Monday, 18 December 2017

Rebuilding the back end

There is always some good news and some bad news when you restore a vintage trailer.
The good news on mine is that it was really original on the inside, and the skin was in great shape. 
The bad news was the rot. The trailer looked great from the outside, but once it was opened up there was lots of rotten wood in the framing that needed replacing. 
The most intimidating section for me to replace was the rear section because of some weird angles and also the fact that it was so rotten compared to the sides. I was nervous about being able to replicate it.

 So I did a couple of smart things. I created a cardboard pattern of the exact pattern of the boards, before the rear skin was off.

The repair work also included rebuilding
part of the rear floor as shown below.

At one point in the process the whole rear framing collapsed. I was very happy at that point that I had made patterns and written down every measurement I could think of.

here are some notes I took.. and the scary view once the whole rear section was removed.

This was especially important because sometimes I take a break for several weeks during the rebuild and its easy to forget what you were doing. 
You can see here that the angle for the cross brace was very odd. We think this was done to keep water from sitting on the sill, but if I had not made a pattern of the wood and the angle, I would have been guessing at it and had a problem refitting the skin.

 Here is the rear, now reframed with all new wood. I used cedar around the hatch.

 I also dry fitted the rear window to confirm that everything fits, as I don't want any surprises down the road.

In this shot you can see where I have come around the corner to the street side with my repairs, replacing the rotted window wood, and framing in a hatch for our new air conditioner which we will install on a drawer slide.

 In this photo below I have added back in the rear seat-back inside the trailer. I moved it right back against the framing which gained me 4 extra inches of bed space (Almost a queen bed) which is awesome in a vintage trailer.
You will notice that it is a narrow 12 inch slot to put things into the rear hatch, but we are o.k. with this, in exchange for the extra bed space. Most things we need to store will side in there no problem.

In the end, the rear turned out great and I am very happy with my work! 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy following your progress; impressive amount of work accomplished. Starting to think I should get mine professionally restored!