All posts by Rob

New Kitchen #2

The cabinets are Here !

And being installed .. All the base cabinets are in place now..  And a few of the uppers too..

Enough to tell me how much room on either side of the window. And whether my wire for the light was in the right place.. So far everything looks good.

Well here’s progress.. All the cabinets are installed and the crown molding done.  It’s going to take another day to build the counter tops ..

A different view.  We have more cupboard space now.

Here’s the first peek at the counter tops..  We like !  getting closer to the finish.  Also the new stove is installed.

All Done !

And she’s moved back in..  Just the back splash tiles to choose and install.

A Few improvements…  Cupboards and sink are now centered under window.  New sink but kept the faucet… in works fine.  Dimmable pendant light too.

More counter space. The dishwasher fits better so it’s very quiet now.

Garbage and recycle bins !  We had this in GF kitchen.. All the drawers are soft close.

In the old kitchen we moved the island from the middle to this position.  Now it permanent with a one piece top.. and full height counter.

We had him do open shelves on this side…  works for us.

We Love the new kitchen !

New Kitchen #1

We’ve been waiting for months for the cabinets to be delivered.

And that time has come!

We knew it would be sometime in October.  Got the call “get the kitchen ready”  Everything else gets put aside … Cause there’s work to be done and it’s a bummer not having a place to cook. So the quicker the better. The photo above was taken a week after moving in.. Therefore this is what we call a “base line”.  Almost immediately we moved the island from the middle of the kitchen to the place you see here. This worked better, and made sense to us..  So you will see that the new kitchen design has this configuration. Here’s a video explaining some things..

As the story goes we really never intended to replace the whole kitchen.  But when we looked closer there was just too many things wrong.  We thought that just getting new counter tops would be great..  Now that grew into spending three times as much and just make it right!  Worth it Right!

The first cabinet to go was the tall one with the wall oven and the microwave.  The microwave was plugged in behind the wall oven, and that was hard wired in behind the cabinet. Nope not surprised. I’m repurposing this cabinet out in the garage. Only a few cabinets were junked, the rest will find a home either in the garage or the basement.

This is the wall that a lot of folks remove for an open floor plan. That’s not going to work for us.. it’s needed for more cabinets and more electrical.  I had to remove the band of drywall that had the tiles glued to it.  That allows for fixing the wiring, and new surface for new tiles.

With all the old cabinets gone , I’m working my way around the walls removing only what’s necessary.  Those access holes were already there.

There! all the drywall removed and a few surprises. I moved the stove over to it’s new home so we could still cook.

So let’s talk about those surprises shall we !

Nothing wrong with the window wall.  But the one between the bathroom and the kitchen…  I was really wanting to see more of that. First off there was a stove vent..  I believe it went up to the roof.  Cause the roofers found a vent cover that seemed to go no where.  So they patched the wood and carried on.

There it is beside the fridge.  Whomever did the back splash tile just tiled over it..  Okay that works..  But the wire for power to the hood was just taped up and left in the wall. You can see it by the red broom.  NOT good !  There also was a set of three switches that worked the hokey lights over the upper cabinets, and the one over the sink. And the heat lamp under the cabinets ?  Not sure what that was for.  Both these wires got pulled back into the basement and removed from the utility room light box …. where a zillion other wires were connected.

And here’s the bath tubs business end of things.  Some pretty fancy framing there..  I was thinking of changing out the tub faucet … but there is nothing wrong with it. The pipes are good too.  So leave it alone.  The one mystery that needed solved… Was the creaking sound coming from in the wall when hot water was run in the bathroom sink.  Watch this video…

Again not too surprised ..  The house has been full of DIY gone wrong.  The fridge needed it’s own circuit  and we needed a proper ground fault plug in the bathroom..

Done!  Easy when you have this kind of access.  And the mystery pipe noise from in the wall..  Solved !  Someone mounted a shelf bracket into the drain vent, pinning it against the dry wall.

So after several attempts to find something solid they did !  the vent pipe …  Why not.. but to their credit there was no way to know unless you have a stud sensor.  Stuff happens.

Speaking of things happening…  The dry wall is done and the first coat of tape and filler. It feels good to be putting things back together rather than fixing stuff.  One more coat of filler , then primer and paint..And DONE !

There… ready for the cabinets.  They are coming tomorrow.  I only painted the grey where needed..  So lets start a page 2.


The Basement Bathroom Page 2

Everybody’s favorite..  pipes !

I already did the bathroom drains, and the plan from the start would be to replace the pipe nightmare with new PEX .  And I can do the whole house… because the kitchen is getting it’s overhaul in October.  That will involve taking down the drywall behind the sink and the wall backing the upstairs bathroom.  All the back splash needs to go.  Some wiring needs work in those walls too.  So much of the water piping is a bloody mess.  No saving it..  And there’s some bad things the main water feed going along the outside  concrete wall.  YA it could freeze if it gets cold enough.  Guess that’s why there is pipe wrap on it.

In this photo you can see that pipe running under the window ?  It does not need to.  And what’s up with that drain pipe?  Fairly sure it was hooked up to the kitchen sink drain (red arrow).  I’m thinking that will go back there instead of cutting across the room.  In the future this laundry room will also get a much needed makeover.

These two pipes (one hot one cold)  Go up into the wall between the kitchen and bath. I’ll temporally hook up to them …till the kitchen work happens.

