Sunday, December 2, 2007

Wall and Crawls

OK It has been a wile since my last post but a lot has been going on. First on the Tin Can, I have cleaned up the wiring and added wiring for Entertainment systems, second coach/house battery and another cable for TV in the bedroom. I also Added new speaker wire and power for an amplifier and sub woofer. Got to have the kickin tunes!!! I rewired the 120V. AC system and moved the power distribution center from the rear to the front at the kitchen.

With 98% of the wiring work done I Sprayed in the Tiger Foam polyurethane insulation.
Now for some very important information from our sponsors!:

When spraying the Tiger Foam be sure to: Wear a Tivek suit with a head cover, This stuff gets on everything and sticks! It will not come off of your skin, clothes or anything else. Make sure you mask off anything you don't want to get this stuff on, It goes everywhere, it's only partially controllable when you spray. The Tiger Foam cures so quickly that it will start curing on the spray tip if you stop spraying for more than 15-20 seconds and when this happens it starts to clump and spray in funny directions. YOU MUST CHANGE TIPS FREQUENTLY! This will make the spraying easyer. This really is not as bad as it sounds, there is just a slight learning curve to the process. When you are spraying downward as with the flooring it sprays very well but when you spray overhead it will rain foam down on you and everything around. It goes back to clean tips. Change to a new tip when spraying overhead and don't stop spraying if you can help it. Be sure to take the time to prep for spraying and come up with a spray plan. Map out exactly how you will spay to have as few times of stopping. Luckily the foam is pretty easy to cut and form, I was able to use a cheap flush cut saw, like you would use to cut the lower trim when installing flooring, to cut the areas of too thick foam and to trim the ribs for the int. walls. It took a wile to get the floor cleaned up, a lot of scraping, I would definitely cover the floor with plastic! I guess you learn as you go.

Now that the Tiger Foam is in and the wiring is done I started putting in the Prodex Foil/Foam/Foil radiant heat barrier over the Tiger Foam and the ribs in the walls. I am covering the rib to help with the condensation problem when in really cold weather. The heat transfer from the outside aluminum skin and the aluminum ribs to the aluminum interior walls has been a problem with Airstreams forever. I am hoping that the foam insulation of the Prodex between the ribs and walls will stop 90% of this sweating problems at the ribs. I will in theory have about R21 in the walls now. 1"of Tiger Foam is about R7 and the Prodex is about R14. The Tiger Foam also seals everything and is waterproof and fire rated. I am thinking that it will be extremely airtight and very quiet. Well now that the walls are going back in I hope things will start moving faster. There is only one problem now...

Thursday November Twenty Ninth, 8:00am I had my ACL Reconstruction surgery. All went well and I am not having too much pain. Therapy is going well and I should be back on the Tin Can in A week or so. It has been nice having a short break with lots of legal drugs to keep me happy but like all good things it must end soon so I can get back to the plan and get my Tin Can ready for my new Life!!!

I hope to have an update before Christmas but If I don't I hope everyone has a very happy Holiday season.

Everyone Take Care,


Monday, November 12, 2007

Flooring a gogo

The floor is in!!!!!!! Wow the hardest part is over.....I hope. OK I finally finished the flooring, BIG JOB, so I cleaned and cleaned all of the frame rails and used a rust converter on all of the light surface rust. Once this very dirty part of the job was done it was time for the super insulating. I finally got to use the Tiger Foam spray in polyurethane insulation( This stuff is great, easy to use, waterproof, fire retardant, a great vapor barrier and offers a good deal of structural help holding all if the underbelly to the ribs and out riggers. This foam really seals all of the gaps and seams/holes and any spaces it touches. All of this in less than 60 seconds dry time. You do have to be fast. Once all of the tanks were foamed in (sides and bottoms) I sprayed the entire under belly with about one inch of the foam, this give about an R value of 6. I then added the R13 pink stuff in all of the open floor sections. Now we have R19! But I am not done yet, Oh No! I then covered the frame and belly with Foil-Foam-Foil insulation from Prodex. ( This stuff is a radiant heat barrier that has an R value of about 14.

