Finally, spring in Minnesota is here and we've been able to get back to work. Over the winter I was able to get some work done on the nicer days, but not enough for an update. We had plenty of time to plan, and in doing so we decided on a few design changes. After seeing the floor, we decided to patch it up instead of replacing it. It will require me learning some fiberglass repair skills (but I'll need those later anyway). We have chosen pine wood for the cabinets, seats, and bunk. We will also be doing a bunk/bathroom which I have designed myself. Hopefully it works. We also decided to do "rib" supports instead of using the cabinets and closet for support, although it looks virtually the same. This was chosen simply so we could fiberglass in the rib supports and avoid more rivets through the frame for the overhead cabinet and closet.
Now for an update on current progress:
Completely cleared out the foam insulation using a sideways technique with a sawzall blade. I would not recommend this technique because there is still inherent risk of damage. We decided it wasn't within the budget to buy or rent a multi-tool when we had a good large oscillating blade at our disposal.
We removed all the windows
, the belly band, and all associated rivets to get ready for repairing the rivet wholes and painting
We managed after way to much work to get the body off of the trailer frame which allowed us to pressure wash the trailer. We decided that rather than pay for sandblasting and painting
(again due to budget constraints) to use por-15 after some sanding to get the existing paint
off. Seems to have worked like a charm.
We also made the rib supports this last week. We ended up using 3/4 in plywood to make these. We planned on 2 inch and 4 inch supports (hidden supports being 4 inches and visible supports being 2 inches). This was particularly hard because the template we had did not work for most of the supports.
Coming up next: Sanding the inside(to get the last bits of foam off and get the floor ready for fiberglass repair) and outside of the body (to get it ready for painting
, and attaching the rib supports. Sanding will be done with a combination of orbital sander and detailing sander.
Some things to note: First I need to thank Sohkraites for his Haunted Mansion Thread. I have been using it religiously as a guide and it is magnificent work. I recommend anyone looking to this thread for guidance to also look at his work. I honestly would have stopped posting this thread if I didn't feel that our end products will be very different.
Secondly, we have decided that ultimately the trailers functionality and expense should take priority over beauty.Therefore, anything that can be done by myself or my wife (sanding, painting, fiberglassing, cabinet making) is going to be done by us. That being said any suggestions on how to make these processes work better/ look better are encouraged. Thank you all for checking in, and also for the suggestions thusfar.