Apache Questions & Answers II (11/98 - 1999)


This page contains all the postings from site inception (11/98) through 1999.

Subject: Bike Rack: How to attach?
Date: 12/27/99
From: Paul sailbad@ezonline.com
Question: First, Thank you for rescuing me from what would have been a bad decision to purchase a new (brand X) pop up. After the sticker shock, I remember seeing Apache Campers in Popular Mechanics as a kid. They weren't canvas, they had hard sides. With the help of a net search I found Your site. I am now the proud owner of a '78 Cimmeron.

What I need help with is a method of attaching a bike rack to the camper. I have thought of two possible methods. One is to pick up a used trailer hitch, modify it and attach it to the frame of the camper. This would allow the use of a receiver type bike rack. The drawback to this method is the weight and the fact that the receiver location could interfere with the gearbox crank.

The second alternative is to extend the frame rails and attach a removable free standing bike rack. I have seen some campers with a square tube bumper. This type of bumper could protect the back of the camper and serve as a base for the bike rack.

Any Suggestions? Thanks for your help!
Answer: Congrat's on the new Apache, Paul! I'm also glad you found us. I've seen bike racks on various locations on campers, including on the tongue, on back, and on the roof. The only bike rack I've seen on an Apache so far was rear-mounted. It slid off for raising the unit. It was mounted to the frame. There's now a post on the "How To" page on how to mount one.
From: Doug  doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: 1973 Apache Mesa(?)
Date: 12/15/99
From: jljcrodg@sccoast.net
Question: I am the proud owner of a 1973 Apache. I bought it about 1 1/2 years ago. It looks very much like the picture at the top of the site. The picture says it is a 1972. Can any one tell me what if any changes were made in 1973. It has a tan box color like the one I see in the picture.
Thanks for a wonderful site. I thought about selling my APACHE, but after finding your site am falling in love with it again. James R. Myrtle Beach SC
Answer: I'm not sure what changes were made between those years - does anyone else know? I have discovered that the more we use our Apache, the closer we become and the more we love it!
From: Doug  doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Year Model Question
Date: 12/05/99
From: Myrindyl@aol.com
Question: Hello! I just (today) acquired an Apache camper from my grandfather! It is an Eagle, with canvas top and sides, and he bought it second-hand in approximately 1975. How do I find out what year model it is, for the purpose of getting replacement parts? Are the parts even year model-specific?

Thanks, Michelle
Answer: Congratulations on the Apache acquisition Michelle! Many Apache parts are indeed model/year specific. Apache made various design changes over the years, and replacement parts reflect those changes. For instance, the 1975 model year did incorporate a design improvement on the bed ends of the hard sided models. The only way I know of to figure out the year of your camper is to give Ole' Elmer a call at Apache Sales Corp. He is the only known complete Apache expert/guru on the face of the planet. The phone number and contqact information is listed on the Parts page. If you explain to him exactly what you said in this email, he'll merely ask you a few questions about the camper and he should be able to pin down the year. I wish we had a guide of some sort to put on this site to help owners make such a determination, but until someone comes up with one, we'll have to rely on the expertise of Ole' Elmer. Good luck Michelle!

Speaking of Ole' Elmer - someone ought to get out to Lapeer, Michigan and tape an interview with that man. I would definitely post it on this site.

(12/6) Reply From Paul
On the door of the camper near the license light might be a serial and model # on a silver label. Mine reads se2271.5 , it is a Silver Eagle and 1971 seems to be about right for the year. If you need parts, I have made almost all of my own and would be willing to help on a limited basis. My camper is on the soft top camper picture site. Paul D.

From: Doug  doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Loose walls / canopy shopping
Date: 11/11/99
From: David Whiteside dwhiteside@coastalnet.com
Question: I recently bought a 78 or 79 Apache, Yuma. I've redone most all and am ready to go, but I need a canopy. I've priced some at about $250. Anyone out there know where I can get a canopy at a reasonable price? Also, When I put up my Yuma the hard sides don't seem to want to fit tight - usually only one or two sides. I level the trailer so that rules out leveling problems. Could it be the bed frame poles are not adjusted properly? Any one have any suggestions? thanks
Answer: Congrat's on the Apache! I believe your model has insulated walls - that's a good thing! The "How To" page of the Apache Camper web site lists a solution to prevent leaks. Basically it  kind of details the set-up procedure. It's very important to set up the Apache properly and I think  this may be the problem with the walls fitting tightly. First you crank up the top all the way. Then you fold the side walls up. Then you put the ends up completely. Then you slowly, gently, crank  the top back down a few turns. The walls will fit up tight into the rubber-lined grooves and the  ends will all tighten up too. Don't go too tight or it'll put stress on the walls. Hopefully this answers your question.

For the canopy - there's numerous web sites out there that sell canopies. Try a www.dogpile.com search and it will probably turn up quite a few good possibilities. Anyone else have any advice?

(11/12) Reply from John
I found a canvas tarp at Lowes for $34.00. All I had to do was run a piece of 5/16 rope through one side. It took some work getting the rope through but it works great. It even matched the tan color of my trailer. Mine is 10 X 8. For about $50 they also had a 12 X 10. I hope this helps. John

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Apache Ramada-What Vintage?
Date: 10/10/99
From: Rob/Comox B.C. Canada
Question: First off, Outstanding Site. What a joy to find you & what a wealth of information. We have recently acquired an Apache Ramada for the princely sum of "A Cheap Bottle of Scotch". The model #S4408, serial #82243....can anyone supply info on the year of this unit, please?
Rob/Comox B.C. Canada
Answer: Thanks Rob! Sounds like you've certainly gotten yourself quite a deal on that Ramada! You can try calling 'Ole Elmer at Apache Sales Corp (info on Parts Page) and ask him if he knows.Chances are he'll pinpoint the year in a few minutes tops. Unfortunately, that's the best answer I can give you. Good luck with your Apache!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Stove and furnace will not light
Date: 10/5/99
From: Mike Mrn2839@aol.com
Question: Hi, wonderful site. I have a 1976 Apache Cimarron hard side, fantastic camper, I get questions about it all the time. Now my problem: when I try to light the stove I can only get 1 burner to light and it is so weak that when I turn the knobs for the other burners it goes out. I have put on a new regulator, checked for leaks, cleaned all the burner pipes and blew out all the hoses with a compressor thinking that there were cobwebs blocking the lines, and yes the tank is full. Can anyone give me some suggestions, I'm at a loss.  Thanks   -  Mike
Answer: I had a similar problem with a camp stove. After trying everything, I finally went out and bought brand new fuel - it did the trick! You may have gotten a bad batch of propane. If you have a different tank (like on a grill) that has different fuel in it, give it a try. It may be worth the $12 to empty the tank and get a fresh refill. Anyone else have any ideas???  Good luck Mike!

(10/7) Reply from Paul
Check the lines for kinks , propane only has a couple of pounds of pressure and even though compressed air passes easily the gas may not. Another thing to look out for is small spider mites that take fiendish delight in building nests in the jet tubes and orifices. This happened
to my father so many times that he had to put moth balls in the stove during winter. Paul D.

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Lift system repair questions?
Date: 10/2/99
From: Shawn Barksdale   barky6@gateway.net
Question: I am the proud new owner of a 1971 Ramada "pop-up" camper. I have one major problem though; My "pop-up" has lost it's ability to "pop-up"!!! My family was blessed to get this camper from my Grandparents recently. It had been collecting dirt for almost two decades
behind their garage. My Grandparents gave it to us for free just to get it out of their yard and my Grandfather said it was best if my family could get enjoyment out of it instead of just letting it rot away back there.

Here's the details; two new gear boxes were installed three years ago by my Grandfather. In spite of that, the camper was incredibly difficult to raise up due to the torque I had to apply to the crank to get it to do anything. The rear right side initially was the only one lagging behind the others; then the whole front half raised much slower than the rear left. Please help get me on the right track. The camper is currently in the raised position with everything working well besides this lift system. I have the parts and service manual for this camper but can't quite get it to make sense what I have to do mechanically. I am fairly well mechanically inclined, however I just can't quite figure it out, the manuals seem very vague.

In addition to these problems I have a large hole in the rear right corner of the plastic road cover(5"by 6") which spiders out from that point.  I have read a little about using M.E.K. and other Fiberglas repair items on this, are there any really good ways to ad rigidity back into the roof with such a large hole? Also can I comfortably tow this monster with a '95 Ford WindStar this is the 12' model.

Thank You,
Shawn Barksdale     E-mail me at barky6@gateway.net

Answer: Congratulations on receiving the family Apache! You're very lucky. Having never worked on lift system problems myself, I can't give you specifics, but there's a few things I'd do. Hopefully your grandfather replaced the gearboxes properly, and the gears and cables are operating properly. If this is the case, they should last you a long, long time. I've heard that a small dent or irregularity near a track can cause it to stick. Hearing that there's a hole in the road cover at that corner, it sounds like something could be preventing the track from sliding properly. Inspect the tracks and guides very closely for any irregularities. If you find any, fix them. An older Q&A posting told of a man who tapped his track with a rubber mallet and freed it to find a small dent that he fixed. Cranking an Apache up usually does take a little muscle work, but it shouldn't be too difficult. You may need to open her up and make sure there's nothing obstructing the tracks or the cables/guides. If you do determine that there's most likely something wrong with the gear boxes or lift cables themselves and you can't figure out how to begin, I'd recommend asking your grandfather to enlighten you with what he did! If anyone else has some advice, please reply!!

As far as the hole in the road cover - I understand that an ABS plastic repair kit is the way to go. They can be ordered from the places listed on the Parts page. It works similar to fiberglass or bondo, but it's the same material as the road cover so it works best. I believe it comes with fabric strips that can be built up over large holes. The instructions should cover your particular application. Our Apache had a crack that may have spread, but was stopped with a small drill hole at the end of the crack. You may want to do that to the radiating cracks you described.

(10/9) Reply from Dick
Sounds to me like if the new gear boxes were installed properly that he might have something jammed in the chain guides...maybe a broken link etc....or the chains might no be timed right....I would remove the gear boxes and make sure the chains are in the proper position before installing the gear boxes.....if you get a chain link off or so on alignment it will make for trouble.

Dick Allen
73 Roamer

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Old Apache Restoration?
Date: 9/18/99
From: Joe  joe_and_lynn@prodigy.net
Question: Hi, nice site, very informative, it's my first exposure to Apache's. I saw an Apache Eagle Five for sale on a farm. It is quite old, is copper colored, has a plastic top, canvas sides (needs lots of sewing), has a plastic door and one table inside. The old couple were asking $200 for it. No manuals, age, etc. Could not find a serial number or date of manufacture. Could not find this on your site. Is this the going rate for such a creature and any idea how old it is? I am handy, but don't have a lot of time, what options are there for replacing the canvas?

Thanks,  Joe
Answer: Glad you like the site. $200 sounds about right - a late 50's Apache - style camper just sold last week on EBay for $350, in decent shape. Gregory Canvas in Lapeer, Michigan purchased the canvas patterns from Apache when they went out of business. Their contact information is listed on the Parts page. I have heard a few reports of from folks who had to send their replacement canvases back a few times before they were done right. Since it sounds like you have the original canvas, you can try to remove it and bring it to a local canvas place where they can use the original as a pattern. Or you can try Gregory, or possibly Apache Camping Centre in Canada? If you want to figure out how old it is, you may try calling Ole' Elmer at Apache Sales Corp. He can usually pinpoint a model from a description. Good luck!

(9/20/99) Reply from Paul D.
Check the "How to Buy" section in this site. The most important thing in the old Apaches is a good floor, as everything is hung and braced off it. The floor is replaceable but not an easy job. If the floor needs replacing, remove slowly taking notes/ and or pictures so you know how to put it back together. Keep the origional floor and use it as a template for all holes and dimensions. Use a marine-grade plywood (no voids). A good temp solution for a questionable top is a cheep plastic tarp . Use TRIFLOW on all hinges and sliding parts. It drys leaving a teflon film but dry to the touch. Enjoy your camper and keep a piece of history alive. Paul D.

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Canvas removal?
Date: 9/14/99
From: Dennis kribbie@penn.com
Question: I did purchase the camper afore mentioned (8/28). Now the work begins, does any one out there have any clue as to how to remove the canvas from the plastic top of the pull outs?It really is in pretty bad shape (the canvas). And how do I find out the model of said camper . All that i know is that it is an Apache and it is supposed to sleep 8 people. ( it has the two pull out beds on the end and two tables inside that fold down into beds also) It has a sink with a pump supply system, a furnace, and a cook stove that pretty much takes care of whats inside the old girl.

(9/18/99) Reply from John
I have an Apache Eagle 8. It sounds to me like you have a larger Apache. Is it all Canvas? In 74 Apache made a Falconer the same size as a Ramada that was all Canvas. My canvas was held in place at the top by the plastic trim that the curtians are hung by. I removed the plastic trim piece with a stiff putty knife. Apache sales still has the plastic so you can replace it if you damage it. I was careful getting it out and reused it when I installed my new canvas.

Answer: Congrat's on your Apache purchase! I believe that the canvas has a thick strip sewed onto it which slides into a track somewhere on the camper. To remove it you slide it out of the track. I've only heard this in passing, so I could be wrong. Anyone else care to pontificate?
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Windows for Apache Ranger-in England
Date: 9/14/99
From: Robert Simpson ramjsimp@globalnet.co.uk
Question: Thanks for the advice on the lift gearbox. Ole' Elmer was able to ship them over to me. The lift system now works fine. I have removed the old windows because they had become hazed and cracked. Thanks for the advice on that also. However, I cannot get the correct size window material in England. 3mm is the smallest thickness available in 'smoked' plexiglass (perspex). I believe the thickness should be 1/16 inch? Could you advise me who manufactures or supplies the window material in the US, what it is called and confirm the thickness. I have the sizes I require and may be able to contact someone to get material shipped over to me, or find a European agent. I hope you, or someone, can help because it is a bit draughty without windows. Robert Simpson
Answer: Glad to hear you were able to acquire the parts you needed! Now for the plexiglass...   I know a few folks have replaced their Apache windows with Lexan - can anyone share information on where they purchased theirs? Good luck Robert!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Lift System
Date: 9/10/99
From: dirk72@webtv.net
Question: I just purchased a 1973 apache roamer...as you are all aware it doesnt lift in the right rear corner...just clicks....my question is.....will it hurt cranking this and lifting it by hand to get it up..??.Are the repairs done in the up position??...any hints as what to do ???...i am on a webtv and couldnt download the manuals....is there anyone who could fax me the pages i needed to start on this project..????  the fax number is 814-371-6051....
thanks...
Dick Allen
1973 Apache Roamer
Answer: I haven't done this repair yet, but I believe you must lift the top as stated and remove the road cover to get to the gears. There's a few postings in the Q&A area here that explain some of the steps. Can anyone else help? Too bad you can't get at the manual. It can be ordered from Apache Sales Corp for a few bucks. I'll try to fax the applicable pages if I get a chance this week. Good luck!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Winter Camping?
Date: 9/7/99
From: Fred Wark  fllwark@htonline.com
Question: I have a line on a 1975 Mesa which appears to be in very good condition. (I have not looked closely at the refrigeration, furnace,wiring, plumbing, etc. yet however). The asking price is $1800. Does this seem unreasonable? My big question is easy of use during cold weather. I plan to do winter camping. Does anyone have any experience with setting these trailers up in adverse weather conditions such as snow, sleet, dark, wind, below freezing temperatures, frostbitten hands. Another question is if I get sleet, or snow melting into ice, what kind of problems might I expect if the ice accumulates in areas that have to move for disassembly of the trailer? How much of a snow load will these trailers stand up to before collapsing? Do the plastic panels get brittle and fragile during extreme cold? Any information concerning winter use would be appreciated. Thanks Fred Wark  fllwark@htonline.com
Answer: Please look at this 6/2/99 posting for the answer to the price question. As far as winter camping is concerned, all I can tell you is we've done some cold weather camping in our '75 Royal and the heater was fantastic. We did burn through a tank of propane very quickly before we figured out how to properly adjust the furnace setting. Also remember that the walls are not insulated in the older models.  I'd assume snow & ice would slide nicely off the panels, but I have no first-hand experience. Does anyone else out there have winter camping experience in an Apache???
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Apache Panel Repair?
Date: 9/6/99
From: Kenny Fisher  Jhc1883pre@aol.com
Question: I was really glad to find this site. I have a '72 Mesa that is in great shape for the age. I have owned it since 1994 and it always draws attention whenever it is set up. You can see some of the older campers walk by stop and look at the memories in there faces. Now my question. The right front sidewall has separated at the hinge. I see that it is not available, so does anyone have a good fix they have tried that holds up well? Thanks,
Kenny Fisher
Richmond, VA
Answer: Are you talking about the main cabin wall or the bed end wall? I know a few folks have done this sort of repair job before - can anyone share their experience?
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: 1979 Yuma sink\stove mechanism
Date: 9/6/99
From: Tony Souza souzat@bigvalley.net
Question: I recently bought a 1979 Yuma I whose exterior is in excellent condition. I just finished completely redoing the interior, new linoleum, all new cushions, new lexon in the windows, new counter tops and formica, sink etc. I also, replaced wheel bearings, leaf springs and
raised the whole trailer 4' for better ground clearance. I can't wait to take out on its maiden voyage. The only thing I'm having trouble with is the metal scissors type hardware that raises and lowers the sink,stove. The arms are bent and make raising and lowering difficult. Are these scissors mechanisms still available? I checked with Ole Elmer and he didn't have anything. Any suggestions on a possible replacement?
Thanks Tony Souza
Answer: Sounds like you've done a real nice rehab! Not sure about the mechanism - anyone else??
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Apache Ratings
Date: 9/1/99
From: Stan Bass  stan.bass@usa.net
Question: How do they determine the number of persons rating that they give to the various Apache's? I see 6,7 and 8 on different models. For instance on the Mesa (rated at 6) does this assume 3 in each pull out end section, or 2 in the end sections and 2 more in some kind of fold down couches, or tables in the main camper? Thanks, and thanks for an informative site:)
Stan(VA).
Answer: I assume 2 adults in each end and 2 on the fold-down table area. Some Apache's like our Royal have a couch that pulls out to sleep one or two adults depending on how far it pulls out. That's as much as I know - anyone else?
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Lights & Wiring
Date: 8/31/99
From: Nancy Jackson NJAC400W@aol.com
Question: Doug, Still having problems with the lights on the trailer. I tried the jumper cable from the frame of the camper to the frame of the tow vehicle to check for grounding problems, but it did not fix the problems. I have had the camper back to where the hitch was installed three times. Each time, it acts great until I am on the road a while. Now, the left turn signal comes on when it should be the right, right turn signal comes on when it should be the left, lights are generally dim, etc. From what I hear, it is probably a grounding problem, but I don't know how to rectify. Does anyone know of a camper service within reasonable distance of Philadelphia that might be able to rectify my light problems once and for all?
Answer: I know how aggravating these electrical problems can be! Yuk! Can anyone help?
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Help! Have old Apache
Date: 8/29/99
From: Michael George  mjgeorge@chorus.net
Question: Dear Webmaster (Doug?), I have an old Apache, which I believe was built in 1965. The tail lights and license-plate light have 1965 stamped on them. It was made by the Vesely Company which is also stamped on the lights. I have found no other written information anywhere on the thing except for a weather-worn decal on the outside of the body that has the Vesely name on it and serial number and weight capacity blanks where the numbers have worn off over time.

The body is aluminum painted gold, the road covers are silver aluminum, box-shaped. It is simply a camvas tent on aluminum, plywood and wheels. It erects through a system of levers, hinges and aluminum poles. It erects in a similar fashion to the old set-up instructions I saw on this website: tent poles fold up, beds canta-lever upwards and pull out.

My parents bought it used around 1970 and we took it on many family trips. (I am 41 y.o. today). They then sold it to my uncle about 1978 where it spent the next 18 years. My uncle stored it in a shed and it saw little use. He gave it to me in 1996 when I did some badly need
refurbishing: canvas repair, new wheels and tires . . .

