Restoring the "Haunted Mansion" - Page 10 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-31-2015, 11:34 PM   #127
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Name: Tony
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After cutting and pinning the material, we wanted to check the fit. We then realized that this day could go very, very badly…because the batting stuck to, well, EVERYTHING. It wouldn’t slide in the cover, it wouldn’t slide across the cutting table. It was a mess. In a fit of irritation, I asked if we might use a trash bag. When we put the cushion in the trash bag, the cushion slid in beautifully and the cover fit beautifully.

I knew the crunching of the plastic was going to be an issue, though. So I thought about plastic wrap. I made a run to Costco for a roll of institutional plastic wrap ($12.99) while Liane sewed the covers. We got the cushions wrapped front to back with plastic wrap, leaving the sides open – otherwise, every time someone would sit down, they’d be sitting on a giant air pillow.

Once we got going on it, we got pretty fast at it. I even got the curtains rough cut and a couple of panels pinned while she was sewing. By the end of the day, we realized we had done very well. All of the cushions were complete, with the exception of the hand stitched seams that couldn’t be completed with the cushion in the cover. That’s my job before the first trip.

And in the last photo below, the cushions are complete!

- Myka
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:26 PM   #128
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Have you heard of the vacuum cleaner and thin plastic wrap trick for stuffing the cushions? It does not have to be super airtight, just enough to let the atmosphere squeeze the foam. After it is in place and expanded, you reach in and pull out the plastic wrap, piece by piece.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:40 PM   #129
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It was suggested, but they decided to just leave the plastic in there...as extra protection for the foam (we're planning on scotchguarding the cushions....). If it gets too "crinkly" after the first outing, nothing says we can't unstitch the back seam and yank out the plastic and resew them back up.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:37 PM   #130
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With Myka off doing the cushions, I forged ahead again, continuing to build the cabinets across the front of the trailer.

We secured the storage enclosure to the floor with the L-brackets and then put a screw through the wire rack into the enclosure to further secure that. We also drilled a couple of holes in the other side of the frame (both front and back) to attach to the face frame of the cabinet. Oh, that frame isn't going ANYWHERE.

Now to actually start assembling the cabinet.... Using cleats and some drywall screws, we attached the end of the cabinet, then the divider wall inside the cabinet.

Now due to a slight miscalculation a while back when I was putting in the ribs to support the walls, there is about a 2" gap between the cabinet and the rib. No problem. That rib is going to be enclosed in a mini-cabinet anyway which will help support the cabinet and roof above. I cut a couple of scraps of 2x2 to span the gap. Using my trusty air nailer to affix them on the cabinet side and a dry wall screw from the rib side, the cabinet was secured. When it comes time to hang the reflectix and headliner, we can pop those two screws loose and move the cabinet just enough to shove the insulation and material behind it. We also used one of the leftover L-brackets to fasten down the divider wall.

Once the cabinet was in place, we needed to put in a brace near the back of the cabinet to a) stiffen the back edge of the cabinet and b) give us some place to attach the countertop. Next was to figure out where the stove was tentatively going to be and cut a notch in the divider wall to accommodate the "drip pan" of the stove. In the pica below, you can see the rough placement of the sink. The drain for it barely clears the rack of the wire baskets...you'd think we planned it that way!

Below are a couple of pics that show (approximately) where the stove and the sink will end up. In the one picture that looks toward the driver's side of the trailer, you can see the face frame of the cabinet. The big hole on the left side of the cabinet will be the space for the microwave, the lower left hole will be for the PD4045 power center, and the smaller hole just to the right of that will be where the power buses will be mounted so we can access them. The door on the right is where you'll be able to access the plumbing (including a water filter) and the wire baskets.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:45 PM   #131
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Now it was time to begin work on the forward cabinet. We had played with a 1x6 to get the rough shape of the outside wall - the one just forward of the door. We then cut a 1x10 to serve as the bottom rail for the face frame.

Now here's where the position of the fiberglass shell on the trailer frame becomes super critical. When the previous owners replaced the floor and re-fiberglassed it back into place, they didn't keep the door opening square - it's actually slightly wider at the bottom. What that means when it comes to the cabinets is that we had to scoot the face frame back as far as possible so there would be enough room to put in the cabinet and still get the decorative trim around the edge of the door. We could have just built the cabinets on top of the "step" at the front of the trailer, but we really wanted to cover up the ugly black metal frame that was exposed to the interior. The solution we came up with was to cut a rabbet out of the back of the 1x10, leaving only 1/4" thickness to cover the metal frame. The shoulder of the rabbet rests on the top of the wood floor. One of the photos below shows what the rabbet looks like. The next two show how the rabbet sits up on top of the raised portion of the floor (looking toward the door from where the fridge sits, then looking toward the driver's side).

We then took another piece of 1x10 and trimmed it to fit the roof/wall corner and attached it to the 1x6. This is the top of the face frame. Once attached, we had to do a little more trimming to get it to fit, but it fits in there nicely now. The first photo below shows inside of the face frame of the front cabinet (complete with pocket screws!). The bottom is near the top of the photo.

By the way, I have to say I LOVE pocket screws! I have no idea why I didn't own a pocket screw jig years ago!

