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Old 06-14-2012, 10:29 PM   #15
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0557: I have the pink bar and that has given me the best results. I have heard about that "Nuvite Shine" and all I have gotten was a big Nuvite Smudge.
TouringDan: I don't think I got the gene either. Maybe some kind soul will offer to finish polishing it at a rally
3Ms75Argosy: The compressor I used is some monster thing that lurks in the corner of the shop. Since my FIL owns the shop, I haven't really paid much attention. The sprayer is also his and is older than dirt. Not sure what it is. I know that was no help. Sorry!
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:31 PM   #16
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As usual, what should have taken one week has taken three. The black and gray tanks finally came in, after our order was screwed up and the manufacturer made them 6 inches too deep. Hubs and I drove about an hour north to find this out, and hour back, and then had to wait an extra week. But at last, they are here! And thanks to my FIL's awesome connections to the underworld of RV manufacturing, they came in at around $100 for both!

They won't hold the Nile, but they will fit in the spaces between the main rails and cross members, while not sticking out below the belly pan.

We got the waterproofed plywood all screwed down and the wheel wells (coated with rubberized sealant) in place.
Note: be sure the old holes in the wheel wells line up perfectly with the old holes in the outriggers, otherwise your rivet holes won't line up and by the time you discover this, it will be much too late because you will have put the shell back on.

The layout of the bathroom has slightly changed and we will be moving the toilet vent to the other side of the bathroom. Thanks to parts already at the shop, here is a rough visual of what will be happening with the bathroom. The door is going to be 18" wide, as shown by the tape measure on the ground. Is this too tight a fit? The bathroom won't exactly be spacious. I mean, this is camping after all. I'm just glad I don't have to grab a shovel and head for the woods! (my main motivation for starting this whole Airstream project in the first place! Hubs wanted a road trip with lots of hiking/backpacking and I said Okay, but I am not living in a tent. There will be a shower and a toilet. The woods do not count.)



The question now is...Do we
1. Use a molded plastic shower pan (like the one pictured, except smaller and white)
2. Hire somebody to make a shower pan out of stainless steel, or
3. Make a tile shower pan (out of penny rounds) like here, except not do it on the walls too.

Do you know anybody who makes custom sized metal shower pans?

Tomorrow (if all goes well) the vinyl floor goes on! Hooray for putting things back together!
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:42 PM   #17
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This is only going on my intuition here, but although that tile looks great (in that link) I would make tile one of my very last choices to use in a travel trailer. The two biggest reasons, in order, are:
1 - everything moves in a travel trailer, if you have ever worked with tile then you know that if things move, seams crack and when one seam cracks it's only a matter of time before the entire thing is a mess. Basically tile needs a solid backing and a trailer bumping down the road is the furthest thing from that.

2- weight.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:47 PM   #18
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I was thinking those same thoughts. Somebody posted a video from the inside of their trailer and I was shocked at how much things rattled and bumped along. Any suggestions for custom shower pan shops?
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:53 PM   #19
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I was thinking those same thoughts. Somebody posted a video from the inside of their trailer and I was shocked at how much things rattled and bumped along. Any suggestions for custom shower pan shops?
Sure don't. I bet one would be fairly easy to make if you're able to weld stainless.

Did you figure out that haze in your polishing? I'm in the middle of polishing as well and I think it's just corrosion that the nuvite can't get to before breaking down. I started making huge headway when I just ditched the ten passes with a compounder for some 600 grit wet sand paper, then going to 1000 grit wet sand. This takes off all of the corrosion, but doesn't eat past the pure aluminum. It sets up the metal for the compounder and let me tell you, it needs two passes max to get to a mirror (then will need one final with a random). I would never polish a trailer again without sanding first.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:56 AM   #20
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Ack! I was very close to enrolling in a welding class this past winter, and have been kicking myself ever since for not. It is still on the bucket list, but that doesn't help me now when I need to weld something
Any pictures of your polishing process? I would love to see it!
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:54 PM   #21
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With the newly bent J-channel waiting for me at the shop, I made the curves with a pair of tin snips. This turned out to be very easy. Not sure why I was so afraid of making new j-channel.

After filling the cracks between plywood pieces and over the screw heads with wood filler, I sanded (with a belt sander, otherwise it would have taken forever) everything smooth, swept and then wiped it (somewhat) clean with a damp cloth.

Back up a few days. To add support to the plywood step, we added two steel angle brackets. One right on the edge and one six inches or so back, with a layer of aluminum to protect the underside of the plywood from water and dirt, since the belly pan will not cover it. Both kinds of metal are painted to prevent rust.


