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Old 01-29-2011, 11:35 AM   #161
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Bought a couple of more things over the last week or so.

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One is a new water pump. Bought it now since Camping World has them on sale.

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The other one is a new TV. 2009 Dodge Ram, which will replace the 2001 Excursion. Not that we were really in the market to buy a replacement TV, but our Navy son was transferred to Hawaii, and he can not bring the pickup with him unless he pays for shipping. The Navy paid for shipping one vehicle to Hawaii from Connecticut. It's a 1/2 ton pu, with the big hemi V8, and it's rated to tow 9600 lbs (same as the Excursion). Rides a lot softer, so it should do really well towing Little Girl once we have her road ready.

Anyone want to buy a 2001 Excursion? You can kinda see it behind the pickup.

Chris
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:13 AM   #162
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Step tub

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno View Post
Received the new step tub and toilet last week! Both are unpacked and sitting in Little Girl waiting for spring to arrive.
Like the step tub and was wondering the size and where you got it.

Thanks
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:41 AM   #163
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Like the step tub and was wondering the size and where you got it.

Thanks
Hi Silverhoot,

We got it from Pelland: Bath Tubs - Step Tubs

It's this tub:
Step tub 32 x 24 x 13 fits Mallard/Coachman
Model 01-269-Mallard

Chris
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:07 AM   #164
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Good morning.... Q. Did you start out with a rear bath and convert to a mid-bathroom?
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:57 AM   #165
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We started out with a rear bath, and wanted to convert to a mid-bath. But, after much discussion and measuring, we gave up on moving the bathroom. Mostly because of the patching we would need to do on the outside skins for some of the hatches, windows, and the water heater opening. So, the basic layout of the rear bath will remain the same, but the tub will be turned 90 degrees and be against the inside wall that will define the front of the bathroom. On the other side of that wall will be the head of our bed.

Chris
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:12 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Minno View Post
We started out with a rear bath, and wanted to convert to a mid-bath. But, after much discussion and measuring, we gave up on moving the bathroom. Mostly because of the patching we would need to do on the outside skins for some of the hatches, windows, and the water heater opening. So, the basic layout of the rear bath will remain the same, but the tub will be turned 90 degrees and be against the inside wall that will define the front of the bathroom. On the other side of that wall will be the head of our bed.

Chris
Do you have a floor plan drawn out? If so, are you willing to post. As you know I am still putting things back together and would like to see what you'er planning. I would post a floor plan myself, but I don't have one. Just ideas that pop into my head....no voices.


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Old 02-01-2011, 04:55 PM   #167
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I listen to the voices in my wife's head...

Here are the two main diagrams we're working from. One of the frame and one of the proposed floor plan.

Some things are still very much up the air, but this will give you a pretty good idea of what our current plans are. The bathroom sink and counter will run across the rear of the trailer, under the window. Not exactly sure where the sink will go - that's one of the big reasons why we wanted the tub and toilet first. We need a water heater as well to help layout all the bathroom cabinets and fixtures.

The gray tank(s) will go in the frame space above the rear axel, and the space directly aft of it. Current thought is to build two tanks and gang them together so I don't have to modify the frame at all. But then, we keep coming back to the old fresh water tank and the thought of using it as a gray tank. But that would require changing a cross member so the tank would fit.

I just picked up the plastic welder today from Harbor Freight. It was on back-order for a couple of weeks. I already bought a bunch of ABS welding rod, and a heating element to bend plastic. Now to buy a sheet of 1/8" thick ABS plastic and start playing.

Chris
Attached Files
File Type: pdf little girl floor.pdf (38.1 KB, 335 views)
File Type: pdf little girl frame.pdf (24.3 KB, 257 views)
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:32 PM   #168
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Productive and successful day!

To begin, the plastic welding kit that was on back order at Harbor Freight came in on Monday. I picked it up on Tuesday, and then on Friday, I made a trip to a local plastic supply company and picked up a sheet of ľĒ ABS. It has one smooth side and one pebbled side.

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The welder came with 3 tips, 2 of which Iíve used now. The first pic shows the tacking tip, which is used to tack the plastic pieces together. The second pic shows on of the two welding tips, which heats and melts the welding rod to fuse the pieces together.

Continued next post.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:37 PM   #169
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My first experiment today was to try and build a box from the ABS. I used a circular saw with a plywood blade to cut about a 4Ē strip off one end of sheet, and then used my table saw to cut the 4 sides and bottom of the box. I then tried to tack the bottom to the two long sides, and after a couple of failed attempts, I got the hang of using the welder to melt the joint together.


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Here are the results of tacking the box together. Smooth side of the ABS in the inside and the pebbled side on the outside.


Then I switched tips (after letting the welder cool off for several minutes), and welded the joints together, using the ABS welding rod I bought.


