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Minno 09-09-2010 07:00 PM

Questions, questions, questions… :p

Wheel wells go with kay"s names Happy wife Happy life lol

Yes, she very happily pointed this out to me. :D

The Vista Views you pop riveted the middle of the shades Thru the shell or where?

There’s a cross rib at that location, so pop rivets were all we needed. The upper and lower row of rivets go through the shell. The middle area is set back from the shell to allow for some insulation.

looks good to see the inner skins going in

Thanks! We’re really pleased to be this far, and not into the end of October already.

Did you move the convertor to street side and what cabinet will it be in and why move it?

Yes, we moved it. Mostly for access because we plan on putting a shower stall in the bath instead of a bathtub. I didn’t want to have to crawl under the bed, or try to use the old battery hatch as access to the converter. It’ll be in the cabinet directly aft of the fridge (which is not moving) - between the fridge and the whell well. Plans are for the water pump to be in the same general location as well. This new cabinet will have a countertop on it for a microwave which we’ll probably never use until we retire. :)

The permanent umbilical cord. I was reading a thread on theft deterrents and a removable cord will prevent thief from having lights and brakes. Since most thefts occur at night they would be less likely to tow away w/o lights. Food for thought.

Yah – this was another one of our debates on what to do. Reasons we went with a permanent umbilical cord: The new battery box will cover the old plug. I didn’t want to move the plug and drill another hole in the front skin. I’ve had to replace several umbilical connectors over the years due to corrosion (both on TV and trailer), and my thoughts are the extra plug is another source of failure and corrosion and eventual replacement. I’m sure others will disagree.

Finally, I don’t see how not having an umbilical to plug into will really stop a thief from taking the trailer. If they want it bad enough, they’ll take it. And then drive a few blocks or miles, and then figure out how to get lights. A more effective deterrent in my mind to mix up the wiring on the plug, so that the brakes energize when a stop light/turn signal is activated on the TV. That’ll slow them down a tad, and perhaps attract attention. Means your trailer can’t be towed by a standardly wired TV, but personally, not something I would care about if that were my goal. And if I did care, I can make an adapter that stays locked up.

You resealed vista view window from inside is this a temporary repair. I thought it would be best to reseal from outside.

Well, this was fixing a mistake I made. When I resealed that vista view on the outside last year, for some reason I fail to remember, I never cleaned out the old silicone that was around the inside of the glass and sealed it with vulkum. The old silicone job was awful, meaning that it was done poorly and didn’t really seal the window. Over the winter and this summer, the glass had pulled away from the outside vulkum in a couple of spots on the front curved part of the glass because of that. So, I cleaned the silicone out, and sealed the inside of the glass with vulkum. Once it fully cures, I’ll go back to the outside, clean the vulkum off, and reseal the outside of the glass. It’ll be a couple of weeks before I can get back to it, but it’s keeping the water out now because the inside vulkum has pushed the glass back into contact with the outside vulkum. We've had enough rain lately that I'm sure water is no longer getting in around the glass.

I also look forward to new posts from lil girl and glad to see your progress. Maybe someday I can see her in person.

Yes, we hope to meet you and see your trailer someday as well! Like you, we look forward to your posts and enjoy seeing your progress. And feel your pain on your setbacks.


Minno 09-21-2010 11:10 AM

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While in CT, we stopped by a little curio shop in Mystic, and I found a pink flamingo. Not the normal plastic type, but a cute little metal one that moves a bit in the breeze. Kinda like a drunken sailor at times. She (he?) made the trip home in the trunk of my car, and is now gracing the tongue area of Little Girl. Probably the only pink flamingo we'll ever own... :lol:

Kay thinks I'm nuts. :innocent: Actually, she's right quite often.


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Minno 09-25-2010 06:42 PM

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Got a few more things done today.

