Mar 24, 2011

Finalizing the structural work on Dixie

I am surprised that the body of this old camper didn't just fall down around the chassis of the trailer with all the perimeter rot I found. I completed the rear perimeter last week and put the layer of lauan down.

I mentioned in my last video that I was trying to keep the front of the camper intact so I could sit back and enjoy hanging out in it in between tasks. Well... that did not last long. I tore into the front this past weekend and found that it was as bad as the back as far as perimeter rot. So I demo'd it!

I worked on it a few days in a row (after my paying job). My process has been:

Peel skin out and remove all rotten perimeter bottom plates (usually 1x2), cut off old rusted screws and nails,

 Cut studs up to fit in new pressure treated 1x4.


 Install mending plates to tie studs to new bottom plate.

The front end of the body was sagging about an inch. I had to jack it up until the bottom edge of the aluminum skin was flush with the bottom edge of the factory 2x3 structure of the chassis. Cut the studs up to 3 1/2" from the bottom edge of the 2x3. Screw the new 1x4pt to the 2x3 and then let the body back down to rest on the new bottom plate. The mending plates work great to tie the studs to the bottom plate. I will cover the mending plates with something to prevent two dissimilar metals (body aluminum vs. mending plate steel) from touching and chaffing. That is all for now!

Mar 8, 2011

Building in an Air Conditioner to the 16SC

As I mentioned earlier, I have been researching my idea to relocate the A/C in Dixie from the rear window hole to a cabinet above the rear bed on the curb side. I have only found one other retro-fit like this but I had some ideas that improved on how the unit will "breathe".

There is a upper cabinet and shelf combination in the 16SC over the rear bed.

View from inside the cabinet looking out the fresh air plenum

I decided that in order to intake cool air to flow across the compressor, I would create a plenum using half of the shelf and locate the intake vent about a foot from the exhaust vent. The shelf area is beside the wing on the outside.

The wing sits off the trailer a half inch.

I cut an opening and installed a grill that will be covered by the wing. I cut another opening for the exhaust and installed the hinge panel that used to be on the street side for the propane refrigerator access.

I put in some rails for the A/C unit to sit on and a temporary drain pan and am now in the testing stage. So far the unit works great but it has not been above 80 degrees during testing yet so... I wait.

I left some room for an electric fan to help circulate the cool air intake if need be.

Mar 6, 2011

Vintage Campgrounds First Event

We spruced up the site this week and invited friends over to cookout and tell stories around the campfire. It was a breezy evening and fun was had by all.

Mar 2, 2011

The '63 16SC has a name! "DIXIE"

Naming a camper is a long standing tradition. In 1979 I went to my Great-Grandparents summer getaway in Grand Lake, Colorado. They had a big trailer named Buddy. I named the Deluxe after that. last night I was not thinking too hard but was saying to myself "what rhymes with SixThree" and the first thing I thought of was Dixie so I am going with that!