It's so exciting 😃! My wife and I are completely new Toyota RV Owners since just yesterday I bought a 1991 Odyssey Americana in central Pennsylvania. It is the Fargo 21.5' configuration and is in fairly good condition overall, low mileage (68K miles) and seems to run fine. I just drove it about 60 miles yesterday to pay a surprise visit to my parents and tomorrow I'll begin the 800 mile journey home to Wisconsin. We are very much looking forward to hitting the road with it. When my grandparents retired in the early 1960s they bought a "Scottie" camper and drove across the country with it. Now that we're looking at possible retirement, perhaps we'll follow their tire tracks 😎.
While good overall condition, I'm reminded that this camper is 28 years old, no spring chicken, and it will need some love and attention. I figure one "RV-Years" is about 2.5 people years. So my "28 year old" RV is about what I'll be when I'm 70, which isn't all that far off.
I'm posting some photos and hope to learn from the collective wisdom that I've discovered in this forum. Here are some observations and questions:
We will probably keep the interior configuration, at least for now, and right now everything works (with possible exception of the water heater). We do want to rid the camper of the 80's carpet-on-everything theme. We will probably do laminate on the floor, not sure what to do on the ceiling. We're not sure what we'll find when we remove the carpeting. Any suggestions, especially for the ceiling?
We want to give the exterior a major make-over, both functional (leaks????) and cosmetic (looks 28 years old). The first step I believe is to get remove the original stripes that were adhesive decals, but I want to do this without damaging the fiberglass underneath. In some areas, as you can see from the photos, the decals are already gone, other areas have a little remaining adhesive, other areas have relatively pristine decals still adhered. What method/solvents/etc. are recommended for removing these from fiberglass without leaving worse marks / damage?
I was told by the original owner that the front window had leaked, but he repaired it with some super-sticky tape, perhaps Peel & Seal. Also, the window, which is plastic, is so weathered it's opaque. Or maybe it was originally that way. Either way, I'd like to see out of it, clear as glass. Two questions: (a) Are replacement windows available? Where? (b) How can I effectively re-seal this so I can remove the tape and not have leaks?
The roof may have leaked at one point. I've read that the Americana has a rubber roof, but I can't really tell because a previous owner coated the roof with the type of material used as a truck bed liner, and the recent owner added a couple waterproof panels and some sealing tape. I don't see any present leaks, but I don't want to keep adding bandaids, I'd like to restore it to an original condition. Thoughts? Anyone tackle this on an Odyssey Americana before?
The roof also apparently sagged / bowed in a little and left standing water on top. The previous owner reduced this by adding an exterior beam brace - you can see it in the middle on the last photo - to pull the roof up in the center to reduce pooling of water. Does anyone have tips on restoring the correct arch of the roof in a more long-term way, without external bracing?
Thanks to all of you for your thoughts on this little restoration project. Looking through the Forum archives I see many of you have taken on much bigger tasks. This is not so daunting, but I'd like to get to a good start, get our new home-on-wheels fixed up, then hit the road.