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Sparky57 10-02-2012 08:20 PM

As for the switching, yes, I think you are right Steve! I will have to just wire some appropriate plugs on to just one circuit and then run that one circuit through the toggle switch- that is much more simple (and actually do-able :) )


Sparky57 10-10-2012 10:27 PM

12v, etc
More work on the wiring this week- I ordered some special little plugs that arrived today- they atre 110v plugs that have a USB charger built into them- Plan on installing these plugs into a little charger station I plan on building next to the door, in the counter that is over the fridge area. Also got my 1500w inverter too from 'powerbright'....

Also planning on finalizing the plumbing lines....I have seen a couple people plumb in a line to allow the fresh water tank to be filled (if the valve is open) when the trailer is connected to pressurized water....seems smart to me and I should be able to just put a valve under the sink and then connect the other end to the inlet side of the pump...

Seems like rain is going to return to the west coast so maybe time to get the AC unit installed I am going to have to figure out how to build a brace to hold the unit up....

Also ordered the stainless steel fridge vent from ( a little pricey...) and some new battery vents from discount marine for my battery box and the fresh water line filler vent..

Attwood Flush Fuel Vents - Fuel Tank Vents by Discount Marine Supplies

FastMac ACE-7702 U-Socket Decorator Duplex Dual Outlet Dual USB,110V,15AMP TruePower,White -

nmbosa 10-10-2012 10:56 PM


Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1213864)

Seems like rain is going to return to the west coast

Sure does. It was like someone flipped a light switch down here today and suddenly fall arrived. Grey skys and much cooler weather. Time to batten down the hatches.


54breadloaf 10-11-2012 09:55 AM


Looks like you are in double time mode on your trailer. Pretty exciting to be working on things that are clean and will make your camping experience more enjoyable, I bet. Show some photos when you can. My mouth is a bit dry so the drool might help.:-)... Keep up the good work. And you're right, fall just fell this morning. JT

zonacpa 10-11-2012 10:32 AM

Sparky, Are you going to install a fresh water tank fill also or will you just have the city water hookup? I apologize if I missed it earlier in your thread.

Sparky57 10-11-2012 05:47 PM

I will post some pics of the filler, but I think there is one earlier on in the thread.....the fresh tank is under the floor, near the steps and the filler is where the original filler hole was- front curb side. I ran a long filler pipe back to the tank, through the floor. I can't imagine when I'd use it, but it is there , mostly because I had the filler thingy and a hole in the tank and the trailer...and the pipe was only $20 to connect them together.

KCN 10-12-2012 09:10 AM

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Originally Posted by Sparky57 (Post 1214202)
I will post some pics of the filler, but I think there is one earlier on in the thread.....the fresh tank is under the floor, near the steps and the filler is where the original filler hole was- front curb side. I ran a long filler pipe back to the tank, through the floor. I can't imagine when I'd use it, but it is there , mostly because I had the filler thingy and a hole in the tank and the trailer...and the pipe was only $20 to connect them together.

Mark -

I'm thinking about doing this as well for my fresh fill - debating what tank to use and then re-read your whole thread and saw that your in-law made you a custom...lucky! If you took pics of the fill pipe I'd like to see them as well as that tank.

I appear to have the same frame you do - you are the only one I've seen with as much steel - which I am now re-configuring for the tanks (and looking at JT's system as well) so my welder can see what to do. Can both of you share what tanks you used - I'm looking at some Inca tanks? Pics are of my chassis after I had it blasted. I had the rear three cross members replaced at the existing centers..a mistake. Worse, I then painted the mistake - now I have to go cut it up again. :( Need an icon on here that shows me throwing money down a drain...


Sparky57 10-12-2012 09:29 AM

Wow! Nice job on the frame. That is very similar to mine, except I don't have any holes in my cross members.

As for tanks- I actually ended up buying a poly tank because I wanted to use the See-Level tank monitors...which won't work with aluminum tanks. I bought the poly tank at a local marine shop and the black and grey tanks at

I'll take a pic of the pipe fill, but the actual external mount filler is the original one, and the pipe connecting them is just a potable water hose that I snaked along the outside edge of the trailer to a point where it goes under the floor and into the tank- right where my pump sits..
pics later.....

The rain has finally arrived on the West Coast....good for the salmon waiting at the dry river mouths!

