Bubbles version 2.0: DONE!!!

...ask your questions in the appropriate forums BUT document your build here...preferably in a single thread...dates for updates, are appreciated....

Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby Woodbutcher » Fri May 03, 2013 6:16 pm

You guys are doing a great job. You are really making Bubbles your own. Keep up the good work!
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Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby Wobbly Wheels » Sat May 04, 2013 2:33 pm

Bubbles already looks a lot better than when you picked it up - you guys have done some nice work.

As for the epoxy, don't sweat doing it yourself. As someone else mentioned, start small...say, make up a plywood step to go in front of the door. Layup is daunting only until you do it the first time. I've tried to keep a record of how I deal with inside corners, outside corners, compound corners, etc in my build thread. Hopefully there's something in there that can help you - Mel (atahoekid) also covered his in epoxy & 6oz glass, as have others.
Check out the West System User Manual on their website - best to bookmark it because you'll refer back to it often, regardless of whose resin you decide to use.

Given that you want to keep the bright (wood) finish, glassing really is the best way to go. Plus, you are sealing the wood with a membrane that's 100% waterproof and the glass will ensure that it stays that way. If you don't already have one, you get to buy a router, too: the corner between the wall and the roof needs to be rounded so the glass will roll over it. If money's tight, a little trim router will do that job just fine (or a rental for the little bit you'll need it).

Despite the upgrades you guys have needed to or chosen to make, it still looks like you got a good deal for your $1400.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Big changes!

Postby Martinjmpr » Mon May 06, 2013 3:59 pm

We worked our butts off this weekend, but I think the result is worth it!

After we sanded down the sides, we needed to re-stain and polyurethane the side panels. However, Liz had a vision of wanting to do something unique and different! So, after a bunch of tries, she came up with a stencil idea to stencil the wood in a leaf pattern.

Her technique was to stain first, using a honey-colored stain that would complement the wood, and then spray paint over that with a wood-colored spray paint on a stencil:

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A picture doesn't do it justice, it really does look spectacular close up!

Here's Liz posing with her handiwork!

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On Sunday, after painting her leaf pattern on both sides, Liz stared to put the polyurethane on. Before we did that, though, we had to figure out a way to hide the ugly scar left behind by the hideous metal drip rails that were on the side and the hatch. At first I was going to just pick a smooth piece of half-round wood, but then something caught my eye that seemed to echo the "leaf" pattern we had chosen:

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So we sprayed it with the same paint Liz had been using for the leaf pattern and glued/screwed it on.

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We also put one on the passenger side for balance:

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Once those were on and painted, Liz Polyurethaned the whole thing, minus the top.

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We'll also run a bead of silicone along the trim piece to ensure that water doesn't get behind it.

Meanwhile, I was on the inside. There was a huge hole in the back galley wall into the sleeping compartment where the (broken) AC unit used to sit. At first we considered just boarding it up, but then we came up with an idea: Leave the hole there but cover it with a panel that would then be able to drop down and serve as a tray for foot, a DVD player or whatever. Furthermore, it would act as a 'pass through' so that we could grab things out of the galley from inside the sleeping compartment.

For the panel to cover the hole, we had a cabinet door from our recent kitchen remodel. The cabinet door showed a crack so we called the company that built it and invoked our "lifetime warranty." They replaced the cabinet door and we kept the old one. It is a gorgeous piece of hickory, and just happens to be the perfect size.

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I installed it with a couple of heavy brass door hinges on the bottom, and put a piece of wood to hold the semicircular latch.

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The result turned out pretty good, and we even put a knob on it that matches the other fancy knobs we put in!

Then we put on some fancy chains to serve as supports when the panel is in the down position, and this was the finished result:

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The wine is a bottle our son and daughter-in-law picked up when they were on vacation last year at Glacier NP. Appropriate, I think!:

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Liz also came up with some new material for our "curtains" (which are made out of embroidery hoops!) As you can see, it fits the "leaf" pattern. We decided to stage this to show what our "summer home" will look like!

With the tray up:

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And down:

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Can't wait to get out there this Summer!

We have also finally come up with a solution to our roof dilemma, but that will have to wait for another post!
Martin and Liz and our new T@B Clamshell "Livia"

Our old Teardrop "bubbles"
Bubbles version 2.0 build thread!

