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Old 08-31-2010, 10:43 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by GoodoleBob View Post
Frank you're accomplishing magic and your photo skill are just fine too. What a quality buildup this is and such exceptional execution too. This is such a beauty of a trailer...most anyone would agree on that. Great job keeping us all in on the progress too. You're a talented fellow I must say!

Bob
Thanks Bob, appreciate the feedback! Glad to have you following along here.



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Originally Posted by JohnB
Frank

Wow, your doing GREAT!!! The Formica and counter tops came out really good. The trim bit for the router, is that a straight side cutting end mill with a bearing on it?

The last Formica I did, ( a long time ago....) I did not have a router and did it the old way. File/sand, file, sand some more.... I have some counter top work to do on "The Camper" if I can ever get to it. And now I have the router.

The siding... it looks like it filled your Sunny. Did you have to remove the rear window to get it in for transport?

The roof, I lost track did you pick up roofing material up in Elkhart?

We are all rooting for ya.

John
Thanks John. Yes, the router (and even more so the little laminate trimmer) makes the job much easier. I can't imagine hand filing everything. Careful with the router, they multiply like rabbits (or like Sunspots over at Marshall & Sue's place) - I'm up to four now!

For the router bit, I used a "flush trim bit" - about a 1/2" in diameter with a guide bearing on the bottom, cutters are on the side as opposed to a straight bit with the cutters on the bottom like an end mill. Apparently the "pros" like the non-bearing bits - They're cheaper, smaller in diameter so they get into the corners a little better, and no bearing means no bearing getting caked up with contact cement. If you use the non-bearing bit you need to lube the edges of the work with something, I've seen guys use vaseline, beeswax and even lard. You also need to keep the router moving at all times or you will burn the laminate, that's tough when you don't do this every day. I'll stick with the bearing and deal with filing the corners and cleaning the bit every 30' or so.

The siding was a tight squeeze. I needed 14' lengths to do the job, but the only stuff available was 16' and something like 36'. The 16' fit in the Sunline, but it had to go vertical instead of laying flat and it had to sit on a diagonal as well, only ~12' of clear floor space in the 2363. I taped it up tight in bundles of 6 pieces and used everything at my disposal to keep it safe and vertical on the trip home - pillows, towels, paper towels, trash can, you name it, it was wedged in there somewhere. Made the last night sleeping on the way home interesting to say the least. Thankfully, it's home with no damage.

I did manage to get it in and out without removing the entire window. I was able to remove the operating pane from the back window rather easily. 2 E clips to remove the crank out arms from the pane and carefully rotate it up and free. Saved me the butyl tape hassle.

The rubber roofing I picked up off a guy on ebay a little while back. Dirt cheap, I paid something like $45 shipped for a 25' or so length - way less than retail. Good thing too as I didn't see any for sale in Elkhart. I wasn't looking real hard, but it's hard to miss a 10' wide roll of anything. The only downside is the guy folded it and shipped it in a box. That made the shipping cheap, but I need to get it out in the sun streched out to get rid of the creases and then roll it up. Need to do that soon as I'm hoping to put that on in about 2 weeks.

- Frank
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:31 AM   #102
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Frank, the build looks awesome!!! You are doing a great job and I am really enjoying following your progress. It looks like I just missed you in Elkhart as I was there the week before you.

Bontrager's is fantastic place as well as the RV outlet. We dropped a lot of cash at both places. By accident we stumbled across another RV surplus shop 12 miles from Bontrager's called Johnson's Surplus. When at Johnson's I did see the they had the rubber roofing at a really great price. Honestly, for anyone who is an RV enthusiast these places are like a candy store for kids. We are planning a trip back next year with an empty trailer to pickup more stuff.

Looking forward to following the continuing build of the trailer.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:50 PM   #103
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Frank,
WOW......you are doing an Amazing job !
Thanks again for taking time to share your photos with us.
Your photos are GREAT..
I really enjoy seeing your posts and look foward to see your progress with every post you make......

