Thursday, September 22, 2011

Backlogged Projects: Introduction & Reinforcing front wall of camper tub

Well, sorry for the dead month, but there really wasn’t much going on, the KIT and I haven’t really gone anywhere since April of this year.  Sure, the truck’s undergone a great dually conversion, but other than towing my neighbor, Joy’s, Komfort-25 travel trailer to the storage yard, she really hasn’t undergone a full camper test.

But, that’s all about to change Smile.   I’ve got work again!

Not only that, but in two short weeks, the Redneck Express, Dawn, Moby, and I plan to hit the road for the 2011 Fall Colors Rally!


Oh, but there’s a slight problem, or two.

Namely, the camper’s in need of some maintenance work that I’ve had to put off for roughly seven months due to a shortage of funds.  Oh, God, is there a lot of maintenance….


1.) Charging System needs to be rewired (Again), converter relocated from under the kitchen sink to under the dinette, right next to the batteries (Something I should have done when I rewired the charging system back in 2009, but didn’t).   Plus, a new Battery Disconnect needs to be installed, the original 75amp Pollack switch is falling apart. 

Also, I need to incorporate my battery voltage meter center that I fashioned into the electrical system so I can actually watch my battery charge. 


2.) The two Trojan SCS225 Deep cycles on the camper that I bought for a steal back in 2006 also need replacing, they no longer hold a good charge anymore, odds are one of the batteries is shorted.


3.) New Camper plugs need to be installed, replacing the under-rated RV 7 pin hook up with a 100amp Lift-gate plug for the charging wires and a separate 4-pin round plug for the running lights.  Charge wiring coming from the alternator needs to be fully scrapped and replaced with a good 4 gauge run instead of the under-rated 8 gauge system I put in back in 2006.


4.) Front of the Camper’s tub needs to have a bolstering frame built onto it, it has always flexed and moved too much whenever the camper has been lifted for loading and unloading.


5.) The 3 year old Shurflo Extreme Smart Sensor 4.0 water pump needs to be replaced (fortunately, Shurflo replaced this as a “Good Will” warranty exchange, since I bought the pump in ‘09, but it was manufactured in 2007) as it has started leaking water around the body and is pushing pressure back towards the tank. 


6.) Replace the broken down intermediate steering linkage on the truck to tighten up the steering for improved handling.


There’s some other smaller things, like a second smaller mesh cargo net that I ordered from to hold the rest of the books on the cabover shelf in place while underway, getting the pivot pieces for my wobbl-stopprs, and physically getting the camper back on the truck without breaking my screen room next to it, but those are the less worrisome projects Smile.


So, my plan is to run as series of “Backlogged Project” posts to bring everyone up to speed on what I’ve done to the camper and truck to get her Rally ready, starting with the Camper Tub front wall reinforcement project.





This particular project wasn’t exceedingly complicated, it basically involved sanding off the paint on the front of the camper tub at the points where I planned to glue (w/3M 5200 Marine Adhesive) and screw the reinforcing frame to the existing plywood wall and the expose 1x4 cross member below the siding line. 

I used some left over 3/4” pink down insulation board to help bolster the R-value of the water tank since I was framing that area in anyway. 

Then, I put down a good coating of 3M 5200 along the framing and glued and screwed a pieces of 1/4” plywood to the new framing members and the expose frame member that ran along below the siding. 

Using narrower pieces of the same plywood, I glued and screwed into the side of the existing camper tub and the new bolstering frame to help join it all together from both the sides and front. 

Once the glue dried, I installed some new corner flashing to protect the plywood, gave it two coats of Urethane-based primer and paint, and viola! one reinforced front wall Smile.



The funny part is my camper wall along the front is now actually flush the whole length, something it never was before.   Also, since I had more meat to screw into, I moved my rub guards inwards a little to a position similar to the rubber ones you find on a new camper. 

One backlogged project down, several to go!


  1. I'm not going to complain about just redoing the toilet room floor! You got some work to do!

    Good luck and have fun at the rally!


  2. I've been wanting to go camping for months, so its a small price to pay, getting the camper into tip top shape, to actually be on the road again.

    The electrical work is actually already done, camper-side, with the exception of replacing the plugs that go from the camper to the truck, that's on Friday's to-do list.

    Providing there isn't a hiccup, I should get my batteries today, I wrestled the old ones loose last night, having to resort to a 5lb sledge and a wood block to pop them loose of the carrier rack (The batteries are held in place by friction fit, three years of road vibration had tamped them in good and tight), once they're installed, they never come out as I have a battery watering kit that replaces the original battery caps, so all I have to do is hook up a squeeze ball to the hose coming off the batteries once a month and pump a little distilled water in.

    Saturday, I will hopefully get the new steering shaft installed and the truck rewired as well, finishing up the last of the big outdoor projects just in time for the rain to return sunday :p.

  3. In the photograph with the cement blocks and jackstands, you have depicted a dangerous situation. The holes of the blocks should be up-and-down, not sideways, and you should have a board between the stacked blocks and the jackstands. If you're going to advertise your projects on the internet, please do them the proper, safe way.

  4. Mark, every one of those blocks could explode tomorrow, and ya know what would happen?


    The camper is resting on its corner jacks, the blocks are there only to remove some of the play in the camper's floor when its off the truck. They're sole purpose is to stabilize the camper's floor for occupation, not to be loading bearing structures.

    Also, if you look closely, you'll note that those are half-blocks, not full-size cinder blocks, making them utterly impossible to turn on their other end and use stacked. If they were full-sized blocks, they would be on the other end and also with a cap block over the top before the 2x6 board (Which if you'll re-examine the photos, 4 of the jacks have a 2x6 between them and the cement block, only the two closest to the front jacks do not).

    And, as I said in the previous sentence, only the front two jacks are sitting directly on the blocks, where as all the others are on top of 2x6s.

    The camper has been lived in for over 2 years now in this configuration quite safely.

  5. he Matt...and a job? right on!!..where are doing what?

  6. Back at Intel for another contract, different team, more money, I'm happy, with luck, I'll be able to save up enough to take my first transcontinental run with the Express :).

  7. Very cool..Congrats....and a trans trip would be a good deal, eh. geeez...not a 6 day cross country tour, I hope?

  8. No, more like a month and change.