Here are the basics for the replacement of the panels using FRP panels available at Lowes and Home Depot...   FRP = Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic


Use all-thread rod cut to temporary sections as opposed to bolts with heads cut off... then you can use nuts and wasters to hold up the cabinets. Replace them one at a time with the orig bolts.   The rod is much cheaper.  The rivnuts will often spin in place and you may not be able to reset the bolts.... but you can finger tighten the all-thread, install a washer and nut holding the exposed end with vise-grips and then finally cut off the excess rod.

I am really happy with the look and function of this replacement.  You could cover the FRP with headliner fabric if you prefer the softer look but still want the waterproof interior.Mike Teets

From: "Glen A. Smith"
I've got water leaks, what else is new, right?  I will be removing the long moulding seam cover at the corners of the GMC where the roof and sides meet, this is the source of the water leaks.  Then, I want to take the cabinets down in my '78 Royale, then the old deteriorating ceiling panels.  I am seeking information on how the cabinets are attached to the ceiling, especially how the cabinets are attached on the window side.  I have located the screws that hold the cabinets on the cabinet door side, but it is not clear to me how the cabinets are held up at the rear of the cabinets, the window side.  As for the ceiling, what is the best material to use?  I'd like to use something that will shed water without becoming delaminated or deteriorate if it should get wet again.  Any tips on marking the locations of the holes that hold the cabinets in place would be helpful.  I gotta figure once the cabinets and old ceiling material are removed and new ceiling material installed, the holes to hold the cabinets will not be
visible and locating them will be difficult.

Glen - In the GMC built motorhomes, the cabinets are held up by two 1/4" bolts going up into the ceiling aluminum frame and by two 1/4" bolts going into the back of the cupboard just above the floor.  The holes for the bolts are "rivnuts" which are expanded threaded sleeves that are anchored into the aluminum frame members and which are threaded for the 1/4" bolts.  I do not know if Coachman used the same attachments for their Royale models.

When I put another cupboard above my front couch, rather than try to get some rivnuts I used "Expanded U Nuts" which I purchased from AutoZone.  You can see these at: http://www.auveco.com/proddetspring.htm

I held the cupboards up where I wanted them and then drilled holes where I wanted the bolts to go.  I reached up under the ceiling panels and slid the U nuts over the flange of the frame when the holes that I drilled were located.  These have held very well for a few years now.  I have also used the U nuts in a couple of places where the rivnuts have loosened on other cupboards.

One hint on reinstalling the cupboards is to take some long 1/4" bolts and cut off the heads.  Screw these into the side nuts and then you can slide the cupboards over them and it will hold the cupboard in place while you put in the top bolts.  This makes it an easy one-man job.

When I redid my headliner panels I used 1/8" tempered masonite covered with a commercial grade cloth backed vinyl wallpaper; however, this was years ago before we had the GMCnet.  Now I see that others have used 1/8" plywood and, for a totally waterproof material, plastic sheets which have a textured surface.  These are available at about any plastic supply store and are commonly used for areas that need a waterproof, washable surface such as on restroom walls in commercial places.--
Emery Stora

I went to the local Menards/Home Depot and got some 4x8 sheets of a paneling that were specifically designated for use in mobile homes and damp locations. At least at my store, there was a card noting the performance data and appropriate application. It was stocked in the paneling section and comes in several pre-printed/wrapped patterns/colors. I chose to cover this 'attractive' finish with vinyl applied with 3M's Heavy Duty adhesive that comes in large spray cans. Zero problems to date in a Midwestern climate. Got the vinyl in a roll from a local fabric store.

Just a tip, I cut the panels a little long, placed each end in place and then forced the middle up. The tension keeps the panel snugly up against the ceiling. Also, need a bottle jack and 2x4 to slightly raise the roof to remove the panels over the wardrobe and bath modules.

My first foray with the ceiling, I used plain old fiberboard. I came in the next day after a rain and found the three panels I just installed sagging badly. Not fun. Mark Wall 76 E2

I replaced the ceiling in my GMC with a completely waterproof material that I got from Ridout Plastics in San Diego.  They have a web site http://www.ridoutplastics.com   that describes the material.  It came in 4 x 8 sheets, 1/8" thick.  It comes in different colors, but I bought the white and put them up uncovered.  The material is probably available in other locations, I didn't see any evidence that they actually make the stuff when I picked it up. My Eleganza had some metal brackets that covered the old seams, and I spray painted them at the same time I sprayed the front and rear caps and re-used them.    The outside material is a white PVC molded onto a thin dense foam interior, a PVC sheet on each side of the foam.  It is very rugged, and doesn't crimp.  I had to use stainless screws and trim washers at intervals to hold them to the ceiling, but that looks OK.  I also replaced all those  little pieces around each window with one piece.  I also used a 4" wide strip to cover the spaces where the ceiling meets the piece around the windows. It took 8 sheets to cover the ceiling and the sides around the windows.  Total cost was $228.42.  I traced around the old ceiling stuff so that the new stuff fit exactly.  Putting  holes in the material where they are required to mount cabinets, etc, is difficult unless you have the old piece to use as a pattern.  I did use a floor jack and a 2 X 2  "T" to make sure the panel was up tight against the ceiling before I screwed them on. It is completely washable, and if rain leaks does get on them, they can be washed off, no problem. I like my new ceilings, but it may not be good for everyone. I got in a bit of a hurry when I did mine and I wish now that I would have run a few more wires before I put them up. Regards, Gene 76 Eleganza Vista, CA

I have done headliners in our coach and helped on others.  Before we did our I asked the people at Buskirk's which is the best way.  They said take it out from front to back and install from back to front.  I really made sense when you try to install the back and the short piece between the two modules.  Those pieces have no room for mistakes in line up as the an error up front will make it extremely difficult to align the rear pieces.  That's how it was explained to me and how it work well for me in the coaches that I have done.

I used 3/16" wood paneling and then covered it with a headliner material that I got from a supplier.  What you decide to put on will be your personal choice.  You can still find the original snaketooth material or put a hard plastic type material, but several people that I have talked with say it is easy to clean but found that it had no sound deadening qualities.

You can see our interior at:

J.R. Wright