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PostPosted: September 12th, 2017, 4:11 am 
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We are fixing up a 1999 Chinook Premiere that my mother bought for some odd reason - she's 81! I have been reading some very complicated "how-to"s on the forum. If you all are interested, I can post our progress (with pics) as we go along, including estimated work hours. Before we moved it to our house in Virginia, she had new brakes and brake calipers installed, transmission checked and flushed, new air and fuel filters, 2 new tires installed, maybe some other work. I think the tires still need balanced. Just drove it over mountains from WV to VA and it handles very well and took mountains at 65 mph with no trouble (now these are eastern mountains, not the Rockies!).

We have not tested all of the house systems yet. I plan to take it to the local state park and test the water/sewer systems and the AC. Generator works, but is not powering 110, so I assume there is a transfer switch gone bad? 12V system works well; looks like there are two new house batteries on the unit. We have a new 5 cubic foot Dometic fridge ready to install - the previous owner really tore up this entire panel and installed, not one, but two small 110V dorm fridges! So, we will need to build a new wall section here to accommodate the fridge.

The interior needs work and we have already started. The window was leaking and we could see wall damage. So, we needed to rip everything out to see how bad the damage was. Once we started demo though, we just decided to remove everything on that wall, including the kitchen cabinet and sink. While we were at it, we removed the carpet too! I now see the bolts everyone has talked about here - but I have a plan for those too....the carpet was not difficult at all to remove. Of course my husband grew up helping his father in the family flooring business, so he has experience here. Our plan is to lay laminate/Pergo flooring. First, we will lay new luan. We plan to cut out holes for the bolts, but the new luan should make them nearly flush. We can chisel out the remaining from the backs of the laminate planks. Pergo is easy - we laid it in our basement - and stable. It now comes with the padding already installed on the planks. If you plan to do something similar, remember that a lot of the off-brands get bad reviews for being so difficult to click in place. Thus, Pergo for us.

After removing the couch and the very thin wallpapered luan paneling, we saw the damage was not as bad as we first thought. There were two rotten sections of wood on the window frame/support/stud. After reading the forum, I realize there is some interest in knowing how that wall is actually constructed at the factory. Well, IMO, not that well... (we've had 2 Airstreams and now own a 2002 all-fiberglass Alpenlite that is SOLID). I attach images. There are no real studs, only a strip of wood underneath and around the windows. We might put some wood in behind the sink area, but haven't played with it yet. Also the electrical just comes in under the sink and there is an open hole - it is not blocked off. Hello Mice! Welcome Aboard!

Next, together we removed the window, which was in good shape. This was EASY PEAZY! He unscrewed all of the screws and took out the inside framing. I held the window until he came out and we laid it on sawhorses. I then took rubbing alcohol and a 7 in 1 tool and gently scraped off all of the silicone on the fiberglass. Didn't take as long as I thought it would. Got it smooth as glass!

To remove and demo everything took my husband about a day's worth of work. Removing the window, cleaning the silicone off the fiberglass, fabricating and replacing the rotten pieces of window framing, putting in new luan, re-installing the window with new butyl tape, and adding a silicone bead just for fun took us from 8:30-4:30, with two 1/2 hour breaks - well probably more for me as I was the helper, fetcher, holder, and scraper!

Next post....rebuilding the wall and window frame, and re-installing the window. Let me know if you're interested.....I can outline the work and attach images.


Attachments:
File comment: Shows area where sink cabinet was removed. At least on this unit, there is no enclosed area for the electrical cord. We will be blocking this off somehow.
IMG_3871.JPG
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File comment: Showing what holds interior wall together: window framing and an unattached big board sitting on floor, which is what the couch is attached to in the back. We noted that this board has screws going thru that were "screwed" into the foam insulation! Which is pretty meaningless from a structural perspective. What holds this together is the fact that it sits on the floor sandwiched between the wall and the water tank.
IMG_3874.JPG
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PostPosted: September 12th, 2017, 4:25 am 
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
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Location: Northern NJ
Hello and thanks for the write ups and especially the demo photos!

I guarantee you that at least a couple hundred readers will see and appreciate your demo & repair journey.

Re: the power cable opening. There should be a box around that. At least, my 94 has one (albeit open on one side, which I'm going to change).

However, my wiring is also different, so maybe that's how yours came. Talk about a cold air and mouse inlet!

