Tote-n-Tarry Lemon Chiffon Rehab - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-09-2014, 11:03 AM   #15
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Hey that's mine ! It has worked great for us. My Dad created this back in 1981. It's mainly lengths of all thread rod. Capped off with plastic wire nut caps (he was an electrician). We usually just put our lightweight items back there. Canvas chairs, poles and area rug. Glad it was an inspiration.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:07 PM   #16
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Thanks for the inspiration

Attachment 79149I like the way your dad curved the ends to fit the trailer. Having camped a whole lot I know that getting the lightweight bulkies out of the way, instead of taking up the car or rig, makes things easier, especially if they're a bit dirty from camping.
It's like that line from Saturday Night Fever when Johnny Manero, is asked about a dance move...
"That's nice. Did you make that up?"
"I saw it on TV first, then I made it up."
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:49 PM   #17
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Minor Updates on Welding and Demo and Insulation

I got the tire-holder re-welded, since it's now in the front. I like. Lots of tape over old holes. I'm inventing a new flange for my bendy gas line. Stay tuned. I still need a flange for the trailer wires.

I had to take off Tote 'n Tarry stickers since they'll impede overall refinishing, but I photographed them and will duplicate the name in a stencil done on my Cameo Silhouette...probably way next year though. My daughter wants light blue. Robin's egg Tote N Tarry. Hmmm.

I cut out the center right bed in preparation for making it into a dinette. The battery will go on the right, the water tank on the left, and all the storage under the full-time bed will be available. We removed what appears to be a cut-off cigarette lighter (?) in the upper right cupboard, (bang bang ugh argh, drill, squish, force) as well as the old trailer wires. Maybe someone will say, "gee you shouldn'ta-oughta done that!" but I bought all new light fixtures so if this was one, it's now toast. I drilled for FOUR exterior lights on all sides to light up any campsite or activity, with weather-tight wire clamps which will be fiberglassed in. I put up a simple pull string 110 fixture for when plugged-in, with an outlet in it. I bought led toggle switches for the 12V pump, fridge and undercab lighting, to make a cool board.

I had to take off the door since it was literally hanging by threads, we actually had to tie it from the inside bolts with ropes. I will reinforce the fiberglass and back the hinges with some tigerwood on the inside, whichis a material I will use for other finishes inside as it never rots and is gorgeous. The difficulty was that the steel bolts had electrochemically welded themselves to the aluminum hinges, which are irreplaceable, and so we had to drill them out, then finally sawsall them off in a tight squeeze. I can fix the scratches from the blade with fiberglass later, when the weather isn't icky.

Just returned from a winter camping trip but in my Class C (it's just a regular fiberglass skin RV), first time doing this, and it was wonderful because there were no other campers except one night there were 2 others...in the entire campground! Saw Orcas, sea birds, tide pools, lakes, creeks...other than the cougar warnings everywhere it was nice. See I had put up this motion detector light and it kept going off all night, except since there were zero other campers I couldn't see what "it" was that set it off, the darkness was like black pudding, and it was very windy by the sea which makes its own effects on the rig...spookay.
I like.
I used a plug-in electric heater together with propane furnace, it was like 41F-32F. Insulated curtains are the trick.

TNT insulation odyssey continues: I don't want flammability or offgassing. The radiant foil type is pointless since it only works if the reflective surface is adjacent to a trapped airspace. So I got some ethyl acetate "anti fatigue mat" material squares, nicely insulating but goes WHOOSH up in flames. I need closed cell PVC butyl nitrile foam, self-extinguishing. But first I'm going to run an experiment with Great Stuff, which polymerizes with water, trying to mold it against the wall to wind up smooth and hard. This would be good since if you needed to get to wiring under it, you could just fix it again for $3. So what I think I'll do is make a version of plastic curved "studs" and use a vaselined-piece of bendy plastic, spritz both sides with water, and feed in the great stuff via a hole. By doing it this way it should come out extremely hard and perfectly molded. I hope. If not, I'll buy yoga mats, closed cell butyl nitrile, not open cell which will hold moisture.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:13 AM   #18
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Under the permanent double bed will be storage, requiring flat floors. So over about 6 days we removed with a ratchet wrench, screwdriver and grinder, the stanchion base. It was bolted below the trailer with nuts, which came off with great effort because they were rusty. But then the stanchion base flat-head machine bolts wouldn't budge, self-welded in. So out came the grinder and the part was forcefully removed.
The entire floor of the Tote is fiberglass, except a little by the front under the former couch.
Now the floor must be scraped and vacuumed and insulated.
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:41 AM   #19
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Red face Modifications

"I cut out the center right bed in preparation for making it into a dinette."

