83 Holiday Imperial refresh

Started by Eyez Open, January 03, 2023, 07:23 PM

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Eyez Open

Years ago I quit tinkering with boats, that was a very good day...then I ran into a old RV.I just couldn't pass her up. I've coined her Louise.


One week later

Eyez Open

Pulled the kitchen and the living room cabinets, they were to far gone to rehabilitate. Tore up the old rug and began patching up the Luan walls. The Luan really surprised me it stood the test of time very well. Used a poly wood filler to fill nail holes and imperfections. All in all I was quite pleased.



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

Eyez Open

So next stop kitchen cabinets, I went to Homedept for the price&unfinished cabinets,any cabinets going into a rv will need to be modified/built up to have any hope of longevity.
Pulled the a.c. outlets and then rerouted the wiring to cabinets, created a false bottom and installed new outlets into the bottom of the new cabinets. Filled all of the old outlets with foam in a can and then glued on the backsplash


Next was the paint,I settled in on Benjamin Moore Advance. The paint leaves a superior finish and is very durable. A airless sprayer is the way to go with this paint, it is really difficult to work with using a brush or a foam roller. Frankly I now think of it a resin and not a paint, in weather or temps below 60 degrees the paint has the time to level out brush marks or stipple. At 70 degrees this paint flashes/dries so fast imperfections are left,
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Eyez Open

Eyez Open

Well the kitchen is setup to finish now. The next part is a bit of a struggle,replacing the flooring. The drivers side of the RV has suffered water intrusion both wood rot and rust have occurred. Having replaced more than a few boat floors experience tells me there is no finesse here...total removal.

Below are a few pics, and one indispensable tool, it allowed me to cut out the channel the old floor was mounted on/in. The wood was badly disintegrated it cut out like butter...Well close kinda sorta.
One can also see I have a rusty frame issue, I will be addressing that shortly. I will be using oxcylaic acid, it literally dissolves the rust and most iimportantly it is safe and quite effective.





Eyez Open

After 5 days of constant wet showers of oxcylaic acid the surface rusting has been rinsed away. Two baths in a ivory soap/ borax mixture followed two water rinse's I'm done.

Another 2 days of high heat and fans the floor has dried out. I used a product called Rustoleum rusty primer to prime the frame along with the floor and a final top coat of Rustoleum oil based paint. The paint has a very nasty fuel oil smell, high ventilation is required.
I should add below the framing  aluminum sheeting was used to seal things up. And fiberglass insulation was used for insulation. Read one very big water trap, today there is no more insulation and the aluminum has had water taps drilled everywhere...The trap has been eliminated.


Potatochip P30

Looking good!
 Probably could have saved a lot of time just using Ospho vs the oxalic acid stuff as is chemically converts the rust to iron phosphate and you can paint right over without the post treatment douching with the ivory and water. Just heed the 24 hour dry time.
 Also the POR-15 line of paints and other products are made just for this kind of restoration stuff.
Now all you need is to drop in an 8.1 motor and a 4l80 or allison transmission !

Eyez Open

I pretty much considered all options prior treatments. I have used oxcylaic acid on countless boat trailers,to this date not one has suffered recurring rust. Aside from that, it is quite cheap. The acid literally dissolves rust down to the base metal and one of the reasons for the dawn soap bath...I was literally rinsing the old rust away. I should have taken pictures of the aftermath of the bathing.

I will be using Ospho for the propane tank however, it is over 6' long and hanging, I do not have the time to mess around with that project.

Potatochip P30

that galley is just "wow"
Is the counter top formica or stone?
What did you do with the walls - paint over them?

Eyez Open

The walls were painted,the countertop are Formica. Stone is just to heavy and expensive. Aside from that...This RV is a man cave..granite does nothing for me.

Since this forum is a informational exchange of how to and concepts I Wil openly state I really missed the ball on one aspect of the galley. I always mock things up to get a ideal of how it's going together and how it looks. I was so focused on just getting done I missed something that could have been stunning in my opinion.

Below is a pic of no window cutout and the countertop backsplash is covered by the wall trim/backsplash. Had I just played attention and opened my mind to a skylight approach in lieu of a small window ..that would turned out quite nice.. Perhaps another day, the adventure continues.


Potatochip P30

Still looks good even with no skylight - is there any way to get that window back in play looks like that would be the easiest to bring some light in?
 I have the funky cut galley that kicks out by the sink so the straight pre cut pieces are gonna be challenging - may have to get two sections with the 45 cut and join them but trying not to have any seam lines.
Really sucks these days trying to get people to come out to quote the work, just gonna have to figure how to get the top off and take it in to a cabinet shop.

Eyez Open

I had a few bids made on the imperial for cabinets..absolutely ridiculous pricing. I took a close look at the Navigator my friend has, those cabinets are basically a heavy built frames. They then took solid wood fascia and fastened it to the frames.

So I went to Homedept depot, picked up some cheap cabinets with decent fascia and built a frame inside the cabinet. It worked out quite well, attaching them to the wall is a bit hairy. Spreading the load of the cabinets across the entire wall studs was my approach,I am keeping a very sharp eye on the outer walls for deformation..so far so good


Eyez Open

Well the floor has been finished. Such a simple job in a house yet almost overwhelming in a RV. This rambler used a very high quality one piece OSB flooring panel. The sub frame was not designed to support multiple sheets of lower quality wood flooring the spacing between floor joists is huge.. A lot of additional  bracing was required...Read a lot of drilling into that steel frame...It is very hard strong steel..At very difficult angles.

Finally I can move on to projects that are by far less draining. The link below is actually quite helpful with installing vinyl flooring, cheater boards in a rv...priceless.



Seeing this really keeps me going.

Awesome job mate.

Eyez Open

Thank you Mlw, renovating a old RV is unique as far as I'm concerned. Doing a truck and a home in one unit can try one's patience. Yet quite fun and rewarding in the end.

The trick is having a sense of humor and that can be quite fleeting at times.

Eyez Open

One last big interior job left, replacing the flooring on the front pedestal area. And cleaning up yrs of quick fixes by the previous owner. Nothing to serious this time just time consuming and once again money.
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