Phase III                  The Rebuild
I have the floor out and I have started to deal with the rust with chemicals and painting with POR 15. This won't stop all rust since I can't paint the bottom sides but should at least slow the process. In it's first 50 years the rust is minimal anyway.

Top, The first piece of the aluminum tube ready to install, and that piece inserted under the c channel, bottom. It's the piece with the hammer marks. It didn't exactly go in easy but I did get it in. I'll drill through and attach it with self tapping screws tomorrow, with larger screws at the locations where I can hit the frame. I'll drill drain holes through it too, and calk it to the c channel to help control water getting to the wood floor. This should be a better arraignment than new.
I bought this heavy aluminum tubing. A guy named Ted Gamble did this on his too. It will go just under the c channel and help control leak water and I can run the flooring sheets across the whole width of the trailer for more strength, without having to tuck them under the shell. So this should help on two levels, strength and keeping the floor from rotting out along the edges.
On to the next step. I happen to have a bunch of 1/2" foam board laying around the shop, in the way. So I decided to use it in the bottom of the trailer. A couple of reasons, I'm replacing the batting and it is 3 1/2" thick. the frame is 4" so with this 1/2" of foam I will fill the frame spaces completely. Another reason is the foam will keep the batting from sitting in standing water,Although that didn't seem to harm the original batting over 50 years. But it may make it stink.
The next thing I had to do was get the belly pan re attached to the frame. I spent a couple hours under the trailer drilling out what remained of the rivets and replacing them with self tapping screws. So the whole pan is now much tighter and secured.
I may have gotten lucky here as the frame and belly pan are both in fairly good shape. Only surface rust on the frame and just a little corrosion on the aluminum pan. I've seen worse, for sure.
It's February 13, 2016 and I have the flooring laid in the front 2/3rds of the trailer. Boy, was I tired of walking around in there trying to step on joist all the time. Now, on to the back 1/3.
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I had to remove a cross member and cut the pan away for the gray water tank.
I have the tank just about in place now. I'm waiting for the plumbing, bulk head fittings, which are on order. As soon as they come in I'll set up the plumbing so I can cover the tank with flooring.

The tub drain and trap will go into the space at the left end of the tank and turn into the end of the tank near the top. The vanity sink will drain into a fitting in the top.

Getting ready to cut in the floor for the bathroom. I have plumbing fittings ordered for the tank, for the second time and still waiting for parts, so I'm at a stand still there.
Floor is in and ready to screw down. My bulkhead fittings arrived and I have enough plumbing in to install the floor over the tank. The tank is all trapped in position. So as soon as I cut a piece of plywood and screw everything down, I'm on to wiring the 12 volt led stuff. 

April 20, 2016.

 It has taken me three and a half months to get the interior out, the floor removed, the under belly cleaned up and new insulation installed, modify the frame for the tank, install the tank and set up the plumbing, and put in a new floor. All written out like that it seems like a lot of work and worth the time it took. Still, it seems too slow. I am trying to get the wiring in and the aluminum panels back on the interior so I can paint before June. I will have to take a few months off to work on a hotel job I got from my son. This will fund the remainder of the trailer project.


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In order to get to the wiring I had to remove the rest of the ceiling aluminum. When I got that off, I of course, found another project. The roof was collapsing under the weight of the air conditioner. Up top the AC unit was actually resting on the roof at the rear of the unit. Photo below.
This distortion in the roof was causing a pool to form around the AC and it was, of course, leaking.  More on that in a minute.
The c channel running diagonally across the right upper corner is a rib, running from the floor across the roof and back down to the floor.  the channel running back down to the lower left corner is a long rail. You can see the plywood forced up under the rail causing it to be 1/2" lower than the rib. there was wood on three sides of the AC opening off setting a number of pieces and causing rivets to pull out. I have no idea when this was done of why.
The off sets in the framework is clearly visible here. I don't get this at all. 
The inner skin is supposed to rivet to this frame work. Now they don't even line up and the stress on the skins has caused a number of rivets to pop loose.
so I have removed several rails going long wise to the trailer, in between the ribs fore and aft of the AC hole. This was not hard as most of the rivets were out anyway. One rail, just forward of the front rib, just fell off when I took down the inner skin. The other three rails for and aft of the ribs in question were missing rivets close to the ribs.
Some of this damage, I think was caused by the former owner, when he replaced the AC unit at some time, I think in 1987. I have not found any work done by the PO that was not done badly. That being said, though, I think SS under built the roof around the AC location. It should have been a lot stronger to bare the weight of the AC bouncing down the highway when it's being pulled. They let us down on this situation.
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So I took 1 1/2" by 3/4" aluminum thick wall tubing and sistered the rib tops and added in the h rails on the sides of the hole where the plywood is on the roof, (to block the sun for the shot). I bracketed the corners and screwed it all together with #14 self tapping screws. It's very solid and flat now and I have the AC back in place and it's sitting properly with the rear about 3/4" off the roof. All fixed, and it only took about 4 days, and about $150.00. I'm into the trailer for about $2000 in repairs so far.
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I have no real idea what what on up here on the roof. At some time a larger piece of aluminum was put around the hole, it appears, and no less than 80 holes were put through the aluminum. Then he screwed down the aluminum with hex head screws, instead of rivets, and applied liberal amounts of silicon over the heads. These all caused big lumps under the AC gasket and wrinkled it so it caused leaking. I have now fixed all of this.

