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Old 06-18-2009, 08:35 PM   #29
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Bath Repair

The PO didn't think the bath/toilet unit would fit out the door, so he cut it in half. The one piece of good news is that he was good at fiberglass work and put the cut in the right place.

Here it is, fully reinforced and ready for reinstallation. We decided not to keep the old sink. The kitchen sink is only 3 feet away and we can use the storage above and below. It will be covered with a piece of mahogany plywood, matching the adjacent closet. Obviously, it will be painted after installation.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:40 PM   #30
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Black Tank

We saw that the black tank had collapsed over time and were afraid to rely on the same type of design, even though it is now available in fiberglass. Here is a picture of the old tank. It will be replaced by an integral wooden box that will have a 6 layer fiberglass tank built inside it -- per West Systems recommendations. This should be leak free and give us solid support. The tank in a Caravel is above the floor and below a thin layer of fiberglass and needs more support than others. New Thetford valves will go below and eventually connect to the grey tanks and stinky slinky.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:45 PM   #31
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Next steps

All the wiring is in, using tinned marine wire, soldered and shrink wrapped. I don't want any issues on the road with vibration or corrosion. With the skins off for a while, it's easy to see how much condensation can occur -- drips with dissolved aluminum concern me. We installed 2 6V Lifelines and nearly all lighting will be LED. Someday, maybe a solar panel too -- I ran a line to the roof just in case.

Just ordered a Norcold 300 refrigerator. It will just make it between the door and the wheel well if it is raised 3". It will require a 33" counter height, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Next goal is to get the water tank, pump, toilet, black tank and bath unit installed, with walls, for a trip to Maine in August. I wish I had more time to move faster, but it will be right someday.

Eventually, it will look like this. Google Sketchup is pretty cool.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:08 PM   #32
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Black Tank build

There was a thread last week on black tanks that drew a few Caravel owners. See http://www.airforums.com/forums/f444...ons-52398.html

It looked like the biggest challenge is to find a tank that mates well to new valving. My plan is to have a flange that mates to a Cable operated Valterra valve. You did see Robin Williams in RV, didn't you?

I plan to make one with composite construction using wood, epoxy and fiberglass. There are multiple examples of this type of construction in the boat building business. Browse the website at Epoxy by the Leading Epoxy Manufacture | WEST SYSTEM Epoxy for all sorts of technical info.

I've learned so much at this forum! I'll try to give back by documenting this in more detail.

It starts with the flange that will mate to a Valterra valve. It will look like this :
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:56 PM   #33
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great to see that ---i am working on my new 65 caravel as well. not taking it to the fine level you did but have skin off in places. what airconditioner is that? it looks great.
thanks
kevin
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:07 PM   #34
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A/c

Kevin-

It's an 11,500 BTU Carrier Duo Therm Lo profile unit.

In the muggy summer, it's made work much more tolerable!

John
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:33 PM   #35
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i am thinking of spraying my a/c an aluminum color. have you ever seen that done?
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:57 AM   #36
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Sprayed A/C

Kevin -

Sorry I missed your question. I see that you started a thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...lor-54507.html
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:01 AM   #37
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Sink Picture for Robin

In another thread, MTnestRobin asked for a picture of the removed sink. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f137...tml#post756868


Here it is, under construction.

We'll pick up a good bit of storage below, with the sink base and plumbing removed. The plywood on top is a filler. Matching mahogany plywood (really sapele) will go on top, coated with epoxy.

I have a number of pics to post, but the weather is still good and much to do! We're making a stainless grey tank this weekend.

John
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:26 PM   #38
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Building a black tank

It's been a while since I posted to this thread. I'm about 4 months behind. Here goes...

I wasn't too happy with the way the old black tank failed -- it was crushed in the middle and cracked -- must have really smelled. That and the fact that the new ones from InlandRV don't have a Valterra flange and convinced me to make one. I've done some fiberglasssing on boats, so this should be easier. It doesn't have to be pretty!

I used composite construction techniques. Basically you make the tank out of plywood and probably use as much fiberglass inside as a new tank. I used 7 coats, with multiple layers of glass reinforcement inside and out -- especially on the corners. See westsystem.com for lots of technical details.

How to start?

This picture shows the materials used. West Systems Epoxy has a pump kit that measures the right mix perfectly every time. If you plan to do a lot of work, it's highly recommended.

Starting with the flange, I grabbed some leftover pieces of aluminum and made a 4 3/8" square mold. The bottom was a piece of leftover aluminum flashing. A soup can was just the right diameter to mock up the hole. This ended up mating well to a 3" valterra valve.

Three coats of carnuba wax on all parts resulted in an easy mold release. I mixed one pump each of resin and hardner and poured it into the mold. The center hole is just a soup can with a weight. Yes, it leaked, but trimmed easily.

Note the ring of fiberglass next to the mold. The first layer was pure epoxy so that the flange face was nice and smooth. Fiberglass was added on the second round.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:30 PM   #39
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Wetting out the fiberglass

An old timer in a local boatyard gave me some good tips on fiberglassing. When I first started, I tried to wet the glass, then place it properly, finally getting the bubbles out. It never worked and I made a few messes.

He taught me to paint epoxy on on the surface first, then place the glass weave over it. Finally, wet it with a little more -- not much more -- epoxy so that it becomes translucent. Much easier. Here's the technique on the second layer of the flange that will mate with the Valterra valve.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:35 PM   #40
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Building up the flange

After a few more layers of fiberglass and resin on the base flange and around the soup can, it was ready for a trial fit. The first pic is the flange on the valve.

BTW, if you do this and build it slowly, be sure to hit up you local store for a supply of cheap brushes!

The second pic is after cleaning up the dimensions and flipping it over for side 2.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:41 PM   #41
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trimming

If you use the same brush technique, trimming is easy. Here's a single layer of glass epoxied onto the bottom of the tank. Note that the excess can be trimmed with a razor blade if you're careful with excess epoxy. Note how translucent the glass is. Putting too much epoxy on at one time is just like too much paint in a single coat. It's wasteful and messy.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:46 PM   #42
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Assembling

Making the tank is easy. I put several coats of glass and epoxy on all the joints. When adding the top to the tank, I poured epoxy in 3 times and rotated the tank so that plenty came in contact. Epoxy went through the hole where the drops will occur.

If you make one, think about adding extra size into the closet area. I wish I did.

Anyway, here's the finished flange on the counter. The second pic is glass laid out to bond it to the tank. Used plenty of epoxy below, around, inside, etc.
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