Retitle, 1978 Jamboree (Fleetwood) Partial renovation.

Started by Xbird, January 12, 2022, 01:48 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Hmmm, somehow missed this post.

With me  it looks that it are panels from top to bottom because on the bottom end you see the same nylon woodprint you see inside. The styrofoam panels are genius I think, but it really is a shame that our beloved RV's were then put together so crudely. It really shows that they were never build to survive this long (without maintenance) but also that we really live in an enormous overcontrolled society because we all survived in it, didn't we  :D :D :D

But we soon will be released from the yearly 7 months of heavy showers, storms and cold and then I want to tear of the roof and repair the bottom part, because yes, with me the part behind the dually's is also complete delaminated because the plywood rotted away, and it was the same with all the USA RV's I saw before I bought Betsy.

I'm hoping to cut off the bottom end just under the floor on both driver as passenger side, attach L-profiles or beams to the bottom and the attach new side paneling to this and hopefully there are allready some beams to the bottom  I have to dig into this.


Not sure how yours is built at the bottom, this has a 15" 1/2 inch plywood skirt below the walls with what I call refrigerator aluminum sheet stapled to the backside. Beautiful water trap of rotten wood. The skirting is only attached to a couple pieces of angle screwed to the underside of the steel frame and a some flat braces angle inwards. I plan on adding more angle. Repairing the skirting is pretty easy. I paint it the new wood with primer/sealer then replace the old aluminum with sheet flashing. after that I wrap the edges with metal duct tape. Also using the duct tape to seal all the exposed edges where the sides are cut through for doors etc. Worst part of the job so far has been the 6 hours or so of cleaning the single layer of ply and glue that stayed adhered to the siding. Heat gun on 900 degrees and a half inch wood chisel. Just finished that funfest. I have some corrosion pinholes in the siding, ol Beasty was repainted at some point in it's life and I know that where there are bubbles in the paint, there's a pile of dry corroded aluminum and  a pinhole. Stripes on it were originally a darker burnt red. Whoever did the paint, did a good job, not sure why the odd spots bubbled the way they did as many are not near water intrusion areas.    Still battling with my phone and google to get pictures to my computer. I can only do one side of the camper at a time.

Since I had the area open, I figured a pre-emptive strike LOL of reframing from the inside in the water heater area wasn't a bad idea. I got a lot of mileage out of one pressure treated 1-by deck plank. It's about the only dimensional lumber that matches the frame and it goes pretty far since you can rip it down to whatever width is needed.


Well, The cabinets I have removed so far were allready very loose, so maybe I'm going to eat my words when I start with the solid ones. Delaminated Lower section... Yep, from front to back at both sides and even the aluminium corroded awayand full of holes so I will have no choice either than to remove and replace either.

Good luck on your rebuild, as said I will be following with interest.


Hot Water heater is a "big" item on my list. When we first got the Jambo, as soon as I opened the bypass with the system full of water, the pressure valve started leaking rusty water. Since then the tank has been kept empty and bypassed. Can't tell if this is an owner-added heat exchanger, it's pretty crudely hacked into the box and the box is bulged as if it originally was not made for an exchanger?

Tank drain was essentially plugged with rust, so I have no faith in the tank itself and just doing a replacement pressure valve as I had originally hoped. Is anyone aware if this is the way the Motor Aid optional systems were made?

I've looped the lines and disconnected all the fittings so I can remove the heater. However at the present time, the camper is 6 inches from the garage wall and I can't pull it. And oh yeah, of course the propane shut off valve leaks. Have it fully closed and still get non stop flow when I disconnect the line from the tank. Meantime, I was able to make new framing from pressure treated and worked that in around the outside power outlet and water heater door frame so those items have something solid to screw into. 


Kitchen counter installation. Original attachment method was nailed down 3/4 particleboard followed by lamination. The top I got was std. residential, so it gave a nice 1.5" of bite for screwing safely up through the framing into it from underneath.  On both sides the back half of the plastic wheel wells were only covered with carpeting and extended into "living" space. I surrounded them with 2" insulation panels and boxed around them. On the kitchen side I extended up from that box out and used a leftover part of the countertop to make a shelf for the dining table/bed area. The inside shelving under the sink I dropped in lower on the left side to give more room and stop things from sliding into the door. We used to keep cleaning items and food platters and larger cookware in that area, jammed in all helter skelter due to the shore cord storage using up 2/3rds of the space. Much more room and more open area in the kitchen.   


Thank you Oz. Google isn't cooperating, pictures are stuck in my phone.
These were taken a couple weeks back, was able to get them out of the phone the other day. These are the tearing down/staging ideas pics.

