Chinook RV Forum

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PostPosted: September 14th, 2017, 9:45 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1950
Location: 1999 Concourse
Always interesting to see the "guts." A note for future work in case you are interested: For any fiberglassing work after the initial build (and I'd say 2017 qualifies :D), I'd use a good marine epoxy. The reason is that there is a difference between a chemical (primary) bond, and a mechanical (secondary) bond. A primary bond is made within hours of the thing it's sticking to being laid up. In that time window resins make chemical bonds. But once that window is gone, then you are relying on a secondary/mechanical bond. Epoxy is much, much stronger in a secondary bond situation than polyester (bondo). I might consider Vinylester, but not polyester. Even the original Chinook polyester "mush" bonds are really easy to pull apart. With a good epoxy bond you're not pulling it apart (I've tried - sometimes when I wanted it to come apart...)

If you are interested in using epoxy, WEST System (sort of the grandparent of marine epoxy) has a free guide that explains everything in good detail with illustrations. It is free to look at or download on their website. And the principles apply to any similar brand. I like either WEST, MAAS, System Three or similar. MAAS and System Three are a little easier to mix by cup, as they are 3:1 mixes (WEST is 5:1), but WEST is available more neighborhood places and their phone support is top notch. But any similar good marine epoxy (not "hardware store" epoxy) will do an excellent job.

Yes, the Concourse it built differently. There is no "stick framing" to speak of. Plywood is used instead. If you are interested, you can look up the wall and roof "innards" details in the Reference sub-forum - I posted them there. They show a '99 Concourse (conveniently for me). I have been deep into the walls in my rig (as in I basically gutted parts of it), and everything has matched up to those drawings nearly exactly. But I already had the idea the Premier (at least in the 90's) was a bit different as another member and I were discussing a repair and he showed how his Premier was "stick built" around the windows, not plywood.

On the refrigerator. I don't think I would have been able to take my original one out the door (not that I tried). But it was the slightly larger one that comes in the Concourse. And also the Concourse has a Corian countertop "ell" just across that inhibits it coming out of its hole.

Since I knew I wasn't putting it back in, and since my new refrigerator would *just* come in through the door, what I did was cut my old refrigerator in half (easy, ten minute job) and then took each half out the door (fit easily then!). I had heard that Chinook brought them in through the window hole (sans window), but I wasn't going to remove a window just to get rid of a refrigerator I was not keeping. So, break out the Sawzall!

My new refrigerator just slipped in the doorway with the door removed. Let me look up how deep it is....okay, the body is about 20-1/2". Reason I say about is that it's actually 21-7/8" but there is a 1-3/16" tube on the back in only one spot that makes up the difference. So you can kind of rock around that in the doorway.

Other people have said they took it out the passenger door by removing the seat, but the one thing that mystifies me on that is that the Ford doors don't really open that wide -- so I have trouble envisioning how it gets through the Ford doorway; but maybe it does that just fine. Certainly easy enough to remove the passenger seat in my era (takes about ten minutes max - just four fasteners and an airbag clip ('97 and up have passenger airbag).

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PostPosted: September 15th, 2017, 8:58 am 
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Location: Santa Cruz
Blue~Go wrote:
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.)


Ah ok. That makes sense. The lower frame members for my sofa were two upside down U-shaped pieces bolted to the floor; the rear piece was ahead of the wheel well. Nothing was connected to the wall. The sofa connected to these with an interlocking fitment, and the whole thing was secured to itself with #6 sheetmetal screws.

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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 6:00 am 
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Post #3 Windows and Wall, continued. I’ve already detailed the actual work for this part, so this post is mostly pics.

Re: reply about marine epoxy v. resin. There is indeed a difference in epoxy v. resin. Epoxy is stronger and used by professionals for repairing fiberglass, but since we were doing interior work and not repairing the actual fiberglass, I believe the Bondo resin will hold up just fine for our purpose, which was to replace having nothing to nail the replacement wood onto. Epoxy is also significantly more expensive, harder to find, and more complicated to work with. If we needed to repair the exterior of our bass boat (fiberglass), I believe we would not attempt this work at all and take it to a professional for peace of mind. Also, I’m betting that neither resin or epoxy was used in the initial construction of the Chinook.

In these pics, you can see the window framing; one side not repaired, other side repaired. You can also see the new luan pieces nailed in place. When I view these in Preview they need rotated, but when I click on the actual image, they show up correctly.


