Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A KIT Kamper Rebirth–Part 1–A plan in the making

Another fitting title for this blog entry would also have been “I’m not Dead Yet, I’ve just finally gotten back to the camper!”

It’s been about two years since the trusty old KIT last saw the road during her big adventure in 2012 and sadly, she’s showing signs in numerous spots of structural buckling due to injuries sustained  (and as of the time I write this, still not put to paper) during the big cross-country trip and leaks that formed during two winters that followed where she sat idle.

I had originally planned to take her partially apart, repair what's broken, and close her back up. 

The more I look at it, however, I’ve come to the realization that she’s been living on borrowed time, having already been piecemealed back together by her previous owner, after heavy rot of her original frame, one jack mount completely busted, and had to be re-engineered to get her back into service, and several other cumulative events that have lead to a sagging cab-over, lose rear jack mounts and a floor that will never again sit level, that it’s time to rebuild the old girl from the ground up.

So, with that thought in mind, I found myself back at Glen-L’s website. 

For those that are not familiar with Glen-L, they’re a Do-It-Yourself Boat Builder’s design group.  They’ve been at it since 1953, and have had sets of RV Blueprints for sale probably since the 1960s or 70s (given that they’re all stylized from that time period). 

I did a little sorting and decided that it was also time for a floor plan shuffle.

For what reason you ask?

Simple, I really really really want a more useful bathroom.  The toilet in her as she is now has never been comfortable for me to use sitting down, and with the current riser to move the toilet back closer to the wall, too tall for the misses. 

This brought me to choose Glen-L’sEverglade.  The Everglade is an 11’1’ long side entry camper.  She has a much larger and far more useful bathroom design, even if it is a wet bath, and with the door on the side, we can actually add a set of pull out steps, like what you’d see on a travel trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome. 

Another added advantage of the side entry, is at a later date, I can also add a full-size awning and have the door underneath it. 

Interior Floor-plan



My current plan is to delete the sink in the bathroom, making that recess shallower to accommodate the current medicine cabinet, and locate the furnace directly below it. 

The water heater will continue to be directly underneath the fridge and will be up towards the front in the new design, help to shift the Center of Gravity further forward.  In the KIT as she is now, the water heater and fridge are directly over the driver’s side rear tires. 

The plan is to reverse the stove and sink, as most of the controls for the trailer will likely be located on the wall adjoining the fridge.

The propane compartment will be located underneath the wardrobe cabinet, I haven’t decided on whether to reuse the current battery setup, or try to build a compartment for them somewhere.  Right now, I’m leaning towards reusing the current setup, even if it is a bitch to get the batteries in and out. 

My hope is with the removal of the bathroom sink, I’ll gain enough counter space that I can reuse my drawers from the KIT and put them on either side of the sink. 

My hope is that the dinette is the same size as the current one, as I’ll be able to directly reuse the current cushions, even if they eventually end up as templates for new cushions. 

The cab-over will likely get extended about six inches to allow for our current queen size mattress to easily fit in. 





My hope is to reuse as much of the factory aluminum skin as I can, give that new aluminum skin is running $5.00 a square foot, but I know I won’t be able to reuse it all, the roof in particular, there’s really no saving it, it won’t line up with the vents in the new unit chassis, and let’s face it, it’s a seamed roof, the only reason it’s not leaking like a sieve is because it’s coated in snow roof. 

Something else I considered is possibly adding a Snap-N-Nap to the rear, which is another fold out bed. 

Amerigo and Kamp King both had this feature, however, unless I can get some concrete design data on how it was built, worked and sealed, I’ll likely skip it. 

Well, that’s the start, its going to be a lot of work, but hopefully, I’ll be able to get her back together in time to do some traveling this year Smile.