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Old 10-30-2011, 02:53 PM   #29
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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Sounds to me like you're well on your way to having a usable trailer again. I spent $6k to buy mine, and have spent at least that much on a new floor in the front half, axle, new fridge, furnace, charging system, batteries, and little things all over. But I wouldn't have it any other way. We've had our trailer for 8 years and we love it.

I wouldn't trade up to a 22', I haven't seen one with as useful layout as the Caravel. I really think it has the best, most flexible layout they designed. The couches turn into beds, the bathroom has the shower in the middle, so it's roomy all the time, it's like they gave every area a double purpose, so it feels much bigger than it is.

Lots of people looked at it as disposable when we got it, like we'd just use it a few years and then pass it along for something bigger and better, but we haven't had any intention of doing that. It's lightweight, easy to tow, easy to park, easy to store, and we've even had rangers put us in tent spots when the RV park was full because it's so tiny! We really enjoy our little trailer!

Good luck with your Caravel. If you love it, just keep working on it and don't worry about how much you spent. If you're not selling it, that doesn't matter, right? If you plan on doing most of the work (I did most of the work on mine, and hired out things like welding and propane lines, and axle installation) then just take your time and do it. By next summer you'll be able to start hitting the road and enjoying it, even if it isn't finished.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:17 AM   #30
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1967 17' Caravel
2007 27' Safari FB SE
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67 caravel

I've not seen your Caravel but when I evaluated my project I had to decide if I was going to do a "Ground up" renovation or do it in a way that I could do it fairly quickly and get to use it sooner rather than later. I chose the latter, but I am still finishing some things as I go along. I focused on getting the things done so that I could use it.

Maybe you can do the same thing. Now that the running gear is in tact you can get the plumbing right, check out the heater and get it operating, maybe you don't need ac until you need ac. Think in terms of systems and projects and you could make up a plan and schedule for a period of months or years and get it to where you want it.

The skin: I considered a huge decal/graphic design on my Caravel instead of polishing. The added advantage is that with the right design you can hide or minimize body damage. Just an idea and maybe cheaper than replacing body panels. Also, it adds a uniqueness to your trailer.

My wife used the old cushions and took them apart and used the pieces as a pattern for the new material. She's not done upholestry before. She used the original zippers. I bought the foam at Joanne's fabric, cut it, glued it, and cut out much of the fabric using the old pieces as a template.

Get the systems working. Wraps some colorful fabric over some foam temporarily and go camping. Improve it bit by bit as you go. Maybe you'll decide it's great and spend the extra money to upgrade it. Maybe you'll decide you want something else.

Good luck.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:41 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by vonzellen View Post
I've not seen your Caravel but when I evaluated my project I had to decide if I was going to do a "Ground up" renovation or do it in a way that I could do it fairly quickly and get to use it sooner rather than later. I chose the latter, but I am still finishing some things as I go along. I focused on getting the things done so that I could use it.

Maybe you can do the same thing. Now that the running gear is in tact you can get the plumbing right, check out the heater and get it operating, maybe you don't need ac until you need ac. Think in terms of systems and projects and you could make up a plan and schedule for a period of months or years and get it to where you want it.

The skin: I considered a huge decal/graphic design on my Caravel instead of polishing. The added advantage is that with the right design you can hide or minimize body damage. Just an idea and maybe cheaper than replacing body panels. Also, it adds a uniqueness to your trailer.

My wife used the old cushions and took them apart and used the pieces as a pattern for the new material. She's not done upholestry before. She used the original zippers. I bought the foam at Joanne's fabric, cut it, glued it, and cut out much of the fabric using the old pieces as a template.

Get the systems working. Wraps some colorful fabric over some foam temporarily and go camping. Improve it bit by bit as you go. Maybe you'll decide it's great and spend the extra money to upgrade it. Maybe you'll decide you want something else.

Good luck.
That is the plan, to do as we go, after running gear is fixed. I am wondering if anyone knows someone who has cut and riveted in place their own skins? How expensive is it and how hard is it?
Also, the foam cushions from Joann's-I wonder if the density will be enough to sleep on and withstand years of sitting and sleeping. I planned on using old covers as templates. There is a place that specializes in different types of foams and will cut to measure, about 2 hrs. from us. Just wondering about the density for sleeping/sitting.

