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Old 08-22-2013, 08:10 PM   #141
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In Polishing Hell...

It has been hell trying to get the corroded clear coat off. Numerous coats of stripper...all with limited success...usually leaving brighter streaks and shadows all over the skin. I just wanted a nice mat finish for my first year... not really a 'shine'...something more subtle. After all...there is so much other work that needs to be done. But, I guess when I can't do other major work for one reason or another, I may as well polish.

So, at this point, I am about 80% of where I want to be with the finish. Out of a process of elimination, I ended up using Aircraft Paint Stripper (which warns not to use on aircraft...huh???), followed by several pressure washings, followed by application of F9, followed by lacquer thinner or de-natured alcohol to remove the rouge, followed by buffing out (by shear force of will) with a wool pad on my low-rev drill...then more lacquer thinner or de-natured...and some more buffing. It's not perfect...but I guess it will do for now.

In the meantime, I picked up some cool forest green benches for the forward dinette. Not a perfect solution either....but will do for now.

NOW....on to the electrical!!! It would be great to be able to work in some air conditioned comfort....and not too long from now....some warmth (just say NO). Gotta get this project moving forward, so I can tow it the heck out of here before winter sets in again. I just don't think I can stand to see "Madmen" sitting under ice and snow again... just too sad to contemplate.

In the meantime, it almost looks like I'm ready to go.... almost....
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:57 AM   #142
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The dinette benches look good. Polishing is polishing. Probably good to accept perfection is not attainable and getting the interior done is more important.

We all wish we had more time for everything.

Gene
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #143
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After numerous experimentations, we ended up with aircraft stripper (just don't inhale). We found a couple dents we hadn't known about. Ours looks better overall, but not wonderful. We did go over it with hand polishing. Heavy duty polishing is a next summer project. We're still trying to get the interior done, and other things are slowing us down. We're not going to go for a high polish, just something nice....

Kay
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:08 PM   #144
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Yeah, that aircraft stripper is something else. I think I may have fried a few brain cells while using it. Thankfully, I think I have only one more panel that needs a coat of the stripper before buffing out the corrosion.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:07 PM   #145
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Small progress in the heat...

Been down with a bug and hiding from the heat and humidity. But I managed to get a few things done the last couple of days.

-Finished installing new LED running lights

-Installed new level indicator

-Installed Furrion generator inlet, 30amp inlet and cable/phone inlet (I wish they made a city water inlet?)

-Tried out my new bucking gun and repaired the hinge on my refer access door. I think I'm going to enlarge the a/c outlet in my refer access door to accommodate a heavier duty outlet and cover. Couldn't really find a weatherproof cover that I liked at the Big Box stores. I bought one and painted it...but I think I really like the stainless steel Marinco cover a lot more.

-I reinstalled the tail-light housings. A PO had done a real hatchet job on the cut-outs (from a previous repair), so it was a challenge to get them in a position where they will not be likely to leak (which they did...a lot...before). Unfortunately, I was forced to drill some holes in the corners of the blue stripe so I could use some #10 screws to temporarily attach the housings to the shell. Once I am able to drill new rivet holes in the back - or use some ss self-tapping screws to permanently attach the housings....I will remove the visible screws and fill the temp holes on the outside. Once repaired and painted, I don't think the repair will be visible. I used mastic tape to attach the housings and to seal the backsides. I hope with proper sealing around the edges, they will look great and most of all...not leak anymore. My cans are in pretty good condition... a little rust. I will treat the rust and then re-install them along with the new LED kit that allows for the use of the tail-light monitors (which I just ordered a new metal cover for).

Tomorrow I will tackle the scare light. I have a new LED light for that as well. But I am going to have to hunt for some gasket material. The PO also did a hatchet job on this area...using silicone to seal around the light...thus scarring the aluminum approximately 1/2" beyond the diameter of the light housing. I think I am going to have to get creative to hide this haze.

While I'm up there, I may as well install the new door/stair LED light as well. I removed the old housing, cleaned it up and sanded it silky smooth.

I'm ready for a nap already.....

Pics:
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:38 PM   #146
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Let There Be Lights!!

