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Archive for October, 2006

Trailer condition rating

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Rich Luhr (of Airstream Life) presented a nice classification system for vintage trailer projects in his Tour of America blog. After seeing Rosie’s insides a little more closely yesterday, I’ve been thinking about where she falls in his system. I think she could be easily classified in the refurbishment category:

“Body is lightly to moderately damaged, but 30-70% of the major components need replacement. Floor rot is present. This is the most common vintage project trailer I see, ideal for the “makeover” type of refurbishment, where the interior modified with modern parts and/or new floorplan.”

When I was looking for a trailer, I wanted to find one that was in bad enough shape that I didn’t have to feel guilty for not doing a true restoration. In that way, I could make it more to my tastes and functional to my needs as a 21st century techie and hopefully find ways to keep its vintage character. In retrospect, I could have bought one in a little better shape and still remained guilt-free 😉

fallscene.jpg[Fall in Ellis Hollow]

Rotten floors and demolition duty

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Marc (my sister’s sweetie) generously offered to replace the rotten floor in Rosie, in spite of the fact that he recognized what a pain it was going to be and that I would be of no help.

As mentioned earlier [1] [2] in the blog, I have a hole in the curb-side floor and a large area of punky wood from water leaks (the analogy of the punky wood to my osteoporotic bones does not go unnoticed by me).

We debated about what area of the floor to replace given our inexperience and not knowing the entire layout of the frame. At first we were going to just do a 1.25ft x 4ft area under the vista window (next to the door), but then we decided the area in front of the door was not solid enough (you could poke a drill bit in it like paper mache).

We could tell where the ribs were running width-wise, but thought there was no support for the length-wise seam between the new and old plywood. At this point, we figured it would be better to replace the whole sheet of plywood from the door to under the kitchenette. I was planning on working on the kitchenette anyway.

image_000611.jpg

So Marc dismanteled the kitchenette and was amazed at how much stuff is crammed in that 8 sq.ft. of space:

  • Plumbing, gas, and electrical connections
  • Hot water heater (functional? replacing?)
  • Water pump (functional? probably replacing)
  • Furnace (don’t trust it – replacing with catalytic or new furnace)

image_00069.jpg

When Marc realized he couldn’t easily remove the rusted floor screws connecting the plywood to the metal frame, he went back to the water damage hole in the floor and cut away the rot to get a better view of what was going on and found out that there is supports in the frame length-wise that we didn’t know about.

image_00071.jpg

Then he ripped out a section of the floor in front of the door that was punky and we abandoned the notion of replacing the whole sheet of plywood since we had more support that we thought. I also need to ask around about the aluminum shield under the plywood in front of the door. I assume its extra protection for the entry area.

So I got good news about the floor and a BONUS of having the kitchenette and furnace pulled out! Because my body is still under restoration, I was resigned to nothing happening to Rosie in 2006. It was a real treat to see some progress made. I really appreciate Marc making it happen, WHAT A GREAT GUY!

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[Marc and the displaced kitchenette in the front section of the trailer]


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