With the price I paid, surprisingly low(upgrade from our Starcraft pop up was only $800) and the quality I've found, I've resigned myself to making this a really nice custom. I've gotten some wonderful ideas off these boards to adding special amenities. I have a lot of mods floating around in my mind!
Here's my starting supplies for the most part. I ended up not using the denatured alcohol and the laquer thinner at all.
Picture before the new jack was ordered.
I started by pulling everything from the tongue frame including the propane tank carriage. I quickly ditched the battery drill and grabbed my Bosch hammer drill and hit all the rust spots with various shaped wire brushes... wear eye protection.
I used toss away paint brushes to hit the paint with Jabso Premium Paint Remover, it worked as any gel stripper I've ever used, no better, no worse. It did take 3-4 coats of the stripper to remove three coats of paint/primer that was on the frame. Once I had nearly all bare metal I used the stripper with some coarse steel wool and some tiny wire hand brushes to get into the nooks and corners of the frame and the hitch mechanism. Very tedious. Wear durable long cuffed rubber gloves and eye protection with this stuff, if you get it on your skin it will instantly
burn you. Also lesson also learned when I was about 19... make sure you go to the bathroom before you start handling this stuff.
Use in a well venilated area or make sure you've got a respirator, there's heavy toxic fumes.
I used a cut out of cardboard to catch most of the paint from getting on the concrete. When I was to a point where I wanted to quit I just made sure all the stripper was removed from the frame. I then sprayed it with water and wiped down with a paper towel. The paint on the cardboard and floor I just let go till the next day and vacuumed it up when it dried. Cleaned up just fine off the cardboard to the point that I used the same 2 pieces the whole stripping process.
Stripped to bare
New Jack-Atwood Deluxe 2500lbs capacity. -Southwestern Wheel Co out of TX. Quick shipping and the best rate I could find. $205 delivered to PA. I went with this one because I didn't feel the extra 70 bucks was justified for such a small tongue weight. Heck, the 2500lbs is way overkill, I just hated cranking the thing up and down, especially to the height I need when I back up a small incline into my garage. It leaves the ball very high to get off of when dropping... and the light is a bonus I like as well.(I'm sure I'll change it out to LED at some point)
The only quirk in this was the packing of the jack before it hit the rumbling trucks of the UPS.(My father drove for them for 34 years
The result was an offset hat cover and seat cover that now sort of prevent easy insert for the emergency hand crank.
I haven't gotten to painting yet as I'm waiting on the right weather but I'm finished stripping everything from the hitch to the face of the frame in the front... about 6-8 hrs of work so far on this project. The propane tank carriage should take alot less time as I hit it with stripper while working on my work bench instead of stooped over or lying down for a few hrs at a time.
Coming soon... the Por 15 experience. I'm pretty excited about this stuff and it's my 1st time using it. I've read about it for years and its applications in the marine/boating world. Great reviews. I can't say so much for the company I got it from. Stoprust.com I ordered over $200 of product from them to use on the undercarriage of my truck before I bought the camper.(I quickly decided the trailer would get the testing) almost 3 weeks it took to ship and deliver and they shorted me a qt. of clear... about $40. When I called them they directed me to the tiny b/o statement at the bottom of my order. back ordered, no call, no email. Ordered April 23rd and it still hasn't gotten here. I sent an email a week ago, no response.
Hope you enjoy checking out the project start, more to come.