Thursday, April 19, 2007

Finally an update / the teardown is done

Well sort of done, it's as far as I want to take it. From here it will all be replacing and reinforcing. It will gain weight but I'm confident it will be quite solid and useable when finished.
The Kitchen Cabinet wouldnt fit out the door and for various reasons I did not want to take it apart so I moved it up front to finish taking out the left rear paneling.
The framing there looked much like the rest, a lot of it will be saveable.

The rear wall with just the edge of the last roof panel in placeThe cuts almost completeand the last of the messy insulation is about to come down on my headYou can still see a little of the fiberglass insulation in the right corner, this was under both front and rear windows which tells me they were redone at some point in the past
There are a few really similar pics here but I cant get them to go away so treat it like a whats different puzzle :)
did you see what changed?
The framing running down on either side of the wireing is newer as near as I can tell. On the front wall (below) a lot of the wood is newer but didnt hold up wellhave been trying to figure out if the steel plates at the bottom of the picture were original or reinforcements added when the first rebuild was donethis pic is sideways, but is the left front corner facing towards the hitch, the light gray in the corner is the duct tape holding the walls together, the bottom 3 or so feet of outside trim is missing. I thought I had a pic of the other corner where you can clearly see that the framing had been replaced but I guess I'll show that next update

Here are a few shots of a pretty nasty hole

I've been refering to it as "the sins of our fathers" dent but cant tell you why,,,I just a little weird I guess

the screws hold on a patch but that side of the trailer is against the fence so those pic's will come later, wonder what happened and when
Above is the back of the old shorepower conector, gonna seal it up and leave it in place. The brown stuff is old insulation This is where the water tank sat,,, and leaked,,, for a long long time, there was a sacrificial piece of plywood over this spot that did it's job well but the floor is still a little soft here. However it holds my 325lbs up, and its not where anyone will ever stand anyway so it gets to staythe old fill neck will be left in place and possibly even reused ,,, after a thourough cleaning

the black stuff is some kind of old tar sealant, not sure it's original

But it is way up here in the corner as well so I'm thinking it must have beenignore the picture above, it's really not there
This one is though, you can see where the drive screws have gotten moisture around them and rotted the wood, this is a problem throughought the framing. Some of this will be saveable (we've got a plan) but some will have to be replaced

And now a word on polishing. The shiny spot was approximatly 5 min work with a paper towell and a polish called BILLET by Mothers, (with whom I am not affiliated)these are the dents from inside(gratuitious pic)encouraged by the amount of shine I contacted Mothers to make sure the product was not harmfull to aluminum in any way and once satisfied with the reply bought the Powerball pollishing kit (big red thing on the drill)So on the left is the hand polished spot and on the right is the powerball polished spot, aboout 3 min worth of work with the Billet polishThe third spot is 3 more min. with the powerball and the powermetal polish that comes with the powerball kit, this pic is a little deceptive as I think the two spots done with the Billet polish have slightly more reflective clarity, but saying that is kind of splitting hairs as all three spots look pretty doggone nice. To give a better idea of the change, above is an unpolished spot just to the right of the hand polished spot, you can kind of see a reflection but the flash on the camera is responsible for say 80% of thatheres the change 5 min with a paper towell made, I could literally read the small print in the reflection from 2-3 inches. I guess what I'm getting at is I thought it would take hours and hours to get anywhere near this kind of shine, granted it's not perfect but it's a lot more impresive than the 60 years of oxidation
it was hard to get a good pic of this but the bottom of the door represents the difference 8 min with the powerball made,, I'de have done more but the battery on the cordless drill gave out
I did a small spot by hand on the upper section but still couldnt get a good pic

So I got this shot and think it best demonstrates how much difference there is. Ultra glossy mirror finish ,,,, not exactly, but for the amount of time I was truly impressed. I figure once I get the whole trailer looking at least that good that it will only get better everytime I go back over it

Two bad shots of original spot, but still gives a good idea of how much change there was

Well thats all for now, hopefully the next update will have new framing, insulation and roof paneling,,,, oh and flooring, which will be the biggest addition of weight (along with the A/C) but the Bamboo floors will be strong and durable, not to mention really nice looking. Not sure I mentioned it before but I've decided not to replace/enlarge the roof vent , wanted a fantastic vent but the old 9 inch vent still works great and never leaked so it stays, only mod will be insulation and some kind of seal even though I dont think it leaks much air either.Have also decided that the elec outlets will be moved as a safety precaution, the lack of a junction box kind of spooked me, may be the cause of the hole burned in the panel behind the old fuse box.

