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Old 08-26-2012, 12:56 PM   #15
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Oh, fer cute! (Both your baby and the trailer.) Love the name.

We very much enjoy our 16' Bambi. We aren't traveling with an infant, but have managed just fine with the small space. The key is to have only one person standing in the middle trying to do anything (wash dishes, cook, &c) at one time. The other person either goes outside or simply stays put in the bunk or the dinette.

Our model has both an indoor and outdoor shower. We've never used the outdoor one, but the indoor wet bath has come in very handy on occasion.

Looking forward to your next photos.
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:59 PM   #16
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Cleaning the Belly Pan

Last night after we got the little one bathed and into bed I headed out to the barn to do a little cleaning. Well, a lot of cleaning - 50 years of dirt, dust, nests, mud, rodents, and some unidentifiable skeletons! I just turned on some music, grabbed a bucket of water, a wire brush, a nylon brush and started scrubbing. For some reason a It's a Hard-Knocked Life rang through my head . But I knew that this was the messiest part of the project and it wouldn't take that long. So I pushed thru!

Cleaning the Belly Pan and Frame

Once it was done it looked and smelled a million times better in the trailer. I have a little more grinding to do this week and then we'll paint the frame with rust preventative. I know many people recommend POR-15, but was wondering if anyone has other recommendations as well. Also, I'm consider under-coating the entire belly pan. Is this worthwhile step or should we skip it since we'll be insulating under the subfloor?
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Forum Thread: The Chronicles of the Shiny Tiny

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Old 08-26-2012, 02:14 PM   #17
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Love the name And love the Bambi...seems like a nice layout...especially in the back bedroom. Here's to tiny trailers!!!!
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:39 PM   #18
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Before you go much farther NOW is the time to make some decisions about fresh water, gray and black systems, especially regarding tanks. what kind, how many gallons and where will they go? In floor or above floor. It is much easier to prep the frame at this point for tanks than to redo it later.
Also take a good look at your wheel wells. The flanges sit under the plywood floor so if they need repair/ replacement this is your only easy opportunity.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:47 PM   #19
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Spend the money on 'Cobalt' alloy drill bits - with them you could drill holes in standard HSS bits if you wanted too. Titanium coated is a gimmick.

To get the hard to reach nuts & bolts and stripped screw I've used a dremel style rotary tool with the little 1-1/2" aluminum oxide (not emory) metal cutting wheel, plunge it to turn stripped screws into slotted screws, plunge cut the shoulders or head of the bolt/nuts off to be able to break them away with pliers of vice-grips... The 25,000 rpms does the work, very gentle light pressure and don't wander to grind the 'sides' of the cut gives best results and keep the discs from wearing away too fast. Enjoy, errr.. careful the spark fountain does not start something smoldering.

Many times the old iron bolts are corroded enough bending them repeatedly with vice-grips will have them snap and fall away.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:26 PM   #20
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Frame and Holding Tank Plans

Thanks for all of the replies and feedback. I'll give the dremel a try! I don't have a cutting wheel attachment but will pick one up tomorrow.

Tim, we are absolutely on the same page as you. As we've been dismantling and cleaning the trailer we started researching and planning all of our systems. We have actually drawn our trailer in Sketchup to play around with the layout. There are a couple of places that we want to strengthen the frame which we'll do before the floor goes back in.

Since our trailer didn't have holding tanks originally we knew we had to incorporate them somewhere.

After looking at our options, and exhaustive research, we think we like R.J.'s approach on his Flying Could. The fresh water tanks could be incorporated under the dinette and the holding tanks he used seem to fit perfectly between our frame rails and line up with our bathroom and cabinet. Below is a rendering of our frame plan with the tank locations below the subfloor. Both the gray and black tanks are 16 gallons. We are contemplating adding a second gray tank to bring the gray capacity to 32 gallons but since we won't have a shower (indoors anyways) it may be sufficient with one each but we are open to suggestions and feedback.

Also, we're still open to other holding tanks so if anyone has firsthand experience of under-belly holding tanks we sure would appreciate it!

