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Old 10-15-2019, 11:48 AM   #1
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Smile 1985 T-1350 Restoration Project

Hey all!

We picked up our very first travel trailer for free this past weekend! It's definitely a project.. The roof has been leaking, there is a soft spot on the floor to the left of the door, needs a super deep cleaning, had mice and other rodents living in it.

We are looking to keep the cabinets and the outlay of the camper the same. I understand that I have to take the aluminum siding off to get the cabinets out.
I was thinking of taking everything roof related off so I can fix any rot issues. Then work every side individually. Take the siding off, remove cabinets and paneling, fix rot, replace insulation with the foam board insulation and reflective tape, then put it all back together and move onto another wall. Does this sound like a reasonable approach?

I also need recommendations on where to get the roof vents. I already have the bathroom vent in my Amazon shopping cart, but as far as the other ones go I'm at a loss.

Thanks in advance for all your help!!
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:49 AM   #2
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I know my first plan of attack will be pressure washing the outside and getting some sort of cleaner on it. Also to remove whatever I can from the inside and setting aside for cleaning and refurbishing.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:47 PM   #3
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Welcome! That does look like a big project, but it sounds like everything is there, making a rebuild worth it.

As for cleaning, we like to recommend Awesome citrus cleaner from the dollar store. It works really well on RVs. The only thing is don't let it dry on or sit too long, it can hurt decals. I would recommend trying to clean WITHOUT a pressure washer first. You may need it for some of the deep crud, but you'll be introducing water into seams that aren't designed for it. These trailers aren't built that tight to handle such high pressure.

For roof vents, you have a pretty simple trailer. One 14x14 roof vent for the bathroom that you already have covered, one refrigerator vent cover, and two stink pipe vent covers. The refrigerator roof vents are usually sold in two parts, a base an a cover. It looks like you'll need both. I don't think they sell that exact kind of cover anymore, and the base looks broken. When you have everything off the roof, this will be easy to install. Also make sure you vacuum up all the needles behind the refrigerator- it needs lots of airflow to cool correctly, and if running on gas, you don't want those to catch fire.

Your approach to disassembly sounds good. These trailers are indeed built from the inside out, and the roof is last to go on. The walls are attached to the side of the floor and you'll find there isn't much to it, so you may have it stripped pretty far down to repair the rot. Check out my teardown/rebuild thread for detailed pictures of what to expect under the metal: New Project Sunline - 1979 12 1/2' MC
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenortech View Post

I was thinking of taking everything roof related off so I can fix any rot issues. Then work every side individually. Take the siding off, remove cabinets and paneling, fix rot, replace insulation with the foam board insulation and reflective tape, then put it all back together and move onto another wall. Does this sound like a reasonable approach?

I also need recommendations on where to get the roof vents. I already have the bathroom vent in my Amazon shopping cart, but as far as the other ones go I'm at a loss.
Hi,

It sounds like you have project camper. And your plan is a good one but I will add a few comments to make sure I'm understanding the approach.

Yes, you need to remove the roof items and get them fixed. When you put the new items on depends on how bad the wood damage is under the roof.

Then you said you where going to work the walls individually. The thought is good but there are a few things that can run into each other that may require you to shift your plan a little and have some of the roof off and a wall or two.

Not knowing where the water damage is in your camper, I'll list what I think you may run into.

The 4 corner wall moldings create the seal at the wall corner and the molding goes up onto the roof. These 4 corners are classic places for water to get into the walls when the sealants go bad. If you happen to have roof rafter rot or the top wall plate up at the roof line is bad, the roof metal membrane needs to be lifted to get to the rotted wall sill. This means part of the roof is lifted and some of the wall siding at the same time.

To help explain some of the sequence of how the siding and roof goes on the camper, see here:

Left wall siding installed starting at the roof line and each layer added going down until the bottom of the camper was put on last.

Right wall siding installed starting at the roof line and each layer added going down until the bottom of the camper was put on last.

