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SmokelessJoe 02-27-2007 08:21 PM


We trashed the original flimsy sandwich-wall, which held the pocket door, and rebuilt it.

We are making a new “sandwich”, using two mirror image walls - with the pocket door and gas lines to the air conditioner hidden inside.

The aluminum strutting was used on the rear panel to support the pocket door hardware.

The other side needs the same design as well, to support the AC.

All the old plastic trim at the edges of aluminum panels was replaced with new pvc J mold and caulked - all through the trailer, including the bathroom.

The walls were then primed two coats and painted two coats. The molding blends into the walls very nicely now. There will be no yellowing with age (of the plastic) this way.

The rivets that hold the panels and trim together were also painted out like this.

The black tank is now UNDER the floor. The ceramic toilet will sit right on the Marmoleum floor. The lino runs seamless, wall to wall, even under the shower pan.

Tearing everything apart and rebuilding it, even if in the same layout, is probably easier than trying to rebuild something like this pocket door wall in place. You have more options starting with a clean slate.

I wish now that I had thought harder about how I might have added the water supply and fixtures to that same wall. I guess I thought squeezing the pocket door and the air conditioner piping in there would be trouble enough.

I’ll send pictures as we build the pocket door and mount the AC.

Thanks for your interest.


bhayden 02-28-2007 12:01 PM

Thanks Sergei,

I'll have to look back on the thread for info on moving the black tank. To be honest I haven't really studied the stock layout. I do know the size of the grey water tank is WAY to small. I think it was from the day running the grey water out a hose to just about anywhere was common practice.

Since I don't want to get into modifying the bed I'll be limited to the existing space for the shower bulkhead. Shrinking the size of the already too small shower isn't a winner either. I'm guessing that a tubular aluminum frame work would fit it I was willing to either give up the pocket door or move it to the other side. I think that would also let me run the plumbing up that wall.

What are you doing for a shower door or curtain? I've looked at the ones that roll up like a window blind except off to the side instead of up and down. They seem like a nice concept. Then again just creating a wet shower of the whole bathroom might be the easiest for cleaning and provide the most elbow room.

So the rub rails in the shower cover up seams in the wall skins? That make sense, sort of. I wonder if it would be possible to just fill the seams with something like JB Weld for Aluminum and then paint the whole shebang like you did. I'm still hoping I can find a home fiberglass surround that can be cut and fit but that's probably wishful thinking.


SmokelessJoe 02-28-2007 02:25 PM


For information on the new tanks, go to post #37 on page 3 and take the link from there.

Yes, I used a rounded J molding, pvc, on all the seams. I also caulked under the edge.

I think I used auto body filler for some of the holes. Re-riveting was done on the others.

All were primed and painted to blend into the walls.

Don’t know what I’m going to do for a curtain or curtain wall yet. The pull-out idea doesn’t work because of the curvature of the Airstream rear wall.


SmokelessJoe 03-01-2007 09:25 AM

Trimming the shower wall
7 Attachment(s)
Phil and me trimmed out the shower bulkhead wall last night.

First we marked for position, and then removed the wall we’d previously squared, leveled and mounted.

Attachment 33224

The trim chosen is this about 1/8” PVC cove molding. We taped the edges of the profile with painter’s masking tape for protection, and then gently jig-sawed around the edge of the plywood/aluminum/ acrylic sandwich to get an even better fit.

Attachment 33225
Then Phil applied caulk to the inside of the cove molding using Mono Bath and Kitchen caulk.

Attachment 33226
We then fastened the molding around the profile, using small brads to hold it in place until we could get the wall back in place.

Attachment 33227
After the wall was screwed back in place, Phil ran a final bead of caulk around the white wall.
Attachment 33228

Then we caulked the rear of the wall panel as well.

Attachment 33229

The pocket door hardware, on its way from Indiana, will mount on this wall.
Then we will erect the other matching wall for the new "sandwich". The blower head for the A/C split unit will mount on this wall, facing into the living quarters.

Attachment 33230
Here’s the wall and shower pan in place. We’ll trim around the pan were it meets the two walls, with an aluminum molding about 1 1/2” high.

There will be a 1/8” thick aluminum kick plate built for the front edge of the pan.

It’s a very “chrome and brilliant white” space and I like it a lot.


bhayden 03-01-2007 01:17 PM

Looks great Sergei. Now that I see it together I understand the placement of the acrylic sheet. Much better idea than the contact/wall paper in the original. What were they thinking?! Truly an inspiration to get going on the work to morph ours from merely a place to hang wet cloths to a usable shower.