Kev

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1994 Concourse dinette, Ford 7.5L, wood & tile floors, tin ceiling, custom lighting


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PostPosted: September 12th, 2017, 9:58 am 
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Joined: October 12th, 2015, 5:54 am
Posts: 250
Location: Santa Cruz
Aikensb wrote:
To remove and demo everything took my husband about a day's worth of work. Removing the window, cleaning the silicone off the fiberglass, fabricating and replacing the rotten pieces of window framing, putting in new luan, re-installing the window with new butyl tape, and adding a silicone bead just for fun took us from 8:30-4:30, with two 1/2 hour breaks - well probably more for me as I was the helper, fetcher, holder, and scraper!


Wow! That's pretty impressive. I guess I'm easily distracted by little side-projects when working on the Chinook, or I routinely run into snags, but you folks sure achieved a lot in one day ;) .

Thanks for posting and look forward to more updates.

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PostPosted: September 12th, 2017, 11:43 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1956
Location: 1999 Concourse
Of course everyone is interested! Moar pics :mrgreen:

Just a note: The Premier (which you have) seems to be constructed a bit differently than the Concourse. Another member with a Premier also noted "stick framing" around the windows and such. The Concourse has large plywood sheets around the various openings (I have posted "blueprint" type drawings of this in the Reference sub-forum, and as far into the walls/ceiling as I have been, mine seems to match them very closely).

Just figured I'd note this as folks with Concourses reading this might assume they are the same.

Okay, back to your thread.... bring it on!

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PostPosted: September 12th, 2017, 12:12 pm 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2015, 7:45 am
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Location: Northern Virginia
Welcome from another Virginian! Where you located? I'm in Manassas. I did my first shake-down trip at the Prince William Forest Park to keep in local, just in case...

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PostPosted: September 13th, 2017, 9:10 am 
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Location: Santa Cruz
Curious about the last photo. Is the board you're showing there possibly the work of a previous owner? Maybe an arrangement to make a different bed? Just wondering since it doesn't seem like stock Chinook stuff. My Flexsteel couch lower frame was bolted through the floor with fine thread grade 8 hardware (required a two foot breaker bar and an assistant to get them loose :oops:).

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PostPosted: September 13th, 2017, 4:50 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I have that same board (basically a 2 x 4 with a bit cut out of it to clear the water heater). On my original bed frame, the front (shin side/inside) legs are bolted through the floor of the Chinook; but on the wall side the bed frame has horizontal bars that terminate in sort of like pipe flanges that are screwed into the 2 x 4. (This was the original "three humped back" Flexsteel sofa.)

I haven't tried to yank the board out, but I do have my water tank out and my modified bed supports on top of that 2 x 4 and nothing has shifted. So I'd guess it's attached to something (I have wall plans for the Concourse, but only the passenger side wall). My guess would be there's some plywood bonded to the shell, based on how they've done other things on the Concourse.

That said, I can't WAIT to get rid of those horizontal bars, because they completely "use up" the storage space under the couch in a horrible way (they are just in the worst possible place). I'm only using the frame because it's a handy, much-less-bulky-than-wood base, but I think this winter I'll come up with a better way to attach it to the outer wall (like maybe angles on the very ends). At that point, I'll be sure to give the "2 x 4" a good inspection.

I'll see if I can come back and post a photo to show it better.

Okay, here are a couple of photos that show "the 2 x 4" in my rig, which looks similar to the one in the Premier. Ignore the cardboard boxes, I was playing around with mockups (so what's new :D). This shows the original water tank and water heater (back when I still had those kicking around under there). You can also see the round bars that go to the outboard wall and attach there. Mine must be relatively attached (there are a bunch of the Robertson screws going through it into the wall), because I don't have the water tank or water heater there now, and the support bars for my modified couch/bed rest on top of (and are fastened to) the 2 x 4. I'd guess plywood resined to the outer shell on my Concourse. But we already know the Premier and Concourse walls are different (at least in the 1990's), so mine might not be the same "behind the velour."

As you can see they even dolled up the top edge of the 2 x 4 with a section of matching blue fabric to the couch. Uptown :D

You can see there is a vertical "leg" of 2 x 4 material toward the left (rear) end; there are two more on either side of the water heater as well.

The second and third photo show how the bars manage to take up a ton of space. Likewise the vertical supports along the inboard (shin side) that then bolt through the floor. Each one is just the wrong amount in from the ends and sort of annoyingly cuts up the storage space that's accessible from the fold down front. I really should change that!

Oh, in these photos I've already removed the couch seat and back, and the associated flat steel bar gizmos (that allowed it to jacknife into an uncomfortable [for me] bed). What's left is just the base frame.

