Saturday, August 12, 2017

Rebuilding “Ms. Merry” the Amerigo–Merry Raises the Roof–Part 2

When we last left you off, we were just getting the new rear roof framing in place for Ms. Merry’s bathroom. 

We’re starting off in part 2, gluing in the five millimeter plywood cut to give the roof a crown around where the raised ceiling and vents are going to go.  We’ve also framed in the last vent opening, for where Old Mr. Kit’s fantastic fan is going to be installed, replacing the original rear roof vent of Ms. Merry’s Smile

Poor Mr. Dremel worked his heart out cutting out those openings, his little blades are all worn down to nubs, now Sad smile and my poor arms were jelly by the time we got done.  Mr. Dremel’s going to have to take a break soon until we make a run to Home Depot to get him some more!


Once the holes were all done, we started fastening the pieces of old fiberglass roof in to the odd shaped holes and Mr. Dremel struggled on a little more to cut them flush to the new openings. 

I think it came out pretty good, and once we clean and sand it, we’ll be putting some new fiberglass on to seal the roof all back up into once piece again Smile


Thanks to the new Park Manager, Mr. Willy, we were able to get a ladder tall enough to get up topside of Ms. Merry and start the cleaning.  For now, we just cleaned around the bathroom’s new vent opening so we could get it installed, there’s rain on the way and we need to get Ms. Merry battened down before it hits!

P1150702For Ms. Merry’s new bathroom vent, we went with a Ventline RV Roof Vent White w/ 12 Volt Fan.  

The Gang and I really like really liked this vent because it unlike most of the classic Elxir and Jensen vents, the screen doesn’t require you to remove the interior trim ring to remove the screen for cleaning. 

Just unclip and rinse, much easier than having to remove the knob, the anchor screws for the bezel, then the outer trim ring just to clean the screen!

We’re going to install a Camco vent cover over that vent later once the roof work is all done.  

Can you believe it?  We’re almost done with the roof!  

Here’s our remaining work list, and then we can close it in!

  • Pull the light wiring for the light above the dinette
  • Pull the light wiring for the interior entrace area light
  • Pull the speaker wire for the stereo speakers going on the underside of the dinette cabinet
  • Pull the wire for the TV Antenna
  • Pull the wire for the Radio Antenna (In theory we should be able to connect to the Winnegard antenna, but we’re not sure yet) 
    Pull the wiring for the bathroom light and bathroom fan
  • Pull the wiring for the Air Conditioner (First 110volt wire to be installed!)
  • Pull the wiring for the porch light

Still looks like alot to do, but its all small things, a number of which can be done in a single day Smile.  The slow one will be pull the TV wire, as we need to get some more parts to make more coax cables. 

In the interim, we’ve gotten the holes drilled out for pull the light wires.   Found the bit used for the Kreg Jig for the dimensional lumber is big and long enough to work great as an auger for drilling deep wire holes into bigger boards Smile.  

Drills Milwaukee was able to bore clean through a 2x2 and a 2x4 without any trouble!


Our last piece for this chapter, we’ve cleaned the roof above where the raised roof frame goes in and glued and screwed it into place.


Next up, fiberglassing the roof in Part 3 Smile

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Rebuilding “Ms. Merry”, the Amerigo–Merry Raises the Roof–Part 1

Well, we just keep jumping around to different tales, now don’t we? 

This is really because in order to get to a larger end goal on Ms. Merry, we have to do a little of one thing so we can do alot of another. 

In this case, we had to do the first half of the bathroom demolition in order to get to the rest of the roof.

As you saw in the Last Demo chapter, the roof framing above Ms. Merry’s bathroom was in pretty rough shape.  

Since the gang and I are going to change the bathroom a bit anyway, we decided to change how the roof vents and everything were as well.   This is going to add a little work for us, but the end result will be a bathroom big enough for Big Matt to stick his big round tuchus comfortably for a shower or a quite bit of contemplation with a book Smile with tongue out

The bathroom isn’t the only reason we’re reframing alot of the rear third of the Ms. Merry’s roof. 

A big reason is the original open for Ms. Merry’s Air Conditioner was turned into a nice skylight by her last owner, which is wonderful because it gives Big Matt a nice place to stick his head when he’s working in the kitchen and wants to stand up good and tall, but now we needed a new home for Merry’s new A/C unit. 

So, we first removed the first two roof joists directly behind the original area where the skylight was:

Then we built a new frame using 2x4s (Merry’s original A/C vent roof rafters were just 2x2s glued together, basically making a 2x4), so we used a couple 2x4s for the main load bearing area, then laminated the two 2x2 roof joists we’d removed (there was nothing wrong with them) and put them back into place and anchored them back into the top wall beam.


Once the glue had set on those new joists, we started removing the last couple in the rear that were in really bad shape from where water had gotten to them, enough so that it left a permanent outline on the inside of the fiberglass ceiling from where they were.


Before we took out the last beam, we cut the new five millimeter plywood to glue in on top of the new roof joists for the A/C so that there’s an even platform for the A/C to sit on and to give the roof a little slope so that water runs away from the A/C unit. 


We left it like for the night so that the pressure from the fiberglass could act like a clamp on the plywood to secure it via the glue we had squeezed in between the frame and it to bond the two together. 

When we cut the opening out for the new A/C, we’ll drive some flush fasteners in around the perimeter of the open to help secure the layers together. 

Once the glue had dried on the plywood, we went about framing in the new roof joists for the raised skylight area and the new 14x14 Vent-line Power vent that was also going into the bathroom and would be situated above the sink. 


