Devils Tower

Devils Tower

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Santa Claus is coming June?

Santa comes in several different forms......
This week is was the UPS man.  My wife has been on a quest to outfit the inside of the trailer with vintage 60's everything.  She has been ebay stalking, like a lion stalking a wounded gazelle.

Hello Mrs. Root, I have some more ebay crap for you........

This came yesterday.
Groovy little chrome canister set.

Vintage MelMac plate set made by Texas Wares.

Look at this Mid Century Atomic pattern.  Cool, huh?

She had to have them because they were square........
Camping World had these......
Here is the pattern on the material she has picked out for the curtains.

I found her out in the barn sitting in the trailer last night chanting "Must have more MelMac dishes..............." Time for an intervention.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 4 of Thrash-o-Rama

Well,  another day spent on the disassembly phase of the Avalair.  This part was the part I have been dreading most.  We'll call today "Crap Day".  It's the day where I did a lot of the things I have been procrastinating.  I knew I had to finish drilling off the belly pans and then I could start on the rotten floor removal.  Also, the tongue of the trailer was pretty raunchy.  It needed to be stripped to bare metal and resprayed.

I found lots of home for critters, since the hole fairy had been spreading holes and good cheer to al the good boys and girls in the trailer park.

Look boy and girls there he is now.....

After I removed the belly pans, I surveyed the damage and tried to decide if it was possible to add black water tanks to the undercarriage.  I am thinking no at this point.  Port-a-Potty is looking like the leader in the race for King of Squatdom.

I ran into an interesting ordeal.  The floor is held down by these bolts that are called "Elevator Bolts".  They have a 3/8" coarse thread bolt with a perfectly flat head approx. 1.5" in diameter. I am going to have to order them.  No one carries them.  Luckily one of my best buddies owns a hardware store.
Rather than trying to remove these crusty nuts and some that someone tack welded in place for some unknown reason, I decided to cut them.  I didn't want to lay on my back all day (Contrary to popular belief), so I started cutting the floor out in sections.  It was rotten anyway, and the guys at the Sawzall blade factory need overtime, too.
Everyone needs power tools.
I started by cutting a hole in the floor.  This gives me access to start my cuts and I don't have to cut in a very straight line.  Plus, it gives me little round biscuits to throw at my neighbors dog, when he hunkers down for a grumpy in my flowerbed.
That would be a hole in one.
After a few hours of cutting little squares, I have a big square to admire.  Now you see my issue for mounting the black water tank.
Right rear area behind the wheel well.  This is where the hot water tank and the storage bin were.  The air conditioner on rails will be going in the forward hole.
It looks bad, but that was the worst of it.  Soon we start seeing progress. I hope.
Looks pretty rough,huh?

More ugly

Fat guy in "Man Capris" sandblasting the frame.

Looks better

After the wifey spent a few hours massaging the tongue.  That sounds bad doesn't it?

Way better, I think.
I am wiped out after 8 hours in a  95 degree heat. So maybe we will post more pics later........

Thursday, June 2, 2011

On the road again..................

I'm not talking Willie Nelson either.

 I am traveling with work this week, so no work until the weekend on the Avalair.  I can pipe dream though.

We have been trying to layout the requirements for our trailer.  What do we actually need in the trailer to make it fun to use and retain the lightweight features of the Avalair.

Do we need to design a black water system?  The trailer probably had something at one time, but I am sure it was primitive at best.  Due to the modifications of the previous owners, it is hard to tell what actually came from the factory with.

First let's look at the options.

Porta Potty-
Pros  - Easy, cheap, portable and expedites the trailer getting finished.
Cons  -Smaller capacity, I have to empty it and it's like squatting on a bucket.  This can be a pro if you enjoy this type of thing.

They have came a long way in the last few years in the design of the portable toilets.
Option 1, not nearly as comfortable, but it does have a nifty carrying handle.
This one has a 5 gallon capacity and is pretty sturdy. You almost always need some sort of potty for those middle of the night emergencies.  Even if you want to use the park bathrooms, sometimes they can be sketchy.  My wife has trained my kids to never sit on the public toilets.  We call this method "Hover Crap".  I am going to trademark that by the way.