3Ms75Argosy 03-01-2007 04:59 PM

so clean!
I too removed the rear fiberglass vanity in the rear... but am running into troubles sealing the shower/wall area the is closest to the rear window. The curve of the tub matches the old increasing radius of the fiberglass vanity (which hid the plumbing previously). How are you filling in this gap and trimming with the aluminum?

bhayden 03-01-2007 05:22 PM

Are you still towing with an Astro? We're using a Safari van and I'd like to compare notes.

If I'm understanding Sergei he's removed all the original plastic pieces except the shower pan itself and is using only the original aluminum interior skins for the surround. He had to of course plug some of the holes and used a small piece of J molding to close the gap between the upper and lower pieces. No need for the piece that runs along the back since he embedded the plumbing in the outer wall.

It's too bad that rear window is so wide. It would be really nice to NOT have it intrude into the shower space from both a cleanup and privacy point of view. The "frosted glass" overlay Sergei talks about might be the answer to the privacy issue. :o That whole rear bath idea looked better in the show room than it works in real life.


3Ms75Argosy 03-01-2007 06:12 PM

Hi Bernie!
I've got to update the 'ol profile. I've got a 1Ton Dodge Van B350. Even with the 350 V8 I crammed into the Astro, I didn't have enough brakes.

If you see Sergei's last photo, you'll see that the shower pan pulls away from the wall, leaving a gap that goes from nothing to about a inch from the wall (from the sliding door wall it's nothing. Closer to the toilet it gets to be about an inch). I too pulled out my plastic counter, wall combo. I'm custom (with a "K"ustom) now. I put in a crude birch plywood countertop/cabinets and have a great stainless steel sink that sits ontop of the counter.

I haven't completed it yet as we still keep toying with junking the interior and doing something simular to what Sergei is doing - except maybe with a mid bath.

SmokelessJoe 03-01-2007 08:09 PM

5 Attachment(s)
No Marc, there is no gap whatsoever between the rear wall and the shower pan. It fits tight. There will be no gap to hide with the trim. The trim is just to complete the transition between pan and wall.

Can you zoom in on the photo above? I’m sure you’ll see the perfectly tight fit if you look again.

Could it be that I pulled everything out and started again while you left the pocket door wall in place? Perhaps that’s why you have a space, if our baths started out the same.

Here’s my original set up, showing the pan next to the toilet.

Attachment 33262

To the other side, the old molded vanity top and sink.
Attachment 33263

I pulled out the old sink. My new sink is a stainless salad bowl from IKEA. It will sit ATOP the counter, opposite side of the bathroom. It cost me $19.00.
Attachment 33264

The plastic back splash that I pulled out is here. Like yours?

Attachment 33265

Here’s the same shroud from the rear.

When I got rid of this contraption I gained space. I imbedded the plumbing IN THE REAR WALL, well insulated and further protected with a heater tape.

Attachment 33266
To be contuniued because I've run out of photo posting space...........

SmokelessJoe 03-01-2007 08:15 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here is the miniature shower mixer, and union. I think they’re Italian made for marine use. I have a nice European style hand shower that screws into the union and hangs at eye level.

Attachment 33267

This is the rear of the cabin after I painted it in a hard, lustrous epoxy like finish from POR 15.

Attachment 33268

You can see the miniature fixtures above the pan.

Can you see the white cabinets directly opposite, to the right as you enter the rear bath space?

That’s where the new sink and faucet will be mounted.

Now, rather than the throne sitting on a box and all the crowding, there will be smooth, clean lines and lots of WHITE. The white ceramic toilet will sit in the centre, on the floor, as in your home.

If you like Ikea or Northern European design or minimalism you’ll like this. If you like gingham and cherry wood you won’t.


3Ms75Argosy 03-02-2007 05:21 PM

No No...
our house is built by Ikea... well, not really, but almost everything inside! Ingvar likes to come and visit often!:D ;)

Ah... I think if I moved the pan forward, there wouldn't be a gap. Thank you! Ours looked the same before too.

Can't wait to see more!

SmokelessJoe 03-05-2007 02:34 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Phil suggested using the butyl tape they use at WILTSIE TRUCK BODIES to attach the aluminum molding to the shower walls.
Attachment 33494

It works beautifully and is waterproof.
Attachment 33495

After we glued the pieces in place we used white bath caulk all around. No screws. No seams. Looks terrific.
Attachment 33496

This is the sink cabinet and “sink” across the room, just for position.
Attachment 33497


SmokelessJoe 03-05-2007 08:28 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The pocket door arrived from Indiana today. I’ve been painting the actual door itself and we’ll hang the hardware and mount the door Wednesday night.

