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Old 09-23-2008, 06:39 PM   #21
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Miller Time

We just finished insulating the bottom half and are on to completing the belly pan. I'll try to stay more current with this thread.

Right now, my watch says "It's Miller Time".

John
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:28 AM   #22
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Skin Replacement

Forgot to mention. If you're doing a skin replacement, make sure you see this thread first.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...ment-9362.html
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:08 PM   #23
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Crunch time

The crunch is on. After today, I have 4 full days to get ready for our first outing in Tumbleweed. There are a bunch of after-work evenings, but it's getting dark quickly in New England these days!

Unfortunately, the WDCU Installation rally was moved up and we have no chance of making it. Instead, we'll head to northern New England for leaf peeking season in mid-October, boondocking in the aluminum tent for 4 nights.

The UPS guy is getting tired of coming here every day. The 2 6volt Lifeline batteries arrived a couple days ago. More parts from bestconverter.com followed the next day, along with 2 really good LED reading lamps and a Trimetric 2020. The Trimetric may not be installed until winter, but it would be fun to play with it a little on the trip. The recessed lights arrived from Yachtlights.com today. We went with 6 Newport recessed lights (ILSH30101) and the G4 LED replacements (LED12V1WG4). They'll go into predrilled holes in the ceiling.

All the interior wiring will wait for better weather -- we have another tropical storm remnant on the way for the weekend.

I took the last two days off to take advantage of the good weather and get as much done down below as possible. I finished the below-decks wiring, including a run of #6 wire to connect the two batteries that will be located on either side of the trailer, just aft of the wheel wells. I'm doing all the wiring with Ancor marine wiring, carrying the ground to all points.

Most of my time in the last two days was spent on the belly pan. I'm guessing that it will take 3 8-hour days to insulate with foam insulation and install the new aluminum from airparts.com. As of now, half is riveted, all is insulated, one panel drilled and cleco'd and one panel wasn't touched. That section under the untouched panel needs detailed measurements for the gray tanks. I'll cover it up for the winter, then open it up when it's time to do the plumbing.

Two more pics -- smaller this time since I'm using up my storage space quickly.

The first is the belly pan going into place. The jacks continue to come in handy as a spare pair of hands. The second picture is a slight modification of a great idea that I first saw on Chris Johnson's thread. He drilled 1" holes for drainage / breathing between the skins, at the base of the c-channel. Here, I moved the screen to below the plywood so that water can get out of the c-channel without puddling. Note that all the drilled holes were coated in West Systems epoxy, along with the outer few inches of the plywood base.

Back to work for a couple days, then wiring inside on Saturday. Hopefully the extra vulkem on that last leaking seam will make it leak-free (for now).
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:00 AM   #24
Restorations done right
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What a blast to read... I remember you visiting with me at the Vintage Jam. Glad to see that you have launched into your project with such gusto and vigor. If for some reason you can get her buttoned up for next week please come over to the Installation Rally. You will be welcomed in with open arms.
You should be very proud of what you have done. your work is top notch. I can also see you spent many hours educating yourself on what needs to be done here on the forums. Keep it up and I WILL see you at CBR
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:15 PM   #25
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Next Year

Frank,

Thanks, but there's no way we will be ready for this weekend. It's going to be tight for 2 weeks from now.

We will be there for CBR. No old house projects scheduled this winter. We burned out on the kitchen this summer.

With no interference from the house, we'll actually have plumbing and an interior for CBR.

Enjoy the rally.

John
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:16 PM   #26
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We're back

I know it's been a while, but life happens.

We made it to Vermont in the aluminum tent last fall. It was a bit chilly using the campground's facilities, but the weather was spectacular and so were the leaves.

Here's Tumbleweed with it's fancy newspaper curtains. With a temporary catalytic heater and a thick latex foam mattress, it was really comfortable.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:21 PM   #27
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Didn't go with split a/c

We weren't able to do much at all on the trailer this winter, but started again after a long New England Winter -- which still seems to be hanging around in June.

Our original plan was to install a split Air Conditioning system, but the internal parts were just too big for a Caravel. Here's what it looks like mocked-up on the tongue. Too bad, the weight balance could have worked out if we moved the spare tire to a hitch on the rear. The horizontal 30# tank is from Vintage Trailer Supply and would have covered about 40% of the cooling fan -- marginal, but most likely workable. I like the look of the tank lines better in the horizontal mode. We may stick with that and a small backup tank.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:31 PM   #28
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Dealer installed a/c

So, off to the Airstream dealer, who did a great job with reinforcement and the installation of a Coleman low profile system on the roof. George Hernandez at Valenti in Waterbury, CT has a good reputation and didn't disappoint.

Unfortunately, we had to remove the upper panels and reinstall them. The trailer didn't leak all winter from the work we did earlier and survived a monsoon today with no puddles inside.

Here's what it looks like -- not bad for a roof a/c.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:35 PM   #29
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Bath Repair

The PO didn't think the bath/toilet unit would fit out the door, so he cut it in half. The one piece of good news is that he was good at fiberglass work and put the cut in the right place.

