Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just an Update on the First Day of Fall

We've been busy and haven't done much to the Aliner. We cleaned up the work site and pushed her back into the driveway a bit and have done some other little odds and ends things, but nothing much. We need to test the gas lines for leaks and finish plumbing the sink in. Put the other two small cabinets in and build out around them, plus finish the counter tops, which sounds like a lot more work then it is....at least I think so. I need to finish the curtains. And we need to seal up underneath and check any where we plumbed a gas line in for a good seal. The front rock guard looks like crap and the seal has cracked already. Mostly because it was warped and cracked to begin with and we just tried to make do with what we had. I'm going to seal it up the best I can for the winter and then hopefully in the Spring when we get our tax return I am going to try to get some diamond plate for it. I've seen it on other units, and I think it might come from the factory on newer units and it just looks so much more sturdier than a piece of plastic. Right now though my biggest goal is getting secure for the winter. We need to move it anyway because the plow is behind it, but I like where it's sitting now because it's protected by the fence and the houses from the NE wind.
Mike had some hand surgery on two trigger finger on his left hand and some follow up surgery on his right hand so that has had a big impact on anything getting done, but honestly I think we were kind of burnt out and probably were not going to get much more done this year anyway. We still have several a couple months till the snow really starts to fly. Maybe we will get the most of it done before then, but no need to rush. No more camping this year! We thought about trying to get it ready for Columbus Day, but we know ourselves better than that. Mike took the Jeep up to Maine to visit a friend and found us a new campground that we'll probably go camping to next August. He camped in the Jeep, took a blow up twin bed and a bundle of wood. It proves we can still be minimalist, lol.
Updates will probably be far and few until the Spring. Hope everyone has a good Winter!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


We'll be on vacation the next week or so. So no work for the next several days, and that includes the Aliner :-)

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Few Pictures Added...

I'm adding a few pics that weren't included in the last update. They are in the sidebar, Update 12.1. We picked up a couple fittings today to plum the sink, but it's raining....again, and we're tired. Tomorrow is suppose to be nice, but we need to go out to Hubbardston in the afternoon for my uncles retirement party. I'm sure we'll get something done though. I'm working on sewing up the last edge on the cushion and sewing the slides onto the curtains, rainy day work.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Update 12 -ish.....

I haven't updated since last Thursday even though we've been hard at work...even while uploaded the pics on my phone I see I need to take even more when I get back because a lot isn't even here. Like the center panel where the heater sits is stained and a door has been cut out and installed over it. A false door has been installed under the stove.....well here is a list of done and to do:

Done (since last update...maybe more than whats listed....idk?):
  • gas lines installed to heater and stove.
  • bed framed in.
  • side end table made (needs countertop).
  • countertops made for stove, sink and right corner.
  • power converter installed.
  • gfi outlet installed.
  • all interior wiring completed.
  • caulked interior perimeter and flooring staples.
  • new faucet installed.
  • cushion recovered (just putting one back in, other side will be a table now).
  • support wall made and ready to install.
  • water heater and tank placed.
  • battery holder installed.
To Do (in the immediate future only, lol):
  • finish wiring (might be done today).
  • install water lines (have all materials).
  • cut bench top down.
  • build countertop for side table.
  • finish bench cushion.
  • finish curtains...have all but the tinted window made, need to finish installing sliding tabs into big green curtains that go over the sink. need to make the ones still for tinted windows, not a rush.
  • get a battery.
  • install small cabinets, countertop over them and build whatever in between them....find a place for the fire extinguisher.
  • replace the broken vent.
  • stain the veneers and other unfinished wood.
  • and plenty more I just can't think of right now.....
Billy goes back to SC today, already. But he helped us get a lot done, especially the electrical. It's been hot and hard to work on things the past few days, but it is getting there and really starting to come together. I'll try to update some newer pics tonight, or later this weekend because the "Update 12" album doesn't really do it justice as it sits right now.

Thanks Billy for the help and have a safe trip home!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Heater Install

In order to have enough clearance for the sink and drain we lowered the heater. So it is in the same place, just lowered. Mike and Billy moved the exhaust/intake and sealed up the old outlet. Mike made a panel out of the black birch tree that came down in the microburst of '07. I'll stain it later. They also picked up a nice laminated panel for the partial wall to the left of the doorway that supports the folded down upper wall. I didn't take a pic of that tonight, but it will be in a future update. It's raining again so that's about it for now. I did sew the curtains up for the door and the big window opposite that. I am in the process of sewing on the track clips here and there.
I'll just post the heater install pictures here rather than the sidebar...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rain on the Way.

Lots of rain in the forecast for the next week. Kenzie's 10th birthday is on Friday and we are having a get together on Saturday.....hopefully the weather will hold out for that stuff at least. We closed up shop this afternoon, reinstalled the passenger side front storage door and put pretty much every thing away for now. Billy is here until the 30th and then we are off to camp on the 6th. We got a lot done this weekend, but I wonder how much more we'll get done in the next few weeks. I'll work on the curtains at night....not tonight though, so tired. I'm also trying to keep up with some detail work, like cleaning up the old faucet for reuse. Problem is though that I left it in the counter top out in the rain which swelled and now I can not get it out, grrrr. I'll get it out though, don't feel like spending much more on this project. Anything else really that I "want" to replace will be waiting till Summers future. I'm also going to clean up the old fridge and post it up on Criagslist. If anyone is looking for a Dometic LP/Electric....not sure of the model cuz I do not wanna get up right now....fridge, let me know.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Update 10

We got a lot done this weekend!
  • The two larger cabinets are installed with wiring and battery vent plumbed.
  • End panels installed (which included a lot of clean up and old staple removal!).
  • Rock guard and tow tongue stripped, primed and painted.
  • Old fridge vents closed.
  • Several outside openings cleaned up and re-caulked.
  • Curtains made for the three triangle windows and the big "passenger side" window.
I spent several hours Friday night engineering and working on curtains. I don't sew, but I had fixed my mother in laws old sewing machine with this project in mind. I've been looking at fabrics and pricing them out, most more than I wanted to spend. So I picked up a couple sets of sheets on sale at Target, one set a quirky nature theme, the other solid green and I'll use a brown set from the house (top sheet only.....we never use top sheets anyway).

Saturday Mike and I worked earlier in the day on the end panels. There were a ton of staples to remove, but overall it went pretty smooth. Later in the day after Billy came home we worked on the front tongue, the rock guard and planning the electrical system. We also closed up the fridge vents, removed the fan and resealed a lot of the outside openings.

Sunday, today, we installed the two larger cabinets. We had to remove the toe kicks. The smaller ones are uppers so did not have them and fit. Mike used a straight edge and the router to trim them down. They build cleats and made cut outs for the battery vent, electrical and just a bit into the wheel well to make sure the heater will be centered over it's vent/intake. I also cleaned up a lot of the old cabinets and debris. I'm burning all the old wood, the rotted flooring went into the woods and recycling the old plastic and metal we removed.

You can see more pics under "Update 10" on the right hand side bar.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Update 9....The Floor is in!

The floor is in! And I love it. It just needs a edge of caulking (poly) around the walls. Then I was motivated to clean the walls and start working on replacing the exterior caulking and rusty screws. Billy removed the rock panel (maybe there is another name for it....?) and we got some paint made for plastic to freshen it up a bit. I'd love to put diamond plate stainless steel there, but we just don't have the money for it. Maybe down the road. Mike and Billy picked up some plastic rivets to put the rock plate back in. And we got some screws with anchors to replace the ones that really aren't catching anything. Partially why the drivers side tail light caulking cracked, because two of the upper right screws were just there. We'll also squirt some poly caulking into the screw holes too. We picked up some panels for the end walls, 10% off at Lowes because some of the edges are a bit tattered, which is not going to effect the project anyway. Tomorrow Mike and Billy will cut and install the end wall panels and probably start putting in the cabinets. I will work on replacing caulking and cleaning things up. It's really starting to come together now that the floor is laid. There are more pictures on the sidebar in the Album called Update 9.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quick Update

