Front Storage Box Repair

Discussion in 'Roof/Floor Repair & Maintenance' started by jman1200, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    Ontario
    Yes, it was supposed to be a surprise ! [:D] I already have an LED strip set aside for that.
     
  2. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    Dubbya I think most Colemen/Fleetwoods have these lights in the front storage already. My only problem with them is the location of the switch it is on the inside by the front bed. I have moved the switch inside above the side door. This works great from the top or the side door. Next I want to add aa light over the water heater.
     
  3. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    I went through your Photobucket pics, you are doing a full rebuild. I'm only spending a few hours a day on this project, maybe you'll catch up !
     
  4. mar-ine

    mar-ine Member

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    Sep 22, 2014
    You noticed? :)
     
  5. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Well, pus and tarnation! Sorry to have blown that for ya, bud! [:D]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    Progress update:

    After sanding, staining and applying a couple of clear coats of lacquer, the panels are ready for installation. Although my garage is insulated, the temperature was getting too low and the lacquer was taking >24 hrs to dry so I had to improvise a drying oven by placing the panels and a heater in one of the mud room closets (DW wasn't too happy about this [:D]).

    [​IMG]20141028-01345-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    I've been waiting a while to disclose this, remember I was debating about using the treated plywood for the floor and the concern about if the vinyl floor would properly adhere to it.... well, after looking at the cost of more untreated plywood, the glue and the vinyl, I decided to order this.....

    [​IMG]20141029-01349-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141029-01346-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    So the floor is not going to rot, ever again !
    I never wanted to replace the whole storage box with an aluminum one, although it would last forever, I wanted to keep the original look and molded panels. The floor is out of sight so I think this was the best solution.
    Now, the old floor plus the laminate were 0.7000 inches thick, the checker plate is 0.1625" thick. Because I had already cut the side and front panels and I don't want to redo them, I had to look for a way to compensate for the thickness of the new floor so the ABS panels and trunk lid will fit and align properly.
    I got some UHMW (let’s call it plastic) strips that I intend to bolt to the bottom edge of the side and front panels to raise them. I could also have bolted them to the frame to raise the floor but by doing it as I intend, I will have a strip of plastic between the checker plate and the wood which means that if I ever have another leak or something spills inside the storage box, the water or liquid will never come in contact with the wood panels. In addition, there will be a minimum gap between the “diamonds” of the aluminum plate and the plastic which will serve as drains allowing all liquids to drain out.

    [​IMG]20141029-01353-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Got new stainless steel hardware to replace every single bolt

    [​IMG]20141029-01362-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    I have to drill three holes for the gas and water heater lines, I placed the aluminum plate under the old floor and carefully aligned them to copy the exact location of these openings.

    [​IMG]20141029-01350-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141029-01352-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Painted the locks while waiting for the wood lacquer to dry.

    [​IMG]20141029-01358-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141029-01359-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    I won’t be able to work on it for a few days, I have to keep a balance between family, social life [:D] and my hobbies (this project!).
    I wanted to be done before snow came, the forecast is already showing flurries for Halloween night [:!]

    Thanks for watching reading !
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  7. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I like the new floor plan.
     
  8. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    Ontario
    I started adding the plastic strips to the panels, I bolted them to the bottom edge as planned. I drilled holes for the screws not to expand the plastic and beveled ends for the screw heads to sit flush.

    [​IMG]20141101-01369-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141101-01370-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Here's an example of how the panels are going to look like. I like how this turned out, water will never come in contact with the wood.

    [​IMG]20141101-01371-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    The side panels have a thinner area where the front ABS panels fits, I used a router to cut these.

    [​IMG]20141101-01376-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Now it was time to attach the 1/4" side panels, I left these ones for last otherwise they would have been in the way of the router when cutting the two sections just described above. As with the other ones, I glued and bolted them together.

    [​IMG]20141101-01377-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Here are some sections of the front panel:

    [​IMG]20141102-01384-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141102-01385-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    I used the old piece of wood to mark the exact location of the two brackets that hold the lid locks. I realized that Coleman had used two 4" wide panels together, I used one 8" one on each side.

    [​IMG]20141102-01390-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Here's the completed front panel. I realized it was going to be very hard to match the four holes where the lid locks go so I decided that I'd drill new holes using self-tapping screws (as Coleman did) on these brackets. To avoid drilling too close to the existing holes, I swapped the brackets as the old hole pattern is slightly off centered on both of them.

    [​IMG]20141102-01391-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141102-01393-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141102-01394-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Looking good, right? :)

    [​IMG]20141102-01396-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141102-01400-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141103-01401-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    It looks better than the interior of the trailer, I'm going to turn this into my own little man cave! [:D]

    I ran into a small issue, I noticed that the right side of the front panel was sticking out about 1/4" further out than the left side. On the left side, the front and left panels sit flush, this is not the case for the right side.
    I went back to the pictures I took before taking the box apart and found that misalignment already existed and since I made every single piece of wood exactly as the old ones, I ended with the same defect.

    [​IMG]20141102-01397-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141016-01274-4 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141102-01399-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141016-01278-3 by JP M, on Flickr

    I don't think Coleman intended to built this box like this on purpose, so I plan to take either take 1/4" off the right panel so the front panel sits flush or bring out the left one that same amount. I'm going to play with the ABS panels to see which solution works best.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  9. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    Nov 11, 2013
    Ontario
    For the last two days I've been playing with the ABS panels trying to make them fit properly. Here's where I realized why many people only post the before and after pictures... they want to keep it a secret... it's a PITA ! [:(!] [:D]

    The main issue I've had has been with the front ABS panel. I realized that this panel is not as wide as the original box, mine was forced in to make it fit which caused all four corners to crack over time. As you can see in the before pics, the corners were already cracked due to the internal stress. Now, these cracks are covered by the top panel and are out of sight. I'll still try to fix them with Marine Tex.

    [​IMG]Cracks by JP M, on Flickr

    I decided to trim the right panel about 1/4" so the front panel will sit flush, this also helped improve the fit of the ABS.

    [​IMG]20141104-01410-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Using a router, I also shaved the edge of the top piece of the front panel to better fit the front ABS panel.

    [​IMG]20141104-01411-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    So, as I said, the front ABS panel if narrower than the box and just fits way too tight, the corners will split again if I try to fit it the way it is. I decided to shave 1/4" off the front wood panel making the box a bit narrower on the front.
    In addition (yes, there's more !), the front lower edge of both right and left side ABS panels have a little notch that fits in a carved section of the original floor panel (see pics). I’ll have to cut a bit off the front two ends of the aluminum plate to fit these.
    I also have to go back and apply lacquer to the areas where I made the "adjustments".

    [​IMG]20141103-01407-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141103-01404-2 by JP M, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  10. ewils35

    ewils35 Member

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    Oct 14, 2014
    You're starting to scare me bud. I haven't even started mine yet lol
     
  11. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    Nov 11, 2013
    Ontario
    Hi ewils35

    I'll give you and everyone else that is thinking of taking over this type of project some good advice.

    If you have the time, you want your trailer to have the original look, you are detail oriented, have lots of patience and of course the basic abilities and tools to do it, go for it.
    I never thought it will be an easy swap but it hasn't really been that bad, I'm posting all the little things that I'm doing and the little issues I'm running into to help others that want to follow, so it might seem more complicated than what it has really been.
    Keep in mind that as long as you ask the question, you'll have a valuable team (this Portal) ready to help you out and guide you through.

    The downside of this project is that is one of those were after a lot of work, you cannot tell anything was done to the PUP unless you open the trunk and invite people to come see what you did. So definitely not something you are going to show off on...

    If you don't mind having a silver trunk that doesn't match the rest of the trailer, have a bit more to invest, don't have the time, tools or skills, take it to a shop and have an aluminum box installed. It will only cost you a few hundred more than what you'll spend rebuilding it..... but you'll miss all the fun ! [:D] [:D] [:D]
     
  12. ewils35

    ewils35 Member

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    Oct 14, 2014
    Yeah I'm not getting discouraged at all. I'll be starting this weekend as I have the camper opened up in the driveway right now. From what I seen in this you only did the two sides and the front panel. I gotta do the panel that splits the interior camper to the storage box. Unless you did that piece too and I missed it. Just curious on how involved that is to tearing up the cabinets inside too. Also did you take the front bunk completely out?
     
  13. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    Ontario
    I'm doing the floor, front, right and left panels which have multiple layers. The "firewall" was in good shape so I didn't replace it.
    I did remove both bunks but mostly so I could have access to the interior of the trailer while it's in the garage, if you are rebuilding the firewall and cabinets you definitely want to take them off.
     
  14. ewils35

    ewils35 Member

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    Oct 14, 2014
    OK cool I'll have to look into on the cabinet removal where the heater is and then the couch and under storage cabinet so I can remove the firewall. This will get interesting in a 22x24 garage haha
     
  15. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    My garage is about that same size, I had to kick the cars out, they keep knocking to come back in as it is getting cold outside [:D]

    Define a work area and pile up everything else around it, you should be fine. I also have a few things on top of the trailer's roof which I lower as required.
    Your main issue is going to be extending the dinning room, mine is extended just enough to allow me to lift the kitchen galley, you might want to consider fully removing the slide out before placing the trailer in the garage.

