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Jobes fulltime RV story/L'esprit Build Thread

Unread postby Jobe on Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:44 pm

I'm Christopher Jobe, I turn 30 in a couple weeks, and as of 01-02-2016 I've been officially Full-timing for one year three months and six days.

I started full-timing on accident after a double blow of a falling out with a shady business investor that cost me my business and the girl i was with that i have two little boys from breaking up our home. this all happened in the second week of October 2014.

We rented our house from her mother so after finding out what was doing i had to find a place to live immediately.

On October 14th 2014 I began staying in my 1952 M220 6x6 Military truck outside of my shop while i was moving out of my shop.
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As you could Imagian this was a Devastating period in my life and i was very overwhelmed with everything yet i still had to close my business, return or quickly finish clients projects, all while greiving the breakup, my poor kids broken home, and my business falling apart.

Now the Last factor that both added to the tribulation was also my greatest motivator as well. This is that I am not from Western Nebraska, I only moved there for the Girl six years ago in 2008.
Home for me is actually 540 miles east on the banks of the Mississippi River where Hamilon, Illinois/Keokuk, Iowa and Alexandria Missouri.

Thats it! I want to go home! But there was a catch, I have two little boys (3 and 5) keeping me bound to western Nebraska. It was at that moment that i realized that the only way to find the most achievable fulfillment was to buy a Motorhome and Travel Between as much as possible.

On October 28th 2014 I struck a deal on the first home since life went to hell. I traded my Army truck, a pistol, my daily driver subaru, and a paint job (automotive refinishing is one of my trades) on the subaru for this 1979 Xplorer 221 Class B motorhome. Yes made by the very same Frank Industries That the Travco Was born out of! :) some might say i took a loss on the trade being such an old motorhome that was rough around the edges, but in reality it was the best deal i could make and the rest was just material possesions, Besides, the guy ended up becoming a great friend and we've since colaborated on many projects. But lets get back on the rails with this story.

Ok so this was the Class B that i lived in from October 28th 14' till March 15' when i found my Travco L'esprit

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As you can see it Was a little small (96sqft.) and my growing boys needed their own bed. So the hunt began for something larger. But i wanted something that also had a fiberglass and steel construction so i wouldnt be concerned about Hail damage or leaks etc. at the time i had no idea what a travco was. I just knew i wanted something fiberglass and that didnt look like a rolling garden shed.

In January 2015 I noticed the Travco that i now own sitting in a driveway in Mccook Nebraska. I mean i when i say that i knew right away that i had to have it. I loved the curves and the windows and that it met the standard i set for only having a fiberglass bodied motorhome. The problem was that it took 2.5 months of going to mccook once a week to knock on the door before i finally caught up to the owner. Once i did immediatly struck a deal and arranged for it to be picked up the following day.

Pics of the day i got it and delivered to my parents house where the unexpected but urgent project took place.

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And Thats when the Travco Project Began.

I knew i had a job 2.5 hours away at in Ogallala in just over a week and the L'esprit was a non running project that was disgusting inside and out. But with a deadline to return to work i couldnt hesitate, I had to get it into shape and fast.

I assembled my team of experts and we got right to work.
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I had it driving (roughly) on the first day And It officially became my home on day three of the project. the remaining time was spent installing a solar system and batterys, all new charging system, starter, and lots of wiring, getting appliances working, rebuilding the carb, some brake work, and getting rid of mold, replacing rotten wood and upolstery among countless little projects before i left.

Im no stranger to the pressure, the business mentioned earlier was a restoration shop and in 2012 i won an international car build off. but this was still a demanding project to throw together in a weeks time reguardless of individual talent.

Ok, lets get to work!

step one was to order parts and upgrades on the evening of day one. those will show up later while we are working on other things.

the next step was to evaluate the condition and clean internally and externally and start the repairs/upgrades then once the packaged showed up install the solar charging system, inverter, entertainment, and change all lights to LED and HID


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same lens sanded and cleared :)
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look what was hiding underneath that door panel :)
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Ok Intermission time. next projects a big knarly one :shock:
Jobe
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Re: Jobes fulltime RV story/L'esprit Build Thread

Unread postby Jobe on Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:53 pm

Ok before getting back to work i took a pause for the cause and and had a drink under the sweet screen set that i found in a bag in the shower.

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Then onto the wet and rotten upper bed.

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Jobe
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Re: Jobes fulltime RV story/L'esprit Build Thread

Unread postby Jobe on Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:15 pm

Now that i was looking at the light at the end of the tunnel i could start thinking about what i had left to do to get on the road. by this point i was only a day or so from my deadline so i had to focus and prioritize. Not an easy feat when theres boxes of toys and new parts that i could put on but didnt need to and it was killing me to only have the cab and right side color sanded and polished but you gotta do what you gotta do. So after installing my portable Tig welding setup in the Coach I got to work on my front and rear racks which were critical to me being able to hit the road and free up the storage in my parents garage as promised so i got to work.

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At that point Chapter one of the project was nearly complete.

I had to drive through the night to make it to the job location on time. and work on very little sleep after an insane week of making a basketcase project run, drive and be habitable as a home.

Gassed up and heading out.

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I was odviously drained from working on the project so stopped along the way to catch a few hours of sleep in North platte NE before rushing to finish the last hour of driving to make it to work on time.