It looks 70% - 80% like the Que. The bigest difference I see is the Que's axle is about 1 foot (give or take a couple of inches) farther to the rear, so you will have less weight on the ball.
I guess you went with your orig.plan for 9Gal.black & 23 Gal.gray?

The ONLY thing I would like different on the Que is LARGER black & gray tanks. At 13 & 25 they are way too small. For me at least a 25gal.black & 30-35 gray would be good. The Que has room for larger tanks, but I guess to save money they chose these......
I now see some new TT's the size of the Que with 31gal.black & gray tanks.
The fresh @ 21 or 28gals.+6 hot water is fine. We never travel with the fresh more than 1/3 full.
We stay a few weeks each year at a State Pk. with ONLY water & elect. So we have to dump every third day mostly because of the small 13gal.black tank....
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:42 AM   #104
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Frank,

Looks great. You are truly a craftsman. Have you weighed it yet?

Norm
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:39 PM   #105
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Frank, the build looks awesome!!! You are doing a great job and I am really enjoying following your progress. It looks like I just missed you in Elkhart as I was there the week before you.

Bontrager's is fantastic place as well as the RV outlet. We dropped a lot of cash at both places. By accident we stumbled across another RV surplus shop 12 miles from Bontrager's called Johnson's Surplus. When at Johnson's I did see the they had the rubber roofing at a really great price. Honestly, for anyone who is an RV enthusiast these places are like a candy store for kids. We are planning a trip back next year with an empty trailer to pickup more stuff.

Looking forward to following the continuing build of the trailer.
Thanks!

I really picked the wrong week for Elkhart. You were there the week before and Sunline Fan the week after!

I found out about Johnson's too late. If I'm ever out that way again, I will check it out for sure.

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Old 09-26-2010, 08:44 PM   #106
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Frank,
WOW......you are doing an Amazing job !
Thanks again for taking time to share your photos with us.
Your photos are GREAT..
I really enjoy seeing your posts and look foward to see your progress with every post you make......

It looks 70% - 80% like the Que. The bigest difference I see is the Que's axle is about 1 foot (give or take a couple of inches) farther to the rear, so you will have less weight on the ball.
I guess you went with your orig.plan for 9Gal.black & 23 Gal.gray?

Thanks for the compliment!

Yes, I had to go with the 9 & 23. Larger is always nice, but I have a hard stop at 2700 lbs, and those tanks were the most we could swing. I don't think it will be a problem, since this is primarily a weekend rig. In our 2363, the wife and I can easily make a 3 day weekend on the 25 gallon grey tank, with showers and dishes every day. I don't think the 9 gal black will be an issue, as we've stretched our black tank for 8 days (the longest we've ever been out). I try to throttle the pedal usage in relation to how long we are going to be out.

I'm sure my brother is going to have a steep learning curve. He likes his 30 minute showers..

- Frank
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:47 PM   #107
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Frank,

Looks great. You are truly a craftsman. Have you weighed it yet?

Norm
Thanks Norm! I was just over in your thread checking out the progress.

I haven't weighed it yet. I will when it's road worthy (siding on). I got my hands on a jack which I will turn into a force jack, but it needs a set of seals and I don't have time to overhaul it right now with trying to finish up the trailer. I really want to get out and camp a couple of more weekends this year before it gets cold, so I need to get it done ASAP.

My initial estimate was just under 2,000 with fresh water on board, leaving about 700 lbs until GVWR. I think we're going to be just a little over that, hoping for no more than 2,100. If I'm wrong, I'll be buying an axle shortly..

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Old 09-26-2010, 08:49 PM   #108
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We've been working hard on the build the last 4 weeks, but are at that stage where you do a bunch of stuff and don't wind up with much to look at. I had thought we could have it ready this past week to take it out and show some friends that were camping nearby, but things lately have just taken up a whole lot more time than I had anticipated. Right now my brother has some days off for the weekend of October 15th, so we're trying to get it together by then.

Here's an update to show some of what we got done the past few weeks.