Thanks for letting me bug you.
Jerri
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:01 PM   #32
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Watch out when you get foam..There is a BIG difference. You won't like it, but the expensive stuff is the best and makes a big difference. It is one of those things most folks don't consider when they buy a fixer upper....and the previous owner says it has all new foam....or the new ownertrying to cut a corner.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:02 AM   #33
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regarding foam

I don't thing there is 4 inches of foam that would be that comfortable to sleep on no matter what the quality of it as I a big guy. I have 6 inches of foam on my boat with an additional 4 inch memory foam topper and it's pretty acceptable. But, just 4 inches on an Airstream---I can't believe it can be that great. That said, the density of the foam from Joannes seems good.

There are many fabric shops that will make up the cushions for you and as I remember the cost was $100 to $200 per cushion for labor.

My solution for comfort in my Caravel is air matresses. They have come a long way on quality and comfort and I have two twins from Walmart that cost about $20.00 each. When it's sack time we blow them up and place them on top of the two beds--on top of the 4 inches of foam. It's nice and cushy. In the morning we pull the plug, fold it up and stow it. Pretty easy and comfortable.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:30 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by jerbear315 View Post
That is the plan, to do as we go, after running gear is fixed. I am wondering if anyone knows someone who has cut and riveted in place their own skins? How expensive is it and how hard is it?
Also, the foam cushions from Joann's-I wonder if the density will be enough to sleep on and withstand years of sitting and sleeping. I planned on using old covers as templates. There is a place that specializes in different types of foams and will cut to measure, about 2 hrs. from us. Just wondering about the density for sleeping/sitting.

Thanks for letting me bug you.
Jerri
Jerri -

I documented a Caravel panel replacement and cushion rebuild in this thread. The panel replacement was pretty straightforward. See this post: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f145...tml#post619887

I did a combination of urethane foam and latex foam for cushions. We do a lot of travel and I wanted to reduce weight. If I were more concerned about comfort than weight, I would go with all latex. Here's the link to the cushion post: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f145...tml#post791665

John
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:50 AM   #35
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Cushions - Cost.

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Watch out when you get foam..There is a BIG difference. You won't like it, but the expensive stuff is the best and makes a big difference. It is one of those things most folks don't consider when they buy a fixer upper....and the previous owner says it has all new foam....or the new ownertrying to cut a corner.
Cushions and drapery will be the single most expensive item in my restore. Not that all other things were cheap. It will cost more than all plumbing (sinks, tanks, hot water heater, etc), AC, fridge, axle+tires, the combined amount of new aluminum, and the cost of the initial trailer.

I am getting about 160 inches of seat and back cushions which will be both for sitting and sleeping. Material and labor is about $2400 (not including the draperies). This is from a lady who does custom drapery work and may be on the high side, but I know her work.

I have to admit that when she gave me the quote, I said to myself, damn. But my wife was right there and did not bulk. I know it will cost double. What I am paying for the trailer and what my wife now feels she can spend on something.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:36 PM   #36
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That is right in the ballpark. It is a big surprise to many . 600$ for a nice set of drapes is the next surprise.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:36 PM   #37
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Drapes - Cost

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That is right in the ballpark. It is a big surprise to many . 600$ for a nice set of drapes is the next surprise.
Drapes, five windows, roman shades, plus the bath "door" curtain, will be about $1700. Again, I think way too high, but my wife thinks that is what a good custom job costs.

This lady came out with the fabric twice for comparison. It includes the hanging hardware, though I told her I would be the one hanging it. I cannot trust others poking holes into my walls.

I also have to admit that I would not have spent this money early in the restro, but, I am to the point that I want to get it done. I have to outsource to get things complete. And since this is our bed, I want it done well. My usual efforts are to do it once, twice, maybe more when I take on a new skill and am not satisfied with my work.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:07 PM   #38
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Thanks

Your pics just took my camper from floor replacement to full frame off restoration! The wife looked over your pictures and was also convinced that this is what we need to do! Great pics! They are definitely going to help with our project.

Kevin
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