Thursday, April 28, 2011

Problems with mortar installation

       Problems with mortar. I went to the company with my glued up tile board and I asked if the glue would work, OH NO..... I was told, that comes off way to easy, you must use mortar....then the tiles will never, never, never ever  come off. So here buy our mortar.......RESULT ....mortar is 100% GARBAGE !!!! it sticks about 1/2 as good as pure wet sand.....  I have never seen crappie, crumbly mortar like this in my life. It must have been 1 part per million cement ? maybe ..... So now, I will have too figure out how to scrape that crap off and find some good stuff or go with the glue as was my original plan. Lesson learned, don't listen to tile guy with 40 years experience, test everything yourself, use your own common sense.

A little concrete revenue enhancement therapy

          So here you are living your life, minding your own business watching a government servant, a servant of the people, walk down your sidewalk and just drop a $3,300 bill into your lap. The best part is he picks and chooses, totally at random - like a coin toss, who gets a little concrete revenue enhancement therapy today. Your neighbor across the street has a 12" x 24" patch of grass in the middle of the sidewalk- a hugh pot hole, that's ok. Across the street the concrete is three times as bad - that's ok too. But your minor cracks those need to be replaced. The theory is, the new concrete will cover your street the same exact way that a drunk stumbles around in the dark, from side to side. So now 15% of the concrete on the street is in good condition, if you stumble around like a drunken sailor, you will have a chance to walk on some good concrete. What is truly out of the ballpark, is the fact that on the other side of the street is a hugh church, they have 50 X the foot traffic that our side of the street has. There you go, government at its most efficient, serving & protecting the smallest amount of people.

Enjoy the work in progress.

Work completed 2 days latter.

Neighbors house, run down rental only $1,700 per month - 
Chinese landlord owns 200+ houses,
only rents to Mexicans - during the last 15 years,
No government revenue enhancement therapy here.
Government at its finest.

No government revenue enhancement therapy here.
Government at its finest.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Finally some progress on the shower

         This whole week was pretty busy and I did not find any time to work on my favorite project. Finally today and tomorrow I will work on the shower enclosure installing the Kerdi Board from Schluter. Its a light weight professional foam board "from Germany"  used for setting tiles in mortar. Expensive as hell at $4 per sq. ft is all that I can say, don't know if a regular homeowner would use this stuff as it is 6 times as expensive 1/2" concrete board. But it is very easy to work with & for my trailer application its 100 lbs. lighter, so you gotta pay what you gotta pay. As you can see I decided to install the faucet inside an enclosure that will also be covered with the Kerdi Board when its all done. The whole assembly can also be used as a steam shower, if one would desire that.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shower enclosure is coming along

Here we go finally the shower enclosure is up and braced. I just hope there is enough bracing ?  The underside of the shower pan was foamed into place for additional support. Now I just need to do some measurements so that the tile pattern will fit into place.

 This is the 4" pattern that I am thinking of.

Here is the finished and braced enclosure.

Metal bracing, front, back & everywhere.

Don't worry the exposed screws will be hidden latter.

Friday, April 15, 2011

More stuff coming

Today I was shopping for screws to mount the solar panel & some other 12 volt goodies, as I am not a wizard with 12 volt wiring. I found my 4" stainless screws and special nuts to mount the solar panels on the roof. Here is the other stuff I found and purchased today. 

The first is a 12 volt - 4" fan to move the air around 
for my interior a/c unit that I will install under the bed, inside an enclosed box.
This fan will vent hot air out through the floor

This is a nice interior 360 deg fan to mount on the wall and it takes up little space.
Can be set to run for 2-6 hours.

The circuit panel for the 12 volt items like the fan & water pump etc.

A book to help explain 12 volt DC wiring methods.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

More solar pictures

Here are some more pictures of the stuff after being unpacked.

Solar panels arrived - YAHOO !!!!

