Interior Remodel

In 2003 Joyce and I gutted our Meteorite and started from scratch. That meant we redesigned the configuration of cabinets, the dinette, and added a refrigerator, shower, water pump, installed 12 volt fluorescent light fixtures, a water heater, a built-in catalytic heater, and a 3-burner stove.

We also changed the upholstery on the seats, replaced the foam in the seats and beds, and installed engineered wood floors.

Every camper owner should be concerned about the total weight of their rig. Almost any kind of modification would be too heavy for our Meteorite in its original configuration, which had a gross vehicle weight rating of 1180 pounds. Research showed that the axle could handle 2000 pounds and the limiting factor was the tires. The 4.80-8 tires were rated at 590 pounds each, which when doubled was the trailers rated weight.  So the first step would be be a Suspension Upgrade. We lifted the body allowing us room to install a set of new 12″ wheels and 5.30-12 Load C tires rated at 1045 pounds each. Since about 15% of the trailer’s weight would be on the trailer hitch, we would have a maximum gross vehicle weight of around 2300 pounds.

PLANNING

We probably spent more time planning the the rebuild than actual construction time. A lot of time was spent looking at other campers in person and on the Internet. We researched all kinds of options and equipment. Then we drew up plans, with an eye to installing everything in the most efficient and productive order.

GUTTING THE TRAILER

We removed everything from the interior but the flooring. This included all cabinets, wiring, plumbing and fixtures.

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We left the flooring in place and would install the new flooring on top. This would help insulate and waterproof things.

 

FLOORING

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Installing the bottom frames for the cabinets.

We decided to installed engineered wood flooring. The flooring is heavy, and to save weight, we did not install it wall to wall in some areas. We would butt it up to some of the cabinets, and go wall to wall in other places.

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Flooring in the front of the camper. Note the new paneling on the front wall. This would match the paneling we used to build new cabinets.
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Flooring in the rear of the camper. Cabinets have been framed out on the floor.

CABINETS

We built all new cabinets from scratch.

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Rear curbside cabinets. The back one is the frame for the dinette seat storage. Front is storage and the built-in Olympian Wave 6 catalytic heater.
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Constructing the front curbside cabinet.
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Building the street side rear dinette seat frame which would house the shower pan.

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Below the shower is being assembled into the cabinet.

Click to see the complete Under Dinette Shower.

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Finishing the trim.
Front curbside cabinet completed. Note the Formica counter top and T-molding and the curved edges of the counter top.
Front curbside cabinet completed. Note the Formica counter top and T-molding and the curved edges of the counter top.
110 volt and 12 volt receptacles in the cabinet.
110 volt and 12 volt receptacles in the cabinet.

NEW FOAM AND UPHOLSTERY FOR SEAT CUSHIONS AND BEDS

We wrapped the new quality high density foam in batting.
We wrapped the new quality high density foam in batting.
Cushions completed.
Cushions completed.

3-BURNER STOVE

The original stove was a 2-burner inside/outside stove. We purchased a Suburban 3-burner stove to replace it.

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Old stove (left) versus the new one (right).
Close up of stove.
Close up of stove.

 

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During transport, the stove cabinet is removed and stored on the floor. All bottom edges of the stove are weather sealed to keep the refrigerator fumes from entering the interior when camped. We traveled with the refrigerator in 12 volt mode.
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The drawer under the stove is a great place to store cooking utensils.

DOUBLE SINK

Most small campers have a single sink. We opted for a full size RV double sink and even installed a residential dish-washing sprayer.

During transport the sink folds over the the back splash sits of the floor to keep the unit level.
During transport the sink folds over the the back splash sits of the floor to keep the unit level.
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Note the counter tops and dinette table (front) all have matching Formica and T-molding.
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The front of the sink cabinet has a fold-down door for paper towel storage. Also there is additional storage behind it.

Below the sink plumbing, waste drain, and water supple hoses are extra long to allow the sink to easily fold over when packing the camper.

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Plumbing under the fold-over sink.

LOWER SINK CABINET

The lower sink cabinet is permanently fixed and houses the water pump, accumulator, water heater, and associated plumbing and electrical.

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REFRIGERATOR

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EXTERIOR VIEW OF WATER HEATER AND REFRIGERATOR

Refrigerator vents on left, water heater door at right.
Refrigerator vents on left, water heater door at right.
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Outside access panel to the refrigerator. The switch at the lower right is to turn on the electric fan in hot weather to help the refrigerator efficiency.
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Exterior refrigerator fan is a computer cooling fan I bought at Radio Shack.

PICTURES OF COMPLETED INTERIOR

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