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Author Topic: Our project trailer  (Read 13305 times)

Wegocampin

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Our project trailer
« on: July 16, 2015, 08:06:15 PM »
Hi there everyone! The boyfriend and I bought our first rig... it's definitely a project trailer. I bought it off of craigslist for 700.00 and we had to get her licensed and buy a 5th wheel hitch (also a craigslist find!) all said and done, we are currently into her for a little less than a grand. It's a 30ft 1986 Aljo Alliance by Skyline. Now, here is the list of needs (and wants)

The "need done before we can use her list."
-Recoat roof with Eternabond, Dicor and then some sta-kool.
-repair damage to back corner (seal up, so no more water leaks)
-Most of the main floor and one wall need repair
-install new electric fridge
-4 new tires

The "I wanna make it awesome list."
-paint all the inside
-Add a table and chairs instead of the booth (which we need to pull to replace the wall anyhow.)
-add a small futon (the couch that was in it is gone.)
-new mattress
-new curtains
-led bulbs
-a new bathroom countertop
-install a new stereo


She needs a ton of "little things..." drawers aren't on tracks, some of the faces have come off, replace bulbs, etc.  I know it's probably a money pit, and Neither of us have done a huge amount of DIY, but I can see the potential and I'm excited. Now, with all that out of the way and if you've made it this far,  :P, here are my first few (of many to come, I'm sure) questions.

Do I need to remove the outer skin to replace the framing, insulation and inner covering? It looks as if most of the water damage is relegated to the lower half of the walls and the floors, so budget wise, if I can just cut out the bad stuff and splice in to the good wood, I'd rather do that.

A good portion of rot is near the one and only door... how do I take out the rotten wood and try to reframe etc. without a way to get in and out?? lol

And last, am I freakin' crazy??? Do you think it a wise endeavor or am I off my rocker??? lol
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 08:10:01 PM by Wegocampin »
Dan and Jamie
The fur kid; Gizmo
The rig: 1986 Aljo Alliance towed by a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
Our project: https://www.flickr.com/gp/133318342@N04/X912BE

SeilerBird

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2015, 08:48:09 PM »
And last, am I freakin' crazy??? Do you think it a wise endeavor or am I off my rocker??? lol
No you are not crazy, just not very well informed about RVs. For a lot less money than you will be spending you can get a heck of a deal in a used 5er that would require very little work and give you a lot more pleasure. More bang for your buck. Here is a 1999 Fleetwood 30 foot with two slides for only $8,000:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1999-Fleetwood-Wilderness-30-RV-/121703453856?forcerrptr=true&hash=item1c561754a0&item=121703453856

Here is a 2003 Luxury Double Tree 35 footer with three slides for only $13,000 all ready to go camping in:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Luxury-2003-Mobile-Suites-by-Double-Tree-Fifth-Wheel-Camper-/181803508330?forcerrptr=true&hash=item2a5455626a&item=181803508330

Do you want to go camping or spend the rest of your life repairing one and all your savings on a black hole?

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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Wegocampin

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2015, 09:27:03 PM »
I appreciate the reply. I have done a lot or research on rv's and 5th wheels in particular. Anything you buy used is a gamble; and you can put a pretty bow on it and it may still be crap. ;) I am super thrifty, and a lot of what I have planned will all be done with recycled materials. I'm guesstimating by the time she's finished, we will hopefully have only spent around 2500-3000. It's just the two of us, so we don't need and/or want anything huge. ;) I also do love a challenge, and getting my hands dirty, so I still feel it's a worthwhile investment. (Ask me in a few weeks though after we do the tear down, etc. lol)
Dan and Jamie
The fur kid; Gizmo
The rig: 1986 Aljo Alliance towed by a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
Our project: https://www.flickr.com/gp/133318342@N04/X912BE

SeilerBird

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2015, 09:35:47 PM »
The refer and tires alone will be $3k.
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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Dougie Brown

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2015, 04:58:50 AM »
Hiya,

I think what you're doing is exciting. :)  There's nothing like tearing down a house, an RV or a trailer on a minimal budget (i.e. on the cheap, lol). I guess a lot of us here lose sight of perfectly acceptable cheaper substitutes for specialist RV items such as your fridge.  Same with furniture.  No reason why you shouldn't instal domestic stuff, new or secondhand. Thrift stores are great places!  But it sounds like you're a savvy lady.