These RVs aren't the only vehicle that used "quickie" and somewhat crude/ineffective methods to seal off odd little areas prone to water intrusion. The wood corner pieces that blocked this area off from wheel spray was long rotted away. I took some galvanized and bent up a little shield. Self tappers from inside the wheel well to the frame and sealed off with butyl.

I was working on trying to trim back the sink area but salvage the counter. Came across some brand new laminate counter top on FB marketplace for a great price, so I ditched the cut and save idea.

rear seating/bed framing i carried right up the counter line. I did have to kick it out into the hall about 3 inches to clear where the water lines come up. Water tank is getting turned 90 and moved up the cabin a couple inches, will take a bit of weight out of the overhang when rolling with a tankful. Picked up a boxed AC cut-off breaker, going to route the genny power into that, then into the original outlet box. On for gen power, off for shore power. all the excess space taken up by the shore cable is now usable under the sink area, big improvement.   

Little tip .. the fat rounded head nails in some of the trim are twist nails. If you've never dealt with them, rotate CCW as you pry and they come out clean and fairly easy. Hardest bit is getting whatever you're using to pry (very old trim nail remover in my case) started underneath. Got the bathroom door trim off with only some minor scuffing.


1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca


My siding is glued, but the plywood is pretty well delaminated on the lower section. I had no choice but to remove it to fix the rear frame shot it took. It was a lot of work using a machete to split the ply up the siding to the next seam. I need to do it on the other side as well and not looking forward to it. I still have to hit the siding with a heat gun and peel off the 1 ply layer that is stuck to it before I reassemble it all. there are screws that go from the inside to the outside on the cabinet frames, but every frame so far has also had screws from the outside in as well that I've had to sawzall. The only areas that i did not take the framing off the walls was the bathroom and closet that's above the generator. I'm pretty much wrapping up my wall paneling today.

The sliding door cabinets are only 3 and a half inches deep. We kept the support legs for the rear bed, some small tarps and rain ponchos in those. they've since been cut down both width and lengthwise and reinstalled on the refrigerator wall side above the wheel well. They'll be good for things like instant coffee, sugar, spices and other dinner table items. First aid kit as well.   


I'm following this with great interest because I will go the same way as you.

I will not be as lucky as you that i can remove the sidepaneling and see what's underneath because I'm pretty sure the paneling is glued together with the walls. Also the fact that the cabinets are screwed in from the inside is pointing in this direction. I just can't get the definitive answer because I don't have a specific coachmanual to mine, but I just hope there isn't plywood between the paneling and the Styrofoam as well, but knocking on the outside of the paneling gives me good hope. This way I don't have to go as far as you and completely rip out the walls.

Just out of curiosity: Why are there cabinet doors in the wall by the dinette? Surely there isn't any room to store anything there?


Feel free to move this to the blog section. Intend to continue with showing resto pics etc. Don't think it really belongs in this section.


1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca


framed around tops of the windows and also screwed the original window framework to that and the steel frame. in the latter case it was 3" modified truss screws. Just didn't like the way the frames just sat in the foamboard. Yes, i screwed the new ceiling panels in vs staple n glue. The butt joint will be getting a cap piece over it. i need to find a replacement surround for the vent. for the time beinh a quickie rattle can cleaned up that old yellowed out one.

Fwiw, so far cabinet removal has been pretty simple. Just prying away from the roof and walls a little to get enough gap to spot the screws. hit those with the sawzall snuck up in the gap and the staples pull right away from the panels.

For a few years i've been mulling over ditching the original dinette/sleeper setup for an across the back larger style. My daughter has been the one in the dinette area and the wife and I in the cab-over. too old for the head bumping crawl over routine, so that's why you're seeing so much torn up. Have the frame out of that complete.

Also reconfiguring the kitchen sink/counter, it has the angled version that bumps out into the hall area directly across from the fridge. always been a traffic jam and the triangular counterspace behind the sink is pretty much a waste. The shore power cord storage (mine's 10-foot of cord directly wired to a j-box with an adjacent j-box with an outlet from the genny) under it is going to change to a self-contained small box with an outlet for shore power and a 30 amp switch to dump it over to the generator. the cord can then get stored elsewhere and plugged in when needed.

There were originally a pair of swivel chairs for this table, they're the smoking lounge chairs in my garage. After our first trip, we felt they were just in the way. don't think  have any use for this item, but the ssmall sliding cabinets I'm reskinning and putting above the wheelhouse against the fridge wall.


New floor pieces in, gave the fuel filler neck shroud a better base.

Rear ceiling panels out, ripped down some 1-x pt deck board to replace the original wood frame the panels were stapled to. mostly just too dried out and splintered. cut wire tracks in to make that mess a little easier to deal with. fastened up with 1 1/4 modified self piercing lath screws. those ran in tight enough to pull the heads just below flush.