September 4:

During the week after we did the countertops, my brother built a medicine cabinet carcass at home and got it finished up. Here's the bare frame ready to go in:



And mounted up on the wall, above the toilet:




After that cabinet was in, my brother started working on the door and drawer frames. He got all the stock cut to size and marked, and started cutting the tongue & grooves with the router table. The doors will all be shaker style. I sent him home with the stock, the router table and a pile of clamps. He's been plugging away at the doors a few hours after work here and there. They should be done within a week or two. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of that since I was in the trailer working on the electrical.

I got the light fixtures wired and mounted up. Here's a shot from the middle looking forward. There's a double fixture on the ceiling above the seating area and two reading lamps over the couch:




A double in the bathroom centered over the sink. There's a second single fixture over the shower, but that one has to wait until the surround goes in:




Looking towards the back there's a double fixture over the galley:




And two doubles over the countertop for work lighting:




Testing the fixtures:








September 5:

My brother was back home at work, but I wanted to get a little more done. I wired and mounted a pair of 12V lighter sockets on the wall next to the bed for cell phone charging or whatever:




Mounted the tank monitor panel:




Mounted & wired up the thermostat:




Finished wiring and mounting the light switches. First, the bathroom ones:



And these handle the outside porch light, a small step light, and a single fixture mounted directly over the door inside:




I then wired and mounted some single fixtures in the storage compartments. One on each end up front:





And one under the counter in the rear:




September 6:

Started on the AC wiring that day. Here's the outlet for the fridge:




The road side wall, where all the wiring heads to the converter panel:




Most of the wiring is ran through the roof, keeping the runs as short as possible:







Yeah, there's just a little bit of copper in this thing..


Once the wires were run and secure, I moved inside and started installing outlets:










September 11:

With the wiring ran, it was time to move towards closing this up. We built a small platform in the roof for the crank-up TV antenna, and dry-fit that to make sure it would sit level. We also test-fit the A/C at the same time to make sure it would sit within the manufacturer's specs for level. Good thing we did, the level was fine but I found that the grey tank vent was just about under the shroud. Turns out the shroud was much wider than I had thought. We relocated the vent and solved that problem fairly easily. Would have been a nightmare if the roofing was on..



With the antenna down:




From the inside, the interior half of the A/C and the handle for the antenna. Plenty of clearance for both:




I also started terminating the wiring at the converter and getting things cleaned up. If you look off to the left of this picture you can see the combination LP Gas and CO detector mounted in the wall:




My brother made up a cover for the wheel well:




And enclosed and lined the two storage cubbies on each end of the couch/bed:






Before we pulled the antenna and the A/C off the roof, I grabbed the TV out of our camper so we could test the antenna wiring:




Built a small box for under the couch, ran the 7 pin connector and started working on that portion of the DC:




Installed a support block on the road side for the city water inlet:




And framed out the opening for the water heater:



From the inside (it took a beating in that pop-up, it will need to be replaced next year):




September 17 & 18:

I spaced out these two days and forgot to grab the camera. We made up a frame for the fresh water tank and got that hung, then pulled it back down for some touch-up painting. I'll get some pictures of the tank once it's back in. We also pulled wire for all the trailer lighting - the tails and the 11(!) required marker lights. We also got the shower surround cut down to size and had to re-do the tub platform to drop it 3/4" closer to the floor. Doing so was the only way to make the surround work, since it has a design cast into it. I'll get some pictures of this later in the week when the surround is hopefully permanently installed.


September 24 & 25:

During the week I picked up the supplies for the fresh water plumbing and on Friday we ran out for insulation. Wound up with 1 3/8" foil faced "Tuff-R" foam board as it was the thickest (and highest R) we could fit in the wall cavities.

My brother worked outside cutting and installing the insulation. Started Friday on the door side:






Then Saturday he started on the roof:






The he moved to the rear wall:




And finally the road side:






He worked on that right until dark and got it about 90% complete. There's 6 or 8 more little pieces of insulation cut and ready to install on the road side. Then the gaps for wiring and blocking need to be filled with some thinner material and spray foam.