Just a quickie.....Mike and his brother Billy got home Sunday morning a bit after 9am :)
Yesterday Mike lay the last two pieces of flooring. It looks good. I'm hoping today to clean up any liquid nails sticking up and level off any high spots. We'll seal up the bolt heads with caulking too. I took down the curtains and measured them. I think I will need 7-8 yards of fabric. I looked a bit online, but it's one of those things that you have to shop for in person. The new curtains will probably be green too, but more updated and probably a touch of something quirky....can't help it ;) I need to find a deal on the fabric though, so time to start looking. I'm wondering if the 40% off one item at Joann's Fabrics means 1 yard or one piece of whatever yards? I also plan on working on the exterior caulking and cleaning the upper walls this week/weekend too. I wish I had been more motivated while he was away to start that already....but just wasn't the same project without being together. No photo album on the side bar for this update, just a couple shots of the floor and of the walls.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

On Hold for Now

Well it stopped raining long enough for us to go camping. We were suppose to go out Thursday, but it poured so we went out Friday morning. We stayed for an extra day until Tuesday and it was great. But we came home to some bad news and we are going to have to hold off on any work for at least a few more days for now.

While we were at camp I looked at sites that I have looked at most of my life in a different light. There are a few sites I now call "good Aliner sites" that I would have never concidered with all our tent gear. I am pretty sure Otter River will be our madian voyage as the history of the park and our love of the park makes it the perfect place. Plus she's been there in her former life ;-)

We should pick up were we left off next week.
(PS. The picture is of Beaman Pond at Otter River State Park.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

WTF Rain!?!!1!

It's still raining, something like 40 days and 40 nights now....maybe we should be building an arc. Either way, the rain is testing our patience, big time. Mike added some support to the frame and was able to lay the center piece of flooring. Yep, we put down CDX not marine grade, sorry to disappoint. If you are reading this because you are researching your Aliner floor rebuild, lay marine grade, okay? I am sure we'll make it seeing we are not laying chip board though. We are leaving for camp tomorrow and honestly, I need a brake. Hubby has been the one doing the work the last upate or two, but honestly without getting into it.....I am all set right now. Be it the endless rain or just the fustration that comes with a project like this or now. Some day Aliner of mine you will be so comfy and cute, right now.....I want to burn you, just to make a dry spot in my driveway. We're going to see a movie tonight, tomorrow we go to camp. It will be nice to have a break.
PS. the lillies are so pretty! See the yellow one in update #8 album on the right hand bar.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Plywood, Cabinets and Pulls.

Okay, we had bought two pieces of plywood at Lowes for the subfloor and said we'll come back for more when we need it....mistake #2, mistake #1 was going to Lowes. Yeah they save us $, just like Walmart, but at the end of the day do they really? The wood we bought said it was 19/32nds. We went back and bought two more yesterday....it was thinner, and had 4ply whereas the first set was 5ply. We had cut it, brought it back and got our $ back and checked everything they had and nothing matched, same deal at Home Depot today. So we went to the good ol' Plywood Plus store and jackpot! Found the right thickness and scored some cabinets at an unbelievable 92% off! Was seperately over $1400 for these four pieces that were ordered wrong, we paid $120 to take it away! Nice units too with pull outs inside didn't take a pic of the inside of them yet). Two are base cabinets and two are upper cabinets, but we'll use all 4 as lowers of course. Three are maple, one is oak but you can barely tell the difference because they are the same style. We will have to do some engineering to get these to work with the heater and the fridge, but we always seem to make it work and can not beat the price! Plus I had picked up some cabinet knobs off the clearance rack at Lowes yesterday for a penny each....usually $4.50 each. I bought 13 out of the 20 in the bin knowing I wouldn't need that many but for 13 cents whatever. When we went back to return the crap wood the rest were gone. You can see a few more pics on the side bar in the album called cabinets. Score!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Lilly Loving Update 7

