Wednesday, February 9, 2011 opposed to destruction..

I finally feel like I'm doing something constructive on the camper. After a month and a half of taking things apart, I'm actually building / improving something.

We are still dealing with cold snowy weather here in NH so I've continued to clean up the windows and some aluminium trim I moved to the basement, but over the last couple nights I've been able to work on rebuilding the rotted sections of framing in the front half of the camper.

I picked up a Keg pocket hole jig kit at Lowes and that is proving to be invaluable. It allows you to attach wood together with a very strong joint and is perfect for tightening up the existing stapled framework and building new frame sections. This will also be crucial in making the new dinette area, the kitchen and the closets / cabinets as I rebuild the interior. I really can't imagine how I'd do all that without this little tool.

Amazon, Lowes and ebay retailers all have this kit for under $40 dollars. Its called the Kreg R3.

I made a little demo video of how it works.. Very low budget.. no special effects..  Here it is :

Here's an updated picture of the interior where I'm working..
The Starboard side of the dinette area is done and the port side is almost done. 
Next I need to rebuild the entire front wall framing floor to ceiling.


  1. Hey,

    Thanks for posting so much of your process here--it really helps us noobs (I towed home my project today) understand different ways of approaching things.

    Three questions....
    Did you end up replacing all of your framing? Or when there was something not totally rotted you added the pocket holes to tighten it up a bit but reused the framing wood?

    What did you end up using for insulation--I noticed an odd amount of reflective tape holding in your insulation and was wondering what that was. Is it to help with moisture issues or just holding insulation in place?

    Did you end up adding many beams on the roof? Mine seems to just not have enough support, but I haven't ripped it all apart to find out if it's age or if it just needs some more support.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Sarah..

      Q1: Whenever possible I used the existing wood. I did tighten up almost every single joint with the pocket screws though. That alone stiffened and strengthened the walls a ton!

      Q2: I used a styofoam type board that has foil on both sides. Easy to work with.. then the silver tape everywhere just seals all the air gaps.

      Q3: I had to replace one beam but I left the rest alone and did not add any additional wood there. With the floor to ceiling support of the bathroom walls and another floor to ceiling support where the kitchen will be, I wasn't worried about additional 'load bearing' support for the roof.. I dont plan on walking up there :)

      I didn't have the extra garage space this year to keep it indoors and work on it through the winter so its been in the yard waiting for me to get going on it again.

      I still need to build the kitchen area and close in the electrical closet area.. My brother and I did go camping in it as it is and we had a blast, we just cooked outside on a grill setup.

      I think I can wrap up the interior with about another 20 - 30 hours of work.. but in real time that might take a couple months LOL.

      Best of luck with your project.. you'll hit a point where you will think 'Good Lord, What have I got myself in to" but push through it, the end result will be worth it :)


    2. Hey Kev,

      Thanks for the reply. I'll experiment a bit with making holes versus adding new boards (I've had my kreg for years and it's wicked awesome =). The wood used was particularly crappy, but some of it is still good. It's not a Shasta (although I hope to get one this weekend) but a good renno project to get some flub-ups in before I do something for real.

      I haven't gutted all the panels yet (side needs to come out before I can get to the ceiling panels). The ceiling's pretty saggy--and there's been a fair amount of mouse damage from the one panel I cracked into so it'll be interesting to get into that fixing.

      This 'masterpiece' was spray painted glossy black of all things, so this is going to be a fun spray bomb to work on =) I have tested and I can get coverage to get it to white. I've got the windows out and stripped--but am waiting on VTS to restock the header seal.

      It's funny how we take on these projects which take time away from actually getting out there camping eh? =) Good thing it's fun to renno =)

      Good luck with the kitchen, and thanks for all you post. It's very helpful.


  2. How did you attach the frame to the subfloor ?