Another weekend gone by means another weekend of Dewey progress! We hit the ground running on Saturday and were super productive and feeling good! I think Sunday we were a little burnt out, but still managed to get a lot done. We are so close to finally getting this exterior all sealed up …
We got the first fender fully installed to the point where it’s sturdy enough to sit on. The original fenders weren’t actually bolted on very well, so we made sure to do it the right way this time around. Virgil gave them a test sit, and we’re all clear!
Probably our biggest accomplishment of the entire weekend was figuring out our front door gap dilemma! A few posts back I think I shared a photo of the door which showed a huge gap between the top of the door and the roof of the teardrop. We were going back and forth between what we wanted to do with it. We couldn’t unhinge the door from the frame — which would have been the obvious fix — because the hinges had been welded onto the frame and we don’t have the budget for welding on this project. So we had to get creative. We thought about refashioning a new exterior with a larger piece of aluminum, but then we’d be stuck with a really flimsy top to the door, which would wear down over time and probably create a new gap in the long run. We needed to come up with something substantial to fill that gap. Ultimately, we ended up taking a piece of U-channel and cutting out chunks to make it malleable enough to bend. With it being more malleable, we were able to curve it, clamp it to the door frame, and buck rivet it into place. Then, we used an angle grinder to grind down any extra parts of the U-channel that didn’t fit the gap. We felt like geniuses! Still, we thought we would have to fabricate a whole new exterior door … but luck was most definitely on our side — we pounded out the curve of the existing door and it was magically the perfect size of the door opening! So instead, we created a sort of patch with some leftover belly pan (the belly pan that keeps on giving, am I right!?) to wrap from the front, over the top, to the back. This gave us something extra to rivet the door skin into, created another stronger layer, and gave us a more finished look. We were pumped.
^^the gap vs. our solution^^
We got the last of the four window frames onto the door and we’ll finish up the edges with some rubber gasket (once the correct one arrives in the mail *hopefully* this week)!
We purchased three new window cranks from Vintage Trailer Supply (thank goodness for them. You can’t restore an old trailer without them, I swear!), but were only able to install one of the new cranks because two of the windows are missing the front window channel (no worries, VTS has them and we’ve ordered two!). But boy do the new cranks look GOOD! We are leaving the only original crank that we have on there because it adds character 😉
We finally used up the last of our belly pan (RIP little buddy) on the galley door flashing. Which is great because it’s protecting that back edge of our subfloor and will also protect our kitchen flooring. It gives the edges a really nice, finished look overall.
And one of the biggest visual changes to occur over the weekend was the removal of that pesky center bar in the middle of the trailer! It was originally installed (we think) to prevent swaying, but we have more than enough reinforcements in this new build, that we don’t need it. So it was about time to get that thing out of there so we could stop banging our heads on it!! Definitely a big win.
On Sunday, we tackled the galley door sealing situation with this awesome T-channel we got from SocalTeardrops (another lifesaver). This T-channel is great because it’s easily bent to fit the curves of a teardrop. We are going to use it around our front door to give it a more finished look, and to protect from weather elements as well. On the left and right sides of our galley door, we installed the T-channel — outfitted with both rubber gasket on the outer edge and foam sealant on the inner edge — where the galley door meets the frame. We used pop rivets for this part. This is all a little hard to explain, but once we get two latches onto the bottom of the galley door that attach to the trailer frame, it’ll pull the galley tight into the trailer, and we needed rubber gasket there for waterproofing purposes. To save our T-channel for our front door, we’re planning on using U or L-channel on the bottom seam, because it’s more readily available in your normal hardware stores.
And lastly, to close out the weekend, we removed the front storage/electrical box from the frame (it was bolted on through the bottom so it was easy to remove) and were greeted with a little bit of a mess but nothing too serious! Virgil cleaned up the area and used the angle grinder to remove any remaining rust that had formed there. We’ll sikaflex the front seam (this was definitely the most rusted part of the trailer initially, as I don’t think the previous owners ever removed the box so water was able to leak in) and hit it with some Rustoleum spray to protect it for longer. It’s always good to end on a high note!!
Additionally, the electrical for the rear lights has all been redone (thanks Virg!), all of our next-chapter parts have been ordered from our various sites, and we’re ready to hit the ground running once again! The toughest part about this entire rebuild is definitely building a watertight vessel. Once we know the outside is waterproofed, the inside work will go quickly!
Thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned for more!