Removal of Interior

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Jifcom, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Jifcom

    Jifcom Read Only Funster

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    Hi Folks

    I have inherited a Elddis Autostratus LS motorhome which is in need of a full interior strip down due to damp, I plan to do this all myself (With help from 2 friends) as I dont want to spend much money on it.

    I decided to get a Habitation Check done on it and passed everything apart from the damp check which was quite horrendous. The damp starts from about 3ft from the back of the drivers seat and goes all the way to the back with readings from 40 to 70 :-(

    As I have retired early I have plenty of time on my hands to undertake this plus I use to be a carpenter, so that helps. one of my friends is a electrician and one a Gas fitter :)
    so between us we might get a good job done.

    I have read all I can find about dealing with damp but any tips would be useful, but the main thing is the strip-down of the interior. I plan to remove everything and start from a clean plate (and damp free, I hope)

    So advice please.

    1. Is it worth it?
    2. Where do I start? what needs taken out what order? tips for removing the furniture?
    3. A good source of wall-boarding or would going with 3mm ply and cover with vinyl be better.
    4. Mouldings, wood or plastic?
    4. Things to look out for,
    Just a few questions to start, no doubt there will be many more.

    regards

    Jon
     
  2. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Pictures would help.
    Maybe Terry will come and reply (self builder)

    If you have the time go for it. It's not an expensive thing to do but very time consuming. You sound like you have the skills.

    Olearys will be a good place for wall board and sealents that you may need as well as a 100 other bits and bobs.

    One word of warning.... Its gonna get messy :Cool:
     
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  3. aba

    aba

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    depends on how it was built.
    some caravans had everything built in then the aluminium skin fitted on the outside so some fixtures could be screwed from the outside.
    personally i would start at the bottom and work up.
     
  4. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    Being an elderly Elddis its stick built, that is to say the frame is 1" square softwood with polystyrene infills for insulation, a thin plywood skin on interior with decorative coating and a thin aluminium skin outer with thin paint finish.

    Rebuilding a motorhome of this type with such extensive damp is a huge task, I know I was that soldier! I reskinned a 1990 Autohomes Highwayman a few years back and had to reframe a quarter of the entire structure.

    There are three main areas that water gets in and whichever is the one (or more) in your case will need dealing with or you'll just end up with a damp motorhome again.

    The first point of water ingress is poorly fitted window seals.
    Second is roof to wall joints.
    Third is the worst, when water hass got into the structure the wooden frame will eventually rot. Wet rot in soft woods as used for motorhome framing releases chemicals that will eat through aluminium skin in short order and will appear as tiny dots on the outer skin in line with the framework sections(often referred to as aluminium cancer).

    One and two are easily dealt with but three is a bugger as it means the rotten timber will need removing and the skin replacing. Replacing the frame timbers is difficult if the damage is extensive as once you start to remove the interior or exterior skin and rotten timber the strength of the body just evaporates. I did mine one stick at a time after removing the entire outer aluminium skin (not an easy job in itself) and replaced all rotten timberwork with 1" squzre aluminium box section screwed togeher with stainless self tappers. For the roof I fabricated a TIG welded framework of 1" aly box section which was placed on top and screwed to the sidewall frames.

    Reskinning was the mos challenging part and took four of us three days to do the two sidewalls, rear wall and roof. Trust me when I say handling a 5 metre by 2 metre sheet of 0.8mm aly without kinking it is not fun and spreading twenty odd tubes of siaflex over the surface by hand is no easy job either!

    Sorry if this sounds negative but I write from personal experience of a similar project. Cost wise I spent over £3K at trade prices and took nine months to do it!

    D.

    P.S. that's the van I did on my lift in my avatar to the left, after the rebuild.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  5. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    Great reply Dave
     
  6. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    advice as above plus a box of matches and some petrol for November 5th:Rofl1:

    seriously though, the van parts are worth more than most think so its worth breaking. certainly the most cost efective route forwards as after spending thousands rebuilding, it wont be worth any more
     
  7. Jifcom

    Jifcom Read Only Funster

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    thanks

    Thanks for your reply's, especially Dave's

    It does have wet rot :-( but can't see any tiny dots on the outside and i did look hard.
    as this cost me nothing, the plan was to strip the interior, then start on one side and remove the wall-board to see how it looks, replace as ness. and work along that side, then redo all the seals on the outside.
    I am lucky that the MH is now under cover in a workshop so it wont get any more wet.
    you are also right that it looks like the main problem areas are around the windows and underneath.

    What Im really looking for is advice on removal of internal fittings so as just to leave the wall-boards and take it from there to decide whether to continue or not.