So the plan is to build the new plumbing system along side the old.  Then hook it all up at one time so there is less down time.  And what are those mystery pipes..  just rattling around in the wall..  I think there was a bar sink in the rec room other side of this wall.  AND did you know …you can’t buy the old style laundry sink faucets any more..  had to make my own. Down the road when this room gets it’s make over All this will be inside the wall and proper faucet.

Here’s the new plumbing all done in the basement bathroom.  No mistaking hot from cold.. And yes the cold is on the wrong side.. but these pipes cross the utility room parallel to each other and I did not want to cross them over.. On the other side they are correct.  You will see later.

Here they are 3/4 ” PEX and are (loosely ) in place..  I’ll firm them up after the copper is gone and out of the way.  This is were they cross over the hot water tank on their way to the other side of the utility room.  Where they go back to 1/2″ PEX  and feed the laundry , kitchen and utility sink. And that’s where things were left…  There’s a part of me that wants the plumber to do the switch over..  I had to do some outside stuff ..getting ready for winter… and the Kitchen has to be started on soon..   See that post HERE.


The Basement Bathroom

Yup It was usable….  JUST!

The toilet was new-ish.. Good.  The sink and vanity were right outa the seventies..  Oh they worked but they were but ugly.

All paneling,  check..  ceiling tiles, check.  Bedroom closet intruding into space, check.  Phone booth sized rusty metal shower,  check.

And …holy crap the plumbing for the toilet and the shower is down right embarrassing.

And the mystery hole in the ceiling turns out to be someones attempt to have a heating duct.  Not the least surprising.

So let’s gut the room and reconfigure it !

First to go bye bye is the shower..  it was not even attached !  just sitting there ?  WOW.   The label says “Fiat”  that figures.

So they put the shower stall up on a base so as to run the drain out to the laundry drain..  NO P trap ! Removed the copper mess and ran a temporary pex line for the toilet..  not wanting to give it up yet.

We took down all the paneling for the bathroom and the bedroom next door.  And removed the closet.  Yup no insulation behind the shower ?  HUH..   The outside walls were framed with 2×2’s and R6 insulation.  Ya the works for an Alberta winter… NOT!  Quite a bit of the 2×2 sill plate was black and rotten from wayward water..  Still using that toilet..

When the vanity was removed the drain pipes fell apart !  The funky vent pipe going across the ceiling was not glued ?  And it all fell down.  Fine by me.  All the framing was removed on the outside wall.. bedroom too.  The flooring was scraped up.  New windows were installed in the whole house including the two small ones one this side of the basement. It’s good to have a bare concrete wall.  And I had a bit of a leak under the bedroom window.. That needed to be remedied.  This is the way it sat for most of August and a bit of Sept.  Still using the toilet !

Time to get going again..

Looking like I got that crack fixed good..  So I guess the toilet needs to get outa the way.

Time to move some drains.  I rented a Hilti concrete drill and hammer..  Hard work but the 4 inches of floor gave way to my aggression’s. Reveling where the sink drain goes. And the 3 inch toilet drain goes straight to the clean-out under the plywood lid.    We decided to move the toilet a bit into the bedroom.  Just ten inches give a little more room when you step out of the shower.

Lots of trips outside with the concrete bits and dirt.  Time for new pipe..

I moved the toilet flange just 40 inches. And the shower now has a P trap.  The sink drain is also a vent there’s plenty of air.

I put sand around the pipes and a layer of gravel too …All packed .  Five bags of Quick Crete and there you have it.. Just leave it for a few days .

Ok framing time !

Well all that rippin things apart..  now it’s time to put it back properly. The bedroom closet used to intrude the bathroom space..  Now we are going the other way.. 10″ into the bedroom, making a bit more room for the toilet.

Treated lumber for the sill plates with gasket.  2×4 walls  for better insulation.

I have the shower sill plates down.  And a bit more framing a point where the old plumbing is in the way.  Look up..

That mess needs to be dealt with..  Sooner or later I was going to get to the point where all the water pipes would need to get cleaned up and become PEX pipes.  And I would need to do something about the upstairs toilet drain.

This intrudes into the shower big time..  It’s working fine.. all the drains in the house work fine..  But this needs re-working .  As well that 3/4 copper water pipe is in the way.  Time for some… PLUMBING !   Let’s start a new post..

Page 2


2021 Kubota BX23S

Yes I really splurged and bought a brand NEW tractor.  Check it out !

I did not trade the 08 BX 1850 for this..  These new tractors are loaded with great features.  I can change the bucket for the pallet forks in seconds !

And the back hoe is smooth and bigger than the old one.. Plus it has a thumb for grabbing things.  LOVE it !  Both attachments come off the tractor with ease.  Combined with the new dump trailer cleaning up and repairing things in the yard will be a walk in the park.


The Move !

We always thought we would stay in this house…..  But

In late March 2021…  I took note of the price of homes here in Grand Forks going up.  Considerably !  And … there was only a few on the market.  Bidding wars in Grand Forks..   Unheard of until now.  When I mentioned this to the wife …she jokingly said “lets go to Drumheller”

Well that opened a can of worms..

And so after a bit of thoughts on the idea. Living close to the kids and Grand Kids, the pros the cons.  I checked out the house market in Drumheller, and WOW lots of homes to choose from and much lower prices than here.  So We decided to list our home.

And with a messy driveway and the shop full of stuff…  IT SOLD !  In two days..  no conditions and over asking !  Unreal.  I guess we are off to the Drum to find a house.  We have two months !