Attachments:
File comment: Close up of window and wall construction in place
window construction.jpg
window construction.jpg [ 700.89 KiB | Viewed 132 times ]
New Luan 1.jpg
New Luan 1.jpg [ 682.38 KiB | Viewed 132 times ]
New Luan 2.jpg
New Luan 2.jpg [ 675.45 KiB | Viewed 132 times ]
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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 6:28 am 
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Post #4: Re-installing window.

In the first post, I detailed how we removed the window. BTW, we learned this by watching a You Tube video. The internet is truly an amazing thing!

1) Break outside silicone seal with sharp utility knife.
2) Unscrew all of the little screws inside and remove the frame; make sure someone is holding the window outside - the Premiere has smaller windows than the Concourse from the pictures I've seen, so if you're doing a Concourse, you will definitely need two or more people to hold window on outside.
3) Wiggle the window loose and set safely aside.
4) Use rubbing alcohol, some kind of sharp blade (we used the 5 in 1 or 7 in 1 tool or maybe it is a 6 in 1 :)), and a soft rag to remove all traces of silicone outside. This could take a while!
5) Apply Butyl Tape around the exterior opening. We used 3/4" wide. You can get this online at any RV parts store - Camping World - and it's very inexpensive. The tape can be a little tricky and sticky to work with, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy.
6) Two people on outside position the window lightly; do not press hard just yet.
7) With one person inside and another one outside, re-position the window in place; we had to adjust slightly so don't press hard into place until you are sure it's where you need it. It sort of falls into place, you can feel it when it's lined up just right.
8) Now line up all of the holes with the frame and start screwing screws back in place. Person outside should still be holding window.
9) Once you're sure it's in place and the screws are lining up, then press hard into place. You should see the tape squeezing out of the sides. The video we watched said this is what you want.
10) By this time, it's all secured.
11) The video we watched said you don't really need additional caulking, but we added a bead of it anyway. We didn't use a regular silicon caulk, but rather a special formulation for RVs bought online via Camping World.

Work for the day is DONE! Time to drive from WV to VA.

I am also including another close up of the window framing on the side that was not repaired.


Attachments:
Tools for removing silicone.jpg
Tools for removing silicone.jpg [ 343.36 KiB | Viewed 132 times ]
File comment: Yay!! Window in Place and secured. Looks pretty good!
Window in Place.jpg
Window in Place.jpg [ 739.96 KiB | Viewed 132 times ]
Close Up Window Construction.jpg
Close Up Window Construction.jpg [ 500.79 KiB | Viewed 132 times ]
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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 6:34 am 
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Joined: September 10th, 2017, 4:17 am
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I also wanted to note the posts I've read about removing the sofa frame and the floor bolts. Like most of you who have attempted this work, my husband broke two tools trying to remove those bolts. He finally took his sawzall to them, and will replace when we re-install frame permanently. We had to attach the back/wall screws/bolts so we had something to sit the sofa on while we drove back to VA, but the front/floor leg remains unattached. We'll wait til new floor installed before re-attaching.


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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 8:34 am 
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Joined: February 17th, 2015, 1:57 pm
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Location: Marysville, WA
Thanks for the pictures and project descriptions. Very informative.

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PostPosted: September 18th, 2017, 3:56 pm 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Aikensb wrote:
Also, I’m betting that neither resin or epoxy was used in the initial construction of the Chinook.


Well I sure hope resin was used. They have to wet the cloth out with something, or it's just limp pieces of fiberglass cloth. Once it's wetted out with resin and the resin cures, it makes "fiberglass" as we know it. I'd bet reasonably money they used Polyester resin, although it's possible they used Vinylester. Polyester is cheaper though, and probably fine for the job. Well, reasonably fine. Many of the wooden cleats and etc. that were adhered to the shell with polyester mish-mash came loose over time. Those were secondary bonds.

The "best" reason to use polyester resin is that it's relatively cheap and cures really fast. And if it's good enough then it's good enough. Almost all boats made in the 60's, 70's, and 80's used poly, and the majority probably still use it today. The hull will likely (or hopefully!) be all primary (chemical) bonds.

A good reason to use Vinylester is that it cures really fast, and is stronger than polyester (especially in secondary bonding), and has better resistance to osmosis (mainly important for boat hulls).

A good reason to use epoxy is that it has a great/strong secondary bond, great resistance to osmosis, and is also a really strong resin. It can be adapted easily to varying temperatures, mixed with different fillers etc. BUT, it's expensive, AND it takes relatively long to cure (which might only be hours, but in the yard that's often too long, meaning the worker has to gather up tools and go to another job for a few hours, then come all the way back, get back into this job, etc. All of that time has to be billed to someone, but what customer wants to pay for you to walk around, gather and re-gather tools, etc.

