AstroSafari Tiger Provan GT restoration advice?

beneng_jr

Member
I just picked up a 2WD 1988 Provan GT in excellent mechanical shape. 80k original miles, no leaks, good compression, no metal floating around in the gear boxes, front end tight, etc.. But the coach needs a little work to repair some water damage. I picked it up for $4800 (sorta) sight unseen. I had a buddy check it out for me since it was 300 miles away- told him specifically to look for mold and water damage. He said it looked ok, but when I got it home I found otherwise. Anyway, lesson learned, water under the bridge...

There are some small roof leaks easily remedied with some Proseal and Proflex, but the lift panels are rotted. They work, but the front one needs to be replaced sooner or later. Also, the pop-top liner (canvas?) looks to be in decent shape EXCEPT for some mildew and probable mold issues, and possibly in the roof liner too. Even if I wanted to replace it, the roof screws holding the top of it in place are covered in Eternabond tape. Its also a 3-layer material (water proof vinyl or canvas material on the outside, some kind of insulation in the middle, and a thin liner on the inside) that seems like a recipe for trapping moisture and doesn't seem like it can be simply scrubbed with Tilex and rinsed like a single-layer canvas. Otherwise, everything else in the coach is good to go- furnace, fridge, burners, toilet, water pump, electrical system, cabinets, cushions, etc.. Outer paint is decent, but definitely looks like an 88...

So what I'm wondering is:

a) If I remove the lift panels and build 2x4 supports to keep the roof propped up, does anyone know if its possible to use some kind of commercial steam cleaner with mildew-specific chemicals to clean the liner from the inside? Maybe contact someone that specializes in removing mold from houses? It just doesn't seem like you can simply scrub it because of the inner insulation material. If anyone has experience dealing with this liner-type advice would be greatly appreciated!

b) Should I get new lift panels made from synthetic material from FWC for about $900 and install them myself? Or I should I fabricate them myself? Both options sound like a headache and time-suck. The third alternative is the local RV shop can make/install new wooden ones for roughly $900-$1000.

In the end I don't want to spend much more on the repairs than what the vehicle is worth. That said, if I remove the Eternabond tape myself, order a new canvas, strip the old canvas and roof liner myself, then let the local RV shop put it all back together, I could be looking at dropping $2000-$2500 into the vehicle. But if that brings the resale of the vehicle closer to $7k than I would certainly consider it.

Thoughts?

IMG_1243.JPG
 

grampswrx

Observer
What's the interior like? The overall condition will better tell what it will be worth all fixed up. If it were clean, I would be interested at $7k.
 

texasnielsen

Outdoorsman
Beneng_jr

Not looking to hi-jack your thread... The leak issues you mention brought back some memories is all. I owned a "new" Tiger identical to yours for several beginning back in '89. And although it was a lot of fun (this was back in AK), I can recall even when it was still a new ride there was problems with water entry when the roof was closed. It was also a headache when I had to close the roof after rain and the vinyl was not able to dry sufficiently ( the truck didn't fit in my garage; SE Alaska can stay wet for many days in a row.

Anyway, all that to basically say I am actually impressed with the longevity of what you've purchased. The photo suggests it is in reasonable shape and the investment you've proposed would be a worthy expense should the rest of the rig be reliable. How is the heater (air and water), the plumbing, etc? The body looks great. I think you'll have a some great memories to be made by making appropriate repairs.

Wish I had some better input to your questions.

Good luck and congrats on your purchase.
 

beneng_jr

Member
Beneng_jr

Not looking to hi-jack your thread... The leak issues you mention brought back some memories is all. I owned a "new" Tiger identical to yours for several beginning back in '89. And although it was a lot of fun (this was back in AK), I can recall even when it was still a new ride there was problems with water entry when the roof was closed. It was also a headache when I had to close the roof after rain and the vinyl was not able to dry sufficiently ( the truck didn't fit in my garage; SE Alaska can stay wet for many days in a row.

