Mods to the Travel Trailer

ridesolo

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We pulled the trailer out of storage to get the exterior looking reputable and to get it ready for the next winter season. We have reservations in Mississippi again and are looking forward to it. We suspended the search for a motor home. With fuel prices what they are and inflation climbing it would be easy to make the decision to stick w/ the "bird in hand" but our decision was really based on the fact that we like the thing and are very comfortable living in it for thee to four months at a time. It's well-built and much higher quality than what we could get in a newer unit w/o spending huge money.

We discovered that it had been mouse invaded. The inside of the basement looked like there had been a blizzard in there! Little white flakes everywhere! Everything had to come out and be cleaned and back in behind the walls I discovered a block of Styrofoam that had been gnawed off on one end. Trapped a couple of the little bastards and got things cleaned up but even had to take the walls out of the basement area in order to get it all cleaned up.

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Once that was all done we moved on to the interior where, again, everything had to be removed and cleaned. Almost every area had mouse turds to clean up and everything from towels to kitchen utensils had to be cleaned. Once that all had been cleared up we were able to move on to the "fun" stuff.

Really, not so "fun!" The aforementioned PoliGlow finish needs to be refreshed every 10-12 months and it hadn't been touched in two years. Parts of the poor thing looked like it had some kind of flaking skin condition! So, we spent hours of stripping and re-applying the PoliGlow on the old girl.

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Now the fun begins! I mentioned before that we don't use the LP gas very much; occasionally turn on the furnace to take the chill off, but we heat and cook w/ electric so the gas stove was just taking up space, space in an area where every inch is precious. Here's the Before:

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And here are some of the During:


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I got some red oak boards and a friend is going to make a pair of matching doors that'll cover that opening and Prime Day provided a sliding stainless bin thing for pots n pans that'll be mounted in there.

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Work progresses... gota get back on the BMW!
 

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Rider52

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When I was the fleet manger for the USDA we had 5 FEMA travel trailers. We didn't need one, much less five. Over the few years they were in storage the mice had free rein. About the time I started managing the fleet I convinced my boss to sell them. I cleaned them up a lot but they had damaged. I feel your pain! Oddly they all got caught up in bidding wars and actually sold for more than you could buy a nice clean, well kept unit at the local RV dealer.
 

ridesolo

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When I was the fleet manger for the USDA we had 5 FEMA travel trailers. We didn't need one, much less five. Over the few years they were in storage the mice had free rein. About the time I started managing the fleet I convinced my boss to sell them. I cleaned them up a lot but they had damaged. I feel your pain! Oddly they all got caught up in bidding wars and actually sold for more than you could buy a nice clean, well kept unit at the local RV dealer.
Oh yeah, FEMA trailers... take a bottom-of-the-line trailer from an industry that has a reputation for marginal-at-best quality control. Order hundreds (thousands?) at slashed prices and you have a product that would make a Yugo look like a Cadillac! I suppose if you got one at a really cheap price and planned to park it more or less permanently on a lake or at a campground AND were up for some routine maintenance it MIGHT be acceptable. Can't imagine paying much for one!
 

Rider52

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Oh yeah, FEMA trailers... take a bottom-of-the-line trailer from an industry that has a reputation for marginal-at-best quality control. Order hundreds (thousands?) at slashed prices and you have a product that would make a Yugo look like a Cadillac! I suppose if you got one at a really cheap price and planned to park it more or less permanently on a lake or at a campground AND were up for some routine maintenance it MIGHT be acceptable. Can't imagine paying much for one!
My wife and I had just attended the RV Show in Little Rock. One of the larger RV dealers was running specials on their used refurbished trailers. I guess you would call them entry level at best. One was the exact model/year as one of our trailers. I went inside just to see what one looked like in decent shape and it was nice. The dealer had it listed for $4400 as a "show special". I talked to the salesman and he said they would take $4000 cash to clear the lot. Our mouse infested, stinking and generally poor shape trailer brought $6,000 at the government auction site. I know auctions bring out the stupid in people but that really floored me.
 

ridesolo

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I know auctions bring out the stupid in people but that really floored me.
We occasionally work for an auctioneer (but we, the auctioneer and his whole crew, are getting older so he's taken on fewer and fewer sales) and are very familiar w/ Auction Stupid. Guns, ammo, knives, and tools go stupid expensive. Things that use to go well; most "collectables" and old glassware are of little value, antique furniture doesn't bring much and other furniture you can barely give away. Changing times I guess.
 
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Maritime

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Ahhh auction stupid. See it all the time. Our claims at work now all go to auction and fucktards bid over retail all the time. Then they pay 10% auction fee and tax! For items with 0 warranty a d unknown damage. Pisses me off as I used to be able tonget that stuff at pennies on the dollar.
 

ridesolo

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AND finally... the project on the trailer kitchen is finally done! I knew it was going to take my cabinet maker friend a while to get to get to my doors (and it did) but they are finally done and he did a fantastic job. Mrs Ridesolo did the stain and varnish and I got them hung this afternoon. To refresh, first is the before:

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And here is the after. The microwave has been replaced by a microwave/convection oven. We removed the LP gas range and oven and got an electric induction cooktop.