Anyway, will work done now with polyester fail? Probably not, especially if there's not a lot of strain on it, especially "peel" strain. And yes, epoxy is expensive, takes longer to cure, etc. I actually find it easier to work with than the "esters," but that's because it gives me more time to get things set up, faired just so, etc. Also I don't happen to like the strong smell of the esters, and epoxy doesn't have much odor.

But all three resins are still often used, and they all have their purposes. I didn't know if you knew of epoxy, so wanted to mention it. But it sounds like you do have some experience with it, and for various reasons have chosen polyester. Nothing wrong with that.

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PostPosted: September 19th, 2017, 3:59 am 
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An addendum to the post about re-installing the window....I forgot to add

After the window is installed securely and screwed in properly, you will want to trim off the excess butyl tape that is showing on the outside frame. You can pretty much just gently pull it off or score it if you can and then pull gently.


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PostPosted: September 19th, 2017, 4:33 am 
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Next Post, Painting Interior.

1) Patch holes with patching compound, let dry til next day.
2) Sand patching compound areas.
3) Wash all walls with white vinegar and water mix (1/2 and 1/2 in spray bottle).
4) Apply TSP solution to all walls with rag, to add grip.
5) Lightly sand walls with fine grade sanding block to add grip.
6) Wash all walls again with white vinegar mix
7) Prime all walls one coat with latex based KILZ (oil based is better, but too noxious and too long to dry.) Two coats of primer to luan area.
8) Paint all walls with one coat of Behr brand latex paint in a satin finish, light silvery color that sort of matches ceiling. Pictures show it a little whiter than I think it really is. But I chose the color also because I thought it blended nicely with the old wallpaper color of cream with silvery blue flecks, just in case the flecks started to show through, but they haven't yet.
9) Next day, touched up where needed and where missed - it was early evening when I did the first coat, and I missed some spots. The paint dried darker, so it was easy to see where it needed touched up.

I did not tape off most of the trim or windows, just cut in carefully with a good angle brush. I did tape off around the stove area because it is just an awkward space to work in.


Attachments:
File comment: Finished wall, other side. I think the wall paper is covered nicely.
Painted Wall 2.JPG
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File comment: Finished wall
Painted Wall 1.JPG
Painted Wall 1.JPG [ 355.13 KiB | Viewed 110 times ]
Priming.JPG
Priming.JPG [ 379.58 KiB | Viewed 110 times ]
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PostPosted: September 19th, 2017, 6:16 am 
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Next Post....Setting the new fridge in place.

I thought some of you might be interested in how we were able to get the new single door, 2 way, 5 cubic foot Dometic fridge in place.

The previous owner had, at some point, removed the original fridge, and I don't know how that was done. I read the post about using a Sawzall to cut up or demo a fridge so as to be able to get it out the door, but I don't know how removal was done on our model. When my mother bought it, the previous owner had installed two very small 110 V dorm fridges stacked on top of one another. Their width did not take up the entire width of the cut out, and he/she had installed a 2x4 on the side as a filler. They had also removed the top cabinet.

First my husband replaced both the bottom platform the fridge sits on and the support framing for the platform.

Even before we had the rv at home, I had ordered the fridge - big mistake. I had measured the cut out opening, but not the door! and the door is only 22 inches wide and the hallway is only 22 inches wide. The model I ordered measured 24" at the smallest side, including the coils. We thought...well...just remove the face frame and door. Door is easily removed; face frame cannot be removed!

Oh, woe were we!! On this forum, I thought I had read about owners removing cab doors and entire windows to get the fridge inside. I must have misread because the fridge easily fit THROUGH one side of the open kitchen/couch side window. We simply slid open the window and popped out the screen frame. We then had more than enough room to slide the fridge through. It did take 4 of us - 2 inside and 2 outside to lift it up and through and put upright. And then 2 to place it in the existing opening and it fits perfectly!
I wish I had a pic, but I was one of the 4.

Lesson learned....measure everything first. Other lesson learned...Chinooks have a very narrow outside door. And one more lesson learned, we probably should have ordered the smaller 4 cubic foot size, which might have been the original size in the Premiere model? But it all worked out in the end. Total time, 2-3 hours? Most of it hmmmm....hawing around.


Attachments:
Fridge in place!.JPG
Fridge in place!.JPG [ 490.1 KiB | Viewed 109 times ]
Underneath the old fridge support panel.JPG
Underneath the old fridge support panel.JPG [ 588.42 KiB | Viewed 109 times ]
Fridge support panel.JPG
Fridge support panel.JPG [ 546.97 KiB | Viewed 109 times ]
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