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Old 11-13-2012
Katie's Avatar
Katie Katie is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wolf Creek
Posts: 36
Default Help! So many questions ahead of us yet!

Hey Folks!

2 years ago we were gifted a 1977 Bluebird Wanderlodge. We were super excited about the gift, even though the ol' Bird was neglected and improperly stored for 7 years in the soggy mountains of Southern Oregon. Besides the algae and minor paint flaws, the exterior looked great! The inside on the other hand took us 5 months before we could even go inside without a respirator, due to all colors of mold. Besides the shower stall, bathroom counter, and kitchen counter, it got completely gutted all the way down to the metal subfloor. It then went through many cycles of scrubbings to kill all traces of mold. Here's a few photos of where we started…

Out of the Depths!

Be glad you can't smell this!!

It's all going, going...


We found WOG over a year ago searching for answers to our seemingly endless list of questions and were beyond excited when we found you. This is our first RV and we didn't know anything about the history, quality, appeal, and overall awesomeness of the Bluebirds. We've been meaning to introduce ourselves for quite some time now, but the day to day of working jobs, becoming first time parents of a now 2 year old, and restoring the Wanderlodge has consumed us.

There's no reason to fill you in on every frustrating detail that needed attention, but here are some of our favorite highlights:
-All fresh water plumbing has been upgraded to PEX and a new hot water heater was installed.
-All of the 12 volt blower motors and pumps in the coach have been replaced.
-We've stuck mostly to the original layout and reclaimed as much of the wood as possible from the original cabinets, drawers and bed frames by sanding, sealing, and refinishing every inch of them with paint, stain, or door skin; because seriously, the materials they used back then were worth the effort of saving.
-We've always enjoyed the aged and distressed feel, so we've been recycling materials along the way, repurposing some cool old scrap metal, and refinishing salvaged wood as needed to give us that weathered look we've envisioned from the start.
We've been consulting Craigslist and the greater internet for the appliances, toilets, heaters, fans, motors, etc… that all needed replacing.

Here's a few photos of where we're at…

Weather proofing the repaired roof

Our first conversation at the dining room table

Some of the scrap wood used

Skeleton of the new layout

That's the fairly condensed version of our story thus far. We are getting to questions that will need the help of experienced Bird owners. We'll be asking some soon and look forward to the knowledge other members have to share with us!


The Ruppels

P.S. If anyone is interested in a more detailed description of our work thus far with lots more pics, feel free to check out our blog at http://badassorganics.wordpress.com/
Patrick and Katie Ruppel
Brought a '77 FC35 Bird back from the depths.
Still relocating from Oregon to Wisconsin... currently Eastbound on I-40

Blog: http://badassorganics.wordpress.com/wanderlodge/
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Old 11-13-2012
BeeBee BeeBee is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 894

Wow absolutely fantastic what you've both managed to do with that old Bird! Especially with the condition it was in. Thanks for sharing! And for introducing yourselves. Look forward to seeing and hearing more from you both.
Jennifer & Darrell Snell
Palm Harbor, FL
2000 LXi ME
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Old 11-13-2012
markbragdon's Avatar
markbragdon markbragdon is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Windham, ME
Posts: 1,310
Default Truly amazing!

Just taking one look and seeing a Wanderlodge instead of a hopeless lump of algae took great vision (and a great deal of courage!). It will be worth it in the end, but obviously you know that already. The pictures are great, and the WOG stands ready to help with answers (some correct), opinions, and lots of interest. Great job so far!
Mark and Donna Bragdon
CW4 retired
Windham, Maine
95 WB 42
2007 Jeep Wrangler
2015 GMC Acadia
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Old 11-13-2012
alvahall's Avatar
alvahall alvahall is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cynthiana
Posts: 1,197

Yes WOW! is the word. Great job!
John & Nancy Hall
Cynthiana, Ky
1988 Narrow PT40
"The Aviary"
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Old 11-13-2012
Ernest Ekberg's Avatar
Ernest Ekberg Ernest Ekberg is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mineral Wells, Tx
Posts: 6,192

It looks like you guys have a good vision- and better yet, plenty of energy, Thanks for sharing
Ernie Ekberg
Prevost Liberty 45 XL
Facebook—- Ernie Ekbergs’Flooring
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Old 11-13-2012
nstriglia's Avatar
nstriglia nstriglia is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Poultney
Posts: 181

WOW....I thought I had my work cut out for me with the restore of my 1975 FC-31. You guys went above and beyond on this one. Kudos......

Nick Striglia
Poultney, VT
1986 PT-40
1975 FC-31 (SOLD)
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Old 11-13-2012
papadbh papadbh is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Hudson
Posts: 157

Patrick and Katie, That is awesome!! When you finish, your FC will give you lots of great times. We love our 78 FC 35 SB and it has been worth the journey! We have done lots of work as well but nothing to the level you guys have! Looking good!! Thank for sharing and keep us posted on the progress!
[/SIGPIC]Don and Kelli Holcomb
Hudson, Florida
"The Circle H Lodge"
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Old 11-13-2012
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Crit Bliss Crit Bliss is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,841

You really need to bring your coach to Pine Mountain next year!
Crit Bliss
Cape Cod,ma
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Old 11-13-2012
Randy Dupree's Avatar
Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
Forum owner
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Port St Joe,Fl
Posts: 40,218

What a job you too did!
email me at randy@randydupree.com only.

Randy Dupree
2000 LXI 43
Port St Joe Fl.

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Old 11-13-2012
Finally Free's Avatar
Finally Free Finally Free is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Formerly Lincolnville, Maine - Full Time and moving since Jan 2011
Posts: 270

Oh, to be young again ! Now these are two people ( 3 ?? - I'd imagine the baby gets involved) worthy of praise and admiration. What a wonderful family project.
I'm sure there are a lot of wide eyes looking at those pictures this morning. You may not know it but I think you've just started your own fan club.
Best wishes!
Phil & Cheryl Roberts
1990 SP36 F/T since Jan'11
"Fixed" is a temporary state of being.
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1977, bluebird, remodel, rennovation, wanderlodge

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