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Old 04-18-2018, 11:42 AM   #1
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Front end repair....

I am a newbie so hello and your ongoing help will be much appreciated! I am the new owner of a 1982 31' Excella. It requires a full interior tear out, floor replacement and refit. Of more concern however is damage to the lower 3 front end panels which I suspect will need full replacement. This is most daunting but will need to be done to proceed. I have no $ to pay for labour but have and will attempt anything, typically with a successful outcome. Pics won't load but will try again shortly. What are my chances of pulling this off and where do I start? Before or after floor replacement etc.
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:24 PM   #2
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I am a newbie so hello and your ongoing help will be much appreciated! I am the new owner of a 1982 31' Excella. It requires a full interior tear out, floor replacement and refit. Of more concern however is damage to the lower 3 front end panels which I suspect will need full replacement. This is most daunting but will need to be done to proceed. I have no $ to pay for labour but have and will attempt anything, typically with a successful outcome. Pics won't load but will try again shortly. What are my chances of pulling this off and where do I start? Before or after floor replacement etc.
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Old 04-20-2018, 06:28 AM   #3
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It's very within your skills. If your ripping out the interior you've done half of the job already. Order some buck rivet tools, new sheet aluminum. People do it all the time. It's not as daunting as it seems. Buck riveting is fun too. Many threads on anything you need too repair or replace. You'll need more time and you'll spend more money than you think. To remodel a unit it costs $10k to $30k. I've done everything myself from the frame up, so I have real world figures.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:53 AM   #4
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Start by tearing out your interior. Then replace your subfloor. Then do your sheet metal work, then put the interior back in place.

Replacing segments and panels in the exterior skin is not rocket science, anyone can learn to buck rivets.

One thing to be aware of is that those two "corner" segments are not just a flat sheet that is bent around the corner. It is actually a formed sheet that is stretched in 3 dimensions. You can order the parts from online parts suppliers like Inland RV or Out of Doors Mart. I replaced one of these segmetns a few years ago. At the time, the part ran close to $400, and shipping was crazy expensive (~$120) as the box it came in was the size of a mattress. The center section is just a flat sheet--you can buy what you need at a local sheet metal supplier or one of the online sources like Aircraft Spruce or Airparts Inc.

good luck!
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:18 PM   #5
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Good to hear guys! Waiting for a call back from Inland RV- shudder at the thought of shipping to Vancouver Island!
I will attempt to document the restoration which will be a custom layout. To keep costs down and to satisfy the difficult local byalws I will not be refitting bath/toilet or kitchen. The proposed site has a composting toilet and outdoor covered kitchen/bbq area. Eliminating tanks and plumbing will make the project so much easier also.
Sleeping for 6, diner in the front. Very excited to get underway.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:46 PM   #6
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Good to hear guys! Waiting for a call back from Inland RV- shudder at the thought of shipping to Vancouver Island!
I will attempt to document the restoration which will be a custom layout. To keep costs down and to satisfy the difficult local byalws I will not be refitting bath/toilet or kitchen. The proposed site has a composting toilet and outdoor covered kitchen/bbq area. Eliminating tanks and plumbing will make the project so much easier also.
Sleeping for 6, diner in the front. Very excited to get underway.
Save a lot of money and use a flat piece to replace the corners. I've done it and you can't hardly tell the difference.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:34 PM   #7
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I'd worry about leaks at panel overlaps no? Several contours to be concerned with or does buck riveting the crap out of the seams take care of gaps? Even cutting sheet is a concern- I've never done it before other than tin snips which leaves that ripple in the edge.
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