Sparky57 10-19-2012 06:24 PM

Plumbing and wiring still...
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Spent the afternoon roughing in more plumbing and installing my new Precision Temp 550 NSP tankless HW tank! It is a new product from them, a bit cheaper than the marine version and a little easier to install...Just got it week before last and have been fiddling with placement and exact location. Finally settled on SS, between bath and kitchen. Hole is cut and lines are plumbed in, so it is done!
Also got all the pump parts installed with backflow preventers and a pressure fill line to the fresh water tank with a valve to turn in on and off under the sink, as well as gravity filler line (black) I just have to fit in a anti-freeze pump valve somewhere (once I find one- seems they are all out of stock locally).
Next steps are to crimp all the pex lines and glue up the ABS, then I can start to put the valves on and giver a test.

Question: Do I need those drain lines some people install if I have an antifreeze pump line instead?

Picture shows the batteries, the converter, the inverter and pretty much right where they are going to live.
Also started pulling all the 12v electrical lines...which led me to ordering more parts- Propane / CO2 sensor and lights. Seriously re-thinking solar...cost v benefit seems low...but there is no real chance to retrofit it later, so ....

Also need to source or building a battery box... Ordered 3 tidy little marine vents for the battery box fresh air intake and hydrogen well as one vent for a the fresh water vent line...The one picture shows the fresh air battery vent that is fit into the hole where the original electrical line was. It fit exactly...nice when something goes right for a change! Think I'll put the hydrogen vent a couple inches above it.

Also thinking about a pair of the VTS Fantastic Fans with a thermo and rain sensore one with nothing. They are out of stock though right now so I am waiting for them to come in -- Question: do I buy the curved roof of flat roof kind?

Thinking I'll be done plumbing and wiring rough in this month, and hope to have the belly pan done then it is on to cabinets...


reinergirl 10-19-2012 07:36 PM

Wow, you are accomplishing a lot!:D

Here's a link to some battery boxes

Battery Boxes

And you should order the curved garnish, you may find it needs to be trimmed on the curved section for a custom fit.

marzboy 10-20-2012 10:05 AM

I went with two fantastic vents both with the rain sensor and curved roof bezel. Have my rough wireing in the fans work great!

65CV 10-20-2012 11:09 AM


Good work, as usual.

I'm going with 2 Fantastic Fans with the rain sensor too. After all this work, I don't want anything messing up the interior!

The only drain I'd consider is for the tankless water heater. If you're caught camping in a cold spell and don't want to winterize, it sounds like the only vulnerable point to freezing. From experience, I've found the marine pink antifreeze far easier to rinse than the WalMart stuff. Took forever to get that junk out of our system.

I had trouble copying the link to West Marine's Battery Boxes. For a change, they aren't too expensive. Look under Home > Electrical > Batteries & Accessories > Battery Accessories at


pbearsailor 10-20-2012 12:38 PM

On the Straight or Curved Fantastic Vent Trim
I went with the curved vent trim on mine, Mark, and it was a mistake. Easy enough to trim it to fit, but I think you'll find at least on our year of trailer that the straight trim will fit better. Our shells are pretty flat on that top section.

steve :)

BradS 10-20-2012 05:51 PM

Wow Mark. I have scanned your thread and am amazed at all you have done in such a short time. I too have a 57 Overlander that I am working on. Its more of a weekend winter project. Im just starting to go back out to the trailer and work on it. Its been to long. Your way ahead of me. Keep it up it looks great

Sparky57 10-21-2012 11:23 AM

Thanks Brad! I sold my tent trailer and booked camping with a couple families next July so I have a deadline and 3 kids that want a trailer so thats enough to motivate me.
I probably approach it the same way you do: break the huge jobs into 25 small jobs and do them one at a time. Checked out your thread....looks like your starting point was a little further from the finish than mine so I'll cut you some slack :)

Sparky57 10-22-2012 07:51 PM

One more piece of belly pan installed tonight, and a bit more of the wiring completed as well as 2 backing plates installed behind the water filler and the hose inlet to make them a little more solid feeling. Also got the shower drain set into place. Got he father in law working on a battery box out of checker plate aluminum?
The west coast of Canada is getting soaked with rain storm after rainstorm this month and I have only found one leak so far, so that is satisfying.

Sparky57 11-19-2012 08:11 PM

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Installed the AC unit this weekend....Father in law cut the whole a bit bigger and made up some braces to support its weight, then my bro and I slid it up a ladder / ramp we made (using a pickup truck bed as the starting point) and it actually fit. Wired it all up and we are good to go.