Our Facebook group:
Colorado Teardroppers and Tiny Trailers Camping Group (FB)

States we've visited with Bubbles and Livia: Image
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Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby Woodbutcher » Mon May 06, 2013 8:33 pm

You guys are doing a great job. The leaves are cool! I can't wait to see what your second one looks like! :lol:
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Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby PKCSPT » Tue May 07, 2013 6:24 am

I love the leaf pattern,you say the pictures don't do it justice I can only imagine how great it look in person and your drop down table,,, very nice.
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Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby webbaldo » Tue May 07, 2013 7:10 am

I really like the interior!
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In reality, hes a average DIY'er with a 18x16ft Wooden shed
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Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby S. Heisley » Wed May 08, 2013 6:59 pm

It's looking good, Martin and Liz. But, you may want to change her name from "Bubbles" to "Falling Leaf"! :D :lol:
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ALMOST DONE!

Postby Martinjmpr » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:17 am

Wow, almost a month since the last update! Well, don't worry, we've been busy!

First off, shortly after the last update, our new tires finally arrived (we had gotten the wheels several weeks before but the tires were a "special order" item from Coker.)

A quick trip to Discount Tire for mounting and balancing and they are on. Worth the wait, I think!

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We are going for a "retro" look with bubbles, hence the whitewalls and baby moons. I had no idea skinny whitewall tires were so hard to find, but they are! The spare (when we get it) will be a much more conventional wheel and tire combo.

After that, we were busy with other things and then I took off for a week long camping trip with some friends. While I was gone, Liz decided to get very creative with the interior!

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This is actually a decal but it fits with our "leaf" theme:

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I love the teardrop-shaped picture frame!

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This door knocker was a gift from family, we thought it would look cute mounted like this in the galley:

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Liz got a new "leaf" stencil and started stenciling away!

...on the sides of the galley...

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...and even on the underside of the galley lid!

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Oh, and we decided to add one more "accessory" to the galley:

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...but after we realized how much maintenance she would require we decided to un-install her and give her back to her mom and dad (that is, our son and daughter-in-law.) ;)

Okay, so we're ALMOST done! :twisted: Three more tasks to complete:

1. Attach the locking bar galley latch (this has proved to be difficult, as I thought it would be!)

2. Attach the fenders and

3. Attach the new door trim.

Since we're so close to the end, I will not be posting any more updates until Bubbles v. 2.0 is finished! She'll make her "debut" this weekend at the Colorado Classic Campout, which is an event put on by the Southwest Vintage Camper Association. Locaiton will be at the Starlite Classic Campground near Canon City, CO.

Finished photos and pictures of the campout should be up next week some time! :tipsy:
Martin and Liz and our new T@B Clamshell "Livia"

Our old Teardrop "bubbles"
Bubbles version 2.0 build thread!

Our Facebook group:
Colorado Teardroppers and Tiny Trailers Camping Group (FB)

States we've visited with Bubbles and Livia: Image
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Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby S. Heisley » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:25 pm

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! So unique and totally your own design! Thumbs up! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby PKCSPT » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:00 pm

Your granddaughter is such a cutie,, hope she will join you camping once in awhile.
I been watching for a bubbles update, looking good.
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Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby Junkboy999 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:04 pm

Love the Tile work. I need to find me one of those states signs to start filling in.
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ALMOST DONE!!!

Postby Martinjmpr » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:10 am

Yes, were' about 97% there, and we already took Bubbles Version 2.0 out for her first camping trip!

You may remember that our big dilemma was what to do about the cracking plywood on the roof. A number of options were suggested, but the one that really stuck in our minds was one that was suggested by someone over on Expedition Portals, and that was to paint over the wood with a truck bed liner. I knew people who had bedlined their jeeps and other vehicles, but I had always seen this in black and we certainly didn't want a black bedliner on our gorgeous wood trailer! However, we came to find that there were several companies that made bed liner in a variety of colors.

We ultimately chose to go with Monstaliner, primarily because of its semi-smooth surface (whereas competitor Durabak had a very rough surface texture) and its wide range of colors.

Although it was a tedious process (it literally took up an entire weekend), I think the results are worth it.

I called the Monstaliner folks and explained to them what we were doing, they assured me it would work and recommended that I first prime the wood with an aluminum-based primer called Chassis Sealer.

So, all the neccessary materials were obtained and then we got started. First step, obviously, was to mask off the area where the bedliner wasn't going (since we have no cracking problems on the side of the Bubbles and since we like the "wood" look of Bubbles, we were only bedlining the top.)

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Of course we wanted to protect Liz's gorgeous galley!

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The primer went on pretty easy, it gets brushed on by hand. We did the top and the hatch as well as the fenders.

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Getting two coats of primer on took pretty much all day Saturday. We then took the masking off (didn't want it to stick) and let Bubbles dry.

Bright and early next morning, we spent time masking up Bubbles and began mixing the bedliner itself. The bedliner kit comes with a special mixer that goes on a drill. The color tint is separate from the liner and has to be mixed in when you are getting ready to roll the liner on.