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Jobe
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Re: Jobes fulltime RV story/L'esprit Build Thread

Unread postby Jobe on Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:21 am

Chapter 2, Workcamping and traveling 400 miles a week.

At this point i realized that the Coach had a few very bad leaks when it rained so i often found myself seeking shelter from a storm and putting out plastic totes to catch the incoming water when shelter was not availible.

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Where alot of the water was coming in from was the old clearance lights that i didnt have time to change out when i first got going. so i swapped them for led lights and filled the old holes. the body seam under the center light is now filled as i plan to do with all three seams on the body entirly in time.

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over the summer there were countless repairs that i didnt document but there were two big "Oh No"s

1. I had four blowouts in one week, I couldnt find any 16.5s and i was low on cash too.

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i didnt get a picture of blowout #3
but here i was after running out of spares driving on four tires instead of six on the side of the hiway with no freakin idea what to do.
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Well in rural areas of the midwest the last thing you expect to find is exactly what you need just a few miles away on craigslist of all places but sure enough I found 6 16" dually wheels and tires With stainless simulators for $200 15 miles away in the direct i was headed!! Talk about a relief and a blessing in disguise!

So i finished my beer, turned my inner left wheel around and limped my butt into the next town to make the deal!

Here they are, 16" wheel conversion, nice Michelin tires, stainless steel simulators, AND a hot meal from Taco Johns! Talk about turning the day around!
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I decided to call it a night and swap the wheels over the next day since they required clearancing of the center bore and i wanted to clean up the tires and simulators before i put them on.

the next day i got to work.
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Well that got me back on the road so i could rush back to work up north!
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Then a few weeks later while driving through the sand hills my transmission bled out on the hiway.

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thankfully i had a gallon of atf with me so i let it cool off till evening then drove back on the cooler evening to one of my bosses properties so i could pull the transmission.

Once i got there i discovered a worn shaft seal was the problem. I replaced it, installed a new filter and threw everything back in so i could get back on the road.

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everything was good for awhile so i was able to get back onto the other projects.

like this nice stainless handrail up the stairs into the coach.
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I also got the interior Cleaned up and pretty tidyish for a busy fulltimer dwelling. Polishing all of the stainless was really time consuming but as you can see it was rewarding.

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My coach door handle/latch was on its way out from the day i got the motorhome but i put off replacing it until i had no choice. I opted for a dual locking deadbolt combo that was smaller then the original opening, thats ok. I plan on refinishing my house soon anyway. so lets make it work.

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fiberglass over new mild steel core for strength and security
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Thats better! time to body work it.

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Last edited by Jobe on Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jobe
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Re: Jobes fulltime RV story/L'esprit Build Thread

Unread postby Jobe on Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:14 am

Chapter 3, -July to December 2015 in the Travco L'esprit

Now for the fun stuff. Enjoy

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Thats it for now. but the Lifestyle and the progress on my Home is neverending so stay tuned for more.

Cheers
, -Christopher

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Jobe
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Re: Jobes fulltime RV story/L'esprit Build Thread

Unread postby badbillybiker on Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:08 pm

a great adventure... see you have two great helpers...Sure looks like a good deal in the long run...
see you have a perc pot, I got one too but my mr coffee has ruined me and have been asking about lately how to perc coffee in my blue porcelain stove top pot I got recently...Looking for a GOOD cup of joe..... Doesnt have the glass knob on top like back in the pyrex day., about 50 years ago and I forgot how to brew.. . Oh... I had to get directions to hook those wires to the stove burners.. I kept doing them wrong....Like you... mine is a work in progress only 2 goldens to help me.. Great photo spread too... TNX for the peek into your life style..Am sure 2016 will be better for the 3 of you......
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Re: Jobes fulltime RV story/L'esprit Build Thread

Unread postby 77Travco on Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:41 pm

Wow, I'm impressed... you definately have what it takes to own and live in an older motorhome. I have ridden motorcycles through McCook and North Platte may times on my journeys to South Dakota from Texas. You are a good writer, I'm looking forward to more of your postings in the future. Safe travels!
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Re: Jobes fulltime RV story/L'esprit Build Thread

Unread postby Jobe on Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:09 pm

It's time for A mid summer Update. :D


I've finally finished my cabinet refinishing project.


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in the process my 40 year old refrigerator went out and a new 2 way fridge is not in the budget for a few months so out of desperation we made a small 110v fridge "fit"




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once that project was done it was time for new brakes that we WELL OVERDUE.

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And as this plug tells, (no gap) It was also due for a thourgh tune-up

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Then a few months ago this Tornado payed a visit so we hung out for a bit and took a few "freindly" photos ;)



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more to come in a bit. :)
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Re: Jobes fulltime RV story/L'esprit Build Thread

Unread postby 77Travco on Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:46 am

I just went back and re-read this from the beginning. Glad you are able to post again!
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Re: Jobes fulltime RV story/L'esprit Build Thread

Unread postby Acesneights on Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:58 pm

Wow...I missed this somehow.
Amazing. Do you ever get tired ?
I pla with Army trucks as well. As far as the fridge, They are crazy money but I have bought jhem cheap from people on CL parting out water damaged travel Trailers.
Keep us up to date.
Nice drum kit btw. Slingerland is nice stuff. Play bass myself and my son has a Tama Superstar kit.
1975 Travco 270
1974 Travco 220 Parts unit
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