Meanwhile Phil has started to build the stand for the LG compressor. He also did some more work on the neat little box that he built to house the Webasto heater.


SmokelessJoe 03-07-2007 12:14 PM

The original Argosy was finished poorly
1 Attachment(s)
Every time you opened a door or a drawer you were met with protruding screws or unfinished plywood.

We are taking more care in the re-model. Even the inside of the pocket door system will be painted, not left rough.


bhayden 03-07-2007 01:11 PM

Looking terrific. What are you using for molding between the shower pan and the outer walls? Also, the J molding you spoke of for between the upper and lower skins; could you post a link or mfg part number for those? Lookin' at that nice clean shower surround and bulkhead is getting me motivated to rip ours apart.


SmokelessJoe 03-07-2007 08:07 PM

We’ve hung the pocket door
2 Attachment(s)
The track operates very smoothly.

Next, the inside facing wall that completes the “sandwich”.
On Saturday we will do that and probably start to install the bathroom cabinetry on the opposite side of the cabin.

That’s needed because the pocket door hardware will attach there.

Getting the “sandwich wall” up also allows us to proceed with the LG “Art Cool” split system air conditioner.


SmokelessJoe 03-08-2007 07:29 AM


The aluminum molding around the shower pan radius is a simple 1-1/2” “L” angle with a 1/4” lip. Available at Home Depot and such in the department were they usually stock random metal J molds, trims, angles, etc.

Got mine at Home Depot.

The very inexpensive plastic J mold used on all my panel edges is the kind they use in plastic sheeting wall systems. Got mine at the local small town lumberyard.

Similar idea to what Airstream did in your original Argosy except that this trim won’t become yellow and brittle because you will paint it out with your wall paint.

If you PM me a mailing address I can mail you a couple small sample pieces.


Marmaduke 03-08-2007 09:00 AM


Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe
Dear Diary:

I went to see the Sprinter salesman before Christmas.

I’m not saying that I drove home with cold feet about my Mini Cooper on a flatbed pulling the Argosy idea but the thought of spending $50,000 on a tow vehicle would probably make anyone consider things very carefully.

Perhaps I should take time for a Reality Check?

I am 69 and before I know it, if I’m lucky, I’ll be 75.

Maybe loading and unloading the Mini, even driving one, is a better idea when you are 55.

Shouldn’t I consider the option of a van, not just the flatbed plan?

Often when I’m conflicted or uncertain I sit down a type “notes to myself”

Like these:

Sprinter Cab and Chassis flatbed, hauling MINI and pulling Argosy


Super Cool idea
A unique dream project that I’ve been planning for 4 or
5 years and told everyone about (I bought the Mini
with this plan in mind)
Have your Mini and use it too


Giving up on a dream is an emotional hurdle to
More ups and downs, as we used to say in the Circus
Two vehicles to maintain, insure, license, operate
(savings on insurance and licensing about $2500 annually- $12,500 over 5 years)
Limited to one passenger
Flat bed to build
Two vehicles to steal (maybe together)
Too much consumerism? Do I really need a “toy

Sprinter Van pulling Argosy


May not be totally dull and ordinary, but definitely
lacks the pizzazz of a Jet Black Flatbed
Giving up my Mini – do I really want a VAN for daily use?


No ups and downs, less to do helps preserve my energy
Sale of Mini helps fund the project
Savings on insurance and licensing about $2500
annually- $12,500 over 5 years)
Savings on Mini maintenance, probably $1000.
Extra seating in case family members, grandchildren
want to come along
Ready made large cargo space vs. need to build possum
Lighter load perhaps equals more miles per
No flatbed to build
A van can be a mini motorhome for day excursions
whereas the Mini has more limitations
Less operational cost (insure, license, maintain,
Less exposure (leave one unit behind to steal instead of
High seat driving comfort – it’s getting harder and harder to get in and out of the little MINI

Maybe forum members can offer some advice?


I have a 76 24ft Argosy that is great w/a 2000 Yukon or Tahoe. Plus you get extra storage (generator/grill) in the truck & didn't lose any seating.

3Ms75Argosy 03-08-2007 09:12 AM

Coming together now!
As usual, looks first rate! The L trim didn't seem to have any issues bending around corners - looked pretty simple. What "special" glue does the box truck factory use that works on the aluminum trim?

The J trim - is that what they use with plastic bathroom walls?


malconium 03-08-2007 11:48 AM

This is the first I have seen of this thread and I like what I see. There are some good ideas here that I might be able to use on my unit once I get to that point. I am working on re-installing the interior skins now.


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