This was a very interesting process..  scary too. But it’s better to sell your home then look for another…  instead of buying another before you sell your home.

We had a bit of time at home to short list the possibilities.  And there was one that was #1 on the list.  The home on Pinter Dr was the first one we wanted to see. and the only rural home too.

This home was in a Rosedale area of Drumheller.  Just a tad under an acre of nicely treed property , and some very nice outdoor living space.  Plenty of flat parking for all my trailers.  Most of all QUIET.  But the house did not impress Mo at all. The photos made it look better than it was..   It needs some work.  To be expected on most homes.

So we were off to see more homes…

For the next two days we looked at lots of homes .  And most were worse than the first house.  But some were promising too. Some were more money than we wanted to spend, but move in ready.  But all were missing the yard space and elbow room from neighbors that we like. Sometime during those two days we got stressed thinking we would have to compromise.  On the second day at the last unimpressive house…  Maureen told the agent and me that maybe she was too hard on her opinion of the Pinter Dr home, and wanted a second look.  Well that was interesting..  We did that and talked about the things that she did not like.  I assured her that things can be changed and improved..  So we put an offer in… and after a little back and forth we got the deal we wanted.  So we have a place to move too.

Purging & Packing !

Moving sale !  Big one .

It spilled out into the driveway.  We sold a truck load of stuff in the first day !  Plus we were filling a dumpster at the same time.  Very little of this pile was left after two days.  HI FIVE..  Added to that I sold some bigger items & found homes for other stuff.  One trailer load of wood to the landfill.  Three trailer loads of metal to the landfill.  My shop was loaded into the horse trailer.

And I mean loaded… packed tight.

Eric came from Calgary and we loaded two more trailers.  So three trucks each towing a trailer..  This was the shop and the toys…

Like the boat and the Kabota.

The ATV and kayaks.  We made a trip to Eric’s place and stashed all this there..  It’s now in Alberta and only two hours drive to go fetch.

Mid May..  and we are doing good!

Mo has packed up most of the house..  We are having movers come on the 28 th and taking all the house hold and furniture.  I will be making a trip this week to take the travel trailer to the Drumheller house and parking it there.. And talk with the lady who sold us the home.  A scouting trip to see where the movers need to put things. Cause we will be making the drive there when they are unloading.

This is the piles of boxes in the garage. Wow!  And as for the things the movers are not taking.  well that will fit on the two trailers and in the two trucks on moving day.  More to come:

The Visit:

It’s the 20 th of May and I’m heading for the Drum with our travel trailer.  Driving through a bloody blizard in May !  Another Alberta welcome..  Fortunately as I drove closer to Drumheller the weather got real again.  The very nice lady we are buying the house from allowed us to park things in the yard.  Nice.  This gives me a chance to meet her and learn some things about the house.

Big yard !  I had most of a day to sit on the patio and wander around and take some photos.  Ask questions and get answers to some mysteries.  All good and I felt better knowing more about the house instead of worrying about what we will find.

But the best part is looking closer at gems like this fantastic cedar gazebo.  And the 18 x 14 barn..  It’s legit !

What I thought was and old crappy shed is dry and can be secure storage.  I also checked out the house in detail.  And there is only the things that we knew about..  A great visit with Tari on the covered porch.  And off I go home.  I now have a clear sense of where our stuff goes.

Moving Day:

Wow I had a big garage !  The movers have come and gone.. we are sleeping on the floor… sitting in camp chairs..  Cats are freaked out (just wait).

Triple E Surf Side #10 Finishing Touches

This is the last push… We are moving at the end of May and I have lots of things to finish and pack up. The Surf Side may not be 100% finished but close.  I haven’t heard from the guy making the cushions yet.  But soon.  I’ll have to sell the Surf Side without a few things done.. Like the propane lines to the furnace and stove.  And some of the cabinet doors.  Yesterday I got the tables and countertop done.

Here’s the big table …

And this is the front table.  Check out the convenience of power / USB and 12 plug.  The hatch on the left accesses the electrical stuff.  And the potty garage on the left.  I got busy on making drawers and door fronts.

With rounded corners ! Back splash and the cushions were done too.  So less that needs to finished.. I advertised the Surf Side on my preferred places  And Sold it within the same day.  Here are the final photos..

And so this story ends and now my focus is on packing up and moving…

1989 Chevy 1500 Flat deck P#3

This will be about the start of work on BOB..  But first :

Update:   BOB got to visit the Linde shop to use the hoist for an oil change and a good look underneath.  Found a few things… some of which won’t matter with a chassis swap.  Those are : the steering problem is caused by excessive play in the drag- link.  Front wheel bearings are a tad loose ..but not concerning.  Things that will need addressing are:  Drivers side rocker has a rust hole.  Some seals on the motor are leaking. Those seals will be replaced when the motor is pulled for the swap.  So really no bad stuff.  While in the air I swapped out the spare for the proper rim on the front..  Now I can clean and paint the spare rim and mount a tire .. ( which I found in Peter’s pile of old tires ).  Plus I’m constantly adding to my stash of stuff.  The latest add is two boxes that are a perfect fit..

Aluminum too !  I will need to change the latch, and add a gasket.  When I turn it the way I’ll mount it the box is 30″ long 13″ tall and 10″ deep.

April 2020:

The donor truck has been stripped down to the chassis. 

