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RVing message boards => Remodeling your RV => Topic started by: RoadSchool on September 18, 2017, 11:31:39 PM

Title: Inspiration sources for build/reno work?
Post by: RoadSchool on September 18, 2017, 11:31:39 PM
If I wanted to drool over the theoretical possibility of building/renovating my own trailer in order to have the floorplan and storage of dreams, what sources would I follow to see the possibilities, limitations, costs, effort, etc involved? Any Youtube channels? Blogs? Places known for that type of work?
Title: Re: Inspiration sources for build/reno work?
Post by: tombillbob on September 26, 2017, 09:24:10 PM
If that kind of work is fun and interesting for you there is unlimited possibilities.Yes it is a lot of work, but that could vary depending on how big of project you take on. For me it was rewarding. I bought a 16' travel trailer headed for salvage. I wanted the frame, windows, stove, holding tanks ect. I demoed the trailer to the frame. Rebuilt it with an all aluminum floor, aluminum wall and roof framing. I covered the roof, interior and exterior walls with coil aluminum. Advantages, I added a foot in length so we have 2 single beds, one on each wall with a walk space between. much easier to make the beds and move mattresses. It also created a lot of accessible storage underneath the beds. I was able to rewire and re-plumb in and organized manner which created easy access to things like the water pump, hot water heater, drain traps etc. Everything is behind a door, no tearing out cabinets or panels to get to anything. I also, again, created more storage space. We actually gained so much storage space we eliminated all the upper cabinets except above the sink. For a 17' X 7' living area it does not feel all closed in like most TT. I also increased the ceiling height by 2''. No more ducking under the ceiling lights or AC. Batteries are also now enclosed. Plus I dropped 300lbs. off the trailer weight. I don't know what your idea of camping is. We go lite and simple but very comfortable. What we consider a lot of storage may not be so for others. The other big advantage is the trailer is totally sealed from the out side. All access boxes for electric, water and penetrations through the floor are water tight. I also now have a trailer that does not leak, I tested it with a 1800psi. pressure washer before finishing the inside walls. It was worth it and I would do it again!

Hope this is an inspiration and not a turn off. Tom
Title: Re: Inspiration sources for build/reno work?
Post by: Jim S on September 29, 2017, 08:29:22 AM

Your project sounds even more extensive than mine. I am very interested in your use of aluminum, as I am considering an aluminum floor as well. In addition is the possible replacement of the Filon skin and roof with an aluminum skin.

Thanks in advance for any information regarding materials used and sources!

Oh! Any photos of the completed project?
Title: Re: Inspiration sources for build/reno work?
Post by: tombillbob on September 30, 2017, 10:29:56 PM
Here are a few pictures, hope they help. I purchased the  aluminum from Town And Country Industries. They are suppliers for aluminum patio materials. I purchased the aluminum coil material from them, .024 pre-painted white. I opened a cash account with them so the material was at at true whole sale cost. It saves over 50 to 100%. They also have a parent company that sells industrial materials like aluminum angle, square tubing, sheets, expanded metal etc. if you open and account with one or the other its good at both company's. I don't know where your located but Town and Country is located in the south east, Florida, Georgia area. I'm sure you can find a similar supplier in your area. I'm self employed LLC so i had no problem getting an account. If your not just give them a little song and dance about your new business. If it's a cash account they have nothing to lose and they want to sell material. The only draw back is that there are no returns and material comes in fixed lengths. For the framing I used 1'' x .063 square tubing. I used some 1 1/2'' x 1 1/2 sq. tubing for the roof and floor framing. All the joints were welded. For the sub floor I use 1'' x 2 channel. It is the channel that is used for screen cages. I butted them side to side and screwed them to the aluminum framing. Labor intensive but inexpensive, strong and light. I then used an adhesive to glue down .032 sheet aluminum over the channel. You can also get sheet aluminum at some roofing supply company's. Same deal, open a cash account. I also found a company online who sells coil up to 8 ft. wide so you could do a roof with out seams. To me the cost was outlandish. There is also real aluminum flooring channel. If I remember right it was 12'' wide by 8' long out of 1/8'' stock, really strong and really expensive.We have around six trips to North Carolina and every thing is still holding together.
Hope the info is useful, Tom.
Title: Re: Inspiration sources for build/reno work?
Post by: tombillbob on September 30, 2017, 10:37:18 PM
oops, here are the pictures. It's hard to post many pictures here, if you want I can email you more.
Title: Re: Inspiration sources for build/reno work?
Post by: Jim S on October 01, 2017, 11:33:55 AM

Thanks. Very useful info. Interesting approach on the subfloor. I will have to look into that. My current plan was to use extruded aluminum decking. I found one company that makes an interesting interlocking waterproof design. As you noted: Pricey! It would cost around $1,200-$1,400 to install in my 7' X 18' box using the list (retail?) pricing. Still, it would be rock solid and never rot. Even at that price it would be worth it, I think, just for the weight savings and peace of mind.

I saw some photos of your build on another thread yesterday. Quite the project and nicely done. Do you happen to have any photos of the subfloor buildup? Do you recall how much that approach cost in materials? I have a business, although it is an art photography business. I will check to see if I can open an account as you did. That is an excellent idea.

Thanks for the detailed response.
Title: Re: Inspiration sources for build/reno work?
Post by: tombillbob on October 03, 2017, 09:03:17 PM
I think the inter locking deck material would make an incredible floor! I had right around $550.00 in the 1 x 2 channel, screws and some extra 1 1/2 square tubing added to the existing floor framing.

Title: Re: Inspiration sources for build/reno work?
Post by: tombillbob on October 03, 2017, 09:22:09 PM
Here are some pictures of the flooring and sub floor.