Sunday, September 20, 2009

Odds and Ends

I have been playing catch up on a lot of little things. I bought a new propane lamp globe from Vintage Trailer Supply for about $12.

The old one had several cracks in it, and I was afraid it would break going down the highway. The old globe is wrapped up and in the box of old parts. I also installed a carbon monoxide/smoke detector (from Walmart for about $8) in the small space over the door.

It is tucked away nicely, but still in a central location.

After hitting my head on the seriously sharp edges of the windows about 100 times I devised this protection plan since telling myself not to do it again just wasn't working.

I made small slits in old tennis balls like you would to put on a fence post or trailer ball. Works great and my poor bald head thanks me for no longer adding to the collection of scars

I also replaced the old crusty rusty door catch.

I got a new model from the local rv center for $6. Originally I was going to drill out the rivots and just use the latch which is identical to the old rusted one, but I decided to leave it intact as it keeps the door from hitting the paint a little better.

While we are on the subject of rust, I kept a jar as a memento, of all 900+ rusty screws.

I got the old Shasta nameplate shined up and reattached as well. See? Shiny... (I can hear you saying oooooh, from here)

Also, although I have mentioned it before, I will show it again. This little microwave fits perfectly in the wardrobe above the fridge. It was free off the curb last spring when some college kids moved out. You wouldn't believe the stuff they throw out, it could be a blog all in itself.

I finally finished the 12-volt system using the alarm system power supply.

I ran wiring off the main Fan-Tastic fan wiring to power under-cabinet lighting, fans to draw air across the coils for the propane fridge and a small exhaust fan for the stove. I used LED light strips from . The strips were $6.99 each. They draw almost no power, making them perfect for boondocking on battery power and are warm white, giving them a similar glow to incandescent bulbs. I placed LED light strips under the kitchen cabinets and front cabinets.

I used an old 80 mm fan from a previous computer build for an exhaust fan; it covered the hole perfectly.

I used two 120mm fans from the same old computer to pull air across the coils.

These fans don’t move much air, but they increase air flow which should help the fridge work more efficiently. I bought small toggle switches that you can see to the right of the lights in the pictures, from Radio Shack for all lights and fans for about $10. I mounted these under and in cabinets to keep them out of sight.

The lighting looks great and goes nicely with the propane lamp. All of these lights and fans, including the Fan-Tastic fan on the roof, still draw less than 4 amps which means when boondocking, I could go three days running everything before running out of battery. Translation, my battery will last longer with normal light and fan use than my family will last camping. Right now, I have not connected a battery to the system. I will use the power supply until we are ready to go off the grid and then purchase a battery when necessary. I figure no use paying for a battery to slowly wear out over the next three years if I don’t need it.

Moving on, I pulled the wheels, hubcaps, door handles, license plate holder, and propane tank rack off and took them to the local sandblaster, Sisk Sandblasting. They did a great job. The handles were badly pitted and everything else was rusted pretty badly. From previous experience this is the only way to go. Wire brushing just doesn’t get all the rust and it comes back quickly, ruining hard work. For $100 I removed all rust and had a great texture for painting. I used gloss white Rustoleum for $5, for the wheels and tank rack, and a stainless steel Rustoleum, that I had on the shelf in the garage, for the door handles, hubcaps and plate holder. Here is a pic of my painting area, under a tarp, in the rain the day before leaving for the rally.

Someday I may get the door handles re-chromed, but for now they are painted and protected. Everything looks great and it gives a finished look to the trailer.

I already had a propane tank with a new valve from an old grill of mine, then I picked up a second full of fuel for $12 on Craigslist. I bought two new lines with the easy connect fittings from our local RV center for $10 each. I lightly sanded each and rolled on two coats of paint left over from the camper.

I got them mounted on the front and it really makes it look nice with paint matched tanks.

Now if I could only get the dang wings finished…

So, if you are following along, so far we have:

Trailer $900

Bearing Repack $100

Steel $10

Sealant $10

Fan-Tastic Fan $140

Three Sheets 1/8 Birch $50

3M Polish $18

Buffer Pad $12

Mothers Aluminum Polish $8

TSP Cleaner/Paint Prep $8

Rollers, brushes and trays $30

Frog Tape $10

Etching Primer $5

Goo Gone $3

Paint 3 Gallons $98

Foam $250

Upholstery Fabric $510

Curtain & Pillow Fabric $80

Glass $50

Glass Seal $72

Backframe Gasket $80

Pile Weatherstrip $6

Vinyl Weatherstrip $5

Silicone Discs $5

Butyl Tape $15

Screws $70

Chains $10

Harness $6

Teardrop Lights $20

Sway Bar $45

Metal Plates $2

Wire and Outlets $54

Power Supply $20

Water Fill Lid SOLD -$20

Watco Stain $20

Bullseye Shellac $8

Howard’s Wax $10

Trim $18

Upholstery Labor $460

Curtain Hardware $40

Globe $12

CO Detector $8

LED Strips $28

Switches $10

Sandblasting $100

Paint $5

Propane Tank $12

Fittings $20

Door Catch $6

Bringing our tally to: $3,439

So, we are now officially hemorrhaging money, but I have a tourniquet on my wallet and I think it is slowing…

Until next time dear readers, shasta la vista...

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