19 July 2008

The Moment I've been Waiting For!

Yes, it's really happening. I know, I couldn't believe it either! Goldie is finally being put back together. My Father & I made a game plan. He gathered the tools needed & we regrouped. We made another game plan. We sweated. We even got a spot of work done.

If you've been following along, you know that there is "some" water damage in the rear. Ok, in the front, too. And the sides.

Goldie's rear-end, like many 40+ year old women, had a bit of a sag. We tugged & propped, lifted & tucked. You can see here how the trunk door is sitting on the frame & the skin was being crushed underneath. The trunk frame should not be doing that. The skin in the rear should be just skimming the steel frame. Sorry for the poor quality photo. I didn't take a pic of it previous to fixing it, so I had to search for a pic that included the crushed trunk.

Making everything just a tad more complicated, the Loflyte has an obtuse angle in the middle of the wall. Unfortunately, there was no wood left from which to make a template. So, we energetically "discussed" the reassemble.

It was tough, though. He makes his living building. How can I argue with 30+ years experience? Except home building is different from travel trailer building. I've only seen pictures & video's about how others have gone about restoring their Shasta. In the end, we came to some great decisions, I think.

Beneath the ¾" ply floor on each edge is a heavy-duty piece of wood that provides support & a place to screw in the walls.

We didn't have a level floor, so that's where we needed to start. We measured the distance from skin to skin (beyond the studs) & cut a 2x6 to fit that length & gingerly put it between the wooden frame, a tiny fraction of an inch away from each side of the skin.

Looking straight down, this is a Photomerged pic of what we rigged to help us accomplish a level floor:

Those two pieces needed to raised to the level of the steel frame. We used a C-Clamp to bring up the two boards to level.

Once that was completed our next job was the raise the walls, thus raising the rear & fixing the sag. Using small blocks of 1x2's we temporarily propped up the wall. To do this, we found the lowest wall stud that wasn't rotten, & used the simple wedge & lever technique to lift the wall to the proper, level position.

In order to feel like we'd really accomplished something, we cut spacers to drop in temporarily to press the bottom of the rear wall into a better position. We have the ¾" ply, but need to add an additional strip ripped to the proper angle, thus creating a stronger joint. Originally, they were just butted up together, which probably created undue pressure on the angled wall.

Once we decided this was our course of action, this was incredibly easy. It took very little effort to lift the wall & we feel it was the simplest & most effective way to raise the wall. It produced pretty great results! The rear skin is just a whisper above the frame, like I think it originally was.

Overall, we're pretty darned pleased with a job well done today.


matchbox20girl said...

I have to say that I am very impressed...wow!! I wouldn't know how to do a fraction of this! Can I borrow your dad next summer to overhaul the Croppin' Cabin?

Kudos to you both!

Shasta Girl said...

I would certainly lend him out. But... believe me, I'll be paying for his "help" (in the way of "reminding" me constantly of the help he's given me!! oh, you know the kind of reminding I mean) for a VERY long time. But, it's so worth it!!!