I ran 10 gauge wires for the battery connections through the front umbilical connector, and installed the fuse block and ground/neutral bus. These will eventually get mounted to the floor or the wall. Not sure exactly where they’ll go yet, but we’ll figure it out once we get to building the front interior.
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I also installed the fridge 110 VAC outlet. This makes the first outlet installed on the interior. This will eventually be enclosed inside the back of the fridge cabinet.
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I cut some left over pex pipe I had from a hot water heat project inside the house to use as wire protectors for the brake and battery wires where they’ll run inside the frame. I pulled the brake wire through one of them, and will run the battery wires through the other two eventually. Probably next year once I build the battery box on the a-frame.
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Then I turned my attention to the wheel wells. I wanted to seal them against critters, so I'm riveting them to the skins and installing the rub rail on top of the openings. I also wanted to avoid having the rivets pull through the black plastic liners like they had before (when we bought her, both wheel well liners has pulled completely away from the skins – all the rivets had pulled through the plastic). I cut a 1 inch wide strip of 1/16” thick aluminum to back up the rivets and help hold everything together. That worked pretty well, but as I was trying to get a decent picture of the inside of the wheel well, I noticed two of the rivets didn’t really grab the back up plate. They’re located where I had made one of the repairs with fiberglass and epoxy, so the liner is thicker there. Tomorrow, I’ll drill out a few of the rivets and grind down the liner a bit, and then re-install the rivets. I’ll also do the other side of the trailer tomorrow. I may clean the duct tape residue off around the wheel wells too. :blush:
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MTsafari 09-25-2010 10:45 PM

You are a man of many talents, Chris. I'm envious of so many folks on this forum who seem to know so much about how to do things the right way. How did you learn to do all this stuff?

Minno 09-26-2010 08:43 AM

Thanks MTsafari. Life long learning I guess from my father, my father-in-law, two high school classes (shop and electronics/electricity), and then many years of self training by completely remodeling and rewiring our house over the course of many years. And somewhat of a natural talent when it comes to woodworking. Watching many years of Norm (New Yankee Workshop) and This Old House has helped a lot too. :) Plus Kay knows quite a bit as well having learned stuff from her dad and our remodeling projects. The really new stuff for us is metal working. My oldest son helped me with welding skills, which came in handy for the frame repairs. I think the biggest thing we have going for us is we’re not afraid to try anything. Although making a new front headliner seems to be hugely daunting task coming up.

Minno 10-02-2010 06:28 PM

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Last Sunday and today, I worked on sealing up Little Girl the rest of the way for winter. Started last Sunday by drilling out some of the starboard (curb side) wheel well to skin rivets I had installed, ground down the plastic wheel well, and reinstalled the rivets. This time they grabbed all the way through the backer plate I made. I then riveted the other wheel well opening, using the same technique.
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Since it’ll be awhile before we install a water heater, I cut a piece of aluminum and patched the water heater hole by attaching the patch with stainless steel screws. #6 sheet metal screws go through the rivet holes perfectly to hold the patch in place.
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Today, I took apart the old battery box cover, mostly to remove the black plastic insert on the inside of the hatch. I then cut two pieces of aluminum to back up the outside skin piece and help fill in the gap left in the cover frame where the plastic insert used to be, and I reassembled the cover. Reassembled mostly anyway – I left the hinge off the bottom of the cover for now.
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I installed a D gasket on the cover frame, and then installed the cover in place on the trailer. I used a scrap piece of angle aluminum to hold the bottom of the hatch in place since I have not installed the old battery box yet. Between the angle aluminum and the hatch lock, the cover is held in place very well and does not move. The gasket seals well and no water leaks. We need to wait until we install the bath/shower before I know how much space I’ll have to install the old battery box (which will be used as a small outside storage hatch since the batteries will be moved to the tongue).
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Inside the trailer, we stuffed brass wool into the gaps between the water heater patch and floor, and between the battery box hatch and floor. We did this to keep mice and other critters out of the trailer over the winter. I’ve had great success stopping mice from getting into our house using steel wool, so the brass wool will hopefully be just as successful.
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We also spent a couple of hours inside Little Girl measuring for bathtub and shower pans this afternoon. Using the dimensions we printed out from several web sites, we played with different sized shower pans, tubs, and step tubs for the bathroom. We finally narrowed it down to one step tub that we’ll order next year that will fit in the space and still be big enough for us to comfortably shower in. Well, that’s the plan anyway! :)


Minno 10-16-2010 05:01 PM

The Great Denture Cleanser/Water Tank Experiment!!!!