Welded in an angled support for the center rear roof bar. Just because.  ;)

Added some 1x1 to hold a piece of PT to give the ladder screws something to bite into. The osb behind that is shot, was a quickie repair i did a couple years ago that I will be replacing once the weather's better. gotta have the garage door open to have enough room for that thanks to the post i put in to support my storage loft.


Let's try this again with some resized pics.
Knew I was going to open pandora's box with the ol beast.  W%

Floor OSB was pretty crumbly for 3 to four inches from around the fuel fill neck back so I cut a section out based on the screw runs. Lower outer metal frame was also shot thru, so replaced that with some 1x1.

Underside storage compartment's flange missed the rail by an inch or so i used a decent piece of the old frame and scabbed a new section in with some 3/8ths  hole saw plugs. (I always save and find uses for my metal plugs)

Rear corner back in shape.

Awning rear corner mount block was long stripped out. Cut a new block, plated both sides with 18 gauge galvanized and welded some 3/8ths nuts to the backside. 4" bolts fit perfectly, so that little issue off the list.


Oh that I know all too well, been in and out of the auto resto biz over the past 40 myself. At some point the previous owner did a full aluminum skin on the roof, only seam on it is all the way up at the cabover peak. I know i have issue on some of the upper wood structure, the upper rear bracket on the awning is lagged into nothingness. I have a ratchet strap to the ladder top holding it for the time being. removed the luggage rack and tv antenna last year and sealed up those along with some edge seam sealing work.


you could lift (rip out} the inside bottom panel, then split the frame members to free the screws. But that's a big maybe and could create a bigger mess.
You will probably find that the ceiling panel is damaged over a much larger area and may extend into the rafters.
I would start by opening that bad panel to see what you have, and be prepared to remove part of the exterior roof. Rot can turn into a large job. Proceed slow.
40 years experience.
RV repairman and builder of custom luxury motor homes, retired, well, almost, after 48 years.


Thank you for confirming my fears and suspicions.  Any tricks to getting the upper cabinets off without completely wrecking them? These would be the set that rings the top of the back section, about a foot tall and maybe 10" deep. It doesn't seem too bad if they're stapled. Screws from the backside on the other hand ..... Aside from removal, my only other option would be to cut the ceiling paneling where it goes under. I've got a crumbly, saggy ceiling panel joint in the center by the vent that I want to take care of.


That's standard method of building in 1978. Cabinets go inside, then the walls are attached followed by the roof going on. Then the siding and roof metal.
RV repairman and builder of custom luxury motor homes, retired, well, almost, after 48 years.


Made some progress and took some pics. narrative goes with, sorry if it isn't order. Couldn't find anything searching here or online that gave me any definite answers. It seems the "framework" of the cabinets, if not the completed cabinets, were installed prior to the exterior panels.

To repair the rear corner that got flattened required pulling the siding. Only means i had at hand was initial hand prying, then working a machete up, splitting the ply. A heat gun is definitely on my "to get" list. don't know if it will soften the glue enough to avoid the machete work. I'll find out when i try and clean the single ply off the siding panel.

Water tank was easy enough to get out, followed by its cabinet (seat/bed base). That one was broken up enough that only a couple wood screws held the frame to the floor. I pried the paneling off the headboard section, which exposed the screws holding the frame for that in place. The top side of it had staples coming in from the rear paneling under the siding.

With that area opened up, i was able to knock the inside metal frame back into position with a deadblow hammer after putting a cut in where it kinked. I have to do a similar cut on the outside metal frame to get that one bent back to match. Those will get welded back together.

Inside the small lower cabinets, some side screws held the sides to the center which has a small fold up table. I took the sections apart and after pulling it forward (insert wood splintering and cracking sounds lol) managed to spot a few wood screws holding the base frames to the floor and wall.  So those came out reasonably intact.

Having just redone my daughters bedroom flooring, i have some nice carpet that will replace disco era orange shag.


 Hm?1978 Dodge Jamboree, Fleetwood coach that's getting some TLC. I'm a bit stumped trying to remove some of the cabinets. It almost seems as if they're screwed or staple/nailed from the outside under the thermopanel. I'd like to replace the interior roof panels, which are trapped by the upper cabinets. The layout has a single converting table/bed at the rear on the side and I'm also trying to convert that to an across the back queen size. I really don't want to trash the upper cabinets just prying them off. The lower bed section housing the water tank at the rear also has a vertical panel behind it that likewise seems to have no way to remove. It's there to eliminate  the rearward angle of the body profile and has about 4 inches of space between it and the exterior panels.     Any insights as to just how these are put together and with what fastener type would be helpful. Also re-doing my external lower boards that are all rotted, it seems working from the outside is pretty straightforward. Did the passenger rear lower and the main one behind the bumper a couple years ago, now I'm on the other side