Monday, December 19, 2011

First STOF outing

So it has been awhile since I posted last. I was trying to get my camper ready for my first outing on 10/21/11 weekend. I took it in to get new ties and ended up replacing the axle and some other stuff. I had them wire the tail lights. They couldn't get to the marker lights so I will bring it back in the spring. But I feel everything is safe now with the work that was done. So I took off Thursday and Friday to work on the camper before I went to Potato Creek in Indiana. I worked my butt off and get it semi ready to go around 7:00 on Friday. So I got to the campsite in the dark. My first road trip and it pulled pretty easy. When I pulled into the campsite, some of the sisters offered to help back it in - I so need to practice backing it into spaces. It was cold (38 degrees is what my car showed) and dark. So I just set up a bit and went to bed. I had a little space heater that kept the inside of the camper really warm. Next morning I introduced myself to the other sisters. We had breakfast, went on a hike in a corn maze, did some crafts (decorated a pumpkin or made a birdseed wreath), some ladies dressed up in costume, had a chili cook off, played a few games, and told some good stories by the fire. There was about 20 of us that came to this STOF event. It was a lot of fun. The ladies are really nice. Some even decorated their campers for Halloween. I missed the auction on Friday night, but we had a silent auction for my Halloween basket that raised 35 bucks. So overall we raised over 750 bucks for Casting for Recovery. Great cause and so happy we can help. Here are some of the campers. Great 1st STOF experience and can't wait for the next one. I still have lots of work to do before I can say the camper is finished but I can say I am addicted and look forward to many more camping adventures.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

More September work

I wasn't able to get Gizmo finished to attend the Midwest Vintage trailer rally or the Heartland gathering in Indiana the following weekend. I was a little disappointed, but in a rush to finish I was getting a little aggravated with my project.

So here is the progress update:
Finished the front birch replacement, framing, insulation and reinstalled the skin
Floor - installed leveling goop on parts of the floor that had missing tile, installed a new plywood floor and the new VCT tile (glue is my enemy)
Back side - installed the birch and most of the framing (I messed up a little on the welting - will have to figure out later)
Reinstalled the curved shelf - replaced the side bracket that was rotted
Inside birch - sanded and applied some amber shellac
Reinstalled the curbside bench - replaced to boards that were rotted, resealed it
Cushions - made 1 large bench cushion in gray - my first attempt at piping - turned out OK for my first time - only three more cushions to go - jeesh
I made a flag banner to hang along the inside curved shelf.
I have someone helping me with the wiring, so I am waiting on him before I can finish reinstalling the skin.
I found a used small refrigerator at an estate sale for 20 bucks - good score. Then I also found an unused porti potti at the thrift store for 3.95 - even better score !!!!

Whats left - still waiting for the title, more framing on the driver side around the electrical and pipe, more framing on the backside (two horizontal pieces), adding some birch strips on the seams inside, replaced piping, wiring, reinstall windows and skin, install drip rail, paint the outside, install new tires, make three cushions, make curtains, paint inside of door - lots more to do. I hope to be able to go to an event in October in Indiana on 10/21. A few pictures:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Work continues

I don't have pictures but work continues
I used oil based kilz to cover the water damaged tiles - to seal them
I did the same for under the sink and front cabinet - there was a smell that I couldn't get rid off, so I wanted to seal the order. Turns out it was the plywood piece that was under the stove. So I took that out and replaced with a new piece of plywood.
I added some insulation to the roof of the closet area
I thought the curved piece of birch would be easy to replace - uh, not so much. I had to cut it to install in two pieces. One is up and I am learning things aren't square - duh.
I added the front small birch piece above the window, added a horizontal piece of frame in the front, and started rebuilding the framing by the closet - this area is taking way more time and work than I thought it would.
Boy oh boy, I have so much work to do before I go on her maiden voyage on September 13th to the Midwest Vintage Trailer rally. Still waiting for the title to come in the mail.
I bought a GPS - Garmin Nuvi - my first one . Figured I will need it - off to charge it up

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More Demo

I was working on the front and did more demo than I thought it needed. But in typical fashion, once I opened it up, the more work needed to be done. It is a little scary to see it in that condition. I know it will all be worth it in the end. No need to cut corners.I hope I can put it back together the right way - AHHHH !!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


It has been way to long since my last post. Work has been busy and it has been way to hot and rainy to work on the camper. I am making a little progress with the title. I got the appraisal and working on the bond. I called secretary of state and they are sending the right packet of forms to fill out. They said it will take 6 weeks to get once they get the paperwork. I don;t think I will get it before the September Midwest Vintage trailer rally. I also ordered the drip rail from House of camping - should come in a week or so. I hope I got the right stuff. I also got the plywood for the floor and the VCT (vinyl composite tile) I was going to go with a checkerboard of white and gray, but Menards only had a blue gray in stock - not the right color I wanted. So I went with a white with brown specks. I think this will be a nice neutral floor. I found a place on line that can customize spray paint to the same color as regular interior paint, so I will get this for the pink. I still need to figure out the final exterior paint scheme.

