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Old 09-13-2009, 12:16 PM   #1
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1965 17' Caravel
brooklyn park , Minnesota
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'65 Caravel-12 yrs- rants & fixes

OK, here goes, sorry ,no pictures at first, dial-up is really slow or not at all in some webspace (first rant). just had camping world (MN) put in a fantastic fan, charged me $80 for installation AND $54 for removal of old vent. WTF, shouldn't that be part of the install?? Blew the fuse on the first trip connected to shore power; would that be because I still have the original uni-volt?? I like the smoke-tint top; one thing a 44 yr old trailer needs is more light!! The 65 has 2 thetford terminator caps; one for the utility tube ane one on the black tank. The tangs were cracked so I ordered 2 new ones, whiich cracked in the same places within a yr. what gives?? I bought 2 1156 LED bulbs to put in the reading lamps above the couch; they don't work there! how does one check for a good ground if the wires disappear into the wall?? The floor was rotted a few inches back from the wall under the bathroom; since I like to camp and not renovate all the time, I scribed a piece of plywood, screwed and glued to fit and now ,what to do about that edge between the floor and the body??? I put a giant bead of the yellow expanding foam along the curve under the sink and that repair has not moved for 11 yrs!! I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my drill when I went to add a shelf behind the toilet, until I read a note here that the bathroom trim rivets are STAINLESS STEEL and are much harder to drill out! I took out the flush tank (original china toilet) and hooked a 1/4" PEX line into the back thru a rubber cork. works great. tThe new shelf behind the toilet keeps the lid from banging the back wall. The bath had a towel bar; 8" above that, I put in a bar w/2 hooks. Works much better. Squirrels ate thru my propane tank hoses; now I always drain the system when it sits and covered the hoses with blue plastic sheathing that I got at the auto supply. when I post pictures , you will be astounded. I bought a water heater by-pass kit and found out that there is not enough room around the original heater to make it fit! SUGGESTIONS HERE! stabilizer jacks are hard to reach under this unit. I glued rubber on the top of the screw part and use the same for a pad. A school nearby was tossing out the fitness room floor padding; 3/4" textured rubber. works great. hey, do you bang your head on the cabinets? I cut short pieces of swim tube and put them over the edges with my blood on them. the blue matches the propane hoses so I think it looks good and feels better!! When we redid the bed/couch cushions, I left the plywood out of the new cushion and cut a separate board to fit the space when the bed is pulled out. It is stronger than the old setup, and I had the cushions made into 2 pieces. It is much easier to handle the lighter sections; I'm not gettin any youger here! I replaced the storage drawer by the door with a plywood box that can hold tools and heavier stuff and can be pulled out many times without breaking, and I just have to reach in the door, no tracking in more dirt. I have a hook with a magnet on the back that I use to hold a cord off the ground.... I also have a 1965 lic. plate with a magnet on the back that I display in the campground,,,, and one last thing, I have been to many camping shows and even the giant rigs do not have a bathroom as big as mine!!! yay airstream......... joe q in MN
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:06 PM   #2
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Wow, Joe, that's a LOT in one post

I'll tell you what we did about the cracked thetford caps. Ours broke while camping, and the campground had a little supply store, and they had some generic blue plastic caps that were softer plastic. I had to use the dremel to trim a little excess which made them work perfectly, and I've been using them for 6 years now - pretty good for an emergency fix.

Now, I want to hear more about those squirrels!
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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1965 17' Caravel
brooklyn park , Minnesota
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65 caravel

thanks for the tip about the end caps! Squirrels apparently think the propane is a food smell and they chewed thru my new flex rubber coated gas lines.I replaced the 42 yr old copper lines when I replaced the old regulator. now I shut off the lines and burn off the rest at the oven to empty the lines of all smell. no more dinner for them. joe q
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:29 PM   #4
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more 65 caravel

Hey I forgot that I had the axle, brakes and drums replaced last season and now I can put a glass of water on the table and drive over speed bumps without spilling a drop!! HA,HAD YA GOIN DERE FOR A MINUTE,DIDN'T I?
joe q in Minnesnowda
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:00 PM   #5
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Pretty cool, Joe, a first class rant! Thanks for the tips! On our '65 Caravel I went back to the original open vent pipes up on the roof. I took off the cast aluminum base, cleaned all the caulking off, put down a new home-made gasket cut tightly around the pipe using Vulkem on both sides. Then riveted on the casting and filled any gaps with Vulkem. To keep critters out of the pipes, I put an aluminum pot scrubber in the end of the pipe and lock it in with a portion of a stainless steel bicycle spoke. A sort of cotter pin. In the winter I take the pot scrubbers out and slip a rubber cap over the pipe end to keep water (later ice) out. The rubber cap is from the plumbing shop. Paint the exposed pipe silver. Looks as good as it did 45 years ago.

Keep up the ranting!

Bill
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:15 PM   #6
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Oh, two more thoughts about your rant. I still have the univolt switch box and transformer, too. Blowing the fuse may or may not be because of the univolt. You just have to start at the battery or breaker box and move forward. My guess is a bad light socket? Also, about your LED lights, they should work on battery because its DC. On shore power you have 12V AC coming from the Univolt transformer. The LEDs might not work correctly on AC like the old bulbs did. I hate electrical problems...
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:09 PM   #7
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yay caravellers

OK, now we got the ball; I should have written alot sooner!! thanks for the feedback and tips. new stuff. does anyone have a good idea to keep that darn mirror from swinging down. I hit that thing all the time!! The flapper valve on the original toilet started to leak, as did the gasket that separates the bowl and the flush parts. I bought a flat piece of gasket rubber and cut it and glued it on with black silicone instant gasket. I'll let you know how it works..bye for now........................joe q
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:40 PM   #8
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My fix for the pesky bathroom mirror is to make a miniature bungie cord and clip it between the top of the mirror and the underside of the mirror bracket joint behind the mirror. Its not elegant and you might have to unclip this to swing the mirror forward. I made this bungie cord using a short length of elastic cord and aluminum wire for hooks. You can probably use a pony tail elastic or a heavy rubber band.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
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65 pics

ok, here goes my first try at pictures. the first one the shell to floor fix under the bathroom sink. the 2nd one is the propane hoses squirrell-proofed!! joe q
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:32 PM   #10
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more 65 pics

ok, that works, so now I'll try to post the toilet update and the shelf behind it.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:11 PM   #11
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65 pics again

next, we have the towel hooks and the new front tool drawer!
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:38 PM   #12
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next 65 pics

I read where a microwave could be too much draw for the old uni-volt, so I got a triple tap adaptor plug (get the contractor grade,the .99 cent one is a hazard). the plug on the right goes to the uni-volt; the plug on the left is a short cord that goes directly to the microwave. shore power goes to the male end. the uni-volt handles only the lights and fan and a laptop. I also replaced the missing oven vent fan with a 5" computer server fan(12V). It is metal;plastic may have heat issues!! joe q
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:35 AM   #13
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Thanks for the pictures, Joe! You're a talented woodworker. I may have to do a bathroom shelf and install a fan like yours. I think adding the extra circuit for the microwave is a good idea. I don't think the The 120 volt AC goes thru the univolt system, thats 12 volt. THe 120v does go thru the main breaker panel though, and the amps drawn from the microwave might be too much for 40+ year old wiring. I replaced my load center and ran some new circuits with breakers for extra appiances but there is still the 30 amp limit.
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