The motor and trans will be removed and the chassis cleaned…  painted and get some new parts .  New shocks, calibers and torsion bar ends.  The steering on this chassis is tight so no more loosey goosey .  Bob gets that plus nice wheels , bigger fuel tank, better and complete exhaust system, nice heavy duty rear bumper with hitch.

Here’s the cab and deck sitting on my trailer.  I’m wanting to help more but all the moving and packing up is taking most of my time.  So things over at Harold’s shop are progressing nicely..  Bob’s motor & cab are back on the new chassis and running great.

Mid May :  This is where we are now..  body work is done…  new doors installed.  Ready for a shiny white paint job.  I helped a bit getting Bob into the paint booth.  No worries about that bit of cancer on the left fender… I have plastic flairs that cover that.  The rockers are new, and those all the bottom of the doors with get rock guard.  This next week I will help re-assembling .

Here we go..  Nice new shiny white paint job.  We are installing all the bits that were removed.  Bob’s looking like new..



Triple E Surf Side #9 Cabinets

Continuing on:

I’ve cut out the sides of the fridge cabinet and the right side seat..  It’s a good day when the pieces fit !

Look at that..  the pre-finished birch 1/2 ” ply is perfect.  I just need to cut a access lid and this is finished.

The walls of the fridge cabinet fit too.  Stringers for the shelves need to be done yet.

So with the fridge cabinet all done, I started the kitchen.  Turing out good.. I’m getting better and faster.  And here it is painted and installed.

Still needs the shelf over the wheel well..  and I will be making two drawers. One under the stove.  The panel in front of the sink will have a 110 v outlet and switches for the fan and cabinet lights.  5 more cabinets to go….

The overhead kitchen cabinet and the matching shelf were a bit of a challenge.  and some thought put into the design.  but here we are .. complete with blue lights. I want to note that the rear of this cabinet had no support.  So i had to screw in from the trailer roof. Just two screws with caps.  I’m now thinking of moving the fan and light switches up  under the cabinet.  I have an exposed wire loom there..  So I did it !

There… also had room for a volt meter. Switches light up when on.  Much more handy… and no more exposed wires.  The next cabinet is the left side dinette seat.  It’s just a wall like the other side.

And this allowed me to get the fresh water tank installed back where it was.  I’m getting there..

Shelf under the sink and stove is in. Also the 110 v  outlet for the kitchen.

Now I’ve done the front seats.  With the port a potty garage.

All the wiring is done too…   At this point we moved the trailer out of the shop..  And put it back on the frame..  Door back on …Vent on the roof.. and the new wheels.

I’ll spend the week finishing the last stuff.  The cushions will be done by the end of the week. Or not..  And I’ll start a new page the Last Page.

 Page 10… The Finishing Touches :

1989 Chevy 1500 Flat deck P#2

It’s a project…  Let’s make some plans !

Those tractor lights gota go !

And the spare back under the frame.. Those are just a few of the things that will change.  There’s lots..  Now that I’ve had the truck for a month and dug around to see what’s good … what’s bad… and what’s ugly.  And found the things that don’t work.. So here’s a list of improvements,  repairs and  pimping.  I know I’ll forget something I’ll add it later.

#1  Extending the frame and the flat deck:

Ya you’ve seen this photo be fore..  This is a big one..  The most likely scenario will be to use the 1996 4×4 frame we have and move BOB’s body and power train over.  This means I can move the deck back approximately 20 ”  giving me a 9 ft deck !  wow.  The plus side to all this work is being able to clean and paint all the parts… not just the ones you can see.  New body mounts , new brake lines.. A better steering box. and any other repairs.  Also the exhaust on that truck is in good condition.  The nice wheels I want are on the truck.  And interestingly the 96 has 4 plus 1 leafs in the rear springs.

And the truck appears to be lifted..  But we can’t find the lift. So could be the extra leaf in the spring ? We will no more when we remove the body and just have the frame.

#2 Changing the look of the back of the deck:

This will need a trim..  to make room for the new bumper and hitch.  These lights will be changed out for LEDs, and the license plate will move to the middle so the camera can see the hitch.  Plus a rail at the top for hooking the ramps to.

These are the lights I like.  Installed them on the Surf Side..  rubber grommets, flush mount..   perfect.

#3 Stake pockets:

I’m not changing my mind on this.. the rail is going bye bye and stake pockets along the sides, with a rub rail !  Great place to hook tie downs too.

#4  LED work lights and a winch:

The cheap tractor lights are going too..  I don’t even want the ones facing the front !  what’s their point ?  I have new 6 inch LED bar lights for here.  Tuck them under the top bar..  Proper wiring ! not bare wires hanging across the window.. Hillbilly wiring !

The head ache rack will be removed to extend the deck. And this is where approximately 20″ will be added.  The wood deck will be moved back and good heavy gauge of metal deck added. There  I plan to mount a 1200 lb winch.

#5 Under deck storage:

I need to find or make some boxes that fit this space.  Handy for straps and I would like the have a second battery here too.. with a inverter and to power the winches.

That’s the work on the deck..  There will also be a bit of body work.  The clear coat is peeling off.  The doors will be replaced, and a new white paint job.    Continuing on the outside …

#6 New towing mirrors:

Yup.. I got em .. Those old ones will go.  This will be a working truck so car mirrors are no good..

#7 Headlights:

And let’s add the turn / park lights to that.  I have upgraded lights from a newer truck.  BOB will get to see in the dark with halogen bulbs..  and they could even be changed to LEDs too.  As for the park lights .. new bulbs and a mod to include running lights.