        Thanks to Fast & "Affordable"  from Arizona, now the fun can start. They were delivered by Fed Ex less then a week after I placed the order, super fast delivery. All 4 came on a pallet in a nice and even stack, each one had a little cardboard around the edges. Delivered right next to the trailer. They are 39" x 59" and approx. and 2" thick on the outside rim. Now once it gets dark, I just need a little velcro and some crazy glue for the roof and we are all set to go :-) to stick them down. I bet your thinking I am serious too!!

Insulation is done , BUT !!!

         I put  3 cans of foam inside the side door and must have gone a little wild. I could not take the door apart as it needs special screws. The operation was sort of like Lipo suction in reverse. The door looks a little pregnant now, maybe ready to give birth to a new door on the inside and outside. Hope you don't mind if I don't include a picture :-((

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Insulation is 95% done

          Only the side door is missing insulation now. Its not really that easy to get all those nooks and crannies everywhere. The 400 amp hour solar batteries arrived already, just ordered them from Affordable Solar last friday, wow that was supper fast. I picked them up from the shipper UPS trucking about 5 miles away, it was $130 cheaper, "residential & lift gate delivery- extra $130" who says truckers don't make a shit load of money? On thursday the solar panels and charge controller should arrive. Be careful when insulating the rear cargo door, when you remove the plywood, to install the 1.5" of foam insulation, the door will snap shut - like a venus flytrap.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Insulation is about 90% done

          You know what they say, the last 10% is the hardest part of the job. My best guess is that the insulation will not keep you warm in Alaska. Maybe I can just build a 4" foam box of R-20 around the bed?  The shower looks pretty big, like it will take up 1/2 of the trailer. The front shower wall is also a little curved, by about 1/2" , that will add some fun to the project.

The ceiling has 1.5" of foam board & the ribs were filled with foam also
it makes the ribs a lot cooler by about 20 deg maybe ?

Shower pan is 48" wide x 34" deep, the unit will be approx. 78" high. 
I need to check the underside as there is a steel floor 
beam close to where the shower drain will go !!
Looks like it will clear by about .0001"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Insulation is about 80% done

         Its talking me a little longer then hoped, but today I had some little helpers for under the trailer. We installed 1" pink Home Depot foam board. Cost was about $15 x 4 sheets. Also throw in $10 for some special Schleuter attachment washers. That part of the job only took 2 people about 3-4 hours. I now know why people love those cheap & light weight alum trailers. Its because the metal screws go in like hot butter. When your putting a screw into a steel cargo rib, you need to push like an 800 lbs gorilla to get that sucker in. Given the choice on saving a little gas & getting blown away in 60 mph wind, put me in the camp of the good quality steel ribbed cargo trailer.

Its gotta be good if it oozes out everywhere 

This foam in the roof ribs dropper their temperature about 30 deg, a side benefit may 
also be that the roof no loner rattles in the wind.

The special washers under the trailer holding the 1" foam board.

My number #1 helper today 

Saw a great car this week, you gotta love California

        This just goes to show that Charles Manson could be out of jail , maybe even own something like this and nobody would notice, the government knows if they would tow this car, it would cost them $3000 in storage fees for the next 30 days, ODDS are ZERO someone would claim this thing & pay storage & towing fees.

Maybe he is protesting the sky high DMV & gas taxes ?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Insulation moving right along

      Today I finished the front wall and started on the side walls. I screwed up a little and got the plywood out of alignment- meaning I had to make all new holes into the metal ribs. BIG - pain in the butt when I figured that out. WOW does it take a lot of power to drill into the metal ribs. Also if you over tighten, then you strip out the screw, not as easy as it looks.

Here is the look for the open ribs with the plywood off.

