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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > 1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 1. Acquisition & Evaluation

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Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 10/18/14 07:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This thread is the opening segment of a restoration/modification (RestoMod) for our 1968 Travel Queen 8' truck camper.

1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 1. Acquisition & Evaluation
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 2. Dismantling and Salvage
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 3. Structure and New Wood
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 4. Bathroom Remodel
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 5. Propane
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 6. Jacks & Tiedowns
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 7. Finishes & Finishing
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 8. Fresh Water
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 9. Electrical (AC/DC)
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 10. Galley & Greatroom
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 11. Night Chamber
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 12. Waste Water
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 13. Exterior, Skin & Openings
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 14. Viewer Perceptions

I now have the camper in my garage. The garage is heated and my tools are handy. As opposed to outside work, you can leave things exposed overnight, and that's what changes a project from a chore into a hobby.

As of today, I am almost ready to lift the metal skin from off the camper, fully exposing the under frame for complete evaluation and access. Sneak peaks have revealed very interesting hints, like perhaps a more dainty structural build than one might expect. But that's all to come later. For now, let's discuss acquisition and evaluation.

Feeling dissatisfied with our recent new travel trailer purchase, both in the quality of the new units and in the restriction to the type of travel we like, we started looking for a truck camper. We love vintage, but also want comfort.

We ran across a vintage camper on Craigslist and I was surprised by DW's interested reaction. Push came to shove and we bought the 1966 10.5' Travel Queen camper with a blue stripe from a really strange man in Fort Collins, CO. The bulk of that camper is now in the landfill, but I think we got our $700 out of it first. More about that latter, but this was it...

{EDIT - THIS is NOT Lil Queeny. Please scroll down}

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We made plans how to add an extended hitch for towing under this 10.5' camper and started wondering if we had just made a mistake.

The we started checking Craigslist nationwide for Travel Queens and came across this little girl in Oregon. A few phone calls later and we were on our way to get her - Lil' Queeny, a 1968 8' Travel Queen.

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My next post will begin the evaluation process. What have we done? Can we save both? Is the small one big enough? Why didn't we see how nasty the big one was when we bought it? I'm sure glad that cool 1965-66 Sales Brochure came with the big one.

* This post was last edited 02/20/18 04:25pm by Dave Pete *   View edit history

bobndot

USA

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Posted: 10/18/14 07:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, that's a great project. I loved following others as they completed similar restorations. I'm looking forward to following your project now.
You are lucky to have the workshop to do this, I wish I had a place to tinker with my camper but then I would need to call someone like you to help me put it back together. [emoticon]

Good luck , hope it all goes well restoring the 'Round Roof Inn" .

Bob

trailgranny50

North Central Oklahoma

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Posted: 10/18/14 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just love old vintage ANYTHING and cringe when I see those things destroyed or left to rot or ruat away. It's like throwing history away be it a car, house or TC. The old Shadow Cruiser we bought isn't as old nor did it need total reconstruction as yours but still....... After the repairs and refurbishing it now functions the same as a much more expensive newer camper. I believe that it will last us now until we can no longer climb in to use it. But then we're on the shorter side of life already. We were fortunate enough to have it inside for storage and work and got it done thru the summer. Our big barn isn't heated, but heat was the issue rather than cold, lots of sweaty days. LOL Good luck and happy winter project.


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Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 10/18/14 10:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[image]

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With the campers side by side, we began our evaluation of the project by expressing optimistic enthusiasm to local friends and family. We'll do this, we'll do that. The son says, "These old campers all smell the same".

The original plan was to build the 8' 1968 Lil' Queeny into our user camper. Then evaluate and work on the larger 10.5' as able. If it proved too far gone I had intentions of reverse engineering it for others to perhaps build a Travel Queen from scratch.

The front cab wall of the larger camper had already been replaced by a previous owner and was missing the original style front windows. It made the overall camper feel more confined and closed in. The larger camper also came with the original "Saf-T-Jacks". They aren't exactly safe, and yet I might be able to work them over for my smaller camper, but I would never try them again on the larger and heavier unit.

