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Archive for the ‘Exterior’ Category

Looking forward to a bucking good time

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Frank sent me the pro-offered aluminum piece to cover the over-sized poorly done air conditioner hole and  old rivet holes.  He kindly pre-drilled the rivet holes and pre-cut the standard 14 inch hole.   Thanks Frank!

I prepped the trailer roof (cleaned again, ragged pieces cut or bent down) and gathered my supplies/tools for this project

  • rivet gun, bee hive spring, and machine tool tester from Avery Tools
  • modified 1/8-5/32 rivet set, 5/32 aluminum rivets and black clecos from VTS
  • Sikaflex 721  sealant from Airstream
  • my handy dandy Makita portable drill and a #20 drill bit
  • air compressor (15o psi 6 gallon pancake)
  • clamps for securing the aluminum sheet (and test pieces)

Since I have never bucked solid rivets before, I decided to practice some before marring Rosie or Frank’s piece.  I drilled some holes in 2 layers of aluminum flashing  and put some  clecos in to hold them together.  The trailer roof and new aluminum roof piece are thicker than the flashing pieces, but still good for practice.  I did a few on my own, then had Craig do the bucking while I did the gun two handed and by-golly, the last couple didn’t turn out half bad.  I started out with the psi at 90 and that was too high even though recommended for that gun and rivet size, 75-80 psi seemed better.

Tomorrow I’ll drill the rivet holes in Rosie’s roof using Frank’s piece as a template, securing with clecos as I go so the holes stay true. Then I’ll put sealant down and get Craig to help me buck the rivets.  Robin, if you’re out there, keep you fingers crossed from me.

AC is off!

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Taking off the compressor and coils made the AC light enough for Craig and I to get it off ourselves today.  I was very happy to see it on the ground.



The view of the yard from the top of the trailer!

















Air conditioner saga

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Yes, I’m still trying to fix leaks.  I know of several around the vents and the olympic rivets securing the air conditioner.  So I took a slide down a slippery slope…

Instead of trying to seal the vents, I decided last weekend to go ahead and replace them with fantastic fans since that was in the plans anyway.  And I would just get rid of the air conditioner and replace it with a sky light for now.  Unfortunately, the AC installer did a horrible job cutting out the hole.  I don’t think I can use a standard 14 inch sky light on this, check out the edges of the aluminum cuts.  Will do more research on options.



For some reason, I started on the air conditioner first.  I read the air forums and blogs and watched some videos on removing the air conditioner.  First off, the DIY guy had a nice mini-bulldozer bucket to work from and didn’t try doing this hanging off a ladder.  Secondly, most folks said they got it off in an afternoon.  Being a “girl”, I hate to admit when I can’t do something or do it well, but I will confess to just spending yet a third day working on getting this blasted thing off.


The shroud was already cracked so I didn’t worry about getting it off intact.  I drilled out the belt rivets, then the rivets holding the top on.  I found gobs, and I mean gobs of old hard caulk.



It took me all afternoon to get through the caulk to find the olympic rivets.  Removing those turned out to be the easy part.  A couple people said that you can just slide a scraper under edges to loosen the air conditioner.  HA!  It was grey caulk, but felt like cement.  I used the scraper, plastic knife, heat gun, mineral spirits, acetone, vice grips, screw driver, and a hammer.  Just before supper, the temperature dropped quickly, the wind picked up and dark clouds rolled in as I finally got the AC released from it’s bondage.  Tomorrow I’ll see if I can talk Craig into helping me get it off the trailer or continue to dismantle it piece by piece.

I read somewhere that C’World would only install an AC if you took off the old one yourself.  I can see why.

Cleanup and camping

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

I camped in the trailer at Robert H. Treman State Park with a couple other trailer folks this weekend.  Robin, Mark, and I took a field trip to Fletch’s and then spent a quiet afternoon hanging out with Robin and mom.  On Sunday, the crew took a hike up the gorge to the upper falls. There was a nice campfire thanks to Mick.  It was such a joy to talk trailers with kindred souls.

I was waiting for Mark's photos since his are so wonderful, but I'll post my crappy one for now.

Last weekend, I finished cleaning off the inside of the exterior walls.  I also finished sorting out the wires so now the only ones running across the ceiling are the exterior lights.  The 12 volt is all removed and the gauge wires are all wrapped up in a bag.  I feel badly that I did not do this before taking it down to Frank, he should not have had to fight with my tangled mess.

I sealed up the front window and I’m still working on the window gaskets for the side windows and adding the fuzzy weatherstripping to the screens as I go.

Summer breeze makes me feel fine

Friday, August 20th, 2010

It’s been great being off work this week.  It’s been warm and sunny, but with cool sleeping weather.  I haven’t gotten as much done as I had hoped.  It seemed that every job required a missing tool or supply or my back wouldn’t hold up.  So I have several started, unfinished jobs.

  • I documented and ripped out the wires for the four main 12 volt circuits.  I’m still trying to sort out the monitoring/console wires.
  • Scraped and scrubbed the inside of exterior walls in the back third of the trailer, removing residual pink and broken wire holders in preparation for reflective insulation installation.
  • Jig sawed 4 feet of insulation foam board into 1 inch strips (Thanks for the loan on the jig saw Marc).
  • Removed and replaced the rubber seal on the back window and did a test run of reflective film on the glass.  Having trouble getting the window back on the trailer.  We need a third person to push in the lip or more finesse on the angle.
  • Prepped and sealed two thirds of the exterior seams and lights with Acryl-R (Thanks for info Frank!).  The other third is prepped.

Left to do before I start insulating:

  • Four new window latch replacements and the fuzzy weather stripping for the window screens arrived, need to take them back off and apply that.
  • Finish removing wires, cleaning up inside of exterior walls, sealing seams, attach window.
  • Seal the interior seams with automotive undercoating or Sikaflex® 221?
  • Leak test

Fred watching me strip the back window.

I started on the top to practice sealing the seams as Frank suggested, but I didn’t get much better by the time I moved down.

Jade would like to thank Frank for putting on the new axles and making the trailer high enough that she can hang out under it now while I work.

Screens while I wait

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

I started replacing the screens while I wait to go to the Vintage Trailer Jam 2009. I’m hoping to talk to infamous Colin Hyde of “Colin Hyde Trailer Restoration”.

New screens

“Jerry-rigging” the backup lights

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

For the OCD or purists in the crowd, you may not want to read this post. It may even be illegal. As I mentioned before, the backup lights had no socket left to replace the bulb into and the canister in the mounting base was so rusted there was nothing to screw the lens onto. I searched the local auto and tractor stores and online sites with no luck finding a replacement. So in the spirit of my enterprising father, I used some things not meant for the job, including a tuna fish can. See the step-by-step process in my web album.

New backup light

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