Meanwhile, I was inside working on the fresh water plumbing. Started with the Galley sink:






..And worked my way around. Snakes through the rear storage compartment:




Under the refrigerator:




Through the wall into the bathroom:




Where it feeds the bathroom sink. The valves and pipes through the floor are to drain the pipes. The open Tee is for the City water inlet.




I ran the pipes through into the shower and towards the water heater and water pump, but haven't taken pictures there yet because I didn't finish up all the connections. I'll get that done a couple of nights this week after work.

All the plumbing is 1/2" pex and the foam insulation is really on it to stop vibration. The RV pumps tend to make the pipes vibrate at anything less than full flow, and it really gets annoying. I'm hoping the foam will keep the noise down.


I'll be putting in as much time as possible this week after work (weather permitting) because I am really trying to get the siding on this thing on Saturday.


- Frank
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:08 PM   #109
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Quick update..

Finished up the insulation and filled any gaps with spray foam:












Cut the excess spray foam flush with a jamb saw:






There's 2 pieces of insulation left to go in, behind the shower surround. The surround is cut to size and ready to be installed, so that should be completed during the week if I can catch a day without rain..


Meanwhile, I finished up the supply plumbing. Back under the bath sink is the city water connection:




The shower feed:




Water pump connection:




And finally the water heater. The 3 way valve and tee is a bypass for winterization:




Then finished up the inside wiring. The only thing left was the monitor panel and the power to the water pump:




Finished and tested plus some wiring cleanup:




I had procrastinated on the drains long enough, it was time to break out the glue and make it permanent. Did the grey tank stack, the shower drain and the bath sink drain:




Would have knocked out the galley sink as well, but ran into a problem with the sink tailpiece. The lip on the tailpiece is too thick so the nut can't get a good grip on the basket. Will pick up a new tailpiece this week and knock that out.


Finally, we got the roof decked with plywood:










The joints need to be sanded smooth as there is a slight bit of lippage in a couple of places. It looks really bad in the pictures but is less than 1/16" in reality. Then the excess needs trimmed with the router.

Unless something really goes wrong this week we should be hanging siding on Saturday.


- Frank
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:07 PM   #110
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Good job!!!
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:06 AM   #111
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Outta curiosity, will total cost (materials) + time estimate and coach dry weight be given at the end? Im curious how much it weighs....
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:51 PM   #112
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Wow Frank. Your now on the home stretch. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. And no, there is not a locomotive attached to the light

GREAT job. I like the foamed insulation. Nice and tight.

The roof, what thickness very nice looking plywood did you end up with?

The Pex, I see you got the "kit" too. Bought the Pex tool kit now about 3 years ago. Once your past the $$ it is really a great tool and setup. My son now borrows the kit as his entire modular home is piped with it. The fittings are not that expensive and if you crimp right, it will not leak period.

Keep up the good work

John
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:58 PM   #113
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Unless something really goes wrong this week we should be hanging siding on Saturday.
Me and my big mouth (or is that fat fingers?). My brother's work/vacation schedule got re-arranged so we lost a day. We're going to lose both days this week for the same reason. His store has inventory so he gets hosed.

Siding is on hold until the following week when he has something like 11 days of vacation time scheduled. We did get one day in so some little odds & ends jobs are out of the way.


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Good job!!!
Thanks Kathy (& Leo)!!


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Originally Posted by quaddriver
Outta curiosity, will total cost (materials) + time estimate and coach dry weight be given at the end? Im curious how much it weighs....
Sure will. I can give you an estimate right now though.

Total cost will land right around $4500 in the end. Could have been considerably cheaper, but as we got into it he wanted a bunch of "upgrades." He was very reluctant until right around the time the body was fully framed. I think he just needed to get comfortable with the idea that it could actually be built. My attitude is that I can build anything if I put my mind to it, he's a bit more reserved...

Time - We started the first week of April and worked on the trailer whenever my brother had time off. We canned a few weeks due to the weather, other events, somebody was sick, etc. All said and done it should end up right around 50 or so days of 2 guys working. I'd say we'll be in about 1,000 man hours.

