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Author Topic: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!  (Read 6007 times)

Katammers

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New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« on: November 23, 2016, 11:30:58 AM »
So I have been wanting to do a trailer renovation project for a long time and I recently bought a 1997 Aerolite 21'. From what I've determined it's got good structure, no serious problems, and all the interior systems work. It's just....really ugly. This is my first project of this type ever. I'd love to get some advice on my plans and order of renovations that I'm planning. I've attached some pictures as well.

So here's what I'm planning...

1. The seating area is too large for me and I would rather have a small work area and more room. I plan to take out the back and right portion of the U seat. The left portion contains a heaty air thingy (technical term) so will have to stay. I want to craft a desk/table that folds/hinges from that center area. The cushions will be re-upholstered as well.
2. Repaint the walls and cabinets (sand the cabinets, prime and paint the walls)
3. Re-tile the floor with vinyl (tear up the tile or vinyl over it? Not sure yet.)

And here's what I want to consider doing but am unsure of...

1. I want to take out the top bunk and replace it with....not sure. It's only ever going to be used by me and I will be sleeping on the bottom bunk. I am thinking maybe some sort of fabric wall organizer where I can keep bedtime stuff?
2. I really hate the bathroom, but from what I'm reading on here fiberglass tubs are a real pain and I have to know what I'm doing. I may hire help for this portion. I think I could do the sink/vanity myself.
3. I am thinking about taking out the medium fridge and replacing with a mini fridge. This would give me more space for kitchen items - spice rack, pans, etc.
4. I need to think up a cabinet solution so everything can be more organized inside. Maybe shelves that slide out? Not sure yet. 

Right now my first priority is to gut the parts I'm getting rid of, take out the curtains, and give everything a good scrub. Then paint the walls, then the cabinets.

I'd love some feedback from more experienced people who can let me know if I'm on the right track or if there's anything I've overlooked. Thanks!
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

SeilerBird

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 11:58:07 AM »
Do you have any experience at RVing? If not you might want to rent a 21 foot RV and go RVing for a week. A 21 footer is extremely small and I worry that after all that time and money that you might not be happy with such a small RV.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 12:21:24 PM »
Specifically RVing, no, but I've lived in small conditions before so I have a sense of what it can be like. Smallest I've ever lived was on ship in the same room as 74 other women (9 months), second smallest was the back half of a shipping container (1 year).

I picked a small trailer because it's a beginner project before I decide to screw up something larger and significantly more expensive. Worst case scenario is I hate it and sell it to some hipster in Portland who wants to full time in their parents backyard. Best case scenario is I do a decent job and full time in MY parent's backyard. :D



Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

Liz66

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2016, 06:36:56 AM »
Ha ha ha...Love the way you think.

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2016, 05:44:13 PM »
Update!:

So here's the first video of the initial beginnings of my trailer project. I've started on the dining area first and so far it's going....okay.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=3s
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

RedandSilver

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2016, 06:16:05 PM »
Thanks for the images and the video.  Looks like your well on your way.

I guess some advice for you will require you to tell us a little more.

Are you planning on ONLY using it in your parents backyard?  Never going to roll down the road or take a vacation in it?
Because if you are ONLY going to use it at your parents then IF you needed anything you could go inside and get it - like more food
because you mentioned a smaller fridge.  But IF you were at a campground it might be different.
Do your parents have a dump station for you to use?

2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2016, 08:34:26 PM »
Thanks for the images and the video.  Looks like your well on your way.

I guess some advice for you will require you to tell us a little more.

Are you planning on ONLY using it in your parents backyard?  Never going to roll down the road or take a vacation in it?
Because if you are ONLY going to use it at your parents then IF you needed anything you could go inside and get it - like more food
because you mentioned a smaller fridge.  But IF you were at a campground it might be different.
Do your parents have a dump station for you to use?

Thanks for replying!