Now to the interior…

#8 Seats:

Oh ya..  Why just put a cover on this old bench when you can have nice buckets.

Exactly ! Who wouldn’t do that ?  And as a bonus I get a storage console and cup holders !  Not a hard decision at all.

#9 Head liner:

This will never do..  I have a hard one from one of the parts trucks. I’ll paint it … or glue this red stuff on..  We’ll see … but it won’t look like this.

#10 Stereo:

I’ve ordered a new RED bezel.. Only because I’m a bit fussy on this brown one.  Hey stuff’s gota match !  Also if I decide that the Sony sucks, I have a Kenwood waiting to replace it.  Interestingly the speakers look newer and they sound good..  One less thing.  Either way there is tunes !

#11 Back up camera and keyless locks:

I have a small 4 inch monitor that will fit this cubby.  So we will have the convenience of seeing what’s back there.  BOB’s getting some tech for sure..   One more thing these older trucks never had was keyless locking.   BOB will..  I’ve got the system to install.  No more door keys needed.

#12 Switches:

This is a replaced dash bezel.  the one that was in the truck was full of holes for the switches for the work lights.  I will have just one that fits this hole for the work lights on the Head rack.  And it lights up to let you know they are on..  Maybe a second switch if I install more lights.  There’s room !

#13 Drivers door panel :

Broken handle… broken trim…  wrong power lock switch..  I have the trim panel and the lock switch.  But the pull handle is hard to find cause they always break.  So either I do find one or I make one.  We’ll see .. but we will fix.

#14  Oil gauge:

This was mounted under the dash.  Didn’t seam to do anything.  Found out why… the tube supplying the oil pressure was broken.  I want the gauge in the cluster to be the one working so I’ll get a new oil sending unit and hook that back up.  Bye bye to this one.

#15 A Clock:

Yes you can get a clock…  Sadly the Chinese have a thing for 24 hr time…  Maybe has something to do with it also having the date ?  Don’t like that so I ordered a better one.

That’s it for now … a lot of stuff.

March 1 st 2021:  I put insurance and plates on BOB I’m driving the truck around..  see what breaks or things we missed.  The replacement  instrument cluster works great.  In April the real work will start..  By then I’ll know more.

On to Page 3  New doors:








Triple E Surf Side #8 Cabinets

Finally …been waiting for this :

The floor is done the walls are done..  Time to build some new cabinets.  Today I bought the plywood .. some very nice Birch. 1/4 ” for the sides,  1/2 ” for the shelves, doors and to make drawers.  The framing will be made from 1×6 , ripped on the table saw. This is typical RV cabinet construction.. with the exception of me using 1/4 ” instead of 1/8 ” paneling.  Still light weight but stronger.  Closet first then work my way clockwise around the trailer.

Today I built the front of the closet… and seeing how it fits.  Very good.  Next the sides and that’s where it gets interesting.  Curves to fit the wall.  Next to the fridge cabinet this one is tricky.  Lucky I kept the old walls to help with that.

Here’s one side done so far.  This side has the wires inside the wall.  The closet will be finished both in and out.  That will also be needed for the overhead cabinets and shelves.  They too will be hollow to allow for wiring and lights.   New Video….

The closet is the guinea pig for the construction , painting and the gimp rubber trim.   So lets talk “GIMP”.   Or better yet show you..

Funny name for old school rubber trim. I like the look! Finishes off the joint nicely.  I found a source and bought lots of white and brown.  I’ll use the white where the cabinets meet the walls & celing. And the brown where they meet the floor.. like baseboard..  but “GIMP”.  Just staple it on .. cuts with scissors.

Well the closet is painted ..gimped and installed.  Lino on the bottom and the porch light switch installed.  On to the rear upper cabinet.  This time I made a pattern for the where the front fits to the roof.  Nailed it !

Once again the wires are hidden in the hollow of the floor of the cabinet.  I’m not putting doors on these , so I routed the opening smooth.  I’m going to try stain on the front . If I don’t like how it looks I’ll paint it.  But I would like to break up the amount of white.

And here’s the finished overhead at the back the the trailer.  Lights installed.  Fits great..  And next is the 8 ” wide shelf that ties the closet to the rear overhead.

And there will be one of these on the other side once the kitchen takes shape.  Lot’s of places to stash things.  Next is the seat for the closet side of the trailer..

This turned out good.  1/2 ” birch will be the seat, with access lid for under neath.  I’m thinking the fridge cabinet will need to be next..  because the others fit to it.

Here I have it located in the proper place.  The openings are all correct too.  Starting from the bottom we have , a cubby, then the furnace, a nice large drawer, the fridge and another cubby at the top. I’m working on the sides… and they have to fit the wall.

Delivery Notice !

My new fridge arrived today..  It came from Ontario.  12 volt compressor fridge.  No propane.

Nice quality fridge.  Small… only 2.5 cu ft.  These are becoming more common in RV’s .  Low draw on the battery and auto shut off if the voltage gets too low..  Waaay different than the old 3 way fridges.

