'73 220 restoration and updating

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Travco Model: 220
Location: North Central Ontario

'73 220 restoration and updating

Unread post by Woodsman » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:32 pm

The trucking company arrived with our 220 on Saturday $1,130 with tax for the unit and $900 to truck it, so were in there for $2030 Cdn about $1,550 US.\n
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\n\nIt has had a major development of mouse accommodations so we sill strip and clean it before we move it into the barn. Here's some photos before we started tear it down and after day one.\n
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Travco Model: 1973 220
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Re: '73 220 restoration and updating

Unread post by rfamlyslyds » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:45 pm

Love seeing these pics. \nMy 1973 is the exact same with rear bunks and door placement. Next year after a year abroad with my family, I will hopefully gut the thing and slowly work on making her into a comfortable beach and camp mobile. I look forward to seeing more pics as they come along. Jake

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Travco Model: 220
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Re: '73 220 restoration and updating

Unread post by Woodsman » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:52 pm

I have a large pole barn that we will move the Travco into for the remodelling. The last couple weeks have been spent setting up an area to do the work. We should be ready to roll it in next week.\n\nI've completed most of the gutting of the inside. The shower base, toilet and a section of wall still need to be removed but I'll do that once were inside the barn.\n
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\n\nWhen Travco built the units, they put together the structure and then carpeted everything before putting in the kitchen or bath. Let me tell you it is disgusting. Mouse nests were through out as well areas of black mold.\n
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\n\nThe floor has serious rot along the rear end, it'll need replacing and glass work. There are places the foam will need to be removed and replaced as well. Overall it's pretty solid.\n
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\n\nWe have had time to formulate a plan. We are going to rebuild it as a 2 person unit. Queen in the back, elevated with utilities and storage underneath. An actual shower stall with a separate toilet space. The kitchenette layout will be roughly the same but everything will be new. The riser that originally was the table area will be removed and the exterior door glassed in. This will give us more floor area and on the wall we will build a fold down table.\n
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\n\nThe entire driving area needs to be redone, it has been hacked and jury rigged. As it is part of the lounging area we'll put in full feature driver/pass recliners and give the cockpit a "sitting in the living room" feeling. We are going use wood for most of the interior, floors likely a composite.\n\nThe residence wiring looks good, so it will be a matter of tracing and labelling. The generator works well but I'll update all the electrical components, furnace, water heater and all the hoses/lines. Tanks, including fuel, will be replaced.\n\nOn the chassis systems side I'm hoping best case. That the engine is sound, that the existing brake system can be rebuilt. Rad looks cooked and the split wheels will need to be replaced. If the beast can be made dependable and roadworthy, without it being too painful, I would like to install a 518 tranny, for the overdrive.
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Travco Model: dodge mahal,1970
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Re: '73 220 restoration and updating

Unread post by raysimmons » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:10 am

I know you would like to replace the trans with an overdrive unit but as I've stated before on this site, my 413 with the old 727 3 speed gets me 10 mpg and all the speed I could ask for. it likes to run at 65 mph and would do much more and so would I if I could only stop it quicker than the queen mary ! (suicide master cylinder and drums all around)

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Travco Model: 220
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Re: '73 220 restoration and updating

Unread post by Woodsman » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:43 am

raysimmons wrote:I know you would like to replace the trans with an overdrive unit but as I've stated before on this site, my 413 with the old 727 3 speed gets me 10 mpg and all the speed I could ask for. it likes to run at 65 mph and would do much more and so would I if I could only stop it quicker than the queen mary ! (suicide master cylinder and drums all around)
\n\nA friend of mine collects late '40's early 50's cars, my wife and I were in his garage one day and she said to him, "that's a beautiful car, is it nice to drive", he replied "it takes some getting use too but it's a complete workout, with the power drum brakes your legs and your heart get exercised". I grew up in farm country, where driving 10,000lbs of grain with lousy brakes was tradition. When you missed a gear downshifting, the non synchromesh transmission and brakes that wouldn't hold you on a hill made for some heart racing backwards driving.\n\nThe tranny change is strictly for economy, I can't see running more than 65 very often. I love touring on the secondary highway systems, the scenery is almost always better and it helps to get away from the sell you crap commercial world we live in. I'd much rather drive 100 miles of switchbacks then 100 miles of freeway. I can buy a rebuilt/warranted 46RE for $1900 US, no major modifications to install it. The fuel economy should improve between 30 & 40% (according to some guys I know who put them in their muscle cars). Somewhere between 10,000 & 15,000 miles the conversion should pay for itself, after that I'm saving close to a quarter/ mile. Two years to break even and it comes with 3 year 100,000 mile warranty. Should be money well spent for us and can't hurt the resale down the road.