We plan to reuse the section of roof where the new roof vent is going to fill in the original rear vent’s hole.   More five millimeter plywood is going to be installed across the areas where the old vent openings and new vent opens are to give us something to help re-glass the altered areas.

Once the holes are fully edged with roof material, the new vent frame will be installed on top of the roof and then made into a water proof permanent component onto which the skylight dome will go.


We’ve got one more vent open to frame in to replace the original 14x14 rear vent that’s being shifted towards the door a little to accomodate the expansion of the bathroom.

We’ll cover its installation and the plywood install in part 2 Smile.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Rebuilding “Ms. Merry”, the Amerigo–The last Demo, Clearing the Bathroom–Part 1

Now, you’re all probably wondering, as I said in my last post “We’re on a Roll!”, and now we’ve moved away from finishing the cabover and moved on to other parts of the Ms. Merry.

Well, the answer is pretty simple.   In the process of completing what you’ve seen in the cabover, I successfully hurt my knee, and since I couldn’t crawl around until it healed up, I decided rather than waste time, the Gang and I would go and work on other parts of Ms. Merry that needed doing. 

So, we figured we’d move on to finish the side walls and roof, and to tackle that, we had to finish doing the last Demolition that we’d been putting off, the bathroom.

We’d put off the bathroom as long as we did because when I first started on Ms. Merry, we were racing to try and get done as fast as possible to try and make the Glacier National Park Rally with the other Truck Campers.   So, we weren’t certain if we were going to do anything with Ms. Merry’s bathroom or not, other than shove it out of the way to finish the wall behind it.

Now, that we’ve got more time and making sure we’re doing everything right, I decided that I would take a page from Old Mr. Kit and completely rebuild the bathroom.

With that decision made, the next big one was, “What do we want to save?”   Ms. Merry did have a nice one-piece fiberglass bathroom, problem was, it was just a hair too short front to back and a couple inches too narrow. 

We guess Gardner did this so that one bathroom mould could be used for all their RV models, vs having different sized ones for different models. 

So, I decided that we’d keep the bottom half of the bathroom (It was two pieces glued together), and junk the top, as the medicine cabinet wasn’t worth keeping and the roof vent was going to be redone anyway.

Now, that was decided, it was time to take the proverbial to it.

One last look at the old bathroom.


Then off came the door wall and the door:


Then Mr. Dremel really got to work, cutting out the upper bathroom walls in pieces:


You can see the water damage where it got in around the junk roof vent above the bathroom. 

It was too long before we had half a bathroom and the rest was pieces thrown out in the dumpster.


Most of the roof above the bathroom we were able to just pull out with our fingers, it just crumbled into thousands of tiny pieces.  

Now, that the upper half of Ms. Merry’s bathroom has been cleared away, we can hold off on working on the bottom half until we get the roof and ceiling done so we can start planning out the new walls. 

First up, we’re going to start reframing the roof and remove those old vents, but that’s a story for another chapter Smile

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rebuilding “Ms. Merry”, the Amerigo–Completing the Cabover, Part 2

We’re on a roll, now!

Soon, as we finished getting Ms. Merry’s new plywood walls done, we couldn’t wait to get to the next  step, installing the first of the new finished wall board that would adorn all of the inside walls inside of Ms. Merry Smile !

Since our plywood boards fit so well, we decided to trace them onto their finish wall boards before we had glued them into place. 

So, other than troweling on the flexible wall-board adhesive we’d selected and putting in the perimeter staples to keep everything nice and tight, it took very little time at all to really make Merry’s new walls look wonderful Smile

The pattern on the finished wall board is called “Sea Mist”, though we’re not entirely sure where it comes from, as we’ve never seen a sea mist that looked anything like it.

For our friends that own Ms. Merry’s brothers and sisters, you may or may not have noticed, but as part of our redesign of Ms. Merry’s interior, we did away with the little wing shelf-thingies that were under the bottom edge of the wrap-around front window.  

Given one of our main goals was to fit a full queen size mattress in Ms. Merry’s cabover, we saw no use to the little wings since our front ledge is anchored in place using a custom cut 2x6 and is securely attached to the cabover frame which supports it instead of the ledge trying to support the floor, as it was when we first brought Ms. Merry home. 

The remaining void between the fiberglass body and the frame will be later filled with expanding foam, the low pressure variety so that it doesn’t accidentally deform the fiberglass body, this will insulate and remove any cold air voids near the front. 

Once the main cabover walls were finished, the next part was to close back in the top front corners and install the insulation. 

Yes, the gang and I decided to use pink bat insulation, we don’t have the tools to use expanding spray foam, which would have been ideal and the canned stuff wouldn’t have ensured an even insulation layer.  Plus, if we ever need to replace the clearance lights, not embedding the wiring in expanding foam was a good idea Smile

First we temporarily installed the corner boards to help hold the ceiling up while we removed the front board that had been temporarily screwed in place, then installed the fiberglass Smile.   

The temporary bracing is to straighten the upper plywood ledge back out, the staples that held the bottom ledge for the front plywood had pulled out over the winter and had caused a bow to form in the shelf.

We glued and screwed the ledge back in place this time, so we’re going to leave it wedged up for a while to get the bow out. 
Once that was glued and screwed into place, we next removed the driver’s side corner board, installed the insulation, then reinstalled the plywood.

You can see the extra piece we glued on the back to give us extra thickness to later attach the reading light fixture for Mrs. Dawn and the hole for the wires to come through.

Then we did the same (minus the wiring) on the other side.