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Palomino B500 Rebuild


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#1 SurfinRik

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Posted 25 June 2022 - 05:26 AM

I recently bought a Palomino B500 (for very cheap) that needs quite a bit of work. The rainy PNW has not been good for the OSB Palomino seems to love so much.

 

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As you can see the torsion bars in the Heco lift system have started to rip the brackets out of the rotten roof boards so that'll need to be addressed. 

 

Interior is pretty dated, basically completely original with some paint. 

gallery_12109_1533_1799580.jpggallery_12109_1533_2793939.jpggallery_12109_1533_1719957.jpggallery_12109_1533_1388915.jpggallery_12109_1533_123596.jpggallery_12109_1533_1371407.jpgThe front of the over cab area is rotten/eaten by a rodent so that will be replaced. Floor pack has more rotten OSB both on the center section and on the sides. Interior will be gutted and replaced, as well as all the appliances. I've done some of this already so i'll post that next. 


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#2 SurfinRik

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Posted 25 June 2022 - 05:38 AM

First up was the center floor pack section that way I didn't fall through will working on it. I started by removing all the staples holding the siding to the bottom, then removing all the screws. After some light prying and removing the screws I had forgotten, it came right off. 

 

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Two layers of Linoleum! Funny how the first layer it extends to the edges, under the walls. I guess it saves some time to apply it before the floor is attached to the camper. 

 

New floor is 3/4" CDX primed with some kilz in case I paint it. I used some coated exterior construction screws and titebond 3 to attach to the walls. 

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You can also see at this stage most of the cabinets have been removed and all the appliances. 


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#3 SurfinRik

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Posted 25 June 2022 - 05:55 AM

I've since removed the rest of the cabinets and begun removing the staples attaching the siding to the underside of the floor pack sections on the sides. Those will most likely get replaced next. After that I'm thinking the roof rebuild which I will detach from the camper to make things easier. One major thing I need to figure out roof lifting system. I'm thinking of ditching the Heco system so I can have a wider bed using a panel that slides out like in Four Wheel campers. If I got rid of the Heco I think I'd go with something similar to the Four Wheel Camper lift system as well with gas struts and some type of supports, probably like the metal tubing that's already there and like was done here:

 

https://www.wanderth...by-build/page-3

 

I can't seem to find anyone else that has removed a Heco lift and put in another system. Has anyone done this?


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#4 SurfinRik

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Posted 27 July 2022 - 06:01 AM

Next up was replacing the upper portion of the floor pack since that had some water damage. 

 

Driver side:

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Passenger Side:

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I used 5/8" CDX attached with liquid nails and exterior structural screws. The new plywood was way lighter than the old OSB which had absorbed quite a bit of water over the years. Should be a much sturdier mounting surface for the jacks and tie downs. Surprisingly the 1x2s on the wall where the floor pack mounted was in pretty good condition. 

 

 

I'm now prepping to rebuild the roof which should be interesting....

 

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The passenger side is missing the lower trim piece on the roof which I've been having trouble finding at the local RV supply stores. I may need to get creative. The old wood is so rotten its hard to figure out how it was made but it appears it's two pieces of wood, a curved 1x2 to match the top and a straight piece on the bottom portion. There's a slight gap with some spray foam to fill the gap. I think I'll just go with one solid piece. Dreading the roof rebuild....


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#5 SurfinRik

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 05:45 AM

Thought over the roof rebuild for a while and realized it would be easier and best to just rebuild the roof from scratch. I took couple measurements and started removing the old roof. There's quite a few posts here on how to remove a heco lift system such as this one: https://www.wanderth...n-bars-summary/

 

After a friend and I got the roof off i just cut it up with a reciprocating saw and took it to the dump. The roof is just 3/4" styrofoam with 1x3s around the perimeter 2 1x3s running left to right and aluminum skins on the top and bottom. 

 

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For the new roof the frame around the perimeter will be 3/4" plywood spliced together to make it 11' long with 2-3 1" aluminum square tube cross members and 1" XPS 25psi compression strength foam between. Then I'll glass both sides, the top will be 2 layers of 6oz glass, inside will be 1 layer of 6oz glass all laminated with marine epoxy. I make surfboards for fun so I figured this should be the easiest and best construction. Maybe not the cheapest though...

