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!

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