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Re: Restoring a 1971 Rolite Model 1500

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:15 am
by trevize1138
Walls are up!

I finally figured out if I take the wheels off I get enough clearance to roll this out of the garage with the walls minus ceiling (another 1 1/2 ft to go up there). That's really lit a fire under the build. My wife is putting the last coat of helmsman spier on the front and rear walls inside and today we receive the shipment for the flooring. Once we get the flooring in all the benches and cabinets get put back in. Thankfully the interior is pretty minimal since this was originally collapsible. The furnishings are going to just be the dinette benches, a rear bench/bed, cabinet for sink/stove and cabinet for icebox. I want to get the interior put back in so we have a full understanding of if we need to add any more structural stuff to the walls and complete wiring/outlets/lighting. Once that's finalized I can complete putting in the foam board insulation. I'll be sealing the spaces between foam board and wall framing with spray foam, too, based on a recommendation from a coworker that used to work for none other than Winnebego.

My neighbor is a skilled siding installer with a brake and he's going to straighten out some parts of the aluminum skin to prep it for re-installation. After putting on the skin, doors and windows I complete the re-framing of key roof pieces and then we roll this thing out of the garage on the brake drums and install the roof!

Re: Restoring a 1971 Rolite Model 1500

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 12:44 pm
by aggie79
Looking great! The finish on the interior is beautiful!

Re: Restoring a 1971 Rolite Model 1500

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 1:50 pm
by trevize1138
This project's really moving now!

Flooring installation only took 1hr 15min. It's about 150lbs just for the flooring due to it being click lock but it's real linoleum and we would have had to put down some kind of underlayment anyway if we'd used thin vinyl or thin linoleum. The speed of installation is about worth it. I'm already gaining weight savings by not including all the metal lifting mechanisms and motor so we splurged with the floor.

I brought up the benches and cabinets from the basement, cleaned them as I went and positioned them in place. Not going to fasten all that down until my wife has a chance to apply some white laminate (I think that's the term? It's like sturdy paper glued to surfaces instead of painting. EDIT: contact paper!!!) to the furniture as she's not a fan of the dark walnut.

We're really busting our butts to get this done! I've set a deadline of July 31st as we leave Aug 1st for that trip up north. Worst case we just take the old teardrop+roof tent if the canned ham isn't ready yet. Today I took two broken windows to a nearby glass shop which should have them fixed in a week then stopped to get house wrap and more 2x2s in case I need to re-do any more framing with the roof pieces. I also finally took apart one of the corner pieces and found out that the big part of it would work perfectly if it's just re-bent.

I'm having trouble getting to sleep at night! I can't shut my brain off on this project. I need it done so we can go camping and I can spend the whole time sleeping. :)

Re: Restoring a 1971 Rolite Model 1500

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:37 am
by trevize1138
My wife has started to cover the old, cheap walnut wallboard on the cabinets with contact paper:

The brass hardware shines up really nice!

My neighbor is experienced with bending metal and has a really long brake press so I asked his help straightening out the aluminum skin pieces. Originally these pieces were bent around to fit over the individual wall sections for the popup functionality. Now that I'm doing this permanently up those bends need straightened out to install on a flat wall.

After the two of us fumbled around trying to do the job with the brake he tried something: a hammer and a wood block. That worked way better, turns out. The aluminum skin can be easily bent by hand so I just started taking the hammer and wood block approach and got most of the pieces prepped that way.

The corner pieces are going to work out perfectly, too. I had thought I'd need to saw the corners down at a 45 degree angle to get it to work but with just a bit of bending I get four perfectly sized 90 degree angle corner pieces. I'll also bend over the edges and do the same with the adjoining skin on the front and sides to make an even better seal against moisture. I'll apply silicone seal to all the joints, too, making sure to have two rows of silicone bead. July 31 deadline is coming up fast but more and more I'm feeling like I'll make it!

Re: Restoring a 1971 Rolite Model 1500

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:00 am
by trevize1138
Very busy weekend! I took Friday off to really dive into it and boy did it pay off.




I have two windows at a shop getting the glass replaced. The big picture window in the back is in the basement ready to get cleaned up and reinstalled as soon as I put house wrap and aluminum skin back on the rear wall like the other 3 have now. Next up just rebuild the roof and pop that on!

Holy sh**. I might actually finish this thing!

Re: Restoring a 1971 Rolite Model 1500

PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:35 am
by trevize1138
Getting so close. Prepping the roof pieces and all major construction is DONE! Down to getting ready to assemble the roof. Then re-install cabinets and finishing touches:

Re: Restoring a 1971 Rolite Model 1500

PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:24 am
by QueticoBill
Very nice and impressive progress. Is the metal (?) Siding all from original? I wondered if you sourced reproduction product.

Re: Restoring a 1971 Rolite Model 1500

PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2021 9:03 am
by trevize1138
Thanks! We've been really pushing ourselves to get it done. I almost got divorced this weekend when I suggested to my wife I thought we might not get it done in time for our trip on Aug 1. So, since divorce is expensive ... WE'RE FINISHING THIS THING AUG 1!!! :)

The siding is all original. We really lucked out with this camper because a lot of stuff like that was fully intact. All original siding and windows. Two of the windows had to get glass replaced but a local shop here did that for $35. Not bad at all. I also got original equipment window gaskets from as the rubber had, of course, shrunk over the decades and pulled away from the corners. My wife has been cleaning each piece as we go then I attach it.

The plan is to get ready and assemble the roof Thursday after work. The weather will have cooled down to the low-mid 80s by then. I'll also be putting in the rear bench which is where the converter box and battery go so those will get fully installed and wired up this week, too. I should have all the parts I need to hook up the sink and fresh water tank. I'm saving until last hooking up the stove because we do have a white gas stove we've been using for outdoor cooking so lack of indoor stove isn't at all a deal breaker. Hell, lack of sink and fresh water tank isn't a dealbreaker, either. We'll do just fine with the 5gal water cooler like always. But once all the cabinetry is installed hooking that stuff up won't take much time at all so I don't see us leaving without that.

Re: Restoring a 1971 Rolite Model 1500

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2021 9:39 am
by trevize1138
Dad came over last night to help temporarily lay out the roof rails with the front and back curved framing. We measured things and strategized how to mount the roof on the trailer. Got a good plan for that now! Thursday after work is go time. It's hot here in MN for the next couple days but the fever breaks Thursday. In the meantime I'll be adding the polywall to the inside of the curved ends and then foam board and spray foam for those pieces and the main rectangular part of the roof. I then need to trim some of the wood to fit on the side rails and add 3/4" of wood to the tops of the front and rear walls to get it all to fit perfectly.

Come Thursday we'll put the curved piece on the front then mount the side rails on top of that. Then we'll put in two curtain rods that came with the camper used for privacy in the dinette area and rear bench/bed. That will serve the purpose of holding the main roof section up when we lift it and position in place. Then one of us can stand inside and push up if need be where the big screws go in. Do each corner, get it all flush and then sink the rest of the screws. Finally, add the rear curved piece.

After that we put foam board and spray foam in the side rails which goes pretty quick. Spray foam dries in 30 minutes or so then we cut the excess. After that we're ready to put the aluminum skin on, the fantastic fan, trim ... and ... and ...


Re: Restoring a 1971 Rolite Model 1500

PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:18 am
by trevize1138
It's done! We're on the road. Tows beautifully. ... full_story