Now we are cooking with R33 in the floor section!! That is better than most houses! I finished up by putting down new plywood on the floor. this is a much harder job than it would seem. You see when this Airstream was built they put the floor down first ind then put the shell on it. It went something like this. Build frame, put down plywood, add c-channel around plywood floor, then attach shell to floor and frame. Now putting the flooring in involved driving the plywood into the channel and lining it up halfway on the frame rail so that there would be room for the second piece to fit in the opposite side. Since you have two sides to fit into each 4 foot section went in in two pieces. Long and tiring part but it came out great.

Now it is time to tackle the wall insulation. First I will add in some wiring for a modern entertainment system, gotta have the surround sound! Next will come the tiger foam and prodex insulation and so on and so on...

Well more to come soon, I hope.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Time sure flys when you are having fun

It's been too long between posts, I know but the camera batteries died and I had to get some.

Well I have gotten a good bit done but it seems to take so much longer to do anything than you would ever think. Any way I have gotten all of the roof work done, two new fantastic vents, they fully automatic and will even close if it starts to rain. I...Stephen checked the rooftop AC and got it running. 32yrs old and works perfectly, all the right pressure and temps, works like a new one at none of the cost. What more could I ask for. Well I resealed the AC and middle vent and will reseal the plumbing vents when they get installed.

I removed the fresh water tank, cleaned, insulated and added a tank heater just in case of extreme cold on some far off mountain. Now that the tanks are clean and empty, frame rails are treated with a rust converter/primer I am ready to spray in the insulation. I'm just waiting on one 2" heater hose for the waste tank drain valves, as soon as it gets here I can spray. I hope it's here tomorrow.

Ohh I almost forgot I installed the roof top Satellite dish, It is so cool. 2000 channels of nothing!
Well more to come sooner Than later.
By for now,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Light starts to shine through

Hello all, Well it's finally up, the floor that is. I am now ready to treat the frame rails with a rust converter. Lucky for me there is only surface rust, not one badly rusted spot on the whole trailer. Unbelievable for a 32yr. old camper. I hope to be spraying in the insulation by Monday.

I think the fun stuff is about to begin, the rebuilding part should be much more enjoyable than the Demolition..... I mean the painful removal of everything without breaking anything fun.......

OK so now I am going to got to Scott's house for Survivor Night.... Beer and Food.

I hope everyone has a wonderful evening.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Thanks to my Great Friends

I would like to take a moment to THANK THANK THANK my great friends Scott and Ross Shaheen, both really great guys, for letting me use their shop to work on the Tin Can.
Without them this job would be unbearable. They deserve more than I could ever repay them for their selfless generosity. If any one in the Piedmont area of NC. ever needs Commercial or residential Refrigeration work you must call them at Cary Refrigeration in Raleigh, NC.

A big thanks to Both of their family's too.

A special thanks goes to Wendy shaheen for letting Scott hang with me so much and for putting up with me at your house all the time.

And last but definitely not least, I want to thank my Mom and Dad for letting me come home wile I prepare for my Epic Journey. Thank you for Everything!!!!!!

A big thanks to all of my friends for being there for me.

I toast you all now with a big ice cold beer!!!!!!!!

Hell in a Tin Can

There is hell in a Tin Can! It's trying to remove the plywood floor!!!!

After first trying all kinds of tools and brute force, I tried to use brains over brawn. I know I'm short on both but I finaly overcame with the pictured Scary Tool.... It is a 5 1/2 inch Circular saw blade modified to fit on a Roto Zip tool. Nice and safe I tell ya! It works like a charm, just scares the shit out of you when it jumps up.

You see the floor is attached at the sides with carriage bolts dropped in from the top and then they bent the bolts over so the nuts could never come off. (so nice of them) So you have to cut the floor close enough to the sides to be able to get a cutoff tool in to cut the carriage bolts in the middle. That way you can pull the bolt head up and knock the bolts down and out. Luckily there are only about 40 to 50 of the ones around the edges. All of the middle of the trailer floor is scewed down with large phillips flat decking screws, unfortunately they are all seized in place. Ross Shaheen (long time friend) gave me a great Idea for getting the floor out aaround these. He told me to use a hole saw, cut around the screw head and out will come the floor. Then it is really easy to get the little circles of plywood up from the screws and cut or break the screws out. This works like a charm. So now that I have figured out the right tools and process, the job is starting to go well.

One more day of floor removal and I will move on to insulation prep. I will probably install the new roof vents and satalite dish befor spraying in the insulation.

