Jim, thanks for the "good luck" on the tire repair. I'm not going to ask you how you know I needed good luck. Yes, the tire tore out the back wheel well and yes, it took us the rest of the day to go to town and buy a new tire because yes, the spare was jammed from the damage to the wheel well and yes, our running lights are knocked out.
But no, we are not worried. It's dawn and when the sun comes up and I can drive without running lights (careful with my lack of turning lights and brake lights) we'll be in the driveway of the nearest rv repair shop. Jane has taken Hula the Wonder Dog on some long walks, and I have been careful not to raid the fridge for adult beverages. Otherwise I'd be blotto at this stage of things.
Heh. We're on the side of the road with a blow out so Jane took Hula for a long walk. Beautiful fall day with the Illinois harvest going full blast on a Sunday. Amazingly road service is on its way within minutes. If we don't have issues dropping the spare tire, we'll be on our way shortly, it appears. Of course there's many a slip between the cup and the lip. So, we'll see.
Well, it look like Jane, Hula and I need to post a Trip Report. I'll see if I can make some photos of the buffalo round - up if we get there in time. Also the Indian encampment at Standing Rock. One never knows what the road will bring.
That's why we travel in a truck camper. We go anywhere at any time.
Meanwhile, thanks to DE Bishop for the wise words, NYCsteve for Sylvan Lake and the Sunday Gulch Trail and the info that the park is dog friendly, O6Fargo for encouraging a TR, Gritdog about Mt Rushmore at night, ReneeG for he kind words and advice to go to Rushmore Cave and Wind Cave, Jimh425 for warning about the expansion joints. Is that because of the cold winters?, Gbopp for keeping on smiling, realter for the kind invitation.
We leave in about 12 hours. Meanwhile I'm cooking my favorite road food, spicy chicken curry with my home grown Thai peppers. I managed to build a bonfire in TCM's Gordon White's belly at the East Coast TC Rally with my curry. Jane said she heard Gordon say he liked it. But, I can't always make out what people are saying when they're crying.
So, if we invite you to have a meal, you've been forewarned ;-)
Realter, thanks for your tip. We're going to Davenport, then up to Iowa City and Ames where Jane has colleagues at Iowa and Iowa State. We'll wind up in Sioux City camping on an overlook on the Misssouri. We're taking hwy 20 out of Sioux City as we head West. We prefer country roads, so we'll avoid 80. (I think I got that right).
Jane and I, along with our blue eyed, Aussie Shepherd, Hula the Wonder Dog, are heading out this week end for the Dakotas by way of Iowa and Nebraska. Our interest is in visiting the Lakota Indian Reservation near Standing Rock, North Dakota, where there has been the largest gathering of tribes in decades to oppose an oil pipeline under the Missouri.
I'm a former news photographer and Jane is an anthropologist, so our TC trips often reflect our life - long curiosities.
But, we also plan on camping at the Merritt Reservoir in Nebraska, and traveling up to Custer State Park where we can observe the Buffalo roundup. We have reservations in Blue Bell for a campsite. Last one available, so it look like its crowded up there. Then its up to Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore.
If anyone has advice about the region we're visiting, we'd sure appreciate hearing from you.
Great report. I spent some time in the UP a number of years ago for NatGeo. I especially remember Copper Harbor. I was curious about the process of crossing the Canadian/US border with the camper. Do you have any advice?
We call the "bedover" the cabover, if you mean the section that protrudes in the front over the truck? If you are removing rotten wood along the "Perimeter" then it has been compromised by leaks along the edges, window, and drains. It may well have been repaired in the past. The cabover floors were constructed, to my knowledge, in one piece. But, Ticki probably knows for sure. Have you thought about talking to Chuck Cayo?
I'm still wondering why you don't remove the bustle. Could you explain the issue, again, and perhaps send along photos? It might help us in giving some advice.
I can't make out exactly how the 2x6's are attached in regards to the bustle. However, if it's possible I'd remove it to gain access under the floor and bathroom. Now, I may have misunderstood the note and that's not possible. But, I have to wonder if trying to make repairs without doing it won't be futile?
Ticki has good suggestions. Drop the "bustle" so that you can see how far the repair needs to go. What you are dealing with is very typical of these coaches...the area in the rear near the door and the bathroom. I wrote up all of this when I went through my restoration, including the replacement of rotten wood. I'll try to find it on the string and pass it along.
