Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In the Pink!

I installed the front half of the insulation in the ceiling today. The front half of the ceiling was the hard part, because there was no frame work in the fiberglass nose cone to hang the insulation or Luan plywood from.

Before I installed the insulation board, I finished roughing in the wiring for the 12v lights and fan, plus installed the cabling for speakers and the 3o amp AC feed into the power panel.

After roughing in the wiring , I started by building a framework from 1x6 clear pine. The top part matches the curve of the fiberglass. The bottom is cut to provide framework to screw the Luan up now that the pink foam is installed.

The bottom "legs" of the frame are cut to 45 degree angles, and once the walls and ceiling are lined with Luan, I'll screw some finished wood into these 45 degree legs to finsh off the interior. The space between the 45 degree finish and the rounded exterior will be stuffed with fiberglass batting and can be used for chasing wires.

After putting the board foam into the framework, I continued back with the foam insulation. The next challenge was installing foam around the fan vent. Rather than try cutting a hole in a single piece, I opted to cut the board into 4 pieces and fit them around the vent.

Now that the front half of the ceiling is "in the pink" I'm anxious to finish the rest of the insulation and start putting up the Luan to finish off the interior.

Stay tuned!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let There Be Light!

Yesterday, I had a guy come by and weld the angle braces to the vertical frame studs that I had to cut to put the window in. Once the angle braces were welded in, I was anxious to get the windows mounted today. I started off sawing out the exterior panelling. I started on the curb side, and after cutting the whole, I found that the base of the saw had scratched through the protective layer of masking tape, and slightly marred the paint. Most of the marring disappeared with a little rubbing compound, but before I cut the driver side out, I added a layer of tape on the bottom plate of the scroll saw.

The extra tape worked great! Here is the hole on the driver's side, with the tape still good shape.

After the hole was cut, I drilled 3 holes in the angle brace, then mounted the wood frame for the window to the brace with wood screws.

And after the wood frame was screwed to the angle bracket, I temporarily installed the window. I will have to install the wiring, insulation, and interior panelling before the final install of the window, but it was nice to see what the finished look will be.

With the windows and the vent in, the interior is nice and light, plus the breeze through the windows and up through the roof vent make it a lot nicer to work in. Tomorrow, I'll be putting in the wiring for the interior, so I can get started on the insulation, panelling, and the final window mount.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cut, Chop, and Rebuild

Yesterday, I installed the Fan-Tastic Vent Fan in the roof. It all came out pretty good, and will look great after the completion of the roof lining over the insulation.

Nothing is quite as much fun as taking cutting wheels, drills, and jig saw to your (relatively) new toy. This morning, I started off the day by measuring up the hole for the curbside window. The old adage of "measure twice, cut once" was ringing in my head. It must have confused me, because I ended up measuring about 20 times, using every available formula to determing where the cut lines should be. Out of the 20 times, I ended up with about 4 basic cut lines. Out of the 4, I picked the one line that was the most popular among the 20 attempts, and went for it.

Someone (Prem on the Teardrops and Tiny Travel Trailers forum) who had done this before recommended using wide masking tape on the aluminum skin of the trailer and marking the cut line on it, then using the jig saw with a longer-than-normal metal cutting blade to cut out the hole for the window. Mark, the parts guy at Wells Cargo Trailer Manufacturing said they put the windows up as high against the top rail as possible, and put a piece of angle iron below the window to stiffen up the side of trailer after the hole is cut.

I took the advice, and marked off the outside for the final hole to fit the window:

Then, after measuring another ten or so times, I drilled a hole next to the cut mark, giving me a reference point on the inside of the trailer:

Then, I went inside and marked the vertical supports to clear the window frame and cut them off with a cutting wheel on a 4 1/2" grinder. I used wooden shims between the aluminum skin and the supports to protect them from the grinder:

Next, I'll fit some 1"angle to span across the trimmed off supports and frame in the window. This should stiffen the side walls to prevent the windows from shaking the skin and loosening the screws.
Tomorrow, I'll have a welder do the angle installation, and finish cutting out for both windows.

Stay tuned...


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Finally, Stripped and Ready To Go...

Today, I removed all the interior panelling from the trailer. After pulling a few hundred screws out, then cutting the silly-cone sealant that was holding the base board in, the rest was quite easy. I labeled all the pieces as they came out. I'm not really fond of jigsaw puzzles, so I like to have the parts all labled to jog my memory when it comes time to put it back in.
Here are some pics of the interior sans panelling:

The last pic was the floor tile I installed a few weeks ago. I didn't have a good detail of the pattern, so I figured I need to add that.
From here, the next step will be to install the ceiling vent/fan, then the side windows, then the port hole window, then the lights and wiring. Once that is all done, I can put in the insulation and reinstall the panelling. After that is done, I'll be putting panelling on the ceiling, and then putting in the bed.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pictures of the Progress So Far

I didn't get a lot of work done on the trailer today, but since I didn't post any pictures of the lift and stabilizers installation, I did take some pictures and here they are:

Tomorrow, I'll start the installation of the interior camper conversion. Here is the steps I plan to do:
1) Pull off the interior liner made of luan plywood.
2) Wiring for shore power (ac)
3) Install a battery (dc)
4) Install and connect the roof vent fan and cover
5) Install the side windows
6) Install the port hole window in the side door
7) Install insulation in the walls and ceiling
8) Re-install the Luan on walls)
9) Install roof liner
10) Install bed frame and platform
11) Make cushions for bed/sofa
12) Build front shelf
13) Install larger tires
14) If required, build and install larger fenders to clear tires
15) Extend front hitch and install lock and roll coupler
That ought to keep me busy for a while, eh?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lifted, Stabilized, and Ready to Get Serious

I had a local fab shop (Todd Little's On Track 4X4) weld in the 4" riser blocks to lift up the trailer and make room for bigger tires. While they were welding away, I had them install the rear swing-down stabilizers. They will work fine, but I am going to have to use some blocking under them, as the trailer is now 4" higher than stock, with another inch and a half of lift from bigger tires in the plan.

Tomorrow, I'm getting all the parts staged to do the interior. I'll be cutting holes for two large sliders in the sides, a lexan port hole in the side door, and a vent fan in the ceiling. Also, I will be installing wiring for the 110v supply, battery, and charger circuit. Then comes the insulation in the walls and ceiling and panelling the roof. Finally, after all that, I can get back to my bed installation. Hopefully, I'll have a trailer ready to camp in before too long.

Stay tuned,