Monday, March 30, 2009

Continuing on with the sub floor

Three sheets of ply last weekend and two to go. Tough part is, these last two sheets can't go down unil the holding tanks are all plumbed and ready to cover. My mom came up to help again by watching our two rug rats. Well, one rug rat and one in training.

Friday night Katie and I came down to get the plumbing tank plumbing done once and for all. We set the vent hose for the holding tank. It will travel across to the gray tank and connect to the vertical plumbing there.

We also used hose to plumb the shower drain. That is the second hose in this next photo.

A big concern of mine was preventing the the polyethylene tank from swelling up so large that it would push the rubber grommets down into the tank. I devised a plan to screw some blocks of wood to the bottom of the sub floor to prevent that from happening. Every once in a while I get a good idea.

We mounted all kinds of blocks to keep the tanks from wiggling around in their steel supports.

We took the time to get the black tank washer installed. It's a Tornado from Camco (I think). Too much silicone is never enough for this job.
An included hose will lead over to the valve area for leisurely cleaning.

Here's a side view of the offset flange we are using to plumb the toilet. Ideally, the toilet would basically sit centered on the frame. That is not possible for our design, so we've compromised with a slightly raised toilet (only 1/4" higher than original). We may be forced to move the bathroom wall laterally to make the toilet fit in it's new location. It sat on the outside of the frame before and inside now. Moving it in was a compromise for getting a black tank where there was no tank before. I think it's worth it.

Friday night finished up with high fives since all the tank plumbing was done.

Saturday started off with some good time techy fun. I had ordered a tank level gauge set and was ready to mount the holding tank sensors. After doing some research, I settled on the SeeLevel system from Garnet.

A Canadian made all digital system promises to give us a percentage reading of tank levels. 0% means the tanks is empty and 100% means it's time to dump. I ordered a system that will monitor three tanks (gray, black and fresh water), as well as DC voltage and propane tank level.

The three tank level sensors that came with the kit are all meant for tall tanks up to 12" tall. Both my tanks so far are short, so Garnet swapped the two 12" sensors for ones meant for short tanks.

Mounting them is the fun part!
Instructions say to measure the tank height.

Starting with a shorter sensor is more accurate than cutting a longer one down radically.

Cut the sensor about one square shorter than your tank height. Also cut off the tab that describes the tank. This one is for the gray tank.

Sensor self adheres to center of tanks tallest height. We added a layer of rubber to insulate the sensor from the steel cross member.

Tanks are (finally) plumbed, wired and ready for more insulation and cover.

We like visitors! Looks like Eva is telling Norm, "The campground is that way, Dad!".

Back to work and ready for cover.

Katie came back down in the afternoon to help with the remaining sheets. After a week of looking at these things, I was ready to get them locked down (and get Katie to do it).

Looks like we're drill ranchers.

Final bit of fun was covering the black tank. Stay warm down there little buddy!

Ryan (me) gets to finish the last two screws.

A break for dinning and back later on Saturday night for a work PARTY!

In a former life, Fred was a drywall taper. Handy skills to have for leveling the seams and filling screw holes. Here's a knife, Fred!

Expert work in a very short amount of time.

Katie and I lured Fred down with the promise of fresh home brewed beer. Katie is enjoying a pint of Kolsch
(and watching Fred work) that I made right after the new year.

All three of us worked to get the Marmoleum cut and rolled out to glue.

I spread out the glue (with little skill), we all laid the sheet down and Fred rolled it out. Katie's job was to make sure I didn't make any huge mistakes.
The few seams we have will be mostly covered by cabinets and the shower. Teamwork won the night and we are really happy with the results.

One growler of homebrew for three thirsty workers is not enough, so we all went to Prost! West Seattle for Beer & pretzels.

Sunday was a cleanup day and the day for Grandma to go home (Thanks a million, Mom!!!). Emmett watched as I used a router to straighten up the Marmoleum at the edge of the plywood. Then he helped me with the cleanup. Norm made a quick visit & helped determine the center line of the trailerAfter, I worked to get the C channel measured out & screwed down.

That's plenty of work for one weekend. Feels like we took a really big jump forward this weekend. During the week, I hope to get angle brackets set at the door. And elevator bolts around the perimeter. If time allows, get some insulation in place on the belly. Rumor has it my Dad is coming this weekend. Work seems to happen much more rapidly with him around, so I'd better get my rest. The belly skin could get fastened in place and maybe get the shell reunited with frame. Stay tuned.... (and leave some comments!)


  1. I honestly do not know what to say. You guys are cruising I am truly enjoying the ride. Oh, I know... my oldest is named Ava...

  2. R&K,

    The work looks amazing, and so fast too. I need a couple of doses of whatever you're having that's for sure!


  3. Nice work as always. Eva loves coming down to visit and thinks we should get a trailer soon too. Keep sending us the Craigslist postings.

  4. Fantastic work and so quick too. Say, what's in that home brew anyway? Keep at it, love following your progress.


  5. Looking very very good. I'd like to use the same floorboard screws as you guys rather than the elevator bolts but wasn't sure the stock cross-members were thick enough steel to hold. I wanted to ask if it looks like I could add washers and nylock nuts too, what do you think?

  6. Truck, the floorboard screws worked well with the 1/16" steel. Be sure to get the correct drill bit, I think it's a G? I used the 1/4-20 screws with Torx head from Fastenal. If you feel the need to nut them, you can use a regular locknut. I didn't feel any of mine needed it. Cheers!