 

Once I had the roof off I decided it would be the right time to rebuild the bed overhang since the heco gears would need to be removed to do so. The OSB they used was so rotten and so well adhered to the aluminum skin that it was impossible to get off. After a few hours of scraping with a heat gun solvents I decided it would be easier to also glass this too and toss out the old aluminum skin. 

 

More to come on the roof and the bed. 


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#6 goinoregon

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 05:48 PM

good luck with this build. i wonder if u thought of just building a pop up from scratch ??   you seem to have some skills !


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#7 SurfinRik

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 04:36 AM

good luck with this build. i wonder if u thought of just building a pop up from scratch ??   you seem to have some skills !

 

It probably would have been easier at this point! Not many skills but I'm learning and having fun. 


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#8 SurfinRik

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 05:21 AM

Here's some pictures of the attempt to salvage the overcab/bed 

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Tried a heat gun which helped but still wasn't great. Also tried mineral spirits which also wasn't very effective. 

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Took out the remaining screws, a little prying, and it came right out. 

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Got started with the rebuild, I matched the thickness and size of the old OSB that came out. The bed portion was 1/2", the first next piece 3/4" and the top piece 5/8" with a piece of luan so the trim piece would fit. I matched the angled cuts from the old pieces as well and also made templates of the sides of the camper where the overcab attaches. The templates allowed me to clamp the new pieces while the glue dried. In addition to titebond 3 i used some pocket hole screws to hold everything together. Since I was going to glass the bottom, I wanted to fill all the knots, gaps, and pocket holes with epoxy that I thickened with micro balloons and cabosil. I also added some of this paste to where bed attaches to the first angled piece since they didn't mate up very well. 

 

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After some sanding I glassed it with 6oz glass with a pretty big overlap in the center. I just used some old surfboard epoxy resin which is basically the same as marine resin. 

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I then sanded the edge of the overlap and any other high spots. Hot coat was next to fill in the weave which once it cured I sanded with 120 grit. I also painted on some epoxy on the exposed plywood edges to seal them. Next up was epoxy primer which I went with a two part marine primer by interlux https://www.fisherie...14-primer-kitsĀ 

 

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I'll probably paint it later once I'm ready to paint the rest of the camper. Not sure if I want to go with bedliner, marine paint, or just some exterior paint like rustoleum. 

 

Roof prep has started, I spliced the 3/4" plywood together for the long side pieces and got the foam. I'll pick up the aluminum square tube next week and start building. 


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#9 Vic Harder

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Posted 23 August 2022 - 10:35 PM

Wow, nice work!
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#10 SurfinRik

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Posted 30 August 2022 - 05:01 AM

Thanks Vic!

 

Finished priming the cab over and got it installed. I predrilled some countersunk holes and used some exterior liquid nails where the cab over meets the frame. The fitment wasn't perfect leaving some small gaps and I had sealed some of the frame with epoxy so I figured wood glue wouldn't be best for this. I also put some polyurethane sealant in the holes before I put the exterior screws in. I noticed there was a little flex when pushing down from above so I looked back at some previous photos and saw the two horizontal wood support pieces. I decided I would use .125" thick 1.5" aluminum angle in place of the 1x2" wood and fasten the 1/2" plywood to the angle. You can sorta see this in the last photo of my first post. More to come on this later. 

 

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I started the roof by cutting the curve on the side pieces of the wooden frame along with the notches for the 1" aluminum square tube cross beams. I also had to cut an angle on the front of the side pieces to match the angle of the front of the cabover. To connect the frame I just used titebond 3 and pocket holes for simplicity. To attach the crossbeams I used some JB weld in the notches and cut some aluminum angle to make some brackets that I attached with rivets to the aluminum and screws to the frame. I also filled the crossbeams with spray foam to prevent condensation. I had to drill two holes along the length to fill it all the way. Feels quite sturdy and also light at this point. 

 

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Next up will be running the wiring for solar and the roof fan as well as adding more framing for the fan. Then will be cutting the foam panels and attaching them between the cross members. I haven't decided how i'll hold them in place until they're glassed. I'm thinking about putting thin plywood on the interior of the roof fastened to the crossmembers and some blocking. That will also help determine what my ceiling will be and add some strength. Another option would be to use some temporary blocking and glass the inside. This would be stronger but more difficult and wouldn't make for the best ceiling. 


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