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Added a slider drawer for the pots n pans and the toaster.

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As a surprise for Mrs Ridesolo I had my friend build a third door to replace the tambour door that we always thought looked out of place, didn't work well, and never liked. The thing was intended to stash the hose and tools for the central vacuum system and we don't like the thing and rarely use it. I took out the roll up and fitted a matching door. Before:

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And after:

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When I first got it I had changed all of the exterior lighting to LEDs by replacing the regular bulbs w/ inexpensive LEDs... in the end it turns out that I got what I paid for; the majority of the LEDs didn't hold up well and I've ended up replacing virtually all of the markers and other lights w/ decent quality LEDs. They are much brighter and should hold up far, far better than what I had.

Next post: exhaust fans
 

ridesolo

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Looks great!
Thank you! It's an older model but it's solid and we like it and keep trying to make it comfortable and usable. When we decided on this year's projects we set ourselves a $1000 limit and got more done than planned and managed to stay under the limit.
 
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ridesolo

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I mentioned Exhaust Fans above... The industry standard for most roof vents and fans is a 14" X 14" format. I believe that even the roof AC units, while they are larger than that, use an opening that's 14X14. This trailer has one AC unit and three roof vents. The one in the bathroom is just a standard vent w/ a single speed exhaust fan. It's pretty noisy but it's only occasionally needed so as long as it works I don;t need to do anything w/ it. The bedroom fan is a Fantastic Vent unit that was original from the manufacturer. I believe I'm going to have to eventually put a replacement motor into it but for now it works great. It's connected to a thermostat unit that can be set to turn it on and off and open and close it. There's also a rain sensor outside that closes the lid and shuts it off if it starts raining. It can also be set for in or out airflow.

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The living room vent was only a screened vent that cranked open and closed and, because of the height of the ceiling in that area, could only be operated w/ a long handle; a major PITA, AND if we left it open and it rained there would be puddles to clean up. I started searching for a Fantastic Vent to install there and learned they are surprisingly expensive! I kept searching and eventually found a place selling them at what I considered to be a more reasonable price. I had some pix that I took while doing the switch-out up on the roof but they're gone now. It wasn't a difficult process, just time consuming, carefully peel off the old sealant w/o cutting the rubber roof membrane, take out the umpteen screws holding the unit in place, pull the unit out of the bed of sealant holding it in place, then clean up all of the old sealant. To put in the new one you wire up to the 12vdc power (I got that ready ahead of time), then lay down a new bed of the Dicor sealant, put another umpteen screws around then rim, then liberally apply sealant around the entire edge and over every screw head; this easily uses up an entire calking gun-sized tube of Dicor.

This new one is really nice! It's got a wireless remote that controls everything and also functions as the thermostat. There are a total of 20 fan speeds in manual mode as well as thermostat control and, of course the outside rain sensor. The fan motor is much quieter than the older unit and the open and close speed is amazing. All-in-all, a very nice unit and well worth what I paid for it.

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That's all I can remember for now. We just have to finish the load-up and in around 11 days or so we'll be outa here!
 

ridesolo

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Three days before leaving we had a major event! Completely by chance we came across a new tow vehicle. We hadn't been actively searching but have been keeping our eyes open for a more heavy duty truck. Completely by chance we discovered one for sale out side of town and checked it out. Its a 2011 GMC Sierra 2500HD, 6.0L gas with <53,000 miles on the clock. Original owners and "good people," they took very good care of it; the interior is like new and the exterior has a couple of very minor issues. The clear coat on the OEM aluminum wheels has given up the ghost so I'll either have to find a place to recondition them or get new wheels. It's had professional and regular maintenance and has new tires and brakes. The only bad news is that I got it such a short time before time to leave that there wasn't time to get the 5th wheel hitch mounted in it. So, it'll spend it's winter sitting in the driveway rather than enjoying the nicer weather on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

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As for being ready to go, we are, so tomorrow morning early (not too early) we'll head south and by Tuesday evening I hope there's another shrimp boil waiting for us! Hitch up the mule, feed the dogs, tranquilize the Mrs, and put the peddle down! (EDIT: Or is that "feed the Mrs and tranquilize the dogs"?)

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Redbird

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S'pose to be really nice this coming weekend. Might make for a good excuse to bring the bike out ;)
 

ridesolo

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S'pose to be really nice this coming weekend. Might make for a good excuse to bring the bike out ;)
We arrived this afternoon.... yup, riding weather for sure.
 

Tim

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I'm hoping in the next year or two we start spending at least 2 months somewhere warm each year. Need to break up the Canadian winters.
 

ridesolo

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I don't blame you. After all the years I've spent in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, North Dakota, & Alaska winter holds no charm for me at all. The difficult part is deciding where to go and how to do it.
 

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