This Apache has been a joy to use over the years, both during my youth and these past three years camping with my wife and three children, since I took possession. Our current problem is that the canta-lever system has deteriorated to the point that I can no longer make "handy-man" repairs. Bent hinges, specialized rivets worn out, etc.. It is becoming increasingly frustrating to erect and use the camper. I figured there must be parts houses for these old campers but could not identify parts, manuals or any other information about my model from your website.

I understand the excitement of the later model hard-sided Apaches. But is there any enthusiasm, knowledge, parts and interest in the older models? Please point me in the right direction since I would love to restore this beauty closely back to its original condition instead of junking it.

In a state of disrepair, Michael J. George  Madison, WI

Answer: Hey Micheal; It sounds like you may have a Golden Eagle or Golden Buffalo.  There seems to be a growing number of folks who are seeking out and fixing up old Apache's - especially out East. You can call the places listed on the Parts page and see if they have any parts available. You may have to improvise. You may also want to contact other folks doing restoration work like Tom Reilly or Jim Lockard or others. Their info is scattered throughout the Q&A pages. Check the pictures page to find some of the owners of these older Apache's too. You can do it! Good luck!

(8/30/99) Reply from Paul Drescher
I have done extensive repair of my silver eagle including hinges lift mech. i also have a metal lathe and live in s.w. milw area and would be glad to help you if you want? look at my picture at the top of the soft top campers in this site . I will send you a sketch and article that i
wrote for doug on hinges. Paul Drescher sensi3d@execpc.com
(Webmaster Note: The sketch & article can be found on the How To page)

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Canvas Pricing?
Date: 8/28/99
From: Dennis  kribbie@penn.com
Question: I am looking at the purchase of an Apache camper. But the canvas all needs to be replaced. I am looking for someone that knows about how much all of the canvas will cost me. I will need to know this to see if I believe the asking price would be worth it.
Answer: Dennis - feel free to call any of the places listed on the Parts page of this site. You may also want to email two or three folks who've replaced their canvas. This Q&A list has quite a few!

(8/30/99) Reply from Paul Drescher
I spent $600 on a completely custom top for 4 person eagle.

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Hitch Ball Coupler?
Date: 8/27/99
From: "Vincent St." vjstangelo@yahoo.com
Question: I'm the fellow who was looking for an Apache Roamer with a shower some months ago. Good news. I may have found one in what was described as good condition in Atlanta about 8 hours drive from my house.

I have contacted a local RV shop about putting a hitch and harness on my '95 Dodge Caravan. A question has arisen. The dealer is asking about the ball coupler size having something to do with the required drop. My guess is that they want to know the required height of the ball relative to the hitch attachment point. She mentioned that 2" (?) was the norm. Any help would be appreciated.
Answer: I'm not sure about "drop", but I know that my Apache requires a 2" ball on the hitch as opposed to my boat trailer which takes a 1 7/8" ball. I carry both sizes plus a big wrench.
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Bed height adjustment?
Date: 8/26/99
From: Keith Cunningham  blackfai@ptd.net
Question: Well I finally took my 74 Mesa out for a camp, It was a little rough, the wife had to get used to cooking in tight quarters, but we managed alright. I am doing alot of conversions, I took the IceBox out, and put an electric 1.7 cubic inch cube refrigerator in it. I am also wondering how to make the bed ends seal up tight. When I take the poles out and let the bed drop down a little, then it does seal up tight. I see that where the poles go into there is some adjustment screw, but I don't want to mess with it. Kinda scared of breaking something. When I pulled my Apache into the camp site, it was like the circus was coming to town. All eyes were watching me set this thing up, most people there never even saw an Apache before, They asked me how old it was, I replied it a 1974, they were amazed to see something like it. My neighbor at the site said it was the best looking Apache he had seen for being that old. So I guess I have something going good for me!
Answer: Cool story Keith! I'm not sure about those adjustment screws either, but maybe a reader will drop us a line and let us know if they're worth messing with.

(8/30/99) Reply from Mark
The pole screws can be moved with some prep and the right tools. First, one day in advance soak the screw with Craftsman air tool oil (3.99 a pint) it is very good light oil. The next day loosen the bolts with an 1/2 impact wrench. That tool can do what you can not because it "hammers' the bolt several time a second loosening the rusty bolt. Another possibility; is the jack that the adjusting bolt attached to bent? If so straighten it out with a pry bar.

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: DC on Apaches
Date: 8/26/99
From: Ian   inicoll@sympatico.ca
Question: Hi all,
Going to be putting a battery and solar cell on my Apache, but I can't seem to work out how the DC works. Nothing I do seems to get me power. I have the switch set to DC on the power converter. Please inform me as if I'm a 1 year old, how to set up this battery, from where the thing plugs in, to where the lights go on.

Very muchly appreciated!  Ian   Toronto CAnada
Answer: Can anyone out there give us some simple instructions? There is a wiring diagram on the Parts page that should make the job easier. Please let us know how this turns out!

(8/30/99) Reply from Mark
First things first. Do you have any power even with the converter plugged in? If so then you just have a problem with the 12 volt system. There are six wires in the cable to the car. Four are used for taillights one for the electric brakes (BLUE)- the wire will be there even if your trailer is not equipped with them- and one wire for 12 volts DC POSITIVE. Here are the colors (I am quoting the US standard, Canadian may vary) White is the ground, brown, green and yellow all run the tail lights; their exact purpose is not important as you are only concerned about the 12 standby wire This is the RED wire. So connect a battery post alligator clamp to the RED wire for the POSITIVE post on your standby battery and slice in a alligator clamp on the white wire. This white wire will serve as both the ground for the tail lights and the negative on the 12 volt standby system. This will not be a problem, just remember to confirm that the white wire is hooked up both to the harness that goes to the car and the alligator clip to the NEGATIVE post on the battery.

What we do for 'Rustic' camping is bring along a marine 12 volt storage battery and after we set up camp I place the battery in the LP storage area and hook up the clips. Quick and easy. I toyed with the idea a putting the battery there permanently but all that weight would be on the
tongue of the car - bad idea.

You mention solar charging. I don't know about that but once the battery is hooked up a reputable dealer should be able to set up. Try backwoodshome.com for solar suppliers.

(8/28/99) Apache Power Supply Warning from Mark
I have noticed a design flaw on my 1975 Mesa's power supply that may be shared with other Apache's. The power supply has a 14 gauge 120 volt cord rated at 15 amps and a 15 amp circuit breaker. You would think that the 120 volt plug in the camper on the power supply is 15 amp also. It isn't. it will run a electric heater (most draw 13 amps) for quite a while and never blow a breaker. It will eventually burn the internal wires in the power supply. My guess is that this design was intentional so a small appliance could be plugged in the 120 volt plug while the 12 volt supply was working. This way the total amperage draw was less than 15 amps. The problem is many folks are scared of the propane heaters (if they are so equipped) and are using a electric heater . You will get into trouble sooner or later - perhaps even a small electrical fire.

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Awning / Screen Room?
Date: 8/23/99
From: sdyer@cybertours.com
Question: I have just bought a 1976 Apache Messa hard side, and i am now looking for a Awning and
a screen room. I am very new to popups. We have just returned to Maine from Disney,s
Fort Wilderness camping site in Orlando Florida. I towed our Messa with a Plymouth
Voyager, got up to 80 mph and all went great. A very nice fellow showed me around his
fairly new Coleman popup (Very nice and lots of room) the beds seemed huge compared to
our little Mesa. That night we had a thunder storm and lots of rain. In the morning i stopped
the guy on his way to the drying machine with his bedding, he told me they all got wet and
asked how we made out. I felt so proud when I replyed we never had a leak at all.
If anyone has info and or prices on an awning and screen room please let me know.

Thank you, Steve           Check out my web page http://www.cybertours.com/~sdyer
Answer: Congratulations on the Apache purchase! The best advice I can give is to first try calling each of the places listed on the Parts page of the web site and ask if they carry an awning and/or screen room for your model. Most RV stores carry awnings and screen room attachments in a variety of sizes and colors too, so don't forget to check those and compare. If you can't find what you're looking for, you may want to consider making one yourself or having one made. If you look at the pictures from the Eastern Roundup, you'll see some ingenious designs for awnings that folks have made for their Apache's. It's pretty straightforward canvas work and very effective at increasing living space. Good luck!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: 1978 Palomino Hard Side vs 1979 Apache Hardside
Date: 8/23/99
From: F. Sam Woodson  v65animal@excite.com
Question: Well, I planned on purchasing a 99 Bayside or Utah on Saturday. However, after getting prices from dealers on the phone Friday, I called back Saturday and they ALL changed their prices, Up of course. Yeah, I could go and haggle, but that is Bull and the dealers are all over
an hour away. I don't want to deal with places like that anyway. S___'s in Columbus was the worst though, I won't even LOOK there anymore. They gave us attitude a week ago when they showed us the models and were worse on the phone. So, I've decided to find an older but Large pop-up.

This one is a 1978 Palomino Hardside, tandem axle, stove, oven, gas/elec fridge, double bowl sink, furnace, vanity. This is also an hour drive from my house. How much trouble are these units? I've never looked at the hardsides before, anything special to look for? Common problem areas? Will the roof and lift system hold an A/C unit? Owner said the bed end Screens are shot. He made it sould like the hardside windows do not open or at least they don't have screens? Is that right or did I not understand something? Said to be in good to fair condition except for the window screens. They have not owned it long, used to be a friends, and they had it for years. Thoughts? How much should this be worth? How about compared to an 1979 Apache Cimmeron? Which is easier/quicker to setup? Which has more storage room? Which would be easier to get parts for? Thanks
Answer: Well, I've never heard of an all hard-sided pop-up with no canvas besides Apache. It sounds like it could be a trailer as opposed to a pop-up camper - or maybe hard sides and canvas ends. At any rate - I'd be very leery about the "good to fair condition". I do know that Apache made some very big deluxe models. If you want to stay with an Apache, you may want to check with Apache Sales Corp. and find out what the biggest model was. Other than that, I can't help you out - after all, this is an Apache site.  ;)
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Please Help! 1971 apache yuma lift system . . .
Date: 8/22/99
From: John Heim  Jnythehat@aol.com
Question: Hi, i just aquired a 1971 apache yuma in excellent condition. but i have one problem. the crank doen't work to pop up the camper. when i crank it up, i just get a clicking noise, that seems to not be grabbing onto the mechanism to push the side up ???. I'm new at this, so i dont know much about these campers. me and four other guys were able to pull the sides up and now the camper is fully erect, but don't know what to do at this point. please help.
thanks.
John Heim.( New City, New York in Rockland County)
Answer: Congratulations on the Yuma purchase! It sounds like you may need to do a gearbox replacement? Read the gearbox manual here on the parts page - it may very well answer your questions. Also read the posting below. There's a lot of Q's & A's about lift systems on this page and Q&A II that are well worth reading and can offer up some assistance. Good luck!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Help! Stuck Top!
Date: 8/22/99
From: The Rammels  N4ERIN@AOL.com
Question: My husband and I just purchased an Apache Ramada in fairly good condition for $550.00. They had the camper set up and it came down relatively easy, but now we are at a loss in trying to get the camper set back up. The right front end of the camper acts as though it is jammed half way up. My husband and I have been able to get it to raise up except for the last foot to let the sides lock in. We decided to bring it down and now it won't go down the last two feet. How do we get it down to change the gear boxes. We didn't know about this web site, but it was on a whim finding it, it has been helpful, but the manual won't come up for us, even after downloading adobe 4.0.

PS we are a new family that been very impressed with the reputation of the camper we have just bought and are interested in the Midwest roundup that is in OCT!!!! Thanks for your help in advance, The Rammels
Answer: Congrat's on the Apache purchase - unfortunately it sounds like you may need to do a gearbox replacement job. The manual takes quite a while to download, especially if you have a slower modem or phone connection. Click the link then walk away for 15 or 20 minutes. If it doesn't automatically disconnect, your computer should pull it up given time. If you still can't open the file, Ole' Elmer has the complete book available, along with replacement gears. A few other places have gears too. The info is on the Parts page. I'm glad the site has helped. I'm not sure what yuou need to do in the mean time to get the top up or down - can anyone else help? (Good Luck - Hope to see you at the Midwest Roundup!!!)
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Flakey Inside Roof and Panels
Date: 8/21/99
From: Tom & Renda psychman01@earthlink.net
Question: We have a 79 Apache Ramada that gives me dandruff every time I set it up. The inside roof and side panels (not made of the plastic/fiberglass but made of some composite wood like material) are flaking. Anyone had any luck with restoring the panels or putting something on them to slow the flaking? Thanks
Tom & Renda
Answer: This is a new one! Any ideas anyone?

(8/28/99) Reply from Mark
Encapsulate 'em!

Step #1 smooth over the panels as best as you can by removing them, then sanding them with a electric sander. Then 'paint' them with properly prepared (resin and hardener) fiber glass resin. This is the liquid part of fiberglass. This resin is the hard smooth part of fiberglass. It has little strength by itself (this is what the fiberglass is for) but as you are just encapsulating the wood you do not need strength.When you are done with both sides and edges the panels will be waterproof! The resin costs about 8.00 a quart and is sold by Walmart in the automotive section

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Apache Production Runs?
Date: 8/17/99
From: John Gottwald  jpgottwald@mindspring.com
Question: I purchased the Ramada from this web site for $150. I would like to know what the production run was for the Ramada and the other hard sided models. ie how many units were sold by year. I am trying to find out how big the market is for the hard sides. I may know someone who could make fiberglass reproductions but they need to know how big the market is. Also, were the dimensions for the hard ends the same year to year. If they were not could a complete end off a 74 replace a complete end off a 78? Thanks John
Answer: I knew that Ramada would go fast at that price! Good questions about production run. I'd give Ole' Elmer a ring and ask him first. If he didn't know, he might be able to steer you in the right direction. Does anyone else have any ideas?

(8/17/99) Reply from John
I talked to Elmer. 71 was the first year. They changed in 72-74. They changed again 75-8?. Elmer is to get back in touch. The problem is the fiberglass might be very expensive ie. $400.00 per panel. We will see. It looks like the 72-74 and the 75-8? would be the best canidates for reproduction. I am also looking at making new ends out of Alum. The price and weight might be better. John

(8/17/99) Reply from Mark
Good idea about making new panels, but John, canvas retrofit kits can be had for 595.00 for both ends. The outfit in Lapeer, Mich. that is Ole Elmer's competitor sells them (Camper parts co (?)).

By the way I met Elmer last week. real nice guy, he stayed 1 1/2 hours late just for us. He is wheel chair bound but still made an extra effort to help us with mounting some gear boxes right in the parking lot.

Apache Sales Co is a small place, maybe 500 sq. feet. They supply everyone else with the gear boxes which they have made for them overseas. They order 1700 every year or so. Many of the small obscure parts are still available thru Elmer even the oversized pop rivets that are so common throughout the camper. Elmer is not the owner, by the way. I thought he was 75 or so but my wife places him at 85-90. He is one spry guy. There was a picture of him, a clipping from 'the way it was' section of the Lapeer paper delivering milk in 1946. By the way he has never been on the Internet and only knows what goes on here by what he is told. My brother lives about 10 miles from him. As a teenager I loved to ride through Lapeer.
unlike other towns in the suburban Detroit area, Lapeer had people out WALKING on Friday night. It was so novel that I took my buddies there to show them.

(8/19/99) Reply from John
I am looking for someone who lives in the Cincinnati OH. area who will let someone from Masterpattern take digital pictures of their hardsided Apache camper. It needs to be a 1972-1974 and or 1975-1982 hardsided Apache. If anyone is willing then we may be able to make reproduction panels. Please contact me.  John Gottwald  jpgottwald@mindspring.com

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Gearbox Info?
Date: 8/11/99
From: merlegail@casscomm.com
Question: My husband and I own a 1976 Apache-Mesa Pop-up Camper (hard sides) and last fall when we went to roll it up to take things out and put them away after camping, one corner will not roll up or down. My husband has looked the camper over several times and cannot even figure
out how to get into the gear box, let alone find out what kind of gears it has or to try to replace it.

We found you web page and I tried to download the lift system file but my computer would not download the information. I am going to try and download it at work where we have a lot newer computers and I read somewhere that this does not download very well with Netscape, which is what I have. Can anyone tell us how to get into the gear boxes and what kind of gears this model camper has? We'd appreciate any information that anyone could give us on our dilemma.

Thank you, Vanessa
Answer: Bummer about the gearboxes. This does appear to be the #1 repair that Apache owners need to make. Fortunately the parts are readily available and the job doesn't appear to be overly difficult. (Of course I have yet to perform it myself . . .)

The lift system file on this site is a pretty large pdf file. It can be downloaded by any browser - there's really no difference between IE or Netscape. Adobe (pdf) is not a Microsoft product. Since the file is so large, it takes a long time to download. Some folks with slower modems,   systems, or connections just give up after a while since it doesn't appear that anything's happening. Depending on your setup, it can take 20 minutes to load! I have a T1 at work and it loads in less than a minute. So I'd recommend trying it at your work and printing it out. The other alternative is to give Ole' Elmer a call at Apache Sales Corp. and order the manual directly from him. He'll also sell you the proper gearboxes. The info. can be found on the Parts page of this site. A different parts place may also have the parts/info you need. Good Luck!

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Bolts, Chain, Hinge
Date: 8/11/99
From: Jeff jbubli03@harris.com
Question: Hello I bought a 1978 Apache for $450.00. The first thing I did when I got it home was cut out the back for an AC unit! I installed a 7600 btu - cooled it very nicely! Although after we loaded it all up and got ready to take off for our first camp out in it, I went to crank it down and it would not go down! The problem was four screws that I installed in the channels for the chain which
held the side mounts for the AC unit! I screwed up both gear boxes and repaired them! The gear boxes were held on by 4 each 1/20 bolts button heads with hex shoulders that were badly rusted had to cut most of them out! Do you know where I can locate stainless screws like that? Also do you think its nessary to remove the chains? I really do not under stand how they work or how they are held and kept aligned other than the tracks! The only other issue I have is the back panels with windows - the hinge for one panel is messed up. Where can I get one? Thanks jeff
Answer: The air sounds nice - too bad about the gear boxes! Check with all your local hardware stores for stainless bolts. If they don't carry them, they may be able to refer you to a supplier who does. I'm not sure about the chains since I have not yet performed a gearbox replacement. Can anyone else offer up some advice?

The hinge you're refering to is called a "living hinge". I'm pretty sure Apache Sales Corp. carries them. Some of the other parts places listed on the Parts page may also carry them too. Good Luck!

(9/12/99) Reply from Jeff
Hello Doug, I was able to find the stainless screw that I wanted - installed them with the help of my two sons lifting up the top then placing them in the chain and slowly working them in place! The top goes up and down good now although I still do not under stand the chains? Thanks Jeff

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: 1972 Apache wheels
Date: 8/9/99
From: TWOGIRL1B@aol.com
Question: I went to the local Farm & Fleet to replace the old tires and ended up buying tires and wheels. Upon arriving home I threw the spare tire and wheel out only later to find the wheels I purchased did not fit the camper. My manual says nothing about the wheel. Is the wheel rare or commonplace and is there a part number to refer too. I live 45 south of Chicago and my camper is a 1972 Mesa with the 18x8.50x8 tires. Is there someone you recommend I contact?
Sincerely, Can'tget Thewheel Soonenough
Answer: Well . . . . One of the first things I ever heard about Apache tires was "Don't lose the rims!! They don't make them any more!!" Did you toss out all the rims or just the spare? I believe that rim was worth a lot of money. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Ole' Elmer at Apache Sales Corp can help steer you toward the proper tire to buy. I believe 6ply are called for. If you did toss out all the rims, Elmer may be able to steer you somewhere? If not, I can post a want ad on the site for Apache rims and we can keep our fingers crossed that someone will respond. Let me know if you wish to go this route.
We need new tires for our Apache - I was planning on removing one and bringing the complete tire and rim into a tire store to determine what I need. Good Luck!

