I am finally getting a chance to do the repairs on the RV that are needed. Work, weather and other issues have kept me from touching it since the last post. I did manage to find someone that can build a new counter-top for the sink area as the current one is broken in three places. I have also picked out a few samples of new floor tiling to replace the flooring that was ruined.
Game plan calls for removing the counter-top and sink as a unit, then taking out the stove and short counter-top along it’s side. while those are off for repair, the two cabinets well be pulled – I am hoping that with the living room slide out that I can keep them in the confines of the RV. With those out of the way, I can then remove the current tile floor and start working on getting the flooring leveled out again. Judging by the height of the screws that are sticking up through the flooring it appears that the worst part of the floor is about 1 1/2 inches up. Using a long piece of heavy angle iron that have, I expect that I will be able to put that across the raised area of the floor and work it down with hammers. Once it is level, then the tiling goes back in and remounting of the lower cabinets.
One thing that I noticed when last working on the unit is that underneath the stove area there is a large empty area that only serves as the air plenum for the furnace. I am going to see what the actual size of the furnace intake really is and possibly fabricate some ducting that will serve that purpose and free up the rest of that area for some storage space. The front of the area is covered with a wooden cover that is ventilated for the furnace and it would be a simple change to hinge it and put an RV catch on it to hold it closed. The air intake could be moved to the side of the cabinet via the new duct-work and a regular house-type vent cover.
I also want to look at what I can do about moving the hot water heater bypass valve to a location under the sink. It’s current location requires that you reach in above a sideboard in the cabinet and with a flashlight locate the valve to turn it off or on. Along with that I have a 110v to 12v converter to wire in place for the furnace but it needs a switch so I am looking at mounting that under the sink area as well. You may or not know this but your furnace operates directly off of the house batteries in your rig even when you are plugged into shore power. Normally when running the heater and with a set of batteries that are at least at the 90% level, we have usually had them die within about 7 hours or less. That means if we turn on the heater at 10:00p and go to sleep, the batteries are done at 5:00a and it can get chilly real quick.
This is what you have when the cabinets are removed. The wiring that you see to the right is for the status panel (batteries, tanks, etc) and the yellow wiring is 120v plus you have some gas piping hanging in there. To the left of the shot is the hot water tank with it’s Styrofoam container and below that is the gas furnace.
Once the floor covering was pulled up, it revealed an underlayment of 1/2 inch chipboard. Sections of that had to come up so that I would have access to the bent metal frame below. I also discovered something a little strange in the passages of the furnace ducting. In two locations there were holes in the bottom of the duct work, these were about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. After looking things over, my guess is that it is some method of supplying warm air to the water tank which sits right underneath this area. I assume that in freezing situations you would want some warmer air on the water tank. I decided that since I don’t use the RV in such conditions that I would cover these holes up and did so with a couple of layers of duct taping.
Moving on, along with getting the metal frame hammered back down to a level position, there were a lot of cracks and breaks in the welded areas. Most of the welding was just spot welds here and there but I re-welded everything back together as solidly as I could make it. There was some dense foam being used for floor insulation but then there would be a 2 inch gap running the entire length of it – some insulating job! I took expandable spray foam and filled in all of these gaps. With all of this done, I cut and placed a new sheet of 1/2 inch plywood sheathing in place. This was fastened to the metal rails using self-drilling flat head torx-type screws.
I lucked out a bit and found a vinyl floor remnant at a store that was very similar to the original flooring in color but a much high quality level of flooring. I was able to buy a 12′ x 7′ sheet of this flooring for $35. Getting lined up correctly was a minor challenge, then I rough cut it in place to make sure I had extra in case of a mistake or an adjustment was needed.
Once I was satisfied that I had it in the proper place, I went ahead and did the final trimming. Just like the old flooring, on two sides it goes underneath the carpet and is fastened in place with small staples. I let the rest of the floor “float” as much as possible.
In the next post, I will install the cabinets, stove, sink, make a change to the furnace cover and a couple of minor upgrades.