Here in the UK when the kids were little, we bought an old-but-solid caravan (trailer), gutted it, and made it our own little home on wheels for weekends and vacations.  It even had gas (propane) lights with mantles(!) which quietly hissed in an evening and smelt awesome.  How we didn't die, I've no idea though.

So I say go for it, starting from the inside by stripping out everything, identifying what inner wall panels you'll have to remove, seal her up, make good and decorate.  Some pics would be nice. :)

Dougie.
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (F53 chassis, Ford 6.8 V10 gas)
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RodgerS

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2015, 06:54:56 AM »
I think this could be a fun project for the right person, but since you apparently lack diy skills and your knowledge base about rv design/construction is poor, I would think you would be better served if you approached it as a disposable learning project.

Your to do list is probably way below what needs to be done and lots of nasty surprises are likely to be a permanent feature of the project and post project. These homes are subject to lots of movement stresses and things like water damage are often way more serious than what appearances suggest.

So, I would encourage you to change your expectations to learning and then abandonment of the project.

Note: my high school friend, who went on to become a captain in the merchant marine, built a very pretty fiberglass boat in his father's garage, in his last high school year, that promptly capsized and sunk on its maiden voyage. It was an excellent learning project for him using his logic and intuition, as your project is, ignoring the value of specific training and earned skills.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 06:59:29 AM by RodgerS »
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Sam!

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2015, 09:48:54 AM »
What's done is done, make this your rebuild thread and post pictures of it and how it progresses.
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Mopar1973Man

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2015, 10:03:21 AM »
Fridge I would base on are you a boondocker or a RV park type.

As for the door I'm pretty sure you could replace the entire thing with a new one.

I've had a gal on my site take and pull apart a Jayco RV and repair it herself. She done a wonderful job of getting pull apart and doing the repairs. But sad to say will all the fancy Dicor sealant and tape it still leaked. So she is having to pull it back apart and hunt for the water leak. She not a happy camper.

As for myself my old 1976 Dodge Jamboree I had the same issues I had one leak in the bunk above the cab and one back towards the rear. I ended up pulling the entire cieling out re-doing. Sad to say the repairs only lasted about 5 years and then started leaking again.  The problem is a RV is a box that gets abused with shaking and flexing.

There will be a point of giving up and looking for newer vehicles. Like myself I gave up the 1976 Dodge and move up to a 2000 Jayco which I have now. So far 5 years and no problems but enjoyed modifying the RV to my personal taste.
Mopar1973Man (AKA: Michael Nelson) located out in the state of Idaho with...
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Dougie Brown

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2015, 10:51:39 AM »
RogerS, I think your well-intentioned reality check post is heavily disguised as a kick in the aspirations!! :o  Encouraging them to change their expectations and abandon the project is a pretty big bucket of iced water for a couple of peeps who've come here wanting to share the thrill & excitement of renovating their first rig and running their ideas past those of us who are a little longer in the tooth as regards RVing/trailering.

Jamie, you asked if this is a wise endeavour.  Wisdom comes in many forms, sometimes dressed in sensibility, other times dressed in craziness.  My view has always been to make the most of your dreams and follow them providing they don't bankrupt you or lead to emotional incontinence. ;D  So c'mon folks, let's throw some practical suggestions out - like Mopar1973Man has - and point the gal in the right direction with this project.

I do agree with Mopar1973Man that there will be a point of calling it a day at some point, but the learning curve during a project like this - and the enjoyment of getting some use out of it even when not perfect - is what it's all about if you ain't got thousands of dollars to spend.

What's done is done, make this your rebuild thread and post pictures of it and how it progresses.

Exactly.

Dougie.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 10:54:58 AM by Dougie Brown »
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (F53 chassis, Ford 6.8 V10 gas)
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Wegocampin

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2015, 12:57:12 AM »
Thank you Dougie!!! I needed to hear that. I do have to say it is a bit frustrating to hear all the negativity... I am by no means trying to down play our situation, but some of us don't have the means to just run out and buy a brand new camper. And, I have seen new-ish ones that have needed more renovation than ours does. I also know that with this being a 30 year old rig, we won't keep it forever. Our idea is to fix it up, know it's done right and hang on to her for as long as we can. Nowhere did I say I had no skills, I've just never refabbed an rv. We are going about things methodically...First, the roof. Then rebuilding the interior. I have some great ideas, and as soon as we are able to act on them, I'll definitely post pictures. ;) And trust me, if we feel it's not worth our time and money, we would get rid of her, not try and fix a sinking boat.
Dan and Jamie
The fur kid; Gizmo
The rig: 1986 Aljo Alliance towed by a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
Our project: https://www.flickr.com/gp/133318342@N04/X912BE

ChiefM

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2015, 09:45:45 AM »
You guys go !!!
I am a lot better mechanic than carpenter but there is no better to learn. I never worked on a Class A motorhome before I bought mine. I learned a ton of stuff about my rig when I had to rebuild the bathroom. Safety first and replace anything that looks unsafe or rotten. Welcome and look forward to seeing some pics!!!
1986 27RT Winnebago Chieftain/Sold
Window Shopping for replacement

blw2

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2015, 10:10:26 AM »
I think it's a great goal.

I've always thought that if I had time, i'd like to dive into a major project like that and really make it my own.

I have a friend that did it with an older class C.  He and his wife really spruced it up nice..... on the inside.  The outside still doesn't look like much, but for their purposes it's great!

If nothing else, you'll be learning a lot of DIY skills that carry over to regular houses and lots of other things
you'll be learning RV systems
and about your likes, dislikes, needs, and wants for future RV's

Just don't let it get you to the place of burn-out, and have fun with it.
I suggest setting realistic expectations, and trying to get it road worthy so you can get on the road for enjoyment... but for me anyway, what i would want to avoid is making it so that I feel like you have to work on it to make progress every time I'd take it out for fun.  That will sap the fun out.
So
either get her done in a hurry and call her finished.
or set realistic expectations re how perfect it needs to be

Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Wegocampin

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2015, 03:26:00 AM »
well, our goal is to get the roof and all the sealing done before fall/winter so she's water tight.  ;) Then we can move on to the inside stuff. Since we are doing things on a budget, I don't imagine it will be all done until (hopefully) next summer. But, this will keep us busy through the winter.  :)
Dan and Jamie
The fur kid; Gizmo
The rig: 1986 Aljo Alliance towed by a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
Our project: https://www.flickr.com/gp/133318342@N04/X912BE

kimberly

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2015, 04:55:28 AM »
It sounds like a fun project and if you don't have to live in it and can take your time its very doable. Just expect a lot of surprises and detour projects ;D
Kimberly
Terry 28'
Fulltimer/Remodel

Hoosier Daddy

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2015, 06:01:38 AM »
Jamie, Is there RV surplus yards in your neck of the woods? I am fortunate that here in Northern Indiana is where a lot of Camper Trailers are manufactured so their old stock of material is bought up by these Surplus yards and sold DIRT CHEAP!
I am gathering materials to build a Tear-Drop camper and bought a pre-hung RV door complete in the frame for $60 they had rows of them. Searched through racks and racks for the "right" size and shape sliding glass window again with the frame and screen for $20. Their LED interior lights are $5 any style you can imagine. Plus any gadget or widget you will EVER need. So do a search in your area.

Then there is also www.shopgoodwill.com you would not BELIEVE what is listed there for next to nothing...  :D

  Point being there are less expensive ways to do things than paying full retail.

PLEASE post some Pics... curiosity is killin me over here!
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 06:10:17 AM by Hoosier Daddy »
Scott & Rhonda
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SeilerBird

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2015, 06:51:48 AM »
Fridge
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Vissani-4-3-cu-ft-Mini-Refrigerator-in-Stainless-Look-HVDR430SE/205429674

Tires
http://www.sears.com/nanco-n622-bias-st-st225-75d15-h78-15-d/p-09553142000P?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1#desc
Well I was sure wrong about the cost of tires and refer. I know nothing about TT and they are obviously a lot cheaper than a motorhome. I replaced my refer with two refers. Both are electric and dirt cheap. My electricity bill went way down. Please post some photos of your project.
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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Dougie Brown

