Remodel of my 1996

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kstills
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B190 Year: 1996

Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

Sofa Wall Panel (1).jpg
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So I've started the remodel on my 96. This is the first area I'm working on, for obvious reasons. In order to pull this panel off, the sofa has to come out, the ring around the window has to come out and the white pad below the cabinets has to come off. Once all that is off, the panel is simply sitting against the van wall and comes right off.
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So that's what it looks like underneath on the refrigerator side. Those styrofoam strips laying on the gennie box go behind the panel around the window and keep the panel supported.
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Sofa Wall (2).jpg
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When it comes to insulation, I'm going with Airstream put insulation in the van, but the van is not insulated. Note that to the drivers side of the window there isn't any insulation at all, and the B pillar is completely void of insulation. As I pulled off the fiberglass, they hadn't even bothered to pack in any of the areas behind the wheel well, under the window, where the white trim piece goes, all the hollow cavities were empty. They simply spray glued some batts to the walls and called it a day.

I have some Havelock wool on order, and if anyone is interested go to their website and they demonstrate the proper way to install insulation.

Home Depot and Lowes sell FRP panels, which is what you want to install in here, NOT luan, and the panel that came out is a cut down 4x8 so using the old panel as a template I'll be able to install the new wall very easily. However, the wool has a few week delivery time, so I won't be able to do anything until that comes in.
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skater
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B190 Year: 1991
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Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by skater »

What the heck happened to the original panel??
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
kstills
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Posts: 106
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

From the way the window looks on the outside, I'm guessing they had some leaks that got back behind the luan. The top of the window looks like they used an entire tube of caulking on it, not sure they bothered to pull the window in order to fix the seals. Might be a good idea for me to do so now that I have the trim ring out.
kstills
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Posts: 106
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

And as an aside, Airstream could have prevented that panel from falling apart if they had simply painted the back side. I'm going to make a recommendation here to all the folks doing van builds/remodels, take the time to prime and paint the wood you use in your rig. All of it. Supports, furring strips, panels, front and back. It's cheap insurance to prevent rot and mold if God forbid you do get a leak that lasts a while.

I know that in the first part of this thread I discussed using FRP instead of the luan. However, I'm changing my mind do to aesthetic reasons; the FRP that I can get for the van is limited in color and style. Luan, on the other hand, I can paint to match the decor. The key here will be to waterproof the luan, front, back and sides. Doing that will give me the color I want without sacrificing the durability of the panel.
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skater
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Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by skater »

kstills wrote:
Tue Jun 28, 2022 7:29 am
And as an aside, Airstream could have prevented that panel from falling apart if they had simply painted the back side. I'm going to make a recommendation here to all the folks doing van builds/remodels, take the time to prime and paint the wood you use in your rig. All of it. Supports, furring strips, panels, front and back. It's cheap insurance to prevent rot and mold if God forbid you do get a leak that lasts a while.
I tried to use epoxy on the wood around the fan when I reinstalled them for the same reason, but the construction adhesive didn't seem to work very well with it and one piece has fallen off. Now, it might not be due to the epoxy at all, and just be due to bad luck or whatever, but I've decided I'm not going to the epoxy mess and trouble again.

For paint, definitely need to use the right kind of paint. I built a large litter box holder (to hold two plastic litter boxes next to each other in the house) and painted it with deck paint that I thought would be solid, but unfortunately some liquid still got into the wood (there's a bubble) when one of the cats missed the plastic pan and got his pee between the pan and the wall of the holder. It was two coats of paint, and I had caulked the seams, too, so I'm really not sure how it happened.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
kstills
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

The boat guys again:

https://www.community.boatbuildercentra ... f&start=10

Exterior grade luan, epoxy the bat snot out of it, good to go.
kstills
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Posts: 106
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

skater wrote:
Tue Jun 28, 2022 10:30 am


I tried to use epoxy on the wood around the fan when I reinstalled them for the same reason, but the construction adhesive didn't seem to work very well with it and one piece has fallen off. Now, it might not be due to the epoxy at all, and just be due to bad luck or whatever, but I've decided I'm not going to the epoxy mess and trouble again.

You need to distress the epoxy paint prior to applying a glue, and that glue should probably be an epoxy also.
kstills
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B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

UPdate:

If you want to use Havelock wool to insulate your van, order it waaaaaaay in advance, as it's taking forever (relative to Amazon hehe) to get to me.
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skater
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Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by skater »

kstills wrote:
Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:54 am
UPdate:

If you want to use Havelock wool to insulate your van, order it waaaaaaay in advance, as it's taking forever (relative to Amazon hehe) to get to me.
They have to run out and sheer it from the sheep on order. ;)
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
kstills
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

It's been a while, partly because it took so long to get the wool and partly because I've been replacing the suspension on one daily driver and the fuel system on the other, but I have started the process of adding insulation to the wall behind the sofa.