Time for a new cabinet page… #9

1989 Chevy 1500 Flat deck P#1

Once again you can call me CRAZY ! But we are calling the Chevy  ” BOB “

This time I do not have a glamorous photo of this truck from the web of what it should look like.. That doesn’t exist.  YET!  It will when I’m done, but for now it’s all in my head.  This truck is …well unique. Yes it’s old and in need of some fixing up, mostly cosmetic ..  And certainly a flat deck truck is not rare… there is lots of them..  But they are mostly different from each other.  This one was home built on a half ton 4×4 long box single cab.  Most are one ton trucks.  SO do we have a hillbilly one.. Almost!  The deck is quite nice.. And the frame is very strong and seems professionally made.  BUT.. they bobbed off the rear of the truck (hence the name) and made it too short for my liking.  So My plan is to extend it.  But I’ll still call it BOB.

Ahh you gotta love the eighties..  Put your hand up it you had a car or truck from then that had a red interior… and I mean totally red ! My hand is up..  Red 1985 Dodge Caravan..  I’ll get used to it…again.  Good thing cause changing that would be a lot of work… and not necessary… So I’ll embrace the redness..

Just like the Surf Side trailer if you start out not paying much.. or anything , then you have more to spend on making it right.  Quite often you could spend more to buy a nicer truck and still end up spending money.  Bottom line is I don’t expect much in a cheap truck.  So I feel lucky that it made the 2 hour trip back home and has BC registration.  And add to that… It runs good.. shifts good.. stops good. The important stuff works.  That’s the “Pros”  what about the “Cons”.  Well here’s what we know so far.  Motor needs an oil change. (should do that anyway).  Steering needs work (loosey goosey). The gauge cluster will be changed out (other gauges work fine).  The muffler is supposedly new but the tail pipe is missing, and it’s a bit loud for me.   Driver’s door is hard to close.  AC needs a re-charge.  Needs better tires and a new rim so the spare can return to the back.  At first we thought a leaf was missing from the rear springs.. Nope..  The ride is very nice.  However if you want to carry weight you need all the spring leaf’s there.  I’ll replace the doors and new pins and maybe the left fender cause they are rusty and easy to source.  There are a few bits inside that need fixing or replacing as well.  But let’s talk about the one thing I really want… The rear deck.  I was looking at trucks that I would have to remove the box and build a deck from scratch.  Totally could do that..  But here we have most of the work done for me..  For less money ! However needs a bit of “alterations”.  And paint !

What we have is ..  6 ft wide.  Perfect !  But only 7 ft 4 inches long.  I would like a minimum 8 ft long.. but lets add to that..  Let’s add a foot to make it 8 ft 4 inches.  And add that to the front so as to keep the back end shape. My RZR will fit very nicely.. The headache rack is perfect too.. Couldn’t have done it better.  Those rails will be removed and stake pockets added with a rub rail.  Also missing is a receiver hitch and the wiring for that.  All of this means I keep the nice new decking.  The extra foot would be plate steel with a strong winch mount against the head board.  There I want at least a 10,000 lb winch.  I love making plans..  So let’s make more..  I have thought about the way I would like things to be.. Useful , Adaptable,  come to mind.  More Ideas..

On this ..the drivers side I wanted the spare tire holder.  But I’m thinking it won’t fit .. so a storage box. ?

And on this side (passenger) I want a lock box for a second battery, storage and some other goodies I have in mind.  This battery would have an isolation solenoid and power the winches and a 1000 watt inverter.  That way I’ll always have the truck battery fully charged, and power for other stuff.  So far that’s my plans… could change !

For now The truck will have to wait it’s turn..  BUT while it waits I’m collecting some parts..  Newer headlights with bulbs to replace the old school sealed beams.  The cubby that replaces the old factory stereo heat unit.  A new instrument cluster with the same kms on the ODO.  BUT most of all a nice set of bucket seats with a center console to replace the bench seat.  Many more bits and pieces. If it’s cracked or broken I’m replacing it. PLUS I have on order: A remote keyless system.  A back up camera and monitor.  New door switches. New mirrors for towing.

BOB got buckets !

And a console !  With cup holders !  Good condition for being old.  Don’t  want three people in the truck.. so this suits me just fine.

BOB got new doors !

Well nothing for an old truck is really new,  but these are WAY better condition.  Bob will get a new white paint job, so color won’t matter for these.  I also found a fourth rim to match the others.  Now I have four nice rims and one spare rim.  Got quite the stash going on. And now added to the stash is a 1200 watt inverter, and some fancy chrome rims much like the ones on my Avalanche..

Sweet!  But wait… there’s more.  My friend bought another parts truck and won’t use the frame there’s the missing part of my frame OR swap frames.  Ether way I get a very nice rear bumper. Here’s Some of the parts that will be an upgrade.

These are headlights from a newer truck that have halogen bulbs. The gauge cluster pictured has working ODO..  I’ve ordered new LED’s for gauges.  The headlights will get a polish and be like new, with much improvement.

Update :

Today we went and picked up a 1996 extra cab 4×4 with a bad transmission.  Local truck so we trailered  it home.  This is the truck that has the wheels I’m getting.  Harold bought the truck very cheap for the body panels..  box , doors , fenders and hood.  And the interior too.  That’s all he wants.  He does not like the 5.7 vortec motor.. and it would not start in the cold anyway.  I pitched in some of the money so the rest is mine.

So… this was a dark green truck at one time..  and all the white stuff was from another truck.  Great condition. He’s going use those body parts to build another regular cab short box 2 wheel drive truck.. His favorite kind. Today we also removed the motor from the frame he will use.  Now … once the truck above gets stripped of all it’s parts ..that leaves a good rolling frame..  a long 4×4 frame.  I’m considering moving all Bob’s body over to this frame. Because it’s not “bobed” off.  And it has this awesome rear bumper.

