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Old 05-04-2015, 10:16 AM   #43
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1981 31' Excella II
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That leak in the corner is where the c-channel for the straight sections meets the curved section. There is a gap between the two. Water that enters the c-channels will exit there. If you pop the skin loose there, you will see what I am talking about. I bridged that gap and put drains in through the c-channel to drain any water out. On the side I did this, I don't have any leaks. On the other side that I have not gotten to yet, I still have some slight leaks. Best way to find out where the leaks are coming from is to pull those lower skins and sit out there during a big rain and find leaks. I had a seam in a fixed window that leaked because the gasket on the outside was letting water in and it exited through that crack on the inside. I would cut the rotten section out and put in a new piece in with other pieces underneath to support it.

Perry


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Old 05-04-2015, 03:55 PM   #44
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Excellent, thanks Perry! I was planning on pulling the lower interior skins back before putting the new lounge in, now I've got a better idea of what to be looking for.
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:03 PM   #45
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So I found out that the blue flame 'ventless' heaters are banned here in California. Bunch of killjoys!

Going to likely go with with a small electric heater or two at this point. I don't want to spend the money on a massive furnace (and it would conflict with my plans for the kitchen counter space). Kind of amazing that there doesn't appear to be any options for small propane space heaters that aren't free-standing or big enough to be overkill (and pricey).

If I was in a colder climate I'd consider spending the money, but then again most 'colder climate' areas already allow the ventless heaters.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:57 AM   #46
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The problem is with a ventless heater in an enclosed space is that they use up O2 and put out H20 if working correctly but they can also put out CO and CO2 if not working correctly. They will use up O2 pretty quick in something with little air flow. A heater strip in an overhead AC unit will usually heat the trailer with outside temps in the 30's.

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Old 05-05-2015, 12:47 PM   #47
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Yup, the risks of the ventless (never mind the inaccessibility as a Californian) outweigh the rewards in this case. I will look into that heat-strip suggestion. The price is right from what I'm seeing for kits, and I believe the aftermarket AC unit in my trailer is supposed to either have one in the first place, or is designed to work with one. Will definitely have to read up on that.
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:43 PM   #48
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Most of those heater strip kits are pretty generic. It is a horse shoe shaped element that you bolt inside the housing with a couple of sheet metal screws. As for how you control it, is another issue. My Dometic has an extra heat setting and it is on or off no thermostat. I used a baseboard heater thermostat on mine to turn it on and off.

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Old 05-08-2015, 01:59 PM   #49
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Heater strip, new water pump (and sediment filter), and some misc electrical stuff ordered.

After digging around a good bit, I'm going to go with a newer water heater that isn't tankless. I'm not comfortable with the idea of using a 'home use' one that could develop problems from travel (never mind install difficulty), and the "RV approved" ones would all cost more than I paid for the trailer. Not spending more than that amount on any one item is my goal for this rebuild.

A new Atwood or the like with an electric ignition and on / off switch should be more than good enough for what I would need.
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:52 PM   #50
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Way behind on updating this thread, will need to remember to clean up and upload some photos. Some of the things I've done include:
  • removing the TracVision S2 from the roof (still need to remove / fill the rivet holes from that)
  • replacing all the exterior lights with LEDS
  • ordered new LED interior lights
  • cleaned and powdercoated the cooktop
  • cleaned and 'coated' the sink
  • new fridge and microwave picked up, as well as new kitchen counter setup
  • working on repairing bumper and step lever
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:13 AM   #51
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Finally got some photos for you folks!

First off, I'll start with the cooktop fix-up.
It started out like this...



After much sanding, a couple of trips to the local powdercoating shop and hardware store, it's looking like this...



The shop accidentally sprayed the knob tray black, but I think the result looks a lot better than if it'd been coated silver. I got replacement knobs from Home Depot for a few dollars. The 'supports' (the grill bits the pots / pans actually sit on) are ceramic coated, so they'll stand up to the heat. The tray around that is powdercoated, but will have an insulator / barrier between it and the flame. I've removed the pilot light and will be using a bbq lighter instead. I've yet to hook it up as I'm still working on putting my redone kitchen area together.

One thing I would ask, if anyone has a similar cooktop, could you post some photos of what the bumpers / bumpstops look like for the folding lid? There weren't any on this unit when I pulled it apart, and the service manual doesn't go into that kind of detail
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:23 AM   #52
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Next up, the door(s).

I don't have any photos handy, but the kludged together screen door has been welded back together and will soon be getting screen and reinstalled. Photos to come as I figure out where I saved them.

