I got this 1994 Winnebago ‘Minnie Winnie’ 421RB (Ford E350 cutaway van bodystyle) from a car auction for $1200 in August 2021. I was looking around for RVs/Vans that I could convert into a remote work-from-home office. My dad decided to jump the gun and bid on it without telling me, it was a WTF moment when I first saw the pics on the auction site, but eventually decided I was up for the challenge. It had some good things like a built in generator, 90k miles. I ended up finding the original owner and found that he had bought it for 13k in 2008 and in Summer 2021 a thunderstorm knocked a tree down in his yard and it fell onto the RV (insurance company gave him 20k). As you can see from the pics it fell through the roof , crushing the AC unit. It also poked a hole near the front antenna mount, and part of the tree limb knocked out the plumbing, you can see the small hole by the left rear wheel well ( oddly perfect hit to knock out the plumbing/drainage pipe).
The biggest problem is that it sat for about a month in the previous owners driveway until the insurance company could come out and look at it due to COVID etc, then it say another month in the auction lot until it was auctioned. There was significant water damage in the ceiling and floor due to other rainstorms also dumping water in there for those 2 months.
So the game plan was somehow fix the holes in the roof originally. But come to find out first that the roof consisted of a layer of thin aluminum, which i could not figure out where to source anywhere. Coupled with the fact the more i looked into it that the water damage was too much because Winnebago uses very thin Luan plywood panels glued to foam insulation and all that wood was pretty much rotted because Luan is relatively inexpensive and easy to work with, but it is not very durable or resistant to moisture.
I started doing a lot of research on RV restoration/remodeling and came across an awesome resource on YouTube from AZExpert. His video were tremendously helpful in seeing what the insides of RV roofs looked like and how to fix/replace them. So after calling numerous places for 8×13 aluminum rolls with no luck, I decided I would go with an alternative. After searching around I found a really good price on a PVC kit from classacustoms.com for $189. Stay tuned for ripping apart the roof in Part 2…