    Jon
     
  8. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    You will get far more good advice on Fun than on the other side!:thumb:
    Fun members have the knowledge and experience and happy to help others

    Peter
     
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  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I can only say......you're a very brave man.

    i wouldn't even bother as i doubt you will ever get your money and time back
     
  10. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    if your serious and going for it, you deserve some deal of respect :thumb:

    I would take out the inside woodwork slowly, starting with the side oposite the bathroom, leaving the inner wall for bracing. then strip the board from the empty side a bit at a time replacing the width of a board each time.

    its a few years since I saw anyone undertake a body rebuild, including the supports for the walls. Back then I saw it as a money pit and a lot more work than it looks. although in principle the walls are like a stud wall in a house, the layout and positioning is essesntial to get right. also make sure to use the right glue that wont interact badly with the alluminium skin:Eeek:

    good luck, and take plenty of photos to keep us updated with
     
  11. Loujess

    Loujess Read Only Funster

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    I'm a mere woman, but if you've the time and the help then just go for it. It hasn't cost you anything and you could end up with a great van you could travel all over Europe with. It's a fabulous project for someone who is retired and can afford a bit to buy the parts you will need and you'll get great pleasure as you see it grow piece by piece. I know that Sandy, my husband, would love to do a project like this if he was able. :BigGrin:

    Ivy
     
  12. FULL TIMER

    FULL TIMER Read Only Funster

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    Go for it, after all what have you got to lose the van hasn't cost anything so far, to much negativity on here tonight. Sounds like you have the skills needed and you only have to ask for advice if you are not sure of something. I have to agree if you were not able to take on the project yourself it could have ended up very expensive, But if you have plenty of time on your hands the labour cost is irrelevent which in reallity would be the major expense if getting some one else to do it, get yourself plenty of batten and many tubes of sikaflex or similar product, it will get you started, sheets of 3mm decorative faced ply are readilly available to re do the side walls. get the sides done first then the back and roof last, start on one side at a time if possible, get some props to support the roof if needed keep the amount of joints to a minimum. good luck and keep us posted and get some pictures up. most of the units should just unscrew but you might find some are screwed from the outside before the thing had the external skin fitted especially top cupboards, get a 4" disc cutter with 1mm thick metal cutting disc soon takes care of those.I will say now if you have carpentry skills you will be shocked by what you find hidden behind those wall boards........Mark
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
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  13. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    I’ve got a spare copy of the Haynes motor home manual, (do a Google) it’s the older version but it your case this wont matter as it covers m/h of the age you have. If you would like it pm a postal address and I'll send it to you foc, all I ask is when you get time post some F1 anecdotes on here for us F1 fans
     
  14. Silkcut1105

    Silkcut1105 Funster Life Member

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    well good luck with your project.i had a really bad leak coming through the roof. i ripped out the ceiling from habitation door to the front of van ,really messy job but well worth it,must say though had a lot of advise of swift ,and got most of the materials i needed from olearys.took 5 months to complete it ..i found 19 leaks in my roof ,manufacture fault by using steel screws ,instead of stainless screws in all the roof lights also found the ceiling had a bow in it which was rectified by making a stainless A frame to fit in side ceiling to re strenthen and take the bow out ,well thats enough of my van .good luck an be patient.:thumb:
     
  15. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    :Wink::Wink:

    But as Peter as mentioned....and with the USA Presidents words ..."YES WE WILL"...oooops am I getting political now...hope not.

    Wish you well from a fellow Joiner..here is where you will get 90% of your materials from ...


    http://www.olearymotorhomes.co.uk/


    Mel
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  16. gypsylady

    gypsylady Read Only Funster

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    We've just finished a re-fit of our back wall due to water ingress.

    3mm ply was so expensive (try £60 for a 4x6 sheet)

    We found a supplier of marine ply 2.6mm and only £14 for 8x4. The marine ply is coated, has different patterns and colours.

    We have a 'new' van now.

    Good Luck with the work.
     
  17. Jifcom

    Jifcom Read Only Funster

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    Update

    Hi Folks

    Just a update on how things stand with sorting my Autostratus.
    Well, its not going to happen! after looking into it in more detail, its to costly & time consuming.

    This has now been sold for spares, I was quiet please how much I got for it considering the damp in it, most of the return was for the appliances and things and as I got it for free. I can't complain.

    I have now brought a 2000 Bassacarr E725 which is in immaculate condition and already been out twice in it :)
    In the past I have either Hired or borrowed a Motor-home and was fully equipped, I was surprised how much I had forgotten to take with me, the most important things were a bottle opener :-( and can opener?? lucky easy things to got out and about.

    The MH is now getting ready to go into storage until next year so in the process of "Winterising" it. never done before so here's hoping I get it right with the impending cold weather coming soon, lucky there are plenty of help via the internet, if anyone has some useful tips that they use on top of what I found online, it will be useful :)
    thanks again for reading and giving me some support on the original post.

    Jon
     
  18. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Jon sorry I missed your first post :Doh: I was away at the time :Smile: You got sound advice from Dave and the others :thumb: but just to say for any others out there thinking of doing the complete strip out job, it is a fairly easy job in the sense that once you take something out you know how it goes back in :Smile:--Dave we used 1.2 mm and 1.5 mm ali no kinks and a lot easier to move around and work with :Wink: although heavier ---- I paid 6k for a van that was completely damp :Doh:( should not have paid above 3k for it :Wink: )knowing we were going to strip it out completely and re do it all. A bit like your Idea Jon :thumb: It took my mate and I about 4 weeks to complete including a complete new roof and 1.5 side wall replacement but leaving the outer skin intact on the side walls.
    I spent just under 3 k on it on new boards/interior/exterior/paint and stuff :Eeek: but on the plus side I used it for a year and sold it for a 3k profit :thumb::BigGrin: Not for the faint hearted and once started you end up replacing twice as much as you first thought :BigGrin:If the van is going to be worth 5/6k more than it has cost then and only then it is worth doing-if not it is time to do what you did and sell it for parts/scrap :Smile:
    terry
     
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