'73 Chieftain II Custom interior renovation

Started by Wantawinnie, February 09, 2012, 05:23 PM

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Some of you guys already know about the Chieftain II I bought a few months ago. Just starting to get my thoughts in order on which way to go with the color pallet, floor coverings, and furnishings.

Here is what I have at this point. More of a blank slate as the previous owner pulled the floor coverings already and started to add additional sheeting over the original floors.

Class C seats that will be going bye bye.

Kitchen in overall decent shape except for the missing overhead stove and makeshift microwave stand. It has the remnants of a built in blender in the countertop too.

The luxurious master bathroom. ;)

Stunning red shower with a newer model toilet.  :)ThmbUp

Last pic is an old one from a few years ago which shows what the previous owner started with. It gives you guys a better idea of how the rig's floorplan works. The fold out couch in this pic had the original fabric at the time.


The red shower brings up the biggest issue. This thing is full of red.

Here is the retro pattern that the previous owner reuphulstered everything in at considerable expense. This pattern will be on the front fold out couch and the entire rear lounge area. My wife likes it which is a good thing. Now I just need to tie in the rest of the coach.

This picture is one of the cushions with a new carpet sample in a modern shag(only red version I can find), a swatch of the orignal 1" or better thick shag, and the thin carpet that covered the master bedroom walls. I will be paneling and painting the bedroom and not putting any carpet back up.

Close up of the different shades.

These are the red bucket seats I plan to clean up and use. They should bolt up to the original swivel bases fine.

Planning to use some type of carpet in the front living area and then finish off the rest of the flooring in vinyl or laminate. My wife mentioned doing everything from the step down behind the front seats in a wood laminate and then find a few red throw rugs and bath mats. I thought that was a decent idea too.


>GRIN< WOW! Them Thar are some colors. What a great rig. Looks like it's going to be a fun project. Sounds like the wife's on board as well which will make it a hole lot more fun. Thanks for all the pic's. She looks like a real sweet rig. Old Bradley's going to be jealous. He's been looking for one of those rigs for ever. :)ThmbUp


If you want to change the shower color, they make plastic paint that you can use.



Actually, I like it and was thinking about making the toilet red.  Y!




Looking good!  If you have pets shag carpet is going to be a pain in the butt, but if that's what you like, go for it!

If you are going to paint the toilet red, don't believe the directions on the can of paint.  That plastic paint that is supposed to adhere to plastic with no primer is a joke, and scratches and peels right off easily.  If that is the paint you are going to use, then you'll really need to rough up and sand that plastic so the paint will stick.  If you really want a paint that lasts, go to a marine or boat store and buy yourself a quart of Petite Marine hull paint..and yes, it comes in red!  That stuff sticks to anything, and lasts and lasts and lasts.  Its self leveling, so you can brush it on and the brush strokes magically disappear!  I painted the shower pan in our first RV with it, in white...and it looked brand new for the 2 years we had it, and that was with 2 adults showering daily...we are fulltimers...and even held up to my wife's hair dye.  AWESOME stuff.  Not cheap...just a quart will run you about 30 bucks, but you don't need to prime the plastic or even rough it up.  Alternatively, you can also thin the paint out a bit and spray it with a sprayer...but we used a brush and you couldn't even see the brush strokes.  It ended up as smooth as glass and as shiney as a gel coat.

Awesome rig!   :)ThmbUp

Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 1981 Ford F-100 Custom tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.


Thanks for the paint info. That sounds like the stuff to use. I am just guessing that original toilet was red going by the shower stall. Didn't most the Winnies back then coordinate that way? The shower needs some touch up anyway so I will need something good.

No pets but one rather busy 3 year old boy though.


What are them new seats out of? I have a huge set in my '75 that I am thinking of changing. Not sure what I want though.
1975 Winnebago Brave.


Quote from: sdkid on February 09, 2012, 11:33 PM
What are them new seats out of? I have a huge set in my '75 that I am thinking of changing. Not sure what I want though.