With a good hitch !  The wheels and this bumper are worth what we paid for the whole truck ! Someone did a great job fabricating this bumper.  By making a swap like this BOB can be more than a painted truck..  It will be like new.  Finally after a month I made a video…

I also fixed a few things on the dash.  Using some re-conditioned parts.

The dash pocket, gauge cluster and the dash bezel are from a donor truck .   The stereo and mount were in the truck but not installed properly.  Since I knew what I was doing I took this much of the dash apart, and removed some messy wiring ,  Plus redo the stereo harness.  It wasn’t soldered ! and some of the wires were pulled apart.  Then I put it all back with better parts.  Now the glove box opens and closes without falling on the floor!  And the stereo is in the dash all the way instead of hanging out…  all speakers work.  This is how things will stay for now.  After the Surf Side trailer is finished then it’s truck time. !  and I’ll start a new page..

Working on BOB  page 2

Triple E Surf Side #7 Windows & Interior Work

Time to tackle the inside mess..

And the windows are a part of that cause they need the wood framing on the inside.  So I can work on several things here.  One of the first things I did was power wash the windows. They were filthy.. way better to work on clean stuff.  Too bad the green paint didn’t come off with the dirt.  Sigh !  So lets talk devotion..  These are Jalousie (louvered)  windows.  46 years old..  And hurting for some love.. The opening mechanisms are mostly wore out.  and the seals are either dried up , cracked or missing.  SOOOO  I have spent some money and ordered new openers and all the seals.  AND I’m taking them all apart because that is how you clean the green paint off.

With a wire wheel and sanding block too.  It’s going to take two days for each of the four windows.  However… they will be shiny new and working perfectly.  Here’s a video…

Video is mostly about the window work..  It’s going well but tedious.  I’ll be waiting a few days for the order to get here. And can’t assemble the windows till then.  But there are other things to do if I finish the windows before the parts arrive.  One of the most important part of these windows is the actuator ..or cranky thingy.

Here’s the two from the rear window which has separate sets of panes and a left and a right actuators.  The other three windows are all right hand actuators.  I ordered four new ones… not remembering the fifth one ( left hand).  Good thing it still works good.  So far I’ve only found one broken .. I’m interested to see how a new one works.

Hey check out the factory correct “Surf Side”  in the same location too.  The palm trees are my little touch.  I just couldn’t resist applying one.. Now that the paint is fully cured.  I finally got all the windows cleaned and even the missing glass replaced.   Today the new seals arrived !

50 ft … I hope it’s enough.  Still waiting for the actuators .. then I can assemble the windows.  In the mean time I got some 1×6 boards , Some of which will become the new inside window frames.  Real wood not plywood like the rotten ones I tossed.  These will be painted with the walls & ceiling.  They will also provide attach points for overhead cabinets and window dressing.

A bunch of this will become framing for cabinets too.  The Boler had molded fiberglass cabinets … the Scamp had the same but I did not install them..  This will be very different and challenge my wood working skills.  The actuators ( cranky thingy’s) have arrived so I spent the day re assembling the four windows.

Can you tell which ones are new ?  There is a difference for sure.. Smoother and tight.  Now all the windows are back together cleaned fixed , new seals, new cranky things. 

Just imagine… Windows that work , don’t leak and not silicon-ed shut.  No missing glass too !  Now for the inside frames.

Got myself a biscuit joiner..  And dusted off the table saw.  Here’s the large rear window frame glued and curing.  These are good enough to stain and varnish….but that’s not happening.  They will be painted with the ceiling and walls.

So I primed them with good primer.. backside too!  The factory plywood ones were toast from moisture getting behind and de-laminating the plywood.  Now comes the work inside.  Got to clean the Ensolite on the walls and ceiling.  Plus remove the unnecessary bits.  Here’s a video I made today…

I tried a sample of paint on some scraps.. plus the acrylic caulking just to see how good it all works.  Nice.  So I’ve spent some time repairing the Ensolite.  And now I have the first coat on..  It will take two coats to get an even look.

Sure brightens up the interior.  Repairs done to the walls and ceiling look great.  I used a silk (semi gloss) acrylic floor paint..  pure white, two coats.  The walls are now washable.  And yes you see windows !

This is a mile stone…  with the windows back in.  One inch vinyl trim insert covers the screws nicely.  Things are moving along.

Today I made a wiring harness for the running lights.  Properly color coded … actually using a 25 ft trailer 4 pin harness and adding a backup light wire.

Yes loom too..  Tested and working.   Then I got real ambitious and cut the holes for …and mounted the six LED tail lights.  And the side marker lights too.

This is different … most of these trailers have regular trailer lights.. I just gotta be different! Now I got to figure out where the license plate goes.  The bumper I guess..

Another milestone …. The lino is done (floor)   So now I move on to the cabinets…  And a new page.

#8  Cabinets

Triple E Surf Side # 6 Exterior Painting

Now comes the real transformation !

Has all that filling and sanding paid off..   You bet..  The first coat of primer is the tell all.

And sure enough I missed a few details.  Just a few holes I forgot.  But now’s the time to fix them.  You wouldn’t even notice them if I didn’t point them out..  But we can’t have that..  I was especially interested in the left front repairs.  Not bad ..

I’m not the best body work guy by any means..  But this is not an expensive classic car ether.  At least a 90% improvement.  I have run out of primer.. so off to Kelowna for more.  Today the little goobers are fixed and so the second coat of primer will be even better. And I’ll use grey so I don’t miss any spots.   The door however is good with the one coat … So I painted the finish (off white) on the inside.  Looks awesome !

