I am another woman who knew nothing about renovating a vintage camper before I did one. And now I've done two! The first was a partial and the second a total. You really can do this! But you need to study first, learn and be patient. I know you want to camp tomorrow but if this old girl will be your baby for the long haul or even for just a year or two (this gets addicting btw) you will want her to be done right, be safe, water tight and true. That way your pride in her will shine through if you ever decide to sell. I learned everything I know about this from vikx and her book: Vintage Trailer Repair, Larry and his youtube site: Mobiltec, and his cannedhamtralers.com website, and for a while his Patreon class. And of course this forum. Much of the advice on this forum is not found any where else period. The trailer I have now, almost done now, has taken me about a year of starts and stops, mistakes and successes, baffling problems to be solved, and creative cures that will be totally mine. She was resurrected from the dead and will hopefully last another 60 years cuz I rebuilt her correctly. You got this! Here's my flickr photos to see the progress so far. Good luck!!
Kyla, we all need encouragement sometimes. You will get it here. When we got Hamlet, there was only one manual for trailer repair, and it had pretty much everything wrong. Luckily we are curious people and decided to de-construct him to see how he was made originally. We made a few small mistakes along the way, and now would do a few things differently, but we knew he was structurally sound.
It’s good to dream about your journeys to “exotic” places, but there’s another journey, one you will learn and grow from. You won’t be pulling her anywhere this summer, that’s ok. Many of us have spent way more than a year making our campers safe, and beautiful, again, Enjoy this first journey, it can make alll the rest even better.
I have a 66 Kenskill I am working on. The members here are very helpful and encouraging. If you have a covered place this is helpful. I can only work on it from spring to fall then cover it in the winter. Send us some pics of the inside corners behind the cushions. Worst rot I had was front corners and back trunk corners. I have a friend that is experienced with building and his advice is invaluable during the building. Also Vikx’s book was invaluable as well as Mobiltec’s videos. Just bought a Kenskill brochure. Send me an email and I can copy it for you. Good luck!!
Sorry, I don't recall how I got the water filler off but it was the hardest thing to remove. I did snip the marker light wires as they were soldered connections. You can add a bit more wire to the ends or even rewire with a ground like I did before reinstalling. My blog isn't great, but some folks like the progression from disaster to disaster to finally the realization that there is only one way forward...
You may have to cut the water pipe to the tank to remove the fill. Once cut, you can put the pipe in a vice, heat it up very well and unscrew the fill off the pipe. It's easy to add new pipe and connect new to old.
That water fill neck is problematic. Easiest way is to cut it off inside and huck the entire water tank and replace it with a new one. You really don't know what's growing inside the tank. you are working on a trailer that has probably the original water tank in it that is over 50 years old. My suggestion to cut the water filler pipe is not from experience, though, just from reading about the issue here at VTT. Maybe others will confirm with such experience that it's the best alternative rather than fussing with it.
On snipping the wires, pull out as much as you can first before snipping. You want as much as possible to work with from the marker light as well as the wire from inside the trailer. You will be reconnecting them once the skin comes back on. Too much cut off from either end isn't good. Lets see what the pros suggest.
Finally, my last thought that's not really important now and a bit premature, but after you get this all done and you are remounting the skins, you might want to invest in new LED marker lights that can be found at Vintage Trailer Supply. They aren't really that expensive. They come with a new bright and shiny lens and a shiny new base and they are super bright even in the day time - great for trailering safety. Just an idea.
You are doing great!
"I get that queasy how in the hell will this thing ever go back together feeling.” - PT
So the corner pic where the water tank is looks pretty good. I don’t see rot. Send some pics of the other corners and ceiling vent. Is there black rot? Hate to have you start to dismantle it to find it is in good shape. Others on this site have more experience and can help more than me. My Kenskill had definite rot that went into the interior panels and was disintegrating in the corners. The Kenskill aluminum panels were assembled starting at the top working down. Alot of snall staples and nails. My water fill was screwed on to the filler pipe. Have you tried a pipe wrench with some padding? Good luck.
Post by 57 Trotwood on Jul 24, 2020 5:54:15 GMT -8
You ROCK Kyla, I know you said you were a woman and you seem to have an analytical mind , you are taking on more then most men won't. Good luck and as many say here, its a large project but break it down into many small ones.