Author Topic: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project  (Read 630 times)

Offline GirlandWinne

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  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1974
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave D19
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« on: August 24, 2019, 12:01 PM »
Well.... I've tried to post a couple times and got an error with my photo and then had to re-type everything $@!#@!


Sooooo, this time I'm keeping it short and sweet:
I bought a 1974 Winnebago D19 Brave about a month ago.  Every wood piece on it is completely rotten, and I mean rotten (sawdust).  I am going to be completely deconstruction her and rebuilding!!!  I've started the long process of screw removal and carful pry work ???


So far, I've learned a lot from this forum and hope that I can contribute as I go along with this project.  I also hope to find some people that have done the same thing.  It will be nice to talk with someone who has experience in doing something like this.  Right now all my friends just think I'm crazy.  That might also be because I have absolutely zero knowledge of RVs or renovation etc. 


Anyone know someone who has done a successful complete renovation on a vintage winnie?  If so I'd love to pick their brain!!!!  If I can get it to post I'll put a pic up?  This is her prior to starting the project.

Offline Froggy1936

  • 13 year member
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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 02:06 PM »
If the back and the other side look as good as this side i would say it is worth repairing , The floor will be the hardest to replace , If the base that the walls sit on is bad You will be into a major rebuild, If the floor is OK , You have a blank sheet to do whatever you like , Trying to make it like original would be difficult and  that was not so great , Two things to remember 1 Insulation 2 Weight !  There are a lot of posts ,, About what you need to know Look thru the Projects folder !  Good Luck  Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline LJ-TJ

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  • Engine: 440-3
Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2019, 06:42 AM »
Hey  :)ThmbUp  If she looks as good on the other two sides as she does on this one? SWEET. Can't wait to see what she looks like on the inside. I wouldn't get to crazy tearing things a part. To many guy jump in gunge ho, get in over their heads, get discourage and quit. What started out as a not to bad rig is now junk and ends up in the scrap yard.Take one small project at a time, think it through and complete it. Your reward is taking it out for a weekend and then come back and take on another project. There are several really good manuals available off this site. I would suggest that you pick up Winnebago Service Manual witch covers  the 1974 and Earlier Models Recreational Vehicle Repair and Systems. It should cover everything you want to know. Anyway nice looking rig. Good luck and we will be following your progress with great interest. Most important. The only dumb question here is the one you don't ask. :)ThmbUp

Offline khantroll

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  • Year: 1972
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  • Model: Chieftain D24CL
  • Chassis: Dodge M375
  • Engine: 413
Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 07:18 AM »
Hi GW,


I'll echo what the others have said. Double check your wall supports, because that's going to change how you should approach replace things. I've got a section of rot on mine. It's a bear to replace those support beams. Also, if you (like me) don't wont to source new structural foam and try to bond it to the skin, it's best to replace one panel at a time. Otherwise, the wall will sag even more and crack/break the foam. Like the song says, "ask me how I know  ;)


Welcome to the party  :)ThmbUp

Offline GirlandWinne

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  • Year: 1974
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave D19
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019, 08:46 AM »

Thank you both for your responses!!!  I wish I could say the metal etc were in good condition.  Unfortunately everything on the inside was just a cover up for the terrible condition underneath.  That includes the metal being eaten away around the edges.  I hope I can save it but I'll be asking lots of questions about that on some of the feeds here.  I was hoping to salvage as much original interior/exterior as possible but even the hinges on the cabinet doors are rusted beyond reuse.  I will post some pics of the interior before we started (below).  It didn't look that bad until I started tearing into it.  The real truth is that this is going to be a complete overhaul.  When I started pulling down the cabinets all the backs and bottoms were rotten and falling a part.  The floor is rotten and the walls are pulling away from the chassis.  There are holes in the metal and eaten away places along the edges.  When I took the trim pieces off the bottom exterior, all that was left of the wood was sawdust.  Same with all the interior walls, just falling apart.  We were lucky to even get it home with the shape the engine is in.  It needs a new engine and trans.  We are also looking into truck chassis to replace the old one. 


I will be researching this winter which motors can be swapped out and fit a D19 (possible modifications necessary). 


I wish it was in good enough shape to use as is but I would have been afraid to do so for health reasons (mold/rot).  I'm in it for the long haul though.  No giving up!!!!  It might take me 5yrs but I'll get there.  Thanks for the encouragement.  I'm gunna need a lot of it!

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2019, 09:16 AM »
The condition of your Winnebago, as you are describing it, reminds me of the condition of our first RV, a 1972 Futura.  We chased and chased and chased the rot...and in the end, ended up selling it cheap and buying a 1977 Itasca Suncruiser cheap. (And the Futura ran like a top).