I'm still working with my electrician and getting ready for the new wiring.
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Its April 2,2017   
I finely got the new wiring into the trailer, after mouths of hangup. I had the trailer in storage for 3 months too.                                                      My buddy Dave came by today and we did the testing and some hookup on the electrical, so I am now ready to move on. I just had so much to figure out and I'm not good at it, at all. But, the wiring is now tested and complete, and I have started to rehang the insulation. I added several more lights and a couple other things to upgrade the trailer, while still staying pretty much old school.


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I used two layers of 1/2" foam board for the ceiling. Sandwiching the wiring in between the layers in most places .
It's just too hard to fool with the fiberglass overhead like that. It won't stay up there, for one. Two layers gives me a 6 R value, the same as the walls. So next week I sand the painted side of the aluminum walls and start to rehang all of that.
My boys came over the day after I took this photo and helped me get the fiberglass end caps re hung.
It's now April 23rd.
I took me two days and a recent immanent Guy I rented down at the corner to get the big aluminum sheets back on the ceiling. It's a lot of working up overhead for a guy with an injured shoulder, which I seem to have right now. It's a job, to be sure. I have the curb wall done as well and I'm starting on the street wall in this photo. Should be almost finished today. I was using the 2x4s to lever the aluminum up tight while I put in the rivets. Getting close to paint and a totally fresh look. I can't wait. 
So after a couple days of putting in rivets I have the aluminum back in the trailer, along with the window trim. Today I put on several patches to cover some holes left by vents I didn't need anymore and a couple things done by the PO over the years. I made a patch to reinforce above the door too, because there were cracks in the aluminum sheet running up from the corners.
  When I started, I bought two boxes of rivets, 500 each, in different lengths and I have just about used all of both boxes. At least 900 rivets. I made a trip over to PPL and got an on demand hot water heater today too. Ouch$$$. I think there is some metal work to do around the opening, for mounting the heater. 
  I'll start sanding and clean up on the bath tub and shower incloser tomorrow. That shower thing has to be sprayed in the trailer because I can't get it out the door, so I'll paint it before I spray the walls. Chris picked a wall color and got it ordered today.
Next step is painting the inside walls.
It's May 2017 now and it's starting to be summer here in Houston. Temps running in the high 80's and humid. Before I can paint I have to mask everything off, I don't want paint on. Getting tape to stick proved to be difficult.

It took several days to get it all taped off and here I am just about to start spraying the primer.
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I used a product that Chris could get comped to us by one of his suppliers.
It's a base coat with a slightly darker splatter applied over it. It did not come out with as much contrast as I expected and was a little less gray than I thought it would be also. But, it's on there now and I'm done. All and all it looks pretty good. Now we are trying to pick flooring.

Chris has been very busy and the flooring order got delayed so I had a couple weeks. To use that time I have installed the tankless hot water heater. To get the gas lines to it I had to go under the trailer and re-rout the gas pipe. The gray water tank caused a routing problem, months ago. This took me two days. I'm getting older and it's hard working down in a tight space with huge plumbing tools. Not fun at all. and it's getting pretty hot here in Houston now that it's the first week of June.
Tomorrow I'll put the rubber edging around the wheel wells. The old stuff has broken and mostly fallen off.

I started to put the pinch molding on the wheel well edges but discovered the damage done by a wheel coming off the trailer sometime in the past. I forgot about that, and decided it had to be fixed first.
Got enough of the metal repair done to go ahead with the black trim pieces. These are all small things, but really start to make the trailer look finished. 
My flooring is ordered but still on it's way. Now, on to the door. I decided to skip painting the door because it would be such a pain to mask around it. Also the inside had several damages. I got a sheet of anodized aluminum and had it cut into pieces to fit the door. I removed the old pieces and used them for patterns and re drilled all of the holes for rivets.

A problem with the trailers with the double door is these clips that hold the screen door hatch closed get ripped off the aluminum sides. I riveted in some thin angle to beef up the door side, so there was something to put the rivets in.
All fixed now. Then I put the cover sheet over the repair work and the inside of the door is finished.
I need to get the screen repaired and installed now. I want to make a cool screen guard too.
I forgot to take a before shot, but you can see the bite taken out when monkeys tried to break in with  crow bar. I think they failed but did a bit of damage still. IT needs to be fixed.
The patch panel I made to correct the damage. There are still two dents from the bar, on the right side wall. I will cover them with another patch, I guess.
This is the Girard continuous water heater I picked up . I had to fill in the 16" hole that was previously there and reduce it to 13 inches. This required some 1 1/2" c channel around the unit so I had something to hold the rivets and mounting screws. Both inside and out. All good now though. It did take me about another two days to re rout the gas line to the heater though.
The patch there to the left of the door went over the damage. I still have to do more under and just to the right of the door. then a big piece has to go on the back of all that patch. I have to fabricate a box to cover the gray water tank later too.
Here I am, the 18th of June and I just found out the flooring will be another week getting here. They butter the back sides of the tile before shipping. To guarantee that the installer does not skip this step, (for their warranty). I'm running out of little jobs to do while I wait. I have 6 weeks to make headway with the plumbing and cabinet work before we go on vacation for two weeks. that means I have about 12 weeks of work time to have the trailer to take out in October. That may be tight. OF course it will be deadly hot for that time as well.