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Travco Model: dodge mahal,1970
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Re: '73 220 restoration and updating

Unread post by raysimmons » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:02 am

I guess if that trans will bolt right up the the 413 it would be an easy swap other than cutting the drive shaft. I know the hot rods can squeeze out much better mpg's with overdrive but I don't think they weight much more that 4,000 lbs. when you get a camper pretty much the shape of a brick and weighing in at 12,000 plus lbs (my 27' mahal loaded) I don't think you will get another 30% better mpg's. that's just my thinking but I'm just an old guy keeping things simple. I too always take the so called "blue" hi ways whenever possible. It's the only real way to see the country. going back to the trans, descending the big horn and rocky mtn's the old 727 trans held my speed pretty much at 45 mph w/o all that much braking. still original at 125k miles.

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Travco Model: 220
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Re: '73 220 restoration and updating

Unread post by Woodsman » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:25 am

It may not improve 30% but starting at 10mpg there is lots of room for improvement. It needs to be as fuel efficient as possible.

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Re: '73 220 restoration and updating

Unread post by KB2CRK » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:39 am

The 46 RE would have a small block bell housing and will not bolt up to the 413. There are adapter kits available from different companies.

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Re: '73 220 restoration and updating

Unread post by Woodsman » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:26 am

Winter set in soon after my last post and it's been long and cold. A lovely -20C, -4F this morning I didn't get all the work done in our barn that's needed to set up for rebuilding the Travco and as a result didn't get the beast inside. The temperature is rising and it shouldn't be long until I can get back at it. Once it is inside I'll be able to work through much of the winter but there is a lot of the time it is just too cold, putting heat in the barn would bankrupt us.

I've done a ton of reading over the winter including a Dodge chassis manual I bought. I must concede to Ray and KB that I may be overly optimistic on potential fuel economy improvements with the existing drive line and the cost of making the changes. It is interesting to read about some of the conversions that people have made to the 300 chassis. It seems that as well as od tranny upgrades and Cummins conversions, that Isuzu NPR drive train may be an option. The bottom line is that I need to get a better handle on what kind of shape it is in mechanically and the cost involved with bringing it back to spec vs what it would cost in parts and more importantly too me, my time to do an upgrade/conversion.

The Travco's are a funny beast. If I were to find a old Challenger and did a nice resto-mod the odds are pretty good I'd see a profit or at least come out clean. If you were to spend $25,000 on a complete Travco 220 resto-mod is that burnt money? I don't usually fall in love with vehicles. I buy for the application and would sell at a stop light, but this Travco is really different. We went to the RV show in Toronto a couple weeks ago just looking for ideas and trying to get a handle on value. It was a real eye opener. There were some nice motor homes, quality fit and finish, but generally and including some at $500k they were shoddy. Cheap materials, poor workmanship. The ones that smelled like you were sticking your head in a bucket of UREA started at about $100K and prices went up from there. They look flashy and all have slide outs but nothing got us slightly interested. It just made the Travco and it's potential look better. $100k I could get the Mennonites to do the woodwork.

Anyhow (long winter, long winded)...it appears that we have agreement, in our household, over a mechanical object. My wife and I believe that this is a first. We agree that we will do what is needed to make the Travco a home we can get in a go where ever the heck we want.

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Re: '73 220 restoration and updating

Unread post by KB2CRK » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:54 am

Just so you know those newer 200,000 dollar units don't get any better fuel economy than the Travco....

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