They are out of a 1993 Dodge Ramcharger. Basically any buckets from the mid 70's to 1993 in a Dodge van, truck, or Ramcharger would be similar.


Best deal my wife got for the Chariot... two, 2nd row, full-sized van seats form a mid-80's Chevy van.  Captain's chairs in nearly mint condition.  She got 2 for $60!  They bolted right on the RV bases with no modification needed too.

[smg id=839]
1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca


Thinking about the paneling in the rear bedroom. It originally had carpet on the side and rear walls. When the PO took it down the walnut facing on the paneling tore and looks pretty bad. There are no big spots of damage and it is pretty solid yet so I was planning to just go over this paneling with another layer that can be painted.

Can I just use adhesive and corner trim to hold it in? The aluminum window frame will also hold it in place rather well also. Each of the three sides would be one complete piece of paneling. Not sure what is behind the exisiting and don't want to get into wiring or if there is much back there to hold screws anyway.



We used paint grade Wainscoting over the old paneling in Gone when we redid our bedroom.. liquid nails to glue it then corner trim pieces.... 
Hi from Gone to the Dawgs! 1987 Tiffin Allegro in Deale MD. CW Rocks!!!



My wife and I made the rounds at a home improvement store tonight with the Cheiftain on our minds. She is not totally in love with the Winnie styling but knows how much I like them. We more or less agreed the outside and mechanical stuff is my deal and the interior is her call. We have a lot of the same decorating taste so I am fine with that.

I am pretty sure we will be going with some wood laminate material for the living, kitchen, bath, and bedroom areas. She likes the look of cherry and that has a hint of red. :)ThmbUp They had some area rugs in red or combinations of red and nuetrals that would look nice along with the flooring. This seems like the best approach as she is not wanting a shag carpet everywhere and I don't really blame her. I did find some thick shag area rugs in a perfect red color that she said I could carpet the front drivers area with and also would help to sound deaden some engine noise because of the heavy rubber backing on them. A little pricey but nothing else seemed to fit the original carpet theme I wanted to duplicate in at least some small way.

She also mentioned replacing the countertops with a dark granite style, I am not totally crazy about that much work but the original tops have seen better days and could use replacing. A lot of the original items have been removed so preserving originality is a little late now anyway, time to bring her out of the 70's I guess. i??

Starting to consider some other options for the rear bedroom. I have the paneling to fix but there are some storage cabinets that, to be honest, seem a little weird and flimsy. I might build a upper bunk or two to gain some sleeping room and still have storage when not needed for sleeping. Need to measure that up before getting to carried away though.

I do need to get started on this as it is driving me crazy leaving it sit in disrepair.  :(


Yeh! and it's only 5 months to Jimcs. D:oH!


Here is another red shag sample my friend sent me a picture of. It is a little closer to the original color and not quite so maroon.

He is planning to stop by tommorow with it and some kind of newer vinyl laminate samples that lock together. He also has some leftovers of the vinyl from jobs that I can get cheap so hopefully something will work out.

He also said he has some leftover low knap red carpet that might work on the back bedroom walls if I want to go that route. I'll have to think on that one though.  Hm?


Made a trip to Menards today with paneling on my list of must haves. Wandered around for about an hour looking at everything. After nothing caught my eye in the paneling aisle I headed over to the plywood section figuring on getting some OSB for the floors. As luck would have it they had some 1/4" red oak 4' x 8' plywood with real nice graining on sale for $16/sheet. I bought enough to do the back walls and will find a nice stain and get as close to the old cabinets as possible. Also, picked up a couple sheets of white 1/8" paneling to do the ceiling at the same time. Liquid nails, great stuff foam, and some screws rounded out the shopping spree.


I love Menards!  We used to do the Wisconsin Renfaire, and it was awesome how Menards had not just oak and poplar wood in different sizes, but cherry, walnut, and mahogany, to just name a few!  I wish they had Menards in other parts of the country!  I like them way better than Home Depot and Lowes.

Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 1981 Ford F-100 Custom tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.