More to come soon,


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Allmost there

Well now I'm almost done with Stripping out of the trailer, just the floor left.

I'm starting to wonder what kind of moron dose this much to a perfectly good camper?????

This is, Oh My God a lot of DIRTY DIRTY work!!!
I hope the putting back together work is better than this.

I'm now only about a day behind where I thought I would be, but I did spend all of Tuesday researching and ordering parts. In the end I guess I'm not really behind, I hope.

Otherwise life is pretty good the knee is not giving me too much trouble now, I still just want to get it fixed ASAP. That means I must get this trailer done. I'm hoping to be done some time close to the first or second week of Nov. I know that's a tall order, but I think it's possible. Anyway I hope everyone out there is doing well.

Everyone take care,


Saturday, October 6, 2007

TIn Can Stripping

Before and after of the Galley and Head.
Once I have the entire Can stripped, walls and all, I will re insulate with a total of R21 insulation in the walls, ceiling and underbelly. I plan on spending next winter in the best skiing mountains I can find!
So far I have found only two very small spots in the floor with any rot, not bad for a 32 year old trailer. I did however find where the grey water drains from the sink and shower had come apart at a rubber coupling. I don't think that it has been used very much because it has not done any damage that I can find. Very lucky for me!
More to come soon. I think I will be able to add more posts now that I am settling into a Work/Sleep/Work mode.
Well enough play time, it's back to work for me.

The Big Move

Well, allot has happened since we last talked. I finished getting my house in Asheville ready for the sale and move. Wow moving is such a pian, I had three trips with moving van, car and two trucks, but I finally finnished. After all the stress of moving and the bad knee I neede a quick trip to the parents beach house for a couple of days of R&R.

The beach was fantastic, quiet and stress free! I did nothing but sit and relax, drink a couple of beers and ride the golf cart around the Island.

Well since then I have moved back to Raleigh, NC. I am staying at my parents townhouse while I am working on the "Tin Can". The stripping out process is in full swing and I should be to the re-building stage in another week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

9/17/07 First entry into Tin Can Blog

Well, now from the beginning. It all started six months ago with the mutual decision for my wife and I to divorce. Very sad but just what had to be. Anyway I digress, after trying to find (not successfully) affordable housing in the great city of Asheville, NC, It being ridicules housing prices and all, I had to make a decision.(run on I know) I finally decided to take an early retirement, so to speak. I figured why not go on that ultimate road trip now wile I'm still young and able enough to enjoy all of life's activity's that I love. "Moutain biking, Snow Skiing, Backpacking, generally all outdoor stuff and of course BEER!!" I didn't wan to wait and retire at seventy and be to worn out to do the things I love.

The planning begins. where will I live what will I do?
Live in a travel trailer of course. Work odd jobs for extra cash. Sounded reasonable to me.
To make a vary long and boring story short, I looked and Looked at every travel trailer known to man and found that they were ether too small or too expensive, too old or too new.
Then I started to look at the older Air Stream Trailers, not only were they available but at reasonable prices for what you get. By comparison a one year old 28 foot travel trailer was about $17,000 and a 32 year old Air Stream was only $ 3,200. I know what a difference you say! Well believe it or not, the Air stream was built so well that it is structurally better than any of the newer trailers that I looked at.

The Tin Can:
1976 Manufactured 09/1975
31 foot Sovereign International
(pictures to follow soon)

The trailer is pretty much all original except for carpet and curtains. Most everything functions pretty well. I have just started to get into it now.

The Plan:

  1. Sell house, Quit Job (done)
  2. Fix, repair, and modify trailer to fit my needs. (started 8/25/07)
  3. Leave and enjoy a year to two year journey to wherever life takes me. (starting TBD)

The setback:

I tempted fate by looking into an old dead bee box only to discover wasps were using it for building materials. Needless to say they came after me and I ran like a scaredy cat. Bad move, about the third or forth step I went one way and my knee went the other. Long hobble to car and longer drive to hospital. Well one completely destroyed ACL, partial tear in the MCL and a torn Meniscus later I am making slight changes to the "Plan"

The New Plan:

  1. Fix, Repair and or Modify trailer to suit my needs. (Restart on 9/28/07)
  2. Fix, Repair and or Modify knee to suit my needs. (after trailer is done, Month to month and a half)
  3. Leave when knee is good enough for driving four hours o more.

Thats all for now.