Weight - The goal was 2,000 lbs with fresh water, leaving ~700 lbs for cargo. On paper, I was right about 1,800 and change with water if I recall correctly. I was real diligent about weighing all the components, but when people were here and walls were going up, the scale was forgot about. As it sits now, the suspension has not squatted much at all and it's rated for 2700 or so pounds, so I don't think it's far from the estimate. It will need weighed when fully assembled, and I may need to replace the axle. I seriously reinforced the frame at the beginning, so if we are over, that is not a problem. The tongue would possibly need some beefing up, but that's easily accessible.


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Originally Posted by JohnB
Wow Frank. Your now on the home stretch. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. And no, there is not a locomotive attached to the light

GREAT job. I like the foamed insulation. Nice and tight.

The roof, what thickness very nice looking plywood did you end up with?

The Pex, I see you got the "kit" too. Bought the Pex tool kit now about 3 years ago. Once your past the $$ it is really a great tool and setup. My son now borrows the kit as his entire modular home is piped with it. The fittings are not that expensive and if you crimp right, it will not leak period.

Keep up the good work

John
Thanks John. The roof ply is 1/4", from Home Depot. I think it was branded "SurePly" or something like that. Was decent stuff, although it did have some voids in the core. 1/8" probably would have been OK, but that's really hard to find.

After working with it a few times, I really like the pex. I had to re-plumb a water filter system that was thoroughly screwed up by a "pro" so that's how I wound up with the Pex kit. If I find a house to gut and remodel, it will certainly be done with pex and a manifold, I love the ability to shut off one room and make long runs with no joints.

- Frank
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:25 PM   #114
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Can't wait to see what it looks like thru th next steps!!!!
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:48 AM   #115
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Thumbs up

WOW! What an amazing job you have done! I have looked at every picture!
You should start your own Custom RV Company! Small rigs are very popular now and with custom, the customer can pick everything, just like building a new house.

Kudos to you!
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:33 PM   #116
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The weather wasn't 100% cooperative, but we did manage to get 5 days on the trailer this past week.


First, a few weeks back when my brother was here last we did a few little things, lined the walls over the tub with leftover paneling as a backer for the shower surround:




Also made some curved blocks to round off the sharp edges on the front. Then we wrapped some tyvek over the front for a little extra insurance against water intrusion. I wanted to do the whole thing, but didn't have enough tyvek.




That brings us to this week. We got started on Tuesday, Oct 26. The first piece of siding is the most critical - if it's not level, the whole thing will be off. I also wanted the design to line up on the side and rear walls, so we had to cut the side pieces down (in height) since the rear wall crowns upwards due to the roof. Here's the first piece going on!




Then just add pieces and work your way down.




We used full length pieces and then cut them to length once they were hung. The length is oversized about 1" on each end:




Went as far as we could with full height pieces on the door side:




Then worked on the road side:




Same deal, as far as we can go with full height pieces:




Now it's time to move to the rear wall. Here's where that 1" overhang I mentioned earlier comes in. We cut slits into the overhang every 1.5" or so:




Bend the pieces around the corner, flatten them out with a plastic hammer and staple them down:




The slits allow you to make the bend without distorting the siding pattern:




We made it as far as we could down the rear wall just as it got dark. You can't really see it in these pictures but a strip of butyl tape was laid down the length of the corner before the rear siding went on:




Forecast said rain for Wednesday so we tarped it up and cleaned up.


Thursday, October 28:

I took another picture of the rear in the daylight:




Since Thursday was warmer (around 70F), I decided to glue down the roof. I did not want to be laying adhesive in the 50's. Cut out the holes in the roof and gave it a quick light sanding:




Then we slit, bent and secured the overhang on the front:






Next up is the EPDM roof rubber. I got the piece of rubber dirt cheap. The downside is it had to be shipped folded in a box. End result is some permanent crease lines in the rubber. I can deal with that considering the $200+ cost savings. To minimize the marks, we laid it out in the sun for a while then rolled it tight around a piece of pipe. Then it was rolled out on the roof and left to sit for a day. Cutting it to length:




Break out the glue:




Fold the rubber back:




Apply the adhesive to half the roof with a roller:




Lay down the rubber, work the air bubbles out with a broom and a squeegee, then fold the other half back and repeat:




You can see some of those lines I was talking about in that picture. Not perfect, but no air bubbles, and it lays flat. Once it was down, we trimmed the excess, tack stapled the sides and called it a day.