USMCShepherd, Jane and I are planning to be in the same area the last week of September. I see that the annual Buffalo Round Up at Custer SP starts on September 29 and goes to Oct 1. Look for us and we'll look for you.
Update: I just went through the Custer SP and it appears that all of the campsites that can be reserved are full. There are some, such as Center Lake, that are first come first serve. We'll probably give it a shot and see if we can find a place. Thank the Lord we have a TC. Worse comes to worse we'll park and sleep...
Silver, for some reason I had forgotten about your video of the rebuild. Its a real work of art! Clear as a bell. Thanks for that and thanks for the effort on the search engine. We need it.
C11, you are in the midst of a mess. I really don't know of a way to make it better, maybe others do. I think that you should send along photos when you ask about issues like injection of foam insulation. I hear that you are attempting to put it together as efficiently as possible. Again, send along the pictures and it helps a great deal.
Its hard to give you a quick reply since its quite a lengthy process. However, I think at least three descriptions are in the string that you are reading. I posted a partial repair, along with specific issues of dealing with rotten wood. D1trout has a section, if I recall as does 69avion. I know its a real slog, but the information is mostly available in the string. If you get to the point of a specific problem, then we might be able to help.
Ok, so still working out the technical details of pics. What I know, It does leak at bed over, at one of the outer corners, (big rainstorm last night so was able to leak hunt this morning). Leak at bottom of hinge side of door, caulking missing on outside....looks like the floor was patched at one time but leak not fixed very well. Leak at one side of over galley window. All in all not as bad as I expected. The bench seat has rot on the outer side but not wet today so i guess the huge amounts of silicone (not so good) and sikaflex stopped that leak at some point in the past.
It does have tie downs, under the outer lower aluminum skins. 2 of them are totally loose, one is sort of loose, and one is no longer attached. Wood on top of 3 of 4 is rotten, will have to cut out wood and then put steel backer plates to strengthen tie downs. I hope the body sway decreases once this is fixed, drove it 7 hours home and it was a little wobbly around the corners, lol. There is also one of the body to frame mounts under the cab that is rotten, should stiffen the ride up when that is fixed.
Also once we remove the original air conditioner, clad in steel, on the roof that probably weighs a few hundred pounds the roll should lessen.
If the body roll isn't better with the above fixes we will be trying to find a sway bar for the back axle (apparently not so easy with aftermarket duallies)
There is a pass through from the camper to the cab of the van, about 4ft by 4ft. The water tank is mounted fore to aft in the passenger overhang, created when the lower panels were added by Cayo under the original camper overhangs. The water pump is accessed from the back of the cab, passenger side and the water tank fill is located there also - I see potential flooding while filling problems, lol
The power converter is located under the step under the table. No batteries installed but one of the PO's mounted a box to the frame for a small generator. We do 12V PV, not generator so will probably put our battery boxes in there.
Well, there you are. I think we have all dealt with the rotten-wood-from-leaks scenario. In most cases there is even more of it than can be initially determined.
1) Removing the air conditioner - I did that because I didn't like the way it looked, it was a leak magnet and it was too much weight at that height. so I think we are3 on the same page. The hole left by the AC can be perfectly aligned with a Fantastic Fan. You can use the old wiring, if you have a diagram of the harness, to feed it 12V. Let me know if you need the wiring diagram.
2) All of the tie downs sound like they've been compromised. I had a complete how to on that earlier on this string. you'll have to look it up, but it is directly related to this issue.
3) If the bench seat has rot near the wall, there is an ongoing leak regardless of today's inspection. Go to Vintage Trailer Supply and look through their caulks, rivets and other materials. they are excellent.
I don't understand the water tank configuration, but it sounds like you have an electric water pump. That should work out well, but replacing the old tanks has been a constant theme.
You know to look at AGM batteries I'm sure, along with smoke and CO detectors.
There is a lot there, and winter is coming on. Best of luck
D1Trout, if only you had known about this!!!!
C11, does it have a pass through or direct entrance to the coach from the interior? Interior photos please.
Your first survey should be of the wood on the floor, the wings and the cabover. Thats where the problems with leakage are usually located. With the floor, start near the rear door. With the cabover, directly below the front window and just at the joint between the cabover and the cabin. With the wings check your tie downs and jack connections for any softness.
(on edit) of course you don't have tie downs or jack connections. Forget that.
Let us know what you find.