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Old 06-30-2012, 11:02 AM   #41
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Our 2005 Wildcat had a very strong smell and when closed up on hot days we could not stand being in it. Our eyes would burn and sore throats. We had to keep windows and vents open even in the winter months. Hard to do in a cold climate like Co. Our Silverback has no odor except new wood. My thoughts on the subject, no real regulation in the RV industry and everything is manufactured so fast lots of short cuts. The cost of an RV now is like buying a house, and yet the quality in my opinion has gone down. We have owned 5 RVs and the quality is not like the first one we owned, wish I had kept it..
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:42 PM   #42
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And exactly the reason I'm building my own. I'm not a big regulation person because I believe the purchaser has more power over bad design and constructed RV's than the government ever could. Remember all the FEMA trailers were inspected by a federal official before being released for delivery to those needing temporary living quarters. The TT's used by FEMA were also as you point out, constructed so quickly to meet government demands that there was virtually no way to let them gas out long enough before being delivered. I don't blame the TT manufacturers for this. The government said, make them cheap and make them fast. Though this caused some serious health issues I also look at it from another point in that these people would have had even less to live in without the trailers. However, the recipients of the trailers should have received some documentation on how to mitigate the problem as much as possible. It sounds like the Silverback is a superior design compared to the Wildcat. Building the interior myself gives me the oppertunity to install that kind of quality. I've always found items inside TT's that to me are poorly designed, even on the expensive rigs. At minimum I was seeing $35k for a 32' TT and still not liking the cheap parts used. One thing that is interesting is while gutting this Forest River FEMA TT I've found it's construction is very solid. One area that I did find really poor was insulation. I'm replacing all the very thin fiberglass with radiant barior foam. However, in most areas I really had to work to get shelves, cupboards, and walls apart. I can hardly wait to get the new interior going.
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EPDM Rubber Roof Installation - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbraK...hannel&list=UL Pulled by a 2002 Chevy Avalanche, 496cid Rat motor, 12k Lb. tow package, leveling hitch, dual sway controls & electric brakes.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:55 PM   #43
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I took a look at your project site. It looks roomy with everything removed. It makes me think they would make a nice office or workshop. I agree with you about the quality. It find it is not the best you can buy but by far it is not the worst.

I do have a few questions:
Do any of the interior walls provide structural support to the exterior walls?

When you removed the refrigerator and stove, were there any other valves or fittings on the gas line for attaching a gas/electric RV refrigerator?


I think in some way these FEMA trailers get a bad rap.
They were built fast and cheaply (if the gooberment can do such a thing).

I bought one for $2100 and it was new, had no leaks and everything except the microwave worked. It never had much of a smell (except when I purchased a foam mattress, then holy cow did it reek) and to date I have spent over 50 nights in it during Deer and Turkey seasons.

I fitted a dump valve to the 3" sewer and use 40' of rino hose going to a 42 Gallon tote tank.

I found that the tank was to tall to get enough drop from the valve.

I have added a water tank under the bunk and put a pump behind the WH. I found I don't use it much. I just put a water container on the space beside the bathroom sink and let it flow into the toilet when I need to use it.

It's not efficient at 1.5 gallons a flush.

I have been planning to add Black and Grey tanks and I have a design made up, however I am thinking about re plumbing a dump valve to a straight drop from the toilet. Then I can slide the blue tank under the valve and attach a short flex hose.

With a straight drop I could use a RV toilet and much less water per flush.

By adding a valve to the gray lines I can bypass the blue tank and pipe my gray water away from the camper.

It is usually just me so I think I could get 15 days before I need to drag the blue tank into my ATV trailer.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:26 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanati
I took a look at your project site. It looks roomy with everything removed. It makes me think they would make a nice office or workshop. I agree with you about the quality. It find it is not the best you can buy but by far it is not the worst.
Funny because I was thinking the government should have offered the FEMA TT's to law enforcement, the military, and organizations like the Red Cross. For 1/4 the price they could have refurbished them customized for their use and saved he tax payers a lot of money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanati
I do have a few questions:
Do any of the interior walls provide structural support to the exterior walls?
Little to none because the walls don't go clear across. They break part way. I have seen no sway in the trailer walls without the 2 other side walls. I'm sure when I add in the cabinets for storage, my fridge/freezer, kitchen counter and such that'll add structural support. Those items will be securely bolted to the floor and outer walls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanati
When you removed the refrigerator and stove, were there any other valves or fittings on the gas line for attaching a gas/electric RV refrigerator?
My TT came with the full size electric so the only thing near was the 120 outlet. However the gas line to the oven was near. Adding a splitter would be easy for a propane refrigerator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanati
I think in some way these FEMA trailers get a bad rap.
They were built fast and cheaply (if the gooberment can do such a thing).
I agree. To many people expect a large trailer like the FEMA trailers to be like the $35k trailers on the RV lots. It amazes me how even the people who were given these trailers for free, complained about them. Now I realize that these people were clueless about care of a travel trailer. In the same breath, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize, these TT's aren't homes and will require care and maintenance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanati
I bought one for $2100 and it was new, had no leaks and everything except the microwave worked. It never had much of a smell (except when I purchased a foam mattress, then holy cow did it reek) and to date I have spent over 50 nights in it during Deer and Turkey seasons.
You got a great deal. A few years ago when I purchased mine, $2000.00 would have gotten you a pretty badly rotted out shell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanati
I fitted a dump valve to the 3" sewer and use 40' of rino hose going to a 42 Gallon tote tank.

I found that the tank was to tall to get enough drop from the valve.

I have added a water tank under the bunk and put a pump behind the WH. I found I don't use it much. I just put a water container on the space beside the bathroom sink and let it flow into the toilet when I need to use it.

It's not efficient at 1.5 gallons a flush.

I have been planning to add Black and Grey tanks and I have a design made up, however I am thinking about re plumbing a dump valve to a straight drop from the toilet. Then I can slide the blue tank under the valve and attach a short flex hose.

With a straight drop I could use a RV toilet and much less water per flush.

By adding a valve to the gray lines I can bypass the blue tank and pipe my gray water away from the camper.

It is usually just me so I think I could get 15 days before I need to drag the blue tank into my ATV trailer.
I've picked up 2 tanks for waste (1 for black and the other for gray) water. I'll be mounting those under and like you mention, I plan to try and go with a direct drop into the black water tank. I picked up an RV toilet. Not sure where I'm going to put my fresh water tank. I'd like to get all three tanks as close to the axels as possible to help prevent tongue induced sway. I have two friction sway bars on my load leveling hitch but still want to be cautious when it comes to moving liquids in tanks. I'm in a similar boat, just me and my three labs. Once I get everything together and believe it's all working I want to live out of the trailer for a week, jotting down what improvements I need. Then I think I'll be ready to hit the road with it. Good luck with your work and feel free to take a look from time to time as I rebuild mine; and ask questions if you have any.
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Todd - 2006 Forest River 27BH (previous FEMA trailer, rebuild in progress.) https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=1506dbb708
EPDM Rubber Roof Installation - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbraK...hannel&list=UL Pulled by a 2002 Chevy Avalanche, 496cid Rat motor, 12k Lb. tow package, leveling hitch, dual sway controls & electric brakes.
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