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When we got Bubbles in 2012, the builder had used light colored stain to put a design of a teardrop onto Bubbles' roof. Although we were painting over the wood, we really wanted to keep the Teardrop design by using a contrasting (lighter) color. Since the teardrop was going to be in the lighter color, of course, it had to go on first.

We masked off the edges of the Teardrop so there would be just a little (maybe 1/4") of overlap between the two colors and then started painting with the roller that is included in the kit.

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By the time we got done with the first color (two coats), it looked like this:

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Then we started on the second color. We decided that instead of going with a "wood" looking color, we'd find a different color to complement the wood. Of course, first we had to mix!

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...and several long hours later, this was the result:

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We went with the green both because we like it (forest green being my favorite color) and because it makes a nice fit with the other "forest" colors.

TO BE CONTINUED...
Martin and Liz and our new T@B Clamshell "Livia"

Our old Teardrop "bubbles"
Bubbles version 2.0 build thread!

Our Facebook group:
Colorado Teardroppers and Tiny Trailers Camping Group (FB)

States we've visited with Bubbles and Livia: Image
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The results of our hard work...

Postby Martinjmpr » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:32 am

The next few days were a whirlwind of activity and we didn't take many pictures. Liz and I both work, and we had a trip scheduled for the following Friday, so all of our spare time after work was spent finishing off.

(NOTE: I have to apologize in advance for the poor quality of some of the following pictures. They were taken somewhat in haste after we got back from our camping trip. Better pics will follow.)

We put the hatch back on with the new, waterproof hinge, and tried to install the locking bar but ran into a few difficulties. I won't go into the details but I cut one of the bars too short (measure twice cut once!) and we had to order another one, so the locking bar was put on the back burner for the moment. In its place, we installed a supplemental hatch-closing system using a couple of jeep-style hood latches:

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The system worked well, but the downside is it doesn't lock. We already ordered a replacement locking bar and once its here, the locking bar latch will be installed.

The next big issue was the fenders. After much looking and mocking up, I got ready to install them, only to find that my power drill/driver would not fit into the skinny fender! I ended up having to go to Harbor Freight the next day to buy another tool (oh yeah! 8) ), this one a "close quarters" drill. That did the trick and the fenders went on without difficulty:

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Once the fenders and the hatch were on, the "look" was complete, and I have to say we like it!

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All that was left to do was to put the baskets in the galley area for all our cooking and camping needs, and then load her up!

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....AAAAND HERE SHE IS! Rolling out for her first camping trip last Friday!

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I'll post more pics of the Colorado Classic Campout (CCC) with the Southwest Vintage Camper Association in another thread.

As for Bubbles, like I said, she's not 100% there yet. We need to install the locking bar, there is some reinforcing that needs to be done on the place where the jack wheel mounts (it almost bent completely over!) and we need to move the fenders a bit (you can't really tell from the photos, but trust me, they need to go down and back in order to look right.)

We found that the "functional" modifications that we made worked out very well. The solar powered fan/light was great! We switched it on during the drive so it would cycle air throughout the trailer as we drove down the road. The tongue box was an amazingly useful asset that we could use to store things like the jacks, the hitch lock, and a small carpet that we use to try and keep from getting dirt inside Bubble's sleeping compartment. Nice thing about the tongue box is it that we can store 'dirty' stuff there without dirtying up the interior.

The galley mods worked very well, too. And we got nothing but compliments on the stenciling that Liz did both inside and out!

It's been a long couple of months and a lot of work, but based on all the positive comments we got on her at the CCC, I think she was worth it. We're both thrilled with the way Bubbles has turned out, and looking forward to a great Summer of camping!


So all in all, we're very happy with the results.
Martin and Liz and our new T@B Clamshell "Livia"

Our old Teardrop "bubbles"
Bubbles version 2.0 build thread!

Our Facebook group:
Colorado Teardroppers and Tiny Trailers Camping Group (FB)

States we've visited with Bubbles and Livia: Image
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Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby Wobbly Wheels » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:50 am

That looks great !! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Bubbles version 2.0: The Buildup Begins!

Postby Ron Dickey » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:00 pm

Really really fun sides, I like the idea of not just following a mold but doing your own thing. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

The License frame should say a made with a Women's touch. Makes it look like home. Send some pictures off to Martha Stewart maybe she'll start a new line. :lol:

I almost did the walls of my trailer with sponge patterns but the colors I chose were to harsh. :NC

All of you did a great JOB!!!! 8)

Others will be inspired by your work I love leaves. Especially in the fall.
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and you have the real feel of fall leaves on your trailer Too :beer:

Ron Dickey
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both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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