Sunday, June 10, 2012

Trailer Renovation Day 3, 4, 5 & 6

Tomorrow is a huge turning point for this entire trailer process. The decision to continue with it or hold off for some time will have been made by the end of the day. We don't have the trailer with us today and were unable to make any progress on it, tomorrow will be day 25 if we work on it. We're suppose to be leaving this Wednesday for a cousin's graduation then 5 days in the Olympic National Forest. Will we???  For now...on to the flooring...

Once everything had been completely removed from the trailer, we were finally able to assess the damage. 1/4 of the floor was pretty rotted, we learned this AFTER the fact. The two front corners along the front wall were REALLY rotted. But the rest was actually in pretty decent condition. Looking back, I really do wonder if we could have left this as a front end project instead of a full-on-gutting-it project. Oh well, now we know.
 Day 3 started with our first dump run FULL of trailer bits and pieces, all mostly rotted, plus a good size pile we had been collecting for the past year of nasty wood. Then we started on the trailer with removing the old floor. We did it in sections because hubby said that it was what was holding up the trailer. He added the bracing (which is in the middle of the pictures) to help stabilize it and keep it from collapsing. I honestly don't know if this was a necessary step, so I just went with his plan.

So 3 (and I believe day 4)...we removed a 4'x8' section of flooring, removed pink insulation, shop vac'ed crud out, painted bottom 2x2's with a wood hardener (surprisingly they were not rotted, but could use a little love), patched any holes that may have occurred in the bottom metal, filled back in with rigid insulation, measured area's exact dimensions and cut new 3/4" plywood to shape, before laying in place we painted it with 2 layers of Killz paint (a preventative measure I guess...again, just going with hubby's plan), laid it in place, nailed in good. Phew! 2 days just to do ALL that!
I believe this was also when I spent the morning removing ALL that pink insulation. It was a NASTY job, and I was the lucky one to get it all done. 6 garbage bags later and a good layer of insulation particles covering my arms and head, it was all gone!
On day 5 we actually had a friend volunteer to help out in trade for borrowing our trailer for the 4th of July weekend. Depending on tomorrow's decision...I honestly don't know if it will be ready for them even, now. So hubby and friend replaced the right hand section of flooring which was another 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" plywood, following (I assume) the same steps as above.

By the end of day 6, we had a brand new floor in our trailer...for the most part. The front end was another sheet of plywood but cut in half along a support line because of having to squeeze it under the existing walls, one side at a time. There was also that little back corner by the entry door and where the closet sits, we eventually refloored that little area too.

Man Hours:
Day 3: hubby 8, me 5, Total=13
Day 4: hubby 5, me 3, Total=8
Day 5: hubby 5, me 0, friend 5, Total=10
Day 6: hubby 9, me 7, Total=16

Money Spent: (who knows, I haven't even added that yet)
Here's what we had to pay for:
Dump Run
(3) sheets 3/4" plywood
(3) sheets 1.5" thick rigid foam insulation
Large bolts, nuts & washers that holds entire trailer to the floor & trailer frame
Killz (this may have been leftover from a previous project)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Layton Renovation Day 2

Today makes 21 days that we've been working on our trailer. I'm not counting the days hubby works and I spend running around town to all the RV stores for parts. So in reality, it's been 4 weeks and 1 day. Today was damp and drizzly. It's been raining so hard the past couple days that the tarp is leaking and we already have water damage on our brand new paneling. So disheartening. On to Day 2's progress...or I should say discoveries...
We continued with the demolition, we kept cutting holes in the linoleum to see how far back the water damage went. And farther...and farther...
Well...this WAS a kitchen counter with oven and sink. The floor damage went this far back. It was all so dirty! In the process of removing the range hood (which ALWAYS rattled when I turned it on) we discovered several nests of a species of insect that I have no clue as to what kind or where they're native too, but I'm pretty sure they're not from around here...
ETA: I just googled this insect, I believe it's a mud dauber wasp. I still am not sure where they are from, maybe all over the US.

Once we moved over to the old Coleman heater we found several old wasp nests, one of which was still active and the queen gave me the stink eye.
At the end of the day, we had discovered several wasp nests, the mud nests, a bird's nest (have NO IDEA how that one happened since it was in the wall), a mouse nest, and an infestation of these brown bug's that I think are related to boxelder beetles.

I didn't get a picture of the interior, but we demolished the ENTIRE interior except for our precious bathroom that we renovated last summer. Here's a sideways view of the kitchen wall with all it's nasty pink insulation.

Man Hours: hubby-12, me-9 = 21 hours
Money Spent: $0

Monday, May 28, 2012

Layton Renovation Day 1

Demolition Day! The first of three actually, but we did not realize that at the time. Lets begin with why we chose to renovate our trailer....Last summer while heading to Yellowstone hubby noticed that the side "poofed" out while driving down the freeway. Throughout the two day drive down it "poofed" out further and further. We knew the corner trim was detached, but we didn't realize the metal siding would detach too.