Anyway....the second photo shows the face frame being test-fitted. You can see the 1x10 at the bottom and the 1x6 up the side. The top of the face frame is just out of the photo. To make sure the fridge and A/C unit fit where we were planning they would, we brought them out and let them have a trial fitting! The 1x2 coming across from the top of the fridge was just for fitting...well, initially.

It was at this point that I made a design change that I think will work out far better than initially planned. Originally, I was thinking the closet just inside the door would go all the way from the ceiling down to the A/C unit. The space then between the closet and the fridge would then be a drawer. However, once we put that 1x2 all the way across from the kitchen cabinet, I saw an opportunity to gain more drawer space. At this point in the build, there wasn't any...oh, sure, we have the baskets and all, but that's not the same. We really needed someplace for kitchen utensils, silverware, etc., and the one little drawer I planned just wouldn't cut it.

I decided to cut the "closet" short and widen the drawer. Much nicer and a cleaner look, I think. This design will allow us to extend the countertop into the "closet," providing a solid shelf bottom. The long skinny door at the top is the "closet," or storage, the hole below that will be the drawer, and the big hole below that will be the A/C unit.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:49 PM   #132
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Now we also had a fairly good sized hole on the driver's side of the fridge we needed to plug. Had to go get a 1x8 from the local home improvement store, trim the board so that only 1/4" remained to cover the black metal frame, and then notch it so it slid under the kitchen counter. We then cut pocket screws to attach it to the top rail and the stile from the kitchen cabinet. (Did I mention how much I love pocket screws?! )

Now the space behind the 1x8 will actually come in handy. That's where we plan to put the 110v outlets for the fridge and the A/C unit...they'll be reachable from inside where the baskets are...
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:28 PM   #133
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Now our A/C unit doesn't look like it has anywhere for it to leak, except for one hole in the very bottom. Still, following the suggestions of others, I opted to put a drain pan under the unit -- just in case! The pan is a simple metal paint tray. We started by building a frame around the tray for support (that AC unit is HEAVY!).

We then topped the build with a piece of plywood with a hole cut to match up to the one in the bottom of the unit to allow any moisture coming out of the bottom of the A/C unit to drip into the pan.

We then mounted the frame inside the trailer at the bottom of the cupboard, using the leftover L-brackets we used on the enclosure under the kitchen cabinet.

I wasn't certain about using the plywood platform as initially made. I know A/C units leak condensation, but I can't see where this one would, unless it's off the back through the cooling fins....if that's the case, I would have to trim off some of the back of the plywood to allow water to drip into the pan. The more I thought about it, the more inclined I was to make the hole bigger so that the fins would be over the drip pan. There's still plenty of wood to support the A/C unit but I feel better giving the unit more room to drip if it decides to.

Next we needed to figure out where to drain the water if any should drip from the A/C unit. I was puzzled for quite a while when my eyes fell on the old sink drain that I removed from the stainless steel sink that came with the trailer (BTW...I replaced the sink drain with a nice new one with a P-trap built in...). The old one was not very nice looking, but it had all the parts. Using a drill with a fairly small bit to drill several holes around in a circle, we were able to get a hole in the pan. I applied some butyl tape and then tightened the main nut. Now the beauty of using this for the drain is that I can put a small piece of screen mesh on the drain at this point, just before I attach the silver collar and the black plastic drain piece. This should keep out any unwanted critters from crawling up inside the drain and into the A/C unit. I didn't have any on hand (we'll add that to our next shopping list!), but it won't take much more than a couple of square inches to finish that part of the project off!
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:34 PM   #134
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Once the drain was assembled, we needed some place for the drain to drain to. That meant we needed to cut a hole in the floor. After all the time I spent plugging holes in the trailer you can understand why I am somewhat hesitant to create any new ones! But this one is fairly simple and once we get the drain in place for the final time, I'm gonna seal it up good from the underside....I don't want any water finding it's way inside! Tracing the hole from the pan, I used a hole saw to drill a hole large enough to accommodate the silver and black ring.

And the drain is in!
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:40 PM   #135
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Another small, but important job was to get a weather resistant clamp to replace the old strain relief for the wires coming in from the wiring harness and battery. I really didn't like the thought of using a standard clamp - it wasn't waterproof . Then after spending some time staring at all the various clamps in the conduit aisle of the hardware store, I came across this little thing...

The way it works is pretty ingenious - the tighter you screw down the outside nut, the smaller the opening gets on the inside (it's a silicone-like insert that squishes down the tighter you make it.).

Whew! After getting all this stuff into the Mansion, it amazed us how small things suddenly got - and this is without the cabinet on the rearward side of the door! That front cabinet is nearly 30" deep at its widest...which pretty good size! Myka is looking forward to using that for food prep, for a TV, or plug in things like our cameras, crock pots, etc.
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:39 AM   #136
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Cool. We enjoy seeing your photos. That's a big project.
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:30 PM   #137
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Looking mighty good! I love seeing all the progress.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:45 PM   #138
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WOW!!!! Industrious project! Love the floor plan! Great job!
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:46 PM   #139
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Looking good Tony. Just a comment on the refer though. Seems to me reversing the door opening may be more user friendly. You can reach in from the outside to grab a beer
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:26 AM   #140
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Great idea, Dave! Frankly, we haven't gotten that far. I am more worried about getting the cabinets and all their innards done...swapping the door on the fridge will be cake compared to the rest of this!
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