Camping World has this one in a 5 gallon capacity for $129.  The smaller capacity is a little cheaper, but who wants to empty this twice as much?

 Next we would have to decide if a black water tank would work for us.  They make shower pan surounds with back water tanks mounted below with a toilet mount on top.  Sort of one stop shopping if you will.
Pelland Enterprises makes these in fiberglass and plastic.  They have a ton of sizes and designs.  I have an email out to them ,as we speak or as we type I suppose.

Here is an example of one of the the pans shown here.
Pressing on to our other options
I have been reading and sketching all sorts of designs for the electrical system.  I was looking at sine wave inverters, convertors, 12 Volt deep cycle golf cart batteries etc.  What do we really need to survive?
I'm not talking about surviving the Zombie Apocolypse, just a week away from home, going from National Park to National Park.  Although, if a Zombie attack should break out in a National Park, we would be covered.

After banging my head on the desk, trying to make heads or tails of all of it, my lovely bride of 21 years asked the question " Why do we need batteries, if we have a generator?"  I was dumbfounded.  "Well, we need them to run..........the lights.....of course, the lights! Well, actually, those run on 115V so, we really don't need it for that.  No wait the water pump!!"  So I jump on the web and to my amazement I find a park model water pump made by ShurFlo that is 115V.


  • Voltage - 115 VAC
  • Dimensions Inches/Millimeters - 8.7" x 5.0" x 4.5" [221 x 127 x 113 mm]
  • Flow Rate GPM/LPM - 3.3 GPM [12.5 LPM]
  • Amps (Max.) - 0.9
  • Shutoff Pressure - 45 PSI [3.1 BAR]


  • Quiet performance
  • Runs dry without damage
  • Self priming
  • Built-in check valve
  • Easy installation
  • Thermally protected
  • 2 year limited warranty
So, do I need the batteries? Not really. That would eliminate the need for a load center as well.  We already have the fuse box so adding a 12V load center would be added expense that we don't really need to accrue.  This also makes the restoration project easier.  We can't run an air conditioner on batteries, so there isn't much of a reason that I can see that we really need them.  If we are boondocking, we can use a generator.
If we are in a park, we can use the 115V hook ups.

So, on to generators.

The biggest issue most have with generators is the droning hum that pierces the night air like the screaming child on an airplane.  Honda has developed a quiet series portable generator that really lives up to it's name.  I am impressed.  It's a sizable investment, but think of everything you can use it for.  Power outages, camping, tailgating, family reunions.  The list is endless.  The beauty of this one is that it weighs 46 lbs. and you can actually carry it without pulling a groin muscle. Then you would have to do this type of therapy.

It's for real. Look it up.
This may be beneficial, even if you don't have a groin injury.

The Honda EU2000I series is what we are looking at currently.

EU2000i CompanionSpecifications
Engine Honda GX100
Displacement 98.5cc
AC Output 120V 2000W max. (16.7A) 1600W rated (13.3A)
Receptacles 30A 125V Locking Plug, 20A 125 V receptacle
DC Output NA
Starting System Recoil
Fuel Tank Capacity 1.1 gal.
Run Time per Tankful 4hrs. @ rated load, 9.6 hrs. @ 1/4 load
Dimensions (L x W x H) 20.1" x 11.4" x 16.7"
Noise Level 59 dB @ rated load 53dB @ 1/4 load
Dry Weight 45.9 lbs.
Residential Warranty 3 Years
Commercial Warranty 3 Years

Another thing I have been pondering is doing away with the old propane fired hot water tank.  I have been researching the tankless LPG water heaters and they look like they may be the way to go.
Instant hot water, with a high efficiency and no pilot light to deal with.  Plus, it frees up space under the bed for storage.  My only concern is will the ShurFlo pump provide the needed pressure and volume to make it work.

This one is made by Ecotemp and is designed for a whole house, but the cost difference isn't that much.  I always go overboard, but can you have too much hot water? This one is on for $419, but the conventional Atwoods style ranges from $379-799.