Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Demise of the Compact

Well all good things do have to come to an end don't they?  We decided not to rebuild the Compact.  There was just too much work involved that we don't have knowledge to do and not enough time to mess with it.  So, La Petite Retreat (still love the name and will hold it for another camper down the road) will become a lawn cart.  Such a sad ending to a cute camper BUT hubby will use enjoy using it when it finally gets finished.

Part of the reason I think is I had so much fun camping in the LoFlyte that I just couldn't see not giving her a proper fix up.  So we're going to concentrate on the LoFlyte and put the compact to rest.  I've put the parts up on craigslist and Tin Can Tourists and we'll see what happens.  The skin went to the metal recyclers and the body and interior went to the dump. 

Good bye little compact! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ineffective Title Search

On another note, the State of Iowa returned my $6 check today with a letter saying that they have no record of this camper in Iowa.  Since we're rebuilding and reconfiguring this thing, we're just going to title it as a home-built camper.  That seems to be the easiest thing in my opinion.  She won't technically be a Shasta Compact when we're done anyway since we're making changes to the floor plan, etc. so I don't think it would be fair to actually call her a Shasta when she's done.  What do you think?

And the walls ... come tumbling down ...

The walls are 95% down ... what a mess!  I'm actually afraid to see what's under the floorboard and what shape the chassis is in.  I'm going to borrow a suggestion from another blogger and use black asphalt fence paint on the chassis to help prevent any further road damage.  Hubby has a friend that has a metal shop here in town so any welding that needs to be done, he can do it since we don't own any welding equipment.

With as much as the LoFlyte is nickel and dimeing us, it will be interesting to see if the chassis is even worth rebuilding a camper on.  My biggest fear is we're going to write off $150 as "entertainment" (destroying the thing was kind of fun).  I just hope we can do this.  Hopefully by Sunday we'll know one way or another if the chassis is intact.  Then we need to make a trip to the metal recycling place to dump all the aluminum and other metal and then get rid of the interior wood, paneling, etc.  

Ideally I'd like to rewire this thing for both 12V and electric ... since our neighbor is an electrician and has done houses, I asked him if he'd be willing to do this (I'd pay him of course).  He wasn't sure what was involved but I can't imagine that it would be harder than wiring a house.  If anyone has any instructions or places to read up on rewiring a trailer, I'd appreciate it ... we're not at that point yet obviously but I like to keep on top of this so we're ready when it's time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Viva La Naked Camper

Well the camper is almost completely stripped now ... the skin is all gone, the interior is 99% gone and she's laid bare for the world to see.  The wood is so totally rotted it's almost crumbling if we even touch it ... how we got this thing home from the Missouri border is beyond me!  We're leaving the walls intact for now until hubby can figure out how to take them down in 1 piece (or as close as he can get).  His plan is to lay them out one by one and rebuild a new one next to it using the first one as a guideline.  Then we'll do an old fashion "barn raising" and raise the new completed walls up once the floor is done.

The bed is getting a fresh coat of Rustoleum before we even start on the subfloor ... haven't decided if it's going to be black or white though.  There's still time even though they're predicting thundershowers for the next few days.  If she doesn't fall apart by herself with the aid of the rain, it will be a miracle.  I'm just hoping the snow holds off until she's got new skin but I'm not really optimistic.

We might have to change the structure of the roof line a little bit because where it slopes up to its highest point, it's about 2 inches too high to get it into the garage running it on the rims.  We've deflated the tires and just can't manage to clear the garage door.  If we can figure out this problem, then we can rebuild her all winter long without having to worry about the weather. 

So here she is in all her glorified nakedness.  Ain't she a mess?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dry Rot

Well we knew it would be bad ... it's really bad.  Removed all the windows yesterday (and broke the back one which should be an easy re-pane), removed the door and started removing the skin.  It's amazing that we even got this camper back home, it's completely dry rotted.  No wonder one side is collapsing, I'd collapse too if I was bounced home for 150 miles and had no solid infrastructure.

If we had any doubt that this is going to be a complete tear down and rebuild, we don't any longer.  Ah well, we're having fun even if the neighbors think we're crazy.  :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

One Interior Mess to Go


I decided to start ripping out stuff today .. starting with the cabinet drawers and doors.  Disgusting with a capital D!  Mouse poop, dead bugs, dirt all stared back at me as I struggled to remove rusted screws.  This camper is a total mess and is definitely a "what the hell was I thinking?" kind of a situation.  Of course, the dogs enjoyed all the grossness ... seems new smells are very attractive in an odd sort of way to them. 

Hubby talked about salvaging the cabinets and just refacing them but no way after seeing what I saw.  It stinks!  I did, however, take pictures and put everything in order on the folding table in the garage so the parts can be matched up with the hardware but that must be a guy thing.  Me, I'd just rent a dumpster and toss the whole mess! 

I just keep telling myself "this will be worth it in the end ..." and hopefully by spring I'll have an adorable little camper that I can drag around to all my Sisters on the Fly events.  At least one thing, it will be clean inside .. ha ha!

I plan on replacing everything ... I'd like find a nice 2-burner stove deal that fits into a counter top (that doesn't cost an arm and a leg) so I can get rid of the propane stove/oven and I plan to put a dorm size electric fridge where the original fridge is.  I just don't trust the germs that must be lingering in there.

Someone mentioned a gray water tank so I might do that too, put in a smaller fresh water tank and a gray water tank side-by side where the original water tank is located. If I have to pilfer some room from the closet, that's fine.  I don't need that much room. 

First thing though, I think I better buy a box of face masks ... who knows what evil lurks behind the rotted paneled walls!!  I doubt it's a shadow!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Axle Flipping and Title Searching

After calling around to the State of Iowa and finally getting a complete fax of the privacy act paperwork, we submitted the forms and a letter along with a $6 check to the Department of Transportation to see if we can locate a title for the Shasta Compact. The guy we bought it from had no clue how long it had been since it was titled and it had been sitting on his property for years. No one seems to know if it was even titled in Iowa or not. So I guess we have to wait for Iowa to get back to use to see if they can locate a title. If not, then we have to check Missouri and Nebraska and beyond. Hopefully this won't be a decades long process. At least we do have a VIN # that I was able to locate on the tongue so that's a start.

First step in the renovation is to flip the axle back to a normal state. I'm not a huge fan of jacked up cars and this camper looks crazy being up so high, not to mention at 5 feet tall I have to basically throw myself into the thing.

Hubby went over and looked at a friend's camper to see how the axle is supposed to look and then came back and with a lot of straining and some Liquid Wrench, he was able to get the axle removed and the U-bolts flipped over to where they were supposed to be. Tonight we're going to hopefully put the axle back on and tow it around the block to make sure he did it right. Then we can proceed to the more fun and entertaining stage ... ripping out the interior! Yay!

Edit: Axle is flipped and camper is sitting at a normal level now. Let the deconstruction begin!