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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Starting Demo, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

We started stripping down the old gal to see what she was hiding and it wasn't pretty.  Above is a photo of what was hiding underneath the stove.  Note the two mouse traps.  Now that seems like an odd place to put a mouse trap.  Did the mice drag them into hiding?  Among the nasties, we found a piece of a slip of paper which shows the last couple of digits of the Vehicle Identification Number!  It shows that the trailer was registered in Illinois - maybe this will help in tracking down a title.  We found the key to the luggage door inside the top of the stove. The worst was the discovery that the mice had stripped down a live wire to the point that there was little between us and a fiery death.  We'll be re-wiring.  We found lots and lots of mouse dung.  There is one piece of roof framing that supported a mouse mansion that is going to need to be removed.  The good news is that we haven't found any rot (yet).  The water tank is going to be removed (as soon as we can figure out how to do that - any suggestions?).  Then we'll remove the rest of the cabinetry and flooring to assess the floor framing.

Our general plan is to keep the layout, keep the cabinetry (but replace areas that are just too gross, like the bottoms of the drawers) or water damaged (like some of the birch panels).  I am hoping to refinish the wood using a shellac (mixture of clear and amber).

We will keep the old stove - We took it apart and I'm cleaning it.  The door of the stove and the top will be sent out to have new white porcelain put on them.  I have contacted a local fabricator to re-chrome the panel behind the knobs, the door handle and the trim at the top back of the stove.

The original ice box was replaced by a previous owner with a newer AC/DC refrigerator.  I haven't had any luck finding an old ice box to put back in the kitchen.  Soooo, we are going to make a cabinet box to slide in the opening, trim out the opening and add a shelf to support 2 Pottery Barn baskets (one on the bottom of the cabinet and one on the shelf).  These baskets are large enough to hold pots/pans and I think will look great.  We may hook up the refrigerator in the closet or just buy a 5 day cooler and store that in the closet.

All electrical will be replaced, new insulation, and a new water tank will be installed.  We are hoping to add an on demand hot water heater under the sink.  The compact didn't come with hot water, but that is a luxury I would like to add.  We'll also put in an electrical inverter to convert AC to DC and allow us to add a battery.

We'll add a strip of lights behind the wavy trim on each of the side cabinets and the cabinets above the kitchen.  I plan to replace the yellow sliding laminate doors in the kitchen with a frosted acrylic panel so the lights will shine through when they are closed.  We'll also add electrical outlets.

The countertop in the kitchen will be replaced with aqua boomerang formica.  The tabletop was replaced with aqua boomerang by the previous owner and there is some left over.

The aluminum roof needs to be replaced as well.  I found a local fabricator who can fabricate the panels. The sides aren't in bad shape, so we'll keep those.  I need to polish all of the aluminum, replace the window weatherstripping and oil as needed.

New bench cushions will need to be made.  The tops of the benches were removed by a previous owner, so we'll be making new tops (and probably modifying design so that the beds will meet in the middle without a gap).

The outside will be repainted but I'm keeping the pink color.  The rims need to be sandblasted and re-painted.

Cripe, I'm getting tired just writing about all that needs to be done!

I'll be adding a list of what we spent, where we got it and how much it cost to this site.  We purchased Pearl for $2100 and we've put together a rough budget to accomplish everything we want to do.  We estimated about $6,500.  This gave my husband, Dave, heart palpitations so we are trying to figure out where to trim.  Boy, stuff adds up fast!

Decorating Note:

I found this really neat flooring.  It is from Tarkett and is called fiber flooring.  You can check out an article at This Old House about it:

I need to clean the stove now so I can send of the parts to be restored.  I'll post photos.

Thanks for visiting!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Trailer By Any Other Name Would Smell as Foul

Ok, what to name her?  The suggestions came fast and furious.  Everything ranging from Pink Princess (my 9 year old girl) to Doom Bringer (15 year old son).  My son also suggested The Black Pearl, which, considering his other suggestions, was a clear attempt at compromise.  In the spirit of that compromise, I suggested The Pink Pearl.  Ahhhhhhhh no, still too precious.  So I suggested, "What if we call her The Pearl and when we say that, I'll think The Pink Pearl and you can think The Black Pearl?"  Reluctant head nod.

So she's The Pearl

She's Home!

We received our new (old) 1961 ish Shasta Compact on Sunday evening at midnight - the witching hour (I hope that won't be a sign of things to come).  The previous owner was kind enough to bring her all the way here to not-so-sunny Cape Cod (thanks Bob!).

The first thing we did was check under the trailer (she's a girl).  We'll be naming her soon.  As you can see from the photos, she is 12 feet of "Needs TLC".  The thing that you can't tell from the pictures is that she exudes the sweet aroma of au de mouse urine.  I took a bucket of bleachy water to her on Monday morning.

She already has one fan (besides me).  A neighbor's friend stopped by to take a peek at her.  Turns out she's a Vintage Shasta owner too (go Lisa).  In fact, it is entirely Lisa's fault that I started this journey.  I saw her adorable red shasta parked in front of the neighbor's house last summer and I was irrevocably hooked!  It's a communicable disease.

View photos at