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Old 02-01-2006, 03:27 PM   #1
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18' Caravel with permanent bed

Sorry that I'm not a totally vintage refurbisher, but I like it. I took out almost everything and replaced all with 1/2" birch plywood, new fridge, stove and water heater. No space heater.

You can see the microwave over the fridge. Continuing back, I put in a full length cabinet over the new bed. The bed is small, but comfortable for two 5'9" adults (yes, she's a little taller than I am, woohoo!). In order to get sufficient room at the shoulders, the bed alignment is slanted, which you can see by the upturned edge of the throw rug. The bed is supported on three cabinets that have doors held on at both vertical edges by velcro, so they pull off completely--the short one at the foot holds one 18"x22"x14" plastic box, the large one at the head holds two boxes, and the narrow center one holds tripods, shoes, whatever.

The new kitchen area has a large overhead cabinet that has a second shelf inside. This is my third remodel and I have found drawers to be my top need when remodeling. I still haven't figured out how to secure them when traveling, so I'm into bungees and hooks. Works great, looks like hell, but they can be removed as soon as you stop.

The front area is not quite done--still need a seat on the street side, but a folding chair works great for now. The Paduk table has an extension the comes out another two feet. You can see the storage area behind the bench seat--under it there are the two drawers and in the other end two small areas (doors held on by velcro) that hold 13 bottles of wine and two twelve-paks of cokes, etc.
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Old 02-01-2006, 04:56 PM   #2
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That looks great! Love the paduke table - we used it on the edge of our Argosy counters and table.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:01 PM   #3
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Pex

The copper pipes were new 10 years ago, but after I discovered the advantages of PEX, I've considered replacing the copper for several years. After a short inspection, I realized there really wasn't any way to tackle this project in stages, it was all or nothing. So out comes the copper.

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You can see the tight corner (lower left photo) where the pipes emerge from under the shower pan and turn 90 degree along the black tank. This corner was very complex in copper, with lots of 45 degree joints, but it could be prefabricated in pieces and then the last joint quickly soldered in place. The PEX replacement is less complex, but getting a swaging tool around the copper rings in this location is more difficult.

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Old 11-09-2010, 05:26 PM   #4
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Pex 2

First of all, plumbing jobs are always a mess. I include a photo of the toilet connection here because it can't be seen when the toilet is installed and I want the NO (next owner) to have a clue.

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It's difficult to get PEX to lie down flat like copper, but it comes close if you use enough elbow joints. Plus, you can fudge small bends without fittings. Yes! But if you think this was fast, forget it. Five trips to HD and lots of thinking about the order in which to make the connections--with PEX you can easily get yourself in bind where you can't get the swaging tool in place.

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The only drains are now under the sink. You don't need to take quite the same level of care to get the PEX completely empty for the winter, so one set of drains is enough. Note that the pump and accumulator are slightly tilted so that the pump drains better than if it was level.

The water heater has a valve in the cold water line so that the lines can be drained without emptying the heater, saving 6 gallons in the event the nights are cold but the days are above freezing. The water heater itself isn't in any danger of freezing for a couple of days if it starts off warm. This valve would only be used overnight where you wanted to get the water out of the faucets and shower.

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The two horizontal cold water lines in the tight corner are to the toilet and the inlet. I curved them around instead of using elbows to provide some ability to modify the configuration later and to allow easy access to the black tank, should it need to be removed later.

Not shown are two valves in the back, accessible through the rear door. One shuts off water to the toilet. I've found the toilet valve to be the most susceptible to freeze damage and to be very hard to drain--I always blow it out with air. So in the winter I always leave that valve closed and use gallon jugs to manually flush the toilet. I don't want any chance of leaving water above the toilet valve.

The other one is a positive shutoff to the inlet, even though the inlet fitting has a check valve. The other reason to have this valve is that you can install a tank washout fitting (see below) on the inlet side and have access to street water to rinse the black tank. The valve prevents street water from getting into the rest of the plumbing if you want to keep it dry in cold weather.

