Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finished Camper

 1969 14 ft Aristocrat Lo-liner. Vintage trailer complete overhaul and remodel.

Done diggity dog and we've been enjoying her for weeks, but I'm just getting around to posting pics because... obviously we've been spending so much time in our camper!

 All canvas upholstery is salvaged from a friend's actual boat sail canvas. Sturdy galore and white- two things I wanted but doubted I could get. But get, I did. All fabric has been treated with moisture and stain barrier- you can read about it in previous post.

Yes, indeed, that's a gilded gold framed Starry Night painting.  High falutin' camping going on in these her parts.

 Love these curtains and huge mega bonus is that when you follow me from behind it looks like my camper's sporting a tramp stamp.

 Just for a review, here are a few of the "Before" shots.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mini Fairy Door

The other day, a magical discovery was made behind an old piece of furniture in my daughter's room. We moved the bookcase and low and behold- a mini door.
  I was able to video tape the whole thing when the kids found it and it's something I'm going to cherish for a long time. There is absolute magic in the imagination that children have.

1) Buy a little door. This one is nice.

2) Prime, then paint your door. I chose gold paint that shimmers only when the sun hits it just right. Magical!

3) take flat handsaw and cut (yes, be brave) into your baseboard. The cleaner your cut, the less caulking you'll have to do on the finish end.

4)Glue door in place using construction adhesive

5) caulk cracks and touch up paint
6) Now this is the important final step... hide it and wait. Let the kids find it so they're imaginations won't be hampered with logic of seeing you with tools and a mess and pointing them to look at a certain wall. The moving of a bookcase coincided with St. Patrick's Day and lots of talk of leprechauns.

Clementine looking pretty spiffy

 She's not done, but we did take her camping for Mother's Day and had such a great time! It rained and she didn't leak :) Hooray, Clementine!
  We got her a kitchy pink flamingo thing going on.

Here she is without decor so you can see the seats( storage for sleeping bags beneath those seats!) painted and aluminum edging reattached.

 Here's the back end. Lights went up moment before we left and I'll get pictures soon. This just gives you an idea of the direction we're heading.

Happy TRAILS, little campers!

Priming the interior

 There's some actual, concrete, VISIBLE progress today. Taped and began priming.

I've ordered new tires and wheels which will come next week. Also, all TWELVE of the reflector/light caps have to come off and have years of paint removed to get them sparkle-y again.

 The first mistake of the remodel! I painted the door what I thought would be a sunshiney yellow. Next to the vintage toned colors, it didn't come out as planned. Harvest gold appliances, anyone? It's now white again.
  Every drawer and door needs a latching handle so that they don't fly open every time you drive over a bump. I chose a casement window latch that reminded me of a ship.  The problem is that the drawer and base must be flush for them to work. Below picture shows that my drawer fronts are raised= problem for my pretty hardware.
 I chose to add wood pieces to raise the base.
 Here's one installed. Woops, the wood cracked a bit when I neglected to predrill my screw hole. Nothing a little caulk won't fix.

Happy Trails!  I'm camping in TWO DAYS!

Fiberglass cleaning and prep of everything

The weather finally got better!
EXTERIOR       Here's what Clementine is looking like today and this is how we've got here:

This is the flap of fiberglass that covers the front windows. It's called the rock guard. Pretty funky! Also pretty gunky. It has all these fibers coated in dirt.I took scotchbrite and sanded the dirt and fibers right down to smoothness. (I kept thinking that this was like the closest thing I could be doing to shaving the old girl's legs- I know- creeeeepy!)

Here she is mostly scotchbrited to smoothness. Next I painted it white using my favorite rustoleum. I chose white again, because it would keep the interior bright when sun shone through.

 Here's the before:

Clementine was dirty. I scrubbed her up with a wash, a wash with TSP, a rinse and then some scotchbrite sanding, a rub down with a tack cloth and then a coat of paint. The pic below shows some of the progress. (sorry, I only painted the top half for this pic)
the aluminum edging is covered in grit and grime. Scotchbrite shined it right up.