Thanks again and we appreciate everyone's valuable feedback.
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Forum Thread: The Chronicles of the Shiny Tiny

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Old 08-28-2012, 07:38 AM   #21
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I haven't had an opportunity to measure the finished axle height yet but based on the configuration of the holding tanks, does anyone see potential pitfalls we may run into? The tanks will hang down about 10" from the bottom of the frame. I don't want there to be an issue with anything hitting them from below. They are right behind the axle so I know it would offer some protection (not that I want anything to hit it either). There is another tank we found that may work well but the outlet comes out of the bottom of the tank which seems like it could pose the same exposure of getting hit from below. Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:43 PM   #22
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I know others have put in tanks which hang down a long way as RJ did but I must admit the idea makes me nervous. I actually removed the 2 crossmembers immediately aft of the axle because they were a joke anyway and then placed a single much heavier crossmember in the center which gave me 2 bays 24" wide instead of 3 bays 16" wide.
this allows the use of the VTS gray tanks 16 gallons with almost no drop below the original bellypan location. There are frame pics in my build thread if you are interested. Haven't committed on the black tank yet but I will probably stay above floor with a slightly smaller tank since Jen and I never seem to fill too much in our other units. With the heavier 3/4" plywood floors I dont expect the wider crossmember spacing to be a problem. My proposed plumbing layout should fill the front gray tank first then overflow into the aft tank only if needed minimising weight behind the axles as much as possible.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #23
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Pop her top?

Thanks for the input Tim. This is my concern as well, how much they hang down. And the VTS tanks are obviously too wide for our current cross-member spacing.

I checked out your build thread! Looking great! You mention in it that once you've pretty much removed the subfloor and inner skins you aren't far away from popping her top. I have been torn between doing it or not. Once you were at our stage was it that much more work? We have her in a barn and I could raise the shell to the trusses and roll the frame right out of the door she's in. Any recommendations? Do it? Stay away from it?

Thanks again,

Justin
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:43 PM   #24
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Hi, another young, energetic person, with a fun project for me to watch. Either your frame is really bent or you have something like an 18mm wide angle lens for a few of the pictures.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:50 PM   #25
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Hopefully we'll have energy to camp when it's done!

Some of the pics are shot with the PhotoSynth app which stitches multiple pictures together. Remarkably, our frame is in great shape. But I see how you could get that impression.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:07 PM   #26
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Once you have removed the floor the only thing holding the shell on is friction. Drill out the rivets, bend up the belly pan which is probably folded over the C channel and coverd with some nast black asphalt stuff, add a little bracing and lift it off. You will be glad you did. I resisted this step for several months and I can attest that it is MUCH easier after the shell is off. You will be able to sandblast off the rest of the nasty asphalt stuff with which the frame is probably painted, do the necessary frame repairs/modifications, paint and then be ready to install the floor and C channel then drop the shell back on.
Actually, I am seriously jealous of your barn!
I do have a nice concrete slab to work on but a roof is something I can only aspire to.
Oh, BTW, make sure you have the bracing and lift apparatus in place before you drill out all the beltline rivets, I almost made a really big mistake here- the shell tried to lift off in a wind gust and I thought it was going to bend in half for a second or two! talk about stress!
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:07 PM   #27
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I'd be really uneasy about tanks hanging down 10".

I've got a 50's trailer too and I put fresh and gray in the frame and the black above the floor. 33 gallon gray hangs down 4" below the frame as do the two 24 gallon fresh tanks.

Keep up the great progress. It's looking really good.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:25 AM   #28
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Thanks Tim and Steve for your input! I think you've helped us make our decision. The shell is coming off. We struggled with it but in the end we know it will be much better if we do.

Tim, I was going to remove the vent and run my cables/chain out of it to the rafters. How heavy was your shell (appox.)? My plan is to lift her straight up, roll the frame out, and bring her right back down on blocks. You are right, we are fortunate to have a big enough work area where we can have the frame next to the shell and still have room to work.

Steve, that's some impressive sized tanks! I'm not sure what size we'll end up with but I'm leaning (ever so slightly) to two 16's for gray and one 16 for black. Are there pictures of your tanks on your thread? I'd like to see them!

Thanks again and time to prepare for lift-off this weekend. I'm already making my list of things to measure/note/draw before we separate the shell.
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