Friday, October 29:

Time to finish siding the front wall. Thought the bends would make this a nightmare, but it was actually pretty easy. Getting the first piece straight was the only tough part. Here's the first couple of pieces on, you can see the butyl tape well in this shot. We also caulked the interlock on all the pieces:




Keep on working the way down. We had to cut a few pieces to be shorter in height so no seams landed on a curve. You can see the seam lines if you look close:






Here's another angle, you can see where we had to cut the door open partially so we could get inside:




At this point all we are left with is the last few pieces of siding all the way around. It was less than a full piece, so we had to figure out how to terminate things and have it look clean. Also needed to work out a way to waterproof the wheel well to siding junction. I picked up a few pieces of drip edge from home depot. This is usually used on the edges of roofs on buildings, but it fit the bill here. We lined the perimeter of the base of the walls with the drip edge:






To seal the wheel wells, we brought the lip over and sealed the mating surfaces with flashing cement, then stapled it in place:




Saturday, October 30:

Now we had to deal with terminating the last piece of siding. I wanted to bend the siding over at the bottom for a clean look, but I don't have access to a brake that long. I thought we could cut a piece just shy of the corner of the drop edge and get a decent look, but a test fit of a scrap also showed that the bottom landed on a high point of the pattern, so that wouldn't look good at all. What we did was cut down the height of a length of siding and installed that, leaving us with about 1" of uncovered area remaining:






At the wheel wells, we cut those out long:




Then diagonal cut the corners:




Bent them over:




Sealed the mating surfaces with more flashing cement and stapled them down. Came out real good and the plastic fenders will fit nicely.


For that last 1", I ran back to HD and picked up some more drip edge. We cut that to length and trimmed a little off the height, slipped it into the groove in the siding and secured it underneath the wall edge with staples. A perfect finished edge without a brake!






We did the same on the rear, although I forgot to get a picture.


Sunday, October 31:

We finished up the front siding. Similar procedure as the sides, but we had about a 4" gap to fill that time. A piece of fascia from home depot was used to finish off that edge. I again forgot to take a picture


Next I installed the outside outlet and got the cover on and sealed up, and then we cut the full door opening. You can somewhat see the finished front edge behind the ladder:




Finally we installed the door:




And that was as far as we made it for the weekend. Next time we need to install the edge trim, gutters and roof vents, then it will be water tight.


- Frank
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:57 PM   #117
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Frank,

Thanks for the update and wonderful photos. It looks like it will be one very special rig. I bet your just thrilled & excited about how it it turning out.

Kitty
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:05 PM   #118
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Wow!!!
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:13 PM   #119
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Great job Frank!!! I like how that siding went on, looks like it turned out nice and straight and tight. Nice job bending over the corners too!

How do you plan to do the roof edges?
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:39 AM   #120
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Thanks Kitty, Kathy & Jon!

Jon, for the roof terminations, right now the plan is to follow the same basic way my 2363 was done - run the corner trim up onto the roof about 4-6 inches. Then use a flat bar across the front, and a corner across the rear. A length of gutter on the road side and a length of gutter/awning rail on the door side.

The gutters and the front and rear bars are straight and easy. The 90 degree corner in the rear should be easy if I v-notch the side of the corner trim. Wrapping the corner trim around the front curves has me a bit nervous because I can't make those bends with only a single notch and I don't want to make a dozen notches. Ideally I can get it to go without any notches at all. I bought extra and need to try some sample bends this week to figure out the best way to do this. May try building a bending jig. I'm going to try to hit up the repair techs at the local shop and see if they have any tricks.

- Frank
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