I'm not actually planning to park it in my parent's back yard. I plan to travel around a little bit - from Vegas to LA and then eventually to Austin. My goal is to be seaworthy by April. They do not have a dump site but I was just planning on never pooping.

Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

SeilerBird

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2016, 08:46:59 PM »
Update!:

So here's the first video of the initial beginnings of my trailer project. I've started on the dining area first and so far it's going....okay.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=3s
Really cool video, thanks for posting. I love the line: "One veteran, one trailer, and what I think are a bunch of tools." You will be on a first name basis with those tools real soon. ;D
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2016, 09:34:57 PM »
So! I've hit a snag! Hopefully the damage isn't a serious setback but I'm worried it might be and I'd like to get some advice.

So last night we went to check out the trailer and suddenly there was a soft spot in the flooring where there definitely was NOT before. It bows a little under my weight. A little of the vinyl flooring was peeling there and we checked underneath...

The wood underneath the flooring was completely soaked throughout the entire trailer. The vinyl just came up like a wet paper bag. We ended up tearing up the flooring and the wood was dark and wet the entire trailer from front to back. We set up a heater, fan, and dehumidifier and it mostly dried out overnight but one of the corners has warped and peeled up.

We're baffled. We're completely clueless how it could have gotten so wet. We've had rain and no water came in - no puddling, nothing. We had some water come through the top vent when it wasn't closed fully but that was very minimal and couldn't have possibly soaked everything. All of the water was drained weeks ago and nothing is leaking or cracked.

The only thing we can think of is some sort of weird...condensation thing? It was very low temperatures and snow but the past two days have been above freezing.

Does anyone have any idea what the heck happened? I'd hate to do a total floor rebuild so we're wanting to just reinforce it and add more support. Photos below.


« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 09:50:37 PM by Katammers »
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

NY_Dutch

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2016, 08:48:18 AM »
Has the roof been carefully checked for possible leaks? It's not uncommon for a roof edge seam leak to allow water to run down through the inside of the walls. Leaking window frame seals can also be a source of water intrusion inside the walls. Regardless of the source, water inside the walls is very bad news in a wood framed trailer. Unfortunately, the soft floor may be least of the problems.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2016, 02:46:40 PM »
We will have to check that again, then. We didn't see any water coming in on the inside of the trailer - how would we check if it's leaking down in between the walls?

Right now my next step is to finish drying the floor and then probably put down some mold-b-gone stuff and continue demo.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 02:51:49 PM by Katammers »
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

NY_Dutch

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2016, 04:00:53 PM »
A careful inspection of the roofing material and the caulking at the seams should show any potential areas that could leak. You may be able to get an idea of the wall conditions by pulling out outlets, checking the openings behind wall mounted fixtures, and just pressing the paneling, feeling soft spots that indicate the paneling has separated from the framing and insulation where the adhesive has failed. Check the walls both inside and outside. Wood frame rot is not something you want to discover later on after the interior is finished.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 09:39:48 PM »
Update!:

So the flooring is dried out now and we're still not sure what caused it but we've been discussing our options for repairs. In the mean time, we weren't sure how long the floor had been wet for and a concern of ours was if we had developed any sort of mold. I picked up a test kit at Home Depot and did an air quality test. According to the directions we do not have mold - which is great! I had almost resigned myself to living in a wet, mold-infested trailer for the rest of my life.

The second episode in my web series is also finished and demonstrates the process:

https://youtu.be/NT2hq2eZnq8

Edit: Corrected video link.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 10:21:37 PM by Katammers »
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 09:40:31 PM »
A careful inspection of the roofing material and the caulking at the seams should show any potential areas that could leak. You may be able to get an idea of the wall conditions by pulling out outlets, checking the openings behind wall mounted fixtures, and just pressing the paneling, feeling soft spots that indicate the paneling has separated from the framing and insulation where the adhesive has failed. Check the walls both inside and outside. Wood frame rot is not something you want to discover later on after the interior is finished.

I'll definitely take a closer look at everything, including the walls and everything else. Thanks for the advice!
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2017, 12:56:08 PM »
Update: There are two new videos up.