(8/11/99) Reply from John
I purchased new tires at Agrisupply in Petersburg Va. I think they sold the same tire with the rim also. I also saw that tire mounted on a rim at Tractor Supply. They have a web site www.tractorsupplyco.com. I do not know if the rims they have will fit but they might. John

(9/5/99) Reply from Tom
I too ran into problems finding a wheel for my '71 Apache Mesa III. The Apache trailers need a wheel with an offset center web to keep the tire from hitting the torsion arm. I first bought one from the Canadian store you listed. He charged me $50 and said it was because it was his last one. Then, I took a camping trip to Seattle and ended up breaking a wheel along
the way. I ended up finding a place in Seattle, WA that was able to get me a brand new wheel. The place is called Evergreen RV. (206) 542-1183. The wheel is a 8 X 5.375 and the standard 18 X 8.5 tire will fit onto it. The wheel only cost $17! They said to let other Apache owners know that they can order wheels for them. Just let them know you want a offset center web 4 hole wheel, 8 X 5.375, with the valve stem on the deep side. Hope this helps.
Tom  -  Minnesota

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Tire Cover Over A/C Unit?
Date: 7/23/99
From: Brandon  NATFLT@aol.com
Question: Doug,
I recently installed an a/c unit in the rear of my 78 ramada where the spare tire is supposed to be. I think this is a pretty common area of install for an a/c unit from what I've heard in the past. However, there is a plastic shell cover that mounts over the spare tire that uses a key lock to mount the cover to the spare tire. The problem is.... no more spare tire, no way to
mount this cover!!! Any suggestions???

Thanks for the help,
brandon
Answer: Sounds like you'll have to rig something up to the A/C unit to get the cover mechanism to hook to it. Any one have any ideas?

Good luck!

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Refrigerator stopped working / Cushion Cover Patterns?
Date: 7/19/99
From: HeidiHOL@aol.com
Question: We purchased a 1972 Ramada(?) 5 years ago for $500! And this last camping trip the refrigerator decided to stop working. We tried it on the electric and then switched it to the gas to make sure it was the fridge and not just the electric. Does anyone know what might be wrong? We also made sure the setting was up, still nothing.

Also, does anyone have patterns for sewing new covers for the cushions on the dinette and/or couch?

Thanks,
Heidi -  Michigan
Answer: Hi Heidi! Not sure about the fridge. Anyone . . . ? 
The existing cushion covers could be used as patterns if they're carefully taken apart at the sewn seams. You do run the risk of losing the original ones unless you sew them back together when you're done. This may or may not be a concern. Good luck!

(7/24/99) Reply from Mike
Hi Heidi - try this I know this sound too easy. Unplug the refrigerator. Turn it upside down on its top for 24hrs. Then set it upright for 24hrs with it plugged in, then turn it on. This should work.

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Corner Slippage / Tow Vehicle
Date: 7/15/99
From: Gregg & Kathleen, San Diego, CA, San Diego, CA  BEANLY1983@aol.com
Question: First of all Doug, thanks for the great site! We just bought a "72 Apache Roamer for $325. Needless to say it needs some work, but not too bad. Your site has been a wealth of information for us (now we know what those strange angled pieces are-the end window caps you have shown in an older picture). We are total novices at this trailer bit and would appreciate any advice anyone can give us. We were thrilled to find out that there is a following for Apaches (we didn't know what we were buying, but it seemed like a great idea to have all hard sides). We are thinking of pulling this with a '84 Volvo station wagon. The dealer says no problem (don't they always?), but has anyone pulled with a 4 cylinder? Ours weighs 1850 lbs unloaded. Also we keep reading all the information on lifting system repairs. We used the manual downloaded from your site to get some information. The troubleshooting section doesn't address our specific problem. The top on our unit tries to lift but certain
corners slip back down again. The confusing part is that everytime it's different corners that lift and different ones that slip. Has anyone heard of this? Thanks so much for any help at all, we are looking forward to camping without 2 kids and a dog all shoved in a tent together!
Answer: Congrat's on your purchase! I certainly wish our Royal had those clip-on window awnings. They are fantastic! You shouldn't have a problem with towing it with a 4 cylinder vehicle, as long as you avoid steep inclines. Be sure to check the owner's manual to see if it can handle the weight.  We towed our Apache with our 4 cylinder Ranger pickup all last year. We even did a 1000 mile trip. I'm sure it adds extra wear to the vehicle. 4cyl's are best for short trips. We plan to upgrade to a 6cyl. sometime this fall or next spring.

It sounds like you may need to do a gearbox replacement. New ones can be purchased from Apache Trailers in Canada or Apache Sales Corp. in Michigan - the info. is on the Parts page. They run about $150 a pair. There's also a downloadable manual on the Parts page that includes complete instuctions on gearbox replacement. Scroll down on this page and Q&A II to read some good advice from others who've dealt with this.

Finally, read your owner's manual all the way through (if you have one) to learn the proper way to set up and strike the Apache. Apache Sales Corp. may have manuals for sale. Here's some advice I gave to another gentleman:
1. The camper should be perfectly LEVEL with all the feet secured in place.
2. After the roof is cranked all the way up and the walls are folded up and cliped into place, you must crank the top back down a few turns to lock the walls in place and seal them tight.
3. Extra care should be taken to ensure the bed ends are put up correctly. The 'ears' on the top latch must be on the top-side of the roof 'ears'. The sides must be all the way tight in the grooves. Some models have separate molded plastic pieces that fit over the 4 outside corners and prevent leaks - similar to the molded plastic pieces that fit over the outside tracks. Look for extra plastic latches on the corners as an indication if your model requires them.
You can also check out a posting on Q&A II that imparts some towing advice. (hopefully this link will work...)

Good luck!

(7/30/99) Reply from Gregg & Kathleen
Thanks for your reply and help. We took everything in the lift system apart and it appears that three of the lift chains have broken links at the end. Called Ole' Elmer for the price (Ouch). We are going to order one and see if we can use links from one of the broken chains to repair the other two. Does anyone know if there is a metal type chain available that would fit these units? We are concerned about the longevity of these plastic chains. Ours must have been
replaced before because we have the new style gear box. Do these plastic chains last very long? How long? We would sure appreciate any advice in this area. Thanks for doing such a great job and providing such a great service for all of us. Gregg & Kathleen, San Diego, CA

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Curtain Tabs / Awning?
Date: 7/13/99
From: Bobby Rmat61@aol.com
Question: I recently purchased a 1975 Apache Royale and am in the process of restoring it to its original condition. I have been unable to locate curtain tabs to use on the new curtains that we had made. I also am interested in a awning for this camper. Any help would be appreciated. Contact me at Rmat61@aol.com Thanks
Bobby
Answer: We too have a 1975 Apache Royal and we're also interested in getting new curtain tabs for new curtains. The original ones are really shot. We also washed the original curtains and they shrunk. :(   remember - dry clean only!

We have not pursued the curtain tabs yet, so I don't have a definite answer for you. I'd assume that Apache Sales Corp. (info. on "Parts" page) would carry the tabs - they look like they'd come in a strip or roll. Just give them a call and ask!

As far as the awning, all you'll need is the measurement of the length of the closed camper. Most all RV/Camper stores carry awnings. You may be able to find one online by trying one of the links on the "Parts" page - or any other supply store. Apache Sales Corp. may even have true "Apache" awnings, but there are so many different kinds out there, I think most any type would work. Can someone else offer a different opinion?

Please let us know if you find anything out about the curtain tabs. I'm sure folks would like to know. Thanks!

(7/15/99) Ingenious Reply from Jason Hinson!
My wife sewed plastic pearls from a fabric store onto our new curtains. Just make sure they are small enough to fit into the curtain rails.

(7/15/99) Reply from Jason Hancock
Wanted to let you know that I too also had new curtains made for my 77 Apache Ranger and was able to order the curtain tab tape by the yard from the Apache trailer parts store located in Canada. I am further aware that Ole Elmer also carries it at Apache Sales Corp.
Also..... I had great luck with Apache trailer sales in Canada. John is a great resource there and supplied me with new telescope nobs and a replacement ABS telescope cover that matches perfectly. They also carry tinted lexan windows for all sizes and I have completed this task and it looks great.  Thanks again for this GREAT web site.

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Table Bracket Repair?
Date: 7/12/99
From: Sloane Dieken - sloanedieken@usa.net
Question: I have recently purchased a 1977 Apache Roma that is in very good condition. It has a few problems but basically it works great. I was very impressed with your site as it helped me obtain a new gearbox to save my investment, since the gearbox failed when I tried to raise it
after I brought it home after I bought it. We recently took it camping for 9 days and really enjoyed it.

While we were camping we broke off the table bracket on the front wall in the bed position, too many people moving around too much. I need to fix it, but I was wondering what is the easier way to gain access to the front of the trailer: 1. take off the front ABS cover or 2. to take out the front equipment and take off the front interior trim panel. Which is easier and how do you take off the front ABS cover?

We want to go camping in it as soon as possible again. We are a family of 4 , me , my wife, my 29 month old daughter and my 5 month old daughter. We live in Western Canada and tow this trailer with a 1984 GMC customized 3/4 ton full size van, it is a very easy pull even in the
mountains.
Answer: Congratulations on the Apache Sloane!  I'm glad this site has been helpful.
On our 1975 Apache Royal, the bracket you're describing is connected to the sheet aluminum end piece with rivets. Even if it's not, it would be much easier to simply rivet it back on. All you need is a cheap pop-rivet gun and a few rivets. Most guns come with an assortment of rivet sizes. Remove any existing broken rivet pieces with a drill bit that's the same diameter as the hole. Be sure the new rivet you use goes all the way through each hole with a snug fit. Place the rivet in the gun, put it in a hole, hold in place, apply a bit of pressure, then squeeze the handles together until the rivet pops. Repeat for every hole and you're done! Hope this helps!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Gearbox/Plastic Chain/Reassembly?
Date: 7/10/99
From: Doug Dempsey  shearbond@aol.com
Question: Dear Sir: My first time. I was given an old (70 Something) hard side from which to make a snowmobile trailer. Upon examining it, I find that the interior and all of the floor boards, etc...seem to be in reasonable good condition. When I tried to open it I discovered why the price was so low. Apparently the RR lift mechanism failed. '

I was able to remove the gearbox, no problem with it. Heavy, comples and with 4-5 needle bearings...obviously quite expensive to manufacture. However, the cable held "train of plactic links" was broken. I was able to thread it out of the gearbox hole without trouble....but, do I have all of it??? and how do I get a new chain....or get this one repaired..and then get
it reinstalled??

Also, the gearbox planetary has a stud?? that rotates with the center section. There must be some reason for it...but I can' t figure out what. Can you help and it there some magic on how to: 1. Know how many links is "all of them", and 2. How do I get it reinstalled and working??

Thanks in advance.

Doug Dempsey
Bellvue, CO..... shearbond@aol.com
Answer: Dear Doug;

I hope your Apache doesn't become a snowmobile trailer and I hope I can help. It appears to me that one or both of your cables in the lift chain are busted. It would help if you know what year and model you have. There are four lift chains in this lift system. Each plastic chain is held together by two cables (lift chain). Do not remove the other cable from the gear box end
as this will make the replacement harder to do. Also if one chain is broken the other will most likely fail soon also. Your choices are to one, pay Elmer between $360 to $660 to replace or two, repair the system yourself for around $175 to $200. To repair the system your gear boxes must be in good condition. The older type like the ones in my 74 Apache are made from plastic and have a different timing than the newer ones. If you have old broken gears you must buy two new gear boxes because the timing is different in the new boxes and the cover will not raise correctly. If you want to repair the system go to the Apache home page and then click on the parts and service manual. Next download lift systems for 71-87. If you are not able to download this contact Apache Sales (Elmer) and ask for the Apache lift systems manual. He will sell you one for about $20. To get the lift chains out you must lower the top all the way down. Second, take off the gear boxes. Third get a helper or two and raise the road cover about 12 inches. One must be careful when doing this or the old ABS road cover will crack. I took 4 pieces of wood about 12 inches long and let the road cover rest on them. Now take a drill and drill out the rivets that hold the road cover onto the post. After you have removed all the rivets at the top of the posts carefully remove the road cover. Now read page 5 parr. 6 of the lift system manual and then read my lift system repair in Q and A.

(7/12) Return Reply from Doug Dempsey
Dear Doug...Apache Webmaster: Thanks for the fast reply. I did find the manual and parts breakdown which were of immense help. There are some rudimentary instructions as well which save one from breaking more than one fixes...often a problem with "mature"
equipment...same with my old '53 F600 and my '53 Fordson Major Diesel!! Slow and careful. If it won't go, find out why before putting a bigger handle on the wrench!

This AM I took the plunge and called Ole Elmer and not only was able to obtain the chain, hinges, crank, etc...but had a delightful conversation with him as well. He is gem.

When I asked "Are you keeping busy", he said "You know, someone put our name on the Web and ever since, we practically can't keep up!!".

Of course, after Elmer had asked me a few questions such as color, length, plastic or metal hinges, etc...he had the camper down to one of two model years!! Equally, he immediately had all of the part numbers of the various pieces and their prices memorized! What a treasure.

Darn, looks like I will have to go out and buy a snowmobile trailer. I offered to trade the camper to a friend for any 100" wide two wheeled trailer last fall....luckily, he didn't take me up on it. Best regards and keep on campin'

Doug Dempsey (aka shearbond@aol.com)

From: John Gottwald   jpgott@mounet.com

 

Subject: Canvas Patch / Travel Cover?
Date: 7/9/99
From: Jim and Tamy james@dundee.net
Question: Hi there from Michigan! We recently purchased a 1965 Apache. It's in pretty good shape, and with a little work, will be great for us. The canvas is in good condition, but some of the seams are somewhat dryrotted (It sat in a garage for 5 years, and I don't think they made sure it was dry before putting it down. I think we can put a patch along the seams, with a glue or something, as that is what my aunt did with hers a long time ago, but I can't find anything here.
Where can I find a canvas glue or sticky patches? Is this even a good idea? I can't believe what great shape the rest of the canvas is in! The man we bought it from swears it is the original.

My other problem is the travel cover. It was put on wrong one too many times, and all the corners are ripped. I would like to replace it, but we don't know if we want to go to the expense right now. Any clue on how to fix it? It has some strange snaps rather than regular snaps, which all seem to be in good shape, it's just the corners.
Thanks for your help!
Jim and Tamy james@dundee.net
Answer: Congrat's on the Apache! The old ones seem to have a nice advantage of being very easy to tow. Unfortunately I know very little about canvas. (Hard sides are what attracted me to Apaches in the first place!). You may want to try calling a canvas shop and ask them what they'd recommend. Any canvas shop would do - and local would probably be best. Gregory Canvas in Michigan supplies canvas for Apache Sales Corp. Their number is (810) 664-3520. Based on other's reported experiences, I'd be cautious about ordering a new one from them, but they could probably supply some good information. Does anyone else out there have any advice? Good luck J & T!

(7/15/99) Reply fro Wayne Triebold
I own a 1965 Apache Golden Buffalo. When I bought it two years ago, I made several repairs
with a latex tarp patching glue. I purchased the glue in a one quart plastic bottle for about
$7 as I recall. I bought it at a farm supply store in Fargo ND named Nodak. I would assume
that any farm supply store would carry a similar glue. The glue dries very flexible and almost transparent. It rubs right off your hands after drying so there is not a lot of clean up to be concerned about.

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Broken Bolt on Gearbox
Date: 7/8/99
From: Bob Rhoda  brhoda@continuum.org
Question: While replacing the gear boxes I have created another problem. One of the bolts holding the gear box to the trailer twisted off when I was attempting to remove the nut. It appears the bolt has to be installed under the chain. Is there a simple solution to this problem? Any assistance will be appreciated. Thank you. Bob    PS This site is terrific.
Answer: Nothing like a broken bolt to complicate a project.  My experience with broken bolts has put me in the heli-coil camp. I've never done this on an Apache gearbox, but if there's enough material around the outside of the bolt it could work. Just measure the diameter (and depth) of the original hole, then go to an auto parts or hardware store and get a heli-coil to fit. The instructions will tell you what size drill bit to use. Basically, you drill the broken bolt out and install the heli-coil (new threads) in the hole. You can try removing the broken bolt with a die or other device, but they usually break and make it very difficult to remove. Does anyone else have any different advice? Good luck Bob!

(7/23/99) Reply From John Kennedy
Hi Bob, Boy I hope I remembered your name, my web browser doesn't work all that good and I have to go to yahoo mail to email people. Well anyway, having had my gearboxes off a couple of times I think I know what bolt you may be talking about. It sticks out of the chain track after you have removed the nut from it and is retained by a spring clip that fits snugly around it. I think the bolt is outside of the chain track as mine have the lots of movement up and down as the spring clips have rusted away on some of them. Make sure the retainer clip is removed and I think you can just push the bolt up and out. Getting the new one in is the trick. You may have to remove the interior panel on the affected end to gain access to the track.
P.S. I have worked on countless rusted things for 30 years near the beach and there is no equal to a spray product named Master Blaster.  You can find it at automotive parts places (napa?) if this product will not free a rusted bolt you can just go ahead and get a cutting torch.  Good Luck John Kennedy

From: Apache Webmaster

Subject: (Do-It-Yourself) Gearbox/Cable Repair   + Cable Hatch Repair + AC Installation
Date: 7/7 - 12/99
From: John Gottwald - jpgott@mounet.com
How It's Done: Gearbox/Cable Repair
I have a 74 Apache Eagle 8. It was bought new by my parents and is still in their name. It had not been used in 10 years and the yard man wanted to have it so he could gut it and make a lawn trailer out of it. I couldn't let it happen so I hooked it up and took it to my yard (1 mile). I
then tried to crank up the top but the cables broke. I received Elmer's # and couldn't believe that I would have to spend almost  $700.00 to replace both gear boxes and four chains. The camper had only been used 15 times or fewer. I used the lift system manual to take apart the lift system and took all the plastic links to a marine store where I purchased Stainless Steel cables and replaced the old cables. The marine store also had the brass stops and a crimping tool to put the chain back together with. The total cost was about $175. The main thing to be sure to do is to get the cables tight. It requires two people so bring a friend. You know when you have done this when the chain bends. I also cracked a gear box. I repaired this by going to a Home improvement center and I purchased metal epoxy glue. I have also seen this glue in Auto Stores. This glue can even be machined. I glued the broken pieces together and then sanded. I have now used this trailer for 2 months straight. I repacked the bearings and traveled at 70mph for 7 hours with no problems. I have also installed an AC unit by taking out the 10 gal water tank and will write back on how this was done.

Another inexpensive repair idea from Mike Novotny
Great site!!! When I bought my '70 Mesa III, I just thought I was getting a good deal on an old camper. After findng your site I realize I got a great deal on a classic !   One of my lift springs popped out of the track & twisted on the '70s unique system. The only replacements I could find cost $85 each, with me supplying the ends. I'm going to replace it with cable and a length of 1/2 " plumbers snake I bought at the local hardware store. Swag the original ends on, should be like new. All 4 corners can be re-done for less than $40. Happy camping!!!