Turns out, I should have taken more shop classes in high school. I have been REALLY sweating and pondering over the installation of the electrical system (read: really afraid of electrical anything). But with the very generous help and guidance of some fellow Streamers (Thank you Minno!!!!!), I was able today to get my clearance lights and scare light installed and working beautifully.

I have ordered a new 7-pin receptacle, which will hopefully arrive very soon. Then I will be working on getting the running lights and other basics working, so I can take my wheels and axels out for some much needed exercise.

I also proceeded today with running the 10/2 'romex' for the 30amp shore and generator inlets. I will be building a shallow cabinet underneath the front window to house my convertor, 1800w inverter, battery cut-off, generator relay and surge suppression....and whatever other 'glamper' gadget I can wrap my brain around. At the moment, I am seriously considering putting the batteries out on the frame...but there may not be enough room for that. We shall see.

But for the moment....I have LIGHTS!!! And they sure are pretty!!
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:56 AM   #147
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Yes, they are pretty! Isn't it nice to have something tangible you can see as progress!

Chris and Kay
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:03 PM   #148
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Spent the day building a support for my new yet-to-be-installed Penguin II. I think it came out pretty well. Looking forward to having some a/c on these hot days...of which, not many are left.

Also began building a mock-up of my forward electronics cabinet that will house the converter, relay switch, surge protection, battery switch, etc...etc...etc. Had a bunch of plywood left over from the floor... When I get the details worked out, I may rebuild it with some nicer wood to match the rest of the cabinetry.

Also roughed in most of my 120v circuits today with 12/2 (10/2 from the 30amp and generator inlets to the converter). My converter will handle quite a few circuits...so I split things up pretty well. Easier to track down any future problems that way.

Lastly, I ordered a new 7-pin socket which arrived today. Had to enlarge the whole a little to get it installed. And...it's wired differently than the old one. So much for a direct replacement. That means I will probably be buying a new umbilical end to match as well.

Tomorrow...wiring the 7-plug and running 12v circuits....

Time for a nap....
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:03 AM   #149
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Congratulations on this work it's looking great! Not to put a damper on the project but I saw you mentioned ROMEX 10/2 cable. Not sure if it's standard solid conductor or not but others who have a lot of RV wiring experience here suggest the use of tinned stranded cabling to reduce the possibility of fatigue cracks and loose connections that can happen with solid conductors in moving applications. I plan to use 10/3 stranded cable from west marine when I finally do my solar wiring. Just wanted to mention this to you while the walls are still open. Perhaps others will chime in as well. -Brad
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:05 PM   #150
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Thanks! And thanks very much for your input, Brad. Wouldn't be too much trouble to switch the 30amp and gen inlets to stranded....relatively short runs. Kinda hate to trash 75+ feet of new circuit 12/2...but will definitely look into it. Thanks again!
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:13 PM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arktos55343 View Post
Thanks! And thanks very much for your input, Brad. Wouldn't be too much trouble to switch the 30amp and gen inlets to stranded....relatively short runs. Kinda hate to trash 75+ feet of new circuit 12/2...but will definitely look into it. Thanks again!
No Problem. I've wired a lot of audio racks and I know how it feels when someone else come us and says "Well if it were me i woulda" and the emotion that goes with that. I just had to mention it cause of the work it takes to open up and close them purty aluminum panels and the pain and suffering when trying to find a broken wire or intermittent connection caused by equipment movement during travel.

Great project and thanks for the continuing documentation and pictures!

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Old 09-17-2013, 07:25 AM   #152
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Lots still to do before winter....

I've been running my new 120/12v wiring. So far, everything on the 12v side is working. All the lights are new LED and look great, so my power draw is low. Still have to wire up the new umbilical cord and then see if my brake/turn/reverse lights work. My pots were in pretty good shape when I re-installed them, but I have questions about the sockets themselves. So, I ordered new pigtails just in case. Should have that project buttoned up in the next few days.

I Tempro-ed every seam and visible hole/rivet on the inside. And I am now beginning the insulation process. Got a deal on 1" 4x8 panels of foil wrapped foam insulation that I am using for the flat sides and (perhaps) the belly. Then I will be gluing 1/2" spacers to the curved panels and covering with Prodex. Corners and other small spaces will be filled with Crack Filler foam. Finally, I will be covering the entire interior with a second layer of Prodex.