The main door had a few things done. I had to pull the interior skins as I needed to replace the lock (the keyhole had been severely damaged). Out of Doors Mart provided the keyed lock, and that went together easily, so now I've got a bit more security.

While I've got the skins off, I decided to test out removing the vinyl. I figured if it didn't go well I'd just sand and repaint them, or something like that. Well, fortunately, no issues there.

A bit of reading around on the forum turned up numerous posts talking about Jasco Paint & Epoxy remover (picked up from Lowes / Home Depot). I tried it out on the door skins and, well... you tell me.




The skins quite literally peeled off like a hide. There were a few spots around the edges where I didn't brush on enough of the remover, but a second splash of that took care of those area.

Few words of advice if you want to try it out.
  • If you can remove the skins, do so and set them in the sun.
  • If you can't, and are doing it inside the trailer, make damn sure to have it well ventilated and consider wearing a respirator.
  • Cover the cap for the can with a rag or paper towel when opening. The chemicals like to off-gas and can build up pressure (especially when warm), venting and spray chemistry when you open it up. If you don't want to experience the "Jasco Burn" (something I know well from using the stuff on a project car years ago), heed this advice.
  • Wear plastic throw-away gloves. Eye protection's recommended as well.

I will likely be applying this stuff around the kitchen area of my interior as well to clean that off (nice looking aluminum backsplash). I'd like to do more, but most of the interior's in and I don't want to take it out right now (slippery slope as my father's said about wanting to add more to the project).
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:31 AM   #53
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Finally, my water fill port.

The one on the trailer had a busted key tumbler (and it looked to have been drilled out at some point). The housing was damaged as well. I'd read up on aquinob's thread about issues with debris dropping into the freshwater tank, so just replacing / repairing it with the same setup didn't seem smart to me.

I followed his lead and ordered this marine fill port and this marine vent port from Amazon, much as aquinob had. Something to note, that fill port did not come with the necessary key (though I can make do in the meantime).

Seeing as my job description is "mechanical designer and CNC router programmer / operator", I get some nice software and hardware to play with, which means I didn't have to freehand anything.




That taken care of, the end results compared to what was originally there look a lot better and work a lot better too. I considered mounting the plate inside the trailer, but I wasn't happy with how the opening looked, and the plate doesn't look bad sitting there.




I'm very happy with the results, and am looking forward to plumbing this to the tank. The other plate you see there is a cover plate for where the heater inlet / outlet ports are. I took the heater out of the trailer as it wasn't working and would get in the way of the new kitchen counter setup. I've covered myself for heat with an addition to my AC system of a heater element, and for the kind of traveling we'll be doing it will be more than adequate for heat.

More to come as I get more done!
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:22 AM   #54
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Very Cool. I'm jealous of your fabrication capabilities. A long time ago I worked in a manufacturing facility with a CNC system and made friends with one of the machinists. For some donuts for the boys I got a stainless rocker switch plate that was fitted flush into a teak instrument panel for a boat I was working on. All the cuts for the instrument panel were also done on the CNC. That is definitely the way to go.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:53 AM   #55
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Wow, that looks great! I am wanting to do the same for mine. Any chance you could sell me a plate just like that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flaagan View Post
Finally, my water fill port.

The one on the trailer had a busted key tumbler (and it looked to have been drilled out at some point). The housing was damaged as well. I'd read up on aquinob's thread about issues with debris dropping into the freshwater tank, so just replacing / repairing it with the same setup didn't seem smart to me.

I followed his lead and ordered this marine fill port and this marine vent port from Amazon, much as aquinob had. Something to note, that fill port did not come with the necessary key (though I can make do in the meantime).

Seeing as my job description is "mechanical designer and CNC router programmer / operator", I get some nice software and hardware to play with, which means I didn't have to freehand anything.




That taken care of, the end results compared to what was originally there look a lot better and work a lot better too. I considered mounting the plate inside the trailer, but I wasn't happy with how the opening looked, and the plate doesn't look bad sitting there.




I'm very happy with the results, and am looking forward to plumbing this to the tank. The other plate you see there is a cover plate for where the heater inlet / outlet ports are. I took the heater out of the trailer as it wasn't working and would get in the way of the new kitchen counter setup. I've covered myself for heat with an addition to my AC system of a heater element, and for the kind of traveling we'll be doing it will be more than adequate for heat.

More to come as I get more done!
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:23 PM   #56
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Quote:
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Wow, that looks great! I am wanting to do the same for mine. Any chance you could sell me a plate just like that?
Yeah, should be able to. Will shoot you a PM about it.
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