Yesterday the sun finally came out, at least for part of the day. We went shopping once the thunderstorms rolled in. I cleaned up most of the debris from the old floor, dumping the rotted wood back into the woods. I'll throw the linoleum and underlayment into the trash. We got the other side of the floor done and we need to get a couple more sheets of plywood. We didn't buy them yesterday because of the rain in the afternoon. But we did find a real nice floor at Eddy's Flooring and ended up buying it just because we got a great deal. We also picked up some rubberized spray coating for underneath, some tools to remove the old caulking and some new copper lines and fittings for the gas lines. We looked at some nice fridges at Home Depot too, for $150 we can put in a new one, but it would be electric only so maybe not.

Mike is out now cleaning up the frame for the rest of the flooring. It's grey and damp out, hopefully it won't rain. He has to work tonight too and I need to go through the camp stuff because next weekend is the 4th, already! I added yesterday's pics to the photo album "Update 7" on the right hand side. Little by little we are getting there.

PS. The phrase of the day was "you little lilly lover"....the lillies are starting to bloom and are really pretty. Mike has been helping me keep those damn red lilly beetles off the plants so we can enjoy the blooms.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Rain Has Drove Me to Shop....

I was in Target tonight and they have a camp bed set for boys, too cute....and a camping theme bath set. So I bought the toothbrush holder, mostly because it lights up. I figure I could use it to hold crochet hooks and pens...maybe even toothbrushes :) It looks a lot nicer in person than it does here and it's pretty bright for a little thing. I saw a lot of other things that I would love to use to make my little Aliner a home once it's done, but I had to exhibit some self control and realize I have a lot more to worry about before I can even think about all that. So this little trinket will have to fill that urge to nest for now. By the way, it's still freaking raining.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Still Raining

Mike did a bit of work today, just a little on the opposite side. It's still raining. It's suppose to clear up nice by Thursday. In the meantime we've both been surfing the net for supplies, inspiration and knowledge. I drive him nuts when I start looking and/or thinking about decorating because we just have to far to go to be thinking about that kind of stuff, but I'm a woman...end of story. So I found the cutest fabric (lol). It would have to be used as an accent because it could get gaudy quick. It is manufactured by Hoffman Fabric and there are a few sellers on Etsy.

And look at these buttons, whatever I end up doing these will be part of it....so cute. Maybe a solid pillow with these as accents, or even a cushion?
These are on Etsy too, linky...linky. For $3.60. Not bad. I need to take a looksy in my local fabric shops and see what I can find.

I hope all this rain we're having means that 4th of July weekend is going to be sunny and hot. We're going camping from the 3rd-7th. For those of you reading this that do not know us, the tent on the right here is what we camp in now. We had Weathermaster for years and replaced it (insert longer story here) for the new updated one. She has self rolling windows, a great door and a remote LED light built in. The Aliner will not be replacing her either, this tent is awesome and has years of wonderful trips ahead of her. The girls have an L shaped Coleman and love thiers too. We're all looking forward to this trip, as usual!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Soggy Update 6

It's been raining all day! But we got a couple pieces in today. And despite it being Father's Day this is what Mike wanted to do, he wants it done and honestly so do I. He jacked the camper up from the frame today. We had taken out a bit too much of the old floor so the back end started to settle down on us. It made it much easier to put the new wood in and we'll do this for the other sides too.
We're going to do all the edges and lay the center in last. Mike is keeping it square by making sure the trailer is level and is planing off the edges to make sure each piece is square. There are a few new pictures in the "Update 6 Album" on the right hand side bar.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Update Five