(7/9/99) Cable Hatch Repair
I have another source for parts. My cable hatches were broken and the RV dealer wanted $9.00 for each hatch and the were white. They no longer make brown or green hatches. All that was wrong with my orginals was the metal springs were broken. The dealer told me I couldn't buy just the springs so I bought 1 hatch and then called 411. I got the number of the company that still makes this type of hatch (219) 262-4707. I purchased 10 springs for .35 each. To replace the spring you must first drill out the rivets holding in the hatch. the broken part can now be removed. Next on the hatch side take a knife and pop off the name ie Cable Hatch. You must be very careful when doing this because they are glued on and the plastic is old and brittle. You can now get to the other side of the spring. The spring is three pieces. Two rods and a clip spring. Install one rod and the spring into the door. This is the easy part. Next file one of the end of the second rod in a cone shape. Put the door and body together as in the closed position. Now take a fine screw driver like the smallest one on a Leatherman Tool and slide the rod into place. You have now replaced your spring. Get some new metal caulk to replace the old caulk and pop rivet back in place. The last thing is to glue the names back on the hatches. Now you can have all the original hatches in working order.
John

(7/12/99) AC Installation
The ac installation is complicated. I installed a 6000 BTU (should be 8000 or larger) window ac into the space where my 10 gallon water tank was. My ac unit was 12 3/4 in H by 18in W by 14in D. I had to cut the interior cabinet wall and fit the front of the ac flush to the wall. Second, I cut a 12 in by 12 in hole into the exterior and created duct work that connected the rear of the ac to the hole in the exterior. I also had to drill a hole in the lowest part of the ac unit and through the trailer floor so the water could flow outside. I also cut some 2 1/2 in holes through the floor and mounted circular vents so air could get to the air intakes on the side of the
window unit.

I started by placing the ac unit where I thought it would go. Next I cut a 12 in X 12in hole in the exterior. I cut a hole about as big as a hatch first and checked the inside. I'm glad I did because I had the hole marked too high. I re-measured and made the cut. Next I cut the hole into the cabinet (take the front of the ac unit off and make a hole smaller than the back of the front grate.) When done correctly the grate will fit directly into the cabinet without any gaps. Now drill out the rivets and screws holding the cabnet wall into the trailer and remove. Now take your hole saw and create the holes in the floor ( not directly under where the ac unit
will be) so the side vents on the ac unit will be able to get outside air. Now take your Ac unit and drill a 1/2 in hole in the lowest point and make sure you do not hit anything in the unit. place the unit inside the camper and drill a hole where your drain is.

Now place your unit inside the camper and make sure your hole is in the correct place. I made a 2 1/2 in hole to make sure it was in the right place and so water will never rot out my floor. Now measure for your duct work. I rivited the duct to the ac unit and then installed. Now place your ac unit inside. Next place the cabinet wall back and pop rivet and screw it in place. Last take metal caulk and caulk around the outside hole for the exaust grate. I screened the back of
the grill so bugs will not make a home in there during the off season. Then I screwed the grill in place. You can rivet this but I thought I might want to be able to take the off so I screwed it. This is more complicated than fixing the lift system but once in place is worth it. It took me one
complete day to do this project.

Reply: Thanks for sharing this great information John! I may just have to start a "Hints" page on this site for this sort of information.
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Springs - axel
Date: 7/3/99
From: Notklutc@aol.com
Question: I have a 1972 Apache Ramada. I've been having a problem. Whenever I tow it the rear gear hits the ground. I see some kind of spring behind the brake drum. But I don't know how it works, or if I am able to replace them. I would greatly appreciate the help...

(7/7/99)
I found that the axel/springs I am having a problem with is called a "Linko axel". I was told that it can not be fixed. But I was wondering if it can be replaced. The tow vehicle I use makes the trailer level but whenever I go up or down an apron (like to a gas station or an alley) my rear gear drags. I would greatly appreciate it.

(7/24/99) Reply from Harold
Regarding the rear gear box, I simply had a welder make a steel guard plate that protects the box from scrapes and it has worked well for 4-5 years. If any questions, please contact.

Answer: Harold Bammel  bammeleh@ktc.com
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: 1975 Royal or Eagle 8 Bed Leg Tips?
Date: 6/24/99
From: John Penney  jpenney@nisa.net
Question: What a great website, and just in time. I had almost given up trying to find information
on my Apache. So far I have replaced all the lifting tackle, courtesey of Elmer. I was able to get replacement plastic for the windows locally, a bit over the top. I used Lexan. The upholstery is in good shape, I made a few changes to the interior, cribbed a few ideas from one of the new Colemans, raising and lowering the stove and sink. Works quite well. Has anybody been able to come up with a system of setting up the bed legs before pulling the beds out. I would surely appreciate any suggestions. A suggestion to someone who was looking for a fridge. There was a Dometic icebox type that ran on 12/110/gas I think it was available through Coleman dealers , sold up here for around $C400
Answer: Glad you didn't give up John! Sounds like you've done some nice work on the Apache. I'm not sure if your bed poles are the same type as our '75 Ramada, but whenever I'm setting up by myself I carefully place each pole on the bottom pin and let it hang there while I pull the bed out and secure the top end. This usually works if I don't rock the camper. Anyone else? P.S. - thanks for the fridge info. too!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Apache Window Replacement?
Date: 6/22/99
From: Jason Hancock  JHancockSC@worldnet.att.net
Question: My name is Jason and I am a proud owner of an "Apple Green" 1977 Apache Ranger. The age of the camper has caused scratched, broken, and hazy windows. I have attempted to use the plastic plexi-glass cleaners and polishers but have seen limited results.

I was searching the Canada Apache Camper store and see that they sell replacement Lexan windows at reasonable prices. Local glass stores have not been able to find the thickness or the tint for replacements. Needless to Say....I have ordered replacement pre-cut lexan windows for the Apache. Does anyone have any suggestions for installing the new windows. What screws to remove? How? Etc. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: You're in luck Jason! This procedure has been described in detail on the "How To" page.
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Leaks!
Date: 6/18/99
From: Lee Moll  moll@henge.com
Question: WOW! That is all I can say about this awesome site!

I need help. My family purchased a 1972 (I think) Apache Ramada last year. I have worked all winter fixing up the interior, ie: new foam, new upholstery, new curtains, paint, etc). Actually it looks like a doll house. Here is the dilemma...I made all the repairs on the inside of the camper
while it was parked in the garage. About 2 weeks ago, we hauled it outside and set it up. Guess what...It leaks like no other. For instance (this is just one of many) we had a light rain last night and when I checked the camper this morning, one of the bed platforms had a nice puddle on it.  This is even after I duct taped all the joints just to keep the millers and
the rain out while I'm working on it.

All I can say about my Apache is that after all this work, I'd like to take gas and set it on fire. The plastic hinge mechanism for the end panels has decayed and cracked and doesn't even hold the piece together that creates the ceiling. So, I have purchased continuous hinges "or piano hinges" and have been trying to attach the pieces together. Well, this is not going the best, but ok I guess. I still have the other end to finish but I don't feel like finishing at this point as I can't get the dumb thing to stop leaking. What ideas might you have other than gas and match????

Thanks for any suggestions and thanks for this site. You really made my day!
Answer: Thanks for the email Lee! I would steer away from the flameage solution, though I can definitely sympathize. It is a heart-breaking story. This is actually the first comment this site has received about a leaking Apache. First of all, you must be absolutely certain that the camper was set up correctly. Apache's have to be put up very precicely to assure a weather-tight seal - especially on the ends. If you don't have a manual to follow, you may not be doing it right. Hopefully we'll have a few complete manuals on this site soon, but until then - here's a few of the most important points to remember:
1. The camper should be perfectly LEVEL with all the feet secured in place.
2. After the roof is cranked all the way up and the walls are folded up and cliped into place, you must crank the top back down a few turns to lock the walls in place and seal them tight.
3. Extra care should be taken to ensure the bed ends are put up correctly. The 'ears' on the top latch must be on the outside of the roof edge. The sides must be all the way tight in the grooves. (NOTE: Some folks swear by cranking the roof back down AFTER the ends are put up!)

Some models have separate molded plastic pieces that fit over the 4 outside corners and prevent leaks - similar to the molded plastic pieces that fit over the outside tracks. Look for extra plastic latches on the corners as an indication if your model requires them. They may have been misplaced or forgotten by the last owner?

Next, get in the camper during a rain storm and figure out exactly where water comes in. If any windows aren't completely shut into the end groove they could let water in, especially the end ones. When you discover exactly where the water is coming in, you can decide on the best way to stop it. Cracks in the plastic are easily repaired with an ABS plastic repair kit.

The top hinge part is a little tricky. Apache calls this the 'living hinge'. You can find it in the parts manual on the Parts page. It's apparently not available anymore for many models, but if I were you I'd call around and see if you could find a pair. The piano hinge replacement sounds like a noble repair attempt, but it would be a lot easier with the proper replacement part.

Finally - don't give up!!! It sounds like you've done a marvelous job on the inside which probably sapped most of your energy. Take a break, and when you get some energy back - get out there and focus on the last few items that will make yours an Apache to be proud of. You're 3/4 of the way there - don't give up now!!! We know you can do it!!!!!

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Model / Serial #?
Date: 6/18/99
From: Barbarisi Robert C PORT  BarbarisiRC@mail.ports.navy.mil
Question: I am a proud new owner of an Apache and would as much help as possible. I recently purchased a used Apache but the previous owner said it was a 74 but did not have the owner's manual nor any other info.  Can Anyone help me out as far as year and style?
Here are the basics of the camper:
This camper is rusty brown color and has fiberglass sides, with 3 burner stove, Double beds at each end; Ice Box (no refrigerator); No A/C; Table with facing bench seats; Sink with faucet and holding tank and a heater which all work great . It does not have roll-out beds in the end.
I wish we would have found your site with the manuals before. Our system works well but you need two people to put the camper up. I would like to know if you have any idea where the serial # might be.
Answer: Well, congratulations on the Apache. I can steer you to the serial number, but someone else will have to help you with the model name. Here's a posting from a reader that found their serial number. Good luck!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Lift System Repair Question
Date: 6/15/99
From: Danny and Carol Tackett  cardan@ccaonline.com
Question: I'm having a fit trying to fix the lift system on my '79 Apache Ramada. When I first got it, it had a cracked gearbox and one broken left chain. I patched it up and made due for one year, but the patches didn't last. The last time I cranked it up, the one side (the one with the repaired chain} slipped down about four to six inches and, in the process, finished cracking the gear case to the point its not usable. I thought the best fix would be a complete rebuild on this, the front side of the camper, so I now have a new gearbox and two new lift chains to install. One major problem, I cannot get the Apache to go up. Three of the four telescoping posts go up just fine but the one corner that's always been a headache refuses to go up. It seems to be caught on something and won't let what I believe is called the upper stop to emerge from the body of the camper. In other words, it goes up freely for about 16 to 18 inches and snags on something. I do have enough room to drill out the rivets holding the arm to the camper top. After that, where I do go to get the rest of the telescoping arm out so I can replace the chain? What's a guy to do? I'd appreciate help soon since camping season is flying by.
Answer: I'm glad to report I found the major kink that was jamming up one of the telescoping lift arms. (If you remember, I was replacing two lift chains and a gearbox. It turns out a neighbor came over to help me and suggested ye olde hammer trick, but not quite the hefty hammer trick. The exterior of one of the u-channels that hold the chains had apparently been just slightly, ever so slightly, grooved by, I assume with a collision with a tree, post or something. As my neighbor pecked on the dented area with a rubber mallet, I was yanking on the telescoping arm and it came free. Turns out the aluminum arm had a couple of burrs on each side of it. We filed those down, proceeded with our chain and gearbox replacement and voila, I'm a happy camper.
Even though my inquiry didn't receive any response from readers of your website, let me say, it's a godsend. A couple of weeks ago I was ready to trash my Apache with a cracked and totally useless gearbox. Finding your website with its sources for new parts and all the excitement folks have about their Apaches has certainly changed my way of thinking about my Apache, which incidentally, was essentially a freebie to my family from two couples who used it for years as a weekend retreat at a friend's farm pond. Again, thanks so much and pass along this tip about how fragile those u-channels carrying the lift chains are. They certainly don't take well to dents, no matter how small.
From: Dan Tackett

 

Subject: Reviving 1963 Apache trailer - canvas replacement...
Date: 6/14/99
From: Scott Fleming  scott.fleming@IngramMicro.com
Question: Hello,
I have aquired a 1963 Apache camper, but after setting up the beds, and looking at the canvas, found it to be in horrible condition. Wondering if there is anyone who has information on this *very* old ( but beloved ) tent trailer. I'm not sure what the NAME of the trailer is, how can I find out what model I have? It is similar to the one on the site, which is a RAVEN, but I'm not that knowledgeable (sp?) with Apache trailers. The trailer we have is the same as the RAVEN, compared to the web site manual, but does not *quite* look like the one pictured.

Anyway, we're really excited about this little trailer, as the rest of it is in fair shape, and we're dedicated to reviving it to useable condition. In the NY area, we're looking to replace the canvas and get more information about parts for this little wonderful trailer.

Thanks in advance, Scott Fleming
Answer: Sounds like a good one for Jim Lockard or Tom Reilley. They've both been restoring their 1960's Apache's and can probably help steer you in the right direction. Guys? Anyone?
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Camping E-Mail list information
Date: 6/14/99
From: F. Sam Woodson v65animal@excite.com
Question: Hi everyone,
A little while ago I posted a message about "Apache and/or Pop-Up E-Mail list?"

Well, this is going out to everyone that contacted me. I found an existing E-Mail list on "Camping" I have subscribed to it. You can join this list by going to:
http://www.onelist.com/viewarchive.cgi?listname=Camping
Also, I will be adding (soon) a "Camping" page at my Homepage:
http://www.angelfire.com/al/v65animal/index.html
I plan on putting pictures of the camper, the sites and attractions I go to. I would also like to "link" anyone elses page that has camping information. I would also be willing to create a "Camping Recipe List" on my page, just send your recipies.

We just took our first trip in the Apache (canvas) Ramada this weekend. (Otter Creek, KY, Paton Musuem, GoKart Kountry) No problems. (well Road Construction!) We will be leaving again Thursday night after work to camp at the Cedar Point campgrounds. Trip reports to be on my web page A.S.A.P. Should be by Saturday June 26th. Thanks and happy camping!
F. Sam Woodson
Answer: Thanks for the info - good luck with your site!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Undercoating?
Date: 6/10/99
From: Brandon McDivit natflt@aol.com
Question: I've noticed some places underneath my '78 ramada where the floor is beginning to pull away. Do you have any suggestions for an undercoating? I think this is from water, the previous owner had it stored in and around high grass. Also, I'm getting close to completing my new paint-job. I have had all the decals made to original specs. It will be emerald green metallic with autumnwood metallic decals. I will find a scanner and send you a picture when complete.

Thanks for your help!!! The website looks great!!
Answer: I've heard of various types of undercoating sprays that are effective at waterproofing undercarriages, but I don't have any specifics for you. You may want to try the Airstream link on the new Apache-ish Links page. They do discuss a number of various restoration techniques, and undercoating could be one of them. Otherwise, I'd probably go to an auto parts store and read the applications on the various undercoating cans. One or more is bound to cover wood and/or campers. Does any one else know more about this? I look forward to seeing a picture of your newly painted Apache! Thanks for the nice site comments - good luck with the undercoating!

6/12 Reply from Tom in MN.:
---------------------------------------------
Hi,
I just painted the frame on my 1970 Mesa III with a paint that many of the auto restorers use. It is called POR-15. They have a website at www.por15.com. It is a very good paint for rusted undercarriages. You paint it right over the rust and it forms a very hard surface and prevents further rusting. You can use any good wood deck type waterproofing paint for the plywood base.
Tom,  Plymouth, MN

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Problem with lights
Date: 6/9/99
From: NJAC400W@aol.com
Question: My Apache Eagle Six is having problems with the lights, again. Last year, we had it serviced for the lights three times. We had a tail light replaced, and some new wiring and grounding done. I'm not sure of all the details. On our way back home in a rain storm, we lost all the lights. We brought it back to service and it was working OK before the long winter. Now, we have one front marker light out, but the bulb is OK. We have one turn signal working fine, but when we turn on the other, both tail lights begin to flash. What is going wrong? There is so much inconsistency in how the lights act, I am afraid to get on the road.

Nancy Jackson
Philadelphia, PA
Answer: Good to hear from you again Nancy - not good to hear you're still having electrical problems. Perhaps you can bring the camper back to the place that serviced it and have them fix it properly, unless you've had about enough with them, which sounds like it might be the case. I wish I had a better answer for you, but perhaps a reader will have some advice on what to do. Anyone???? (Good luck Nancy!)

6/11/99 Answer from Jim Lockard JRLockard@enter.net
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I believe the problem with the lights, based upon the information given, is a poor ground, not a short. I believe a short would cause the fuse to burn out. A poor ground would cause the lights to go out, blink as described, and would not be detected as a short. I have (and have had)
several trailers (boat, campers, cargo) and USUALLY, when there is a symptom of using the turn signal and either both, or all lights, flashing, it has usually been resolved by addressing a ground problem. For example: My 1966 Raven had the same symptoms. Going out for no
reason, lights that shouldn't be flashing or blinking are, dim lights, no fuses burned out. The framework (tonge, springs, axle, etc) are totally isolated from the aluminum camper box. There is plywood secured to the framwork, and the box is secured to that plywood around the
perimeter. Since the Raven has NO cabinets or double walls, it was easy to trace the wiring. There is a ground wire that attaches to one of the gussetts inside the body. The wiring configuration that pre-existed on the trailer when I picked it up had that wire going to the vehicle flat four plug connection. Unfortunately, the newer vehicle configuration doesn't include a ground connection on my vehicle (it is a hot wire instead). I installed a new grounding wire between the framework and the body and all of the symptoms have disappeared. I used a short piece of #14 stranded wire (typical trailer wiring stuff) with appropriate terminals on the ends to screw it to the metal. The ground connection between the vehicle and the trailer is made through the hitch. You may need to have the trailer connected to the vehicle to validate my suggestion, not just close enough for the wires to connect.

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Model and Year List (N.A.D.A. Info?)
Date: 6/4/99
From: Robert & Irene L. Beahold@yahoo.com
Question: Greetings to all. The first section is information I pulled from this site about models and years. There is still a lot of missing models in the pre-N.A.D.A section. Many people have posted in this site and have not said the year and or model they have, so let me know and I'll update. Also does anyone have some old N.A.D.A books from the 1950's, 1960's and the 1970's and can snail mail me a Xerox copy of the Apache pages to update this information. I would also like to know the measurements like the second N.A.D.A section below if you have them.
If I didn't include someone and their rig its because the model and year were already listed (I think?). Please don't feel bad if you were left out.

The second section is from the N.A.D.A site http://www.nadaguides.com/ValuesHome.html and shows the 1978-1987 models. We found an error in the guide, our 1978 Yuma is not
listed in the 78 section. We know the year and model is right because the sticker from the manufacture is still attached to the outside back wall.

Regards from the Land of the Apache (Michigan)
Robert & Irene L. Beahold@yahoo.com

Peter Swanson has a ???
John M. Hale has a ???Eagle (canvas sides)
tlester has a ??? War Eagle (canvas sides)
Todd Brown has a 1965 Raven (canvas sides)
Jim Lockard has a 1966 Raven
Tom Reilley has a 1966 Golden Buffalo (canvas sides)
Dave Mallinger has a 1966 Ramada
Scott Simmons has a 1968 Raven
F. Sam Woodson has a 1968 Ramada (canvas sides)
John & Til has a 1968 Eagle (canvas sides) We happen to have the 1969
catalog by the way. The models that year were the Ramada; Mesa I, II, and III; Buffalo II; Eagle; Falcon; Chief; and Scout.
jcad has a 1969 Ramada (canvas sides)
Stephen Hoch has a 1971 Ramada
Rich Turner has a 1972 Mesa Jim Strong's is (hard side)
Kevin Pickett 1972 Ramada
Dale Rogers1972 Raven (canvas sides)
Kelly and Bill Parmenter has a 1974 Eagle Eight (canvas sides)
David Green 1973 Royal
Steve & Ted Taylor has a 1973 EAGLE 8 (canvas sides)
davidg has a 1974 Royal
Dennis has a 74 Ramada (a few people have this one)
Doug has a 1975 Royal (hard side) also his book lists the Ramada, Roamer, Eagle 8, Mesa, then Eagle 600
Shawn O'Daffer has a 1975 Mesa (canvas sides)
River Rat Harry 1975 Royal (hard side)
Paul Humphreys test drove a 1976 Royal
Keith Willcox has a 1976 Ramada
oysters 1977 Ramada (hard sided)
John Kennedy 1977 Ramada or is it a Cimarron you've writen both names
(hard side)
Kathy & Harold Tracy & Irene & Robert L each have 1978 Yuma (hard side)
even though it is not listed in the N.A.D.A. guide

Click here to view the measurements Robert & Irene sent

Answer: Thanks for the great information! The N.A.D.A. guide link is a great tool to figure Apache values - too bad it only lists the later years. I listed the measurements on the Weights / Specifications page for consistency. Thanks again!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: What is it worth?
Date: 6/2/99
From: Llee Williamson  chas@outerbounds.net
Question: I am looking at a 1971 Apache Roamer that is in good to very good condition. Neither the owner nor I know what it is worth. Can you help?
Answer: This is really a difficult question to answer. There is no "Blue Book" for Apache's that old. However, here's a link to Apache values for newer models that you can check out for comparison purposes.

