May 31, 2011

It's Not Polite To Ask a Gal Her Weight

Well.... the clocks a tickin'! I am down to one month before the maiden voyage with Dixie. We are taking her 4 hours north up the coast to St. Augustine, Florida for Independence Day. Two weekends ago I got her road worthy and got a temp. tag and took her to be weighed. The guy that gave her to me never had a title and the guy he got her from has since passed so I need a title. The tag agency said I could title her as a "homemade trailer" due to the extent of renovation but she has to be less than 2000 pounds. Well.... She tipped the scale at 1700lbs so I will bring the certified weight ticket in this week and have it back in ten days! SWEET!!!

I removed a piece of sheet aluminum that had been installed in place of the original Hehr pop up roof vent. I decided to take the roof vent off of Buddy and install it on Dixie.

 It is in perfect shape and I will be putting a powered fan in Buddy for sure so why not use it for Dixie. I majorly improved the structure of the ceiling around the vent. I sealed it tight and used stainless #10 screws. I need to get pictures of the vent installed. OOPS!

I did get a picture of the tag light LED retrofit that I did and it works great!

We decided to remove the refrigerator the other day because we don't want any propane appliances anymore. It seems as though they built the trailer around the refrigerator because there was no way it was going to fit out the 20 inch wide door. Not even close. I had to take it apart to get it out. By the way... it was loaded with ammonia as a refrigerant and when I was cutting it apart, well I forgot about the refrigerant and it spilled out all over the floor. My assistant was not happy with me. I finished the job alone needless to say :(
I don't have pictures to post yet but I spent a good part of the day running new wire. I will have a lot of 12volt options now. Originally it came with one 12volt light over the front couch/bed and you had to be plugged into your tow vehicle for it to work. I plan to have a battery or two so I ran a wire for a future 12v ceiling vent fan, two new lights under the front upper storage compartment, the bathroom light, a water pump, an outlet under the front window and a light that I plan to retrofit into the grab handle by the door. I also ran some 120volt wire for a new light in the back over the small bookshelf between the bathroom wall and the bed. It will match the existing light fixture that is by the bed on the other side. I also ran wire for a refrigerator, a microwave and an outlet under the front window as well as an outlet on the outside just in front of the storage compartment door.

So... I just got busy with Dixie again and will continue hard and heavy for the next month. After the Beach trip, it will be time for fine tuning! Stay tuned!

Notice the wingtip light!!!!  Not the dents :(

May 13, 2011

And Then There Was Light

I've been working on the exterior lighting of Dixie lately. I removed all the original lights and wiring and replaced it all with new.

 The original tail lights were trashed. The lenses were faded the bases were rusted.

The side marker lights were either missing or rusted beyond repair.

 I decided to retrofit LED fixtures for the tail lights. I bought a kit that included the tail lights with side marker lights and a tag light. I took it all apart and was able to use the side marker lights and tag lights in a way that I will describe later.

 First the tail lights: I secured the fixture directly to the camper and ordered new Bargman 99 lenses.

 The lenses secure to the fixture and all waterproofing has been completed

The side marker lights are installed but I failed to take pictures of that but I did take a picture of the sanding prep I did before painting and installation.

I decided to mount the LED side light accessory into the top rear of the wings to provide a little extra visibility from behind at night.

First I had my lovely assistant, Nadia help strip the paint off both wings. The previous owner painted them white. Tonka guarded the shop entrance from spy's as the wing tip lights was a top secret endeavor

I cut a 3/4" by 2" hole in both wings and then cut out two pieces of red lens material and secured them inside the wing covering the holes.

I screwed in the LED fixture and ran wire through the wing.

And BAM!! They work!!

Lastly, I took the original tail light housing and cleaned it up. I cut a portion of the bottom of it out and fit in another LED fixture that came with the kit. I will post some pictures of it and the side marker lights soon. I ran new wiring from the tongue back to the rear lights and tested all the exterior lighting and am now confident that I will be good to go for my July 4th St Augustine trip. Next, I will finish up some other 12volt wiring tasks for interior lights and outlets, finish up some structural work and start the insulation. I bought 8 - 4x8 sheets of 1/8" birch plywood so I am ready for this huge milestone! Stay tuned!