It was suggested to me that in order to clean the grunge from algae growth in our water tank, that I try denture tablets. It seemed like a good idea to me! The alternative to cleaning the tank is buying a new one, and we'd like to avoid that if at all possible. Keep in mind that we DRINK our water so we really do want it clean, not just sanitized scum (I'd already sanitized it all). The tank is currently out of the trailer so it's easier to visualize the innards right now.
I laid the tank on a piece of 3/4 inch plywood right side up across 3 stumps by the fire pit. Then I added 2 boxes worth of denture cleaning tablets (90 tablets per package) through the larger opening in the end of the tank - we have a 50 gallon tank. The tablets were $3.99 a box at Wally World, I believe, and we bought 3 boxes to experiment with. Then I added water to the tank until it was 1/3 full. We let it sit for a half hour or so until the water had turned fairly clear. Then we drained the tank as best we could (it's impossible to get that tank completely empty - no drain hole in the BOTTOM where it should be!). After peering through the opening into the tank to see the results, we are very pleased. It looks as if the denture tablets did take the grunge out. We will continue our experiment in the spring with a few more boxes of tablets and clean the entire tank this way, once we have put a drain hole in the bottom. Chris is planning on getting a plastic welding set-up over the winter to fabricate a grey tank, and should be able to do some modification to the fresh water tank that way too(we hope).
This seems like a fairly cheap way to clean an icky tank. It will need a REALLY good rinse afterwards and resanitizing. I am quite happy with it so far!


Minno 10-17-2010 10:08 AM

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In addition to the water tank, we’ve done a few other things over the last couple of weeks. One is we took the tarp frame down since she’s water tight now. Our neighbors are probably as pleased as we are that the frame is gone! :blush:
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We primed the floor with oil based primer to seal it yesterday.
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I also crawled underneath and snugged up all the elevator bolts and banged them over with a hammer like Airstream had done when they assembled the trailer.
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Today’s project is to empty the garage and store all the AS stuff back inside Little Girl for the winter. So, kinda a sad weekend trailer-wize. :sad: Our Starstream was winterized yesterday, and Little Girl will pretty much be closed up for the winter today. House projects will keep us busy over the winter (granite tiling the kitchen counters & new kitchen sink is the big one). Towards spring, I’ll start experimenting with plastic welding.


wasagachris 10-17-2010 10:54 AM

Hi Chris With the painted walls and now the painted floor little girl looks like Mr. Clean's trailer inside. Very very white. It really makes the inner (sorry outer) wheel wells stand out. On the outside she looks like a double amputee with out axles.
Reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy. You might be a redneck if your saving up to get new tires on the house. LOL.
I'm singing that song from the wallmart commercial. It's the most wonderful time of the year. the park is closing today and I now have 6 months off to work on my trailer full time. Too bad I only have about 6 weeks before it's either too cold or snowy to do anything.

Minno 10-17-2010 11:08 AM

Hi Chris - Actually, the walls are not new paint. That's the way she was when we got her, with the exception of we pulled the vinyl off the rear headliner. Wall painting will wait for spring now.

What would Jeff say if you're saving up for new axels as well as tires for your house? :D

Enjoy your time being closed and working on your trailer! Even if is is only for a few weeks before it's sub-zero...


wasagachris 10-17-2010 11:43 AM

New axles and tire then your'e upper class rednecks.

Minno 10-17-2010 12:26 PM


Originally Posted by wasagachris (Post 907550)
New axles and tire then your'e upper class rednecks.

You betcha', eh? :rolleyes:

Minno 11-28-2010 03:38 PM

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Not too much has been happening here on Little Girl. However, Menards had white fiberglass panels on sale, so we went and picked up 3 of them for future use as a shower liner.
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Don’t fret about the little bit of water on the floor in the first pic. That came from snow we collected on the panels as we unloaded them from the truck and carried them back to Little Girl for winter storage. I cleaned it all up after I took the pictures.

While there, we were looking at the fake tin ceiling panels they carry for both ceilings and backsplashes. Kay pointed out that they even have trim pieces that will cover the raw edge of the “tin” panels. I looked at them and thought that they might be perfect for the vista view shades. In Little Girl, one Vista view shade is missing completely, and when we disassembled the other two, we discovered that only one of the shades still had the plastic edge pieces that go over the shade and slide in the runners. These looks like a almost perfect replacement.