The main thing to consider is the condition of the camper and the features it has or doesn't have, and your geographic location (supply/demand). Let me give you this information for a comparison: I'm in Chicago, and we paid $1400 for our 1975 Apache Royal in very good condition. It's big, has all hard sides, a sink with 2 faucets, stove, propane tanks, propane heater, attached awning, power converter, extra electrical sockets, 2-speed vent fan, folding couch, sleeps 7, and included lots of extras like a porta-potty, party lights, spare keys, owners manual, etc, etc.. It was bought from the original owner who took great care of it. It did have a few blemishes, but not many.

I've heard of Apaches ranging from free to $300 to $3000. Generally, a canvas model is not worth as much as a hard-sided model. The question you need to answer is, what's it worth to you? Just remember - a new camper probably won't even be around in 2027 - they just don't make them as solid as the old Apache's! So good luck - hope this helps at least a little!

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Apache War Eagle
Date: 6/1/99
From: tlester@snet.net
Question: I have an Apache War Eagle that I'm looking for info on. This camper is green and has canvas sides, brown interior with 3 burner stove, sink and ice box. I bought this camper used and do not know what year it is. Does anyone know anything about this make of Apache?? I managed to get the state of ct to register it last year without knowing the year or vin number. They list it as a 1989 model, but that can't be true if the Veselli corporation which manufactured it went out of business in the 70's.   tlester@snet.net
Answer: Well, it's definitely not a 1989 model. Apache made campers up to 1986. You can try this link for help with locating your vehicle identification number. Otherwise, Ole' Elmer may be able to shed some light on the year. Good luck!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: 1968 Apache Ramada, just bought, General Questions
Date: 5/31/99
From: F. Sam Woodson  V65Animal@aol.com
Question: I just bought a 1968 Apache "Ramada" canvas pop-up camper in very good condition. The box is 12' 6" it opens with a full bed at both ends. It also has two other beds and can sleep a total of 8 people. It came with a 12' awning that zips to the main canvas. The rest of the camper is aluminum, except the plywood floor. This camper also has brakes. However, the previous owners had it for 8 to 10 years and never used them. It has canvas all around but comes with 2 clear plastic windows that can be zipped in, so that the entire side opposite the door becomes a window. It will be nice to see out in the rain and not just stare at the canvas.

The canvas is in too good of a condition to be the original. However, the previous owners did not replace it in the last ten years, so it is not new either.The camper had a water storage tank and a pump for the water faucet. There was NOT a way to just hookup a hose to the camper. I tried out the pump; it worked, but squirted more on the counter than in the sink. (leak) I was not too thrilled with the pump anyway.

So, I went to the local RV dealer and bought a kit to hook up a hose to the camper. It had the typical metal plate with a female hose connection on the outside. Then on the inside it has a " female connection. I then thought about getting a standard bathroom sink faucet. However, I was pretty sure that they would be too tall, and not clear when the camper is folded down. So, I just got a sprayer, like you use on the kitchen sink. I hooked it up and it works great. You can not turn the outside faucet on to high though, or the sprayer will really spray. I mean like 10 - 15 feet. Total cost about $35. Now with this inplace, I removed the water storage tank. We now have a little more storage area. We will not be camping with out
water and electric hookups, so this is not a problem. Even if we have to, we would only go to a campground with hot showers, so we would just do all the water stuff from there.

The electric hook up has two prongs sticking out the back of the camper. You just hook the female end of an extension cord up to it. Then on the inside it gets kind of weird/homemade. You have another cord that plugs into a female receptacle. That cord is attached to a breaker box (just loose, not attached to the camper) with a 15 Amp fuse inside. From there you have two cords coming out. This is your electrical connection. They have a 3-outlet adapter on the one cord for a total of 4 outlets.

So, does this sound like original Apache equipment to anyone? I am seriously considering running some real electrical lines and having about 3 outlet boxes mounted inside the camper. Possibly another with a WET area location type of outlet for the outside by the door. What do you think?

The plywood floor is in good condition, but I still plan to coat it with some kind of tar/undercoating. On the Nomad I had before, we took a 6.5 hour drive in the rain. The water "wicked" through the floor and got my friends clothes wet. (They were in a cloth bag on the floor of the camper.) So, I'll avoid this from the start this time.

Now the questions.

1.) This camper has 110V AC power only, no DC. So, what about lights? All the typical RV lights are 12V DC. Where can I get an AC to DC rectifier? I know I can get the little ones that run video games and such for about $8 each. But where can I get one large enough to run a few lights? What about one of the boxes that you run Low Voltage outdoor house lights with? Like Intermatic or Toro lights? Or should I just run some electric wiring inside and use
standard 110V AC light fixtures? I also thought about one of the outside lights by the door. High or low mount, which is best?

2.) The roof is also aluminum, it is unpainted. What do you think about putting "Snow Roof" or a similar white rubber roof product on it? I am thinking it would make it cooler and also help deaden the sound when it rains.

3.) Do you know how much weight the lift system will support? Can I put on a roof A/C unit?

4.) Will the roof support a typical roof mount bicycle rack? (4 bikes) There is nothing on the roof but the aluminum cross members and the thin "sheet metal" layer of aluminum on top.

5.) What should I do about the brakes? How do I know if they will work? Do I have to buy one of "those" boxes for my tow vehicle or do they just run off the electric "light" wiring hookup. Currently, the camper has a standard 4 prong harness. There is a separate 2-prong harness that I assume is the brakes.

6.) This camper has two brake lights, but NO side marker lights. Should I add some? If so, what colors are they supposed to be?

7.) Finally, the wiring harness. When I get the hitch on the tow vehicle (I towed it home with Dad's truck) I will want to get the 7-plug harness, I guess. So, when I convert the camper to a 7 plug, which plug is which on the 7 plug and the 4 plug? Where should the marker lights go, the brake, and the park lights, also what about the brake wires on the camper I mentioned
earlier?

I've previously owned a Old NOMAD (probably a 68 or so) a 1956 Hi-Lo (only about 10' long) and a 1991 Jayco (12' box, queen bed, A/C, furnace, in/out table and stove) This Apache impressed me the way it cranks up and all compared to all three of the others.

On the Apache, the door is one piece, the Jayco was a two piece, and I think the Nomad was too. (It's been 10 years ago) The bed poles stay attached to the Apache and fold away underneath the beds for storage. The Jayco poles had to be stored inside the camper. The exterior door on the Apache turns into a step when opened. The Jayco had a separate step, and it was easy to forget to put it up when you left. The sink and some other things on the Jayco had to be FOLDED down, to close up the camper. The Apache folds up with the sink and ice box in their upright positions, even though they are taller than the sides of the camper. (The beds don't butt together when folded up like the Jayco and Nomad.) The Apache also has a nice crank and wheel on the hitch that folds up out of the way when traveling. The Jayco had a long pole that hung down and the wheel just pinned into the pole. Even with the pole all the way up, it was close to hitting the ground on some bumps, etc…

The Jayco's roof sprang a leak in the seam down the middle the first winter I stored it. I did not know until spring when I opened it up. I found a hole rotted through a spot on the canvas and a large spot around the hole was weakened. There were close to 20 Million ants in the camper, and the curtains had also molded and developed holes from the dampness of a full winter. The Apache's roof is a solid section, no seams to leak! I guess actually I'm just pointing out the Jayco's faults and it cost $4,500 where the Nomad was $250 in 1989, the Hi-Lo $250 in 1993 and now the Apache only $550 in 1999.

Well, that's about it. I'm looking forward to using this camper. It really is well made. Thanks in advance for any information.  F. Sam Woodson, Network Engineer   Gahanna, OH
Answer: Congrat's on the Apache. Not sure what's original and what's not.

1. The previous (original) owner of our Apache ran electrical outlets all over the place inside and out. They really come in handy. Ours has an AC/DC converter built in, but we tend to use the 110V outlets most often. We use a small AC lamp when camping as it puts off a nicer light than the overhead 12V.  We also use an AC oscillating fan in the summer, and a big box fan for really hot nights. 

2. Coating the aluminum roof sounds like a good idea. Anyone out there ever try this?

3 & 4. Not sure about the roof AC unit OR bike rack either. Anyone?

5. Our Apache needs a separate control box in the tow vehicle to operate the brakes. Not sure about yours, but I would guess this would be the case. We still haven't hooked it up since we anticipate a tow vehicle change sometime soon.

6. Our Apache side lights are all orange. Side lights help you keep an eye on things when driving at night, and are also a good safety device.

7. A new 7 prong wiring harness should come with a sheet explaining which wire goes where.

If you really need to find an answer to these, you may want to try calling Ole' Elmer. Have your questions prepared because he is a busy man. Good luck!

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Apache Propane Caution
Date: 5/30/99
From: Robert & Irene L.  beahold@yahoo.com
Question: Greetings from the land of the Apache birth (Michigan). We recently purchased a 78 Yuma hard side and found that the long propane hose that runs under the box was not attached to the frame at the axle. It was laying against the top of the axle and the hose has worn past the inner wire safety mesh. Also the regulator was attached to the frame where it was exposed to road debree. It should be attached up higher next to the shoulders of the propane tanks. We went to a commercial propane distributor to have a new hose made. We added two extra feet to the hose so that we could move the regulator where it needs to be. The hose was not available off the shelf at the RV stores. The connections are set up differently. An original Apache dealer who still services Apaches in our area says that the hose laying on the axle was quite common in all the models. Robert & Irene L. beahold@yahoo.com
Answer: Thanks for the 'heads up'! It sounds as if we should all take a good look at our propane hose system that runs under the box of our Apache's. This would be a real bad spot for a leak. The few minutes it will take to inspect the propane hose will be well worth it. Thanks again!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Canvas Replacement?
Date: 5/24/99
From: Harbourcop@aol.com
Question: Hello fellow Apache owners, here goes another summer of getting my Eagle Eight in shape!!! Pray for me! I love my Eagle and wont give it up so.....  Has anyone ever replaced the canvas(EAGLE 8 Canvas sides, 1973)? I am going to give it a whirl this year and am wondering if anyone has had a GOOD experience with an Apache canvas place. How much might it cost? Is it a tough job? Any pitfalls? I have run the gammet of the chains and gear boxes as well as rewiring, I have all sorts of cool tips for getting old chain pieces out of the channels. Anybody needing help email me. Thanks in advance for any info regarding the canvas. Steve T.
Answer: Well Steve, Thomas Reilly just got a brand new canvas replacement for his 1966 Golden Buffalo from Apache Sales Corp. He actually sent in his old one as a pattern so it would be exact. He just got it, so it's going to be a couple weeks before he gets to try it out and let us know how it works. His email address is pabktl@banet.net
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Apache Paint Job?
Date: 5/23/99
From: Dennis ytz@email.msn.com
Question: I'm considering purchasing a '74 Ramada from my sister that she bought from my father who bought it new in '74. I'd like to keep the family tradition rolling. I think the camper could desparately use a paint job on the body. The original green is extremely faded and weathered. Do you have any suggestions as to whether or not I should have it repainted? I haven't been in the camper for about 2 years but from what I remember it was still in
great shape. Thanks for any suggestions. Dennis
Answer: What a great opportunity! I know exactly what you mean with the weathered green paint since our green '75 Apache looked the same way too. I believe the technical term is oxidation. It's like a pastey film is covering the once shiney proud grass-green color. That was a very popular color in the mid-to-late 70's! (We once had a VW Campmobile the exact same color . . . ) Anyways, before you cover the original paint with a time-consuming, expensive paint job, try removing the oxidation and see how it looks. I did ours by hand using lambs-wool pads and Turtle Wax. It was a tough job but the original green came shining through. (I actually only did the front side so far. . .) I've been told that the job is a breeze with an electric (or air-powered) buffer. You place a fresh pad on and some special oxidation-removing compound and let the rotating pad do all the work instead of your arms and hands. I've seen these power buffers run around $60 - $80 or more. I'm considering getting one so I can finish the job I've started. It can also be used for cars, etc. Remember that Apache exteriors are anodized aluminum. So, I'd try doing a buff / wax job first, then if you still don't like it, consider a paint job. I'm sure painting it would be a lot more work than buffing though . . . Good luck Dennis! Let us know what happens!

(REPLY From Dennis 6/6/99)
Well I did it, I bought the Camper from my sister. It is a '75 Ramada not a '74 as I stated in my original email regarding the paint job. I have all of the original owners' manuals as well the service manual for the brakes. I also have the price sheet and options list from the dealer here in Chicago from '75. I'll see what I can do about getting them scanned in, and also
saved in PDF for your web site. (I'm very fimilar with preparing images for the web, as well as PDF's.) Thanks for the great web site. The exchange of information among this great group of peolpe is fabulous! BY the way I think I'll paint the camper, the body and the door have faded in different directions, one's darker, one's lighter. Luckily, my brother-inlaw is a body and fender guy. He'll do it for me on the side. Thanks! I look forward to the Apache Roundup!
Dennis

From: Apache Webmaster
Subject: Apache Window Replacement II
Date: 5/23/99
Question: The earlier Apache Window Replacement Q&A only covered windows with rubber but mine has aluminum. How do I change the windows in my Apache?
Answer: Hey fellow APACHE owner and guru of all that is hardside camping! I just finished changing the windows in my 1977 ramada and thought I would send along how it got done. My camper does not have rubber holding the windows in. There is a piece of extruded aluminum on each
end of the window and the window slides in a track top and bottom. I cranked the top up then went inside. While lifting the end of the wall I was able to slide the roller assembly that holds each end of the wall, toward the outside of the camper top. There is a notch in the track that allows you to remove the rollers from the track. A helper to hold the disconnected end while you do the other end is required. Lay the wall down on a support in your camper (wood blocks, whatever).  Once you have both ends out, you have to remove the screws that hold the top track in place( 2 at each support). Once the screws are removed you can lift the entire top track off then the windows all come out the top. REMEMBER which track you got each window from!!!!! IF your screens are screwed in remove the screen screws also. Carefully
remove the extruded aluminum from each side of each window. NOTE WHICH END IS UP and which way the weatherstrip points. The ends MUST go on the new glass the SAME way they came off the old. Put them on the new plexiglass. (use a little clear silicone sealer to hold them in place). Reassemble in reverse. Good luck be patient. John Kennedy
From: John Kennedy kennedpj@yahoo.com

 

Subject: 1978 Apache Yuma
Date: 5/22/99
From: Kathy & Harold Tracy tracy1705@aol.com
Question: We just purchased a 1978 Apache Yuma last Monday and we are hooked on the whole Apache concept. This little model has the nifty feature of being able to slide your whole cooking/sink counter to the outside for outdoor access. Of course, it didn't come with any instructions on set up/fold down and the person we bought it from had only had it a couple months and never used it. So it was kind of like trying to figure it out together. Anyone out there have a kind of basic little step by step set up sheet? Everything is in excellent condition and we don't want to break anything by forcing something that shouldn't be forced. Also, any interesting facts, etc about this little model. Haven't seen anything on the web site about the Yuma. Love your site and will be getting in touch with Ole' Elmer for a manual and some things we want to replace. Thanks again. Kathy & Harold Tracy tracy1705@aol.com
Answer: Congrat's on the Yuma! You're lucky to have an indoor/outdoor kitchenette. Anyone out there have any info? . . .
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Cranking Problem
Date: 5/16/99
From: Joe Heater  heater1@cqc.com
Question: I have an early 70's Ramada that when I try to crank up, wont go up on the right rear corner. Do you have any suggestions of what do do? Is it the gear box or something more simple?
p.s. This is just the site that I have been looking for. It's good to know that there are more Apache lovers out there.....
Answer: Glad you found us Joe!  I can't say for sure, but it does sound like you need to do some gearbox/chain adjusting or replacing. The parts manual found here actually has a nice explanation of what to check / adjust on your lift system. If you find you're going to need to replace gears or chains or whatever, all the sources I know of are listed on the page as well. Also, if you need guidance, Ole' Elmer should be able to help you out. There's also a Q&A below from 12/7/98 that dealt with the same issue. You may want to contact them. Good luck!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: '78 Ranger Info?    N. California Roundup '99?
Date: 5/15/99
From: LJ Denney  EM-outdoorslady1@yahoo.com, outdoorslady@hotmail.com or
ljden@pacbell.net
Question: I have a '78 Apache, Ranger-Solid State, hard side trailer, it sleeps six, has a heater, ice box and three burner fold down/up stove. It appears it was sold through "Smith Apache Sales out of El Paso, TX." It's in really good shape for it's age. I found your web site a week ago, but needed to find out the model on my unit before I felt that I could write to you. Can you give me some kind of idea just what it's value may be as I don't see any "Rangers" anywhere on this web site. Is that good or bad? Where is it in line with the other models that Apache made-low end, middle end or where? Someone did paint the metal trailer body, but thank God with white so it's almost cream or white all over. Any insight that you can give me would be most helpful.

It was sold May 3, '79 in El Paso, TX, I had totally forgotten that I had all the orig. Manuals and
Service Bulletin on the from Fayette Division-Dayton-Walther Corp. on the Brakes, Wheel
Bearings and the Manual as well, Owners Manual on the Central Power Pack System-ES Model, Room Thermostat, Hydro Flame Maintenance Service Manual, Wiring Diagram
for Bargman 7 & 9 Circuit 12v Electrical Connector, and yes last but not least by all means, the Apache Owners Manual for both Solid State and Canvas Models. After finding this web site I know just what I have in these papers and manuals where as before I knew to make sure that they where kept in tack not once did I really give them to much thought. Needless to say I am willing to help anyone if they need copies of any of the things that I have.

Also I live in Northern California and would like to work on an Apache get together out this way, please put me in touch with owners out this way. In my camping over the last three years that I've owned my Apache I have seen others, but not been able to talk to them for one reason or another. Thanks for all your help and input on my Apache.
Warmest Regards, LJ

LJ Denney
PO Box 8265
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
FAX: 545-6563
EM-outdoorslady1@yahoo.com or outdoorslady@hotmail.com

Answer: Thanks for the email! I wish I was more knowledgable about all the various Apache models.  My 1975 owner's manual lists the Ramada at the top, then the Roamer, Royal, Eagle8, Mesa, then Eagle 600 - no Ranger. They may not have made the Ranger in 1975. There is a blank space between the Roamer and the Royal, and chances are that's where the Ranger used to be listed (see Weights chart). Any one else have any info? Ole Elmer may be able to tell you more if you give him a call. As for value,  I've heard of Apache's in various price ranges from free to around $3000. We purchased our '75 Royal in great condition for $1400.

I will certainly pass your info on to Jim who's coordinating the N.E. Apache Roundup '99. He's collected the list of interested folks so far. (He's currently on a fishing trip, so we won't hear from him for a week) At any rate - thanks so much for volunteering to organize a N. California Apache Roundup '99! Any Apache owners in that neck of the woods, please contact LJ!