It always concerns me when people start chopping out features of the interior of their rigs. Features that are glassed in are often part of the structure of the shell which gives it its rigidity.
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Old 12-22-2014, 04:04 PM   #20
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Lateral support of bench front

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
"I cut out the center right bed in preparation for making it into a dinette."

It always concerns me when people start chopping out features of the interior of their rigs. Features that are glassed in are often part of the structure of the shell which gives it its rigidity.
I hadn't gone into that yet, but the plan was when the wiring/gas/water was done, one of the next steps was to frame out the dinette base with tigerwood which doesn't rot or swell and will look like furniture. The base would in no way shape or form support a human toosh at this point. I also intend to put a small microwave in the upper cabinet, supported from top and bottom with tigerwood, so I'll of necessity have to gnaw into that glass a bit and support it alternatively with tigerwood and more glass. So in essence, for whatever fiberglass is removed, more skeletal framework will be added in glass, metal or tigerwood. The floors are fiberglass and the lateral front bench doesn't seem to contribute anything to the trailer integrity as far as torc-ing, twisting, bending. Its function appears only to be the seat support and it was nipped only in the front leaving the back alone.

Others may not "dive in" to their trailer as I have and seek to preserve it status-quo and maintained as a work of antiquity to be respected in rather immutable fashion. This Tote however was a rubbishy-shell, gutted of all insulation, appliances, innerds, not even the trailer lights worked, it was a blank-slate. I have dreams (not delusions) of grandeur for it, and in order to get there, well, 'gotta be a bit bold!' I suppose. The permanent bed was high on the list and that requires major reformatting but also, since there's no need for as open an access (to the former dining table) it opens up possibilities such as...perhaps, an enlarged closet.

Good point of engineering concern though. I would suggest in this Tote that the upper integrity is bolstered by the molded in lateral cabinets, but then I note these cabinets don't exist at all in other brands of 13-footers and people build their own shelves just to have anything up there. I will also be putting up a few more shelves in addition to the upper cabs. But, I don't want to get that far ahead of myself in describing projects since I'm really at the point of welding, tubes, wires, foundationals, nothing pretty or exciting...no place to put a teddy bear or those new neat kitchen towels yet. I expect to hit a few dead ends and re-dos. Everything should be dependable and work, strong and dry, before 'decorating'.

One thing I have tried and failed at was using a fish line to push wires through the hollow layers of fiberglass where the original wires were. I couldn't push anything through without it getting stuck severely, with the narrowest fish line, even where the old chopped wires used to be. I thought about maybe using one of those really long (like 4-5 foot) floppy drillbits to open a cave, but, nah, those wires are just going to have to be ugly and on the inside of the shell and hidden with insulation later. At the factory they have luxuries of access which are never to be known again.
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Old 12-22-2014, 04:38 PM   #21
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Upper non-kitchen cabs...

I just wanted to show the front and back molded in upper cabs...Some brands have this, some don't, I believe. These are good upper structural additions I think. There's missing doors, I will have to make some. I also want to use European hidden hinges so those rusty external ones won't be in the final either.
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Also, this is how the cut went for the initial phase of dinette/banquette rehab-ing (more importantly for now it allows me easier access too)...the front was nipped but not the back molded glass, and the entire fascia will be outfitted with tigerwood. I think I will replace the wood underneath it (only the banquette part has wood, the rest is fiberglass flooring) all too.
You can see how mangle-ated the door frame was; former owners had let the door sag and used cheap foam-tape insulation strips to make it somewhat weather-tight, until the obvious route of removing the door and hinges by brute force and reinforcing it all was probably too onerous a job and they sold it.
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My latest project now though, is using those heat-shrink butt connectors for marine 12 V connections...may work, may not work...
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:19 PM   #22
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Has Anyone Put Spray Foam Insulation in Wall Cavities?

I was complaining here I couldn't shove an electrical wire fish-rod through the wall cavities, for some reason, but I know there's these cavities in at least the entire roof perimeter and the upper1/3 of the front and back walls and maybe the upper 1/4 of the side walls because I can hear them, see them, and the old wires went through them...then I got to wondering if anyone had used spray foam in these cavities? Wouldn't that be slick? Maybe? Could drill some expansion holes and shoot in some Great Stuff Big Gap, and when it poured out of the holes you'd know you got it, cut that off, fiberglass repair over the holes...maybe use something else on the wall parts without the cavity. Plus the rigid foam would add some lightweight sturdiness. Thoughts?

Also I think I'm going to wait for better weather and spray foam underneath the floor. I was going to use rigid 1" on top, but then the flooring would be limited due to the squishiness of that material. I kind of want to clean and sand it all down and maybe use some neat epoxy finish. This is a picture of a standard RV trailer which has been spray-foamed underneath, avoiding the chassis. Again, another "I saw it on the net, then I thought of it" idea... Thoughts?

