Thought I would start this to post pictures to as I progress. I just got the frame finished. I cut off hitch, but had a 2" bulldog hitch installed, new axle, new tire and wheels, the area where the bench was I'm making into a 2 person sitting area and had the welder widen the foot well 6", wire wheeled the old paint and put on satin black rustoleum over gray primer rustoleum over POR15. I had two tongue hitch angles welded to the front. I tried this out with both down and it was really stable. I also had a BAL stabilizer jack welded in the back. Now on to cleaning the fiberglass, cutting new holes for hatches, filling all the holes I don't need, etc...... I work at home and this is helping to keep me sane, as I'm in a slow time. What better way to spend free time!
Looks great and I like the customizations I'm glad you're going to keep us in the loop with a photo-thread.
I have a question for you on the axle: I don't need an axle now, but I've often read that the leading arm axles aren't available anymore. However, yours looks like a leading arm in the photo. Can I ask where you got it and if it has a part number or etc.? Did you customize it to make it leading arm? Does it have brakes?
Robert, thanks for the information on your restoration, I'll be looking at it latter today. My location is in Hillsboro, but we go down to bend 4 to 5 times a year, maybe we can get together for some camping when the trailers done.
Ray, I ordered my Torflex axle from Potter Webster company in Portland. I had to look measure the trailer to get the custom measurements that they wanted. The information for the axel is; Dexter #9 Torflex Rated at 2200#, 7" electric brakes, 5 on 4.5 hub with ez lube, 22.5 degrees down, 49 1/2" to outside of bracket, 63 1/2" to hub face, low profile bracket. They said putting it in as a leading arm voids Torflexes warranty, but this was my only option as I could not go higher and still get it in the garage. I'm not really to concerned, as the other one worked for many years as a leading arm. I did have to reverse the brakes, but that was very easy to do with a couple of questions answered from Potter Webster. Hope this helps.
Today I decided to fill in the vent hatch that was over the kitchen. With us wanting to widen the bed 8+ inches, I didn't want the hatch over the bed, especially if we left it open when gone. I'm keeping the vent and moving it to the front, over the table that will be in our 2 person dinning area. The vent was also the highest item on the trailer, and moving it to the front lowers the total trailer height 1 1/4", or even with the top of the highest part of the fiberglass. We also just purchased a fantastic fan from Vintage Trailer in gray that will be put into the sidewall over the stove. It has a flat top, so it should look fine on the side. I did this because of the 3" it extends over the roof, and I figure I can keep it open and the rain will not get in.
To start the hole removal process, I first sanded down the bottom area and used a grinder on the top to provide a beveled surface to adhere the patch to. I took the edge down to just over 1/16". I then cleaned with acetone. Thanks to other people illustrating how to do this, I first duct taped a piece of cellophane on the bottom of the opening, so the fiberglass would not get attached to the cardboard. Then I cut a series of oversized pieces of cardboard and wedged it up with a 2X4 on a jack. This made a base that followed the contours of the trailer. I then cut one piece of fiberglass to fill the hole, and one more that was 1" oversized. To start I painted in a good coating of resin, installed the hole fill piece, put on another coating of resin, put on the larger patch and then on more coating of resin. Tomorrow, I'll sand any edges that stick up and put on a final coating of resin.
I'm keen to know how you will widen your bed those 8"...
The vertical cabinet and galley modules are fixed in space. Will you build a replacement platform (thus requiring new cushions) that conforms or wraps around these two modules?
I've considered adding some kind of hinged extension to my table, so that when the table is down in the "sleeping" position, the extension could be opened up to widen the bed platform. But I haven't yet worked out a clean, uncomplicated solution that satisfies all of my needs...
Robert, I'm not re-using any of the fiberglass panels, but building everything new with 1/4" +- plywood. I've come up with a preliminary plan and will take out space in the closet and kitchen. I will stick out the upper closet to full width once its 12 to 14 inches above the bed mattress. Once I have the stove/ sink area figured out, I'll know how much space I have to play with. The main reason to do this whole remodel was to add the maximum space we could to the bed and still have a functional kitchen. My wife is starting to get exited about the inside and has already been looking at fabric. Since we are restoring the old awning style windows, my wife wants to go with a red striped awning from Vintage Trailers and find some cool fabric for the inside that has red in it. She wants me to match a couple of stripes that we will be putting on the paint job with the awning, so we may be purchasing an awning when we figure out what size we want. To me, the fabric is way down the road, but it's nice to have the spouse on board when your spending money! Shes also talking about making a spare wheel cover in vinyl. Has anyone done this?
I also rebuilt my galley unit from scratch using 3/8" birch plywood. The galley unit ties directly into a completely customized cabinet/storage unit in the front. We sacrificed the front bench in order to have more storage, more counter space and a place to hide the potty. You can see what I've done if you refer to my thread mentioned earlier.
First of all, thank you so much for the detailed info on the axle. I'm going to save it, and now I feel that when it does come time to get a new axle, your configuration is what I want. I was agonizing over all the various threads about different types!
On the fiberglass patch, do you know about fairing compound? Maybe you do and are just not mentioning it, and if so, please ignore!
Fairing compound is usually used after you have the main structural fiberglass done (as you do). It is used to then cosmetically smooth out the surface. However it is made with epoxy so it is still strong and basically waterproof (I'm assuming you used epoxy in your repair, but if not, the fairing principle still holds).
Fairing builds easier, is less brittle, and is more sandable than straight resin.
First you wash the amine blush off of the cured resin/cloth, with plain water and a Scotch Brite pad. Then you sand it (these steps can be eliminated if you fair before the previous work is completely cured).
To make the fairing compound what you do is add something like microballoons to the mixed resin, and make a sort of Cool Whip-to-peanut-butter texture. Then you spread it on and get it as close to perfect as you can, but standing proud.
When it cures you can sand it smooth (the sooner the easier). Then you can roll on one more coat of thin, plain resin, to seal the microballoons (some people omit this step).
Then wash the blush off one more time, sand lightly for paint, and away you go.
WEST system has a great free manual available. You can download it if you don't have it in print already with you.