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Pendleton Round-up or bust!

You might notice it has been something like 7 months since my last entry. The DF1 project had to be put on hold because I thought I had mono. I was wrong. As it turns out, I’m just really, really lazy. However, I have been prodded back into action! Enticed by friends who would rather put their money towards materials for DF1, than spending money on renting an RV to take to the Round-up. (Suckers.)

I don’t intend to get it completely finished by then (less than 3 weeks from now), but I think I can do just enough to make it livable. Throw down some flooring, throw up some wall and ceiling panels, and frame in the bathroom and fridge. Maybe add some carpet in the cockpit, if there is time.

For the past 7 months or so the old girl as been parked up at Big Frank’s (my Dad’s), where she has had plenty of company from other vehicles in various states of disrepair.

(Waiting for pictures to add here)

The first thing on my list of things to do was to get the wet bath put back in its place. This involved screwing the sub frame (which I put together months ago) down into place. This was a big pain in the butt. There were some 1x1 joists glued to the bottom of the fiberglass bathroom shell that had fallen off and gone missing. To fix this I decided to just remove them all together and lay down some extra flooring fill the space.

It doesn’t look like much, but it worked well enough. It actually added a little too much height, but after a bit of wrestling and sweet talking, I was able to convince the bathroom to go back into place.

Next on the agenda was to lay down the bamboo flooring I’ve had laying around. This involved laying down some 1/4 inch plywood to make a nice smooth flat surface to lay down the floating floor on.

That picture was taken after half the flooring had been snapped into place, and then taken apart again because I realized I there were some seriously unlevel spots that were causing problems. Once I took care of those by trimming a little from here an there off the under layment, snapping the floating floor together was a breeze. I only had to take 1 first aid break!

That hole is for the kitchen sink drain, and will be behind cabinets.

I’ll need to find some sort of flashing for the entrance.

I did intend to run the flooring all the way to the back, but I encountered too much of a hump here. I will even out these ends and then lay the rest of the floor east to west.

Still left to do: Build enclosures for the generator and propane tank, panel ceiling and walls, frame in bathroom and fridge, clean up and re-install the toilet, plumb in bathroom, finish the door latch, and probably about a million other things. Oh an maybe carpet the cockpit, if there is time.

Behind the Scenes

The past couple of weeks I have been working on behind the scenes type projects for DF1. It needed some mechanical work so I took it down to Barry at Farmers Repair in Silverton, OR. Barry specializes in farm machinery, building hot rods and wearing denim. He has built 2 hot rod engines for my dad out of junk yard motors, and they go like hell. I had Barry fix the choke on the engine so I can stop using starting fluid to start it, he also got the generator going (well kind of). Barry had to “by-pass” somethings on the generator to get it to run, but it’s not worth putting more money into to fix it right. At this point if it breaks, it breaks. Fingers crossed….

I also have been chipping away at fortifying the insulation. The insulation started out looking like this.

And this is more like how I want it to look.

Nice and tight with no air gaps and all foil backed. Here is a shot of the roof.

and a before and after of a wheel well.

I also put together the joists that support the bathroom unit, theoretically there is nothing stopping me from putting the toilet back in and pooping in it again.

My most exciting accomplishment came today however. The windows of DF1 still had the original tinting on them from 1974 and it had turned completely ugly purple and was bubbling and cracking. I had been dreading taking it off because it is a tedious task that involves a clothes steamer and a razor blade and it can take hours. But through some miracle combination of Mother Nature and my pure masculinity I was able to to do in just 15 minutes with no tools.

Look how it just came right down in one giant sheet. I think I was able to do it because it was so cold and wet outside and I was working up a sweat inside, I was able to produce the perfect amount of steam on the windows to break down the glue. Pretty exciting right?

The Ugly Duckling

Before there was DF1 there was The Ugly Duckling.

The Ugly Duckling was a 1979 Vaquero that my dad’s neighbor gave him for free.

A little green spray paint and grill mounted grill (yes that’s right) and we were ready to roll.

And best of all we never felt out of place.

It leaked, it smelled, it barely ran and it was the best place to be outside of Autzen.

The Ugly Duckling was proof sometimes it’s the imperfections that make something perfect.



Just some quick pics of materials I might want to use

Bamboo flooring (already got this for free)

Cowhide for the cockpit headliner and possibly dash board

Spray in bed liner for the cockpit floor

Just a little bit of good ol ripple tin as a kitchen back splash

OSB to build the cabinets from

Concrete countertop

Oak veneer for ceiling and wall paneling

Floor plans

This was the original floor plan

and this is what I have planned

So I don’t have anything major planned (not yet anyway). I  have no choice about the location of the bathroom due to where the holding tank is located underneath the chassis. I am not replacing the dinette, I am removing one bank of floor-to-ceiling drawers, I am not going to have a range or oven (I’ll outdoor BBQ or use a Foreman type counter top appliance). I do not plan on having a passenger seat mostly because the original sucks and they are really expensive. The current fridge is very large for an RV fridge so if I were to replace it with a smaller one in the same location I could probably put it under a counter (currently it goes floor-to-ceiling). However the current fridge still works and can fit 2 sixth barrel kegs in it….

I think doing this will maximize seating and floor space. The storage lost from removing the bank of drawers should be made up under the new couch which previously had none.

Check out these pot holders carolina anne custom made for DF1 (look at the top photo).


As a University of Oregon graduate, I love my ducks and I love college football.  Love love love.  I made the two potholders above for a good friend that I met tailgating.  I created the “O” potholder using foundation piecing - a technique I’ve never been taught, so this potholder is a major work in progress!  I think it’s perfectly imperfect - you can see my stitches in places and I really had no idea what I was doing.  But the “O” is fairly accurate if I can pat my own back.  I quilted both with my Bernina Stitch Regulator.  And!  I signed up for a foundation piecing course today so hopefully I can make some more of these soon!  Go Ducks!

Commander and Chief of Oregon tailgaiting.

The main goal behind this blog is to record the the renovation of my 1974 RV for tailgating at Duck football games. She is a GMC Classic Elaganza II to be exact, but I’ve taken to just calling her Duck Force One, or DF1 for short. These RV’s have quite the cult following so I feel lucky to have picked this bad girl up in great working condition a couple years back for only $3,800 from a mono-skier in Lowell Oregon. He was asking $8,000 but I had cash money and he needed it ASAP to move to Vegas to be with his “old lady.” DF1 was in such good shape when I bought her I didn’t really plan on ever doing this-but when I had to remove the carpet because my dog had diarrhea all over it one thing led to another, “Oh since I have the carpet out I’ll just remove this wall paneling” and so on…

So here I am with a completely gutted, running, driving GMC Classic. Now what?