First pic is the wool bats I bought from Havelock. They pull apart easily along the long axis, which you need to do in order to stuff them in all the holes in the van walls. Second pic is the B pillar with insulation, third pic is the area under the window and fourth is the small bump out head high running the length of the van.

I would pull tuffs of wool off the batt and then stuff them in the holes, using a 12 gauge wire to help move them into the cavities. The small areas your looking at there, took two full batts of insulation to fill up, and I'm not quite done yet.
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kstills
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

I'm still working on installing the wool, but I've also decided to replace the fridge.

Good call on that, as you'll see in the pics.

First pic is the upper cabinets after the floor and back wall on the top cabinet had been removed. That had rotted in the back because of what I found in the second pic. Second pick is the roof cut out for the fridge vent, and you can just make out the rot in the luan from water damage. PO apparently fixed that, because the insulation up there was completely dry. Ceiling is trash, however, so that will have to come out.
Pics 3, 4 and 5 show the side of the van behind the wall that I removed that covers the fridge vent. Again, little to no insulation back there. I'll be putting in a DC unit when I replace the fridge, so the vent will be coming out. That will give me a lot of extra room in that area, so I need to plan on how to best utilize the space.
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kstills
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

Like a lot of folks, the glue holding the headliner up in the van is failing. I've gone back and forth about replacements, wife likes the idea of laminate for the ceiling, I hate the idea of the weight it will add to the rig.

So I came across this video which should solve the problem of what to put up on the ceiling:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_1Sph_ybc8

Sailrite is an excellent resource for RV repairs related to upholstery and now headliners. Very detailed videos on how to use their products.
kstills
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Posts: 106
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

So, another weekend, another tear out. :D

I decided to pull out the old fridge. NJ Outdoor Adventures has a video of the entire process, so I won't go into the how to here, suffice to say it's pretty easy and the fridge isn't all that heavy or awkward getting out the rig. What I want to show is all the stuff behind the fridge.

First pic is the 12V connection behind the fridge, wiggle them out, cap them and the propane, unplug the 120v, unscrew the front and you're clear to remove the fridge.

Second pic is why this is happening, that's the roof vent with all the rotted luan up on the fiberglass. Again, easy to remove, cut the headliner with a razor knife, uses a multi tool with a wood/metal blade on the luan and plastic, and you're done. You're right up against the fiberglass cap, so be careful with your saw work.

Third pic is the cabinet without the fridge in it, showing what I assume is a heat shield. It's an aluminum panel that is screwed into the side panels, in mine they put butyl or some kind of caulk all over the seams. For some reason, I don't know why. Would have been better to put the caulk on the inside of the flange then screw it to the walls, but whatever. Again, easy to remove.

Fourth pic is the cabinet with everything out, fifth pic is the heat shield by itself.

Thanks to Airstream, those side panels will both come out of one 4x8 sheet of plywood, so I'm going to pull the entire cabinet and redo it. I'm going to rout out the panel closest to the front so that the side wall behind the sofa slides into it, instead of just sitting behind it like Airstream had it. I'll be able to control the depth of the insulation better that way, and I'll be able to get rid of that gap that's in the side panel where it meets the van wall.
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kstills
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

Any thoughts on routing the wiring along the floor, instead of up the wall and through the top of the rig? It's pretty messy the way they installed it, I'd like to clean it up.
kstills
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Posts: 106
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 1:02 pm
B190 Year: 1996

Re: Remodel of my 1996

Post by kstills »

Going to post new pics tomorrow, I think, I've worked my way around to the shower/toilet and pulled almost everything out of there. I plan on pulling the HW heater and using that space to install a recirculating shower which will sit in the middle of the bath area instead of up against the driver side wall. The recirculating shower has it's own water heater built in, so it makes almost no sense to dedicate a 6gallon heater for the kitchen sink. I have a little rot in the plywood sub floor under where the old shower pan sat(I cannot fathom why they didn't paint all the wood the put in these rigs) so that will have to be cut out and replaced. I'm also thinking of relocating the fridge further up the drivers side and getting a smaller sofa for the space over the gennie, but that's for another year.

Still planning on pulling the black tank and replacing the toilet with a laveo cartridge, recent improvements to that model make it more desirable than the diverter style toilets.

I have spent a few minutes thinking about how I bought an RV and have spent almost my entire time with it ripping it apart, and how it might have been a better idea to just buy a work van and turn it into a B van.

Then I looked up the prices on used vans. I'm pretty ok with the way things are going now. :wink:
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