FWC Keystone Full Rebuild Project

Colorado CJ

awesome work you're doing here. sure would love to replace my Hawk with a keystone but man are they hard to come by! looking forward to seeing the continued progress.

Thanks! I lucked into this one for the price. They are pretty available around here, but many are pretty pricey. Although one was given away on Craigslist about a week after I bought mine.

Colorado CJ

Time for a small update, did a little more work on the camper.

First, I tensioned the spring piano hinges to be able to install the front lifting panel.

I then started by riveting in the top of the panel. Because I am using the same hinges in the same places, I could rivet back into the original holes in the roof. This meant I didn't need to measure or make sure the roof would be aligned with the camper, so it was a quick install. I also tied some fishing line to the center elastic and fished it through the hole in the lift panel. This made it easy to reinstall all the elastic like the original.

The front now lifts up and down extremely easily. All those little springs on the 3 hinges really help with lifting force. They nearly lift the roof by themselves.

I then measured and cut a new cabover wood piece. Since I want this one to last, I coated the new cabover wood with some 2-part polymide epoxy.

While the epoxy was drying, I rebuilt the back lift panel. This one went much faster than the front, completing it in a couple of hours.

After it dried, I brought it into the camper and slid it in place. I then lifted up the edges and applied lots of caulking around the edges before screwing it all in. I then applied some putty tape and installed the trim piece to the outside. I'm going to leave off the plastic insert as I'm going to be painting the outside shortly.

Before I can start installing the inside paneling, I have to run all the wiring and install all the lights I'm going to have on the camper. So, I first decided to replace the old outdated tail lights with some new LED tail lights.

I got a sheet of aluminum and started up my snipper and cut it down to size. I then measured up the lights I am installing and used a jigsaw to cut the cutouts.

I cleaned up the area around the old lights and applied some putty tape

I then screwed the new plate down to the camper and caulked the edges.

Finally I popped in the lights. When I permanently mount the lights after I paint the exterior, I will calk the rubber gaskets in and calk the lights in to make sure the area is 100% sealed.

Quite the difference from the old tail lights.

I then installed an LED light to the top right of the camper. This will serve a dual function of a backup light and will be wired to a switch to turn on inside the camper. An identical light will be put on the left side of the camper. I will be replacing the porch light with a new updated unit

Tomorrow, I'll finish the left side tail lights and get all the wiring done to the back end so that I can install the back paneling and the lift pane
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Colorado CJ

I've been busy lately with work, so not much to report on today.

I tapped the rest of the dents out and applied bondo to the areas. I also finished up the tail light mounting and backup light mounting on the drivers side and installed a new porch light.

I think I'll have some time to work on it tomorrow. Hopefully I can get all the lights wired up so that I can insulate and panel the back end. I have to do this before I can install the back lifting panel as it is installed over the inside paneling there.

Anyway, here's how the camper sits now.


Colorado CJ

Thanks Stan and Mike, I'm having a lot of fun restoring this thing. It was in surprisingly good shape for how old this is.

I was 8 years old when this thing was built :sombrero:

Colorado CJ

Well, I got to work on the camper a little bit the past couple days.

First, since I was going to put a new floor in it, I took out the 3/16" ply that was glued down to the floor from the factory. I did this because the ply didn't cover the whole floor, so there was no ply where the built ins used to be. The ply was glued and stapled down, so it took some work to remove all the pieces. I had to sand the last little bit of glue/ply pieces off with a DA.

I then mixed up some epoxy and epoxied all the interior wood. Most all this will be covered when I am through, but I thought it would be a good idea to seal all the wood on this camper when I had the chance.

I went to Lowes today and bought some cheap laminate planks. I've used this same stuff in my shop's office and it has held up great with all the traffic and sand/gravel that gets tracked through there. It has a 40 year warrenty (if that means anything ;)). After the epoxy was dry, I started to lay down the laminate. It was a quick process and looks MUCH better than that old linolium that was on there before.

After the floor was down, I got out my soldering iron, wire and connector box and went to work rewiring the whole back end. I wired in the tail lights, porch light and backup lights. I wired the backup lights so that they could be either activated in the truck (when backing up) or activated by a switch inside the camper. I thought I might as well have access to bright floodlights in the camper if I need them for any reason.

Soldering them up

And finished

Before I put the 7 pin plug on the end of the wire loom, I tested it out to see if everything worked like it should. It did.

I spend the remainder of the day starting in on insulating the back of the camper with 1" XPS foam. Depending on the weather tomorrow (if it is raining, I can't sandblast outside), I might get the remainder of the camper all wired up and insulated, then start in on the beadboard paneling.

Its coming together!

Colorado CJ

Thanks Guys!

Time for another update. Didn't do too much, but it is slowly coming along.

Started insulating with 1" XPS foam. It has an R value of 5, so it is twice as insulating than the fiberglass matt used in the original.

Then I started cutting the Birch ply and installing it.

I was then able to install the back lift panel, so I had to preload the spring hinges before installing it.

After installing the back lift panel, I installed the insulation on the front and passenger side walls, then installed the birch ply.

I'm not sure that I really like the color of the paneling, the camper feels like it has a little too much yellow in it with the paneling installed. I'll probably finish the build, install the cabinets, etc, then see how I like it.

I really wanted to have it look brighter, more modern inside. I might paint it after the build is done.

Lastly, I installed a new water filler setup. The old one was very deteriorated, almost foamy looking. It should be easier to fill with this new design as well.

That's it for now. I might work on it a little over the weekend. I'm itching to go up in the mountains, though its supposed to rain all weekend.

I just might head to the high country for some snowshoing,


Looks really good!

Its nice to have an indoor shop in which to work.

How did you attach the paneling to the aluminum framing?
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Colorado CJ

I did a little more work to the camper.

First, I finished up installing the rest of the insulation and paneling.

Now comes the fun part, designing and building the interior. I measured the interior of the camper carefully and built a model in Illustrator. I then designed the cabinetry and seating arrangements that would work best for what I want. It is very easy to design exactly what you want when you make a model this way, as long as you take careful measurements and make the model correctly. You can see right away what type of clearances you have or if something interferes with something else.

After I had the plan made I started cutting the cabinet face using some cabinet grade ply. I then installed it in the camper so that I could measure some of the other pieces I needed to make.

Installed the sides and counter top supports.

I then cut out the counter top pieces and installed them. Here's a photo when I was testing the fit of the components. I am using the old stove and sink that came with the camper for now. I'll probably buy one of those european style sink/stove hobs in the future as they are really space saving. It would be easy to install, just build a new counter top.

The cabinetry will be primed and painted an off white or very light grey. I think I'm going to use some bedliner for the countertops as it is very durable, waterproof and looks pretty decent if done right. If I don't like the look, I'll sand it down and finish it with an epoxy/chip then clear coat. I think I'll like the bedliner though.

Next up, building the seating and table. I am going with a front dinette seating with a narrower couch on the side. Both the couch and dinette will convert to beds, so along with the double bed up top, the camper should be able to sleep 4 comfortably.

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