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Old 06-12-2014, 06:47 AM   #61
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Shower Drain

I have been having an extended challenge getting the shower drain removed so I could seal a leak. The leak started from under the shower pan at the end of our last trip. Now that I have things apart and seen how it was put together, I can see how the leak started and what caused it. I recall stepping on the drain that last night. It shifted and started leaking.

To begin, here is the removed drain on the right and a sink drain on the left for comparison. The plastic tailpiece and P-trap below is standard stuff in the plumbing world.

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The way the shower was put together, it is evident that they had installed the drain while the stall was outside the trailer. They then drilled a 6" hole in the floor and placed the shower unit before the walls went on. The metal assembly on the right was later connected to the drain piping. That is when my problems started.

The assembly was installed such that the two black rubber gaskets were on either side of the fiberglass floor pan. It was cranked very tight with no evidence of any sealant. It was so tight that I could not get a grip on the lock nut using multiple tools: pipe wrench, slip joint pliers, chisel and hammer, or bad language. When viewed from below, the lock nut was 2" above the bottom of the floor. This inset nature defeated my approaches. Working on my back in the basement (you may recall I currently have the rear walls of the basement removed) was awkward and uncomfortable. Tiny guys may feel different. I eventually loosened the lock ring up using the reverse approach like this.

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Once loose, I had a different problem. Now I had to hold the drain assembly while trying to turn the lock ring. Sigh. I then went to a destructive removal approach. With the lock ring now a little bit away from the bottom of the shower pan, I felt safer drilling through it at two points. I did this to most easily remove the greatest amount of metal with the least effort. I then used a Dremel tool to grind away the rest and the lock ring fell off. Here is an unsurprising picture of the shower with no drain.

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When I examined the drain, I saw that I was actually never going to be able to get it apart any way other than by destroying it. When the plumbing was attached, FR pre-assembled the tailpiece and that washer you see in the first photo using epoxy. In the process, epoxy got smeared all over the drain threads. That is likely good for the installer but bad for the repairer.

The leak occurred between the drain and the upper gasket inside the shower visible in this pre-destruction photo.

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I am going to reassemble the drain with new hardware using RTV silicone sealant on both sides of the upper gasket. I hope to use a slip ring to make future disassembly easier. You can see a white one on the sink drain above next to the lock nut.
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Old 06-15-2014, 04:45 PM   #62
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Shower Drain and Scratches

The shower drain repair is almost done. I used the JR Products drain (#9495-211-022 "Shower Strainer") which ended up being identical to the original drain. For installation, I used RTV silicone to seal the drain to the shower pan. It is curing at the moment. When cured, I will attach the locknut and drain assembly from below then do a leak test.

We ended up with a couple of places where the interior wood finish was scratched at delivery and by our gentle children. I went around today with a paper towel with wood stain on it to help hide those scratches. The biggest problem with them is that the scratch exposed the light colored wood underneath and made it obvious. The stain moved those scratches into the background making them less visible. I will likely need to do this again after our summer trip.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:47 PM   #63
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Shower Drain

Now this is done--finally. Everything is all connected again. A static water test (tape over drain screen and pour two gallons of water into the shower pan) showed no leakage. You have to look closely to see the water line at a little more than an inch deep at the drain.

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Removing the tape drained the water and filled the trap. Interestingly, surface tension across the grating holes prevented the water from draining until I broke it. The draining also checked the pipe joints below for leaks since it moves more water than during a shower.
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:45 PM   #64
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Entry Step Carpet

I looked at the pre-made carpet step covers available from Camco (#42925 Wrap Around Step Rug). They are nice and easy to install. I foresee a problem if the spring loosens or pops free since there is a good probability that the step cover will end up on the side of the highway. Amazon has them for $8.97 each. I need eight so that would have cost me over $76. The cost at the local dealer was even higher.

My solution was to go to Lowe's and have them cut me a 2' strip of gray indoor/outdoor carpet (#97913 Stratos Gray) as my raw material for a little over $11. The guy said that my request was common for their store. My steps are just over 23" wide, 8.5" deep, and 1" thick. The standard 12' wide carpet roll cut into eight pieces gives me 18" for each of the eight step covers. This proved to be just enough for the curved-front steps. It was plenty for the straight steps

Some reality: The 12' wide roll was actually 12' 2" so measure before you trust and cut. Also, I asked for 2' and actually got 28". That is why I had to make allowances when I placed the grommets. It should be obvious which side I will be trimming.

