after just over a year of owning my trailer, I actually took it out on the road. Okay, it was just around the block and it took me well over an hour to back it into the driveway when I returned but it felt so good to have a weathertight, mobile trailer. In my defense, I have never towed a trailer before but with my "how hard can it be" attitude (which also got me into this epic project in the first place) I was sure I would ace it. By the time I finally got the trailer onto the driveway, albeit at a pronounced angle, I had started to figure out the knack of turning and reversing. Not totally confident yet but a whole lot more humble.
This little drive was my mini "shakedown" for the real test tomorrow. I am going to attempt to take the trailer about 15 kms to a garage to have the brakes
done and the tires
It has been a year since I posted on this thread though I have still been asking a lot of questions about repairs (thanks to all you have answered and helped) I have basically been working on the body and, of course, living on the prairies of Canada was able to do nothing for 6 of those 12 months.
What I have done so far:
-stripped everything out of the trailer, including all electrical
-replaced about 1/4 of the interior wood framing (rot from water)
-removed the wood floor and replaced with marine plywood
-repaired all the pinholes and cracks (that went through the shell) and larger holes with resin and mat or resin with balloons
-made a support system for the roof and sheathed it in 1/8" maple plywood (varathaned)
-painted all exposed interior fiberglass areas with Rustoleum Topside paint
- replaced fiberglass insulation with rigid insulation
-built 2 tall cabinets from 1/2 in birch plywood reinforced on the front edges for stability; the traditional wardrobe cupboard is switched to the driver's side and on the curbside is a full height cupboard that is about 1/2 as deep.
-installed new 125 ah battery
(will have solar
in the future)
-began wiring with Progressive dynamics system, have got as far and basic wiring of the DC (the only thing I have not done myself- my son who is an electrician took pity on me when I kept calling him with questions)
Basically the inside is still just the insulation and framing so I still have to install paneling and build the benches, kitchen cupboards, finish the electrical
, do plumbing, put up blinds, make cushions ...
Exterior: (pic below)
-removed a thick layer of tar from the roof (hellish job) and repaired, primed and painted it
- removed the belly band and fiberglassed the top and bottom halves of the trailer together to make it more weathertight (another hellish job)
-removed what I assume was house paint put on by PO and sanded (seemingly endlessly), primed and painted with 3-4 coats of Rustoleum Topside white paint.
-removed the grills in the kitchen area and replaced with a hatch (ebay-$25.00) to access the area under the future kitchen counter for water containers etc.
-installed 30v plug on the outside, a cable input and water refill port
-installed a Fantastic fan
-removed the windows, took them apart and rebuilt with new crank mechanism and weatherstripping and cleaned the aluminum the best I could with Nevr Dull (far from perfect); reinstalled with butyl tape
- during a trip to BC I made a detour to Centralia WA to a RV salvage yard and found a truck camper door in great shape. With a little shaving of the top of the wooden door frame (reinforced it above to compensate) the new door fits very well and it even has an integrated screen door. I took it all apart and cleaned, painted and put on new weatherstripping before installing.
-replaced all the lights
on the exterior of the trailer with new led lights
and all new wiring to the TV (son again)
Still left to do on the exterior: use Por 15 on the hitch and bumper, some touchups on the body paint, install one propane
line, hitch box, build a new rockguard, some Ventura
decals, install solar
, plastic trim on the windows to cover the screws, new brakes
, maybe tires
, new spare at least and I would like to eventually try to remove the rust from the frame underneath.
I have listed all this not to boast or brag about what I have done (though actually seeing the trailer hitched up today did make me a little giddy) but in order to encourage others who are considering a project trailer to pause for a second to consider whether they really want to hand their life over to such a "hobby". I was neophyte and did not have a clue what I was really getting into. It has become all consuming at times, is costing far too much but I am learning a lot and know I will have a trailer that will function for me for many years, I hope.
Here she is so far: (I really need to think of a name)