Monday, May 28, 2012

Who said this was the "fun part"????

They clearly didn't have a firm grasp on reality!   I have a new found respect for cabinet makers.  Planning and assembly is really HARD!  I think I took the kitchen cabinet apart at least 3 times.  And by number 4, I packed it up for the night.  That's right...  I had to put down everything and walk away, otherwise either the camper or me was going to be towed to the nearest mental institution!

We are finding it very hard to decide what to keep from the original shasta, and what to rebuild.  Many of the cabinets were in ok shape, but once we compared them to the "newness",  (yes, I am going to try that word on a Words With Friends game!)  of the paneling they looked really crummy.  So it would be nice to have it all new, but I still like the character of the original wood.

I was able to nearly complete the back couch/bed.   Its much stronger now.  Back in 1962 the average weight for someone my age was 172 lbs.  And I think if I weighed that much, (I wish) sleeping on that bed would still be iffy.  So, I went all McDonald's Super-size on it and made it stronger than it should be, but IIIIIII like it!

I also started on the cabinets on the street side of Bob.  Laying it out is a little tricky since most of the original stuff was missing.  So I built a frame for the bench seat on that side so I could visualize, and measure it all out.  I will cover it with birch later.  As for the bench, I decided to raise the height considerably.  Thanks to the folks on the Shasta Forums, I found out that original seat height was 11 3/4 inches.  That is super low!  And the table is really low too!  So I was able to determine that I can raise both the height of the table and the bench.  So I made the bench 16 inches tall.  A much more comfortable height, and more room for storage.  I sure hope that changing it doesn't effect something down the road!  Maybe have the "OHhhhhh, that's why it was so short" moment.  Pppht!

Brandi got a lot done on the cabinetry too.  She spent allllll day filling holes, sanding and repairing spots that were damaged or falling apart.  And there were a LOT of holes and damage!  So I'm sure that she will be doing that for a while.  But I was able to see one that she sanded and it looked fabulous!

Here is under side of the rear couch/bed.  I had to raise it about 6 inches in order to fit the A/C unit that I will be putting in later.

There are 3 compartments.  The right side will be where the A/C unit will be.  (Its a window unit that will slide out the baggage door when in use.)  The middle will be storage for inside the camper  And the left will be baggage door storage.  Probably jacks, boards, and outside stuff.

Here it is with the slide part on.  Creating this was deceptively tricky.  When it slides out it changes position and yet it still needs to be supported when its in both positions.  Also you can see the original color of the wood.  We are going to have fun trying to match that with all the new birch we installed!

So here is my lowly bench frame. 
However, it is very important since it will house the main systems.
The water tank and pump will be inside, as well as the electrical AC/DC converter and electrical panel.   Whoa, I just mentally processed that while I typed it. 
Water and electricity in the same place, possibly not the best idea...
We may have to send that back to the engineers to get a better design.  Oh wait, I didn't have it in the budget to hire a team of engineers.  Well, I will think of a way not to kill us, or anyone else that cares to enter our lil' Shasta.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Can you believe it?!?!?!?  I'm actually done!  No more 99% or 99.99%   100%!!!!!!
And now, let the paneling begin.....
So far its not too tough.   My original plan was to mainly hold the paneling with small brad's from my air nailer, and then use screws with finish washers to give a little extra "holding" power.  But it only took about 2 nails to realize that brad nails just won't cut it.  The heads on the nails are just too tiny and paneling is too heavy.  So I ended up having to use the screws for the entire thing.  But i guess it won't ever move!

The ceiling was very easy.   (Thanks to Abraham's help)  He was working on his car at my house so I took advantage and had him hold the panels up while I secured them.  I just had to cut the ends off and slap them up.  One cut out for ceiling vent, but the router made quick work of that!

I'm starting on the sides now, but they are NOT easy!  Almost every panel has 2 or 3 windows or doors to cut out.  Not to mention getting the curve right.  And I couldn't measure off everything using a level because the trailer itself is unlevel.  The driveway is too steep to get it level.  Originally I was planning on using this stuff called "gimp" that was used in the trailers when there were built.  It hides the seams of the panels where they meet.  But I couldn't get it close enough, so I'm going to put quarter-round up instead.  I've seen quite a few people do this and it looks good.  Once I get more pictures of the side walls I will put them up.

But the goal is to have all the paneling installed by the end of the week.  Following that, its rebuilding cabinets and running the AC electrical.  Maybe even hook up the DC lights!!!    How exciting!!!

I also bought a few goodies from someone online.  He had an ad in the vintage trailer forum that I use for help.  He was super nice and found all the parts I wanted.  I bought window trim for the front 2 dinette windows, an outside vent cover, and the trim from the roof vent.  I'm still looking for the trim piece that goes along the bottom of the door.  I may end up fabricating my own....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Its been a snowy May!

Hard to believe I know!  You maybe be wondering where I live.  :)

Actually the "snow" is actually little flakes of styrofoam!  Its filled Bob as I've been working on the insulation.  I managed to get almost all of it done in 7 strait hours of work on Monday night.  Since then I've finished up with the vapor barrier.  Not really sure if that was needed, but I figured since there isn't much insulation in these trailers, it would be a good idea to prevent any condensation.

BOY is that styrofoam a pain to work with!!!  It wasn't too bad to cut, but I was trying to hurry and it just made for a bigger mess.  By the time I was all done, there was about an inch of styrofoam "snow" in the trailer.  It looked like a snowman threw up!  Fortunately, the shop vac made quick cleanup.

Its always funny to watch the cats jump in a box full styrofoam peanuts.  Then they are all stuck to the kitties and I laugh!  Hee, hee, hee...
Well, they finally got their revenge!  Because the only thing styrofoam sticks to better than cat fur, is a fat, sweaty dude stuck in a little trailer!
Actually, it looked like a snowman threw up on ME!

It was all worth it though.  As of tonight, we are ready to start PANELING!  I've been looking forward to this for a long time!  And as Chuck mentioned, people are gonna see it, so its gotta look nice.  I am going to have to slow down, and take my time.   Deeeeeep breath.  Innnnnnnnn.....annnnnd.....oooooouuutttt!
This is not gonna be easy!

Ceiling Insulation......CHECK

Rear insulation..........CHECK

Front insulation.......DOH!   TOO SMALL!

Front Insulation (Take 2).......CHECK!

All vapor barrier.......CHECK!

You can also see all the DC wiring I've ran for all the lights.  Hope it all works when I'm done! 

I bought a few sheets of 1/4 inch Birch plywood, so once I get started, I let you know how its going!
It would of been nice to use 1/8 inch like was originally used, but I can't find it around here for a reasonable price.  The only place I could find it was a company that would ship to Home Depot, and it was $20.00 more per 4X8 sheet!    YIKES!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I just can't seem to figure out what I want. Well that's not true, I know what I want but it costs a pretty penny. Like John mentioned the look is cabin/retro. I understand exactly what that means but my husband does not. We came across these fabrics tonight in our search. I want your HONEST opinion-  
Is this too wild? and if you like it, which color?  Just keep in mind our goal for this camper is COZY, I just don't think this hits that mark. This fabric would be for the curtains.

 This would be the backside:

This is the fabric I really want but this is the one that costs the pretty penny: