since officially joining early in the year, i have not had time to post.
But now that my stage 1 modifications to my Touring GT are complete, i thought i would take a moment and hopefully be able to come back here a couple times a month.
I bought my Hymer because i determined it would fit in an 84" tall (7ft) garage door opening. (I bought a week before the collapse, but would have bought after also since i waited almost 3 years from that first announcement and my only alternative was to build out my own from a cargo trailer.) (There are a couple of reasons for this. 1 is I don't like to pay storage fees and live in a townhome, and 2 I want to keep it out of the elements when not used as well as keeping it at home where i can tinker.)
I planned to and have made special wheels that replace the regular wheels in order to accomplish this and it works fine. (since a I presently camp only several times a year, the wheel change is not a particular issue.)
It was always planned to convert to twin beds. Primarily to provide a space for a recliner and make upper cabinet access easier. This has been completed. It also opened up floor space to give lots of room to move about and i was surprised at that. Yes - it does limit who can sleep here, but I'm 5'11" and my wife is 5'2" so it works for us. I ordered new twin mattresses and cut in the large radius. (incidentally, I saved the original king and have it stored as it would not be difficult to put back in.) there is storage under each bed. (the king arrangement had a lot of storage, but we all need to keep in mind GVW - so that was not a concern to me that i took that away)
I added safety grab bars for the entry - a floor to ceiling one to the right and a horizontal grab rail to the left below the counter top. these work well.
i added a couple inches to the top of the step to make that an easier step up. (we are older) and have another ground step for that 1st step up.
added 3 electrical
outlets for convenience. one in bath, one above the counter and one back by the new bed arrangement.
we do not need sleeping for 4 and i did not like how the dining table impinged on the floor space, so I shortened it about 8". it converts to a 3rd single bed if needed. (a new table top can always be made to convert back)
A few items were needed to be handled/repaired.
A. the foldout step has a lot of give and could potentially fatigue. i reinforced it by adding 2 bolts thru the threshold plate down thru the step frame below the trailer.
B. when reworking the wiring to add the outlets, i discovered the wiring jackets as well as water piping ran thru rough cutouts in the fiberglass inside panels. they already showed some signs of abrasion from only 400 miles of towing. I added edge trim to eliminate that. I used rubber hose, but there is boating trim, wraps for the wiring and tubing or any other suitable means. Its a lot easier to prevent a problem than fix it later - especially a water tube break.
C. Likely everyone has noticed how the front of the top lifts off above 55mph.
I gave that considerable thought from various latches to additional fiberglass layup. For the present I have added 4 holddown straps using velcro. I use the standard loop velcro but I use the industrial button type plastic velcro hook.
this will do the job simply, but probably has limited life either from cycling or from UV exposure. I tested the buttons and they will give at least 100 cycles - possibly 200 which would equate to about 3-5 years usage for me. If it were parked outside, i think UV would be the limiting factor at 1 to 2 years. Either way - replacement takes about an hour counting removal and reapplication so I'm good for now.
a more permanent fix would be a draw latch passing thru the top and latching underneath and i will probably look at designing that at a future date.
D. some may have noticed their inside window frames with screens and blinds coming loose. This is caused by two things. First, they used some exposed balsa plywood glued to the fiberglass to provide the attachment. i had 8 failures and the wood was moldy and delaminated. 2nd - they used balsa plywood which is great for weight control but poor for screw holding strength. I made and installed new ones from exterior plywood and they are now fine. part of this task was how to attach the plywood. after considerable experimentation, i used fuze-it adhesive. amazingly strong, maintains a slightly flexible bond, fills well and can handle the thermal variance that occurs in the sun. all told this cost me 2 extra pounds of weight.
E. i reinforced the screws into the fiberglass for the window braces. the ones they used were too small and some already stripped, so they weren't going to last long. we'll see how this works. if i need a better arrangement i will switch to screws with nuts.
f. messing with windows
requires access through the tape they used for trimming. I found a good alternative to be gorilla tape, but will have to see how it holds up long term.
That's it for now. Stage 2 work is for those smaller things discovered during use and i am still looking at how to improve the use of the wet bath.
I will post a few pics of details for the above in December.
(when i have time, i'll start to catch up on other's posts. so i apologize if I have posted anything that duplicates other posts/threads. But hopefully there has already been some brainstorming and better solutions to things I have found)