This one is just me painting some cabinets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE50iJb7XNQ

This one covers the work we did to re-enforce the floor by building a metal frame underneath the structure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dho6dpD91lI

BONUS: We found the cause of the leak! The water heater tank burst because it had not been emptied prior to winter. This means a new water heater, unfortunately, but it's good news that we found out what was causing all the water.

We're planning on adding more braces underneath the floor. Unfortunately the weather here has turned sour and trailer work has been very unpleasant. We won't be able to make any progress until it warms up or the weather improves.

In the mean time, I've been stuck inside making curtains! My original design was a roman shade pully-system. However, that method isn't going to work for some of the longer curtains so I switched to hacking some roller shades. I'm planning on doing a video tutorial of these later on. So far I have two. Pictures enclosed!

« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 01:01:29 PM by Katammers »
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

RedandSilver

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2017, 01:25:25 PM »
I'm glad you found the leak and are fixing it up.

The first time I winterized my MH I didn't drain the fresh water tank.
I blew everything out and and thought I was done.  Then I removed the water lines to and from
the water pump and they kept draining and draining and draining - that meant there was water somewhere.
Then I found the valve for the fresh water tank and it drained for another 15 minutes or so. So then I had to
start the process all over again and re-blow everything out again.  At least it was still November so no hard freezes yet.

Oh well - I'm sure you (and me) won't do that again.  Almost everything gets easier the second or third time around.

Your shade are look good - the only thing I might suggest is using kite string (white) instead of what you have now.
The string comes in different sizes and for that size shade you could use a pretty small kite string to do the job.  JMO.

Keep up the good work.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2017, 04:34:20 PM »
I'm glad you found the leak and are fixing it up.

The first time I winterized my MH I didn't drain the fresh water tank.
I blew everything out and and thought I was done.  Then I removed the water lines to and from
the water pump and they kept draining and draining and draining - that meant there was water somewhere.
Then I found the valve for the fresh water tank and it drained for another 15 minutes or so. So then I had to
start the process all over again and re-blow everything out again.  At least it was still November so no hard freezes yet.

Oh well - I'm sure you (and me) won't do that again.  Almost everything gets easier the second or third time around.

Your shade are look good - the only thing I might suggest is using kite string (white) instead of what you have now.
The string comes in different sizes and for that size shade you could use a pretty small kite string to do the job.  JMO.

Keep up the good work.

Thanks! I'm actually abandoning the string pull method and using the string-less roller shades. It would have been a pain in the butt to string a 60 inch curtain.
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

2kGeorgieBoy

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2017, 03:24:31 PM »
Although you didn't mention it, have you done an inspection of the underpinnings: the axle, springs, wheel bearings, brakes, wheel rims and tires, frame, and tongue/hitch? If not, I would recommend you do this before you go any further. Problems here can run into money quickly. This trailer is 20 years old and lack of maintenance over the years could create problems. Better to find out now rather than later.
2000 Georgie Boy Maverick
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Westcliffe, CO.

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2017, 07:20:25 PM »
Although you didn't mention it, have you done an inspection of the underpinnings: the axle, springs, wheel bearings, brakes, wheel rims and tires, frame, and tongue/hitch? If not, I would recommend you do this before you go any further. Problems here can run into money quickly. This trailer is 20 years old and lack of maintenance over the years could create problems. Better to find out now rather than later.

Everything's been checked over once and it got here okay, but I can always do another inspection tomorrow. Is there anything specific you suggest I should look for?
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2017, 07:31:40 PM »
Update:

So it's been both a few slow and exhausting weeks. The weather was really bad for a while with a lot of snow and below freezing temperature which made working on the undercarriage and floor difficult. But I've made good progress this week so here's a few updates:

We're almost done replacing the floor with 1/2 treated plywood. This has involved taking up all the old flooring to the foam which is a pain in the butt because it just crumbled into pieces. We only have to finish the bathroom square tomorrow and the floor will be sturdy AF.