I made my first trip to Menards last weekend.  We were going to the St. Joseph, MO airport for a luncheon with some flying friends (Tri-Pacer club [no I don't have a Tri-Pacer but they let me eat with them]).  On the way back my wife and I decided to stop at the Menards to just see what they had since there isn't one in the Kansas City area.  I was pleasantly impressed.  Way more stuff than Home Depot and Lowes.  We didn't buy anything but we sure made some plans for the future. 
Before we left St. Joe the wind picked up pretty good from the south.  Some of the planes had a very slow trip home.  I think we drove faster than some of them flew. 
1984 Holiday Rambler
1997 Newmar Kountry Star


Made a little progress on the paneling....actually this is the only interior progress so far so it is kinda a big thing for me.

Got a late start as the morning was spent getting my lawn in shape as it was 82 degrees here today, in March, in Wisconsin!

The Winnie work began after lunch and got one side of the paneling cut out and then trimmed up for fit. Still need to cut out one reading light and, of course, the window. I might wait until the end for the windows anyway and cut those in place. I won't attach the paneling with adhesive until all the walls have been completed just in case something needs to come back out.

Here is what the red oak paneling looks like. I think it will look good once stained. The grain is not too heavy and most of it will be covered with cabinets, window coverings, or cushions anyway.

Found a nice shag area rug line at Home Depot last week, it is a little pricey but it is almost an exact match to the deep pile, texture, and color of the original. I love it and it feels great. My wife said go for it but, she still wants a laminate floor with removable rugs so they can be cleaned.  Works for me as long as I get my red shag!


So I take it that your just gluing the new paneling over the old. I'm courious as to how your going to do the windows as in, are you just going to take the trim off cut out the window and then replace the trim or are you going to cut the window out in such a way that you don't have to take the trim off at all.  Hm?


The plan is to sand the shiny spots on the old paneling and use Liquid nails and screws in "hidden" areas. Corner trim and the cabinets will also secure all of the paneling in place.

I should have mentioned that the window trim has already been taken out. I will either borrow a RotoZip to cut out the paneling or use a JigSaw with paneling blade. I thought it would add strength to leave the plywood in one piece and glue it vs cutting out the pieces and glueing back in. I fits nice and snug now. Once cut out the window trim will go back on as originally designed.

The rear is going to get a sheet of 1/2" plywood above the window at the bend to help with strength as well and I bought some angle brackets to tie the ceiling to the walls and walls to the floor area. There is a factory A/C ceiling brace that I will probably put back in even though the 2nd A/C unit was removed previously.


Made a little more progress on the bedroom yesterday. Everything is still removable because I am precutting all the panel pieces and fitting it all together before gluing and fastening.

I added a 1/2" piece of plywood at the rear top for more strength and it will also help in mounting the rear upper cabinets. I still need to cut out the breaker panel access and make a sliding door on the lower oak panel. The middle piece is cut but the window has to come out first.

The next two pics just show the rear corners that were cut to match the contours of the Winnie. The 1/2" plywood fits snug in between the 2 side panels and seemed to strengthen up the rear without even being glued in yet.

Driver side paneling cut out and the window has been removed. Someone was off an 1" on the electric wire hole in the middle. W% Fortunately, the side cabinets will cover this miscue. The pic is deceiving but the seams fit nice and tight between the panels.

Last pic is just a shot of the PO's roof repair. I think it was done fairly well. I am not 100% sure what to do with the wires to each side of the romex for the light. PO said they were for speakers he was going to add but I can't find any connecting wires and I "think" these are just loose up in the roof and not connected anywhere else. One side is just folded over single wire with no cut ends and the other appears to be the "cut" ends of the same wire. I am going over this with white prefinished paneling and will probably just eliminate these mystery wires.

That's all for now.


If you haven't glued your new pieces in yet, I had really good luck with contact cement versus Liquid Nails.  It sets and grabs almost instantly, so you don't have to brace things up against it or clamp it while the glue sets, like you would have to do with Liquid Nails.

Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 1981 Ford F-100 Custom tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.