Hard to really see in just a photo..  But it’s very shiny new looking.  New Video…

Can’t go to get the primer for a few days..  So a wee lull in the action.  However I am using the time wisely.  I will be replacing the graphics on the trailer.  I send the files to a sign maker for a quote.  But have not heard back.  Then I remembered I have a Cricut !  I can make my own.  It took a while to get programs that would convert the files… but I did it !

Oh did I say I have large rolls of 3M sign vinyl… Yes but don’t ask… long story.  The cricut can do small things only, and that’s fine.  I wanted to shrink the size anyway.  I could not find the font used in the triple E logo..  So there was a bit of a compromise.  Hope I don’t get called out on the one.  UPDATE:  The fella that supplied me with the “Surf Side” logo made me the proper “Triple E ” logo..  So I’m legit again.  Got my primer yesterday..

And now we have a gray trailer.  would have been nice to have white primer.  But you take what you can get.  I cleaned the store out of the off white and the primer.

And now we are back to the white..  Actually the off white finish coat.  You can see the band in the middle that will be blue.  By New Years The exterior will be done.

Another day … another coat of paint.  The second coat (and final) of off white is on.  I used the brush tipping method to get the smoothest and run free finish.  Roller and a dry brush.  I also really wanted to see what the blue would look like..

And here it is !  Yes it will grow on me..  needs black pin stripe border I’m thinking.  Wife likes it…says it goes with the beachy theme.  Or boat theme..  Ya it works.  so lets do this to the trailer..

Ya it’s fine..  So getting close to done.  The door was painted at the same time.

I added the black line because I thought it was good to continue the rub rail look.  The Bargman door latch was rebuilt and keys made so back it goes..  And that small dot up top is a peek hole with a wide angle view.  It was there and works great so back it goes too.  Rock guard is next.  I’m still waiting for the taillights But the exterior painting is DONE !  so a new page is in order.

#7 Windows & Interior Work

Triple E Surf Side # 5 Body work part 2

There’s lots to do:

The bottom half of the trailer is where most of the bad stuff is.  Makes sense I suppose.

Some schooling and some thoughts:

The Surf Side is very different than a Boler. Not just the over all shape but that it’s just two molded pieces instead of three.  Boler’s and their cousins Scamp’s have floors that are formed separate from the bottom half ..then glassed into place.  Even the wheel wells are made separate then glassed in.  This is ok..  They are still strong.  However this gives them a “skirt” hanging below the floor.  This skirt is easily damaged.  I know I’ve had to repair them on both the boler and the Scamp.

Here you can see some of the repairs done to the skirt of the Scamp.  Not so on the Surf Side …the body just curves under, and so does the painting.  And so it seems to me that the NEW fiberglass Escape trailers are copying something from 45 years ago..  They call it a “pontoon” or low spot molded into the bottom half.  This “pontoon” is under the cabinets and the floor stops short of going out to the body..  Thus allowing any moisture to go there.  And yes there is drain holes under these.  Here’s a better way for me to show what I mean…

This also could be a cross section for the NEW Escape trailer. Things that make you go HMMM .  But it’s a good design why not use it..  And I would choose this over the Boler skirted underside.  Well better get back to the job at hand.  I started at the door and working my way clockwise around to the bad stuff..  Bad stuff is the two front corners.

Here’s the rear of the trailer all prepped, Yes I didn’t totally sand the Triple E logo off.  I’m hoping to be able to see it enough to apply the new graphics over the old.

Jack the Knife !

This is where the real work starts.  A very messy patch job.  At least it’s not silicone..  Out comes the big sander !  Well I guess they tried to fix it…but I wish they didn’t. Would have been easier for me …  When I see lower corner damage I presume it’s from lack of trailer backing skills.  Or they tried to drive around a stump ? Take a guess.

Wow it’s bad !  And thin in spots so I have to be careful.  I’m going to skim coat this with filler..  And maybe an extra layer of resin & mat inside.  I’ll need another can of body filler for sure.

Oh ya..  over 7 applications of filler to get the curves right,  and that was just the top half.  I knew this was going to be the most work.. But it’s turning out great.

Parts & Pieces:

Let’s take a small break from sanding and filling..   I’ve been collecting lots of stuff for this project.. like new stove , door seals, plumbing bits and electrical bits.  One of the “not new” but reconditioned things is the factory door latch..  it works great but the keys were lost sometime ago and judging from the multiple holes …many hasps for padlocks were installed.

Well for thirty backs ( possibly the same price as all those locks and hardware) I had new keys made.  There is three screws holding the latch on the door..  Just too easy I guess.  One of the things I ordered thinking it’s easier to replace than take the paint off..   The drip cap over the door.

There’s no way I want this on the trailer..  It’s too long and it looks like someone formed it with a hammer !  I’m cleaning the paint off the top one..

The final prep work..  Say goodbye to the green  !

All patching is done..  all sanding is done..  And the masking too.  Plus I used an automotive product from Pro-Form , a paint-able rubber flex sealer ( off white) to fill the gap where I removed the silicone on top of the aluminum rub rail ( band around center of trailer ) I also used this product around the fridge and furnace vents.

Now for a good cleaning of the shop and the trailer.   We’ll start a new page for the painting..  Bye Bye  Green !

Page # 6  Painting