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Old 12-23-2014, 01:36 AM   #23
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Hi Suz, I couldn't find anything on what type of walls you have, single or double hull. BUT, I will tell you that using an expanding foam in any confined space is tricky. It is very easy to over fill the space and have it bulge or blow it apart . Using the max expantion ones it's wild watching it keep moving. It's a learning curve, it's better to stop spraying and adding more as you need to fill gap. Spray foams do come in different expantion %s. It would be a good insulator though.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:55 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Spray foams do come in different expantion %s.
And even non-expanding for those areas you especially don't want any "swellage". I don't think it has been mentioned but one truck to pulling in new wire is to use the old as the "pull string". If the old fit, the new should too.
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:40 PM   #25
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Both excellent contributions to this puzzle...
I will try to reuse the wire stubbies to pull new wires...as far as the foam I could try an area behind the cabinet with expansion holes, just do a little at a time (you can use WD-40, the youtubers say, to clean the spigot so you can re=use the Great Stuff). I am told that by putting the GS in a bowl of hot water it will come out faster. I would be extremely careful trying to foam in those cavities, but the idea is near irresistible. Then I'd have only a fraction of uninsulated wall to cover with "something". I did find the factory had insulated with teensy amounts of fiberglass batting, but it's up to 1" availlable space so that'd be a lot of insulation factor from the GS.
Thanks

Also, the coating material most people recommend here, can't remember the name but I amazon'ed it and it's really expensive, then I came across a Harbor Freight truck bed coating which gets rave reviews and is much less spendy...they also sell a bio-safe rust remover. My trailer chassis is not bent or broken, just has surface rust. If I did the rust-removal then truck bed coating on it wouldn't that work? Thanks.
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:15 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Tote-n-Tarry No.2 View Post
Both excellent contributions to this puzzle...
I will try to reuse the wire stubbies to pull new wires...as far as the foam I could try an area behind the cabinet with expansion holes, just do a little at a time (you can use WD-40, the youtubers say, to clean the spigot so you can re=use the Great Stuff). I am told that by putting the GS in a bowl of hot water it will come out faster. I would be extremely careful trying to foam in those cavities, but the idea is near irresistible. Then I'd have only a fraction of uninsulated wall to cover with "something". I did find the factory had insulated with teensy amounts of fiberglass batting, but it's up to 1" availlable space so that'd be a lot of insulation factor from the GS.
Thanks

Also, the coating material most people recommend here, can't remember the name but I amazon'ed it and it's really expensive, then I came across a Harbor Freight truck bed coating which gets rave reviews and is much less spendy...they also sell a bio-safe rust remover. My trailer chassis is not bent or broken, just has surface rust. If I did the rust-removal then truck bed coating on it wouldn't that work? Thanks.
As far as the foam, I don't think I would want it to come out any faster, it's fast enough. As long as there is adequite room for it to fill into and over flow to, there shouldn't be a problem. It trims easy. Any wiring would have to finished first and fully working as you will never be able to pull a wire after it's in the foam. The first time I had to use it in a comfined space I made a mockup to see exactly how much or little I was going to need for it to fill.
There are many rust removal systems availible. POR 15 seems to be a good cover coating.
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Old 12-26-2014, 05:09 PM   #27
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Wires first, Foam Last, a Bit of Progress

Yes, I'll take foaming slower than faster. I think I'll use the small gap filler first.

Today I'm out there, it's a balmy 44F, and playing with my fish rods, old wires...which won't work as fish lines, too short...but I discovered this cavity between the double hull ranges from 1/2" to about 1.5" and I can run wires pretty easily by "meeting in the middle" in the upper kitchen cabinet and lower one too. Wow. Easier than I thought. After I run the wire blunts then I can insulate. In nicer weather we'll insulate underneath.
I wound up buying new door hinges but I got polished stainless steel strap flush hinges for a Burro, I hope these work, if not I'll try again. I think these will lend more door support due to the position of the holes, plus I'll reinforce them on the back with washers, wood, or combo and they'll look amazing. The old aluminum hinges had self-welded to the steel bolts, so once drilled out they looked beat up. By the time I'd put washers over the front and back and so forth...bleigh.
So I have to fiberglass over the old hinge holes, which I would've had to do anyway since they were very enlarged from use making the door sag. Nobody took care of this poor Totey :-( and yet here she is, still intact...kind of amazing. Bodes well for her future.
So, a bit of progress anyway...
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:30 PM   #28
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A Tote N Tarry is double-hulled? New one on me. Hey, I like gaining knowledge.

there have been folks that tried to use expanding foam... with kinda disasterous results. But, it's a new day, new(er) stuff.

Keep us informed...
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