Tini-Home trailer parts is parts.

Posted: January 29, 2012 in Tin Can Tourists, Vintage trailers

Kim and I made a trip to Bontragers RV Surplus in White Pigeon MI on friday and started buying stuff for the Tini-Home project.  We had fun browsing around the place,  all kinds of neat RV, mobile and modular home stuff from the nearby Elkhart/Middlebury Indiana RV capital of the world.  We had gone with a short shopping list, and of course found WAY more stuff than we had originally planned.  So much more, in fact, that I’m heading back tomorrow with the truck to REALLY load up!

One big thing we found that we didn’t know we needed were all new windows.  The trailers original front window was gone, replaced with a couple of crappy jolousy windows from the ’60’s, that looked bad and would have leaked worse.  We debated a bit (OK, argued) about whether or not to replace it, and with what.  The modern ones, mostly in big box white, would have looked out-of-place, at least in my mind.  We settled on a black, almost frameless, tempered glass framed picture window, with two awning windows at the bottom, that’s the now popular dark charcoal tint.  Then, we found a smaller, similar style one that we thought would work well in the curb side, behind the door, over the bed, as it had no windows at all on the curb side.  After that, we found two 48×18 awnings windows that’ll be perfect for the kitchen, and rear window.  So, all new windows, screened, tempered, tinted glass, for, get this, about $125. 

We also got a fresh water tank that’ll mount under the bed, a pair of gas rams (for the bed frame of the Spartan), some misc. hardware, a pair of exterior access doors for the storage area under the bed, a bunch of butyl seam tape I planned using to seal the skin, and some really neat,  high-end light fixtures.

We also found Birch plywood, with beautiful veneer on BOTH sides, in 5mm thickness, for half of what the junk at Home Depot was, some 3/4 Birch at similar savings for cabinet bases, doors, etc, AND, a roll of composite RV skin.  Now, rather than skin it with aluminum panels, with multiple seams, as original, I’m going to make laminate walls of birch, foam, and the composite, all glued together with construction adhesive.  Only two seams, it’s a beautiful bright metallic silver that looks like mill finish aluminum, that won’t dent, corrode, leak, need polishing or painting.  And, it’s VERY inexpensive. 

So, we had a FUN day, and I get to back to get the plywood, the composite skin, some 1×3’s that aren’t warped and knot filled, a step,  tongue jack,  foam panels, and maybe a 3/4 mattress (they had those too), and all the other stuff we need to build an RV and couldn’t get in the car.  It’s really a neat place to browse around, looking at all the different items they have, thinking of all the neat things I could build using this or that.  Dad is going to go with me, it’ll be fun!

  1. Kim says:

    Inexpensive is a relative term!!!

  2. Kim says:

    And on the way home we stopped at the SPCA and adopted a puppy! Quite a day!!

  3. flynbrian48 says:

    Yes. The puppy was the BEST part! That’s for another post though…

  4. Ray Coleman says:

    Brian………..you NEVER fail to amaze………..wish I weren’t already so old……I’d like to grow up just like you! :-))


  5. Beth Bricker says:

    OK, I’ve been to Bontragers and somehow must have missed the 3/4 mattresses. How much were they? I have since bought a twin , the 3/4 at Acme bedding were expensive.

  6. John B says:


    Can you tell us a little more specifics about the composite skin?

    Name, what the cost was, etc.

    …I make a safe assumption that how to apply it is coming soon, so I’ll wait on that question…

    Thanks! Nice work!

    • flynbrian48 says:

      John, it cost .60 per sq. ft. It’s 8′ wide, and I needed 55 feet, but the roll they (Bontragers) had was approx. 70-75 feet long, so they just gave me all of it for the 55′ price. If I’d been thinking, I’d have had them cut the lengths I needed right there off the roll, because now I have to make some sort of framework to hold the roll so I can cut them. It’s pretty heavy, must be over 200 lbs, so it’s awkward. I’m always making more work for myself…

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