Basically what we do is take up the old flooring, measure, cut the plywood, glue it down and then weigh everything down with ammunition (because we're in the Midwest, of course) until the glue is dry.

Other than that:

In the bathroom we discovered mushy wall behind the medicine cabinet and along the edge. You will see in the photo that our solution to this was to jab it full of holes and fill them holes with lots and lots of glue. Pretty much 90% of my trailer is glue now. It worked though and the wall is solid.

We've torn out the vanity and while waiting to be able to work on the floor I've got most surfaces in the trailer prepped for painting.

Also, the ceiling above the shower is very soft and we're not sure of the solution to that yet. We will probably just end up filling it with glue.

I've got a TON of work left and feeling a bit nervous about being able to complete it all but I'm just going to keep pushing forward. No new videos yet but an update coming soon.
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

Fyrediver

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2017, 09:14:36 PM »
Nicely done! 
1993 National Dolphin 32D

DearMissMermaid

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2017, 08:22:02 PM »
The U shape dinette can be a cozy fun couch and table area. But I can see that huge table is a pain in the elbow.

It's probably there to convert the dinette to a big bed.

Dump the table.

There is an RV type table that folds up to make a coffee table or work table or magazine rack. Rather cool idea.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0053J5E90/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1C6T90UH01EMT&coliid=IGRS7O98J450P&linkCode=ll1&tag=recreationalvehicles-20&linkId=4eb7af14f6e903ad3fd2da83f12b70e7

http://DearMissMermaid.Com

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Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2017, 05:38:38 PM »
Here's a quick update of what I've been working on today, refinishing the tub:

Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2017, 06:29:10 PM »
New video in which I talk about the new floor and some other updates:

https://youtu.be/kbJuuCuLnm4

I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

Massmerch

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2017, 07:05:21 PM »
You're doing a great job and have a great attitude!  And having Papa there to help is a big plus.  Keep at it, you'll be able to enjoy it soon.  Happy trails!   :D ;)
Randy
2005 Itasca Horizon 40 KD
2016 Jeep Unlimited
Hesperia, Ca.

Gods Country

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2017, 07:31:05 PM »
Your TT is almost identical to mine, just a different name.

Not surprisingly had many of the same issues.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,94759.0.html


Keep plugging away!

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2017, 07:53:46 PM »
Update:

Here's the full video for refinishing the tub:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6OSzM7a_Q0

Here what else is going on:

1. I refinished a shelf today, that will be a nice video. Also shelf paper is a pain in the ass.

2. So back when we first began I decided that I wanted to remove that....headboard area thing to make more space. What better idea to do this than just by cutting things apart willy nilly? Well, it turns out the middle of that headboard houses my propane tanks. Then we had to deal with the floor.

Now we're back on the headboard and are converting it into a long shelf with a hinge desk. What to do with that gross area on the left? Convert it into an under-desk shelf and hide everything gross looking beneath it. Problem solved. We placed brackets to rest the shelf on and slid some nice board in place that will match the rest of the desk.

The desk is what I'm looking forward to completing the most.

Note: I guess pictures aren't uploading now so I'll include some of the cubby/headboard area later.
Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2017, 06:03:08 PM »
Guess who has two thumbs and a damaged roof?

This girl!

So our tarp came off in the weather and when I went into the trailer this evening the tub was full of water - obviously from a leak above. We've been avoiding the ceiling for a while but had to acknowledge it today. We've got some bad water damage and a leak so we're going to need extra time to fix it.

Greeeeat.

Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

Katammers

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2017, 06:04:29 PM »
And here's the pictures of the cubby area from the post before:

Check out my trailer renovation web series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NZ5xqgzeiU&t=21s

Gods Country

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Re: New Remodel Start to Finish - Total Beginner!
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2017, 06:26:55 PM »
Ugh......not really surprised based on the damage you found in the walls.

You have a great attitude and support.  You will get there.

One step at a time.


 

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