Time for an update on the 48Cars48States camper restoration! Irene is her name and rot is her game… well it was her game.
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After heading to the Retro Rewind in Dubuque, Iowa I had a weekend off, which coincided with the much forecasted Winter Storm Jupiter. So what better plan than to stay home and work on the camper? I had planned a shop visit trip for the weekend but the trip to the Lonestar Roundup will be here before I know it and the camper needs to get done!
So I started on the driver’s side just like we had on the passenger side a month ago. I had pulled the J-rail, which you can see laying on top of the camper as I’m running out of storage room. A problem that will be even more evident when I pull the roof after the driver’s side is repaired.
Here you can see what I was working on, the staples are a real pain. I’ve taken to using the sharp side of a multi use paint scraper, then using a small hammer to drive that point under the staple. Then you can pry the staple out far enough to get some small vice grips on it to yank it out. It’s a laborious process but it’s the fastest one that I’ve found yet. I’ve punched a few holes in the metal under the staples when I’ve been over zealous.
Here’s the passenger side storage door, I’m dropping it off with Corey Conyers of Crown Custom in Wichita to have it duplicated for the drivers side. I’ve decided that I’d rather lose the big water tank so that I can have more storage for the big trip. I can put the water tank back in later if I decide to, but for now a gallon should be enough for one person.
After 4 or 5 hours of tedious effort in the shop I was able to pull the side tin off. Underneath I find the same as we did on the passenger side. There’s some super thin insulation and the same solid ¾” tk. plywood wall.
You can see that there was some water getting into the wood through the flange down the side of the camper where the top and bottom pieces of tin join together. I’ll have to inspect that seam and make sure that it’s sealed up tight when the tin goes back on. Under the tin I plan on having a layer of Tyvek house wrap and also a layer of sealant on the wood to keep the water out for decades to come.
Keeping water out is a good idea because here’s what happens when it gets in and just goes on neglected for a few decades.
Here you can see the rot on the driver’s side. It was much worse than the passenger side.
So the next step for the driver’s side is to build the new wall. One of the folks over on the Vintage Trailer Talk forums suggested that I try to build the wall on the floor then cut it out and stand it in place. I found out this week that it was either a two man job or a job for a smarter man than I am. So when my buddy gets here this weekend we’ll get it done right.
The three sheets of ¾” tk tongue and groove plywood will be joined together with liquid nails and maybe some Kreg joints.
Yes, that’s the flooring that came in the camper in the old drain spot in the floor, I still am not sure if I want to put it back in. It looks nice but it’s unnecessary weight when I could probably just do a stick on wood look tile.
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Getting a Vintage License Plate in Kansas
I’ve also made some phone calls so I can get the tag situation figured out. Here’s how the tag office explained the process to me. It’s a two step process, inspection by the Highway Patrol then a simple trip to the tag office. When I have the camper ready for the road, I need to call the Highway Patrol and schedule a visit to my place by a trooper who will do an inspection. Of course they will inspect the camper to make sure all of the lights work, etc. They will also at that time run any VIN numbers on the camper to make sure it’s not reported stolen.
Once it’s passed the inspection I’ll be given paperwork stating it’s good to go. I’ll take that paper work to the Tag Office along with the Bill Of Sale, proof of tow vehicle insurance and/or camper insurance and my vintage 1959 tag. They’ll photocopy the plate for their files and I should be good to go.
While the ice at my place wasn’t too bad, about 5 miles away the trees were a little more weighted down. The roads were clear so here’s a couple 55mph drive by photos.
See you at a show,
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