a small camper = water! Darn near need an heat exchanger.

I'm a electrical engineer by trade and we have been working on a number of living projects in ND, apartments, hotels, etc. Many people living out there in what I would call every day campers. They just are not made for that enviorment as far as I can tell.

Jay,
Sounds like you're conversant with HVAC (and a lot of other things, as well). You know what you have to do, get that inside air dehumidified! If you're parked in a CG, then the easy thing is to run a small dehumidifier, albeit noisome but maybe you can run it on "off-peak" times. If you're boondocking then you'll need to rework your heating appliance.
FWIW, in former times, as a deer hunter, I would spend a week inside what was dubbed "The War Wagon", a 19 ft. Avalon TT. This humble abode served three hunters and all our wet gear, drying over a tin can heater. It was a musty and smelly affair, at times, but we loved it. One year, I had the bright idea of supplying the heater with outside combustion air so I ran a 3/4" copper pipe from the outside up into the gas ring, inside the vented heater. The air dried out so fast that we put a pot of water on top of the heater to bring the humidity up! It's little things like that can spell the difference between comfortable and miserable. What type of furnace is in your rig?


Its just a little fan forced gas heater with no duct work. I just crack the roof vent and a window a little and call it a day. Were not out in the cold very offten and not very long so its not to bad.

Mike_LA

Gulf Coast

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Joined: 11/20/2004

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Posted: 01/12/12 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

westend,

A 25'-30' for the power cord is fine, especially if your going with 50 AMP. Check with this seller. I've seen shore power cords at very good prices. He's got good deals on surplus RV items.

Good luck with your project.

westend

Shorewood, MN

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Joined: 11/17/2011

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Posted: 01/12/12 08:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jay427 wrote:

westend wrote:

jay427 wrote:

Westend

Thanks for the words of wisdom, I would expect no less work that you describe. Im lucky to have all the tools at hand as well, years of working on our home, building an addition, second garage and a wood shop will do that to a person.

My goals would not be anyware to what yours are, way more simple!

You did touch on one subject in regards to insulation, we have a newer 2009 TT and although its has insulation ours lacks enough outside air to keep it dry. Add 4 people, heat @20 degrees in a small camper = water! Darn near need an heat exchanger.

I'm a electrical engineer by trade and we have been working on a number of living projects in ND, apartments, hotels, etc. Many people living out there in what I would call every day campers. They just are not made for that enviorment as far as I can tell.

Jay,
Sounds like you're conversant with HVAC (and a lot of other things, as well). You know what you have to do, get that inside air dehumidified! If you're parked in a CG, then the easy thing is to run a small dehumidifier, albeit noisome but maybe you can run it on "off-peak" times. If you're boondocking then you'll need to rework your heating appliance.
FWIW, in former times, as a deer hunter, I would spend a week inside what was dubbed "The War Wagon", a 19 ft. Avalon TT. This humble abode served three hunters and all our wet gear, drying over a tin can heater. It was a musty and smelly affair, at times, but we loved it. One year, I had the bright idea of supplying the heater with outside combustion air so I ran a 3/4" copper pipe from the outside up into the gas ring, inside the vented heater. The air dried out so fast that we put a pot of water on top of the heater to bring the humidity up! It's little things like that can spell the difference between comfortable and miserable. What type of furnace is in your rig?


Its just a little fan forced gas heater with no duct work. I just crack the roof vent and a window a little and call it a day. Were not out in the cold very offten and not very long so its not to bad.
I see, well great big changes is probably not in the cards so you'll have to do what's necessary to get comfortably dry, I guess. Maybe a fan would help. Your heat exchanger reference might be a thing you could creatively implement. Off hand, the critial engineering criteria, I would assume, is that a TT is a small space so just a minimum of air needs to be exchanged. I've done similar things for houses with moisture problems, it usually involves muffin fans and some duct work. Good luck and stay tuned because the heating plant in the Cowboy Hilton will be forthcoming.

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