The metal ribs & exterior screws

The rear trailer lights & wiring

The finished 1" foam panels installed between the ribs

Securely tape everything to stop air leaks !!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Water heater almost done

          I finished the cabinet, installed the water heater & the cabinet with stainless steel bolts through the metal trailer ribs. Now all that is left, is the top cover plate to keep the water out and to let the heater vent when it is being used. Also of course I need to connect the gas - propane tanks and water lines. Maybe this weekend I will get done with the interior insulation. I have decided to try and install 1.5" ridged foam to the walls, floor and ceilings. My motto is that you can never install too much Insulation. That would bring the insulation to R7.5 to R-9. Once that is done then I will need 90+ deg weather to test the insulation package.

Water heater cover panel

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Starting the Insulation

Here we go, this is the most important part where most trailer builders or "DIY's" really fall down on the job. They forget that Insulation is about 50 - 60% and the other 40- 50% is air infiltration. It does not matter if you install R-99 or 10" of Insulation, if the air leaks in like a sieve, all around in 40 mph wind, you have just wasted your time and money, thats all. To do a good job you will also need to foam the metal rails and use lots of tape to get a good seal everywhere. As we go along I will try to give you some good tips on how to get the job done right. Its a messy job, but somebody has got to do it. Put as much as you can, wherever you can. I am using 1/2" , 3/4" , 1" and 1.5" whatever it will take to get the job done right.

Here is my tool holder, if this is empty nothing gets done.

Don't forget a little safety also.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bosch Instant water heater

      The water heater project is coming along slowly, this requires extra reinforcement on the trailer interior wall with another layer of 3/4" plywood, between the regular 3/8" plywood walls. I am also making a water heater cover from the metal plate, same as the tool box in keeping with the stealth look. The top flap of the water heater will flip open, this will allow the unit to vent properly when in use. Here are some pictures of todays progress. Besides never having worked with metal, I have also never hooked up an instant water heater, much less a propane model. If you have some tips, now is the time to let me know :-))

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tool box for 2 Propane bottles

          Not too bad for my first ever try at sheet metal work, however it did not come out as perfect as I had hoped. This box will be where the 2 propane bottles and the water lines for the Bosch Instant water heater will be located. If I get some more time I may even install an electric outlet on the side of the box, space permitting. There will be another smaller box just like this that will cover the water heater, just above this box, hopefully by next week, time permitting ?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What is coming along for the ride ?

So to keep you interested in my project, here are a few items that I will be adding to my trailer. CLICK on the picture to get a full size version.

Must have item # 1 - 
A 26" Vizio internet TV , uses only 35 watts as we need to keep with the green program of low, low energy use. 

Bellow you can see my must have # 2-
The Bosch instant - endless water heater - you never know when those long hot shower come in handy after a hard day.

Finally must have item # 3-
Because nothing in the world sucks more that having to take a shower inside a sardine can, which RV people normally call a compact shower. This trailer will have a "Totally Over the Top" 34" x 48" x 6 ft tall glass tile shower & enclosure.

On the top of the shower pan box you can see a selection of the glass shower wall tiles. Below is a sample glue up of the tiles to make sure that everything sticks as it bounces down the road. More construction details will come as the shower enclosure is being built. The tiles are applied to plywood & a Schluter water proof membrane - Kerdi Board , so everything will be supper light weight.

Another must have is a DCS- Fisher Paykal  single burner 17,000 Btu stove as those little dinky cheap 5,000 Btu RV burners also make me puke. Who needs to wait 4 hours for your coffee to get warmed up on a cold morning ? This thing heats faster then a micro :-))

Some more smaller assortment of goodies are super low energy LED ceiling & wall lights and electric floor heating mats, 5+ door and wall peep holes, 2 x USB charging stations etc..,   
You just can't live life without those small & little luxuries. 

Finally you can see what a mess my construction work looks like. There is much, much more to come along with a rain gutter system to catch rain water, a massive over the top solar system - yet to be designed. Complete trailer insulation for the floors, walls & ceiling, a diamond plate cargo box & water heater enclosure, a 1,350 CFM fan - that will blow's those  cheap RV 250 CFM fantastic fans out the door. If your still not convinced that this will be an "over the top cargo trailer", then you are on the wrong blog.
Go and buy a Casita trailer.