Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Week, A Little More Progress

We've had another fantastic week of good weather, except for a little rain shower.  So, we've been able to move along a bit on the Shasta.  My sweet husband spent the better part of the weekend replacing the rotted floor with 3/4" exterior grade plywood, coated with vehicle undercoating to resist water.  We toyed with the idea of tearing out the whole floor in the dinette area and replacing it completely; but after discovering the rot in the door side framing, we decided not to push our luck and keep trudging forward so we'll be able to camp in her before the kids reach college age.  ha.

Old cracked floor found under the vinyl tiles.  Oh, and check out the left side of the door.  There's really no wood there at all, just a little bit of decayed paneling and some tin.  When hubby dug the rot away, this side of the camper dropped an inch or two.  He jacked it back up to replace the side floor framing.


This is the frame, with some new wood in place and a few pieces of temporary wood to keep us from snagging the aluminum siding or falling through the floor and breaking an ankle.  That would be bad...very bad.

New floor, 3/4" exterior grade plywood.  The wheel well is resupported, as well as the threshold on the door has been replaced with new wood.  No more spongy landings!!

In order to fix the floor, the entire threshold and door side of the wooden frame had to be rebuilt from the front corner to the wheel well.  That Kreg jig has paid for itself.  The floor was also repaired where the water tank had been (there wasn't anything except for the homosote board there).    

We are finally at the point where we're trying to decide what flooring to use.  Hmm.  I should probably reiterate that our plan is to refurbish the Shasta within a 2 month window to be able to use her for camping for a season or two.  Our plan is to have most of the major work done by the end of April for her maiden trip.  We are quite certain that she needs (and deserves) a complete, frame-off, proper restoration.  The birch paneling has delaminated from the humidity here in NC, and she's sustained water damage from leaks and such.  THAT being said, we are aware that we aren't fixing her "correctly." That is not our goal at the moment.  Our goal is to get her systems working properly, have a functioning kitchenette, two beds, make her safe and sturdy again, and GO CAMPING.  Soon.

Our camper has the old asbestos 9x9 tiles in it, most of which are in horrid condition.  (Hubby peeled the tiles up near the wheelwell before he realized they were asbestos - tsk tsk.)  The PO's also laid 2 layers of self-stick vinyl tiles down, most of which are coming up or shifting.  They're cracked and peeling, plus we chopped into them to fix the floor.  Unfortunately, these will need to be pulled up with as little damage to the asbestos tiles as possible.  Then we have to use some kind of a substrate to level the floor.  If we were actually "restoring" the camper, I have no doubt we'd use VCT tiles.  They come in a great variety of colors, they're easy to put down and easy to care for.  BUT - we are doing this renovation on a budget.  Which we've already busted.  Ahem. 

We debated about putting laminate flooring (ie Pergo) in the camper, which would cover up the mess without needing to lay a subfloor.  I really don't like laminate flooring.  It reminds me of, clack, click, clack - ticky ticky ticky.  So, I was shopping at Ollie's the other day, and came across a selection of vinyl tiles for $8.96 for a box of 30.  They are not "quality" tiles, but they will do the job we need them to for now.  Our SC has a floorspace of about 60 square feet, including under the dinette benches (but not the gaucho).  I bought 3 boxes, so we'll have plenty leftover.  Including the lauan, the cost will be less than $60 to do the floor.   I did the math for the VCT tiles, and it would be about $30 more.  Sigh.  I'd really prefer the VCT tiles, ya know?  But, these are inexpensive and will brighten things up considerably without clashing too much or looking too modern.  What do you think?

I put the tiles down to see how they'd look.  I'm so excited!!  Isn't progress great?!
Hubby also put up the side panels under the windows.  I'm waiting for VTS to ship the window seal.  In the meantime, I can put a few coats of shellac on the panels.  I'm a little nervous about doing it, but hubby said there's no way to really mess up shellac.  If it doesn't go on well, it can be rubbed out or sanded.  I'll give it a shot. 

Once the flooring is done, we'll be working on the dinette benches, then the back end to tear out the black/grey tank and fix the rot in her rear-end.  

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