From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Apache Club?
Date: 5/14/99
From: whobbins@aol.com
Question: Has anyone considered forming an Apache Campers Club with a Cool Logo.
Answer: A few folks have hinted at it, but no one has actually come out and officially suggested an Apache club with a cool logo! I will be more than happy to post any information here on the Apache Web Site if anyone wants to form/organize/manage such a club! The nearest thing so far is the Roundup '99! Feel free to come up with a cool logo any time.
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Air Conditioning?
Date: 5/12/99
From: natflt@aol.com
Question: It seems as though I fit into the category of a lot of other people at this site... 3 kids, wife, tired of camping in a tent with screaming children!!!!!  I have a 78 apache ramada (what a truly genious invention!!) Anybody have any expertise on how to install an a/c unit to the camper????

thanks, brandon  natflt@aol.com
Answer: 5/17/99 Answer from Kevin Pickett!
-------------------------------------------
Sorry it took a few days to get back to you. Well let me explain or A/C system, the unit I purchased is an Emerson Quiet Cool 7500 BTU window unit. I removed the doors on the lower half of the cabinets below the 3 burner stove, just over the wheel well. The vent panel is directly behind this area, I believe this is where a heater option may have been located. Then with some minor adjustment of the conduit that runs through this area the A/C unit slips in. The existing shelf needs to have one of the rear corners lowered, by removing one of the rivets and redrilling it to create a low point drain. The next step was to seal the 3 corners of what is now my drip pan, the low point can either be filed or drilled so the condensation will drain. Then use a piece of 1" PVC and attach it to the area that is now a drain, and plumb it to an area that can be drilled throught the floor. A few pieces of high density foam is used to trim out this cavity to create a basically air tight compartment. Currently we just have the vent panel removed to experiment on the size of vent required, it appears this area could easily be trimmed and some sort of screened or louvered panel made to fit. I will fill you in on other details as they occur, we have only run this in the yard but soon plan to try it in the field. Again thanks for the great web site.
Kevin Pickett  picketts@carol.net

More from Kevin 5/23/99
Doug, The web site just keeps growing, it is so awesome. Well I ran into some problems on keeping the A/C unit cool, so here is my modified installation. In the cabinet under the stove I cut the existing heater vent plate larger to accommodate the A/C unit. I then made braces to fit in the cabinet for the width of the unit. I bought some drawer sliding rails 22" in length and mounted them to the braces. Then I attached the unit to the other part of the rails and put the system in. Now I can leave it in the camper while in tow and when not in use, and just slide it out when we need it. I am in the process of making a cover plate for the exterior of the opening. I will try and get some pics of the installation out for you. Thanks for the Great Site,
Kevin  picketts@carol.net

(7/12/99) Answer from John Gottwald
The ac installation is complicated. I installed a 6000 BTU (should be 8000 or larger) window ac into the space where my 10 gallon water tank was. My ac unit was 12 3/4 in H by 18in W by 14in D. I had to cut the interior cabinet wall and fit the front of the ac flush to the wall. Second, I cut a 12 in by 12 in hole into the exterior and created duct work that connected the rear of the ac to the hole in the exterior. I also had to drill a hole in the lowest part of the ac unit and through the trailer floor so the water could flow outside. I also cut some 2 1/2 in holes through the floor and mounted circlular vents so air could get to the air intakes on the side of the window unit.

I started by placing the ac unit where I thought it would go. Next I cut a 12 in X 12in hole in the exterior. I cut a hole about as big as a hatch first and checked the inside. I'm glad I did because I had the hole marked too high. I remeasured and made the cut. Next I cut the hole into the cabinet (take the front of the ac unit off and make a hole smaller than the back of the front grate.) When done correctly the grate will fit directly into the cabinet without any gaps. Now drill out the rivets and screws holding the cabnet wall into the trailer and remove. Now take your hole saw and create the holes in the floor ( not directly under where the ac unit
will be) so the side vents on the ac unit will be able to get outside air. Now take your Ac unit and drill a 1/2 in hole in the lowest point and make sure you do not hit anything in the unit. place the unit inside the camper and drill a hole where your drain is.

Now place your unit inside the camper and make sure your hole is in the correct place. I made a 2 1/2 in hole to make sure it was in the right place and so water will never rot out my floor. Now measure for your duct work. I rivited the duct to the ac unit and then installed. Now place your ac unit inside. Next place the cabinet wall back and pop rivet and screw it in place. Last take metal caulk and caulk around the outside hole for the exaust grate. I screened the back of the grill so bugs will not make a home in there during the off season. Then I screwed the grill in place. You can rivet this but I thought I might want to be able to take the off so I screwed it. This is more complicated than fixing the lift system but once in place is worth it. It took me one complete day to do this project.
jpgott@mounet.com

Apache Webmaster Reply:
If your camper already has a heater in the space and you want to keep it there,an additional (slightly expensive) option is to purchase an RV roof-mount air conditioning unit. You'd have to cut a hole in the roof (yikes!) but if done correctly, I've heard these units work great. Please let us know what you end up doing and how it works. Good luck!

From: Kevin Pickett  picketts@carol.net, John Gottwald  jpgott@mounet.com, and Doug

 

Subject: Value?
Date: 5/12/99
From: natflt@aol.com
Question: I recently purchased a 78 ramada. I had no idea there was a "following" of   people behind these campers, however, I am pleased to find such a gold mine of info. at this website. I am curious of the value of this camper. It is in mint condition. Everything works and it has been taken care of very well.  I paid $500.00. Is this an accurate value?
Answer: Congrats on the Apache purchase! It sounds to me like you got a great deal! I've heard of Apache's in various price ranges from free to around $3000. I purchased my 75 Ramada in great condition for $1400.  I think you were in the right place at the right time! Congrat's and enjoy it! Happy Camping!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Electric Brake Overhaul (on '76 Ramada)
Date: 5/9/99
From: Keith Willcox  u1026349@warwick.net
Question: I just wanted to offer some information regarding this overwhelming task. At first I was told to purchase a new backing plate with all new components (shoes, magnets, springs, etc...) The whole assembly was manufactured by Fayette who is no longer in business. Also the shoes are 7 1/4 inch which are no longer available! Needless to say I then realized that I would have to rehab the old setup. I found a local camper dealer who has a long history in the business and they are very helpful and resourcful. They actually had the magnets in stock. The next
task was the shoes themselves. I found a local brake expert who relines shoes. So I had the shoes relined and then had the 2 necessary components to complete the job.The rest of the components on the backing plate were cleaned up incuding the backing plate itself and then the magnets and shoes were added to complete the package. The last step was to have the drums cut and now the brakes are like new. However if you ever have to go through this process beware that most often when shoes are relined the linings are thicker than original! They will require some adjusting. Many people have told me that the brakes are unecessary,
however I am pulling my 76 ramada behind a plymouth voyager and have 3 kids in the car (am not taking any chances). If anyone can tell me that all this work could have been made easier in any way please respond! I am planning on taking it to heaven with me.
Answer: Thanks for the great info. Keith. Our Ramada has electric brakes also, but I haven't hooked them up yet. Once I do - I hope they work OK and I don't have to go through what you did! Sounds like you did a fine thorough job and your kids should thank you.
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Windows in '76 Ramada
Date: 5/9/99
From: Keith Willcox  u1026349@warwick.net
Question: I first want to say what a great website! I aquired a 1976 ramada for free last year and am enjoying the information to be shared.The camper was well maintained and has all the extras. Its a hardside which I think is the best feature. Its in great shape considering the years. My dilema is that my windows are all cloudy and some have that aftermarket tinting paper for sunblocking on them that has all bubbled. I am looking to restore the windows in the most economical but reasonable manor.Were the original windows plexiglass? and if so when I replace them will they look the same as they do now in a short amount of time? I have confered with local hardware store personel and they are telling me that this can get quite expensive due to the fact that the ramada has so many windows. Also if anyone can tell me how labor intensive is this task? Can anyone offer some advice?
Answer: Congrats on the fine acquisition Keith - once you get those windows replaced, you'll have a "whole new Apache". A recent posting just answered this window question for you. Hopefully this info will help. Good luck!
From: Apache Webmaster

 

Subject: Apache Canvas Replacement Information
Date: 5/7/99
From: John M. Hale john@lighters.com
Question: What a great site. I've thought of creating an Apache Register for years but never quite got it off the ground. We always look for Apaches wherever we camp and introduce ourselves. Ours is a 1968 Eagle that my wife purchase new. It's still going strong (with a few idiosyncracies).

I wanted to comment on Old Elmer's replacement canvases. Old Elmer himself is a wonderful person. The tentmaking is contracted out to Gregory Canvas in Lapeer.

We finally had to buy a replacement tent and awning for the Eagle. We were assured that the new one would be EXACTLY like the original for their having the patterns. What we got is about 80% exactly the same.

Gregory makes the main top of the tent itself out of white vinyl so we no longer have our beautiful green tent. The piping around the windows is cotton and capillary action brings pretty significant water drips inside when wind blows hard rain against the side. They must have changed the top to vinyl because the canvas they use other places, especially on the canopy is very light weight; in a heavy rain one can feel a very fine mist coming through. (We finally sent the canopy out to be professionally waterproof coated which has solved the problem.)

They used some self healing zippers but for the canopy connection to the main tent, they used the old metal zippers and it has taken us three seasons to smooth those metal teeth out enough to zip smoothly. (For two summers I cursed loudly trying to get the canopy attached).
They did not sew the front canopy straps on strongly enough or with enough backing (the straps with gromits that receive the pole heads) and we had to have them reworked by a canvas shop because they were tearing loose. The rear straps on the canopy were not put on at all until I sent the whole thing back for reworking. They also did not put the top rear tent strap on.

Finally, you really have to say that the sewing quality is not first rate. Seams wander and overlapping pieces were not caught together in places. We paid $645 for the tent and $220 for the canopy.

I do know a tentmaker that will make new canvas tents by copying your existing tent. It was he who repaired my Gregory Canvas tent and canopy and he has made some canvas side pannels for the canopy to my specifications. He also made up a velcro attached screening system that I designed for the canopy. If people are interested, I could be an intermediary (we are in Jersey City, New Jersey and he is in Patterson, NJ) for those too far away or for those who might want to use our old Eagle tent and canopy as a pattern. I'm just writing this as I think of it. Is there a service here? Should we talk?

I am John M. Hale, 293 Varick Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302.
Home phone: 201-435-8298; office phone: 201-547-4698.

Regards, John

Post Script: Impressive job on the web page design and operation: attractive, clear, good content, nice graphics. Nice.

Answer: Thanks for sharing your experience John, and for offering your help! I'm sure anyone thinking about replacing their canvas will be grateful for this information. It's amazing that you've used the same Apache camper since 1968! You now have the honored distinction of being the longest continuous original Apache owner so far. Thanks for the nice site comments too. Let us know how the canvas referrals go and thank you again for offering your help!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: 1975 Apache Mesa Parts?
Date: 5/5/99
From: shawno@shcc.sbc.org
Question: Do you know of a source for providing parts for my 1975 Apache "Mesa" tent trailer?  I have had no luck in finding parts. I understand Apache Trailers were made in Michigan but went out of business a few years ago. Can you help?

Sincerely,

Shawn O'Daffer. email: shawno@shcc.sbc.org
Answer: Apache campers were manufactured in Lapeer, Michigan from 1954 to 1986. The only sources I know of for Apache parts are listed on the parts page on this web site. If anyone finds any more sources, please let me know and I'll post them here. Good luck Sawn!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: 1966 Apache Golden Buffalo
Date: 5/4/99
From: Tom Reilley  pabktl@banet.net
Question: Doug,

I just found your Apache web site and I wanted to send you a very brief **THANK** **YOU** !!!!! :-)

We bought a used 1966 Golden Buffalo about 10 - 12 years ago from a guy in southern New Hampshire. As a matter of fact, we are just now working on pulling it out of the garage, where
it's sat for almost 10 years. We know it's going to need some canvas repaired - most likely replaced - and a few other things may need looked at. Your web site is a Godsend even if the
camper is older than most of the owners manual & specs posted.

If you know of anyone else who owns a 1966 Golden Buffalo, let me know! I don't have an Owner's Manual or tech specs or anything except the 2-page "how to raise & strike " the camper. After we inspect the thing I imagine I'll end up calling Ole Elmer and asking if he has a catalog, parts list, whatever. Given the age though I'm not too hopefull, especially with the canvas. Anyway GREAT job on the web site and **THANKS** !!! More from home later!

Tom Reilley - Fitchburg, Mass
-----------------------------------------
5/5/99

As I indicated earlier, I discovered your Apache web site yesterday and I couldn't be happier. Like others… I thought I was the only one out there with an Apache! As a matter of fact, as I've been researching stuff the past week or more, I came across the local regional 'Want Advertiser' and there are 3 Apache pop-ups for sale. We bought our 1966 Apache 'Golden Buffalo' in August of 1989, I think. We bought it from a guy in New Hampshire. We only paid $300.00 for it, which even then was a very good deal, for what we got.

The Buffalo is very similar to the Eagle… I -think-. See the p. 2 drawing of the Eagle on the http://www.bobcoxcampercountry.com/apache/apache.html   parts page on their website. The single difference I noticed is the door on the Buffalo is on the right hand side, not the rear. The Buffalo has two slide-out beds which open up rearwards & forward - over the single tow bar ( 2" x 2" square, more or less) instead of out to the sides. It has a drop-down dinette, a small
sink ( w/pump?? I don't recall…) , a propane stove, and an ice box ( not a refrigerator, unfortunately). It also has a furnace but it is faulty & needs replaced. The 'box' is painted a semi-mettalic gold ( a la the 'Gold'en Buffalo name I guess) with the white stone shield on the front, and a hardshell white fiberglass Road Cover. When the road cover is raised and the beds extended, the green canvas tentage covers the beds & sidewalls. The canvas comes in two pieces, I think. We know one piece was pretty well torn & ripped ( storm damage here ) and we are hoping to replace it somehow. The other half should be in good shape. The Buffalo also came with a canvas Add-A-Room which was a godsend in NY (see below).

I still have a Massachusetts application for renewal - from 1991. We took it off the road and haven't used it since then. When we bought it, it was with the express purpose of hauling it to the Finger Lakes region of New York about 6 weeks later; we used it to camp out of while we attended a 4-day cluster of dog shows. We needed to make a few basic repairs to the canvas & curtains, replace the expired & rusted out propane tank, re-engineer the trailer wiring harness, etc. It performed wonderfully!! We weren't able to use it the next year except to set it up in the side yard, and we ended up garaging it until now.

My wife and I are making plans to go camping & fishing, and instead of the small dome tent, she mentioned looking at the Buffalo and trying to get the canvas repaired or replaced, etc. I spent all this past weekend moving everything out of the path of the Buffalo, sweeping the cement floor of dirt & rocks, etc. so we could take it out & set it up to examine everything. Unfortunately it has been raining for the past 3 days and we haven't moved it outside yet! Sigh!

As for registering the trailer… I do not have a Mass title for it. In 1989 when we first registered it, I was told by the clerk at the Registry that I did not need a Title. I seem to recall I was told it was because of the age ( as in 'anything over 10 years' ?? ) , and the fact it was not secured by a loan due to the fact I paid cash for it, or a combination of both age and value ?? I only got a Registration (plate) Certificate, no Title. Thank goodness I kept the Registration Certificate - it lists the VIN ( Apache
serial number, I presume) and the gross weight [ it says 1,000 lbs but I think it was slightly more than that, but I can't say for sure ]. I have an Instruction page which is identical to the 1966 R*%#@ ( hey, I'm a Cleveland Browns fan - I can't say that R-word!! :^} ) page you posted on your web site, but nothing else. I would love to find an Owner's Manual and parts list for the Buffalo, but before I contact ole' Elmer, I want to wait until I pull the thing out, open it up and inspect it all over, etc. I'll try & take some photos of it & scan them in to send to you. It needs some work & sprucing up for sure, but if the undercarriage & frame are ok, we're going to work on 'restoring' it to road condition and use it this summer !

Tom
Fitchburg, Mass

Answer: Well, I must say I've never heard of an Apache Golden Buffalo! Anyone else out there own one of these? Would love to see a photo of this one. Good thing you kept it in the garage - it shouldn't need too much work. Thanks for sharing your info Tom. Good luck with the restoration!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: 1979 Apache Name?
Date: 5/4/99
From: Stonebloke@aol.com
Question: Doug,
Thanks for the write back also...and so soon. Yea, I do miss my Apache. I told my wife last night that I wanted another Apache....she said"Sure...sounds cool" ! I about fell over! But....I think she thinks I will buy a new one...little does she know that they went under. The way I remember it... seems they went out of business in early 80's, then started up again with a Ramada (only), but it looked to be a cheaper version (correct me if I'm wrong). I remember seeing one at the Astrodome (complex) trailer show, thinking that my 79' looked better....o-well.

I too installed a small 110v. AC. unit on the tongue, neatly cutting out the ABS. hole (man did that ever make me nervous)! I even trimmed it out with white aluminum angle channel. It looked great and cooled the trailer down just fine.

The only item that comes to mind about dislikes on the Apache was that stupid wire clip latch that secured the upper half of the door to it's bottom half. It was always way too weak and I remember thinking that I was gonna try to solve that weak link.... but never got around to it.
I too have more stories to tell ya'll....but at another writing. I do have one question that's been bugging me.... when I bought my 79' Ramada new that year, the salesman showed me a different version of it. It had a swivel chair and maybe carpet on the front/ right side. It seemed it had a different name too.... what was it's name. I guess it cost more too. My trailer cost about  $4,000. new in 79'. How the time flys........ see ya, Clayton
Answer: You got me on this question Clayton. I didn't know they stopped producing campers then started up again either. I've never seen a late-model Apache, so I don't know what they look like. I was told Apache stopped producing campers in 1986. Anyone else out there know anything about these late model Apache's?

PS - visit the Apache Story page to read Clayton's original story.

From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Apache Eagle 4 photos anyone?
Date: 5/3/99
From: Matt
Question: Hi. Great site! I am considering buying a 1985 apache Eagle4. I own a small 4cyl car and have been looking in the N.A.D.A. guide for lite trailers. Finding pictures of these used popup's is difficult at best. I was wondering if you may have a photo of an Eagle 4?

Matt
Answer: Does anyone out there have any photos of an Eagle 4?
An '85 Apache is a difficult find. Most owners of late model Apache's are reluctant to let them go. If I were you, I wouldn't wait too long to check it out if there's one available! (We pull our Ramada with our 4 cylinder Ford Ranger pickup. It's not ideal, but it does work out fine on our flat Illinois/Wisconsin roads. Hopefully we'll be getting a 6 cylinder vehicle some time soon!) Good luck and let us know what happens.
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Apache Cimmaron - how to set up?
Date: 4/21/99
From: John Kennedy kennedpj@yahoo.com
Question: HI, Just bought a Cimmaron and would like to know if anyone has a manual for setup of this model according to Apache. There must be an easy way. I cant read the scanned pages on your website. Can anyone help??? John Kennedy. Thanks
Answer: Wow - I've never even heard of this model before. Just goes to show, this site sure provides a learning experience. You've also called me on the thing I've been dragging my feet on - getting the owner's manual re-scanned in pdf format so it's readable. I've just learned how to do that, but I don't have a scanner, so I have to use a friend's. Sorry it's taken so long. I've been focusing on updating the whole site into FrontPage 98, and doing the owner's manual is the final piece of the plan. The manual should be a great help. I hope to have it done in the next few weeks. If you can't wait that long, you can try calling Ole Elmer and see if he can mail you a manual. He may have them available . . . Anyone else?
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Any towing advice for a new Apache owner?
Date: 4/16/99
From: oysters@quidnunc.net
Question: Greetings to all!

First off, I have to start my note off with a huge THANK YOU for these GREAT web pages! They were my inspiration for calling on a 1977 Apache Ramada, which I just put money down on and will go get in about 2 weeks. I loved the idea of a light tent trailer, but the "tent" part always bothered me! Who wants to hear everyone else in the campground, and have them hear your little ones crying in the middle of the night? Anyway, WOW! It looks like someone WAS smart enough to blend the 2 worlds. Once we got it set up (an amazing thing to watch unto itself!) I couldn't believe how comfortable it was inside! Now, if I may: does anyone have any advice for a new Ramada owner with no experience ever towing anything? I've got 3 little ones and my wife and I are very adventurous, but are tired of pine needles and dirt in the sleeping bags, let alone having to set up a port-a-crib in the tent. I'm sure many of you can relate.