This is the hatch to the electrical access. This is where Clementine can draw power from a car battery. in the lower picture, lower left, you can see that this geriatric gal is still sporting glass fuses and some REALLY sketchy looking wires. I'm going to remove all of this and next week outfit her to draw power from solar. And she'll do it with nice, friendly, new wires.

Also, structure of this box is shot. (Lower picture, bottom of wood is rotten and white molded)  I tore out old and built in new supports.

 Above is the picture of what that electric access box buts into on the interior. It's actually the support and base for the front bench, so it had to be rebuilt to be very solid.

I taped off interior and dove into painting the closet. White will be much better than poo brown. Notice the shelves- the walls of closet are mere paneling. To make the shelves strong, I put in horizontal supports and drilled them in from the outside in so that screw ends wouldn't be poking out of closet. Wire shelf was $5 for a 7' section. I cut it to size using massive bolt cutters with really long handles.
 Here's the back seat all stripped down and ready to be built back up + receive a coat of paint.

Happy Trails!

Friday, May 2, 2014

More research and Cushions :)

It's been too cold to do much physical work so I'm planning. Clementine's side seams leak. I need to strip the aluminum of old paint and get a clean surface to work with and make it all super watertight.

Aluminum paint strippers
     best- Eldorado PR 2002 for aircraft
     better-  auto body methylene chloride
     good-   nitromoors

-paint thinner, goof off and paint strippers should work in small areas.  Paint on, let it work and scrape off. Use scotchbrite and it must be between 65-85 degrees outside.

Fiery Racing Tire -
Tires.  My tires are P155/80R13. Not many places make or sell them like this anymore.  Pepboys in Brooklyn Center, MN has them for $38 each.
      - If I want to go thicker, the local Tires Plus has P 175/80R13 for $45 each.

My faucet leaks. I found an RV supplier that has them for $5. You have to order by phone and so far there's no answer, but I'll keep trying. They have tubes of sealant for $0.50 each. I just don't know what this sealant is for. Hopefully anything RV related. Here's hoping.

toilet essentials-
       - RV toilet paper that will totally dissolve
       -- deoderizing chemical, or cheaper would be pine stove pellets- they absorb 20x's the liquid they touch. $4/ 40 lb bag in the heating section of a big box store.  You'd need to plan on using 2 cups a day.

 Though I didn't want to pick out fabric for the cushions until after the interior was painted, the clock is ticking so I went with what I normally like in homes- white. I picked up around 30 yds of off-white canvas at a fabric store going out of business. It cost me about $15 and I'll use this fabric for everything including some extra slip covers for the seating areas. That way, when the inevitable stains happen, I'll be able to remove and wash. I have treated all the fabric with Rustoleum's NeverWet, that I mentioned in yesterday's post. So far, even crisp white seems s'more proof.

Cushions took about 1 hour each. I mention this, because I paid my way through college working as a seamstress. I own a few industrial sewing machines and I am here to say that these cushions were TOUGH. I know my way around the fabric rodeo and these puppies took time and skill. Just be prepared.

The quick tutorial is 1) remove fabric from cushions.  2) repair holes.

3) cut new fabric to wrap overtop of old. Leave zipper exposed.

4) restuff with foam, treat with stain preventer.

With the weather too cold to work outside, I also made us camping pillows. 5 matching, easy to wash pillowcases, and see that pocket on each? 

That pocket contains a sleeping eye mask cover and a set of earplugs. I decided that this camper can be as sturdy and watertight as... well, a water bottle- but if we can't sleep, we'll be hating it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My First Short Story Publication

That's right- I'm officially a published author!

My short story, What the Tree Saw, won a contest and is printed in the Pooled Ink Anthology of other poem, essay and short story winners.  And a little fist pump for me- I'm even mentioned on the back cover!
Yep, pretty excited!

click on this link to how to purchase your copy through Amazon: