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WEEK TWELVE: Interior Cabinetry Begins, Shower Pan Pitting & Work Flow

August 28, 2016

Work this week has been a bit diverse. I received a 3-part video tutorial on the construction of my ceiling (check it out here), seriously considered the final layout / started interior framing, and am finally starting to tackle the disaster of a bathroom I had (hallelujah!). So I'll try to break this down the best I can:

 

Camper Demo: Disassembly & Storage

For starters, lessons learned: while my floor was completely rotted out and ceiling framing almost non-existent to begin with the general rule of thumb is to never start by removing a campers interior. The cabinets are what provide support at all roof to wall to floor connections. It's also easier to replace parts piece by piece so that you can refer to the original assembly. The floor rot extended beneath all of the interior in my case (and when I pulled up the flooring the framing was completely loose/unattached to the frame) so I had to remove everything to rebuild and install a new subfloor. I DID save as many parts as I could for future reference and possibly reuse. I made up drawings for dimensions. I can say this is really critical now that I'm starting to rebuild. Not that it would have been impossible, but it's saving me a lot of time and giving me direction on how the parts are fastened to one another. I labeled all of the pieces as well which definitely proved helpful.

 

 

Dinette Bench

When I got this camper the entire front end was rotted to the inside. The floor was disintegrating and the moisture caused the paneling on the dinette benches to warp, delaminate and split. I dove into building the first bench aside the entry door this week and used the original bench as a stencil. Fortunately I was able to reuse most of the wood framing and simply replaced the veneer with the same 1/8" Revolution Ply Birch I used for the interior walls. I used the same profile and original trim piece for the end wall.

 

Alterations:

  • The wood framing was originally hidden behind the veneer but I chose to now leave the framing exposed. It gives the seat a little bit more character and some surface dimension; aside from the necessary framework, there's an opportunity here to get creative.

  • I rebuilt the end wall as-was but added a cubby below (intended for shoe storage).

 

 

Kitchen Cabinets

I came across this cabinet and a bundle of matching doors at the local ReStore and all proceeds go to the Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity homes, so I invested. It was in rough shape but I was going to tear it apart anyhow. Salvageable parts that were of use to me: drawer and door hardware, cabinet doors, corner braces, misc. wood framing pieces and potentially particleboard for a shelf or two. If you've ever encountered cabinets in these campers you would see that they are built differently - typically cabinetry is MUCH heavier. The particleboard back, sides, bottom and shelving adds significant weight in this case and isn't entirely needed. I disassembled and rebuilt the front of the base cabinets per my new kitchen layout.

 

Alterations:

  • I'm combining the original lightweight framing methods with updated cabinetry components, opting for salvaged cabinet doors in lieu of the original veneer-faced cabinets that you see in the photos.

  • I've revised the cabinet layout to accommodate a drop-in range to the right in place of the original propane stove/oven combo, a sink in the center, and there will be an extended counter peninsula to the left.

 

 

Shower Pan

So this shower pan (heck, the whole bathroom) was gross to say the least. The thing is solid and doesn't leak a drip of water but the previous owner(s) painted it and water seeped in. This caused rust which caused pitting which caused a flaky uneven mess. In conclusion the best solution was to have the pan powder coated, which involved a dry powder that is heat activated to create a hard protective layer. Some listed benefits are zero VOC emissions, a substantially thicker coating than any paint, and a really large range of color options. When I went by the shop they sand blasted it to show me the result and it took the rust off but inevitably left minor pitting - sad but nothing I'm too beat up about. A textured floor in a shower isn't the worst thing, right? I dropped it off today and look forward to seeing it within the next week or so.

 

Alterations:

  • Instead of going with the white finish for the shower surround I've decided to strip the paint and leave it as aluminum - thus I am attempting to match the shower pan. The powder coating finish is called 'Anodized Silver' and in the sunlight is darn close to the original metal.

 

 

 

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