1973 Compact Jr - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2009, 12:11 AM   #71
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Name: Dana
Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
California
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Thank you, Donna. I thought you would enjoy it.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:21 PM   #72
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Washington
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Hi Dana,
I've been reading your posts with much interest. Your trailer is getting better all the time!
Nice fridge you found, that's for sure. Good hunting.

That drain piece you mentioned, the Gentec. I just cut it out, which was not easy. I am just going to route the sink drain out the same opening, but without that gizmo. What is it supposed to do, anyway?

I intend to drain gray water into a portable tank; I've seen rolling tanks others use. I don't have a tank yet, though. I know the water can be dumped at dumping stations. I don't recall any limits on amounts, from my camping experience.

Your photo of the kitchen counter rip-out looks like what I've been working on; it took a while to figure out how to approach the rebuild. I ended up reusing the piece in the back ( it's painted gray in my photo) as a starting point and going on from there with a new structural wood frame.

I originally thought I'd attach the fiberglass 'hood' to the new countertop with nails first, but when I test-fit just the fiberglass surround, I realized I better fasten that in first, by itself. To fit both at once would have been too difficult for me to maneuver. The right side of the fiberglass piece does not nail to the countertop anyway; it nails to a frame member. I didn't realize this till I noticed the nail holes were lower than the others. At least on mine they are.

I cut out a new counter and glued laminate on it today; tomorrow I'll cut out the openings, and install the counter.

Good luck on your project; it's looking great.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:29 AM   #73
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Name: Dana
Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
California
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HI Fran, it's really nice to hear from you again and see what you've been up to.

I finally realized the outer ring on the Gentec drain/air gap combo on the outside screws off, and managed to do so. Like you, I decided that it would not be useful to me in the future and removed it. The unit is designed to provide an air vent/gap to the hookup so you can have a sewer hose connected to the drain. I didn't like the idea of having the vent at that low a level, where the sewer stink could come in through the windows. It certainly does not meet modern plumbing code.

My current plan is to replumb the sink without the trap in the cabinet area. I'll route the drain to the wall, then through the floor. When I use the sink there will be a jug or bucket underneath outlet. The rest of the time there will be a stopper in the sink.

Doing this gives me much more room in the cabinet area under the sink. I resized the cabinets so fresh water jugs (either 1 gal or 2.5 gal) can be stored on the floor, and a drawer or two can be put in between the sink and the jug storage area.

I'm just barely ahead of what you posted -- yesterday I got the hood, countertop, and faceframe in, today I finished off the back supports, built the box for the drawers under the cooktop, and made the drawers except for their faces. Tomorrow I plan to make the drawer faces and install the drawers. I was able to squeeze in drawers that are 20" from front to back! The top drawer is nominally 5" high, 20" wide, and 20"deep, while the bottom drawer is 8"x20"x20". These sizes are nominal -- after accounting for the thickness of the side rails and back the interior dimensions are 18 5/8" wide and 19" front to back.

Backing up for a moment, I made the lower cabinet 35 1/2" high, and that was just perfect for positioning the hood where it belonged. I installed the lower cabinet first, attached the countertop to the hood through the old nail holes (but used screws), then carried in the hood-countertop unit and jiggled, wiggled, uttered a few magic incantations that I hope no one overheard, wiggled some more and got it all into place.

I'll post pictures tomorrow ---
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:52 AM   #74
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Francene: in your pictures, is that a vapour barrier or foam in the kitchen redo, and if foam what kind of foam and how easy was it to install and are you happy with it?

If you want to start another thread, so as to not hijack Dana's that might help.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:19 PM   #75
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Name: Dana
Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
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Hi Kent, I don't mind if Fran decides to answer your question here.

If you prefer that that your question be answered the thread she already started about her own trailer you can post your query there. Here's the link:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=34918
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:11 AM   #76
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Name: Dana
Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
California
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It's time for more pictures!

I am rebuilding the kitchen area of my trailer, and I wanted to know what I should do with the sink water. So I went to a local California State Park to see how people dealt with graywater on trailers that have no holding tanks, which mostly meant I looked at what tent trailers were doing. I felt that California would be as persnickety as anybody, so what I saw there would be OK most places.

The result of my little study is that people drain into almost any kind of container. I talked to the campground host and was told that people emptied the containers at either the deep sinks outside the toilet buildings, or in the flush toilets themselves. The camp host watered her plants (she had flower boxes at her site) with her sink water. I was both relieved and surprised at how laid-back the whole issue was.

The major surprise was that open tubs could be used. I would have thought they would attract squirrels and other wildlife.

Some examples:

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Old 08-07-2009, 12:32 AM   #77
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Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
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With my new-found confidence that I didn't need no stinking sewer hose, I didn't need a trap either. Thus I could reclaim a large amount of the space under the sink that was taken up with the long drain tailpiece and the trap -- Yeaaa!

I also wanted to see if the old furnace was still usable. If not, a new furnace would be shaped differently and I would need to take that into account as I rebuilt the kitchen area.

First I wanted to test the combustion chamber for leaks, because if it leaked then the furnace was unusable. I noted that the inner vent pipe was the exhaust, while the outer was the air intake. So I tested for leaks by taking a garbage bag and wrapping it tightly around the outer ventpipe, while leaving plenty of air in the bag. When the seal was complete, I tried to collapse the bag -- that gave me an idea of how large any leaks were. The bag deflated very slowly, so at least the combustion chamber had no large leaks.

