Exterior Wall skin, wheel wells, a new awning, and moving into the cab over sleep quarters……

We have been working hard on our beloved Toyota based traveling adventure mobile; and we have settled on our exterior wall skin material. In our last post, we discussed the possibility of using reinforced fiberglass panels, (Filon), instead of .060 aluminum as we have been using on the roof. One of our concerns was condensation, as well as the aesthetics of our project. We ended up staying with aluminum, but we did decide to upgrade slightly to powder coated aluminum. Our aluminum supplier had white in stock, and we like the idea of keeping it cool for heat, as well as clean looking and unassuming. We installed the wall skin over the last few weeks, and we used the same method as the roof. 3M vhb tape, and there will be screws here and there to make certain of the results. Our front door is installed as well as two of the windows. One of the windows is in our sleeper area, and the other is in the rear lounge area. We installed the wheel wells this weekend and we have been working on fabricating them through the week. We went with 1/2″ marine plywood, with a .040 aluminum lining on the underside. After we assembled them, Karuna sealed up all of the seams and connections with generous coatings of lexel sealant, and we applied two heavy coats of rubberized undercoating. We also used lexel to adhere and seal them around the floor and connections to the frame. Everything that we have been sealing as we have been constructing this project has been sealed in with lexel. (there will be a description and use of all of our products that we have used at the end of the blog)

Our awning also arrived this week, Fiamma F45S model, and we decided to install it this weekend as well. We know we are a ways out from taking our sweet rig camping, but installing our outdoor recreation area shade was too exciting to put on the back burner. It was a bit of a chore, mostly due to the thickness of our walls and the need to go to the store to get different installation hardware. We made a few brackets to install our wall, and through bolted the brackets with stainless steel bolts. It looks really good and it operates nicely. We have not been able to fully deploy the awning yet, but we will post photos as soon as we can. (We are parked next to our house and we don’t have the clearance from the wall.) We do have a photo below of it partially open.

Walls and skin are taking shape!

After a few weeks of intense and thorough mechanical wizardry performed by Calvin Rowley; we are back on the case of getting the wall frames and the roof skin installed. The first challenge was getting the factory original fiberglass molding attached to our frame work. The shape is very specific and the decently sturdy fiberglass does not like to flex very much. We ended up installing a piece of rectangular trim along the bottom edge of our frame in order to facilitate installing the fiberglass without much distortion. Our second challenge was getting the .060 marine grade aluminum sheet to conform to the rounded nose cone. We had to encourage the aluminum by using ratchet straps and a heavy piece of angle to hook to the edge. After taking our time and pulling on the sheet gradually, we were finally able to get it fastened. We are very pleased with the smooth lines of the front, as well as the inherent strength of the shape. We decided to proceed with the attachment of the walls, prior to advancing on the roof. Both of these tasks kind of go hand in hand as well, as the roof skin is limited to the amount of frame work that has been installed. The second floor section is now installed, and we may even go back at it and get some more of the roof skin put in place!IMG_8389IMG_8397.JPGIMG_8394