Here are interior pictures of the larger 10.5 camper, the one that became the donor, and the rest went to the landfill...

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The smaller camper was very clean. We had, and have, found no evidence of mice. Here are some interior pictures of it...

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Within a few weeks, and after removing all the non-original, and a great portion of the "to save" original pieces, we had our plan.

Upgrade original 30 gallons fresh water to 40 gallons. Greywater, upgrade from none to 21 gallons. Blackwater, use a residential height Thetford Porti-Potti with 5 gallon waste tank. That debate has raged but we found the dump availability of a portable toilet much preferable to an RV dump site, at least for the places we like to go. We'll have room for two batteries, two waste cans, two 20 lb propane tanks, on demand water pump, perhaps outside shower, 6 gallon water heater, toilet closet will become a wet bath with shower basin, walls and door, low energy use catalytic heater, long-boy double bed, twin bed for the dinette, dinette convertible to lounge, TV, microwave, solar roof panels, kitchen double sink, stove/oven range, upgrade from icebox to 4 cubic foot refrigerator, and even a bathroom sink basin, all for four season use based on planned plumbing routing and grey water dump valve location. There was, and will be, no basement. Stock height of about 6'3" interior, narrow width of 7.5', and all within the confines of an eight foot truck bed. No, there will not be a lot of storage! That is what they make duffle bags and truck rear seat areas for.

* This post was last edited 10/23/14 02:56pm by Dave Pete *   View edit history

gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 10/18/14 11:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great project. Thanks for sharing.

Now, you need a cool vintage truck to carry your cool TC.

nycsteve

NY

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Posted: 10/18/14 04:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I envy you your new hobby ,especially the ability to do the work inside. Looking forward to the progress reports, have fun!





hedge

Airdrie, Alberta, Canada

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Posted: 10/18/14 04:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks for posting, cool project. I love the old brochure.


2017 F350 Platinum DRW
2013 Adventurer 89RB

Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 10/18/14 05:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had originally planned to pull all the windows and re-install with new putty. Probably the door too. Oh and of course the propane door. And the vent over the stove. Oh my! There's a lot of stuff stuck on the outside of the camper skin! Don't want to get too deep into it though without being able to button it up at night. Pull all the aftermarket jacks and brackets. (By the way, don't put corner jacks on a Travel Queen - the framing can't handle it as originally designed). Use metal duct tape to seal the exterior where things are removed (jack mounts, top of that one leaking window). Okay - looking good. So busy with other things this summer! Home, yard, outside projects, parties, family needs. Okay just look at that camper with all the stuff removed and covered with duct tape! Just look at it day after day after day. The camper is going to be great!

* This post was edited 04/23/15 09:01am by Dave Pete *

Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 10/18/14 06:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My goodness! We have a nice travel trailer, granted, even though new it has significant quality of materials or build issues. And we can't tow the new boat anywhere for overnight. Or the old Willys Jeep. Hmmmmm.

You want to take that little road right there? Where does it go? I don't know. Well - we'd have to unhitch - You want to? Naw. Oh well. Probably doesn't go anywhere anyway.

We had pop-up campered for the previous 10 years and loved it. Now retired we thought, 'lets get a nicer, bigger unit and see the country!' It wasn't all it was cracked up to be. At least not for us. Too big to really enjoy.

But I don't want a pop-up again. Need a little better bathroom than a toilet in the main aisle and a shower outside. Want to have more than just fabric on the walls. But that small size was really nice for travel.

We found Class B and C were pretty skimpy on features for smaller units, not to mention tank sizes. And have you seen those new camper prices? OMGoodness! And then you make a choice anyway and one of your two choices falls out of another guys truck because the tie-down mount is fastened to a slice of white bread on the camper wing. With twist ties.

Lil' Queeny sure has class huh? Look at that birch paneling! Look at the scroll work. Oh yeah! That's what I'm talking about baby!

D.E.Bishop

Eagle Rock, CA

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Posted: 10/18/14 06:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ahh, the enthusiasm and flexibility of youth. Or is it that you're my age and just have less need for body work?


"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to go". R. L. Stevenson

David Bishop
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 32V


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