The vintage trailer: ElectricalDecember 31, 2012

During our slow period (ie the dog days of summer) we started overhauling a vintage camping trailer. Catch up on the entire saga here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here (in that order).

Apparently I registered my Santa order incorrectly. I distinctly remember wishing for Christmas elves to sneak into the tunnel and finish the trailer. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Maybe next year I’ll drop a letter off at Macy’s…

My sole trailer elf (aka: hard working husband) is still plugging along, though. We’re finally at the stage where progress means things are coming together. The electrical systems are nearly done! After debating the merits of plugging into a campsite vs. going off grid with a battery, Aaron opted to keep our options open and install both systems. That means we got a brand new breaker box (under one of the kitchen benches):

 

 

And a new 12V system (under the couch/bed):

Electrical systems are not the most exciting thing, until you consider the fact that they are powering these sweet little nuggets:

The all new lighting came in the form of LED puck lights (6 in the ceiling, 1 under the kitchenette cabinet, and 1 under the cabinet over the table) and LED sconces by the couch bed. Lights = serious progress!

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The vintage trailer: Building benches and a bed, part 1November 27, 2012

During our slow period (ie the dog days of summer) we started overhauling a vintage camping trailer. Catch up on the entire saga here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here (in that order).

 Before we dive into bench and bed building, I thought it might be helpful to give you a diagram of the trailer so you can follow along.

The black bar at the bottom of this very not to scale diagram is the door. When you enter the trailer, the couch/bed is on the right. It’s pretty small, only pulling out to a twin size bed. (These are going to be some cooozy nights.) Straight ahead is the kitchenette (not yet rebuilt). If you take step in you’ll see the table and benches. These also fold down into a second sleeping area, but for simplicity we’ll call these benches. Got it? Great.

Bench/bed building is not the most galmorous or the most complicated. First cut some wood, being careful to account for the curve in the front and back of the trailer.

Next: Paint!

Then install. Aaron started by dry fitting the systems that will live under the bed. From left to right, that’s water, battery/12V power, and HVAC.

The HVAC is actually a model that’s meant to hang out outside. So it needed an easy escape hatch.

The bases for the benches also went in. These will mostly be used for storage, especially the bench on the left which includes an exterior hatch.

Like I said, not the most glamorous project, but it’s nice to see another piece go back into the trailer.

We made some significant exterior progress (maybe you saw a peek on Facebook), more on that soon!

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The vintage trailer – White wallsOctober 29, 2012

During our slow period (ie the dog days of summer) we started overhauling a vintage camping trailer. Catch up on the entire saga here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here (in that order).

This is getting real, people. The walls, they are white! Ok, not so much in this picture, which is just primer.

 

Boom! Whiteness! Don’t ask how many coats it took. Aaron is still annoyed. He thinks our first can of “it’s HOW much?!” Valspar paint was messed up. Thankfully, the second gallon brought it all together. Aaron made sure of that by inspecting every wall with an LED work light. Because the worst thing (in the entire world) would be to take this beauty out for the first time and notice that the paint isn’t perfect. (I’m joking, of course.) (No really. I’m serious.)

As much as I love the white box, the floors have truly stolen my heart. This floor came to be thanks to Ikea not having the butcher block counter top we loved in stock. We were smitten with the Numerar in birch. It was the perfect touch of light wood to sit in our white box above the brown cork floors we already knew would be ours. Decision made we approached the Ikea rep to order, only to find out that they were out of stock in all but the longest size (much to long and expensive for our needs). Not only that, but the beech color was out as well.

Back to the display we went to stare at the oak and decide if it would work. It just felt so… brown. Brown on brown on blah. Then Aaron remembered that he saw a site that sold colored cork, specifically gray cork. More staring, more thinking, but finally we felt comfortable and ordered the oak.

I’ll spoil the surprise and tell you that the floors below are not cork. That bubble was burst when we received the samples and realized how soft it was (not ideal for camping or any long term use) and when Aaron recalculated the cost of what we would need. Because we were back at the drawing board, Aaron decided to scope out the options at the big box stores. We landed on a “This will do” option, but when we went back to place the order found this:

TrafficMaster Allure Commercial Plank, Modern Oak in Broadway. I have never loved a resilient vinyl tile more. Oh so pretty! Oh so gray! It’s perfect. I’m pretty sure Aaron hasn’t let me visit the trailer since the install because he knows we’ll lose 30 minutes of work time to me caressing the new floors. I don’t care. I love these floors and I don’t care who knows (or how much time I spend caressing them).

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  1. […] the “quick interior fix” turned to “basically total overhaul.” (Side note: We have walls and floors!!) Instead, we figured we’d log some time working on the trailer, which made a nicer slow […]

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The vintage trailer – A few misc thingsOctober 25, 2012

During our slow period (ie the dog days of summer) we started overhauling a vintage camping trailer. Catch up on the entire saga here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here (in that order).

I’m not going to lie. I logged into the blog today just to stare at the pics in future posts. There are walls (white!) and new floors (so pretty) and even the start of new benches (eek!). All that is coming, but first, in the interest of being thorough, here are some miscellaneous projects that may only be exciting for the trailer restoration lovin’ folks.

It should be no surprise that when the rest of the exterior metal skin came off, we found (dun, dun, dun!) more water damage. This time it was around the wheel well and was relatively minor.

 

 

 

 

A few new boards for support and it was good to go.

 

The original trailer included a heater, which won’t meet all of our HVAC needs. So we removed it, but it left a pretty big hole (seen below to the left of the door.)

 

 

Here’s a close up.

 

 

It’s nothing a few pieces of wood can’t fix.

 

 

 

To further prep the frame and help reduce water invasion, Aaron removed the old insulation and used aluminum foil tape to seal the paneling seems.

 

 

 

Then the frame got a coat of Kilz primer.

 

 

 

We’re getting SOO close to the good, “this trailer is starting to come together!!!” stuff.

 

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The vintage trailer – Washing windowsOctober 23, 2012

During our slow period (ie the dog days of summer) we started overhauling a vintage camping trailer. Catch up on the entire saga here, here, here, here, here, here and here (in that order).

It’s hard to explain how much we love light. Obviously it’s crucial to our business, but it also makes us happy. The new studio lets in a ton of light. The massive windows in our condo was a huge selling… err renting point. My 9-to-5 cube sits right by a massive bank of windows, which is good because without a lot of natural light I get stabby (I’m kidding… sort of).

So is anyone surprised that the trailers we were drawn to had a lot of windows? No. No one is suprised.

We ended up with 11 windows. 11 awesome, (semi)working, dirty, old windows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here in the land of “Thou shalt not complete a project unless everything is perfect,” the windows clearly needed some help. Here’s the regimen:

– Disassemble
– Clean all of the glass and metal
– Sand the metal to give it a brushed aluminum look
– Reglaze the glass seals
– Replace the rubber seals
– Reassemble
x11 windows

ELEVEN!

 

 

 

 

 

So far we have two done. TWO.

We’re off this weekend, so who wants to come over and wash some windows with us?

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