3 more windows have to come out this week for gasket removal / replacement. I lay them flat on a table and soak the gaskets with Aircraft Paint Stripper... wait a while, and the gaskets more or less melt off. Then I clean up the aluminum and left over gasket-goo with a wire brush attached to my drill/driver. Had some trouble with one of my windows, when the rivets attaching the 'hinge' failed. Consequently, the frame started to separate, so I did an emergency rivet job on it...that will have to be re-done at some point.

Time to get back to work.... winter's coming....
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:01 PM   #153
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Sometimes, it's the little things that make your day...

I finished rehabbing the exterior LED lights today. I installed the new LED step light. I didn't like the angle of the light when I attached it to the housing with the provided sticky tape. So I dislodged the tape and used a wad of butyl tape behind it to correct the angle. It really lights up the door and step area now. I have to get a new diffuser for the fixture. The old incan. bulb melted a hole in the old one...and then it broke in half. I'll find something cool at the glass/plexi outlet store around the corner...and use the old diffuser as a template.

My rear light pots were in pretty good condition...a little rusty. I removed them, POR'd them and then top coated with a nice silver paint (not that it will be seen). The pigtails were a little gummed up, so I replaced them while I was at it.... re-installed the pots and installed the lights. Powered them up...and they look great...and they are BRIGHT!! The pic is from late afternoon. I imagine at night, they can be seen from outer space!

I also replaced the standard-issue bulb from the new license plate fixture with an LED. My thanks to LED4RV! They ROCK!!

I'm about 1/3rd through the insulation process. The way things go here in Minnesota, I could be needing it sooner, rather than later, with the cooler temps coming on fast. And here I was anxious to get my a/c installed.... Well, it does have a heat strip...which may come in very handy.

Still working on the electrical too. Most of my runs are in....but I don't have the guts to hook anything up yet.....chicken....

I wanted to wire up my umbilical, but my 12v tester was telling me I had no power at the TV (even with ignition on). I bought one of those plug in tester units which showed that I indeed had power...except for an issue with the brake circuit (a failing brake light). I don't know if that is because I have not installed the brake controller, or what. I'm learning....but it's a slow process...LOL.

Tomorrow I will hopefully solve the umbilical issue. Then I'll be ready to take "Madmen" on a little shake-down drive around the block... Hoping I'll be able to take my aluminum tent on its first trip...to a family reunion...mid-October. We'll see....
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:00 PM   #154
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Days of Bucking

I've been bucking rivets for several days now. Added a third row of rivets to the front hold down plate...for some added strength. Earlier, I had added an additional row to the rear plate. I may even double those rivets next week... can't have too many rivets.

Today was a short day, because I slept in. But a buddy and I got ambitious, and tossed the new Penguin II on the roof and bolted it down. Easier than I had anticipated. At least if it starts snowing soon, there won't be a big hole up there to leak.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:45 PM   #155
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Successful Surgery...and other progress

I recently purchased one of the Airstream stainless steel outdoor shower unit$$. It's been sitting in a box...waiting for me to come up with a plan. I had decided some time ago, that I was going to eliminate the aft curbside battery box and move my batteries and all electrical up front. And the plan was to make a patch to cover the hole, and install the outdoor shower in what used to be the battery box.

Well...I was going through my garage...and came across the old battery box frame and door...and thought, "wouldn't it be nice to have an outside access door to the space below my soon-to-be-built rear bedroom...for storage....so I don't have to climb in and out of the main door for everything???"

So, I decided I would re-use / remodel the old battery box frame/door as a storage access door....and mount the outdoor shower unit a little higher than originally planned. Best of both worlds.

Glad to say the surgery went fine. I marked out the location for the outdoor shower unit....took a deep breath....and cut the hole with my grinder with a metal cutting blade. Like butter.... actually, a little too much like butter, as the blade wanted to go MUCH faster than I did. But I kept it under control and did not have any OOPs. I had to make a couple of secondary cuts to get the hole just right...but it really was pretty simple.

