Sunday, July 17, 2016

Rebuilding “Ms. Merry”, the Amerigo– Ms. Merry Lights up the Night!

The gang and I, rather sore from all the crawling around and balancing that was needed to put in Ms. Merry’s new cabover floor, plus, getting the first part of the ceiling in (You’ll see the new ceiling in an upcoming post, Mr. Lumix said it didn’t look right with only one piece of ceiling in at the time), we decided it was time to do some outside work where we I could stretch my back. 

Once again, Grote and Amazon came through for locating as close a replica of the original clearance lights as Ms. Merry originally came with.  For her amber forward lights, we used "Grote 45263 Two-Bulb Oval Pigtail-Type Clearance Marker Light (Optic Lens) and for the red rear marker lights, "Grote 45262 Two-Bulb Oval Pigtail-Type Clearance Marker Light (Optic Lens)."

So, I set about removing all of Ms. Merry’s old front clearance lights, you can see the mess that made on Red’s hood. 

Using the old wires, I was able to pull the new twelve-gauge white and brown wires for the running lights, which were as close to a match to the originals as I could find.  On the upside, all of the original lenses are still in good shape and fit the new bases, so we could change them all out of if we decide that they just don’t look right.

“My!  They’re so bright and pretty, and they work so well, now!”  Ms. Merry loves how well her new lights work compared to the state they were in when we made the journey home from Washington. 

Both of us remember having to pull off more than once for me to go up on Red’s hood and fiddle with the lights to get them to stay on as we drove home that evening. 


Now, all of the junky old wiring is gone, replaced with much heavier better installed wire.   No more faltering running lights for Merry!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rebuilding “Ms. Merry”, the Amerigo– Taking the bow out of the cabover

Now, that the gang and I can safely access Ms. Merry’s cabover, it was finally time to bring in the new cab-over floor frame and resolve the issue of the major sagging problem that the original floor frame had. 

Unfortunately, there was no good way to bring the whole frame in in one piece, so it was dismantled and brought in in sections, then reassembled on to of the old frame after the polyurethane adhesive had been liberally applied to all the joining areas.

Before the new frame could be fully assembled, the center section’s new foam board had to first be installed, as an additional 2x4 was added to the floor at approximately where our hips and waist would roughly rest, as this was a point of sag in old Mr. Kit and caused an annoying bowl effect that tended to cause us to both slide toward the center as we slept in his cabover. 


To take the bow out of the front middle of the cabover floor, the new frame was built with a 2x4 header beam that attached directly behind the edge of the original floor frame.   Once a the new frame was all reassembled in place and the edge boards fully secured, a ratcheting clamp was then used under the edge of the original floor’s center and the stiffening 2x4 to gradually suck the old floor back up into a nice straight shape.

At this point, screws were driven through the original 2x2 header into the 2x4 header to secure it into its new shape and allow for the glue to achieve maximum adhession.  Additional screws were then driven through the new 2x2s in the upper frame into the lower frame after making sure the boards were as aligned as possible. 


As you can see, additional framing was added to the side walls to give the new bed frame extra support.   A second tapered board was cut to fill the void on the passenger side so that side wall support framing for the cabover floor went as far forward as possible. 

Once the old edge board is removed from the underside the lower window shelf/platform, a 2x6 will be cut, tapered and notched to fit on the front most edge of the floor frame to attach the last small portion of the cabover floor between the new header and the front edge of the cabover.  

After that, the two layers of foam insulation will be installed in the floor, however, the floor decking will not be able to be permanently installed until the side wall plywood and wall paneling is installed. 


For the moment, Ms. Merry’s new 3/4” Plywood cabover deck temporarily dry fitted into place to allow for me to begin removal of the last section of the old ceiling.

Once the ceiling has been opened up, I can pull the new wiring for the reading lights, cut the new insulation board to fill the whole roof in with, and then start installing the new ceiling paneling.   


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Rebuilding “Ms. Merry”, the Amerigo–Merry get’s a step up!

Now, that Ms. Merry’s front wall was all done, the gang and I wasted no time in getting straight to building some side frames for Ms. Merry’s tub so that we could install insulation along her tub sides, which were little more than 5/8” pieces of plywood standing on end, not very warm in the winter!


These new tub walls, not only will help keep Ms. Merry warmer during the winter, but they also give us a nice strong spot to tie in the wall that will help hold her new 42 gallon fresh water tank Smile

Ooops…. need to make a little notch so that we can fill the tank!

Trying old Ms. Merry’s old tank step top Smile.

There we go!  Ms. Merry’s new fresh water tank has been plumbed for the pump, and given a pressure test to make sure none of the fittings leak before we close it up in her front step. 

The plywood on the top on the left is the new bottom for the kitchen cabinet that goes over the top of the tank.  We’ve stuck a piece of pipe in the elbow for now to keep saw dust and other stuff out of Ms. Merry’s new fresh water tank until we’re done plumbing in the fill pipe. 

One more wall still needs to be built for the tank step, this one will be lightweight, creating a storage compartment in front of Ms. Merry’s fresh water tank inside the step where we can store all of Ms. Merry’s spare water hoses and cords and what not that Mr. Kit is giving her.  

Even got the rest of the cabinet bottom in on the driver’s side wing, lots of glue and screws to make it good and strong Smile

Friday, July 1, 2016

Rebuilding “Ms. Merry”, the Amerigo– Enclosing our first wall!

In our last adventure, the gang and I had set about solving the mystery of Ms. Merry’s trampoline floor, now that that is taken care of, it’s time to start closing up some walls so we can get Ms. Merry’s new fresh water tank installed Smile and then I can get back up to finish her cabover floor.

First thing that needed doing was to finish up the frame in Ms. Merry’s front wall, it was missing a lot of wood both from be taking stuff out to fix her floor, and because Merry’s original builders cut a lot of corners.

To get started, we had to take poor Ms. Merry’s other front jack off and remove all the new plugs we’d installed last fall, they were coming through a part of the wall where some new framing needed to go.

Once all the new wood was cut, and glued and screwed in place, we made short work of cutting all the new insulation panels for Ms. Merry’s new front wall.

Before w/new right corner

After w/all of the insulation installed

“My, that’s much better!”, exclaimed Ms. Merry after I tapped in the last piece of foam board.

I don’t know if you noticed, by Ms. Merry’s window opening in her front wall has changed a little as well, its been reshaped to take a spare window off Old Mr. Kit, who hasn’t needed it since he got his wall air conditioner several years ago.

How nice it is that Mr. KIT has yet another of his old pieces that Ms. Merry can use Smile.

You’re probably also wondering, “Matt, why does Ms. Merry have an extra 2x4 in her left corner?” 

Well, that’s for when I go to reinstall those connectors for Ms. Merry’s batteries and her lights, I wanted something solid I could cut holes through to anchor those outlets into good and solid so the seal would stay good and tight, before, those plugs were only held on by some caulk and a couple screws through the fiberglass. 

With a fresh sheet of 3/8” Plywood, it didn’t take long to cut Ms. Merry’s new front wall plywood to shape, and then glue and screw it into place Smile.  

I also got to try out our newest member of the gang, the younger Milwaukee Brother, Router.  Mr. Router Milwaukee made short work of cutting out the opening in the new plywood for Ms. Merry’s pass-through window.

And there’s old Mr. Kit’s spare window, stuck in the opening for a moment on the wrong side to make sure it fights right Smile.  

And now, Ms. Merry’s front wall is done till its time to install the finish paneling to make it look pretty Smile