I'm interested in anything you may have to say, but especially in towing and readying a vehicle for towing. We have a 98 Dodge Grand Caravan with a 3.3L and hope to take our Ramada far and wide. Any thoughts? (anyone use a weight-distributing hitch? it's been recommended to me, but I'm new to all of this.) Thank you!!!!! Kevin in Seattle, WA

P.S. blessings to the person who outlined how to repack wheel bearings - it'll be one of my first jobs! Thanks again for a great web page, and to all the contributors of wonderful advice. I've read it ALL and continue to check it frequently.
Answer: Well I, for one, would like to say thanks for the nice comments and "Congrat's!" on the new Apache! You have the tow vehicle WE want! Really! You shouldn't have any problems towing. Here's what we do to make our towing as worry-free as possible:

#1 - First off, we try to pack any heavy items in the car and not the camper. The lighter you can keep the camper, the better. Definitely don't fill up the water tank before a road trip. Whatever we do pack in the camper, we're sure to keep the load as even as possible - forward and back, and left and right. If you must put a heavy item in, be sure to position it over the axle. Following these measures will help prevent camper sway. The last items we put in before the final fold-down are lawn chairs & other light things.

#2 - Check everything before pulling away. Always be sure to double check all the mechanical and electrical hook-up connections. Test out brake lights & turn signals, confirm safety chains are on, the lift is ALL THE WAY up, all feet are locked up, the door step is up, all utilities are disconnected, tires look solid with no signs of wear, etc. Be sure to keep the spare tire inflated. Always, always, take a final walk around before pulling away. You'd be amazed at how many people actually do not do this!

#3 - Take it easy! Remember - it will take a little longer to accelerate and to stop. Turns should be taken on the wide side. Slow WAY down for Railroad crossings. Stay at the posted speed limit and relax and your Apache will be much happier. After a while, you'll forget it's there! (be careful of that!)

Well, that's my two cents worth on towing - anyone else? -Doug
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Skipping Gears
Date: 4/13/99
From: Stephen Hoch shoch@ComCAT.COM
Question: Hi gang. Steve Here in Philadelphia Pa.
Having a problem with the gears skipping in Crankup. My 1971 Ramada is causing me to go nuts. I have replaced the gearboxes and now the front drivers side roof support skips on the way up and I have to drop the gearbox to even it out. I cannot get the top up correctly so I am scratching my head and thinking.
Any Ideas from the gang?? I have examined the mount of the gearbox and the one set of gears the box meshes into is loose and can be moved by hand. Best Description I can give. Steve
Answer: Geeze, I wish I could provide some guidance here Steve, but you got me on this one. Hope someone else can help! -Doug
From: doug@apachepopups.com

  

Subject: Repacking wheel bearings...
Date: 4/4/99
Question: It's never too late to pack the wheel bearings! It only takes about a 1/2 hour or less to do, and thanks to Pete Swanson, we have some nice instructions to follow below. Thank you Pete! Happy packing everyone! - Doug
Answer: For all of you with old Apache's...(basically all of you at this site), wanted to say how important repacking wheel bearings is.  My '74 was purchased from a friend, who admitted to me he had never repacked the bearings since original purchase.  I had my neighbor (part time "grease monkey") show me how to repack them.  If anyone is interested, it's probably the most important part of trailering your camper anywhere.  We found the old grease dried up and the bearings had begun to wear.  To repack them:

Jack up the camper (you can use a car jack on the frame or use the tongue jack with the rear jacks down and locked).  Be sure to use safety stands under the camper.  Raise one wheel off the ground.  Use a hammer and screwdriver to loosen the cap from the center of the wheel.  We used the hammer claw to pry it off a little at a time, moving around the cap.  Make sure the inside of the cap is clean and put it aside.  You will see a large nut beneath the cap, with a cotter pin through it. Bend the end of the cotter pin straight and push it out (or pull out
with pliers) the other end to remove it.  Clean it and put it aside. The nut should only be hand tight, so you should be able to remove it without tools.  Once the nut is removed, you can remove the entire wheel.  The bearings (there are two sets in each wheel) can be removed
by using a crow bar or hammer handle and tapping them out from the opposite side.  The bearing and seal will pop out.  Pop out both bearings and seals, wipe all dirty grease from them, and wipe out the inner area of the wheel. To repack the bearings, just put a big blob of wheel bearing grease (from auto parts or hardware store) into the palm of your hand, and "shave" the grease from your hand with the bearing, working the grease into the gap between the bearing housing and the bearings themselves. (It's very self-evident when you look at it.)  The old dirty grease will push out the top.  When the bearings are repacked, replace them in the wheel with the seals and tap back in.  Just remember which side was which.  One bearing is larger than the other.  (I think the larger bearing goes on the outside of the wheel)  Place the wheel back on the axle, replace the nut.  Turn the nut till hand tight, then replace the cotter pin through the hole in nut and axle end.  Bend one end of the cotter pin so it won't fall out.  Tap the cover back on and it's done. Repeat for the other side. This took my neighbor ten minutes for one wheel, and took me about fifteen for the other by myself.  This made a huge difference in the "free spin" of the wheels.  It also allowed me to lubricate all the trailer brake parts located behind the wheel.  And if you need to sand and paint your trailer wheels, this is a good way to do it because you have them off and there's no danger of paint contaminating the grease. Just plug the center area with newspaper and spray. Good Luck. Pete.

From: Peter Swanson pswanson@netzero.net

 

Subject: Apache Camper in England (UK)
Date: 4/2/99
From: Robert Simpson ramjsimp@globalnet.co.uk
Question: Doug.  A message from across the Atlantic from an Apache owner in England.  We bought our Apache in 1978 when we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. When we returned to the UK in 1980 we shipped it over with us.  I stripped out the inside of the camper to fit UK electrics.  During the 1980s, when our children were smaller, we travelled with it extensively in the UK, France and Spain.  It always generated interest.  To cope with the weather, I fitted attachments for a fully enclosed awning which extends the length of the camper body and about 7 ft from the camper.  However, for the last 8 years the Apache has rested in our back yard with a failed gearbox.  I have tried to get it repaired here but have been unable to do so.  Now that the children are no longer children and have left home, we want to repair the trailer and use it again.  To do so I will need to replace the gearboxes, preferably with aluminium gears (hopefully more robust).  The only other parts that need replacing are the windows.  I can get the material cut to size here.  Advice on a source of parts that could ship them to
me in the UK appreciated.  p.s. your web site is great!  Bob
Answer: Hi Robert - Thanks for the Trans-Atlantic Apache story! Aluminum gearbox replacement seems to be the #1 repair folks are doing to their Apaches. I believe Apache Sales Corp. has the best deal on aluminum replacement gear boxes. They may ship to the UK - you just have to ask! If Ole' Elmer can't ship the parts, perhaps one of the other companies listed here can. The parts manual that Apache Sales Corp. sells gives detailed instructions on how to go about replacing the gears. Here's a recent Q&A that you may want to read from a gentleman who just replaced his Apache windows. Good luck with the repairs, please let us know how it all turns out!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

Subject: Apache Serial Number Exposed!
Date: 3/30/99
Answer: Hi, Great web site.  I thought I was the only one out there that loved their Apache!!  Ours is a 1977 Ramada 16.  I had a dickens of a time locating the s/n and I eventually was forced to strip the paint off of the tongue of the trailer hitch.  Voila the mystery number appeared on the cross beam that runs down the left side of the trailer about a foot back from the ball attachment point.  It only took me two years to find it, but then again what is two years in the life of an Apache.
From: S. Beadore beadore@dbtech.net

 

Subject: Gearcase Needed
Date: 3/27/99
From: Rich Turner rturner@ais.net
Question: I just got a '72 Mesa that has a broken gearcase. The gears look alright but it looks like the previous owner backed into something and broke the rear gearcase along the mounting flange. Does anyone out there know where I can get a replacement case without the gears?  Thanks. Rich Turner
Answer: I'd try giving Ole' Elmer a call at Apache Sales Corp. - I'm sure he'll be able to at least let you know if it's available. You may also want to check out the parts manual; it'll show you what's available and what's not. Good luck with the repairs!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Fiberglass Panels
Date: 3/26/99
From: MrsLTw4429@aol.com
Question: We love our hard shell apache !!!!!!!!!!!  What we are looking for is replacement fiberglass panels.  The panels are not worth trying to repair. Are they available?  Dont suggest converting to canvas, after using a hard shell, I dont like canvas.  The canvas doesnt take the Florida heat as well as a hard shell, nor stand up to the storms as well.  We keep looking at the new RVs available, and when we think we may go for a new one, I change my mind.  I just can't part with my hard shell !!!! Any help on replacement panels is appreciated.
Answer: Apache Sales Corp. has some fiberglass panel replacements available, but not many. You may be out of luck unless you find an old beat-up Apache to scavenge the panels off of. Give Ole' Elmer a call, or check the parts manual; it tells what's available and what's not. If all else fails, we can place a wanted ad on this web site and wait for a hit. Any one else have any ideas? Good luck!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Stiff Cranking & ABS Repair
Date: 3/22/99
From: David Green davidg@mtnhome.com
Question: I have a couple of questions. I put new gear boxes in my 73 Royal yesterday. It fixed my trouble, but it seems like it is harder to turn the crank when lifting now. Is That because of the different gears in the newer style of gear boxes? Also was wondering where to order the stuff for repairing small cracks in the ABS plastic. Thanks, David G.
Answer: Hey David, not sure about what's sticking-up your gear boxes. I believe they do require liberal lubrication. Hopefully they'll loosen up the more you use them. Maybe someone else will send an answer to this one. As far as the ABS repair stuff, it can be ordered directly from Apache Sales Corp. The parts page has the part number listed if you need it.
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Window Replacement
Date: 3/21/99
From: Pete Swanson pswanson@netzero.net
Question: Hi! Great Web Site! I feel really lucky tonight.  This week, I purchased (practically stole) a 74 Ramada hard-side in great condition from my boss at work.  The interior is immaculate.  Not a rip in the fabric, no chips in tables, furnace annd sink work, everthing!  Am just doing some touch up's and need to clean the outside of the windows....the windows have yellowed pretty badly.  How do I remove the screens to clean the windows?  If I need new windows, any idea where to get them and how much they cost? Also, the sink in my camper seems to drain very slowly.  Is there any way to get the water to evacuate more quickly.  The original owner has a green thick garden hose connected to a black drain base under the sink area, then connecting to the outer drain.  Just kind of drips out.  Oh yeah, one more question.  I'm a big guy, about 220 lbs.  and my wife isn't anorexic, although not very heavy.  What are the bed ends rated for (weight-wise?) and is it necessary to shore up the panels, since they are the original marine plywood from 1974.  Would be very emberassing to have a collapse at an (inopportune) moment. :-) Appreciate any help. Thanks so much! Pete Swanson
(plan to put your great site to use this year.  My two oldest kids, ages 3 and 4, can't stay out of the camper as I clean it up in the driveway.
This will be their first year camping.)
Answer: Hi Pete - sounds like you got yourself a nice deal! Too bad about the yellowing windows. Under normal conditions, the windows shouldn't yellow like that. The camper must have been set up in direct sunlight for extended periods, or a previous owner may have tried to clean them with something he shouldn't have. At any rate, there's now a section on the "How To" page that describes the window replacement process. The screens are actually held in with a rubber strip that can be pulled out. There's a re-screening tool that looks like a little pizza cutter that helps push that strip back in that you'll need if you go this rout. As far as the load ratings on the end beds, I know I've seen it somewhere before, but I can't seem to find it. I do remember that they held a lot of weight. I wouldn't worry about shoring-up the existing wood, but do keep an eye on the underside for your first few times out and watch for any hint of too much weight (buckling, etc.). Apache beds will probably hold more than any other camper out there! If you're really worried, you may want to consider using the folded-down table bed instead of the end bed (or at least restrict excessive activity to the inside bed) ;-] 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
REPLY from Pete 3/23/99
Hi Again! Thanks for the quick response.  I was able to (as you suggested) remove the rubber strip from around the screens to remove them.  This enabled me to attempt to clean the windows (which became cleaner, but were badly yellowed from age.)  Instead, I decided to replace all the windows.  I removed the rubber strip from the top and sides of the screens, letting them hang down from the bottom.  The metal "handle" strips remove from both ends of each window pane.  The rubber sleeve under that was simply glued on and pulled off quite easily.  I then measured the windows (for those of you who might want to do the same, the Ramada Solid State needed six 26 3/4" X 29 1/2" panels for the large windows and two 26 3/4" X 13" panels for the small sliders to the right of the door.  I decided not to replace the bed windows, since those curtains will always be drawn.  After removing the metal and rubber from the old windows, they simply bend and pop out of the tracks.  The new plexiglass panels (which cost only $60 for all of the above, cut to size by a local hardware store) popped in the same way. What a difference!  The inside is so much brighter, and the new plexiglass is as clear as day.  The newer plexiglass is much more scratch resistant, too.
For anyone repairing body panels, I decided to buy a fiberglass auto repair kit (which includes fiberglass mesh cloth, compound, hardener,
spreader, etc.) since the instructions say it's great for any ABS or fiberglass car, boat or RV panels.  The compound simply saturates the mesh, then you lay it over the needed repair area (after cutting out the right size of the mesh) and smooth it out.  When it dried, I sanded, fine-sanded and painted the area.  Looks like new. Well, thanks again for your help.  Have to get busy finishing up the refurb before I crank it down until the first trip in a couple months. Talk to ya soon. Pete Swanson pswanson@netzero.net


Relpy from John Kennedy 5/23/99
Hey fellow APACHE owner and guru of all that is hardside camping! I just finished changing the windows in my 1977 ramada and thought I would send along how it got done. My camper does not have rubber holding the windows in. There is a piece of extruded aluminum on each
end of the window and the window slides in a track top and bottom. I cranked the top up then went inside. While lifting the end of the wall I was able to slide the roller assembly that holds each end of the wall, toward the outside of the camper top. There is a notch in the track that allows you to remove the rollers from the track. A helper to hold the disconnected end while you do the other end is required. Lay the wall down on a support in your camper (wood blocks, whatever).  Once you have both ends out, you have to remove the screws that hold the top track in place( 2 at each support). Once the screws are removed you can lift the entire top track off then the windows all come out the top. REMEMBER which track you got each window from!!!!! IF your screens are screwed in remove the screen screws also. Carefully
remove the extruded aluminum from each side of each window. NOTE WHICH END IS UP and which way the weatherstrip points. The ends MUST go on the new glass the SAME way they came off the old. Put them on the new plexiglass. (use a little clear silicone sealer to hold them in place). Reassemble in reverse. Good luck be patient. John Kennedy

From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Apaches in South Carolina?
Date: 3/16/99
From: Sandy Francisco SanFranZoo@aol.com
Question: Hello, I have been looking at various pop ups to buy.  We are a military family and get pretty sick of staying in hotels during our moves/visits home. My husband and I have decided to buy used.  I found your site tonight and am fascinated.  I saw the for sale ad that was posted back in Nov., but NJ is a bit far to drive.  Not to mention it is probably sold by now.  Is there any where in SC to see/buy one of these?  Were they made large enough to sleep 6-8 people?  Thanks for your help. God Bless, Sandy Francisco
Answer: Hi Sandy - Apaches were made in various sizes. The larger ones sleep 7 or 8 people. Ours is a 1975 Ramada and it sleeps 7. You may want to contact the dealer in North Carolina listed in the answer below this one. Good luck!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Any Apache's in North Carolina?
Date: 3/9/99
From: Mike Smith smsmith@bbs.carolina.net
Question: Does anyone know where to buy Apache popups in North Carolina? I have a friend that is looking for one. Thanks!!
smsmith@bbs.carolina.net
Answer: Try contacting Jay Umstead at Carolina Coach and Camper in Hickory NC. Their telephone number is 828-322-9009.  If you wouldn't mind, please tell him you got his name from Jim Lockard from Pennsylvania.  I drove down there to pick up a 1966 Raven in December.  They had a couple of other Apache's on the lot at that time so maybe they get them on a regular basis.  Good luck.  There are also some solid state ones for sale from time-to-time in our area. 
From: Jim Lockard at JRLockard@enter.net in Pennsylvania

 

Subject: Fair price for an Apache?
Date: 3/8/99
From: Paul Humphreys phumphreys@saber.net
Question: Great Web Site:

This weekend, my wife and I came across a 1976 Apache for sale in Northern California.  We felt the unit was in "good-excellent" condition.

We have been looking out for a good deal in an older tent trailer for a few weeks, but this was the first hard-side unit we came across and liked the layout very much.  We spent three hours with it, setting-up twice, checking all the systems, including 12 volt electrical and gas.  The units doesn't have a furnace/heater and the battery is missing.  I am also not sure how the brake system works - neither does the owner who only buys, cleans and resale's tent trailers (privately) and appears to know very little about them!

When we took it down for the last time, one of the lifts stuck which we alleviated when we moved to flatter ground - this was the only issue we
experienced.  I "test-towed" the Royal behind my 1996 3.0L Caravan and it performed well (no problems at 65 mph).

The current owner is firm at $1,900 - what kind of deal does this represent or should we keep on looking? - Paul Humphreys.