When the hole was the perfect size, I slid the shower unit in...had a buddy hold it steady while I drilled holes for the attachments...and screwed it to the shell. I have to say, for the money....I was not overly impressed with how it fit...along with a couple other issues:

1) As delivered, the frame of the shower box is pre-drilled every 4 inches for attachments. After securing it to the shell, there were some very big gaps between attachments and at the corners, that would have to be sealed. I was also not impressed that the corners of the shower frame actually flared out...away from the shell...creating even greater seam/seal problems. So, I doubled the number of attachment points...every 2 inches, instead of every 4 (I guess I can't return the shower unit now...). I also added an attachment at each corner...which did not completely eliminate the corner flare that I described...but it was better. I may try to re-orient the corners, so they do not flare...but banging the corners of my $$hower unit with a hammer is not exactly what I had in mind. Over all, I am happy with the fit....after some tinkering.

2) I am concerned about replacing the shower hose at some point in the future. They all wear out eventually. And this one is connected so close to the back and bottom side of the housing, that it is nearly impossible to get one's fingers around it to loosen or tighten as needed.

3) Who designed the closure for the shower box door??? Am I supposed to take a screw driver or a quarter with me every time I want to open the thing???

4) Folks...about those faucet inserts that have the H for Hot...and C for Cold?? HOT goes on the LEFT....COLD goes on the RIGHT....not the other way around!!

5) The door gasket is a little aggressive, if you ask me. It takes quite a lot of pressure to close the door and operate the 'lock' without a big screw driver. Once again, I don't usually carry a screw driver with me when I take a shower!

I'm going to give the unit 4 out of 5 stars. I think there are some design issues that need to be addressed....IMHO.

In other news....with Fall at the doorstep...and Winter not far behind, I have spent the last few days addressing window issues. I took all of the windows out over several days and removed the old seals...cleaned them up...and installed new seals. I took off all of the window locks....they were pretty corroded....so I soaked them in WD40 overnight...cleaned them up....cleaned up the window frames with some steel wool and denatured alcohol....re-installed the locks. Good as New!

Now, I wish I could get the danged umbilical straightened out. I must be dumb...
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:15 AM   #156
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So many projects...so little time...

before the weather [could] turn ugly on me.... Rushing to try to get things done.

I finished insulating the belly with 1" foil faced foam panels. I don't imagine they are going to be real effective...but every little bit helps (maybe). I will be installing a floating cork floor with underlayment. I imagine that will increase the insulating factor by quite a bit. Don't think I am going to tackle that job before winter, however. There hasn't been enough rain lately to determine if there are any leaks yet to be dealt with. So I would rather not install the floor until I am 99.9% sure that all potential leaks have been addressed. The shell did not leak last winter, and has not leaked during any rain....so I am hopeful.

I've been installing all of the new electrical...bringing the batteries, converter/charger, surge protector, relay switch, inverter, battery cut off all up front under the front window. But I don't have the batteries yet, so I am not getting anywhere fast with building the cabinet that will house it all. Maybe will get them this weekend. My brain would hurt much less if I could get all those wires connected and hidden in the cabinet...LOL.

I've started on the new belly pan. Using black anodized 6062. Attaching to the main frame rails using #10 3/4" ss self drilling screws with a nylon washer bonded to a galvanized washer. I left a 3" overhang outside of the main frame rails to allow plenty of material for a double row of rivets to attach the wraps. I love the way it looks...and it's quite a bit tougher than the original. So far, I've managed to install from the tongue back to the fresh water tank and the rear most piece forming the trunk. I am going to have a real challenge installing the last sections over the axels, as my welder tacked the new axel mounting plates to the frame rails, so there is no space between the mounting plates and the frame rails to slide the new belly pan material between. I will just have to measure very carefully and cut out around the mounting plates...and then seal the heck out of it. It's a challenge to lay on my back underneath the AS, and then pull the sheets of belly pan over me like a blanket, supporting it with my knees and left arm, while loading the drill-driver-screw with my right hand and getting it tacked up....then it's not too difficult to finish the install.