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2015, 08:33:12 AM »
I can see I'm gonna have to schedule northern Indiana on our next trip!!!  Sheesh. :o

Dougie.
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (F53 chassis, Ford 6.8 V10 gas)
1999 Ford Escort SE (2.0L 4cyl gas)
Brits spending half each year in the US and/or Canada
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Wegocampin

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2015, 01:43:48 AM »
Pics, as requested. Mind you, she's messy and dirty right now. lol

https://www.flickr.com/gp/133318342@N04/X912BE
Dan and Jamie
The fur kid; Gizmo
The rig: 1986 Aljo Alliance towed by a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
Our project: https://www.flickr.com/gp/133318342@N04/X912BE

Dougie Brown

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2015, 05:53:46 AM »
Yay! I love it.  It's exactly right for a project - a blank canvas to make it uniquely yours. :D  Loving the whitewall tires too, lol.

Dougie.
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (F53 chassis, Ford 6.8 V10 gas)
1999 Ford Escort SE (2.0L 4cyl gas)
Brits spending half each year in the US and/or Canada
www.rv-and.us

cadee2c

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2015, 09:00:30 AM »
You know, as I looked through the photos, I started thinking how you could probably just pull everything out and start over with how you want it to be. Not necessarily what was already in place.

You don't have to worry about keeping it in prime condition for resale value. You could take off and go non-traditional like getting cabinets and storage racks from IKEA or even thrift stores. Put Pinterest in your bookmarks. Most of all, just have fun. Make it uniquely yours. I think you are going to have a great time with this.  :D
Caryl- Pilot
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1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
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Thecabinetguy

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2015, 10:59:20 PM »
I am so glad the negative comments stopped and encouragement followed.  Let me tell you a story.

 I started camping life in a tent like most everyone else here did.  I eventually moved up to a tiny tiny little FAME camper.  This worked for a summer but I really didn't like it because it was too cramped.

The next spring I found a fairly nice 30' Coachman bumper tow  that seemed to be the answer.  I made the deal and dragged it home.  It was about 15 years old but had good tires and was huge compared to my old 14 footer.  On my first night in the camper a few weeks later I kept hearing a noise below the bed and in the wall like a branch rubbing the side.  It was dark and I took it as being just that.  In the morning I woke up to find ants had invaded my dry foods and was pretty grossed out but then realized they were making a trail to the bedroom.  It was just an overnight trip so I headed home and didnt put two and two together right then.

Two weeks later I was in the camper cleaning and randomly stepping on a few ants and decided to spray.  I lifted the bed and sprayed ant killer under it and the walls.  There was a bit more noise and then ants everywhere.  I ran.  (Quite manly response right??)  I went to hardware and bought 5 Bug Bombs and set them off inside and in the 2 compartments and athe following weekend started opening things up.  My entire real wall was a giant ants nest as was the last 8 feet of the floor including the entire bedroom.  It was bad.  I had taken a small loan to buy it.  I had a year just to pay it off.  Fixing was my only option.  Here is what I learned:

Anything can be fixed with a little knowledge and basic skills.  Before you even invest another penny, take it to someone who knows TRAILERS but preferably not an RV place.  THis is YOUR project.  Have a trailer guy take a look at the frame and carriage and brakes and axles etc to be sure they are road safe. If it is you are safe to play.

Many campers and RVs are built by laying out a deck complete with cabinets and furniture and flooring and then setting the walls down around it.  You need to reverse this to the degree you can.  I started by removing all furniture, beds, partitiions etc to get the unit as empty as I could.

Next I removed the wall covering which back then was thin paneling. With that came the insulation which was very very minimal.  I left the outside skin on a majority of the camper.  I only removed what I absolutely had to where the wood was badly damaged.

Next came the floor coverings.  I had vinyl flooring in halls and carpet in the bedroom.  This had all been installed before the interior OR the exterior walls.  I simply cut around the base of all the walls and exposed as much floor as I could so that the 3/4" plywood flooring could be removed.

Once I had taken about 100 pictures of everything and at least 100 measurements I started tearing out the bad stuff.  I too had a door in the middle of the worst of the damage.  Someone put it in there so you can slowly figure out how and remove it the same way. If you are very careful it can be saved and reused. I will admit here that the door never quite shut as nice as it originally did but in an emergency would be an escape.  We just didn't use it much after that. It shut and latched etc but was a little sticky.

