Monday, 31 May 2010

Wires and skin...

Insulation on the inside of the outer skin, time to run some wires

We'll be boondocking more often than not, so no need for a monster dual system

Just a good 12v one
The old wiring (see older posts) was in a pitiful and dangerous state, so rather than rubber grommets or short lengths of tube (as Airstream used), I opted for rigid cable outlets

That screw tightly on either side of the C channel frames
A bit of colour-coding too - Blue 12v, Orange 240v, Black 7 core trailer hook-up cable
The plan is to have a 12v circuit for lights and using the 3 core cable will allow a dedicated line for the fridge. The 240v circuit will consist of maybe 2 double outlet plugs at either end of the trailer - since we'll seldom be in a full-hook-up site we thought it easiest to have plugs to allow us to plug in appliances if ever we are.
We have tried to plan ahead and with solar panel technology improving all the time (& prices dropping too)
and wired a dedicated charging circuit to potentially link with two roof-mounted solar panels

I've recorded where the two wire coils are, so, in theory, I should be able to drill through the roof panels and pick up the cable - well that's the theory !
To keep things simple, and to have as few breaks in the cable as possible, I'm sticking with the old system of having light switches on the light fittings, so cable loops are left at the matching holes in the inner skin.
Now to get the inner skin back in

First a layer of the Airtech insulation on the inner side of the inner skin
Its pretty clear where the rivet lines are on the skin, so I taped the insulation to the skin in sections, leaving a good strip clear where the skin touches the C channel frames as both the Airtech & the aluminium tape tends to grab and snag any drill bit.
Then up she goes...
 a bit of a bit of a fiddle but with a couple of extra pairs of hands and a pocket full of Clecos
it was fairly easy to line up the original rivet holes
The double layer of Airtech should keep us snug, or should Britain ever have a scorching summer, cool !

 Starting to look like the old girl again
Pop rivet-tastic...
4mm x 12mm with the odd 8mm - you get through a few hundred faster than you think
Although the inner endcaps aren't comletely polished
we had concentrated on the edges, where it joins the Zolatone (or what will be the new Zolatone)

- a nice juxtaposition of my inner endcap & the 54 Flying Cloud's outer endcap
Now just the lower panels to go back in
then prepping for the new Zolatone
... and a tad more polishing.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Silver Machine...

With the end caps now back in it was time to polish... Some panels shone up much better than others...
There seemed to be no difference in the panels, so that ALCLAD script on the reverse of one made no difference. Unfortunately the Zolatone had etched worm-like pits into the surface.
Some were shallow enough to polish but others were too deep
 Its worth getting out a magnifying lens and having look
and its soon pretty obvious that some are there to stay. They may look like moon craters up close
but I'm happy to think of them as beauty spots; a sign of her 57 years.
But back to work - Insulation
I'd opted for aluminium foil, bubble-wrap insulation. 
There seems to be a wide choice out there. This was Airtech from Screwfix. 
Easy to cut, easy to fit with a few dots of flexible mastic.
Although its only 1/2" thick its supposed to give the same insulation as 6" of Rockwool.
I plan to put another layer on the inside of the inner skin & run the wires through between the two

and I hope its a little less inviting to those uninvited, nesting critters
The polishing had brought one thing to light...
... that there's a central frame missing. So the outer skin flexes a lot when compounding with the polisher.
We debated putting in a new frame but instead decided to beef-up the cross-frames with another C-channel inserted  & riveted to the old one.
We'd replaced the steel panel that ran up from the bellywrap at the front, inside the outer skin, with a thicker alloy plate so this was then riveted to the cross-frame
Other problems to sort before the inner skin goes back on - the hinge mounts and the bizarre tear (or cut) to the left of the door.
We can't work out how or why this scar is there, it almost looks like someone started to cut out a section as there's no creasing from a collision. But who or whatever made, it needs fixing.
Since we'd decided that the simplest way to fix the problem of how to strengthen the sieve that had been left by at least 3 sets of door hinge holes, was to put a heavy (3mm) plate behind the outer skin to take the weight of the door, it seemed sensible to run this plate up behind the tear too.
Short of replacing a vast panel the only way was to make an 'honest' repair. Its always a tad worrying drilling new holes in your outer skin but it has to be done...

... and the end result; an honestly stitched scar.  And though it'll never heal perfectly as the skin has stretched a little, it should look even better when polished.
And speaking of polishing...

Kelvin's made a good start. This panel has had 2 cuts... not bad at all, even if the reflection leaves a little to be desired !
So she's starting to get a little of her former shine back...
And inside, definitely a Silver Machine...