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The washout needs to be fastened down, then it's done. It has a hose bib so you can use a short piece of hose to wash down into the toilet. I also make a 2' spray device out of PVC that has a hole in the side of the tip so that the spray can be directed all around the inside of the tank. Since this is a wet bath, the cap really isn't needed, but it's essential if you do something like this next to toilet in a dry bath arrangement. In this case, any spilled water just goes into the drain.

Note: there previously was a water pressure regulator in the system. I think an external regulator is a better option, if you think you need one. PEX is good to 400 psi, so maybe one should worry about the water heater or faucets?

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Old 11-09-2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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Sharkbite(s)

LEWSTER makes this comment via PM:
...Why not use SharkBite fittings on your PEX? I use them all the time and they are especially useful in areas where you can't get the crimping tool in. Another method for moving the PEX around bends is to use radius corner supports. These are plastic 45* or 90* gizmos that hold the PEX to the appropriate radius so it won't kink. You can screw them down or let them hang, but they work great.
I'd use them, except I've got a swaging tool and I like the smaller diameter of the swaged fittings. But I keep the Sharkbite fittings in mind if I have to make a repair in a tight spot.

I didn't know about the radius gismos. I'll have to look for them, but they would really be handy in a lot of places.

Thanks, LEWSTER!
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:13 PM   #6
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It looks good Zep. Did you just pick up this thread after 4 years? I saw almost 2ooo views and only a few replies so I thought I'd best see what you were offending people with. haha

Keep it up!

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Old 11-09-2010, 06:32 PM   #7
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Pex 3

Rich, how many views are 2 oh oh oh? But it's a good question. No, I picked up this thread to put a bit of the Caravel documentation in one place.

Anyway, here's a photo of the back valves. Note that the PEX is attached to the copper inlet by a 1/2" finger-tight threaded connector. You can see through to the inside of the trailer because the back cabinet is not reassembled quite yet. The inlet valve is open and the toilet valve is closed.

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And the water heater cover re-installed. There's now a finger-hole for reaching through and moving the valve handle.

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Did I say I got done just in time? It's been "late summer" here until about noon today. Usually we get this the first week of October so old man winter is 5 weeks late this year. Yay! Got more stuff done!

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Old 11-09-2010, 07:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting these, Zepp. I'm rapidly approaching the point at which I can put off plumbing no longer. This helps.

cheers,
steve
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:25 PM   #9
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Rich, how many views are 2 oh oh oh?
Everyone knows that 2 oh oh oh comes after 0ne 9 n1ne nyne!



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Old 11-09-2010, 10:56 PM   #10
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Nice work!

Nice work Roger... the PEX class in Albuquerque made it look so easy I jumped in and am well past that section now. Just installed the new sink and faucet to the galley. Spent some time out on the Safari today but have to wait a few weeks for any more progress can be made.
I use white pex sticks, color coded with tape. Great stuff to work with.
Stay warm partner...
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:35 PM   #11
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Mbuti has been sold. It's like losing your first love.

It's a good thing I've got backups.

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Old 11-02-2012, 02:53 AM   #12
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I never did a final documentation of the finished interior. So, for those who are remodeling their Caravels, here 'tis.

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In the photo below it's not easy to see, but the open door to the right of the sink is held up by the open door (seen edge-on) below it. This was intended to provide additional counter space. The dish "drawer" below the stove is tilted out. Because it rotates, it is held closed by its own weight.

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The drawers in the seat are very handy when you're outside and need a small hand tool or flashlight. The other end of the bench seat has room for 12 bottles of wine.

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The cabinet over the bed could hold two sports bags and a spare set of bedding. Three compartments under the bed provided storage for items that weren't often accessed.

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The P.O. had removed the small sink under the rear window, but I put a vanity above the window anyway. Not shown are the shelves inside the wet bath, which allowed me to use the shower area as a darkroom (boy, film seems like it was a looooong time ago). The original light is above the vanity.

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Old 11-02-2012, 05:15 AM   #13
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Looks great. The layout indicates a irregular mattress ... But the pictures look square? Can your ease clarify...
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:42 AM   #14
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Mbuti has been sold. It's like losing your first love.

It's a good thing I've got backups.

Zep
Mbuti? African pigmy? Interesting name.
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