First I cut the roll into the eight equal pieces of 18" x 24" throwing out the scrap. I then added four 5/16" brass grommets to each piece using this kit about 3" in from the corners. This will give me plenty of room to trim the edges and space if I need to replace any grommets in the future. The strange offset is because I measured from a single side. If I did it again, I would put the grommets about 2" from the edge.

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I then took the carpet pieces and trimmed each one to fit a specific step since they are all slightly different widths. I labeled each with its location on the back. We have two different types of steps on the trailer. The front is original equipment, but they used to be on the back. I crunched into a parking lot pole early in my ownership with the front steps suffering catastrophic damage. Once I got the bent carcass off its mounts and straightened out the mounting brackets, I moved the rear steps to the front so we could get into the main room of the trailer. At least no welds were broken. I bought and installed new steps on the rear.

I fastened each step cover through its grommets using stainless steel wire typically used to lock wire mechanical fittings. These are not super tight, but they should also not be falling off. I need to solve the droopy carpet under the curved steps.

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I will see how these hold up during our summer travels.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:55 AM   #65
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OC Awning Poles and Hold Down Kit

I finally gotten around to fully installing OC's awning poles and hold down kit. I have had the upper brackets on for a while and rigged the poles as needed.

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I have two of his latest/last batch of aluminum poles and brackets. Since I have a 5er that has satin black trim, I decided to not even try to match the color and texture. Instead, I painted the poles and brackets with a rattle can of Rust-Oleum Hammered Black.

After that, it was a simple matter of following the instructions. For the lower bracket, drill and set one pop rivet. Then align the bracket before drilling and setting the second rivet. For drilling holes in the poles, I used the same drill bit I used for the pop rivets before drilling it larger to handle the safety pin. My front pole hangs about 3" below the front cap, but it clears the truck bed rail.

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I added some stick-on foam rubber to the inside of the lower brackets to reduce the paint chipping. That also nicely covered the rivets.

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Three of the four rivets did not install cleanly using my years-old "economy" hand riveter and I had to break off the shanks using pliers. One of those did not break cleanly and I had to grind it smooth with an angle grinder. This was a great weekend to digging through the equipment and using the various tools I have gathered.

I also confirmed that the Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C works fine for low voltage. I plugged in an old vacuum to clean up the sawdust from my Dremel grinding to enlarge the rear sink faucet holes to make the new faucet sit flat. The EMS shut off power to the trailer when the voltage dropped too low. At the moment, I can only power the trailer via an extension cord to get some charge back into the battery.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:11 PM   #66
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Loose Interior Trim

The bedroom trim above the closet popped loose on the way home from the dealer back in February.

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While I could hand nail it back into place, I had no Brad nails that were easily findable. This was an excellent excuse to put my finish nailer to use. Once I moved the compressor, the hose reached the trailer bedroom and it easy to nail the strip back in place.

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It was easy to see why the factory nails failed--they were driven in too far. With almost no grip within the trim, normal travel flexing was enough the push the trim off the nails.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:17 PM   #67
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Vent and Mattress Covers

I installed two MaxxAir Fanmate Black Vent Covers and one MaxxAir II Black (AKA "Smoke") Vent Cover. This one goes faster if you have a helper to raise and lower the vent covers as you need. The instructions are very good once you work your way through all the cautions. The first parts of the MaxxAir II assembly can be done on the ground before you go onto the hot roof. Our two Fantastic fans are installed near the curb side wall, so I did the first half of each install from a ladder.

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The nuts included in the parts bag will leap from the roof given the slightest opportunity. You can counter their escape plan by installing while on concrete or asphalt. It only took me ten minutes of searching on asphalt to find my two escaped nuts.

One reason we got a bunkroom trailer is for the kids. As every parent knows, kids leak. We have had mattress covers on every mattress in our house since our first child arrived and they have saved our beds from numerous accidents. We do the same in the trailer. These single/twin mattress covers are for deeper home mattresses, but they work just fine on the 4" bunk mattress pads.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:24 PM   #68
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I think I would remove that front pole during travel. If I had that much clearance, my bed would be all beat up.

It all looks good!!!
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:28 PM   #69
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Again, thanks for sharing. I have picked up ideas and cleaned the bathroom skylight. The dealership now working on outside light from relay board.

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Old 06-29-2014, 05:24 PM   #70
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Pro Tip

If you use screws to hang things in your trailer, you should probably have a depth gauge.

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Mine is just a piece of stiff copper wire. After drilling a hole, I poke it through to verify nothing is back there (pipe, wire) before I insert the screw. I have found all walls are 1-1/2" deep. Interior walls are empty. Exterior walls have Styrofoam.
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