Saturday, March 28, 2009

Putting it back together...

Ahhh, spring. Time to go camping. Oh, wait.......the camper is still in pieces! Hey,'s our two, scraping the old caulk from around the roof vents.

They're being good camper repair persons, using sheets of plywood to distribute their weight and avoid dents.

The DS was of ENORMOUS help, fetching, carrying, getting out and putting away tools, slave labor....*G* A reminder - if you want to see the pictures BIG, just click on them, you'll get lots of detail.

Ok, time to do the street side wall. First we took the load off of the arms. With shells in upright position, we removed the clamps from the arms underneath the camper (see diagram above, courtesy of Happytrails and Ed at Trailmanor), removed and set aside the shims and clamps, and pulled the end of the spring out of the tube, then gently let the shell back down with people on each side to keep it level. Then we removed the bolts on the lift arms at the pocket stops and removed the wall. I know TM changed the lift arms to a different style around 1994, I'm not sure how you'd go about taking those apart. My husband took out a couple of screws and look what happened! The whole wall just dropped about three inches. I still can't believe this thing held together for the 90 mile trip home from the sellers, let alone to Canada and back!

Oh my. There were only three or four screws in solid wood. The rest were in mulch. We used hydraulic floor jacks and 2x4's to lower the wall while one of us steadied it. The wall itself is not that heavy, easily carried by two adults. I do recommend sturdy gloves as the edge of the aluminum is sharp.

Ok, the whole thing is ready to just fall off, but something is holding it at the front.

Aha! A couple of hidden screws behind the rock guard. We used hydraulic floor jacks and 2x4's to lower the wall while one of us steadied it.

Now it's off all the way, and we've also removed the trim and bag seal across the roof, and cleaned out the old rotten wood, screws, and staples. In the second picture, you can see the curb side wall where we've already replaced the framing. The wood strip is on the outside so that we would have a good surface to staple the bag seal. It is cedar wood and has been treated with Thompsons. All materials we've used in the repairs have been waterproofed or are water resistant, and the adhesive is Liquid Nails Ultra polyurethane - rated for use with wood, metal and foam, and is for outdoor use.

Here we've set up the wall in the shady backyard. Working in the driveway was too hot. This wall will go MUCH faster now that we know how it all goes together and what we need to do. Remove metal trim strip, set aside, remove nasty bag seal and flaps, remove any staples/screws, scrape out old wood, clean up with a wire brush on the drill.

We like to recycle and reuse whenever possible (duh, or we wouldn't be recycling the TM in the first place!) so we cleaned up and reused the old aluminum where possible.

We ran low on clamps, so my husband devised this one out of what he had laying around. Have I mentioned how wonderful he is at fixing things? *G* Glueing in that loooong strip of aluminum on the top of the wall took a lot of clamps.

Here's the street side of the camper with the wall removed. Again, all the old wood and so on was cleaned out of the edges of the walls.

Next post, putting it all back together, new bag seal and flaps, woohoo!