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Our “finish line” of having Miss Trilly ready for the road is coming into view. All the Hehr jalousie windows have been removed, cleaned up, and reinstalled. Originally, plywood strips surrounded the windows. Clark cut solid wood as replacements. The windows were attached into these using new stainless screws. The sealant, butyl “combo” tape generously applied, will stop any leaks for perhaps three more decades. We are elated that this undertaking is complete. My fingernails are completely worn down from all the scraping and steelwooling. Even though I strongly dislike cleaning aluminum, I enjoy seeing it clean and shiny. However, one can never remove all the corrosion and pitting. Just accept it.

Removing the vinyl-faced Ensolite insulation from the wood strips inside the trailer was difficult and tedious. The cement used in 1979 stuck very well, especially on the wood that was not rotted. A very sharp thin bladed kitchen knife, I found, was the best tool. It was the point of the knife that presented a hazard – too easy to slip and make a mistake. I only poked through the face once when freeing a corner from the wood. Hopefully, I will be able to repair that small tear satisfactorily. I never want to have go through slicing Ensolite off of wood again, so we trimmed the windows with painted wood. This finishes off the contemporary look very well and holds the wall insulation in place, covering up any holes from previous window covering installations.

In the spaces of time between cleaning windows and removing paint from the portside exterior aluminum (again!) vent grills on Miss Trilly, I covered the bottom of the overhead shelves with Sunbrella®. The sticky coating on the mahogany skin, we discovered, originally held some kind of thin vinyl material. It is the same vinyl that is on the inside of the drawer stack in the aft seat and that had been applied to the two barrier boards that protects wiring, all of which is peeling off. This covering had dried out and come loose long ago and had been torn away. The remnants were still stuck along the edges where the shelves were held by the aluminum framing.

Clark cut new sliding door panels out of scrap doorskin material we had on hand and painted these to match the window trim. We have reinstalled the shelves (correcting an egregious misalignment while doing so) and remounted the original under-cabinet light fixtures. These are updated with Valspar spray paint. I removed the brown-painted frame on the lenses with acetone and Clark replaced the lamps with LEDs. He found adapters for the bayonet fitting. The doors now have contemporary knobs that coordinate with the original copper-colored/bronze latches.

Overhead ShelvesToday we finished the interior of the closet. The “rat fur” has been replaced by “medium neutral” EZ-Flex automotive carpeting, which I glued in with latex carpet adhesive. Clark cut a mahogany panel for the floor, coated it with polyurethane and I covered that too with the carpet. We painted the raw wood sticks that held up the white (!) vinyl-coated wire shelves that came with the trailer to match the carpet. The closet now looks modern and clean. The auto carpet is well-made stuff and will be extremely durable.

The vinyl “wood” on the cabinetry is, unfortunately, in very good condition, with the exception of the top drawer. It was peeling badly, so I pulled off the vinyl. It may not work out, but I wrapped the drawer front with the same Sunbrella® that we used under the overhead shelves. We like how the fabric looks and hope that because Sunbrella® is scrubbable, we can keep it looking nice. The new pulls are elegant and they won’t catch on our pants pockets! Perhaps during the winter of 2014 we will have the gumption to makeover all the fake walnut particle wood doors. In truth, the original dark vinyl everywhere is looking very out of place now.Drawer

We each worked through several more tasks. Clark installed two 12-volt receptacles, one under the forward dinette, the other above the power converter, which is original equipment. We haven’t decided where to put the Morningstar solar controller yet. The wood headers for the roll-up shades are painted, so I am assembling them and gluing a wood strip into the hem. We should be ready to hang these by tomorrow afternoon, Friday at the latest. We will have crossed a threshold when the window coverings are finished. They will look fantastic – very Zen.

Here is what Miss Trilly’s port side looked like in January…OrigPort_sm

Here she is now – higher ground clearance and solar panel instead of AC.MissTrilly_Apr1stWe will be storing Miss Trilly in Oregon for the summer. She will be watched over by attentive family, who generously offered to harbor our sweetheart. We deliberated for weeks with choices for a weather cover for our treasure. Should we buy a full RV cover, build our own carport from wood or steel, or buy a temporary shelter? Money always a consideration, we did not want to spend more than $300. A shelter like the one from Costco that protected the trailer while we worked on the new axle would be perfect, but these were no longer available at Costco. We checked each time we went, which is fairly frequent when we are in California. Finally, on a visit just last week, we saw an employee atop a display assembling a large patio umbrella, so we asked him if they were expecting any of the carport shelters Costco had stocked in the past. He lead us to a stack of them that had just that morning been delivered! A very heavy box is now taking up a lot of room in Zuzu, our tow vehicle. Miss Trilly will be protected like royalty during her sequester in Oregon. We breathe easier now, another item checked off the list.

The finish line is in sight! Everything is coming together quickly now. We are getting antsy to hitch her up and be on our way! Photographs will be posted of the new and improved Miss Trilly as soon as they are available!

Happy travels,
Clark & 9ah