I kept thinking of all the stepping that would happen in that one spot and decided it needed to be reinforced to prevent the plywood from sagging later on.

Back to today. The holes for the toilet and shower were drilled, then the new flooring went on.

That's good lookin!



Otis tested it out and it matches the pugs perfectly. If you are wondering why Otis looks like he is melting, it is because I made him come out of the air conditioned office and into the boiling shop to pose for me. A high of 93 today with 700% humidity.
I went with my FIL (father-in-law) to a metal shop today to see if they could create a custom shower pan for the bathroom. It will cover the entire bathroom floor (making it a wet bath) and is kind of an odd shape, since the wheel well intrudes into the bathroom by about seven inches.
Every time I go to one of these Amish shops, I feel like I just stepped into Planet of the Apes.

These Amish guys are the hairiest folks you will ever see. Their scalp hair continues down their neck, surging into their shirt collars without diminishing in the least. Do their wives go to a special school to learn how to make that haircut? Every Amish guy has the same one and it looks as if a bicycle helmet was strapped to his head, and all the hair that stuck out got cut off. Not quite a bowl shape, because there is a bit of a mullet thing going on in the back, leaving it just short enough to expose their neck fur. Now, the Amish have no problem using electricity. They all run their shops with it and seem to experience no guilt whatsoever about it. Deodorant, on the other hand, must be the root of all evil. Visit an Amish shop on a hot day (or any other day) and you will understand.
Okay, enough venting about the Amish for now.
The shower pan is about 3 weeks away and there is so much to do in order to be ready for it. Tomorrow, I insulate the under side of the floor, screw down the j-channel and then go to Dairy Queen for their "happy hour" slushy special. Anybody want to come with?
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:32 PM   #22
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Looking great!
While you can still get to it I would suggest sealing the wood as much as humanly possible where the shell will sit on it (between the C channel) I used close to two gallons of polyurethane to build up a large protective barrier. This maybe overkill, but it sure felt good to see the water make a puddle instead of soak in when it rained and I hadn't gotten the last patch on yet!
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:37 AM   #23
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I just found this thread. I had a fabricator suggestion, but glad you were able to find one. I really like the aqua color you painted the frame and rims...
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:29 PM   #24
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Eric H - I'm with you on that! I coated the plywood with West System Epoxy on both sides until completely saturated, then added another coat. I would love to see what the floor looks like in another 50 years and see how well everybody's expensive, time consuming, stinky glues held up!
62overlander - Wow! Frank Yensan knows I exist! Really though, your blog post where you painted a trailer hitch red made me realize that such a thing was possible. Hence the aqua color! Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:34 PM   #25
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It was another scorcher in the shop today with no AC, but I would rather be sweating and getting work done than sitting at home in the air conditioning thinking about all that I am not getting done.
All of the channel is screwed down and each screw head is covered in silicone to prevent leaks and/or condensation from soaking into the holes and rotting the wood underneath.


Next, I added four plastic drains (one on each curve) and sealed off any gaps in the channel.


This way, if the outer shell ever does spring a leak, the water will flow down these tubes and out of the belly pan.

I haven't decided whether to add a flexible tube that would come out the bottom of the drain and send the water out a service panel on the bottom.

Speaking of the bottom, this was my view for the last part of the afternoon.

Most of it was spent on my back on a wheeled thing made for scooting under cars. I measured for the Styrofoam insulation and hubby cut it to size on the table saw. My job for tomorrow will be to glue and tape it in there, then add a layer of fiberglass insulation. We are using the Styrofoam for its sound barrier qualities, and the fiberglass for its R-value. I may decide against the fiberglass in favor of some kind of foil bubble insulation. Being upside down, sweating and covered in fiber glass might speed that decision. Anybody have any suggestions?
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:55 PM   #26
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Everyone that I've seen seems to agree that the fiberglass holds the water and helps promote rotting. Personally I would avoid it.

I'll take some pics of the sanding / polishing I'm doing for you tomorrow!
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:29 PM   #27
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Everyone that I've seen seems to agree that the fiberglass holds the water and helps promote rotting...
I have also seen that on the trailer forums...the boating/kayak/canoe folks have a completely different perspective...they deal with water in a larger picture than us. I sealed my floor with epoxy.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:42 PM   #28
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That is a fantastic rebuild. The trailer will be something you can be proud of for years to come. It sounds like you have your shower pan issue resolved. I found a local guy to build my gray water tank out of stainless steel.
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