While I applaud your efforts and tenacity, you would be well advised to keep your eyes on Craigslist for an RV in much better condition.  Keep working on your project...but if you see something much better on Craigslist that runs well and isn't rotting away and it is cheap (they are all over Craigslist), I would jump on it if I were you.  Just my "been there/done that/wasted a LOT of time and money" opinion.

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline GirlandWinne

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  • Year: 1974
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave D19
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2019, 10:47 AM »
Here is an update of the progress.  At this point I'm a little sad because I'm not sure how much we will be able to use of the original exterior.  Its in bad shape $@!#@! .  I knew the interior was bad but was hoping the metal could be salvaged from the exterior.  Not so sure now.  Unfortunately this was not a cheap rig so I will be sticking with this one till it's done!!!!  I hope I don't regret that decision in the end, but there is no turning back now!!!  Here are some updated photos of the progress.  Hm?

Offline GirlandWinne

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  • Year: 1974
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave D19
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2019, 12:44 PM »
Here is another pic of the progress.

Online Rickf1985

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2019, 01:58 PM »
You better get some support in there or you are going to have a heap on the ground, hopefully not with you in it. From what I wan seeing there is next to nothing holding that one side which means the entire roof and other side could just roll right over to the drivers side and to the ground! I hate to say it but you are going to put more into that just in the body alone than one 20 years newer would cost. That is before you even get into the mechanical stuff. It is yours and your decision but be very careful! What you have right there is dangerous.

Online Rickf1985

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2019, 02:01 PM »
There was a couple on here that undertook a challenge like yours by completely gutting the inside to nothing and replacing the motor and they did a great job of documenting it but I never saw anything more after the engine was out and their body was in much better shape. I also do not remember the name of the thread, I think it had something to do with a Celtic name?

Offline LJ-TJ

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2019, 02:29 PM »
CUT MY HEAT OUT! RUN. There's no doubt in my mind based on what you've all ready said your in way WAY over your head. Sorry. Odds are based on pass experience you will get burnt out and money exhausted. Yes you may be the exception to the rule and complete it but I'm leaning towards not. Keep what you have for parts and look for one in better shape. Wish I wasn't writing this but (shaking my head) It's a bad idea.  D:oH! :( :'(

Offline TerryH

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2019, 03:13 PM »
Sounds as though you are in effect building a new unit from the driveway up.
Chassis, drive train, floor and wall structure, exterior skin, interior floor/walls/insulation/finish, cupboards etc.
Have you done an extensive cost budget? Timeline? Material availability?
Looks as though you are working outdoors. Have you made weather protection provisions? Considered neighbor's concerns?
You seem to have the energy and wherewithal to undertake such a huge project, but it may behoove you to sit down with pencil and paper and plan the entire thing out on paper (critical path) before spending too much time and money.
Whatever your decision, best of luck.
If you danced with the devil for a very good reason, have you not still danced with the devil?
Tom Clancy  1947 - 2013

Online Rickf1985

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2019, 03:47 PM »
Here are the videos I was talking about. Unfortunately it appears that they did not finish or got held up, they did mention they might in the last video.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc7D6Omq1iQ&feature=youtu.be


Here are parts two and three


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RghxnS6VY2Q&t=1s


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT41OLB1c5c&t=33s

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2019, 05:12 PM »
Wow.  Just...WOW.  Sorry to tell you this, but as others have suggested, that Winnebago is a lost cause.  You would be MUCH better off pulling off all the proprietary parts and then locating a 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 that doesn't have any rot and isn't a basket case.  You are seriously looking at a few YEARS of hard work, and way over 20K to make that Winnebago just usable...and double or triple that if you are trying to restore it back to factory condition.

You rig is WAY worse off than our 72 Futura was.  With that one, we repaired the rotted nose, a section of the roof, and a couple of wall sections...the rest was somewhat solid.  Yours looks like the whole thing is toast.

74 Winnebagos are out there in good condition relatively cheap, compared to the monumental and outrageously expensive task before you!  Keep checking Craigslist...and keep checking LJTJ's list of Winnebagos for sale in the For Sale section.  He usually keeps it updated...although there aren't any on his list right now.

