Visit Bob and Coleen's Workers On Wheels Website for Working RVers

RV Renovation Comes to Life: Follow Along as We Repair and Remodel a Motorhome

RV renovation, repair, and remodeling are part of RVing for us. Whether we get a brand new RV or a new-to-us used RV, there are always things to fix or change in our travel trailer or motorhome.

Our New Motor Home

Last Sunday, I went over to friends to get our "new" motorhome. It isn't new, just new to Coleen and me. Our friends needed to be rid of it and offered it to us, at a price we didn't think we could pass up.

Let's set the scene: Alaska, winter, currently snowing, 14 inches of freshly fallen snow, currently snowing heavily, and a total accumulation about waist deep. The rig is parked 300 feet from the nearest electrical outlet. It is about 100 feet from the plowed, single lane driveway.

The first order of business in this RV renovation was to get the morohome running. It hadn't been run in three or four years. My first of many anticipated expenses was an engine battery, $111.00.

We (my friend and I) installed the new battery, checked and added essential fluids, and hit the starter. It cranked over well, with no signs of life.

We figured we might be in for an extended ordeal so we hooked up a battery charger before we ran the new battery dead. We didn't have too much trouble finding 300 feet of extension cord. We got a little bottle of gasoline and took the doghouse off for access to the carburetor. We would pour about two tablespoons of gas down the carburetor, crank the starter and it would fire. It didn't keep running, but it had spark. After about 20 tries, we decided that it was either not getting gas, or the gas from the nearly empty tank would not burn.

We went back to town and bought 10 gallons of gas. We dumped it in the tank, then continued priming and cranking. After five or six attempts, the engine was trying to stay running. Only 20 or so minutes later, it would stay running on its own.

After idling 10 minutes, it was burning the new gas and running nicely. One major step in this RV renovation project accomplished, with no major repair required!

I knew the motorhome was frozen down to some extent, but, wow, frozen into the mud up to the rims of the tires. We took turns using pry bars, framing hammers, tire tools, and a splitting maul, chipping little fragments of frozen dirt and rock from around the two front tires. We put two jacks under the front end and extended them until there was considerable upward lift. We started the engine and turned the steering wheel, trying to wiggle the tires loose.

We spent the majority of the afternoon before the front wheels were loose. The front tires were put on two layers of 2x6's in case of an unexpected thaw. Were we half done, or would the rear duals be twice as much work? It was dark, we were cold, wet, and tired. We would find out another day.


Coleen, here, again. So, this new motorhome of ours isn't one of those fancy ones that comes with a bumper to bumper extended warranty. No, no, not at all. It is a project motorhome. Hopefully, it will be a low dollar project and will turn into a good, useable recreational vehicle. I don't know if it will be for full-time RVing, camping, or to sell.

You are invited to come along on this RV renovation. I can't tell you what kind of repairs, replacements, and remodeling we are going to do. We do not have a specific plan. But, I did get Bob to agree to keep track of what he's doing and to write about it. I'll make an effort to get pictures and post them, to make it easier to see what we are doing.

More to come in future issues of the newsletter.

Oh, you are wondering about the make, model, and size of this motorhome? Well, folks, so am I. I haven't seen it and Bob was too busy trying to get it started and dug out of a snow bank to pay any attention to such things. I've been told it is an older Class C. Stay tuned. More info to come on this "new" motorhome RV renovation.

Motorhome expenses to date: $172.24

• Battery: $111.34
• Anti-freeze and fuel treatment: $15.65
• Gas: $45.25

Go to Chapter 2 of Bob's series on renovating our "new to us" used motorhome.

Go to the page listing Bob's articles from this one about beginning our RV renovation.

Go to the RV Life and Travel blog to find links to our latest updates on RVs, RVers, and the full-time RVing lifestyle.

Go to the RV Life and Travel home page to find more articles about RVs, RV camping, and full-time RVing.

Disclosure: We receive compensation from advertisers, affiliate relationships, and site sponsors

Passport America
WOW! Save Today

Workers On Wheels