Monday, February 14, 2011

Progress? Maybe....

We had a few days of fabulous weather here in the Triangle, so we got a little work done on the Shasta.  After we got her in the driveway last Monday, we spent some time really looking her over.  The weather had been dry for a day or so before we had picked her up on Monday, but the rear interior panel benath the back window was wet.  Yikes.  An active leak....lovely.  We knew we'd have to fix that area before we'd bought her, but we had hoped the window had at least been repaired.  Nope.  In fact, once we really looked her over, we realized that someone had haphazardly nailed plastic over the window on the inside; and not just the rear window, but both side dinette windows and one of the front windows as well. 

Once I removed the sun-faded blue curtains, we could plainly see that someone had driven 2" roofing nails into the aluminum trim around the interior of the windows.  Little bits of plastic remained beneath the nail heads.  The PO's must have used some plastic to cover broken windows at some point.  One window had 17 nails around it. They'd used a nail gun and had driven them clean through to the aluminum exterior skin around the back window, and this is what was allowing the rain to come seeping through the wall.  Ugh.  There are 5 or 6 pinholes through the aluminum skin on each side of the rear window that will need to be sealed SOON.

It amazes me that someone would have gone through the trouble of trying to cover up the damaged paneling without repairing the problem.  Hmm.  I just shake my head.....

I also found that some mice had been "camping out" in her as well.  I'd seen some mousie evidence when we did our presale inspection, but I had NO IDEA how bad it was.  A PO had removed the water tank from under the front dinette seat, leaving a huge gaping hole in the floor.  Although someone had put styrofoam insulation in the hole to "insulate" it; that's no deterrent for any rodent.  In fact, since they'd also placed pink batt insulation on top of it, it was like mousie heaven in there.  They had been coming and going as they pleased, urinating and defacating all over.  Hubby and I donned masks and gloves, and scooped out the muck; then sprayed everything down with bleach and water.  (Hantavirus is nothing to scoff at)

After I tossed the blue curtains unceremoniously into the dumpster, I tossed out the foam cushions, unscrewed the tops of the bench seats, and threw everything out the door.  Yuck.  I spent the better part of a day cleaning everything that was left with bleach and water; scraping goo off of the floor and walls, vacuuming out cabinets and removing as much mouse poo as I could.  The rest I just soaked with bleach water and let it sit.   What I couldn't use bleach on (cabinet doors) I used vinegar and water and wiped it off with a towel.  Now that the majority of the mess has been cleaned up, I've resorted to using lavendar scented Lysol to get rid of the funky smell. 

On Friday, we tore out the "bench seats" that had been made for the dinette.  The construction wasn't up to par with what my husband or I wanted, so we pulled them out.  I've designed new benches that hubby will build once we seal up the hole from the water tank PROPERLY. 

We popped into Lowe's on Friday as well, and discovered that the laminate we are planning to use is being discontinued by Formica.  (Aqua Boomerang)  Uh oh.  We quickly figured out what sizes we'll need for the table, countertop and sliding cabinets so that we could order the laminate.  Progress.  An inch at a time, but PROGRESS.

The other BIG deal is that this little baby doesn't have a title.  Yeah, I know, we can't register her without one.  (yeah, I also know we probably paid WAYYYY too much for this camper considering the condition and the fact that there isn't a title.  But, I'm foolishly optimistic that way.)

I called the DMV to find out what I need to file for a title.  Basically, here in NC, we need to file an Indemnity Bond for 1.5 times the value of the camper.  I found a local insurer to help with the bond (which I'm expecting to cost about $150 or so) and he asked me to make sure I know what the DMV has on file for a value.  Hmm.  Good question!  So, I called the DMV again.  I talked to someone at first who told me that since a value was not in their system for my model and year, that I'd have to have two dealers assign a value, and they'd use the greater of the two.  Eeek.  Then he spoke with someone in the background, excused himself for a moment, and came back to the phone to ask me a few more questions - the length of the trailer?  The year of the trailer?  Then he told me that the DMV values our camper at $350!!!  Ha.  AND, he said he'd sent me a letter on DMV letterhead with that information on it.  YIPPEE!!! 

The next step is to complete the Indemnity bond, then a DMV inspector will come out and look at the serial number, take a few photos, then we can file for a title.  I think they hold the title for several months; but we shouldn't have any problem keeping busy in the meantime.

Here's a few more  -
Yes, the PO painted the polished stripe and the wings a lovely shade of blue.  The wings will be stripped, and the stripe will be painted silver for now.  This side of the exterior has also been painted with latex housepaint - and a brush.

Under the driver's side bench seat.  There's some rot, but we think we'll let this be for now and repair the supports in the wall section.   We want to focus on the back section, which will probably necessitate removing the skin for repair.  Since that's a time-consuming repair, this bit of mess will have to wait.  Eventually, we'll do a frame-off restoration and fix her right, but for right now, camping season is upon us, and we'd like to be enjoying the weather and the beach.  

Other tidbits on the punch list:
Look at the brake system
New tires, and need a spare
Remove ALL windows. 
Remove silicone sealant from ALL windows.
Clean and polish ALL windows.
Replace and putty ALL windows.
New ceiling panel around roof vent (PO started, never finished job, thankfully!)
New countertop.
Install mini-fridge. (we have fridge, hubby will build new cabinet cases for the fridge and microwave)
Buy hotplate. (No, we don't need a stove.  I don't want to cook when we're camping!  Beanie wienies are fine, thank you.)
Run new wiring for kitchen area - add 2 outlets. (coffeemaker and hotplate)
Replumb water lines using 1/2" pvc. 
Install sink properly after REMOVING SILICONE. Ugh.
(seriously, did this guy get a good deal on a case of that junk - he put it EVERYWHERE!!)
Rewire running lights - cuz they don't work, regardless of what PO said.
Make screen door
Paint tongue
Paint bumper
Paint steps
Remove paint from fiberglass light shades (the PO used white spraypaint to brighten them up.  ha.  light doesn't go through paint.)
Cut carpet remnant to fit over existing tile.
tear out soft floor at door.
tear out all cabinetry and replace interior panels with new birch.  Most of the exposed panels have delaminated to some degree.
remove black water tank, install new floor in potty closet.
put down new VCT tiles after floor is repaired
Install on-demand hot water heater.

The list goes on, I'm sure.  But, we're getting things lined up so that we know what needs to be done.  Do you hear that?  ("What?" you ask.)  The jingling noise coming from our driveway.....hahahha.  This thing might just nickel n dime us to death!!!  

But, it's still cheaper than buying a new house to remodel.  Yup.  Far cheaper.

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