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Old 03-14-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
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1971 Cayo C-11 bath restoration

Although my Cayo truck camper was sound when I bought it a year ago, the plastic pieces in the bathroom had yellowed badly, and had become brittle enough that the tub cracked in one corner from the weight of someone standing on it. I decided that now's the time to get something done.

The restoration goes hand in hand with the addition of a greywater tank, which will mostly require some replumbing of the area below the bathroom floor.

The bath in the C-11 is curbside rear. The C-11 was a large pickup camper for its day, but space for the bath is still limited. Like any pickup camper, only the rear corners offer clear space floor to ceiling, due to the need for clearance for the truck bed rails.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:23 PM   #2
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The bath is made up of four pieces of ABS plastic -- the sink, the quarter-round surround below the sink, the shower pan, and the step that has the toilet on it. They overlap like shingles so that water drips down to the shower pan without any need for caulk or sealant between them. Each piece is caulked where it contacts the walls. The entire bath measures 30"x40".

Removing the surround is simply a matter of removing the screws and using a putty knife to separate the caulk. The original screws were galvanized clutch head screws, and were badly corroded.

Once the surround is out, there is access to remove the plumbing connections to the sink.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:31 PM   #3
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Once everything was out I repaired the cracks using woven fiberglass cloth and epoxy, working on the hidden sides of each piece. I also reinforced problem areas, especially around the screw holes, because the plastic was so brittle.

Since the shower pan is under the most stress, I fiberglassed the entire inside of it in addition to repairing the crack and reinforcing the already-broken area on the outside of the plastic.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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The toilet and the faucet are both recent, inexpensive replacements. I have a new Sealand Traveler Lite toilet on order. I was unable to find a satisfactory replacement for the faucet. The only lavatory faucets with diverters for a hand shower are of marginal quality and appearance. I am still replacing it although the looks won't be what I would like. I also found a replacement shower wand and hose that more or less match the originals, which have frost damage.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:57 PM   #5
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Space for a greywater tank is more limited than would be the case with a trailer. There is a little more than 8" between the bottom of the floor and the top of the fiberglass belly pan. I'm using an ABS tank for ease of repair and fitting placement. Since there is no way to have a vent pipe exit the top of the tank, I'm going to place a vent fitting as high on the end as possible. Spin-welded fittings used on polyethylene tanks have a larger flange and would end up costing me several gallons of usable capacity due to the resulting bubble.

The tank I'm using is the Ameri-Kart HT157, a 16 gallon tank, 8" high, 15.5" wide, and 45.5" long. It's going to be a tight fit.

Earlier this year I patched the blackwater tank, which had cracked. It's not clear to me what sort of plastic it is made out of -- probably ABS -- but some of the earlier repairs were polyethylene. I ended up flame-treating the plastic and bonding it with G/flex. So far it's held.

I'm keeping the existing Thetford valve in place. The fitting isn't glued to it, and I don't know if I'll find an o-ring or not under there. I suspect not, as I've found several dry fittings among the previous owner's repairs.

I'm going to use a cable-operated dump valve for the greywater tank since the only alternative is to have the valve handle exit straight down through the belly pan, not ideal. I've been dry-fitting and measuring the pipe components to be sure everything will fit since every inch counts. The 3" elbows are necessary because the black tank outlet is much higher than the greywater tank outlet -- since the blackwater tank is partially up in the "step" upon which the toilet sits. I'm going to have to offset the greywater tank outlet a little to allow the valve cable to have enough clearance to make a 180 degree bend.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:12 AM   #6
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Work is progressing apace. I've been a little concerned about adhesion between the primer and the ABS plastic for the pieces that haven't been completely coated in epoxy -- that is, everything but the shower pan.

I stopped by West Marine for some primer so I could test its performance on the least important piece while still finishing the epoxy work on the other pieces. I also bought a quart of the fiberglass cleaner and surface prep that they recommended.

The surface prep compound softens the plastic and must be wiped on and off quickly. After using the surface prep I sanded with 120 grit production paper and applied the primer, mixing the two parts per instructions but with no thinner. The primer went on smoothly and appears to be well adhered.

I've been using a die grinder with a 2" sanding disc for grinding areas that need to be reshaped. Most of the sanding has been with the 1/2 sheet pad sander. The sink and some corners and curves have required hand sanding with a sponge block.

The primer is bright white, and you can see the contrast between the yellowed plastic of the shower pan and the primed area of the toilet base.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:44 AM   #7
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I'll be interested to see how you got the grey tank fitted .
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:01 PM   #8
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Well, it's not in yet, but the trick is that the discharge is going to be straight down in between black and grey tank. That eliminates the need to find clearance for the 3" drain pipe going all the way across. It's not an ideal location for dumping, but it's still readily accessible and I'll just have to run the hose a few more feet when I'm at the dump station.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:10 PM   #9
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Here is the area behind the sink, with the sink removed. I replaced the ABS fittings but kept the existing vent lines. I added quarter-turn shutoffs to simplify installation and troubleshooting, and replaced the copper tubing to the faucet and head with flexible, braid-reinforced lines. Note the added u-channel to give the luan some stiffness:



Here is the medicine cabinet, sealed with epoxy and repainted:

http://i1359.photobucket.com/albums/...ps80dda2ce.jpg

I replaced the telephone-style shower with a similar new one, and replaced the hose. The hanger fitting is original:



The door for the medicine cabinet was water damaged, but I was able to strip it and refinish it with a half dozen coats of spar urethane:



I have found these inexpensive soap/shampoo dispensers to be a big help in reducing clutter:



Here's a view of the bath as seen from the "hallway:"

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Old 08-21-2013, 04:14 PM   #10
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I ended up using Interlux Brightside polyurethane paint for the walls (over an Interlux primer). It's a one-part paint. With a combination of abrasive and solvent prep, it seems to have adhered well to the aluminum, fiberglass, and vinyl-coated wood equally well.
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