We pulled out our fancy flame duct tape and taped that corner right up, but that was only a band-aid. Before this summer's adventures (which we have many planned) we decided to tear the front open, analyze the damage, and go from there, originally thinking this would just be a front end job like last summer's back end job. WRONG!!
We started with the removal of the propane tanks, battery, exterior lighting, front windows and screens, front side windows (in this case, one window and one airconditioner), two front corner trims and misc. other exterior access panels near the front end.

 Once we started removing the exterior siding and pink insulation, the damage was becoming more and more evident. BOTH front corners were separated from the exterior metal corner moulding for obviously a very long time because those corners basically crumbled in our fingers with dry rot.
 At the end of a twelve hour day and only 44 pictures to record our progress and "how to put it back together"...this was what we had:
Front wall removed, pink insulation tossed, top bunk fold-down door removed (we left the shelf because it stabilized the whole trailer during this process), back gaucho removed. Oh, and a corner of the floor vinyl cut away to see how rotted the floor was.

Man Hours: hubby-12, me-9 = 21 hours
Money Spent: $0

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Oh the woes...

Ten days ago, this is what our trailer looked like. I've managed to take pictures of it's state of repair daily. Since then we've added 1/4"plywood paneling on the walls and ceiling and today we'll be putting in the vinyl flooring. I'll be posting those photos as soon as I have time. These 12 hour days are exhausting and stressful, especially on hubby cuz they're HIS 12 hour days. Mine are more like 6 or 8 because of the kids needs, or hardware store runs, or more often...the 10 month old I babysit. (And yes, I've actually been keeping track of our hours and progress, I plan to post a day by day account once this is all said and done.) However, what we failed at keeping track of was our bank account! Today we officially overdrafted and their are still a few bills to pay. MORE STRESS!!!

So...because of this recent turn of events, I'm here to shamelessly plug my two Etsy shops Ruhammie and Bunkhouseboutique.  Are you in need of an adorable puppet friend or special vintage touch of decor in YOUR little vintage travel trailer? Then these shops are your place to browse!
Chura hand puppet.
Miscellaneous fun vintage treasures.

The last area to shamelessly plug is my precious yarn stash. If you're a knitter or crocheter or weaver AND are a member on Ravelry, you can visit my Ravelry destash page here. It makes me sad to let my precious's go, but I don't have time to knit these days with this trailer needed all my attention.

Stay tuned for more trailer updates. Believe me, there are going to be PLENTY!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We're doing it again!

That's heard me correctly. Apparently fixing our little Layton's back end last summer wasn't a lesson well learned. In the past three days, we went from this... this...
You see that airconditioner on the right side in the upper photo? That's the far left window opening in the lower photo. Upon completion of this task we will have one additional window!! No...we didn't gut the entire trailer just to take back that one window. We gutted it because there is rotton wood...and in fewer places than we originally expected.

That's one good thing from all this so far. Less rebuilding to do.

Our grand scheme is to have it completed by June 12th when we will embark on our next greatest adventure to the Olympic National Forest. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers! We're gonna need it over the next 34 days. Yikes!

I will update as time permits, it's gonna be GRUELLING!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Winterizing and the Upcoming Camping Season

This past weekend was our first camping trip of the season. Our little camp trailer got winterized last September (I believe, if I remember right). We did quite a bit of research to winterize. After all that research, what did we learn?? Our pipes could freeze. What did we do?? We used RV antifreeze, ran it through the pipes and let it sit all winter. Oh, and we removed the gas tanks and battery for garage storage, removed all food items out of the inside and we tarped it since it's a leaker in too many places to count. So what did we do when it was time to go camping again? Well, the obvious, we (by we, I mean hubby) put the gas and battery back on. Then we drained the pipes and water tank, then I left it up to hubby to run water through the pipes to clear out the RV antifreeze. Did he do this? Well of course he did! Did he do this long enough?? Oh no...our first camping trip had water tasting with a hint of antifreeze. Oh no...don't's RV antifreeze which is not the poisonous killing type. But left us with less than a gallon of water to drink for 24 hours (that gallon was our combined sippy cups and Nalgene bottles that we travelled with). As quoted on a fellow website "Run your water pump and open each faucet in the rig one at a time and allow water to flow for a minute or so. If you used antifreeze, let the water flow until all color and odor is gone. Also run water in the toilet and the shower until all the color is gone and the water is clear." Well, lesson learned...maybe. I guess that will be proven next year when we dewinterize again. So the big question this spring that has sprung upon us: Do we keep lil' miss Layton and revamp her and all her leaky and rotten walls and ceiling and floor or do we sell her and buy something that is not a fixer upper? I truly do love this little trailer. But having gotten to know her we realized that the amount of time and energy and money that we will have to put into her to get her like new again will possibly be equal to the amount of a new non-leaky trailer. Having said that...naturally the trailer I want costs WAY MORE than fixing up lil' miss Layton. Like this one:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Back End Trailer Remodel Part 3