Attachment:
under couch 1.jpg
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under couch 2.jpg
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Attachment:
under couch 3.jpg
under couch 3.jpg [ 191.82 KiB | Viewed 466 times ]

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PostPosted: September 14th, 2017, 6:21 am 
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Yes, this big board/piece of wood is the same as shown in Blue-Go's images. The earlier pics did not show the sofa's two L shaped support legs/brackets because we had removed those to do the work; we put them back in temporarily to hold the couch in transit. The back of the sofa legs are bolted to the wood, and the bottom of the brackets to floor (see pic) In my earlier post, I said that the big piece of wood wasn’t actually attached to anything, but my husband since told me that it was indeed attached to the one piece of framing/stud that runs down the far right wall that is butted to the window framing. However, if you look closely, you might think it is attached to the wall somehow because of the BIG screws showing, but those screws just went through the butted wood pieces and ended up in the foam insulation – weird…. (see pic below) So now, those screws also go through the new ledge he added. I suppose that most of the structural stability of this big piece of wood (sorry, can't think of anything else to call it...) comes from being bolted to the couch frame and floor.


Attachments:
File comment: The screws only go through the boards, not into a stud. Aside from the right side attachment, it just rests on the floor. I just took this image; the trim on top of board now showing was just added.
IMG_3893.JPG
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Board with brackets.JPG
Board with brackets.JPG [ 2.31 MiB | Viewed 451 times ]
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PostPosted: September 14th, 2017, 6:35 am 
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Part 2 of 1999 Chinook Reno, So Far
Last post I talked about removing the window. This post will be about rebuilding the window frame and wall repair – same day work.
Forgot to add to the first post that we took a utility knife around the outside perimeter of the window to break the silicone seal before removing. My fascination with the "big board" is shown above.

Only two sections of the window framing were rotten, so my husband cut those out. He used a grinder because that was the only tool he had that would allow him the precision he needed to not cut into the fiberglass itself. He used the two rotted pieces to cut new pieces. He used Bondo and Bondo Tape (for the extra strength) to “glue” the new pieces into the frame (see pic). A builder friend of ours recommended the Bondo resin for its extra strength bonding hold. He clamped the new pieces in place for about 2 hours (using the antique clamps we found in my dad’s garage!)

While the resin was bonding, he traced and cut out the 2 pieces of new luan to go around the window, building basically a new ½ wall for that side.

He removed the clamps and toenailed the new framing pieces in place with a nail gun. He then nailed the new luan to the new and old window frame. There really wasn’t anything else on the wall that he could nail the luan to, so he nailed a “ledge” to the back of that big piece of lumber/wood sitting on the floor and toenailed some of the luan through that. He didn't go crazy with nailing to the board because if the big board moves, then the wall will move. He added trim to “all that” just yesterday, though it wasn’t really necessary.

One of the most interesting things about this “project” is that you really can’t plan the re-build in advance….you might have a general idea of what you’re going to do and have a final picture in mind, but it’s really a project where you have to figure it as you go….

Question for group: I think I read that it was impossible to get a replacement fridge (2 way) in through the door? The one we bought is the Dometic one door 5 cubic size. I haven’t measured everything yet, but it’s 24” wide and deep, with door on. I wish now, I had bought a smaller size. After I told my husband I read this on the forum, he couldn’t sleep last night! As a side note, we have a Dometic in our 2002 Alpenlite 5th wheel and it was made in Sweden; this one is made in China. No judgement, just sayin…

For the Virginia Manassas Chinook owner who asked where we are - not too far from you at Lake Anna in Spotsylvania County. I can see Lake Anna State Park from my house, so VERY convenient!

For some reason, the attached pics display in reverse order! I will add more pics in a new post.


Attachments:
File comment: Building the new framing
New Pieces of Framing.jpg
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File comment: Removing the rotten pieces
Removing Rotten Wood.jpg
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File comment: The Problem, rotted window framing
Rotten Wood.jpg
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PostPosted: September 14th, 2017, 6:48 am 
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Re Blue Go's post:

"So I'd guess it's attached to something (I have wall plans for the Concourse, but only the passenger side wall). My guess would be there's some plywood bonded to the shell, based on how they've done other things on the Concourse"

Could be the two models are different. See my post and images below about the "big board". The big board wasn't attached to anything in the wall except for the "stud" that is on the right hand side of the window framing. Otherwise, it was just sitting on the floor. Our model has nothing attached to the inside wall - no plywood, no studs - just foam insulation, which surprised us a bit. We actually talked about adding studs with the bondo, but they would have had to be added underneath the window framing and we figured the wall had held up pretty well for nearly 20 years, so decided not to create the extra work.

However, when we get to the "kitchen", we may add a horizontal board for some extra stability for the new cabinets IF we leave some of the back on them. This part of the project will surely be A LOT of fun! Good thing my husband has quite an extensive command of vocabulary :)


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