So today, while we were in our heat wave (40 degrees F), I did some experimenting with the trim pieces and a shade. They fit inside the runner perfectly, and also fit over the shade, albeit loosely. Some epoxy or vulkum should hold the trim piece onto the shade. We’ll figure that out come Spring.
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Here are a couple of pics of the trim pieces. That are 18” long, so they will need to be cut down. But at 75 cents apiece, I think they’ll be a cheap replacement for the missing pieces of the shades.
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wasagachris 11-28-2010 03:48 PM

Hey Chris I`ll make you a deal. Set up a large tarp vertically and keep all the snow there will you and you can have all my left over parts. I`ve only got about half inch here so far and it should melt tomorrow.
I read another thread where a member used auto door edge trim on the VV shades. It fit great and ahd the same profile and shape as original trim. It is a squeeze fit (tapered closed at the outer edge). It`s available at any auto store and sold by the roll. It comes in colors or chrome.
BTW I have 4 out of 5 pans done now. The last one that was broken in half, my first repair didn`t take. Second one seems to be holding. Tip don`t use original holes on vertical strips where cracks exist.
I have another post to do in a couple of hours regarding shell finish. I`ve just got a little bit of rubbing to do.(Hint)

Minno 11-28-2010 04:04 PM


Originally Posted by wasagachris (Post 921586)
Hey Chris I`ll make you a deal. Set up a large tarp vertically and keep all the snow there will you and you can have all my left over parts. I`ve only got about half inch here so far and it should melt tomorrow.

I'll get right on that! :)


Originally Posted by wasagachris (Post 921586)
I read another thread where a member used auto door edge trim on the VV shades. It fit great and ahd the same profile and shape as original trim. It is a squeeze fit (tapered closed at the outer edge). It`s available at any auto store and sold by the roll. It comes in colors or chrome.

Thanks! I'll look for that at my auto parts store this week.

Minno 01-01-2011 03:58 PM

Between yesterday and today we ordered our Christmas presents to each other:
A new water tank from Inland: finally comes down to wanting to TRUST the water we're drinking and we just can't no matter how well we think we've cleaned that old tank!

A converter from Best Converter-Chris went with the 60 AMP since it was $15 more that the 45amp, and you never know when you'll want it!

A step tub from Pelland. We had played with different tub measurements and configurations last fall and decided on this one: 32 x 24" with a 22" diameter tub area. Fit's where we will want it to. We bought the plastic wall for it a few weeks ago at Menards when they had a good sale.

A toilet from Vintage Trailer: Sealand Lite. We like that Vintage had the best price since they also automatically include the optional sprayer that everyone else charges $50 or $60 for, so their price was the bestest that we found. We could have gone with the Sealand 500 but the one we ordered, you can add water to the bowl, and we know from experience that we like that option. We don't have it in our current trailer and miss it.

We're starting to collect things for spring work on Little Girl. We plan to have Pex and all by spring. Once we sell our Excursion, later this month we can collect some more!

Happy New Year! (back to tiling the kitchen counter tops :) )


Minno 01-08-2011 09:11 AM

Presents and new toys are fun, even if you can’t do anything with them until spring…

This week, the converter and fresh water tank both arrived! Both were packed very well for shipping. I think the UPS guy was happy we had a layer of fresh snow on the ground so he could drag the water tank box up my driveway. :rolleyes:

The water tank is all pretty and white and clean. :)

Learned something about the converter that I wasn’t expecting. I bought the Progressive Dynamics 4300 30 amp power center with a 60 amp converter/charger. What I didn’t realize, and never thought about really, was that the converter/charger needs a 110 VAC 15 amp circuit breaker to provide power to it. Fortunately, the power center can hold 7 AC circuit breakers plus the main, so there is one extra space available to add a 15 amp breaker. I bought one 30 amp single breaker for the main, and three twin 20 amp breakers to power my 6 circuits in Little Girl. A second order to get a twin 30-15 amp circuit breaker resolves that minor problem. Basically a $9 mistake on my part, which I can live with easy enough. Plus, I’m betting Best Converter will let me return the single 30 amp breaker.

Waiting for the toilet and tub now. And Spring. :flowers:

Trex 01-08-2011 01:28 PM

So...when can you guys start working on your trailer again? March? Trex "Airstream Nomad

Minno 01-08-2011 01:41 PM

It depends on how early spring arrives. That's quite variable in Minnesota - we could have 60's or snow. We probably won't try to do anything before mid-April. With the amount of snow currently on the ground, mid-April sounds about right. It's a loooooooooooooooooooong winter! Subzero highs predicted for next week! :)


Minno 01-24-2011 04:38 PM

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Received the new step tub and toilet last week! :) Both are unpacked and sitting in Little Girl waiting for spring to arrive.

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