Once the bad is out you can start rebuilding.  I recommend tearing out and fixing a section at a time.  Fresher memories are always best.

The only other cautions would be to watch carefully for wires and hoses. Both can be buried in the bad wood and wires are easy to cut and not even notice.  I cut a small ground wire for water pump and never noticed.  I had to bite my lip and get someone who knew what they were doing to tell me why the pump wouldnt go.

Now get out there and have FUN!!  If tempers start getting short and it stops being fun STOP!!!!!  That is a good time to go get wings and a beer and walk away until next weekend.  Also...Take breaks from the project for a day or a week now and then.  A Project of fun and love can turn into a ball and chain if you try too hard too fast.



 
2000 Winny Ultimate Advantage
1994 Toyota 4Runner Toad
Sometimes a trailer full of ATV's instead.
Ultimately...it was no advantage

Wegocampin

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2015, 02:03:12 AM »
Thanks!! I'm going to have my Dad give her a good once over. He's a mechanic and has been buying and selling trailers for years.  ;) She's actually in pretty solid shape considering her age. most of my to do list is cosmetic, and just because I want to upgrade, not because I have to. I have already removed most of the carpet and the rotten wood/floor will be next. We don't have a garage, so storing things is a bit difficult right now. I have all kinds of awesome ideas floating around in my head... I can't wait to get them on the trailer.
Dan and Jamie
The fur kid; Gizmo
The rig: 1986 Aljo Alliance towed by a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
Our project: https://www.flickr.com/gp/133318342@N04/X912BE

cadee2c

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2015, 03:52:04 AM »
And I can't wait to see the pictures when youre done. :)
Caryl- Pilot
Bob- Navigator
Mister Hank - homeland security
Buddy the Dog-  Soul Mutt, forever in our hearts.


1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
2010 Jeep Liberty

Follow your arrow, wherever it points

Wegocampin

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2015, 12:52:15 AM »
added some new photos to the album.  ;)
Dan and Jamie
The fur kid; Gizmo
The rig: 1986 Aljo Alliance towed by a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
Our project: https://www.flickr.com/gp/133318342@N04/X912BE

Graycat

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2015, 10:38:53 PM »
Great advice from Thecabinetguy.  We've never remodeled a camper but have done several houses and his advice is spot on.  The best thing about doing anything today vs twenty years ago is that SOMEONE has probably done it before and made a youtube video showing how they did it.

Great project trailer.  I'm looking forward to the photos showing your progress.
Marti, Lee, and an old gray cat named Buddy

Wegocampin

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2015, 10:52:56 PM »
made a TON of progress today! Got the booth and the cabinet out and exposed all the damaged areas. Not as bad as I first thought.  ;D  Next step is to remove all the poop wood reframe and then insulate and cover. After that I am re sealing all the doors and windows. That is where the water is coming in at. Pictures added to the album!
Dan and Jamie
The fur kid; Gizmo
The rig: 1986 Aljo Alliance towed by a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
Our project: https://www.flickr.com/gp/133318342@N04/X912BE

Dougie Brown

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2015, 04:38:58 AM »
Great news. :)  Suggestion - why don't you put the link to your photo gallery in your forum signature?  That way, it's immediately accessible to your fanbase. ;)

Dougie.
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (F53 chassis, Ford 6.8 V10 gas)
1999 Ford Escort SE (2.0L 4cyl gas)
Brits spending half each year in the US and/or Canada
www.rv-and.us

Wegocampin

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Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2015, 04:56:17 AM »
Dougie,  you're a genius. Lol thanks!
Dan and Jamie
The fur kid; Gizmo
The rig: 1986 Aljo Alliance towed by a 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
Our project: https://www.flickr.com/gp/133318342@N04/X912BE

Dougie Brown

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    • RV and us.... our adventures in Morocco, Spain, the US & Canada!
Re: Our project trailer
« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2015, 05:32:45 AM »
Shucks. I know, I know.  8)
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (F53 chassis, Ford 6.8 V10 gas)
1999 Ford Escort SE (2.0L 4cyl gas)
Brits spending half each year in the US and/or Canada
www.rv-and.us

 

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