Quick Version:

-Install panelling

-Install 2x2 wall

-Install 2"thick rigid foam insulation

-Install layer of visqueen

-Install metal siding

Long Version:

In part 2 we left off with a replaced bathroom floor and the fixtures put back in. It was at this part of the process that I got pretty bad about remembering to take pictures, so there are not that many to help explain it all. I mentioned that as you remove the rotten members, we laid them out along an open area of ground so that we knew where they go for the rebuilding process. Essentially this was also our template for cutting new pieces. This is also the point where you wanna dig out that drawing of the open back wall with ALL the dimensions on it, horizontal AND vertical distances. You know...the one that I said was a crucial step to take PRIOR to tearing it apart that we did not do for ourselves?? Yeah...that crucial it's time to see why it's so crucial. Hubby put in the new piece of panelling before I could take a pic of what he did to prep it. He measured the bathroom window opening and lower storage opening then cut them out using a handheld jig saw (I believe, I'm not the best at tool names). He measured those areas based on the existing openings because the existing piece of ROTTEN panelling was removed in hundreds of pieces therefore could not be used as a template. We then measured every rotten 2x2 that we pulled out to cut a new 2x2 of the exact same length. These lengths CANNOT be too long nor too short, they MUST BE EXACT. Now, because we were measuring rotten pieces, I'm guessing that hubby cut them somewhere between an 1/8" to 1/4" too long...I'll explain later further down.Once you have all the pieces cut, you can start assembling them back into the back wall. BE SURE to refer to your accurately dimensioned diagram and install the horizontal pieces as dimensioned!! We did not measure the vertical distances and were off in a couple places but did not learn this until I put the metal siding back on. We also cut all the 2" thick ridid foam insulation to fit into each spot. I actually just used the hand held jigsaw. You can see the areas where I had to piece together pieces because of the duct tape holding them together. We only bought one sheet of it. We also cut two new pieces of plywood supports for where the tail lights get screwed into. We got all these parts in then hubby had to work two days in a row. One day I yardsaled, the other I put on the visqueen and metal siding. We chose to put a layer of visqueen because of how the metal siding forms condensation on the interior. Originally, the pink insulation was in between all the wood and the siding creating somewhat of a vapor barrier. Since we went with a rigid insulation that fit in between 2x2's, those 2x2's would still have been exposed to condensation buildup on the aluminun siding. Hence a layer of visqueen, that's what we had. I cannot say it's the best option nor the worst. It's just what we had on hand (we're currently finishing our basement too) without having to make another purchase.I installed the visqueen layer without hubby's help. Lets just say a slight breeze does not help and makes for a longer session of visqueen installation. Oh, and it was all done with a weak, weak staple gun because I then had to go back and hammer every single one. Luckily I had a friend take pity on me and come over to help install the metal siding back on. Lets just say it was also a lesson in patience for her (yes she admitted that), because this was the part that we realized we were 1/8"-1/4" too long for the width of the wood and we realized (more importantly) that we did not have horizontal 2x2's to staple each piece of metal siding into!
THIS is why it is SO IMPORTANT to measure all those distances and write them down on a little drawing. Below is a pic of the siding as we were taking it off. You can see the bottom portion of it is folded into an "S" shape. The lower half of this "S" bend gets stapled back into the horizontal 2x2's (this was where we made a mistake.) The lower piece of siding fits up into this "S" bend. Once again, the purpose is to keep out moisture from the inside. Two whole rows did not have a single spot to staple into along the bottom edge, just on the two ends at the corner joints.Once my friend and I got all those back metal siding's on, this is what we were left with for hubby's third day of need of a window installation, a storage door installation and two corners to be re-puttied and screwed back in.Well, I once again managed to NOT take pictures because we were down to the wire. Over the weekend, I went to an RV store and purchased three rolls of 3/16" thick putty tape. Putty tape is not easy to come by! I knew it was at the RV store just 20 minutes away, but shouldn't the hardware store(which is closer) carry this stuff too?? Apparently they don't. I was surprised at the number of people who have never even heard of the stuff!! I grew up knowing what this stuff was, for some reason I thought it was as common as duct tape. WRONG! Well, I feel that this post is long enough. In part 4 I'll go into putty tape and our process for the corners. But before part 4 a quick tip.


Oh, the things we learn the hard way!

Happy Travels!