Starting to Finish
It has been a very busy past few weeks. Mother nature has been very uncooperative with heat, humidity, and monsoons. It’s not in the cards for a few 70 degree days to get something done I guess.
The ceiling panels were installed, and light/speaker holes cut in. We decided to use some veneered plywood panels vs. MDF or chipboard. These were noted to be more suitable for humid areas, and I wasn’t going to take the chance with chipboard crumbling or being a poor surface for the glue to adhere to for the ceiling covering.
With the ceiling in place, we were able to add in the LED lights and speakers and started to see the space coming together. We added a three-way switch for 4 lights up in the sleeper, so you’re able to turn lights on/off from the bed without having to get up. This seemed like a nice, yet inexpensive extra to add in.
Also, up under the to-be-built cubby, is a plug in for 110 (with child safe plugs) and also an HDMI/USB jack. This gives the ability to charge USB devices such as your phones or tablet, and also the HDMI feed runs up to the TV if you wanted to show a movie or media from your portable device. (Audio from the TV runs back to the Jensen head-unit from the HDMI feed)
With all of the ceiling panels in, you can fully see the lighting and audio setup. There are 7 pairs of LED lights running down the sides of the unit, 2 more behind the AC unit over the main walking area, and there will be two lights under the kitchenette upper cabinets. With all of these lights on, we’re sitting at about 3 amps of power draw for 18 LED lights.
There is certainly plenty of light in here and will be excellent for getting ready, cleaning and general use.
The speakers themselves are far better than I imagined. They are set of relatively cheap BOSS speakers from Amazon. They actually match the accent microwave we picked up, so it will be a nice subtle match. They have decent high and low end. Nothing earth shattering, but it meets my stringent requirements for ‘decent’ audio. We opted not to use the external B/C speaker outputs because I don’t know any good use to have blaring speakers outside when you’re camping in nature. When running at a decent volume, it looks to use just about 1 amp of power.
We’re now getting the wall coverings up. After looking at a number of options between panel, tongue & groove pine, etc., we settled on spending a little more on the soft-touch vinyl product. We picked this up from Jazz Sales, and it’s best to order the sample sheet before you buy, as the colors online are not truly representative of the actual material. The 25-yard roll has been enough to cover the inside of the trailer, and split the ceiling down each side. There is maybe 8′ left on the roll. Be mindful of your cuts, as our roll had two flaws/marks on it where one might make a bulk cut. It came at some inopportune times when cutting panels, but we were OK in the end.
We have raided 2 local Menard’s locations of the 3M 98 Neoprene spray adhesive. There are a number of products to choose from, some more expensive and some less. Trusting the 3M brand, I gave this one a try with a small space to ensure that it would hold and that it didn’t eat the backing. This was a success. Spray both sides of what you’re sticking together, let it sit a minute and then position. You have a little time, not much, to position or re-position. After about 5 minutes, you’re not going to remove it without destroying it.
Take your time, measure the cuts, and account for your holes ahead of time, just like drywall. Also, the note for proper ventilation is accurate. I had to have the AC on with the door shut in the recent heat, and that doesn’t move enough air. Unless you enjoy being flighty, do use proper caution when using this wonderful 3M stuff.
We found a carpet remnant, also at Menards for about 100$ which took care of the sleeper area, and leaves us enough leftover for the stairs.
After looking around more and more at countertops, we have finally decided on our final choice. Too bad it is a customer order, and our counter next week camping with the family will be plywood, but at least we’ve made a decision we like vs. just what is available in-store. We’ll also make a table out of the material, which folds down to a bed as well when needed.
Note, the price tag is NOT our cost, but for the sample in-store! We decided to add in a sink with cold water (we could add hot later if a suitable on-demand unit is found to run on 110.
Last but not least on this marathon of updates is the woodwork.
Knowing we would need custom cabinets, it was not an option to have someone build them due to cost and time, so I decided to give it a whirl myself. It is all basic stuff. An upper, lower, corner cabinet, two benches and the face for the power panel to sit in.
The microwave will sit inside the right shelf of the upper, and there is a cutout for the radio and cubby on the left side angle. This should alleviate any knocked heads from getting out of the corner seating. The lower will have two doors open on the right, and the fridge will sit in the left side.
There will be a tall, narrow cabinet in the corner, with access over the counter-top. It’s not the most ideal, however, the front opening turned out to be less than expected when final framing was complete, and we didn’t want to start over.
Each bench will have a top-access hatch to get into, and the left side will also have an access from the side. Likely where we’ll store things like the dutch oven and other heavier supplies.
Below is a compilation of the woodworking photos thus far.