One week since we brought her home now, we got some work done today too. We are working a bit at a time taking out the rotted floor and replacing it with new because we do not have the space to take the top off from the bottom. We have started at the door and to the right. You can see all the pics on the right hand side here --> Update 5. We also had an end of the year party for our youngest today too, so we are beat! We are going to have some dinner and relax for the rest of the night. Rain is knocking on our back door so we've had to do some temporary sealing to keep the rain getting in on our new floor, a trashbag over the baggage door and some packaging tape across the top of the rock guard. Tomorrow is Father's Day. I'm kinda hoping Mike is planning on relaxing for the day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain Day

It's Thursday and it's pouring out, has been all day. We're tired from trying to work on the Aliner (she needs a name) and everything else we have to do (mind you we have a house, both work full time, 2 kids, 2 cats, a dog and a rat....). But we did go in and check for leaks, and nothing obvious. The corners that everyone warns of look dry as can be. My personal theory, especially after ripping everything out, about leakage and water damage is:
  • it leaks everywhere the weather stripping and caulking is damaged or missing.
  • it leaked at the hot water heater, not sure if it's the unit itself or at the vent (cracked caulking).
  • rain water sprays in to the fridge air vents, there are two, an upper and a lower. When anything goes down the road water sprays upward. I saw a mod where someone added screens to these vents to keep mudwasps out or something....but I don't know, maybe some snap on cover just for traveling in the rain?
  • the weatherstriping at the door looks like it was not put it right from the factory, so it was doomed from the get go.
  • and the obvious 2"hole in the vent did not help, but I think she was already rotten long befoe that happened (probably the December 2008 Ice Storm).

Mike and I are going to go check out Grossmans Outlet, probably this weekend, and see what they have for linoleum, plywood maybe some low cost cabinets (instead of rebuilding our own....or something we can mod out). We are also going to go to Harbor Frieght, they have sand blasters on sale for $20. This place is great for projects! I really, really want to get this solar panel set up....$40!

Everyday I add more links on the sidebar, there is a lot of info out there! Thanks to everyone else that has been there and done this and puts their information and experiences up, it helps a lot!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Update 4

Everything but the floor is out! We worked for about an hour and a half after supper tonight and got the rest of the cabinets, wiring and heater out. We're going to replace the water pipes with PEX so we need to take the old pipes out too. Using flexible hosing will reduce the leakage opportunities at all the connections and elbows. But otherwise everything is our but the floor....which is starting to dry up, lol. Mike is going to be tired tonight, but I think he's pretty happy all that stuff is out. We're going to have to figure out where to get rid of all this stuff.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Update Three

I'm going to stop calling them days and call them "updates" now. Welcome to update 3. Over the last couple of days Mike and I have worked on things when we can. It's hard during the week, he works nights and I work days. But the kids will be out of school next week and I can start going in early and getting out early.

We got the power converter, the water heater and the refrigerator out. I had worked on the front end of the fridge last night, and he had the sense to go from behind and unbolt it back there, disconnect the gas line and unplug it (not hardwired in). The water heater is pushed out from the inside after everything is disconnected. The power converter is easy enough, just tedious pulling out the wire staples. Pictures are on the right sidebar, labeled Update 3.

Advice is coming in from the Yahoo group too. I learned today why everyone takes the top of the bottom and it makes sense. If you take the floor out it is part of the support system (along with all the cabinets and such) then the walls will come down on themselves. So now we are thinking about doing one section at a time.

Oh and the fridge will not fit through the door. Guess we'll fold in the wall and lift it out. I want to clean everything as much as possible before we reinstall them. I want to reuse as much as possible, not just for money reasons, for not being wasteful reasons too :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday....nothing to do with progress....

Just looking for inspiration. Here are some interesting pictures from surfing the net. Some are from Chalet, some from the Yahoo group I joined....some very talented people out there.
This picture is of a Chalet, with a permanent bed in place. This is how ours was already modded and I'd like to keep it that way. This next pic shows the storage underneath. This is in a new unit.

