Archive for 'Personal'

October 16, 2012

During our slow period (ie the dog days of summer) we started overhauling a vintage camping trailer. Catch up on the entire saga here, here, here, here, here and here (in that order).

It’s been a hot minute since we updated you on the trailer, which is a sure sign that we’re deep in fall wedding madness season. Naturally, actual progress on the trailer has also slowed down, but we’re still getting caught up here in blogland.

The last peek at the trailer left us with a good solid frame, but a very… open concept. We need some walls up in here.

We opted for hardboard wall panels, thanks to the moisture resistant prefinished coating (on one side) and flexibility of the panels. Flexibility was important because there are some definite curves on the interior. It was also key to getting these panels home. The Jeep can’t hold a full 4′ x 8′ sheet of anything… unless that thing can be slightly bent and shoved over the front seats. This, in turn, lowered the ceiling height so much that Aaron was forced to drive sans hat and with the seat cranked way back. Oh yeah, it was a sight.



We opted to run the white, moisture resistant side on the outside. Wood rot is NOT welcome here! The brown side will get a nice coat (or rather several coats) of white paint.



Aaron started in the back, forming the board to the curve. It needed a little help staying in place, hence the blocks. This method also meant we’d have to cut the side boards to match the curve, which is no easy task. We got close by using paper to outline the curve, then dry fitting and shaving where necessary.




So for the front, Aaron ran the side boards all the way out, notching out space for the frame and wiring.  The curved pieces ran on top of this, which was much easier.






Wall hanging was put on pause while Aaron built a new ledge for the the front wall. This will serve as a nice spot to charge various iTech and helps define the shape for the couch when the bed/couch is in couch position. Aaron’s original thought was to take a section from the butcher block counter top (you know, the one that necessitated the removal of the entire kitchenette), but the measurements weren’t quite working out. So he built his own, but gluing together 4 sections of wood and then sanding (and sanding and sanding) for a nice smooth finish.




Last section of wall: done! Lots of sanding and painting (and painting and painting) on the horizon.


September 27, 2012

During our slow period (ie the dog days of summer) we started overhauling a vintage camping trailer. Catch up on the entire saga here, here, here, here and here (in that order).

I bet you thought were were done with demo? Yeah, us too.

But we have a vision for this trailer and we’re not going to let an immovable counter top stand in the way of our dreams. So we did what any rationale sane trailer perfectionists would do, we took out the entire base kitchenette cabinet. Don’t worry, Aaron will just build a new one. Actually, what we were worried about is what we’d find behind the cabinet… more water damage??

Nope! All clear! Whew!

A little Dremel action to square off the remaining paneling and we were good to go.

Elsewhere in the trailer, Aaron ran electrical for our interior lights (sweet LED pucks), exterior marker lights and outlets. He’s converting everything except the outlets to 12 volt so that the trailer can be off grid if we want.

It’s getting there… slowly but surely.

September 24, 2012

Fun fact about Aaron: He can’t take naps. Ok, so that’s not really a “fun” fact, but it’s pertinent. Technically he can take naps, but he doesn’t because he can’t really wake up post nap.

So when I came home to him passed out on the couch, I knew this particular trailer project was much tougher than these few pictures suggest.

In the quest to make this trailer as water tight and long lasting as possible, Aaron decided to address the undercarriage. It wasn’t in bad shape, but a little sanding, priming and painting would offer a little extra protection. First he sanded the undercarriage to remove as much surface rust as possible. Then all the metal got a coat of Rust-oleum Auto Primer, followed by Rust-oleum Semi-Gloss Protective Enamel.

Sounds easy enough, right? If you take on this type of mini project, just make sure your schedule allows for a nice nap afterwards.



September 19, 2012

We’re mostly done with demo! Woot! Who wants to see this trailer start to come back together? My hand is up!

This project took a bit of re-engineering. The original trailer was sandwiched together: inside framing, paneling, outside framing. That didn’t make a ton of sense, so we opted to construct a much stronger exterior frame and build onto that.

The only hiccup was defining the shape. The water damage was severe so it didn’t leave a great template to follow. Aaron used the metal skin for the outside curve and the little framing that was left helped outline the inside curve.  He also framed out the windows and added extra cross bracing. Then he bolted the wood frame onto the trailer frame. Basically, this thing is no longer a trailer, it’s a tank. Boom.


September 14, 2012

I had a lot of possible names for this post. Most were too long and some were not PG:

The vintage trailer – That escalated quickly
The vintage trailer – How our small project ballooned to a ginormous project
The vintage trailer – Holy $hit! Are you kidding me with all the wood rot?

I’m not going to lie uncovering the problems with this old trailer is starting to wear on me. Just last week, I referred to it as “The Money Pit” so many times that Aaron suggested that we may have found a name for it. Of course, we can’t name it that (and honestly I’m not fully on board with whether we NEED to name it, which is a popular required custom in the vintage trailer world.)

I think this week we finally turned a corner with the project. it feels like we’re taking serious steps towards a working, refinished trailer. But in blog land, we’re back in the dark days of demo.

Let me refresh your memory. The goal was to buy a trailer in decently good condition and focus on refurbing the inside to make it a sweet, updated modern haven for traveling the US. We were OK with minor exterior work. (If you haven’t been playing along at home, read this and this to get fully up to speed.)

The more Aaron pulled out, the more evident it became that this trailer needed serious structural work, as in “How did this stay together going down the road?” serious. For that the metal skin would have to come off.

So, for your viewing pleasure: The vintage trailer – We like open concept, but this is going a little too far.


September 5, 2012

(If you’re looking for awesome images, feel free to browse some recent weddings. We will continue to post new sessions and weddings, but we’re on a mission to get you up to speed on this project… because the trailer looks nothing like it did in our first post.)

The entire process of buying a vintage trailer took what seemed like a million steps. Finding the right one at the right price within driving distance was no small feat. Having put those steps behind us, we were eager to dive into the next million steps that would end with a renovated trailer.

Step 1: Secure garage or semi-enclosed workspace.



Step 2: Start pulling out the pieces and make a giant list of mini projects that will get us on the road with this baby.

The propane tank is an easy swap and the lines will need checked and possibly rerun.

All of the windows are coming out so they can be refurbished and resealed. Apparently the screens are just stapled onto the paneling.

The bed/couch in the front is coming out, but we can probably save most of the pieces.

We knew there was some rot in the back so none of this scared us.

The mini bunk over the front bed will get changed to a smaller shelf to hold luggage.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a very rusty stove. No reason to salvage it.

Ready for more rot? We knew the back needed some work.

We missed the hints of rot in the front. (You can tell we’re facing front be the hail damage on the metal skin.) Eeee… that’s not good…. But we accounted for about 20% more work than we originally thought. So we’re still in good shape.


Step 2: Demo… we’ll call it half-ish done.