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The Final Project – February 2017

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Slide-outs are tucked away and we are hooked up and ready to go to our first (and hopefully long-term) destination – an RV park near Hannah’s college campus.

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And here she is parked and ready for use.

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That ugly wood-grained fridge is now painted in chalk board paint.

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This “barn door” can be used to hide the pantry or close off the back room and bathroom.

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The finished loft

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The back room study.  The slide-out is what makes this room even possible.

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The fold-down wall desk in the study

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The bathroom all decked out.

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Late project build pics – Jan – Feb 2017

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So much has been done since the last pics were taken.  The custom cabinets and stairs have been built.  The walls have been covered with tongue and groove pine,  the kitchen shelving and tile has been done and the HVAC and auxilary propane heating has been installed.  The walls were stained a dark gray, then painted white and distressed with a sander.  The shelf brackets are antique cast iron found at a vintage market.

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The appliances are from the original RV. The counter top is butcher block. The shelving by the fridge is for a pantry (left) and spice rack (over the stove) and are built into the walls

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This the livingroom slide-out.  A sleeper love seat and side tables will go in here.  It was originally designed to re-use the jack-knife sofa from the original RV but we scrapped that idea.

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The slide-out creates a huge open area for the living room.

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This area was originally supposed to be a second bedroom with a twin mattress on a platform. We went a different direction and made it into a study, but made the bench expandable and will use a twin-size futon mattress as the cushions so that it can still be used as a bedroom if needed.

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To make the bathroom a useable size, there is enough room for a 36″ shower and still room left for storage beside it, as well as a standard vanity and toilet.  The interior dimensions are roughly 4’x8′.  Huge in terms of a tiny house bathroom.   The toilet is a standard household toilet since it will be used in an RV park setting for at least the first few years.  It may eventually be replaced by a composting toilet if it is ever taken off the grid.

Build pics continued – Oct thru Dec 2016

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This pic shows the first of the 12V LED lights that we had working, as well as the start to my control panel wall.  This wall is eventually hidden inside a closet. It has two AC electrical panels – one is fed by 50A 220V service for everything that will require shore power or a generator (HVAC, washer/dryer, microwave, water heater) and the other is 30A 120V fed through a 2000W inverter for everything that is capable of being powered by the batteries.  There is also a 12V panel for the lighting and all other RV-style items that run off 12V.  Other items eventually on this wall include slide-out controls, water heater (electric and gas) switches and tank/battery monitoring.  Everything about this build was designed around the possibility of being used completely off the grid.  It is also pre-wired for solar, though that is not in use at this time.

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Funny story on this.  One day we were in Home Depot and saw this washer/dryer combo but it was only like 20% off – still much more than a cheap Chinese one off the internet. One day Dad went back to see if he could get a better deal on it but earlier that morning it had been dropped to 50% off and was already sold.  A few weeks later, we were back in Home Depot picking out faucets and such, and there it was, back in the store and now 75% off!!

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The majority of the siding is vinyl board-and-batten style, with the loft area covered in vinyl cedar-shake-like siding. The windows are framed in pine and stained with a 25-yr Behr premium stain

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We had to make it look all festive at Christmas!

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Hannah is pleased with the progress so far.

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All the plumbing is roughed in.  The fact that the majority of the sub floor is down inside the frame, and that most of the plumbing was in the area of the wheel wells, made for some interesting routing of the drains.

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We had the entire structure insulated with spray foam.

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The tongue-and-groove ceiling looks nice. All these lights are 12V LED.

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Hannah designed the look of the loft using pallet wood stained in various shades of gray and brown.  It turned out awesome.

Early Build Pictures – Aug & Sep 2016

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Some final touch ups with the welder

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Hannah cutting lumber for the sub floor

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Because of the height of the trailer, we had to build the sub floor down into the frame to give us as much room above the frame for building as we could get.  With 13′ 6″ as our max and a planned loft for sleeping, we needed all the inches we could get (the final project came in at 13′ 5″).

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The underside is lined with house wrap then insulated with two inches of styrofoam

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The finished sub floor with roughed in plumbing

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The walls framed up – yes, I did overdo it on the studs.  I wanted to make sure it was sturdy enough.

 

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I tied the top plate to the frame through the sub floor at strategic points around the trailer using 5/8″ all-thread to insure that we the walls weren’t going anywhere.  Not shown is that I also ran all-thread from side to side on the metal frame rails to ensure the strength there.

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Every rafter is tied down with a hurricane strap

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And every rafter is reinforced with strapping across the ridge beam

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The exterior walls are covered in 5/8″ OSB

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Then wrapped in Tyvek-like house wrap.  Here you can see the slide-outs for the first time

This is where we started in June 2016

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This is how the front of the travel trailer looked when we bought it.  It had to be put it back together with screws and duct tape to get it on the road to the house.

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Overall the rest of the trailer looked to be in pretty good shape

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Until we gutted it, then we found all kinds of water damage and rot.

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Nothing was worth saving as far as the structure goes, but then we didn’t really plan on reusing much of that.  Only the appliances, tanks and other odds and ends

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This is the bare frame before it was strengthened and had the 7000# axles added to it