The manual says that at least once a year the burner should be removed and cleaned, and to also remove any mud wasp and paper wasp nests that were found. So I removed the burner and it looked pretty much OK, but some of the openings were partially closed with debris. This is what it looked like after I cleaned it up:

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Do you remember the earlier pictures showing the wasp nests in the vent? Well, here's what I found in the firebox:

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So I cleaned out all the debris and reassembled the furnace. Today I tested it and it lit and ran fine. So it will be going back into the trailer.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:57 AM   #78
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Name: Dana
Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
California
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I had built a new face frame for the kitchen cabinet, but also needed to make a rear frame as well. The original design had used a board that was fiberglassed to the side of the trailer at floor level as an anchor point for the rear frame, but that board had rotted out. So I needed a new anchor point.

I decided to extend the plywood floor all the way to the side of the trailer. I did this both to provide an anchor point for the new rear cabinet frame and also to allow me to use a little trolley to roll the water jugs into the storage area under the sink. The wheels needed a relatively flat floor -- thus the extension.

I got new longer frame bolts and ran them through the new floor extension. I also needed to tie the old floor and the new extension together somehow, so for now I am using a nail strap.

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I installed the faceframe of the cabinet. Then I screwed the new countertop to the hood, and installed the hood-countertop unit on top of the faceframe. You can see I used a scissor jack and length of 2x4 to hold the rear of the countertop in position while I took measurements and built the rear frame.

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Instead of using pop rivets like Hunter did when they originally built the trailer, I used 10-24 screws with washers and nylock nuts to bolt the hood to the trailer roof.

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I took out the old external sink drain and the city water hookup and used chrome hole covers to plug the holes in the trailer wall -- I wanted to get it sealed up but making it pretty and unblemished is pretty far down the list right now...

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Old 08-07-2009, 01:15 AM   #79
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Name: Dana
Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
California
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Now for the good stuff!

I was just able to squeak in 20" drawer slides under the cooktop -- so much more room than the original drawers!

After cleaning out all the stuff that had leapt out of the old drawers and fallen under the heater, I was determined that anything that was in a drawer was going to stay in that drawer as the trailer bounced down the road. So even though the slides I am using do not require a full cabinet box, I built one anyway just to keep stuff from flying out.

I also built the drawer back as tall as I could so stuff wouldn't leap out the back either. I will have to add a bit of a wall at the back of the cabinet that extends from the countertop down past the back of the drawer to completely close off that avenue of escape.

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I had planned on making drawer faces out of some maple cabinet doors I got at the local ReStore, but when I held up the maple to the poplar face frame, it just didn't work. I never thought of maple as being particularly red, but compared to the yellow-greenish poplar it's definitely red. So the current plan is to make the drawer faces out of Baltic birch.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:26 AM   #80
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Beautiful work, Dana! You are accomplishing a lot, compared to my snail's pace, but my level of carpentry is not up to yours.

Great research on the gray water issue. So most were just hooking up a garden hose, it looked like?

Chuck Hagen, who redid a compact II beautifully, also routed his waste pipe to the floor. I've got the holw in the side, so I'll just use that opening but rig it to accept a garden hose, I suppose.

Aren't you going to use your 'city water inlet'? I recall you will be boondocking, but sometimes you might be where there are water hook-ups. There's a very nice public campground in Big Bear Lake, Serrano, that has full hook-ups, tho this is not typical of state parks, etc.

It's looking beautiful, Dana. Nice woodwork on the drawers. You must be a pretty experienced woodworker.

p.s. Here's photos of Chuck Hagen's kitchen drain for you, Dana~

Best,
Fran
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:29 AM   #81
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Kent, it's basically styrefoam with skin on both sides, from Home Depot, 1" thick, with Locktite Powergrab use to adhere it to the walls. Messy when you cut it up, but it vacuums up.

Fran
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:48 PM   #82
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What a nice job of woodworking!

I don't recognize your drawer slides, but they look interesting; where did you get them? Do they include any feature to keep the drawers closed during travel?
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:22 AM   #83
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Name: Dana
Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
California
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Hi Fran, thanks for the kind words and the pictures of Chuck Hagen's drain modifications.

Yes, everybody just connected a short hose to reach from the side drain outlet down to a tub, bucket, or container. One of the pictures shows the hose going under the trailer but no container was visible -- I don't know where it eventually drained to.

As for the city water inlet my current feeling is to not have one. The main reason is that I expect few occasions where I could use it, and the real biggie is that I would have to monitor the drain container much more closely. With the handpump supply being individual jugs of no more than 2.5 gallons, I know that if I empty the drain bucket every time I change the fresh water jug, I'll be fine. But with the city water hookup there is no easy way of knowing when to check the drain bucket.

The pictures hide a lot of flaws -- when you see the stuff I've done "for real" it is obvious I am no woodworker. But I am getting better at it. Thank goodness it's only a camping trailer and not the kitchen of our house!
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:38 AM   #84
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Name: Dana
Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
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What a nice job of woodworking!

I don't recognize your drawer slides, but they look interesting; where did you get them? Do they include any feature to keep the drawers closed during travel?
Hi Steve, thank you for the encouraging words. As I told Fran, the pictures hide a lot of flaws. But my woodworking skills are improving!

I bought the drawer slides at Home Depot. They are "self-closing" in that the ends are ramped so the drawer drops nearly a quarter inch when it's closed. That's nice for everyday use but insufficient to keep the drawers closed while travelling -- for that I will have a bar that runs from the floor to the countertop and blocks all the drawers from opening.

These drawer slides have the advantage of making the drawers easier to construct and give greater interior width as compared to the traditional method of making a complete drawer and attaching slides. Unfortunately, the local Hope Depot carries these only in the 20" length. HD charged $10 a set for these.

Blum makes the MetaBox series which are better quality and are available in more sizes, but they are not available locally and are more expensive. They can be ordered, but usually when I finally figure out what I can squeeze into a spot I want to go get it right now!
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