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Old 11-07-2019, 10:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2
Default New Member - Old (1983) Hi-Lo

So, just bought an '83 Voyager (25L) for $100.

The positives: solid frame and good tires (pulls amazingly well), LP and electrical all work (AC, furnace, lights, etc.), original stove, new power converter, and it even raises and lowers perfectly.

The negatives: leaky roof / wall damage, pinholes in the siding, couple of small patch jobs, couple of broken windows, and missing awnings, and seriously outdated cosmetics.

My wife and I have done construction most of our lives and I've been around campers just as long, I'm actually looking forward to winter being done and getting to work on my new project. Unfortunately, we're in Iowa so a short, mild winter is a rarity around here.

As planning / design decisions and work goes on in the restoration, I'll post here, pics included.

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Old 11-07-2019, 12:44 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pine, AZ
Posts: 3,081

Welcome, Shamrock - sounds like you've got yourself a "project"!

A lot of folks on the forum have done similar work to what you have in store for you. While you're waiting for winter to end, look through the forum for ideas and tips that will help you.

- Jack

Hi-Lo 1707T - Tire Minder TPMS on Tow Vehicle and Trailer, 300W Solar Battery Charger, Equal-i-zer WDH
2014 F150 Platinum 4x4 3.5L EcoBoost SCrew
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:33 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Niagara Falls
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Default Welcome to the forum.

Jack is right. Many of us have done major repairs. Work on the roof first and get it rebuilt/leak free. Take out all your windows and reseal with butyl tape and Lexel caulk. The frames can be taken to a glass shop for glass replacement. When the windows are out it will give you a snapshot view on the condition of your wall layers.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:18 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Iowa
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Jack & Usagi --

My wife found the camper online and talked the seller down to $100 but it was a "pick it up today" deal. On the hour drive to check it out, my mind was pretty much made up (we were going to buy it because even if it were a lost cause, I could still scrap it out for more than the buying price).

Once I had a chance to chat with the seller, he informed me it was "stuck in the raised position" and had been for a couple of months since he bought it. A quick hook up with jumper cables to the motor and it was lowered. The whole trip home, I actually felt bad for the guy considering how long it's been since I've even seen a Hi-Lo and suddenly, I was bringing one home with most of the systems were functional.

Not being a patient person, the long winters are one horrible for me. Knowing the roof was number 1 priority and the snow was coming soon (2 days after we brought it home), after checking the water tanks and lines, my wife and I power washed the camper and put a tarp over her for the long winter nap.

I spent a few hours reading through the posts on here pulling all of the combined experience I could, made a lot of notes and started prepping for Spring. The preliminary list (which will almost certainly be changing the more we dig into this project) goes like this:

Patch and seal top of roof, remove any rotted / soft wood, gut the interior (for better access to the ceiling and walls), remove ceiling (panels and foam), remove windows, remove damaged walls (panels and foam), check / repair / brace steel framing, double check lights and all electrical systems (rewiring as needed), fix exterior patches, repair + weatherize windows, then (finally) start putting it all back together.

Once the interior is mostly back together and functional, then we'll be working on the cosmetics...

I've also been making a list of products others have given positive reviews on here, not sure about a couple of things though.

- What kind of panels have people used for the ceiling? We'd rather not use regular 8x4 panels from a box store and were trying to think of something creative.

- Has anyone here used countertop sheets for a bathroom all covering or backsplash? I found an awesome sheet that's used as a replacement covering for countertops. It's waterproof and comes as large as 5'x12' which is not only bigger than I need but would mean I would only have seams in corners. It's also non-porous and really easy to keep clean.


Sorry for the wall of text but, I tend to over explain things (which drives my wife nuts, haha!).
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Old 11-14-2019, 05:23 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Southeastern Idaho
Posts: 44

Welcome, Shamrock;

Don't worry about over-explaining. You get the best responses by being clear and detailed.

You are taking on quite a project, but if you are willing to do the work you got a heck of a deal. I find one has to enjoy working on an RV as a hobby to at least some extent if you are going to own one.

I intended to have a shop go thru my 1999 when I bought it four years ago, but they were backlogged 6 weeks. So I started working on it myself and it never did get to the shop. But when you know it intimately you are prepared for whatever may come along.

Best of luck
1999 22L Classsic
2008 Toyota 4Runner V6
McKesh Mirrors
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:03 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4

Hey Shamrock!
Nice to know someone else has the courage to take on the restoration/updating of an 83 Voyager 25L. The generous and knowledgeable HiLo community that share this site have been an amazing resource and helped us many times on our project. We thought we were in for a one summer long cosmetic rebuild. We bought ours from the second owner, a master car mechanic who rebuilt the key systems. I'm a product designer....what could be easier? We bought it in the fall of 2016 and are still tinkering with it, making an ongoing list of more improvements every time we take it camping. I'm not on this site regularly, but I'll help you any way I can.

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