My posts on that ADV thread below kind of died out. It turns out that moving into a camper and preparing to travel the world is a very time intensive endeavor. The time I had available to write about the launch was minimal. So here is the rundown . . . .
The camper I ultimately ended up with is a 1980 Puritan 16 foot dual axle model. The picture below is the location I got it from in exchange for a days worth of yard work.
The floor was all rotted out inside, but everything else appeared in good condition. The previous owners let the camper sit through a winter with the water system filled, so a pipe burst and water slowly dripped out for months, seeped into the floor and rotted away the cheap particle board. When I was pulling it all out I literally scooped the floor out with my hands and vacuumed up everything else.
After a few days of work I was able to reinforce the existing floor studs, completely replace the entire floor with new boards, and cover it over with fresh stick down tile. The result was nothing short of amazing.
Once the floor was back in place I had a little more spricing up to do, but it was more or less ready to go. I spent a couple nights in it to adjust. This photo is my first night in the camper.
I had to repack the bearings and clean up the brakes. There was quite a bit of rewiring to be done. I had to replace the old wires and connectors for the electric brakes. These old campers were cranked out carelessly at the factories. Most of the camper companies had less than a dozen employes and they would turn out as many campers in a day. Everything is low quality and done in haste. . . after 27 years there were a number of things to update.
The final steps of camper preparation included taking care of the water system. Not only had one of the pipes burst, but the water tank inself had swelled up and spring a few leaks. The water heater was also ruined.
I pulled the tank, sanded it down and patched the holes. I flushed it out a couple dozen times with a garden hose, but the liner inside had deteriorated pretty badly. This tank would never hold drinking water again and I will need to replace it in the near future. (Can’t seem to find my photos of the water system, hmm).
Dispite the difficulties I was able to get the water system working adequately so the kitchen and bathroom sinks were working properly, as well as the toilet and shower. However, the dirty water storage tanks also had issues and the drains were broken from sitting too long. I took them off and have yet to fix them.
Final work for the camper before heading out included building a couple rudamentary wheel chocks against the rear wall, and fastening tie down eyelets in a few key places to hold the bikes in place. This is about how it looked.
Once I had bike storage good to go I declared the camper ‘reasonably-adequate’ and it was ready to go.