Cool shot, with some nice ideas. Looks so comfy :)

I love some of the storage mods!

This guy might have a little bit too much time on his hands, but this is kinda cool!

ETA Later.....Mike took out the power converter and picked up some colored electrical tape to keep track of what wires go to what. I attempted to try to pull the fridge out. I pulled out the little screw covers around the inside of the door and unscrewed there, but I could not figure out how to get the door off to get to the other two behind the hinge. It didn't seem to loosen up anything anyway. I think we have to get the cabinets to the left of it out first, but I really don't want to screw around with the gas and the rest of the wiring without him (he's snoozing for work tonight). So I pulled some of the staples out that are holding the wiring down near where the converter came out from. I think I am going to add a FAQ to the side bar, or maybe I should call it the current dilemmas.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day Two

The floor is worse than we thought. And we are having a hard time finding any details of how anyone actually separated the floor from the rest of the unit. We have found a lot of pictures of before and after, but not so many during. We joined the Yahoo group, there is one member who has done several floors according to the postings. I left a message asking for some more details, so hopefully we'll hear from him. In the meantime we are going to take and post as many pictures and details of our process, hopefully it'll help the next guy out.
We also took a ride out to Mann's (in Rutland, not Barre....silly me, it's been a while since I've been out there). We looked at the new ones and some other campers. They had some huge pop ups! New these Aliners are going for around 17k! That's kind of motivating. Mann's had some replacement parts and Mike is going to call back tomorrow when the "Aliner Man" is there....I forgot his name, hopefully Mike didn't.
I am going to probably start posting the slide shows in the side bar to help document the pictures. There are too many to put right into the daily postings or updates.
Mike is going to document the wiring and plumbing so we're not so lost putting it back together. The work week starts tomorrow so not to likely we'll get much done during the week, but I will keep researching as much as possible.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day One

Today, June 13th, 2009, we brought home an Aliner camper that was given to us by our good friends Sue & Alan. It is a 1999, not sure yet which model. We know Sue and Alan mostly through camping at Otter River State Park. But I also know Alan through my Uncle Mike as they have both worked at Norton's (St. Gobain nowadays) for years. A few years ago Sue and Alan stopped using the Aliner and started using the Yurts at camp. Over this few years we all tried to get together to talk about us taking over ownership of the Aliner. Our lifes are all so busy that we finally got around to doing it today. We probably would've had an easier time redoing it if we had taken them up on the offer back then, but that's okay I'm glad we finally did....and I think Sue is real happy to have it out of the back yard too! It's kinda funny because we all feel like the other is helping the other out. They don't have to figure out what to do with it or look at the white lump in the back yard anymore and we get the chance to restore a really cool camper back the way we want it to look like. We are very thankful that they passed it on to us and we can't wait to be able to go camping at Otter River someday after it is done and let them see it. But she does need a lot of work and it's going to take a while because we do not have a lot of money, none really, to put towards this thing. But we've seen it in it's hey day and know just like a home it has a soul and is worth the hard work and patience. The floor is rotted out, a known problem for this camper, particly 1998-9. There is a window vent on the top with a hole in it and the weather seal is shot so there is a bit of water damage too. Mike has done a bunch of research on the Aliner over the few years we've been vowing to do this and he has a pretty good grip on what to do to repair it and where to get parts. He says everything is replacable. I love my tent and really haven't been to gong hoo (however you spell that) about doing this, hence the lack of nagging to go pick it up for three years, lol....but now that we've brought her home and I see her in the driveway I am starting to have a change of heart. I have found some online resources and linked them to the right. There is a club, of course, and there's a Yahoo group for everything so why not Aliners too? I haven't joined any of them yet, but I wanted to bookmark and document what I've found. If you happen by and own an Aliner yourself please leave a comment! Leave a comment even if you don't ;-) This blog probably will not be updated often, but I will post when we do something or find something. Wish us luck!