Here it is, fully reinforced and ready for reinstallation. We decided not to keep the old sink. The kitchen sink is only 3 feet away and we can use the storage above and below. It will be covered with a piece of mahogany plywood, matching the adjacent closet. Obviously, it will be painted after installation.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:40 PM   #30
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Black Tank

We saw that the black tank had collapsed over time and were afraid to rely on the same type of design, even though it is now available in fiberglass. Here is a picture of the old tank. It will be replaced by an integral wooden box that will have a 6 layer fiberglass tank built inside it -- per West Systems recommendations. This should be leak free and give us solid support. The tank in a Caravel is above the floor and below a thin layer of fiberglass and needs more support than others. New Thetford valves will go below and eventually connect to the grey tanks and stinky slinky.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:45 PM   #31
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Next steps

All the wiring is in, using tinned marine wire, soldered and shrink wrapped. I don't want any issues on the road with vibration or corrosion. With the skins off for a while, it's easy to see how much condensation can occur -- drips with dissolved aluminum concern me. We installed 2 6V Lifelines and nearly all lighting will be LED. Someday, maybe a solar panel too -- I ran a line to the roof just in case.

Just ordered a Norcold 300 refrigerator. It will just make it between the door and the wheel well if it is raised 3". It will require a 33" counter height, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Next goal is to get the water tank, pump, toilet, black tank and bath unit installed, with walls, for a trip to Maine in August. I wish I had more time to move faster, but it will be right someday.

Eventually, it will look like this. Google Sketchup is pretty cool.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:08 PM   #32
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Black Tank build

There was a thread last week on black tanks that drew a few Caravel owners. See http://www.airforums.com/forums/f444...ons-52398.html

It looked like the biggest challenge is to find a tank that mates well to new valving. My plan is to have a flange that mates to a Cable operated Valterra valve. You did see Robin Williams in RV, didn't you?

I plan to make one with composite construction using wood, epoxy and fiberglass. There are multiple examples of this type of construction in the boat building business. Browse the website at Epoxy by the Leading Epoxy Manufacture | WEST SYSTEM Epoxy for all sorts of technical info.

I've learned so much at this forum! I'll try to give back by documenting this in more detail.

It starts with the flange that will mate to a Valterra valve. It will look like this :
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:56 PM   #33
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great to see that ---i am working on my new 65 caravel as well. not taking it to the fine level you did but have skin off in places. what airconditioner is that? it looks great.
thanks
kevin
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:07 AM   #34
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A/c

Kevin-

It's an 11,500 BTU Carrier Duo Therm Lo profile unit.

In the muggy summer, it's made work much more tolerable!

John
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:33 PM   #35
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i am thinking of spraying my a/c an aluminum color. have you ever seen that done?
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:57 AM   #36
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Sprayed A/C

Kevin -

Sorry I missed your question. I see that you started a thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...lor-54507.html
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:01 AM   #37
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Sink Picture for Robin

In another thread, MTnestRobin asked for a picture of the removed sink. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f137...tml#post756868


Here it is, under construction.

We'll pick up a good bit of storage below, with the sink base and plumbing removed. The plywood on top is a filler. Matching mahogany plywood (really sapele) will go on top, coated with epoxy.

I have a number of pics to post, but the weather is still good and much to do! We're making a stainless grey tank this weekend.

John
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:26 PM   #38
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Building a black tank

It's been a while since I posted to this thread. I'm about 4 months behind. Here goes...

I wasn't too happy with the way the old black tank failed -- it was crushed in the middle and cracked -- must have really smelled. That and the fact that the new ones from InlandRV don't have a Valterra flange and convinced me to make one. I've done some fiberglasssing on boats, so this should be easier. It doesn't have to be pretty!

I used composite construction techniques. Basically you make the tank out of plywood and probably use as much fiberglass inside as a new tank. I used 7 coats, with multiple layers of glass reinforcement inside and out -- especially on the corners. See westsystem.com for lots of technical details.

How to start?

This picture shows the materials used. West Systems Epoxy has a pump kit that measures the right mix perfectly every time. If you plan to do a lot of work, it's highly recommended.

Starting with the flange, I grabbed some leftover pieces of aluminum and made a 4 3/8" square mold. The bottom was a piece of leftover aluminum flashing. A soup can was just the right diameter to mock up the hole. This ended up mating well to a 3" valterra valve.

Three coats of carnuba wax on all parts resulted in an easy mold release. I mixed one pump each of resin and hardner and poured it into the mold. The center hole is just a soup can with a weight. Yes, it leaked, but trimmed easily.

Note the ring of fiberglass next to the mold. The first layer was pure epoxy so that the flange face was nice and smooth. Fiberglass was added on the second round.
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:30 PM   #39
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Wetting out the fiberglass

An old timer in a local boatyard gave me some good tips on fiberglassing. When I first started, I tried to wet the glass, then place it properly, finally getting the bubbles out. It never worked and I made a few messes.

He taught me to paint epoxy on on the surface first, then place the glass weave over it. Finally, wet it with a little more -- not much more -- epoxy so that it becomes translucent. Much easier. Here's the technique on the second layer of the flange that will mate with the Valterra valve.
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:35 PM   #40
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Building up the flange

After a few more layers of fiberglass and resin on the base flange and around the soup can, it was ready for a trial fit. The first pic is the flange on the valve.

BTW, if you do this and build it slowly, be sure to hit up you local store for a supply of cheap brushes!

The second pic is after cleaning up the dimensions and flipping it over for side 2.
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