Camper status - There is more water damage at the front and roof area on the drivers side, so I needed to take off the upper portion of the skin on the drivers side to see what needs to be replaced. I got the front window and skin off. Looks like I will have to replace all the birch in the front. I will most likely have to remove the next layer of skin on the front to repair some damage and I will most likely replace the 5 amber lights. As much progress I think I am making, I see that there is SO much more to do.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Driver side

I have spent more time working on the driver side framing. I have a little more birch inside to install, 2 more pieces. I had one rusted screw on the top side skin and had pulled the skin to look at the wood and it pulled through. So I have a larger hole in the skin that I will need to figure out later. I had to also start working on pulling the edge trim off the front up to the roof. I got some screws off around the front window and took off the drip rail. Rusted screws are a nightmare. SO I have about 3/4ths of the driver side framing replaced. The weather has been hot so I started using two tarps to create shade between the camper and the fence so it is a little easier to work. Still hot but easier not being under the sun. With moving towards the front end (inside it is the closet)there is more birch to be replaced that I thought. I might have to take the top skin off to see the condition of the wood at the top. I was hoping to not have to disturb the roof. But I need to fix everything that needs to be fixed.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


It has been a little time since I posted last. I have been working on it though. I worked on more framing over Fourth of July weekend - Boy it was hot. I tried to do some work inside where it was cooler - painting my living room yellow - had to prime and paint. That was a lot of work. I think I have to many projects going on.

So I have all the framing that needed to be replaced, done on the curb side. I also replaced the inside birch on the curbside. I still need to check out the front end. I installed the insulation on the curbside. That took a lot longer than I thought it would.

I also started replacing the rotted framing and birch on the drivers side. The bottom piece is really hard to get out. The screws are rusted and stripped. I will work on it later in the week. it is supposed to rain for the next few days.

I also went to the Secretary of State to get information on getting a title. Seems a little harder than I thought. I need to get a bond, appraisal, form and the tax form and fee. I have to call my insurance company and see if they have more answers to help me. I hope I get it in time for a Midwest Rally I signed up for in September.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Birch has been found

Not much progress - I cleaned up two more drip rails. They will need some finishing touches, so I have 4 of the 6 done. I finally found 1/8" Birch 4x8 panels at Owl Lumber in Oak Lawn. I also got some more pine - 1x3, 1x6 and 1x8's. I also picked up some denatured alcohol (to thin out the shellac)and some screw nails. I took out about half the screws on the drivers side, took out the fresh water fill hole, window drip rail, wheel well trim, all the window screws except 4 - rusted. The curbside birch is in pretty good shape except for the bottom. So instead of replacing all of it, I am going to cut the bottom off and replace it. It will be hidden by the bench. I cut the once piece out, cut new birch and put the amber shellac on it. This is a good piece to practice on. I will put the piece in and start adding more framing in the next few days. Spent about 200.00 bucks this weekend in supplies - mostly wood. Jeesshhh. Had to wrap her up because its supposed to rain tomorrow.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More Framing

Today I took out the little refrigerator - Apparently it is both electric and propane. I have no idea if it worked. It was not connected by wiring or the propane connection so I am sure the previous owner stopped using it. I thought I would get a little bigger refrigerator and put it in the space of the oven/stove. It came out pretty easy and then I found a hole in the floor, wonder what that was for but it most likely allowed for mice to move in. I pulled up the bottom brace and found a lovely (not really lovely) mouse. I think that is where the slight smell is coming from.

EEEWWWWWWWWW .................

I am still baffled about the steps to take next. I bought a small piece of 1/4" - 2'x4' birch sheet to do some panel replacing. Thinking the 1/4" is stronger but it will most likely throw things off, one being a little thicker than the other. So I will go to Fox lumber to get 3 or 4 sheets of the 1/8" birch. I was able to start replacing some rotted framing. I used my Kreg jig and it really helped things go smooth. So I got 6 pieces replaced. Feels good to have something actually fixed instead of more destruction.