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Here are the final pics of the box all welded, both inside and out. I learned that welding the inside joints is not so easy on that small a box, but it should be much easier on a grey tank sized box. Iím quite pleased with the results, and it holds water without leaking! I think plastic welding is much easier than metal welding.

Continued next post.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:42 PM   #170
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The second experiment today was to try and bend the ABS sheet. Iíd rather make bends to form the bottom of the tank instead of welding the bottom onto the sides. I found an online supplier that sells heat strips for bending plastic, so I bought a 48Ē long one, and tried it out.




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Hereís the heat strip laying on the plastic Iím going to bend. In the second pic, I covered the heat strip with a scrap piece of wood to help ensure good contact with the strip and the plastic.

The instructions say to leave the heat strip in place for about 30 minutes for ľĒ thick stock. After 30 minutes, I tried to bend it, and while it bend a bit, it cooled off too quickly to actually make a 90 degree bend. So, back goes the heat strip for another 20 minutes. Then I tried to bend it again, and mostly success!



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I was able to get a 90 degree bend in about 75% of the 16Ē length of ABS before it cooled too much to bend anymore. I think if I leave the heat strip on for about an hour, itíll heat the plastic up enough that Iíll be able to make the bend without too many problems. Kay has some thoughts on how to contain the heat a bit better as well.

The purpose of all of this experimenting was to see if I could build gray water tanks, and the answer is yes I can. So, custom tanks will be fabricated for Little Girl as we head into spring. And it feels great to be able to work on something for the Airstream again!

Chris
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:29 PM   #171
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Very intriging MC. The little box looks a lot like a battery box. Would that be the purpose? Can the welds be ground down to clean them up? I'm just curious as to why you are going to build custom tanks. Will it be cheaper than ready mades even with the tool purchase?
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:17 AM   #172
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Hi WC,

The little box is only about 4" x 8", so a tad small for a battery box. I made it just to practice cutting and welding the ABS. Yes, the welds can be ground off or sanded/filed to clean them up.

What we want to do is make gray tanks that do not stick below the belly pan. The tank dimensions to fit on the two frame spaces we're looking at are roughly 57" x 21" x 5" which gives about 26 gals of capacity per tank, or 52 gals total. Give or take a few gallons. No one makes a tank that size. Also, to connect the drains together to a centrally located dump valve area, we want the black tank to drain towards the front of the trailer. The current tank drains toward the back. So, we're looking fabricating a new black tank as well, which will give us the option of relocating the toilet as well as changing how it drains. Plus increase the capacity of the black tank by a couple of gallons.

Cost? The welding kit was $70 on sale. ABS rod is about $9 for 180 feet. The ABS sheets are about $95 each, and I can male one tank out of one sheet. For about $400 total, I can fabricate 3 new tanks that are the exact size that we want.

MC
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:33 AM   #173
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have you done any sort of strength test to check the weld vs. the base material? Can you pull it apart at the joint - does it break at the joint before cracking elsewhere?

Just curious - that water can get pretty heavy - especially when sloshing around on the road.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:26 AM   #174
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Nothing very scientific. I tried to pull the box apart, and I'm not able too with bare hands. I was going to clamp it in my vise and try to pull it apart with some big channel locks to see where it breaks. I'll post that test once I do it. Based on what I've done so far, I think the longer sides will break before the welds since I can get them to flex quite a bit, but we'll see.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:59 PM   #175
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Nothing very scientific. .. but we'll see.
Well that won't work....we need all sorts of non-scientific, Innuendo based 2nd hand based 'my cousin' said fact-oid...

I made a shower basin from the same stuff...lots of silcone in the corners...never leaked...

Lookin forward to the outcome!
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:41 AM   #176
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Thanks for posting so much information. Us newbies need all the advise we can get. Is the ABS also suitable for a drinking water tank?
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:17 PM   #177
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Thanks for posting so much information. Us newbies need all the advise we can get. Is the ABS also suitable for a drinking water tank?
The ABS I bought is not, no. Any plastic (ABS, PVC, Polyethylene, etc.) needs to be food service rated to be safe for drinking water.

Chris
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:29 PM   #178
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Well that won't work....we need all sorts of non-scientific, Innuendo based 2nd hand based 'my cousin' said fact-oid...
How about one of my niece's cousins? Or one of my sister's nephews? Or even better, one of my sister's grandchildrenís first cousin once removed?

Anyway, our 28 year old son was over this evening, and heís rather on the strong side. He was admiring the box, so I told him to try and pull it apart. After some straining and having his face turn red, he gave up. I think the welds will hold up just fine.

Chris
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:33 PM   #179
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:48 PM   #180
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Ha! - Good enough test for me. If it's still water tight your welding technique should be pretty reliable. Thanks for posting your process and results!
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