Monday, January 29, 2018

Getting there.... and we have planned a trip for early March!

Since my last post, we have completed major systems as well as minor projects.  Susan and I both agree that this portion of the build is more fun, smaller projects with less chance for disaster.  Here is what we have done.

Plumbing - we wanted to keep this pretty simple with the capability of "boondocking", that means camping without water and electrical connections.

This first picture is of a simple faucet, you just pump it and you get a small amount of water.

This next picture shows the sink drain on the right.  On the left is the hose to two five gallon fresh water containers.

This second image drains the water from the sink to either two small containers when it is not okay to drain out and a hose to the outside of the trailer.

This last image shows the outlet that we will be able to use to drain when we can.  On the left is a double plug for cooking and other things on the outside.  That was a bit tough.

Electricity -- also kept simple.  I could not have done this without my friend Bob.  He is a great helper and teacher and explains the theory and how things work and lets me hook everything up.

30 amp system with four outlets on the inside and the outside outlets.  That large black line is the connection to the external power.  Everything came up without incident the first time, thanks Bob!

Here is the outside electrical connection.

We got an incredible deal on an air conditioner, open box and then it went on sale for 20% off of that.  Seems to work very well.  The unit requires an outlet to the outside with a four inch hose -- more holes!  :-(   It is very heavy, about fifty pounds and at first we had it on a shelf.  That seemed dangerous and I could just imagine it falling through the floor.  So we moved it and it seems quite stable, we will restrain it further.

In order to vent the air conditioner, I had to make a six inch whole.  Found a very expensive hole saw and it went well.  Here is a picture of that.  It has a spring that closes when there is no air passing through but we will have to really watch it.

We also refurbished and attached the screen door.  Originally there was another piece of metal in the middle of the door.  We have made a cover out of no-see-um material so we can reach the handle and keep the bugs out.  Note the Scotty ID tag that we got when we visited Chattanooga.

It took a while to figure out how we were doing to shut the baggage door.  It is somewhat damaged and so we selected some boat closers and put a drip cap on top.  Hopefully, it will not leak.

We also refurbished and replaced the bumper.

So, at this point, we had to deal with some legal issues, getting a title, Ugh!  In some states it is impossible to get a title but we had no major problems. You have to take the camper to DMV and they have to look at the VIN, then you have to explain where you bought the camper and why there is nottitle.

You have to get a title to get a license plate and get insurance.  These things are tough to insure for anything over the purchase price.  It appears that there is one primary insurer in the US.

Magically, it arrived!  No problems.

So, at this point, Susan went to work on the inside.  She had already made curtains and pillows and other items, she is also in the process of buying kitchen stuff we will need.  We bought an induction burner that will not short everything out.

We painted, added some molding, put in switch plates, that kind of stuff.  Now the projects seem ever more fun as we get closer.

So our next step is to get an appraisal so we can get insurance.  Here are pictures of the exterior and interior that I hope the appraiser will be able to use.  It will give you a chance to look at the outside.

First, the exterior.

And finally, here are interior shots.

That's it!  The plan is take a one or two night practice trip right around here to see what else we might need.  We also want to weigh it to make sure our tires are sufficient.

The next post could be Florida pictures.  We are going to Apalachicola!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November 2017, much delayed update

Well.... certain people, you know who you, are have been asking (bugging) for an update.  I know it has been several months since I posted our progress but it is not because we have not been working.

We had hoped to go on a trip in August but at some point over the summer we realized there was no way and there was no point in trying to kill ourselves.  So we reset our expectations.  Big relief.

We also had another storm and that required attention.  Fortunately, more water than wind and our house and property is fine.  The trailer had to evacuate and we really appreciate Tim and Laurie for letting us use their garage.

Also thanks to my electrical guru Bob for his patience and Paul for continuing consultation and encouragement.

Anyway, in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and inevitable questions, here are pictures of our progress.  I think we will be really finished

Susan working on the benches in the front of the trailer.

The roof, note we chose not to put a vent up there, too paranoid about leaks!

Window installation in the front.

Back window installation.

Side window installed too.


We had to remake the door, we took a standard interior door, cut it down, reinforced and painted and painted and painted.   You can see what it took to even cut the door. Actually fit...... amazing.

The trailer was taken to the painter twice.  We had a "miscommunication" and the painter did not paint the roof.  The painter wanted the door and baggage compartment installed so we did.

First time to the painter, no problems towing but I went really slow and prayed for no rain.  On the way back, I had to find a gas station under cover.

The  paint job turned out okay, a bit of drama, but it got done.

So, while all this was going on Susan was at work on the interior.  A trip to Ikea helped.  Here are some images of the inside.

Susan and I in the bed for the first time - she will kill me for this.

The back, it is hard to take pictures in there.

Right side, see wiring not yet installed.

Galley, left side.

Right side.

Front with shelf on top and table showing.

Table installed, under the front seats is storage.

And finally, the outside lights are working!  I am not an electrician and Bob was there every step of the way to patiently explore all the problems.  My initial wiring was okay but I did put a screw through one of the back light wires and I had to figure out which one it was.  Anyway, they are working!

So, we have the inside wiring, fender and few other things.  Should not be long now..

Thanks for reading, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

So, here we are almost at the end of June and a lot has happened.  We have been working steadily and it is starting to look like a trailer.   Each part seems to take so long and is frustrating.

As a whole, we are getting there and we are now sure that we can finish it.

We found some bendable plywood up in Summerville to use for the ceiling,. It bent but those curves are tough.  "Molding is your friend", we have been saying and the creases will be underneath some.  Susan primed it, it will be painted while and looks good again the natural birch finish.

We put up the stapling rail and then insulated the front, back and top.

So I started wiring for the clearance light but as soon as I saw all the connections, I knew there had to be another way, once the skin is on, there can be no repairs.  So, I took it done, and started over. I  bought some marine wire, each light now has its own wire.

We put underlayment on the side and top so that when the metal sweats, it will not get into the wood and ceiling.  Notice the wiring, you can see the individual runs if you look closely.

Then, we started to put the skins on, amazingly, they seemed to fit.... okay we had to make a few snips there and there but they are up.

Then, the roof!

There was no way Susan and I could do this part and we asked our good and faithful friend Paul to come back (he helped us with the walls as well).  This turned out to be a major engineering project.   The roof material had to be really forced into the curves of the trailer.

To get the roofing material onto the trailer without tearing the underlayment, we ran it over a fence post.  It worked.

Then rolled the rest with PVC

Getting the wires out was a pain.

The stapling begins, the staples be covered with corner rail.  Paul came up with this spacer to make sure the staple when where they needed to be..... quite clever and I can claim no part of it.

There's Paul with the roof stapling process beginning.

Getting the roofing material around the front curve was the hardest part of this project.

We did by ratcheting down on a fence post.  It worked but it was way beyond anything I could have done to myself.  Thanks Paul!

The last thing we have done is to trim the the excess roofing materials and make a slight overlap to reduce leaking.  This will also be covered by the corner rail, luckily, because I found the roofing difficult to cut evenly.

So, onward and upward, I have also started the wiring underneath the trailer and we are checking out painters, I think we decided this is one we have to get an expert to handle.

Thanks for looking.