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Minno 07-19-2018 08:25 AM

Thank you, David. We plan on getting a re-appraisal of our trailer from Jim Polk now that everything's done, and it's been 5 or so years.


Harrysheets 07-22-2018 10:51 PM

Great work and a wonderful summary
I'm in process with my 1986 Sovereign (29' side bath) and found a lot of inspiration from your summary. Thanks for documenting and sharing!

We bought ours in 2015 and used it a few years with the kids. My goal is to have her back on the road in 2 years. Mine is very solid except for water damage to the rear floor. I plan on replacing the interior without many changes to the floor plan. I don't plan on pulling the walls except in the rear where I put in new epoxied marine plywood. Currently I have the new floor in on a POR15 painted frame and have insulated the belly.

I was hoping to ask you a couple questions.
1) You painted the interior in 2011 with BondZ primer. How is it holding up? Has the stickiness returned?
2) What would you do differently or what are you really happy you did?

Thanks for your help!

Minno 07-23-2018 07:15 AM

Thanks Scott. Except for a few touch ups where we scratched the paint when installing cabinets, we are happy with the paint job. It has held up very well. The trailer stays in MN throughout the winters, so goes through many freeze/thaw cycles (mostly freeze). We have had no issues with paint peeling or bubbling. We are fortunate that we never had the stickiness problem before or after painting. The most important thing, I think, is to clean the walls very well and rinse very very well before priming and painting.
The only thing we really would do differently is that we wish we had covered the bathroom floor with the floating cork instead of using sheet flooring in there. Reason is that floor is quite cold on cold mornings where the cork floor is not. Oh well. Maybe someday we'll change that....
Otherwise we are very happy with our build, and very much enjoy camping in our trailer.


Lisa77573 09-28-2018 10:14 AM

Thanks So Much!
Chris and Kay,

What a magnificent job you have done on your trailer! I have enjoyed reading through all your posts, such a wealth of information!

My husband and I are looking to refurbish a vintage AS trailer. We are about 5-6 years away from retirement and DIYíers. My husband, though a chemist by trade, is very proficient at a lot of things, including wiring, plumbing, carpentry, tiling and other things. Iím a musician and love sewing, quilting and cabinet making. We donít have a lot of fear doing stuff we know nothing about and spend a lot of time on You Tube. We love working on projects together.

I really appreciate all the work you both have done and shared with the forum. I have bookmarked your thread for our future project.

Congratulations on a job well done, and I pray you enjoy Little Girl for a very, very long time.


wcronin4 03-16-2019 06:49 AM

Pics of Tanks
Hi Kay

Iím still struggling with tank design. In my thread you described how you handled your tanks. Do you have any pics that would show the new tank arrangement before you put the floors down?


Minno 03-18-2019 08:53 AM

I will check with Chris and have him answer you - he's the mastermind on our build.


Minno 05-27-2019 10:58 AM

5 Attachment(s)
It's been awhile, but we finally have something new to post. This came from a discussion laying in bed one chilly morning about how nice it would be to have the water heater on a timer so we didn't to get out from under the warm covers to turn it on for morning showers. That got me to thinking that there must be a 12 VDC timer out there somewhere that would work.

After a bit of Google searching on the web, I found this:

Other places besides Amazon sell it. Search for "jvr 12 volt timer"

Pretty simple to install. It replaces the water heater switch, which eliminates the integral red fault light for when the burner fails to light. But, I got around that by adding a red led next to the timer.

Here's the original set up:

Attachment 341782

Water heater switch with a green LED next to it to show that water heater is on.

New timer installed:

Attachment 341788
(tried several time to rotate the picture)

Close up:

Attachment 341785
Notice the "OFF" in the time display. This shows that the timer is off completely and will not provide power to the water heater.

The Manual button cycles between "OFF", "AUTO", and "MAN" setting.

Attachment 341786
Display now shows "AUTO", so it will provide power to the water according to the schedule set in the timer. Up to 16 schedules can be set to turn the water heater (or any device you want to control with it) on and off.

Attachment 341787
This is when I was testing the timer. Red led on the timer is lit showing that power is being supplied to the water heater, and the red LED next to the timer is lit showing that the burner failed to light.

Seems to be a pretty nice timer. While the timer runs on 12 VDC or 12 VAC, it will control 12 VDC, 120 VAC, or 220 VAC devices. My only criticism is that I wish the display text that shows "OFF", "AUTO" or "MAN" was larger.


dbj216 05-27-2019 07:17 PM

I thought I was getting fancy with a water heater with electronic ignition so I didn't have to go out in the wind and rain to light the pilot light.

Your 12v timer is very novel indeed. Now when you hear the water heater light off, you know it's time to get up as well.

Me, I solved the hot water in the morning problem by just not taking showers. Who needs 'em?


wcronin4 09-28-2019 10:12 AM

Kay - when you stripped off your clear coat, how did you protect your finish? Walbernize?

dbj216 09-29-2019 06:32 PM

Hi: I'm butting in as usual. I found the modern polymer sealants work pretty well in reducing rain induced corrosion. I was never that impressed with the Walbernize product. But I think that stuff is for trailers with clear coat on them anyways.