Note: At the factory either left or right wall could be done first or both at the same time.

Each left and right side wall has tabs that fold over on the front and rear walls and stapled to the wood corner studs to help make a better corner seal.

The very top front wall panel and the very top rear wall panel is seamed to the roof metal. I am not 100% sure of this sequence, but the roof seams all are joined together with the front and end wall panels. They may have added the roof with the front and rear top wall panel as a unit. The point being, the rear and front wall panels lap over the top the folded tabs of the left and right side walls and are stapled down.

The rear and front walls then add each siding layers starting at the top and work down to the bottom of the camper. They are stapled on the bottom of each layer and at the ends of the wall to the corner studs over the top of the left and right wall siding tabs.

Then, all 4 corner moldings are added and any gutter rails if your has any.

To remove the siding, you reverse the process:

To take the wall siding off, the 4 corners have to be removed, or at least 2 moldings on the front or back wall molding depending which front or rear wall you want the siding off. Then you take the siding off starting at the bottom and working your way up.

If you want to take a left or right side wall off, the front and or rear wall has to be off first as the folded tabs on the ends of the siding are under the front and rear walls. You can't get to the staples out of the left and right wall unless the front and or rear wall siding is off.

Depending on how bad the water damage is, you may have all 4 walls of siding off at one time. You can do some work in sections, like fix a rotted front wall, or a rotted back wall, but it all depends if the rot went around the corners to the side walls.

You will know what you have once the siding starts coming off. Then plan accordingly. Just be prepared you can have walls and roof at at the same time.

On using a power washer, I caution this. All the moldings, windows, doors, any penetration creating a hole in the roof or the siding has some level of compromised sealants on camper as old as yours. Using a pressure washer will get water inside the camper through those compromised sealants areas that you may not be able to see outside. You can make the water damage worse using a pressure washer. Suggest using a car wash brush and LA's Totally Awesome cleaner (found at Dollar General and othe dollars stores) in a bucket or water. You can also use the Awesome full strength with a Mr Clean Magic eraser on tuff stained areas. BUT you have to follow this sequence.

- Wet wall complete top to bottom in the area to be cleaned. A must!
- Spray Awesome on the siding. Start at the top and work down. The crud runs down hill.
- Wash with magic eraser. Do small areas. About 2 to 3 feet wide and 2 to 3 feet down the wall. Do not let the crud dry back on, if so do a much smaller area. Do not do in high heat of sun.
- After the small area is clean, immediately rinse well from top of wall all the way to the bottom to get all the crud and dripping Awesome off. You do the rinse before the stuff drys.
- Do not scrub hard on any decals, they made fade/run.

It takes an amount of time to clean up an old molded/dirty camper but it will surprise you how good it can look when done. Smaller campers go faster than big ones...

Parts, we can help on most any part but please try and be specific and a pic of the part you want. You may call a part a different name then we know it by, pics tell us exactly what you need.

14 x 14 crank up roof vents, not sure which you are looking for. Shop around and include freight in the total cost. I buy some roof vents from these places and have had good experiences. I look for the Ventline brand.

https://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=Ventline
https://www.rvupgradestore.com/searc...earch=ventline
And on Amazon.

I compare them to Amazon. Amazon is not always the cheapest or has everything.

Hope this helps and good luck. Looking forward to your progress. Posting pics of the progress really helps all of us.

Thanks

John
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:13 AM   #5
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Well.. I've already pressure washed the camper before reading these replies..

It's an electric pressure washer that uses much less pressure than the gas powered ones.

Thank you both so much for the reply! It looks like what I'm wanting to do will work, except take the walls off piece by piece. I am leaning towards taking the shell off completely now and then after I'm done reinsulating and fixing the rot I'll put the shell back on and then mount the cabinets/paneling from the inside.

I'll be sure and take pictures as I get more work done and keep you guys up to date with what I run into.

Thanks again!!
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