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Old 09-10-2010, 08:50 AM   #1
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Paneling in older RV...1986

OK, DH and I are having a disagreement! We bought a 1986 motorhome this summer. It's in excellent condition, but we plan on doing a few updates over the winter season.

He wants to replace all the paneling. (There was a couple leaks that he has repaired.) I say replace the pieces with water damage, then prime and paint all the paneling with a good washable kitchen/bath paint.

Anyone ever replaced the paneling? Or painted it so it didn't look so dated? **My thinking on this...if it doesn't work out nicely we can always replace the paneling next winter. I painted a wall of paneling in my house several years ago, and it's held up fine.

Our updating plans for winter:
~Replacing the living room/kitchen/hall carpet with a laminate flooring...something easier to clean!
~Replace the countertop with an up to date formica!
~Replace all door/drawer knobs!
~Replace kitchen sink faucet with a taller faucet!
~Replace surround in shower! There's paneling on the ceiling...not a wise choice in a shower!!

We've remodeled most of our house over the last 13 years. I imagine it's pretty much the same, just tighter spaces to work with.

Any/all advise appreciated!!

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Old 09-10-2010, 08:55 AM   #2
Jan Goldfield
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Slidell, La
Posts: 534
It is sort of like a house, but the materials are much lighter and usually tied together with staples, not nails. I removed the paneling in my Cherokee Grey Wolf 28bh. I looked at replacement paneling and decided it weighed too much, so I used fiberglas tub surround. I attached it with Loktite Power Grab. Looks nice, doesn't weigh much and was easy to install
I would use a loose lay vinyl on the floor rather than laminate. It's easier to care for and will handle getting wet better.
The rest of your ideas sound right to me.

Jan Goldfield and Donna Morse
Slidell LA

2009 Cherokee Grey Wolf 28BH
2009 Ford 150
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:27 AM   #3
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Location: Southern Alberta
Posts: 458
Absolutely get rid of the carpet. On my list to do for this weekend is to clean the little bit of carpet we have - only around the driver passenger seat area - which still manages to get horribly dirty despite no shoes, mats etc. I am thankful the rest is vinyl.
I'd like to echo PondLady's suggestion on vinyl vs laminate for two reasons. First off is weight - vinyl weighs less than a laminate, and as Jan has pointed out the laminate is not water proof and is a bit more complicated to clean. For the amount of space you are doing, you could get a high end really attractive vinyl.

I absolutely agree with the tall faucet idea. The dumb bunnies who put in those low faucets clearly have never had to wash dishes in those sinks! I'd add to that though a high faucet with a pull out sprayer.

Depending on what kind of condition your countertop is in - you can just put a layer of new formica over the old counter top - less expensive and fairly easy to do. That way too you can make all the surfaces in the TT match without having to replace them all.

One advantage of pulling out all the paneling is that you really get a good look at what's underneath - and can fix any damage that might be hidden. There are links on this site to some amazing TT restoration projects and what has amazed me is the amount of damage that was completely hidden. My guess is that once removed the paneling will not be useable.

You might take an afternoon to go through TT at your local RV superstore to get some more ideas on what you would like to do when you remodel.

One area you didn't mention was lighting. I would consider using LED lights (which yes are expensive) to use less electricity and save your battery.

Another area you didn't mention was entertainment - and if you are removing paneling it's an ideal time to run cable for tv etc.

If the panels are removed I'd also think about electrical - obviously checking what is existing, but also consider adding outlets, outdoor lighting, etc.

Hope some of this helps. I would love to see pictures, both before and in progress, and of course the grand unveiling!
***** ***** *****
2011 Georgetown 320DS new June 2010
days camped in 2010: 61
days camped in 2011: 37 (up to Aug 1st)
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:54 AM   #4
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Thanks for the information!!! Yep, I definately see the point of using vinyl! That's a definate! Thanks!

Yes, I forgot about the lighting. We are planning on updating that too.

As for entertainment...I'm not sure about that. We don't have a tv in the rv as of yet. We haven't missed having one. Although we have been camping where there was cable hookup. Although adding cable and a flat screen would help with resell if/when we decide to upgrade. Definately something we will have to consider IF we take down the paneling.

Yes, our countertops are in excellent condition, so we can formica overtop with no problem. The countertop now are just not our style.

Oh yeah, if we do remove the paneling...additional electrical outlets will be added! The bedroom has none! Which means the cell phones have the charge in the kitchen.

I definately plan to have my before/after pics!

I really appreciate all the tips/info!
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