Also lit all the wiring up this weekend too....Installed the converter, all the breakers and terminated all the wires into boxes. Installed the batteries into a new custom made battery box, cut in 2 vents and ran tubing from the box out to the outside using those little chrome vents. Also hooked up my inverter and ran it through the custom made switch that lets me power all the wall sockets through either the inverter or the converter....So shore power or not, I'll be able to plug in my toaster.
A few more steps to go- need to install a fuse between the inverter and batteries...and need to run wires into all the AC outlets, etc...

Overall the wiring went smoothly so far...just one weird problem...I have a Furrion chrome marine outlet, and a Furrion trailer plug. When I wired them using the color coded wiring diagram the neutral and ground wires in my converter were always hot, and black was not...tripping the breaker did nothing....but everything still worked. Turns out, the wiring diagrams are different for marine and trailer! How stupid is that! Took me 2 hours with a multi-meter to trace the wires, then I googled around and discovered my cord is wired NEMA 5-30 and my outlet is wired NEMA L-5-30....which is very different. I basically put the black wire in the green, green in the white and white into the black slots and it all works fine now. Uploaded a diagram as I am sure it will help someone else some day....I can't be the only one who thinks Furrion cords and Furrion plugs should naturally work together.

Oh, AC is kicking cold air too....One more step to a waterproof trailer now that I don't have a massive hole in my roof any more. Order Fatastic Fans from VTS- finally back in once those come and I install them then I think the next step is to put the skins back up.

Plumbing is all crimped too, so it feels like progress....

Sparky57 11-25-2012 10:40 PM

Rolled the belly pan today - using 032 6061 T6 and it is stiff and has very little memory. I am planning on doing the perimeter of the belly pan- all the way around and bring the inner edge in far enough to fit 1 4' wide sheet down the middle. I took a couple sheets to the local metal shop and cut 28" pieces and then put one edge through the rollers to make a nice gentle arc on it.
Got all 6 pieces placed in place this weekend.

Pics show the one quick pic of one piece of belly pan- electrical tape is just a left over from having it wrapped up for transport.
Other pic shows the new fridge vent- Stainless one from It is worth the $$, super nice
Also, quick pic of the AC unit....It is leaking so I need to get a better frame around it so I can bolt it down tighter.

Sparky57 11-25-2012 10:58 PM

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Oops- pics didn't attach. Here they are ...

Sparky57 01-09-2013 07:12 PM

Belly Pan- Check!
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Ok, the belly pan is in! What a horrid job. Seriously- the belly pan is the main reason I would argue for a shell-off restoration. With the shell on the belly pan is one hell of an ugly job. And my beast is sitting on dirt, and it was cold and wet to boot. I planned 20 hours to do it all...I think I was probably closer to 60 all in.

Here is how I did it:

T6061 .032 Aluminum from Cost was a little over $600 to my door. I got 4 sheets, 4 x 12 each, all the same gauge.

I templated the 4 corners using card and then my father in law cut and bent them up, then we installed them first and trimmed them back till they fit just right and cleco'd in place.

Then I cut and rolled the perimeter pieces and installed them, shaped them to go around the tanks and wheel wells and cleco'd in place. Then I bent up the end piece between the bumper and slipped that into place.

Then I riveted the belt-line rivets in place--with the help of my brother and 11 year old daughter holding the bucking bar and piece by piece I riveted the bottom to the frame with Trempro in the joints. I spaced the rivets 6" apart and used the big flange ones from VTS. 300 rivets and 2 dead rivet guns later I was done that part!

Also insulated then lined the spare tire cut out with metal, also bent up some little flanges pieces to cover off the exposed frame (those bits will go in this weekend.

Once those bits were in installed new levels on the frame and reinstalled all the plumbing and all the other bits that fell off along the way.

What I would do differently:
I would not use 6061 t6 .032. It is very stiff, very hard to work with and has almost no memory so it is very hard to work on the corners. A softer metal or a thinner gauge-or both.

I would use less rivets- I think I may have overdone it.

I wouldn't do it with the shell on! In all aspects I advocate for shell-on this case having the shell off would have been infinitely easier. With all the tanks hanging down and all the little lines and wires coming and going, and the plumbing, and framing members I spent sooo much time snipping, trimming, shaping, refitting, reshaping, clamping and measuring.

I would buy more metal- I barely had enough. I have one strip 4" x 24" left over!

Last job is to install a couple vents and then frame the tanks with aluminum cladding. I will use some other kind of aluminum for that, no 6061 left to do that.

Pics show the front tire area, rear area around the tanks, and the new jacks, etc.

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