I spray painted the Nomad sign, handle and the oval tag with a chrome paint. It came out OK - I think I will sand it and try one more coat

Things I have learned for the future:
- Get another drill - it would make it easier to have the Kreg bit in one and the screw bit in the other, instead or having to go back and forth.
- Get a power strip so each tool is plugged in - saw, drills, Dremel and even the jig saw if I need it.
- No need to pull tarp off completely - just pull it up on the side I am working on and find something better to hold it up - chunks of wood that fell off a few times, wasn't ideal.
- may actually use 1"x3" boards instead of the 1"x2"
-Remember to add wood glue before screwing together (not sure if I need to do this)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Go Away Rain

More rain - so Gizmo's blue rain coat won't be coming off today.

Even my pups didn't want to go outside and they ALWAYS like to go outside. (Tank is on the left and Ozzie is on the right)

But I did get some goodies in the mail - Yeah, I got my Kreg bit and clamp and I found some Mother's Mag and some polishing drill bits.

So tonight I will do some more paint-scrappin'-off-the-window drip rails, inside where it is dry - SOS pads, here I come !

Sunday, June 12, 2011

More Framing

Today was a great weather day to work on the camper. I stopped my brother Pat's to pick up some well needed tools - Skill saw, jig saw, clamps, dremel, and a box of cups (an added bonus) I really appreciate that he has all these tools to borrow and of course his words of wisdom - very helpful. It's all nice to chat with Pat. I also went to Home Dept to get a 1x6 and some screws. I took off the bottom board - which was harder than I thought it would be. The way they built these in layers baffles me sometimes. It was hard to get the not so rotted pieces off. I think I have to replace some of the birch because it went down to the bottom, so I will have to sandwich it between the floor and the framing board. Since I have to get the birch and cut it, I went ahead and did some random cleaning of the floor on one side. Had to remove the carpet screws adhesive on the floor and the wheel well. Too bad the whole floor isn't in good shape so I can keep it. The picture shows the wood pieces on the ground. Boy this is moving slow !!!!! The weather would have been great to camp in, so I am getting anxious to have this completed, but I am far from that.

Drip Rail

Previous owner had painted the drip rails and windows, so i started to remove the paint by scrubbing with an SOS pad. It worked, but took awhile. I have to try and find an easier way to get rid of the paint. I do say there is some satisfaction in cleaning aluminum, because it looks so nice when it is all shiny. I have six of these to do - 4 windows, 1 above the door, and 1 above the storage door.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Took the window drip rail off
Took the storage door and drip rail off
Took handle, Nomad name plate and oval pieces off
Took back side brake light off
Found a good amount of rot and the back - down the seam
Not sure what is on top of the roof - I am sure it will have to come off

Finally got curbside window out (dang rusted screws)
Took door and door drip rail out
Took full bottom skin piece off
Found most the framing looks pretty good - will need to replace wood around bottom and wheel well
Had to tarp back up - rain coming
Picked up some kreg pocket screws, gray, chrome and pink spray paint - may return the oink to get rustoleum. Ordered the kreg jog and clamp from amazon and also some mothers mag and some polishing pieces for the drill
tried scrubbing the handle, name plate and oval piece - will end up spry painting chrome. She isn't looking so hot in the pictures below - YIKES

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Work begins

I got the camper on 5/13 and didn't get to really start working on it until 5/18. I took a few days off work and here are a few things I did during that time.

Took lots of pictures
Returned defective trailer jacks and got a working set
Went to Harbor Freight to get the trailer dolly, goggles, magnetic drill bit holder
Went to ACE Hardware to buy clutch screwdriver bit
Went to Hobby Lobby and got the pink stain fabric for the upper cabinets
Put together the trailer dolly
Turned camper around in the backyard to be able to work on it easier
took out bench pieces (slide outs and plywood piece)- threw out cushions
took out cots
washed sink fixture
Removed curbside bench
Removed mount for table
Started pulling off wood on back wall
Took off kitchen fixture
Removed drivers side bench
Removed the carpet panels under the benches and from the front side cabinet
Cleaned ceiling vent screen
Scrubbed the light fixture base with brillo pad to try and remove rust
Spray painted the light fixture base white
reinstalled light fixture base and globe
Took down ceiling fixture (doesn't seem to be connected) and back light fixture above the table (not sure if it worked or it was the bulb0still ugly, had to come off)
Remove driver's side back walls rotted wood
Checked back of mirror for date - so cool - found May 10, 1961 so that will be her official birthday !!!!
Got tarp and bungee cords
removed back window drip rail, back window, back reflectors and back tail lights
Removed center license plate light holder
Covered the camper in the tarp and finished scrubbing the tooth brush cup holder
reinstalled the tooth brush cup holder - 1st major completed accomplishment - Yeah
Removed the back two drip rails
Removed the bottom skin piece on the back side
Removed the middle skin pieces on the back side
Lots of rot - the more I take off, the more I find - Yikes