Answer: It's hard for me to say if this is a good deal or not. Let me give you this information for a comparison: I'm in Chicago, and we paid $1400 for our 1975 Apache in very good condition. It did have a few blemishes, but not many. I've heard of them selling for a lot less, but I've also heard of Apache's selling for a lot more. The question you need to answer is, is it worth it for you? This is a pretty decent price for a hard-sided camper considering what a new soft-sided camper costs ($$!!!). A new one may have more options, would be a bit lighter, and more modern looking. However, a new one won't have hard sides, and probably won't be around to fetch $1900 in 2022 - they just don't make them as solid as the old Apache's!  If this camper has the functionality you're looking for, "feels right", and you know you're going to use it, I'd probably go for it. I haven't met the current owner, but you may want to test his "firmness" on the offer and try to talk him down a hundred bucks or so just to make yourself feel better. Bring up the sticking lift or something. You already spent 3 hours with it, so you must like it. As a final point, you do have access to the Apache Web Site for support if you need it at any point down the road! Good luck with your decision - please let us know how it turns out! Anybody else care to pontificate?
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Title or not?
Date: 2/25/99
From: Dave Mallinger David504@webtv.net
Question: I just received a 1966 Romada and was wondering if, since I did not receive a title just a registration, is this all that was issued for the
older pop-up trailers?  State of Mich.. - Dave 
Answer Good question Dave, does anyone out there have an answer?
From:  

 

Subject: Apache Serial Number/Model?
Date: 2/10/99 
From: Lisa Townsley applecreek@terraworld.net
Question: I was so happy to find your Apache website.  We purchased one a while back and were at a loss on how to fix the lift that didn't seem to work. We couldn't figure out how to get to the cables so my husband rigged up a crank and lift.  It is rather hard to explain but it uses two boat cranks and some ski rope to pull up the roof using some metal rods he attached to the outside.  Kind of like a scissor effect. It was the only way we could use our camper. We saw something similar on an old camper that was very small and my hubby got a brain storm.  It didn't need the crank and rope though. I suppose it was small enough to do it manually.  I wish we would have found your site with the manuals before.  Our system works well but you need two people to put the camper up.  I would like to know if you have any idea where the serial # might be.  I had a state trooper looking for it so we could get title but he couldn't find it either.  I believe ours is a 72 or 73 going by the stamped date on the water tank.  It looks a lot like the one in your picture with green on the bottom and the hard sides.  I have no idea what model it is.  The name plates are missing. I would appreciate any help. Thanks in advance Lisa
Answer: A+ for determination! I'm also glad you finally found the site. You're not the first person to wonder what year and/or model Apache they have. The owner's manual states "Trailer Serial Number - Located on left front side panel of trailer." I believe it's right along the bottom of the side panel where it kind of turns underneath the camper. At any rate, if you still can't find the number, you can probably give Ole' Elmer a call to figure out the year and model. He'll ask you a few questions and should have it pinned down in no time. I think the lift systems were all the same for all Apache models after '71 or so. I'm sure Apache Sales Corp. will be able to get you parts to get up and running smoothly again. The question seems to be, will you be able to title it? Good luck Lisa, and let us know what happens!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply from Lisa 2/14/99 - Well I got it figured out that my Apache is a Royal of the 73 model I believe.  As to the Serial # that is still a mystery. I have looked it over and can't seem to locate it.  I can get a title by having a number assigned to it by the Highway Patrol.  That is if the Trooper who comes to look at it can't find the number either.  Thanks again for the wonderful website.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer from S. Beidor 3/30/99
Hi, Great web site.  I thought I was the only one out there that loved their Apache!!  Ours is a 1977 Ramada 16.  I had a dickens of a time locating the s/n and I eventually was forced to strip the paint off of the tongue of the trailer hitch.  Voila the mystery number appeared on the cross beam that runs down the left side of the trailer about a foot back from the ball attachment point.  It only took me two years to find it, but then again what is two years in the life of an Apache. S. Beadore beadore@dbtech.net
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Cushion replacement/repair?
Date: 2/6/99
From: Jeff: kilwinsblowingrock@boone.net
Question: Would you believe that I purchased a 73 Apache Royal this past Thanksgiving for only $350?  Only problems were a chipped dinette table which I have reconstructed on my own, and the seat and bed cushins and covers are badly worn.  Any suggestions on how to replace these?  Also a few minor cracks in the plastic panels, which thanks to your website, I can now repair.  Thanks for the site, I have had a hard time finding info on this vehicle, and had started to feel that I had made a bad decision to buy a camper no longer in production.  Actually didn't know they were not being made when I bought it.  Now feel very knowledgable and comfortable with my purchase.  Jeff: kilwinsblowingrock@boone.net
Answer: Good deal on the Royal Jeff! I haven't seen any Apache cushion replacements for sale, but I haven't been looking. You can try calling Ole' Elmer and the rest of the places that have Apache parts. If that doesn't pan out, you can have some new covers sewn or sew some yourself. Most sewing shop/ fabric store places will make these for you if you give them the dimensions. Good luck with the Royal, once you get out and start camping in it, you'll understand what a great camper it really is! 
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Raven or Eagle?
Date: 1/29/99
From: Scott Simmons RSSIMMON@GAPAC.com
Question: I am a second generation Apache user.  My father purchased an Apache in 1968 and we have been using it all my life.  We are interested in doing some work on the camper (primarily a new top).  I noticed on your photographs page the last picture is of a 1965 Apache Raven.  Our camper looks just like that one.  I recently spoke to a dealer about ordering a replacement top.  I referred to the camper as an Apache Raven.  He corrected me saying that Raven was another manufacturer of pop-ups and that I actually had an Apache Eagle.  Which is correct? Scott Simmons
Answer: Well Scott, I'm very glad you asked this question, because it gives me a reason to add some more material to the web site (You'll see in a minute) You are correct! Though Raven may very well be the name of another pop-up manufacturer, Apache did produce Ravens in the mid 1960's. Thanks to a series of jpg files that Jim Lockard sent of his 1966 Raven Instruction book, we have unrefutable proof. So, click here to go to a new page with the Raven Instruction book jpg's. Enjoy!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Apache Repair
Date: 1/23/99
From: christer@xster.com
Question: My mom has an old Apache camper sitting in her yard that we used extensively when I was a kid. Only problem is, the crank is broken and the poor thing sits there shut tight. I'd love to use it again, as the rest of the exterior is in good shape (I can only imagine what condition the inside is in). Does anyone know where I can get it repaired in northern New Jersey? Thanks for any suggestions, Christer.
Answer: How intriguing! You say the crank is broken - does that mean the crank handle, the crank pin, or the lift system? You'll need to determine what needs fixing first. Chances are, the replacement parts could be found in the lift system pdf file on the Parts & Service page, and ordered from Apache Sales Corp. You'll need to determine your make & model, but Ole' Elmer should be able to help you if you can't figure it out. As far as having someone else repair it, Apache is out of business, but any camper/RV place could probably help. You're lucky your family has kept the old jewel! The memories are going to come flooding back when you finally take your first step back into the old family Apache. I hope it's in good shape. Good luck and please let us know what happens!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

Subject: Any interest in a get-together this summer?
Date: 1/21/99
From: Kelly Parmenter     wkp@acornworld.net
Question: Hi Doug ! Boy is this web site growing ! 
I have but one question. Bill and I have been talking about how neat it would be to get a bunch of us Apache people together with our campers somewhere this summer and camp for a few days or so. We have camped alot this summer and have only ran into one apache other than our own at the campgrounds that we have been to. We thought that if we could all agree on a place to meet and get together it would be great fun to show off our campers, share our Apache tales, get Idea's from one another and maybe help each other out with repairs and
such. My husbands parents own a great big coach that they have turned into a stunning motor home and they travel all around meeting with others that have done the same and we thought that it would be fun to form an Apache Club too. If anyone has any interest in this Idea, e-mail me and let me know. We can all at that point figure out the details if there is enough response and interest. As always Doug, keep up the good work ! Kelly Parmenter     wkp@acornworld.net
Answer: This sounds like a great idea! If Kelly will keep track of interested folks, I'll post any news or information here for everyone.
This can be the Apache Roundup '99! Thanks for the great suggestion Kelly, and for offering to coordinate!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Replacement Seals & Gaskets
Date: 1/19/99
From: John Hampp jhampp@fpl.com
Question:  I just saw your web site as I was looking for parts for my MESA. I enjoyed your story because I have had a similar experience. The first pop-up I traveled in was a canvas loaner from a neighbor when I was a kid. The next year my Dad bought an Apache Ramada which we used for about 6 years before they moved on to a Motor home. I really liked that camper and we traveled throughout Florida where we lived, the northeast and even the southwest over the years we owned it. I remember one of the first modifications he made was to install an air conditioner in the front panel on the tongue followed quickly by a rack connected to the slide outs which allowed us to carry canoes and even a 14 ft. fiberglass skiff.

Apache solid state campers are the best campers bar none. They were ahead of the rest and nothing has come since to challenge their status. They were quality built and one of the best engineered designs around. What I do not understand is why other companies haven't figured out the advantages the solid state campers have.

I bought my Mesa from my brother about 10 years ago. We used it for a few years and then following Hurricane Andrew we lent it to a former neighbor to use while their house was being repaired. The camper was set up and used for 14 months before it was returned to us. Needless to say, it bore the wear & tear of everyday use and constant exposure. Last year I began a massive rebuild because there is still nothing on the market that can touch it. The roof had a crack, the vent leaked water, the cushions were shot, the sink leaked, the inside wood panels had rotted from small water leaks, the windows were brittle and cracked.  The end window panels were sagging and leaked as well.

About 11 months later, the camper almost looks like new. Unfortunately I was not able to keep the original theme in the drapes, etc. but it still looks great and renewed. All of the wood paneling (including the ceiling) was replaced with a lighter whitewashed finish which made the whole inside brighter. That included the ceiling, the inside ends, and all of the cabinet doors and faces (including the seating area). The ceiling crack was repaired by removing the top and fiberglassing the inside. When the top was replaced, it was reinsulated to keep the inside cool. A new ceiling fan unit replaced the old one and overhead lights were placed above the sink, above the table, and just above the entrance. The unit did have an air conditioner installed I decided that when I replaced that front end to reinforce the inside of the front shell with a fiberglass reinforced frame. When the A/C was replaced I used some boat molding around the edge of the fiberglass and then silicone caulk it to the A/C. I also had to replace the sink faucet and since the internal water tank was cracked, I cut it down so that it was just a tray to hold the hose and all electrical cords.  All new external travel lights were installed.  The bearings were removed, inspected, and repacked as well as replacing the bearing seals. The floor had quite a few nicks & cracks so we decided to put a new one on top of the old. While the frames & cabinets were out I cleaned the old floor with Acetone and used the best Armstrong's floor tiles I could find. They really made a difference.

Now comes the last part. To really restore this, there are quite a few of the seals and gaskets which I need to replace. Mainly, they are:
     1. The seals on the side panels at the end slide outs.
     2. The seal on the ends beneath the slide outs.
     3. The pieces above the end windows.
     4. The pieces connected to the roof which seal the fold out ends at the roof.
     5.  The "Apache" lettering for both sides (otherwise I'll create a some kind of Apace sign to go there)

I'm not sure if there are other missing pieces since I don't have any guide to tell me otherwise.  Following our first shakedown campout this weekend I plan to add a 12v socket for our Electric Coleman Cooler, and any other 12v accessory. My kids thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and their looking forward to more. I was watching my son do some of the chores that I had when I was a kid (like putting in the poles under the slide-outs).

I was told that some others have added 2 - 12v batteries to the trailer tongue for remote locations but I'm not sure that the extra weight there is a good idea .  I'll follow some of the links you provided but any direct assistance would be appreciated.

Answer: Thanks for the story John! The chassis1.pdf file on the Parts & Service Manual page should be a definite help for you to find those last few parts. Depending on your tow vehicle, an extra battery on the tongue shouldn't be a problem, but I'm certainly no expert. The cut-out water tank job you did was an excellent idea. We'd love to see some pictures of your Apache when it's finished. Keep up the great work!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Canvas Replacement?
Date: 1/18/99
From: jcad@mail.commonlink.com
Question:  I am a proud owner of a 1969 Apache Ramada, very large camper although I am not certain of the exact dimensions but it must be as large as the largest of todays pop-ups.  I "aquired" this camper from a friends father about two years ago... he borrowed it from a friend about 6 years ago, well the friend apperantly never used it because he told him he could just keep it..well it turns out that my friends father only used it a couple times and it sat out behind their house for several years untouched, he even told me that he almost took it to the dump one day because they never use it.  My wife just happened to be talking to him at a party one night and somehow the conversation of campers came about and he said that he had one that we could HAVE if we wanted it.  So of course we went and looked at it, this camper besides being outdated color wise was in near perfect condition.  The beds, couch cushins, everything was in EXCELLENT condition, so of course we took it!!  I had to go through hoops to get it registered in my name since the guy we got it off of never bothered, but I managed to get it done.  ANYWAY, We did encounter one problem about 3 camping trips ago.  We have developed a tear in the canvas on a corner where it attaches onto the roof (hard top, canvas sides model) we managed to hand sew it up and put a patch on it, but I am wondering if there is a better way to repair this?  Also, does anyone know where I would be able to get complete canvas replacement?  the plastic windows that zip up are showing some wear, the screens are fine and the canvas window is fine, but the plastic is going bad.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!!
Answer: Great story! Sounds like you were in the right place at the right time. Complete original canvas replacements can be ordered directly from Ole' Elmer at Apache Sales Corp. I've heard from someone who replaced theirs using Apache Sales Corp. and they were very pleased. Also, there's a pdf file with pictures of canvas replacements on the Parts & Service Manual page.
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Apache Trivia?
Date: 12/21/98
From: Jim Lockard  jrlockard@juno.com
Question: A curiosity question....does anyone out there know when the first Apache was built?  What serial number was on the first one?  How about the serial number of the first one of each model?  The one I just purchased (1966 Apache Raven) is serial number R15186.  How many were built?       (Webmaster note: Any Apache trivia would be greatly appreciated! ...thanks!)
Answer: Well, I just got off the phone with "Ole Elmer" from Apache Sales Corp. in Lapeer, Michigan. Very friendly, informative gentleman. He informed me that the first Apache was built in 1954! (Apache Indian Chief) and the last one was built in 1986. Hopefully we'll get some more info. soon!
From:  doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject:  Information Request - Apache Brave?
Date:  12/21/98
From: Jim Lockard  jrlockard@juno.com
Question: I have an opportunity to buy, sight-unseen, a 1966 (or 1968?) Apache Brave.  Does anyone out there know what one looks like?  Is it the 4'
x 6' box size, canvas top, "mini" fold up model similar to the 1965 Raven owned by Todd Brown pictured on this site?  My guess is that the Raven has a soft cover when it is closed and the Brave is a metal split top? I would need to know by Friday 12/18 as I have arranged to drive quite some distance to look and (hopefully) buy it.
Answer: Well, the Apache Brave turned out to be a 1966 Apache Raven.  That may be why no one could answer the question.  They also had another Apache solid state in need of oodles of repair.  Jay told me someone bought it too. And there was a second person interested if the first one didn't buy it. The "quite some distance" was Pennsylvania to North Carolina and back, round trip...1,159 miles...17 hours on the road and about an hour and a half to get it ready to travel. I bought the Raven as all the hardware was there and functioning. The pamphlet for setup, accessories, and striking was inside too!   A little flaked out rust across the frame on the front below the aluminum body panel, otherwise the body/chassis was in good condition.  The travel cover was in bad condition and had allowed rain to soak the cushions, canvas and some of the plywood.   I have it set up out back to dry out. Whenever I get the photos developed and find a way to e-mail them, I will.
From: (Jim) jrlockard@juno.com

 

Subject: Chance to buy an Apache - What should I look for?
Date: 12/8/98
From: ssawyersf@aol.com
Question: My family and I have been looking for a used pop-up for about a month now.  I just found a 1986 Apache Mesa for $850 (probably can get for a little less). It seems to be in pretty good condition.  The canvas is in good shape and the camper seems to be clean.  Is this a fair price and is there anything else I should look for??
Answer: Wow! I believe this is the last year Apache Corporation manufactured new campers. Sounds like a good find! It also sounds like a decent price if it's in good shape. There's a few things you can do to make sure it's the camper for you. Thanks to your question, I created a special page that gives some hints on what to check when looking at a camper. Click here to find out more!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject:  What model/year is my Apache?
Date:  12/7/98
From:  Laurence.Fineberg-1@kmail.ksc.nasa.gov
Question:  I recently purchased a used Apache but the previous owner did not have the owner's manual nor any other info.  I suspect it is vintage 1970's.  Here are the basics of the camper:

Double beds at each end; Ice Box (no refrigerator); No A/C; Table with facing bench seats; Sink with faucet and holding tank (which leaks);
Rollout stove/sink; No fold out legs (have jack stands instead); No canvas anywhere

Also, I would like to install a refrigerator (electric, gas or both) and an A/C.  Any suggestions? Hope someone can help.

Answer: I'd say it sounds like you have a Ramada, Roamer, or Royal. Check the serial number on the left front side panel of the trailer. I believe that year and model can be determined from this number. Maybe you can try calling Apache Sales Corp. (number above) with the serial # and they could tell you more. Apache Sales Corp. may also be able to help with the fridge - A/C questions. Anyone else?
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject:  Lift System 1973 Apache Royal
Date:  12/7/98
From:  Johnny.Ward@tinker.af.mil
Question:  My lift system does not lift evenly (one corner lags) and has to be "helped" along.  Can anyone advise on how to access and adjust\fix the system? John Ward
Answer: John - Bill & Kelly Parmenter did some work on their lift system and may be able to offer up some advice or answer a specific question for you. Their email is wkp@acornworld.net Thanks Bill & Kelly! Anyone else?
NOTE - A lift system manual has since been added to this web site. Click here to check it out!
From: (doug@apachepopups.com)

 

Subject: Outside Hookups / Overhead Light
Date: 12/4/98
From: Mike & Marian HORIZON999@aol.com
Question: Hi there,  Just to let ya know, I also have a '74 HardTop. I wouldn't trade it for anything!!!  I purchased it from my brother-in-laws father.  He bought it second hand practically brand new and has maintained it
very well.  I purchased it for $600.  It was our first "wheeled" camping experience and have been going strong for almost three years.

I have replaced all the Plexiglas windows.  They were too weathered and yellowish for me.  Also, the past owner had modified a window so a small window air conditioner could be slid in as needed.  I kept that convenience. My refrigerator works on electricity.  I have never tried gas.

I do have a small problem with my hookups on the side. All of the plastic inserts and covers have weathered and became very easy to break.  So, in my frustration one day, I decided to remove them all and order some more.  Well, that was a learning experience.  I found a place in Utah that had a few but not all of them.  Of course the one I needed most, the water intake, he didn't have and they were white instead of green.  He was really helpful though and shipped 3 of 5 to me at NO COST.   I also need to replace the overhead light.  I purchased one through Camping World (mail- order) and hooked it up and it just didn't work (???)  What am I to do?

Answer: Mike & Marian - You can try getting ahold of Apache Corp. at the number listed on this page, or any other Apache parts company. I'm not sure what to try if that doesn't pan out. Anyone else have an answer?
From:  (doug@apachepopups.com)

 

Subject: New furnace in old Apache?
Date: 11/25/98
From: davidg@mtnhome.com
Question: I really like your site. It's great! I have a 74 Royal. I would like to put a furnace in it if I can find one. Do you have any ideas or do you know if one can be put in a camper that didn't originally come with one? Keep up the good work,
-Dave G.
Answer: Thanks Dave. I'm not sure about a furnace, but I do know of people who swear by their electric heaters for camping. Thing is, you need electricity! Any one else have an answer?
From: (doug@apachepopups.com)

 

Subject: Apache Gear Boxes Needed
Date: 11/12/98
From: shoch@comcat.com
Question: I have just aquired an Apache Ramada 1971 for emergency services communications in my area of Pensylvania.  My radio club does not want to put a lot of money into the trailer but we are trying to repair the gearbox.  The metal housing is broken but the gears look allright.  If
any one has a junker the gear boxes can be robbed from I would like to hear from them.

Steve Hoch WU3I

Answer: Boy, are you in luck.  I replaced my gearboxes at the end of the summer, and for some reason, possibly laziness, or maybe I'm just plain omniscient, I have not put them to the curb for trash day.  You are welcome to them.  I am also in PA, Philadelphia.  If you are close, you could pick them up, or I could send them to you UPS.

What timing. They probably would have gone to the curb on Tuesday, with the leaves.

Nancy Jackson
Apache Eagle Six  1976?

From: NJAC400W@aol.com

 

Subject: Apache Furnace Operation
Date: 11/6/98
From: NJAC400W@aol.com
Question: We're not sure exactly how to work the furnace in our Apache.We don't have a battery. Can anyone help?
Answer: Our furnace doesn't require a battery or any power, unless you want to use the blower. All it needs is propane. I was unsure at first, but it's pretty easy. Just turn on the propane tank, turn the red knob to pilot, push and hold it in, then swing open the little pilot door and put a match in. (one of those long grill lighters works best!) When the pilot lights, keep holding the button in for one full minute (or longer) so it heats up and stays lit, then let it go. It should stay lit. It's now in stand-by (pilot) mode. When you're ready for heat, turn the knob all the way to "on" (next step past pilot) and it should go "woof" and start burning propane and producing heat. The other knob just controls how high the flames are inside. It took me a while to get that one set for comfort. Anyways, the blower just cranks the heat out faster and helps circulate it, but it's kind of loud and we like it better without it sometimes. But be very careful!!! It gets HOT!!!
From: doug@apachepopups.com

 

Subject: Apache lift mechanism repair
Date: 11/4/98
From: JLink0802@aol.com
Question: I am looking for info on how to repair the lift cable mechanism on a '78 Apache Ranger.  The gear boxes are OK, but I'm stumped on how to work on this lift cable/plastic chain.  Any help
would sure be appreciated-Thanks
Answer: We have had to tear ours apart for the wires and chains and can offer some advice...Bill and Kelly Parmenter
WEBMASTER NOTE: A lift system manual has since been added to this web site. Click here to check it out!
From:  wkp@acornworld.net

Subject: Apache Parts?
Date: 11/98
From: doug@apachepopups.com
Question: Where can I get parts for my Apache camper?
Answer: Go to the Parts page on this web site for the most up-to-date information!

If you know of any other Apache parts connections, please let me know and I'll post it here. Thanx!

From: doug@apachepopups.com


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