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Old 07-14-2012, 06:47 PM   #1
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1981 31' Excella II
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Removing Kitchen Counter - how much pain

Well as usual, a small R&R task has mushroomed into a BIG one. I was just trying to replace the fake wood on the end of the kitchen countertop and of course it has mushroomed into a nightmare. The counter which I thought was anchored to the floor is anchored to the wall or at least it was. All the rivets holding the counter are loose. The counter is now floating. So I am guessing what I am going to have to do is take the whole thing apart and re-rivet the L-bracket that attaches the cabinet to the wall. It looks like you have to gut the cabinet and unscrew it from the L-bracket that is located at the back on the cabinet. This does not sound like fun getting to those screws. Removal is not a problem. I am thinking of putting it back together that will be fun.

The aluminum slotted T-moulding that attaches the partion to the wall on the rear end of the kitchen is also coming loose. Yes I know driveline out of balance issues. Centramatics are in my future. The damage was there when I bought the trailer.

Does anyone have any tips on removing the kitchen counter? I assume I will have to unhook plumbing to the sink and gas line to the stove. I expect that the PB lines going to the sink will have to be cut because they are probably crimped on. I was thinking I was close to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this pig.

Perry
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:17 PM   #2
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Perry, I've installed lots of cabinets, but so far have been able to avoid messing with my AS cabs. I'll be following your thread to learn...
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:42 PM   #3
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The ones I've worked on have different details, but in general the Stove/Oven has to come out. After that the water lines to the sink will un-screw from the faucet, plumbing pops loose from the sink. The counter top/sink assy is held on to the counter and the wall with a bunch of screws. There will always be a screw that is missed and the whole top will only wiggle a bit until it's found and removed.

The counter it's self is screwed to the floor and wall with rusted screw, atleast a couple will be impossible to remove...
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:20 PM   #4
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Well there were lots of hidden screws in the wall to to the right of the sink. I have a center bath so to the right of the sink which is on the door side of the trailer there are two walls. One wall is the kitchen wall and the other to the right of that is the shower wall.

Most of the hidden screws were behind the tambour in the front. There was one hidden screw that was a machine screw that had a 2 inch bar of steel on the end of it. I had to break that one out of the wall. What were these guys thinking. I think there were also rivets put in from the bathroom side. I am not worried about the busted wall because it is covered up by the counter.

Yes the stove had to come out. The gas fitting was at the top right side of the stove and was easy to remove. The mounting screws were along the top edge and one at the bottom edge in the front. There were also two wires for the oven light that had to be disconnected. The water supply lines were next, then the drain. One of the drains for the sink busted. It is cheap plastic like everything else in the trailer. I will replace them with stainless versions. It was already cracked. I just about screwed up my back pulling on that counter. I had to get a 2x4 pry bar to bust that metal piece out of the wall. Considering how much an Airstream cost it is appaling how crappy the interior is built. It is basically the crappy stuff you find in bottom of the line SOB trailers.

Perry
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:20 PM   #5
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Hi ho and perry have hit most of the information. I just had mine out on the 22' Argosy. Lots of things had to be found, stove removed, sink and faucets and so on. All the cabinets were built in place and they used a lot of various stuff to hold things together. The shelf under the kitchen sink in my Argosy was supported with a strap which went to the underside of the counter which itself was resting on the sides of the sink cabinet and a few pieces of scrap metal at the back edge where the counter meets the wall.

No standard details, just plug and chug until you find all the connections.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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The counter in my trailer was just attached to an aluminum "L" at the wall. I removed the sink drain, water connections, sink, and cooking stove, and drilled out some rivets. Once the cooking stove and the sink are removed the attachments are easy to see and easy to remove.

I used the old countertop as a template for the new one except I installed a new range and a new sink. The template saved time and made the job of making the new top easy.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:26 AM   #7
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I got mine loose but there is no structure at all at the wall. All the support is from the L-bracket attached to the wall and the bottom of the counter top. It is going to be hard to keep the whole mess from falling apart. I think I will take the sink out to lighter the load a little more. What a mess.

Perry
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:07 AM   #8
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Well I got everything taken apart and most of it put back in. I riveted the L-bracket back on the wall and added some extra rivets. The trailer wall has moved a little over time and I think that is what ripped the bracket off the wall. I ended up taking the counter top off the base and that made things much easier to deal with.

I used a piece of scrap OSB to re-enforce the back side of the wall partition that got busted when I pried the screw and anchor out of the wall. I did find some good news. The black stuff on the floor area behind the counter was carbon from an exploded water filter. It made a mess back there. I still need to put the sink back in and the stove and put the end plate back on that was the cause of all this misery. I hope this is the last of surprises till sometime next year. Pretty soon everything will be rebuilt. I am getting too old for this.

Perry
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I am getting too old for this.

Perry
Me too! Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:01 AM   #10
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Well I am pretty much done with it. I put the stove and the sink back in yesterday. I am glad it is done. The kitchen cabinet could have just come loose the way it was. I put new stainless steel sink drains in. The plastic ones cracked and one busted on removal. The end plate by the door was in bad shape and has now been replaced with oak venner plywood. It looks MUCH BETTER than it did. This was the whole reason for me tearing into the counter in the first place. The plastic vinyl coated plywood in the trailer has faded and turned kinda gray but the formica stuff with the same oak wood pattern on it is still pretty close to unstained oak. I plan on keeping the formica counter tops and gradually replace the vinyl coated plywood with real oak veneer stuff. I think I will work on the mouse fur valances next and remove the fur and put the same oak veneer plywood over them. I am trying to figure out how to finish the exposed edges so they look nice. I will take photos of the new counter end plate this weekend. Here is a before shot taken by the seller. It actually looked worse than this. I replaced the edge T-molding as well.

I found some oak plywood at Home Depot that is only about .2" thick. I was able to salvage the wood frame pieces that has the slot for the T-molding in them. The plywood was thin enough that I was able to use these wood pieces over again. I used a knife to separate the wood from the vinyl coated wood pieces. I then used a belt sander to get all the junk of the back of the wood. I glued the plywood to the wood frame pieces with carpenters glue.

Here is a before picture.



Perry
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:14 PM   #11
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Here is before and after. It looks much better than it did.

Perry




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