Take care and have fun this weekend, I'll be spending time in the trailer, after all I still want to use it at the end of May,,,, lofty goal it may be but if all I have is an air conditioned paneled and floored shell I'm throwing a mattress in it and going camping :)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Is it a Saga yet

I was suprised that not all of the insulation had sagged, a lot of the roof insulation I have seen so far had settled to the bottom of the panel but this whole walls insulation was in place for the most part

was very careful and managed to get a shot of the Kimsul logo printed on the back. Does this stuff contain asbestos?

Discovered these connectors (whats the real name?) had snapped
I think the black spots might have been water intrusion
and the white condensation marks. Anyone able to verify that logic
It looks like the window sill around this window kept the water that leaked from getting between the paneling and frame which is how I imagine this is supposed to work
Noticed the remainders of some window stickers in the door window, cant quite make this one out has some fish and sea life and I can only make out an S and the TH maybe it's an old South Padre sticker
but this one is pretty clear,,, says I'm all Texan Traveling the Humble Route. Theres no backing left just the ink so I dont think it will survive much longer Heres Fred, He's the Woodworker/Carpenter thats gonna be indispensible in this rebuild
Well so far so good, it takes a lot of patience to get the paneling off from inside while keeping it in one piece to use as a template for the new paneling

I believe I'm going to use a layer of that shiny cellular insulation then a layer of celotex (foam board) for the new insulation, not sure how I should attach it yet, tempted to glue it in hopes of preventing condensation but not sure my logic is correct on that. I had the idea of sealing the inside of the walls but think it would backfire by trapping condensation behind the boards I dont replace,,,
Well it's going to be interesting , how many of you think my have it ready to camp by the end of May goal is gonna happen?

Monday, March 5, 2007


Lots of working not much posting but here are some new pics. The current excavating has revealed an interesting piece of information. At the bottom of the pic below is a small plate whose secrets no manner of light or digitaly enhanced image could reveal , I came to the conclusion that it must be a patch covering a hole
So I removed it to see what damage it might be hiding and much to my suprise,,,,
I now know where my little trailer came from. Anyone know anything about Moorhead? Do you reckon it was sold new there or tagged for a resale? Interesting never the less and my most favorite discovery so far
I think this trailer was mfg in 1947, at least thats what the hand written bill of sale says, and I think that that means it was assembled in California (correct me if I'm wrong) so did Kit alread have dealers in Minn at that time or could it be that someone moved from Ca to Mn and sold it to Pierce?
Is there somewhere that reproduces these

I believe this may be the original tail light
as well as this marker light on the rear right corner, the only marking says VP 67 anybody know anything about itor where I can get some more?
but the lights on the side had obviously been replaced, anyone know what the original light may have looked like? Will check under the rear light soon
The original panel color below, will be very close to whats going to replace all this. One of my least favorite discoveries is that Kit MFG built the trailer from the inside out. From my observations they must have built the frame then paneled the roof then the walls, then built the cabinets inside this before the skin went on. I base this on the fact that the cabinets are nailed and screwed to the frame/panels from the back, and the roof paneling was installed before the wall panels. I have no idea why that may be, seems backwards but the again it lasted 60 years with only about 50 extra screws and a little bracing being added.
I really liked this and was going to try and save itbut at some point it had burned a hole in the wall so it will be retired to my collection of old stuff and replaced with an updated breaker box.

I have decided to update the appliances lighting wireing etc. while keeping the original feel with new birch paneling steel countertop/sink, I will be building new dinette seats and covering the original table,,, well the one that was in it at any rate, adding a porta-potty ,,,,

I have pulled out the original dinette and the rusty but rebuildable ice chest (see earlier post) as well as two original lamps with one lamp shade and will be removing the original (or at least very old) steel water tank that seems to be in good condition, not sure about the inside yet, was considering storing these in case I sold the trailer to someone bent on returning it to original condition but will consider selling these if anyone is interested. Not trying to finance the rebuild just appreciate that some purist may be interested in 60 year old original parts. Leave comment if interested.