Also...that toilet in the background of one of your pictures is a Nature's Head composting toilet.  We had one for years.  If you decide to keep it to use in your RV, do a LOT of research, both on here (me and Joan have posted quite a bit on our experiences with these), and on Nature's Head's website.  They do work well...although for various reasons as fulltime RVers, we went back to a conventional toilet.  Should you decide to sell it later on, they go for quite a bit new...currently the base model starts at 995.00.  The one in your pic looks unused or barely used, so you might be able to recoup some of your loss by selling it for 400.00 or even more.  https://www.natureshead.net/

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2019, 05:35 PM »
Here are the videos I was talking about. Unfortunately it appears that they did not finish or got held up, they did mention they might in the last video.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc7D6Omq1iQ&feature=youtu.be

To GirlandWinne:

I watched all three videos related to this link that Rick posted...and all may NOT be lost with your rig if you want to be very creative and yet still save a hell of a lot of money and time, and still use parts off the Winnebago you invested in.

According to this video in the series, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RghxnS6VY2Q, the whole front end, including the nose, windows, and eyebrow section, can be unbolted.  Why not find an RV on the cheap that isn't rotted and runs well...and then give it a face lift...or face swap I should say?  You could put the nose on any Class A that has a similar or identical width.  Which means you could get a more modern or updated rig...and make it have the same vintage look.

Just a thought.

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Froggy1936

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2019, 08:07 PM »
After seeing your pictures and further descriptions, I have to revise my first opinion, It is not worth starting on . There are so many better blank sheets that will not take 20 yrs to rebuild ! If your goal is to use it You will have to wait a long long time. Better to spend your time searching for a better candidate  Good Luck  Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline LJ-TJ

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  • Engine: 440-3
Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2019, 09:16 PM »
I often wondered what happened to those guys. I was really routing for them. BUT looks like their all in now. The best we can do is keep there spirits up and share any and all ideas we can help them with. Hm?

Online Rickf1985

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2019, 09:11 AM »
From what I can see they dropped off the face of the earth a year ago. Nothing anywhere. Shame since they were on their way to a proper rebuild the right way.

Offline GirlandWinne

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  • Year: 1974
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  • Model: Brave D19
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  • Engine: 318
Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2019, 12:53 PM »
planning to do all the inside construction and wall rebuild myself!!!  I have been looking on craigslist etc for other rigs.... all have been in the same or worse shape as this one unfortunately.  And I have never seen another D19 on any sites.  Most are D21.  So back to work I go.....  Here are some updated pics of the progress so far!
Also.  We do have a shop that she will go in during the winter months!!!  Just easier right now to work on her outside here in KY.  And we live on acreage so the neighbors aren't and issue :)clap
Thank you for the videos I will be checking those out for sure!!!

Offline GirlandWinne

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  • Year: 1974
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  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2019, 01:00 PM »
You are sooo right TerryH.  This is a complete rebuild from the gravel up!!!  I somewhat knew that at the beginning because I knew the rig had lots and lots of water damage.  I did not expect the sheet metal to be so bad off with decay.  I am taking everyones comments into consideration for sure.  However, to me...even a $20K investment and a couple of yrs of hard work will get me a totally unique and custom rig that will live with us for yrs to come.  this is my end goal!!!  I will be sitting down to do parts research and material budget next.  I am lucky that I have the resources for engine, chassis and fabrication work (aka my hubby).  I am planning to do all the inside construction and wall rebuild myself.  I have looked for other rigs and all have been in the same or worse shape.  I have never seen another D19 on any site, most are D21.  So, back to work I go...  Here are some updated pics. 

Offline GirlandWinne

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  • Year: 1974
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave D19
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2019, 02:01 PM »
Update

Offline TerryH

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2019, 03:01 PM »
I envy your energy and applaud your planning.
Best of luck, and we do appreciate photos.
Excellent opportunity to deal with fuel tank and lines and brake lines, etc.
If you danced with the devil for a very good reason, have you not still danced with the devil?
Tom Clancy  1947 - 2013

Online Elandan2

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2019, 06:18 PM »
It might be a good idea to get a full membership and then you will have access to the Winnebago service manual. There is a lot of information in there about rebuilding the sidewalls and roof.
Treatzall Waste tank sanitizer, lighting, and other RV related products!
Rick Ellerbeck, 1977 Elandan II

Online Rickf1985

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2019, 06:44 PM »
OK, Well, We gave you all the bads and you are still going for it so we will be behind you all the way. The problem is that there are very, very few of us who have gone where you are going! Definitely document it in pictures and or videos. That way you can look back on it when you are old and worn out and say " DAMN! what did we get ourselves into!" :)rotflmao :)rotflmao

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: 1974 Winnebago Brave D19 Major Project
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2019, 08:11 AM »
I admire your tenacity!  You have one heck of a project before you...but as long as you know what you are getting into, good luck and we look forward to seeing your progress. 


Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

 

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