Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Progress on the Trailer Front

Actually, I made progress toward the rear of the trailer, and around the middle. Working on a camping trailer like this, rather than frame off, is rather like working on a big 3D puzzle from the inside. It presents some interesting challenges and puzzles, some of them mental, and some physical.

Tonight, I dry fit the next-to-rearmost sections of floor as well as one of the replacement wheel wells I'd fabricated. New Airstreams have an anti-wicking agent "painted" on the first few inches along the outside edges of the floor.  I couldn't find any details on that product, however, so the new floor has had several coats of polyurethane applied to it plus black oil-based paint along the outside edges.

New wheel well being dry fit
And below is why I'm dryfitting major components right now.  While three of the four sides of the wheel well rest exactly where they should, I discovered that it extending too far down on the outboard side.  I have to get it situated more precisely, clamp it down, and trace the shape that is going to need to be cut out. I'll also need a new flange/angle piece to replace the one that is inches too far down.

Wheel well extends several inches below the wall.  Oops.
Only once the wheel well is definitively situated can the section of floor shown in the first photo be finally installed, and the insulation needs to go in beneath it first. Which will then allow the section of floor that should go beside it to be installed.  That, in turn, is a prerequisite for dealing with the situation below.

That's just a bit of a mess

Those aluminum sheets are supposed to join up.  The one on the bottom, from the "belly" skin, is supposed to get riveted to the nearly-vertical sheet that is like a "wall."  However, those rivets are also supposed to pass through to a aluminum channel running along the outer edge of the floor.  That would be on the section of floor that I can't install before the other section, which can't be installed until the wheel well is in place.  Oh, and the "wall" skin is supposed to be riveted to the piece to the left, but I have work to do before that can happen.

This is definitely keeping me busy.  And puzzled, at times. The dependencies and connectedness of the structure can turn otherwise simple bits of repair or replacement into complicated challenges, particularly with respect to the sequence some activities must occur in. But I shall trudge on through, and hopefully have it campable this year. There's a lot of amazing things to see here in America, and this is how I want to visit many of them.

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