We recently had about 3 days of rain (forecasted...but didn't amount to much). So I spent a day Parbonding all of the windows and vulnerable seams (still have some non-vulnerable seams to go...). I did not find the syringes to be much help. I found I got much better control just squeezing the tube. Still, there is a learning curve involved here...and not everything came out as cleanly as I would have liked. But at least things area sealed for now...and there is always next year to re-do what I am not satisfied with.

My mid-ship rub rail was pretty corroded. So I taped it off yesterday and sprayed it with Rustoleum Titanium Silver. It really freshened it up...and has a tiny bit of sparkle in it...BLING. I also did a non-traditional install...which I will hopefully have a pic of later today.... tease.....

I also got tired of the look of the old interior color on my door. So I taped it off and sprayed it with a brushed nickel metallic spray. The spray preserves the texture of the vinyl coating...the updated color is great looking. Don't know if that will be my final color...but it is a big improvement.

I dug my bumper out of the garage attic storage area. It was a little tough to re-install because my welder boxed in the main frame rails from aft of the wheels to increase the strength of the rear of the trailer...where I will be building a bedroom. and some minor storage. But it was a great feeling to be able to start pulling parts out of storage. WooHoo!!

My next challenge will be to replace the manual tongue jack with my new power jack. I've tried a couple of times to loosen the bolts holding the old jack on the coupler....no joy. Sprayed a liberal amount of liquid wrench on the bolts...still won't budge. Will try again today. Any ideas from anyone who has had to remove their tongue jack? Are these bolts welded? I'll try to post a pic later today.

In the meantime, the sun is starting to come up.....time to get back to work.
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:46 PM   #157
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Insulation—half the battle is sealing between the panels—you can use glue, tape and/or spray foam. Make sure you get the foam that doesn't expand too much. Air infiltration will derate insulation by half.

If you can drill out the bolts at this point, you'll probably save time—just be sure not to drill too big a hole as I have a tendency to do.

And you can spray the exterior with a hose and not wait for a major storm. Sounds like you have the interior panels out, so you can see what comes through (hopefully nothing) while a friend wets down the trailer.

Gene
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:28 PM   #158
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When all else fails, use a bigger tool.....

Thanks for the input Gene... insulation has been going in for the last couple of weeks....got plenty of non-expanding foam to fill in the voids.

After letting my tongue jack bolts soak in Liquid Wrench all night long, I was able to crack them loose today with a big wrench. Then I had a heck of a time removing the old jack because it had been beaten up and the shaft was no longer exactly round. So I hitched up to my TV, raised the jack....put a bottle jack underneath...sprayed Liquid Wrench all over the binding shaft....and then lifted the jack with the bottle jack (does that make sense?). After a few tries, and a few whacks with a big hammer....it finally released and I was able to remove it. I then installed my new power jack which has an emergency (no power) crank. Worked great! I can't wait to get power hooked up, so I can try the nifty remote control...

I continued with installing the belly pan today....got a couple more pieces done....until I made a wrong cut and wasted a sheet of expensive aluminum. There's always tomorrow.....

After spray painting my rub rail, I was going to repaint the blue stripe. But I decided to do something just for fun.... blue LEDs. I don't know if I will keep it, but it sure lights up the neighborhood. It will brighten my mood during the coming long winter....
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:10 AM   #159
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I want to follow you through Minneapolis the first time you go out with those rub rails lit up, Donn! Don't think of that sheet of belly pan as wasted - you will find uses for it. We're always using up odd pieces of aluminum for this and that on the trailer.
We did the hose test for water leaks before we insulated as Gene suggested too. Needs 2 people and about a half hour of water to determine any leaks. Water runs every which way so you really have to watch where it's coming in. Hopefully no leaks for you, but we had some to repair. None since.
Looking good!

Kay
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:40 AM   #160
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1972 25' Tradewind
Hopkins , Minnesota
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 457
Ha - I don't even think those LEDs would be legal on the highway....it would probably attract like moths to bright lights....and cause a pile-up. I'm hooking them into the running lights circuit with a switch, so I can have 'party lights' in camp....but I have a feeling the neighbors would ask me to turn them down a tad....
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