Begin at the Beginning

Prior to getting the trailer, I had sketched out some rough floor plans using a computer graphics program.  So I had some vague notions about what I wanted and how to arrange it.

These didn't come with numbers
As soon as I could, I got into the trailer with a tape measure and a roll of blue painter's tape and started laying out the floor plan. I knew I wanted the bathroom in the front where the V-nose is.  And I knew I wanted some storage at the tail by the ramp door.  Everything else would go in between (somehow). I thought if I started at the back and worked my way forward, I would know how much room was left over at the front for the bathroom. I was going to start by installing the windows.

One of the wonderful things about a project like this is you never know what is around the next corner or where the journey will take you.

During my first weekend of work it became clear that a lot of other tasks will have to come before the windows. Some of the tasks will have to occur, not in steps, but simultaneously. I started by removing the interior walls. Here's where I was actually thankful they didn't do as complete of a job as possible.

First came the trim. 1/4 inch plywood strips about 5 inches wide and a few feet long.  Stapled in with 1 inch staples. Not easy to remove without damage. I used a putty knife to get behind it and gently pry it off. Then came the wall panels.  

The "Bones" of the trailer
They used 1/4 inch plywood. The goal was to remove the panels as gently as possible and reuse it. The factory used a few regular Phillips screws. But around the edges they used a strange 1 1/2 inch screw-shank nail that had a Phillips head. Oh, no. It's not a screw. Don't even try to remove it with a screwdriver. They shoot these through the plywood and into the steel wall beams. They must use a special gun and put them in to stay forever. With much care, a variety of tools and gentle prying along with some targeted violent action I got all the inside walls off with minimal damage to the wood.

You might remember in a previous post how I praised the manufacturer for doing such a good job.  Yeah, forget that.

The floors are 3/4 inch plywood. Very sturdy and installed with plenty of  (regular Phillips) screws. They failed to run the plywood all the way to each wall which left a gap on one side. The gap is artfully hidden when the walls are installed. It's a gap that lets you see the road below!  Now, I understand these trailers are built for landscapers and for moving cargo. But that huge gap is sure to eventually let water get inside the trailer. No matter what you use your
I see London, I see France...
trailer for, that poor attention to detail should cause alarm.

The best solution I could come up with was to remove the floor panels, notch them out to allow for the wall beams and move them over. That exposed a 2 1/2 inch gap on one side that I'll patch with additional OSB I already have. In a few places the outer aluminum skin is not fully against the wall beams which leaves a 1/4 inch gap. I'll be getting one of those cans of spray foam insulation to fully seal the inside from the outside. 

Up next:
Complete floor repair
Spray foam all cracks
Install both 110 and 12 volt electrical wiring

With the walls off I painted the exposed steel wall studs. I used up 4 cans of half-full spray paint I had laying around.  Glad I save all that old stuff!  I did order windows but those are a weekend or two away from installation.

Feels good to be underway. Cheers!

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