Tini Home, the Mad Dash to the Finish.

Posted: May 13, 2012 in Tin Can Tourists, Vintage trailers

Here at Cool McCool’s Garage, there’s a mad rush to get the Tini-Home (sort of) finished for its debut at the TCT Spring Rally in Milford, MI.  Tempers are short, the list is long, and there may be a couple of things that don’t make it from the “To Do” list, to the “Finished!” column.

Today at least it’s not raining, which it did all day yesterday, and pretty hard at times.  One of the simple things I had to get done was to mount the storage box on the tongue, and figure out a propane tank mount.  The constant rain, and resultant soggy ground didn’t help this at all, coupled with the fact that my torch set and welder were both over at Dads shop.  I spent the larger part of the only rain free hour and half of the day getting those loaded up and brought home. 

By the time that was done, the rain had settled in to a steady drizzle, but things had to progress.  The tongue had been lengthened sometime in the trailers sketchy past, and was topped with a 5/16″, evidently hardened (because I later broke a tap off in it) piece of boiler plate.  The plan was to cut a chunk of this out, drop it to bottom of the tongue to use as a base for the propane tank.  This involved standing on wet grass to weld the thing back together.  Holding 220 volts in one hand, leaning on a piece of wet iron while standing in wet grass, in the rain, isn’t my idea of a fun time, but somebody had to do it.

Happily I didn’t get electrocuted, and moved on to cutting a 13″ hole in the shiney diamond plate cover.  Recalling my trouble reading a tape measure in making the cover, I was a little leery about the potential of ruining another $60 piece of aluminum, but this time the tape didn’t lie, and I stayed on the marks cutting the hole. 

The problem arose when I mounted the (very pretty, don’t you think?) storage box.  I’d put shims between the box and trailer body to keep it in position while I drilled holes through the box into the tongue.  The idea was to drill, then tap 4 holes, and just bolt it on.  The problem was two phased.  First, one of the shims fell out, which I didn’t notice because with the lid open, I couldn’t see it, and secondly the (insert colorful expletive here) —-ing  steel they used is so hard it ate one drill bit, and I broke a 5/16 tap.  The first problem led to the holes, laboriously drilled in the tongue to accept the mounting bolts,  being drilled in the wrong places, as the box was shoved up against the body on one side, but with the other side the correct 3/4″ away.  This was revealed when, cold, wet and finally sure something had gone right, I shut the lid, saw the problem and went to bang my head on the garage wall.

Evidently the colorful epithets made out cat, Milo, so upset he had to hide in the sink.  Kim did disappear for a while, and one tape measure, the one with the marks OBVIOUSLY laid out wrong is now somewhere out in the cornfield…

After I calmed down, moved box, made new holes in the rain, it was time to go get a battery and wire that up.  I was going to just borrow one from the Spartan, but we decided that was going to be a nuisance, and the drive to Tractor Supply was a good “cooling down” break. 

We focused on making a disaster of the interior next.  I’d cut and painted the vinyl quarter round trim for the corner where wall meets ceiling, and got the front two stapled on, no problem.   A couple of the other ones however broke when I stapled them.   So, we’ll be making new ones today. 

The wiring went trouble-free, happily, and we are really pleased with how the 12v lights look, and the illumination.  They’re halogen bulbs, very bright, and fixtures look nice too.  I put a switch on the dinette booth base just inside the door for the switch to light all the exterior lights, which really looks cool while the trailer is parked.  The door handle light is LED, and it is much more effective as a porch light than the one on the Spartan.  We may have to replace that one with one of the LED units.

We both hated the way the storage bay doors looked with the frames black, so I masked them off and re-shot them with some silver “Cast Coat” I had in the garage.  This stuff, although it’s a satin finish, matches the exterior color perfectly, and the doors now look like they belong on the trailer, not like an afterthought.

Today, the stove and fridge door get painted, the new trim has to be cut, painted and installed without breaking it, the water tank gets hooked up, and some cabinet door latches installed.  I have Tuesday off next week, and would like to NOT spend every second of it frantically working on this trailer.

We’ll see  how that works out…

  1. Bob says:

    Looks good ! I got a tape at a garage sale if ypu need it.

  2. Karen says:

    I have enjoyed following your hard work on your camper. It looks fantastic.

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