It wasn’t a difficult decision to remove Miss Trilly’s air conditioner. We always do our land traveling in the winter when the weather is not hot. What we truly appreciate having is the propane heater for those icy, high desert nights. So, off with her head! (BTW: the Coleman MiniMach is in working order, so we have stored it in the garage, just in case.)
We found that the saddle support is slightly sagged and crooked. The roof beneath is also a bit slumped and lopsided. The slope collects water like a pond. In order to seal the trailer roof against the ponding, we stuck down a piece of translucent fiberglass with silicone. It flattens out the top of the saddle so water cannot collect.
Roughly cut openings go through both the saddle and the AC indent in the roof. We found an old square-cornered vent “garnish” at a RV used parts store. The sides were extra tall and had to be cut down. The brittle, yellowed plastic (a nearly perfect match to the ceiling gelcoat, actually) cleaned up well. The flange dimension just barely covered the jagged opening in the ceiling where the AC came through. After cutting small half-circle vents in the sides of the trim to allow for expansion, we glued a piece of white plexiglass to top of the frame. We now had a skylight! Clark attached standoffs to hold up the center of the saddle’s fiberglass sheet as extra insurance for proper drainage, then we screwed the new skylight in place. It allows a very pleasant light into the interior.
Clark built brackets for the 100-watt Grape Solar panel we bought at Costco. He used aluminum angle, cut and bent to fit the saddle. The corners are pop-riveted. The solar panel will be mounted with enough space beneath to clean and reach wiring.
The roof itself has a few problems. A previous owner had applied heavy butyl roofing tape along the edges of the saddle support for the AC, probably to stop water infiltration. You can see some of it in the photograph. We think water was likely coming through a crack around one of bolts in the top of the AC housing. We couldn’t face removing the heavy tape and repairing the entire area on this go-around.
This tape is also applied all around the original vent, so we opted to seal the cracks in its plastic base instead of replacing it. Clark sprayed on three coats of clear Rust-Oleum Leak Seal, which seems to have done the job. I cleaned and covered the underside of the aluminum lid with the same automobile carpeting we used in the closet. After Clark used his new plastic welding kit to repair and fill in the cracks in the trim, he painted it with the same color as the light fixtures.
Here is the floorcloth in place. I glued heavy felt on the back, then folded under a 2.5″ hem to cover the edges of the felt, mitering the corners. It is glued with spray adhesive. There was enough left of the painted canvas to make two placemats, which I backed with the same rubber sheet we used under Miss Trilly on her trailer frame.
The front dinette is all put together in this photograph. At some point, perhaps, we will change the dark fake wood throughout to a lighter and more rugged material. I have already selected a plastic laminate that would work well with the new colors.
I used the old “rat fur” to cut a new lining for the closet out of the automobile carpeting. It is glued with latex carpet adhesive (that was tricky!), which I think is still off-gassing. The paper lying at the bottom is a pattern for the lightweight plywood floor. I also covered that with the carpeting. We painted the wood supports for the shelves with a matching color.
I have stated how much I disliked cleaning the aluminum windows. I must say that getting the paint off the two grills on the port side was extremely unpleasant. After scraping with fingernails and a stick of bamboo so as not to scratch the aluminum, I tried buffing with a nylon abrasive “ball” mounted on a drill. This worked to polish the bare aluminum but did nothing to remove old paint. Steel wool didn’t work either. It had to be scraped–very, very tediously. The lower grill had some paint that I was unable to scrape off. It seemed baked on. Finally, with some reluctance, I bought paint remover. After these grills were finished, I moved around to take off the old paint on the drip cap over the doorway. It was a bit easier to do. Now the metals all look so much better! Satisfaction with a job done well.
Here is another look at the bed area. I am unable to adequately express how much we are looking forward to taking Miss Trilly on the road in the Fall of 2013. We are going to enjoy her immensely! We are very satisfied with the results of the work we have done so far. We have taken very good care of her and we know she will take very good care of us for many years of traveling together.
Perhaps we will see you out there! Look for us, won’t you?
9ah & Clark