We'll see what Lil Girl has on her skins to protect from those Minnesota winters.


Minno 09-30-2019 08:11 AM

We did Walbernize after a few years. Did it last summer, haven't done it this year (but probably should've). We will definitely do it next summer. There are a couple different Walbernize products, if I remember correctly. One is better for Clear Coat, the other for without.
Don't let Walbernize products freeze, BTW. It ruins them. Don't ask how we know!


wcronin4 10-01-2019 05:59 AM


Originally Posted by Minno (Post 2294039)
We did Walbernize after a few years. Did it last summer, haven't done it this year (but probably should've). We will definitely do it next summer. There are a couple different Walbernize products, if I remember correctly. One is better for Clear Coat, the other for without.
Don't let Walbernize products freeze, BTW. It ruins them. Don't ask how we know!


Hi Kay - thanks for getting back to me. Just want to make sure I have it right. You stripped off the original clear coat, you DID NOT apply a new clear coat and you protect the surface with a coat of wax. Correct? The outside of Faith looks rough, but Iím pretty sure reapplying a new clear coat is not in my budget at this point. So Iím trying to evaluate all my options.

Thanks, to you for all your input this last 10 months.

Keeping faith

Minno 10-01-2019 08:25 AM

Yes, Bill, that is correct. For the most part, on our trailer, stripping off the clear coat made a HUGE difference in the look of the trailer. We had corrosion around the top "edges" , especially on the front and rear. Chris took that off with Purple Polish by hand, and then we used Walbernize. She's not perfect by any means, but we are content with the look. We have zero desire to do a high polish. It would consume many hours we don't have. I think those are beautiful trailers, but too much work for us! Especially for a 31 ft trailer and short summers.
Glad we could be of help. We had many questions answered on the Forums while we were doing our trailer, and want to help others if we can. We still get ideas... it can be dangerous to read too much here!


wcronin4 02-16-2020 09:10 PM


I believe you mentioned that you used cork for flooring. What kind did you use? How has it held up?

Minno 02-17-2020 09:01 AM

It's a floating cork floor product we bought from Lumber Liquidators, comes in 1 x 2 ft pieces. I don't remember brand off the top of my head. It's very comfortable to walk on, easy to install, and keeps the floor warmer in cold weather (no insulation under floor in our trailer). The down side is: we had a window leak a couple of years after we installed the floor. Didn't realize the extent of water intrusion at the time, but noticed the following spring (a year later) that a couple of floor sections had a gap between them in that area. When we tried to bang them back together, the tongue and groove had swelled. We pulled that section of the floor up, and found black mold, and dampness. Luckily, we had a couple of sections left over, so were able to replace.
I love this floor, and we get a lot of compliments on the looks of it. It's easy to clean. However, we are vigilant about any potential leaks now!


wcronin4 02-17-2020 02:36 PM


Did you use the cork floor in the bath? How does it handle water spills?

Minno 02-19-2020 08:37 AM

We didn't, and I regret it now. We had bought a small piece of sheet vinyl for the bath before we put in the cork. I hated to waste the vinyl, so we used it. There's a DEFINITE difference in temperature between the cork and the vinyl floors!
Water beads up on the cork, it is factory sealed, and we also polyed it with 2 coats after it was down per manufacturers instructions. A spill that is quickly wiped up isn't a problem. Our problem was that water leaked in and sat on the floor (a puddle of it about 2 feet in diameter we think) for a period of time, so it was able to soak into the seams.
Our trailer is now in a shelter when not in use, so we don't have to worry about that happening again. When we're out with her, we can easily see water issues.


Minno 02-19-2020 08:40 AM

Just found the name of the flooring in our thread: company is Lisbon Cork. Style is Van Gogh.
MN Club friends of ours liked our floor so well, they replaced theirs with the same thing. They have had no issues with it.


Aerowood 02-19-2020 10:17 AM

Had to buy a "Dent Puller". ???????

Minno 02-20-2020 08:22 AM

Yeeaaaahhhhh. We were pulling out of the shelter in an absolute downpour for fall rally in September. I said "do you want me outside?" He said "no, it's raining, it'll be fine". We hit the back "corner" of the trailer on the front curbside post of the shelter, caught the rear bumper and bent it at a 90 degree angle. Got a big shallow dent in the trailer. He was able to get the bumper straightened out over this winter in his shop and reinforced the weld. We'll work on the dent in the spring.
I did the first dent in the rock guards on way to International at a very tight gas station when I caught the rock guard on street side against one of those concrete pump protectors. He was able to pound that one out, though, and no damage to the trailer.
Adds character. We've already talked to Luke about possibly doing the dent at International this year. (Bought an awning for rear window through him.) Chris bought a pneumatic dent puller though. I think he really wants to try it himself.


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