Man, have I made some bumbles and had to do so many re-do-s I've lost count! But I persist and progress is being made.
Here's some of my adaptations and status report:
1. I put the electrical
up front due to weight
distribution, then realized the 30A cord won't fit in the compartment along with the electrical
. Besides I like the idea of using front compartments for storage and worried about some pot of spaghetti water sloshing onto the circuits so I started to move it to the back.
2. When I started moving things to the back, I saw that the former owners had duct taped over the fender fiberglass, under which I now see there was a big hole... plus they'd neatly sawed off the edge of the outer fiberglass on the curb side by a few inches. So before electrical
I had to take off the old duct tape which took a heat gun and acetone, then sand then vacuum then fiberglass the hole then make a cardboard backer to somehow reconstruct the sawed off part on the outside edge along the whole driver's side. I'm monkeying around with that now, realizing it's going to take a whole bunch of fiberglass fabric and resin to reconstruct. But oh well, it's started. I guess someone ran over a boulder or something and instead of repairing fiberglass, which is easily done, they mauled it off completely. When my relative was purchasing it this went unnoticed because you have to compare the two sides simultaneously, and it was kinda sneaky what they did.
Thank God fiberglass is so maleable.
3. I thought I could sand (wearing breathing protection of course at all times and an oompaloompa hooded suit too) fiberglass...well you can but it's slow even with 50 grit. So we got an angle die grinder with 80 grit and if you're not careful you'll gnaw right through everything (again thank God fiberglass is so workable), meaning it's fast and effective with the proper "touch". This is a good thing, it means I can put on all the bondo (both pink and green kind with strands) and resin I need to fill in all the pocks, holes, dings etc. and build out the port edge and it literally can be sculpted back to where it needs to be.
4. I had my electrical all laid out neatly in block terminals with plexiglass tops, everything worked (yay!) even my Star Trek LED switch board which looks cool all lit up, but when I decided to move it all, I decided I'm going to turn the hot block terminal attachment boards vertically thus lessening any possibility of water condensation under the plexiglass, plus lessening the amount of space required for my layout with the PD4045 under the bed. So we'll have a big drawer under the bed, and to get to the PD the drawer will have to be removed but that's OK since the lit LED main battery
shut-off switch (*my absolute favorite feature!) will be on the diagonal forward portion and easily accessible and if you need to cut off the AC you can just unplug it first, then get to the panel (can't do that to a house!). On the Totie there's only room for the PD under the bed or in the dinette up front, which didn't work.
5. I put in a bigger 14" 12V fan/vent so I had to cut a hole for it...but this Totie had been converted to a tent shell so they'd bondo'd a huge chunk of some kind of cement board over the top anyway so that got cut out. Then I realized there was an opportunity for more insulating with Great Stuff when the sandwich layers of the double hull were revealed. The roof is curved/slanted and so I had to build up a ridge on the outside, but this took a lot of design since it was all angle cuts out of composite plastic decking material, which I then bondo'd around the rim so it could all fit in and the top would be horizontal. Next I'll use butyl tape and ... can't decide whether to bolt it though and through or just screw on the flange to the composite. Anyway, what a job!
6. My insulation idea via GreatStuff foam between the 2 hulls seems to work pretty good. The first try, though it looked fine when I was done, the next day it showed lumps which I was able to even out by pumping more in to the depressions. In order not to do that again, I drilled a zillion chickenpox holes for the gap/crack level filler and put in smaller uniform amounts into each hole. I can't see, but I can knock and hear, where it's been filled, and there's no lumps this way. Here's a trick: Use a plastic ABS 1/2" chunk and tape it to the lever so you can finger activate with leverage it to avoid hand fatigue, also just use "really warm" but not hot water in a coffee can to warm up the can as you get to the last 25% of the can out faster (otherwise it takes a looong time) -- but don't do this at first or it just comes out too fast to move it hole to hole without a mess (and always wear gloves since GreatStuff never comes off your skin until you shed!).
7. I am excited to get beyond this fiberglass mess and reinstall electrical because the next things are gas hookups, heater installation, water tank/water line/drain hookups, and I'm going to put in a black tank underneath.
8. I sanded, resanded, repaired the door, primed with tinted fiberglass primer then painted with some teal blue marine paint
but it just scratches too easily and so I'm sanding the paint back off and I ordered fiberglass paint close to the original manilla color. That way if it scratches it's unlikely to show up as much. Next I get to put up the door again with new hinges and latch using new hardware. I wanted to get these flush depressed Allen machine bolts ("Stainless Steel Countersunk Flat Head Hex Socket Cap Screw Bolts"), I only found metric ones on eBay, but I like the look of these for the front door, with lock nuts on the back. I still have no door and a big hole in the roof!
9. The windows
, I was going to repair the plexiglass since I'd read an article that they do this all of the time with small airplanes but it takes a whole bunch of sandpaper grits, a lot of patience, you have to drill a hole at the end of cracks and backfill with a cut-off rod of plexiglass and glue it all back. So I'm going to research whether Scamp windows
will fit, to see if I can just put new ones in.
So anyway I'm learning a lot and now I know I can wire up a whole RV even with fancy switches!
The only thing I hate is fiberglassing, even with an OSHA mask and suit, you have to shower immediately as the smell just gets everywhere.