Adventures And Restoration Of Our 1973 Travco 220 Motorhome

Friday, August 14, 2015

Power Steering

I took my first test drive a few weeks ago only to realize there was no way to hear or tune the engine because the power steering was screaming like a school girl. So with less than a mile under our belt it was back to the driveway to remove both the power steering pump and box. Let me just say removal was a pain mostly due to the size and weight of trying to maneuver around everything and get it out to the ground. It was one thing to unbolt it, it was another to get it out on the ground.

I wish I would have taken photos of my power steering units as I took them off. They were big time greasy and nasty before I had them rebuilt from Weller Truck Parts in Grand Rapids Michigan this week. I called to inquire if they could rebuild my old parts and Nick the counter guy stated, I don't know, bring them on over. Once at Weller, Nick took a quick look and said no problem. I'm not going to say it was cheap but they turned them around in 24 hours all cleaned up with a new coat of paint.

Looks like I'll be busy this weekend

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Exterior Quick Update

We are starting to make progress and the Travco is definitely starting to look presentable but I am courious how the finish is going to hold up.

My options as yours when working to bring back the finish of an old gel-coat are:
1. Sand, Polish and Wax ( Been there done that )
2. Paint
3. Sealing with High Gloss Zep Floor Sealer. (I recently learned about this from the Myrtle Blog)

I tried the sanding and polishing version and it works pretty well, yet water still gets into the crazing and grows mold quickly, which is the black streaks that seem to form overnight, meaning about time I work all the way around, I start over and do it again. I know this because I have been going around and around this thing for three years. (again, don't remind my wife)

So... This fall I am attempting a combo of verison 2 and 3 from above. I'm painting the areas that are missing gel-coat or the gel-coat is to thin and sealing the whole unit with Zep floor sealer. I tried a couple tests and I think it might work.

In my current test, I have tried both wiping it on and spraying it on. I'll keep you posted.

Next Stop Lunch

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's in the Details

Where does time fly? Summer is over, another season of working on the Travco is nearing an end and I'm still not on the road. Thinking with a much clearer mind today than when I purchased this rv a few years ago, it seems that taking on a project of this magnitude might not have been the best idea. (Don't share this with my wife. I hate it when she's always right) I will admit that it was not my intention to get into a big project at this point in my life with having five kids ranging from college to a one year old and being self employed, but my goal was actually the complete opposite. My goal was to go enjoy the Travco and have some good cheap fun with the family. It's the sacrifice any good dad would make for his family, right? Is it my fault I looked under the carpet?

Well,  where are we on this project? Not as far as I would like to be but we keep making progress. 

Currently list:
1. Basic mechanicals have been addressed, see previous blog posts
2. Basic 12 volt electric's have been addressed and are ongoing. I would think a new fuse box would be in order.
3. Purchased fabric and in process of resewing seat covers
4. Needs flooring and kitchen cabinet refinishing completed 
5. Welded new passenger floor structure and subfloor
6. Replaced entry steps and supporting structure

Current Project - Finish Exterior
I have sanded and sanded and sanded and sanded and
polished and polished and polished..... you get the picture.

No amount of sanding or polishing is going to remove the stress cracking in the gelcoat yet I think the end result is going to be very acceptable. Once completed, I'll post final pics. This past weekend, I painted the door and a bunch of small detail parts. It's this last detail phase of the project that gets fun.  Up until now, it felt like 99% work with no show and once you get to the final assembly steps the whole project jumps to life.

Winter is coming and I need this thing closed up.

Next Stop Lunch.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day One: Chicago

The first leg of our road trip was pretty well planned. We, my son Elijah and I, would sneak out of church right after the worship  (I lead the worship at our church) and hit the road with the goal of being in Chicago for lunch. Speaking of lunch, knowing that I only have one afternoon to introduce my son to Chicago and its amazing food, where should I take him? The choices are endless. I could take him downtown and we could eat at any number of the famous/tourist restaurants or we could hit the suburbs where small restaurants are on nearly every corner and it seems you can't go wrong with any of them. This method is my style but we will get back to this.

In preparation for the trip, I prepared the Vanagon with fresh Mobil 1 synthetic oil knowing that we were going to add a significant amount of stress on it over the next few days. Our Vanagon is a 1987 water-cooled flat four with a manual four speed transmission, meaning that our top cruising speed was between 55 and 57mph and the engine is running about 3200 rpms. Thats spinning super fast for any car, but speed was not an issue on this first day due to the fact that our chosen day to head to Chicago also happened to be the Sunday after the 4th of July. Apparently all of Chicago left the city for the Fourth and we got caught in their migration back to the city.

Over four hours later we arrived in the Windy City sadly already eaten McDonalds in the traffic jam, none-the-less we were in Chicago. We streched out our legs on the Magnificent Mile grabbed an iced coffee from Starbucks and headed to the suburbs for one of my favorite eats, El Llano's Colombian Restaurant. El Llanos serves simple meat and potato empanadas with lime wedges and green salsa for only a buck a piece, Seriously good stuff! Yes, I know what you are thinking but food truly brings me joy and did you happen to notice the name of this blog?

After dinner, and missing the opportunity to taste two restaurants in the city, we were back on the highway speeding along at our 57mph heading to our only planned campground, Kohler Andrae State Park located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I'm not much of a camper so it was not surprising that it started raining just as we entered the guard shack to reserve our space for the night. Who's idea was this?

Day one complete. Adventure to come.

Thinking of making the trip?

• Kohler Andrae State Park located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan - Super nice with Modern bathrooms and clean hot showers. Sites are first come first served unless you spring an extra 20 bucks to reserve a spot in advance.

• El Llano's Colombian Restaurant
4011 N Elston Ave
ChicagoIL 60618
 - A little hole in the wall with a variety of Colombian dishes. It's not fancy but well worth the stop and you can usually find a parking spot right in front of the door.

Monday, July 7, 2014

An Adventure of Another Kind

Yes, we are still alive and still keep trudging along on the Travco but this is a post about another adventure. Along with my Travco, anyone who knows me knows that I have a love for all things odd that have wheels and a combustion engine. Currently my son and I are on a road trip around Lake Michigan in a 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon for his Birthday present. Yes, I know the odds are stacked against us, the age of the vw and the simple fact that it's a Vanagon. When's the last time you saw one on the highway that was rolling and not on the shoulder? Whatever...

The Plan:
Grand Rapids, Michigan to Chicago and all the way around,

Let's get moving, Next Stop, Lunch in Chicago!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Lets get this season started

50 degrees and a new spool of welding wire, it's time to get this Travco on the road.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hot Slow Summer Progress

It's been a HOT summer but we have some progress to share. 

UPDATE: Project Exhaust Manifold
Exhaust manifold bolts have been extracted from the heads the mating surface of the exhaust manifolds surfaced, one new push rod installed and the engine is back together and running.

UPDATE: RUST The Entry Step
All bad metal cut out, new metal welded back in and a new set of steps installed



Support for the new steps

 Next up is plywood and some flooring