Anyway, all that to basically say I am actually impressed with the longevity of what you've purchased. The photo suggests it is in reasonable shape and the investment you've proposed would be a worthy expense should the rest of the rig be reliable. How is the heater (air and water), the plumbing, etc? The body looks great. I think you'll have a some great memories to be made by making appropriate repairs.

Wish I had some better input to your questions.

Good luck and congrats on your purchase.
Thanks! Everything inside the coach and cab actually works. The furnace cranks! I haven't tested the toilet, and I honestly don;y plan on using it- seems kind of gross in that enclosed of a space.

Did you have any mold issues with the insulated liner? We're you able to clean it? That's probably my number one concern it at the moment.
 

sambot

Observer
Options

I owned one. I could not get the stains out of the pop up fabric, but I soaked it with bleach and then rinsed it off. That got rid of the mustiness. I did not need to replace the lift panels, but if I did, I'd do it myself using the existing as templates and reusing the hinge. Getting a new canvas at the same time would really bring the value back up, as would selling it in the summer.
I miss mine badly and kick myself for selling it. Enjoy it but have constant vigilance for leaks.
 

texasnielsen

Outdoorsman
Thanks! Everything inside the coach and cab actually works. The furnace cranks! I haven't tested the toilet, and I honestly don;y plan on using it- seems kind of gross in that enclosed of a space.

Did you have any mold issues with the insulated liner? We're you able to clean it? That's probably my number one concern it at the moment.
Due to using it in the winter (would run the furnace while our skiing) I had condensation issues on the interior that required appropriate attention to always wipe down. In the late Spring and Fall it was rain while the roof was extended and that occasionally caused interior mold issues. The only solution I found was to be ever vigilant wiping it down after each use.

As to the toilet, the size of the closet and the volume of the holding tank soon left that area to be used only by the children. On one trip, I did not pay sufficient attention to how often the boys were using the dang thing and I had quite the issue with the tank backing up in to the shower pan via floor drain.
 

beneng_jr

Member
After showing it to an RV shop and and few friends with campers they didn't seem to think mold would be an issue once it was cleaned up. Maybe the water staining makes it looks worse than it is. I peeled back the roof liner a little and didn't see any signs of mold up there either. There undoubtedly has been some mold in the canvas-liner-whatever-the-hell-you-call-it, but I'm going to clean it out as best I can and focus on rebuilding the lift panels for now- myself. I built a 2x4 brace to hold the front up and removed the front lift panel. Definitely looks pretty easy to replicate. Getting it back in might require another person and a little cursing, though. I did also notice in the front of the canvas (which is single layer behind the lift panels, thankfully) that its cracking a little, and seems a little brittle in spots. I'm going to try covering the cracks from the inside with some Cohglans tent repair material that I got from the RV shop. Maybe even reinforce it with clear Gorilla tape front and back. See how that works first before buying a new canvas.

IMG_1302.jpg
IMG_1305.jpg
IMG_1306.jpg
IMG_1307.jpg
 

beneng_jr

Member
I also have an '88 Tiger, but an XL with a fixed, solid top.

In the event you haven't found this yet:

I'm told the GTs have spring loaded hinges in the lift panels. Be careful when working on them. The folks on this tiger owners forum are very helpful and might be able to provide you with more specifics.
Yep, I noticed those spring-loaded piano hinges are tricky, even getting them out. I'll definitely need a second person to flex the top hinge into place while I rivet it back in.
 

beneng_jr

Member
Cut back the interior liner to the first seams, then patched up the holes and reinforced a few areas in the canvas behind the lift panel with gorilla tape. Also used clear gorilla tape on the parts not hidden behind the lift panel. I've read that people have had really good luck fixing canvas leaks with it so lets hope it holds. Planning on rebuilding the front panel out today out of 1/4" birch ply. I would have loved to use ABS but the nearest source is 7 hours away from me and I got to get to this panel fished asap- I'm working on this in my apartment building parking plot and I need to finish before it snows again...

IMG_1315.jpg
 
Top