My Roadtrek Renovation

Wow what an exciting week it has been. As you saw last week I am doing some renovating to my Roadtrek. I loved the way the interior turned out so much I decided to paint the exterior. It was getting rusty in spots and the paint was starting to peel in places. It was time for a redo. Now a paint job is expensive and can run you $5000 to $10,000. There has to be a cheaper way. It does not have to be show quality but it needs to look nice. A chat with my good friend Mike who does painting and he said we could tremclad it. Hahaha! Really?? Can we tremclad it purple? Yes we can.

Ohhh I am excited!!

For those who do not know what tremclad is, it is a rust inhibitor paint. It comes in many colors, purple not being one of them but red and blue do make purple. This could work. 

The real work starts long before the painting begins. The brown pinstripping would certainly not go with the purple basement. It was old and the clear was not clear anymore. We could not paint over it. It had to come off.

My friend Tom!

Taking the pinstripping off is a slow task. Heating the panel and the strips with a heat gun, scoring it or making an edge in the line with a scraper to get it started and trying to keep a constant temperature as you pulled the lines off the van was a challenge. Different lines came off differently. It seemed the darker the line the smoother you could take it off. It also depended on thickness and where it was located. It took a total of 3 days to remove all the decals from around the van. Taking off the glue with paint thinner was a smelly but efficient way to get it off.

It took 2 ladders and a little balance to get the ones off the top! It’s a lotta van! Lol!

Next came the scuffing of the brown along the bottom of the van. A scotch green scour pad and some powder comet will scuff up the existing paint enough to get the new paint to stick and clean the surface really well as well. Everything was moving right along and you know there is going to be some sort of snag. The cover for my house battery is crooked and hard to get on and off. Like swearing hard. We noticed the bumper was pushed in a little on that side. Someone did not watch their blind corner when backing up. Not me…just sayin. The bumper has a little rust and since we would have it all apart anyway let’s find a new or good used one to replace it. After a unsuccessful trip to the scrap yard and a good look at the bumper we discovered that we would have to remove the propane tank to get the bumper off. Ohhhh no. We are not doing that. There must be another way to fix the battery cover. Maybe we could pull the bumper out a bit? Trim the cover?  Hmmm interesting delema.

After fighting to get the cover off we discovered the real problem which was not the bumper at all. It was the battery box itself which had broken at the top bracket and was now offset. That’s why the cover was sitting a little crooked and so hard to get on and off. It was pretty rusty all around but with that front top bracket broken it really did become dangerous. If I had been going down the highway and that other bracket had broke it would have been a serious loss of house power.

Tom got the battery box out and put a new bracket on it, gave it a good sand and painted it with tremclad to keep the rust at bay. Ohhh we are cookin with gas now as my Dad used to say!

Looking like new!

While Tom was working on the box and me on the scouring and scuffing a little baby bird came to visit. He was a mouthy little thing and had a lot to say. Lol! There is a saying in Europe that if a black bird lands on your ship you should not sail or you will sink. I was not going anywhere for at least a day so that was not an issue. Now him flying in the van was maybe an issue. We had a talk about no birds in the van and with a last squawk he flew away. Free as a bird!

Just a baby!

All taped up and ready to paint Mike decided he could spray it. Pheww! My biggest worry was my painting skills which are passable but messy. With fingers crossed that this was all going to look as good as it did in my mind we were ready for the transformation!

Taped and ready!

When it was done I will tell you I cried! I just could not believe the difference! With the rust holes gone and the bottom a beautiful sparkly purple I was just floored at the difference! Even with the white not done yet it was everything I imagined she could be!

We even painted the Chevy symbol of the front purple!

The transformation of my van Chipmunk and this Chipmunk in last few weeks has been inspirering! None of this would have been possible without the support of my kids and my good friends that are my family! I am so blessed to have these people in my life standing by my side! 💜

We have to wait a week to do the top for the purple paint to get good and hard so we can mask it. I like the middle not having pinstripping on it but the top definitely needs something. I would also like the front of the rise to have the word Roadtrek back on it. In purple of course. We will see what I come up with! I have a friend that can make me stickers! The possibilities are endless!

Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure!

See you next week.


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