    I knew I'll be using this picture sometime along this topic, this is where the magic happens ! [LOL] [LOL] [LOL]

    [​IMG]20141023-01324-2 by JP M, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  16. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I can agree with you this mod is looking like HARD WORK. Watching this post made me take a good look at my front panel. I have all the same cracks and water issue's plus a cracked lid & a big leak on the firewall by the water heater. So now I will be pricing out a custom front box and weighting time & effort over blood sweat & tears
     
  17. ewils35

    ewils35 Member

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    Oct 14, 2014
    I'll be doing it full on. I'll also show step by step to also help people like jman did
     
  18. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    After fighting it for more than a week, I was finally able to fit the ABS front panel. In the next days I'll be dedicating a section to describe all the things I had to do to make it fit.

    Meanwhile, here's another update:

    I attached the new floor to the frame, I used some flashing tape on the areas where the floor meets the frame to avoid metal to metal contact so I would never hear any noise coming out of it.

    [​IMG]20141106-01428-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    I used stainless steel beveled bolts to have a nice flush look

    [​IMG]20141106-01426-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141107-01433-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Bought rubber grommets for the water lines. There is a plastic cover for the gas line that I'll be re-using.

    [​IMG]20141106-01423-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    The PO had replaced both water lines with regular hose, the original setup used 5/16" PEX lines which is not a commercial size so most likely only be found at RV shops. 5/16" ID hot water hose is also not easy to find (you either get fuel line or clear vinyl hose). I got lucky and came across some silicone pharma grade hose resistant up to 150 psi and 160 C (320 F) which I used.

    [​IMG]20141107-01431-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Cut the top section of the box. Although the OSB was in good shape, I replaced it with treated plywood and as I said I'd do, re-used the upper frame that has the happy face on it. I have to say that the weight difference between the two boards was highly noticeable.

    [​IMG]20141109-01443-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    A coat of clear lacquer to waterproof it

    [​IMG]20141109-01445-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Drying overnight

    [​IMG]20141109-01444-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    ....
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  19. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    Before attaching the top panel, you'll need to make sure that you verify it has the right height on both sides. Even if you copied the measurements of every single panel, keep in mind that the old panels might have been wet and deformed so don't assume everything is going to fit just right.

    Do not attach the top panel or the two smaller top side sections until you have verified that the front and side ABS panels fit properly. You might need to trim things that will affect the position of the top wooden panel.

    Start by placing the top panel on its position without bolting or gluing it, then assemble all the ABS panels (not the lid) making sure the top ABS panel is exactly were it belongs, that is with the edge sitting on top of the firewall and both corners pinched under the bed rails. Check that the top panel has the right height, press down on the top ABS panel, if you are able to push it down, you'll need to raise the top wooden panel.

    [​IMG]20141110-01447-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    You also want to make sure it's not too high. First make sure the bottom lip of the side ABS panel is against the floor (push it up until it hits), then check the gap between the top and side ABS panel. If there is a gap, the top wooden panel might be to high.

    [​IMG]20141110-01448-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    In my case, I had to raise both sides (already knew this as the side panels were cut a little short in height). I added a 5 mm piece of plywood to the right side and 2 - 5 mm ones to the left. All glued and screwed together.

    [​IMG]20141110-01450-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141110-01451-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Now it's time to build the two small top side panels. These were the only pieces I built without following the templates, the only measurement I copied was the width, thickness and length were totally different.
    The old panels had the thin plywood on top, most likely to adjust the height of the top ABS panel but the issue with this is that you end with a step that will cause the top ABS panel to have small unsupported areas were it could later crack.

    [​IMG]20141015-01259-3 by JP M, on Flickr

    I decided to have a flat flush surface and do all the necessary adjustments underneath them. With these two panels you want to make sure they are flush with the top and front panels.

    [​IMG]20141110-01457-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141111-01463-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141111-01464-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    The old top panel was stapled to the firewall, I used small screws that will be partially covered by the aluminum trim that goes here.

    [​IMG]20141110-01453-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    I sealed the gap between the top panel and the firewall to force any water (if any [:(!]) to drip to the center of the box and keep it away from the firewall and trailer's floor. Didn't do this between the top frame and the edge of the firewall as I'll be sealing this area with flashing tape.

    [​IMG]20141111-01467-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141111-01466-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Drilled a 5/8" hole for the wires that feed the front marker lights.

    [​IMG]20141111-01465-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    Finished the interior floor trim by adding another plastic strip to compensate for the new floor height difference. Sealed the trailer's small floor area exposed to the storage box.

    [​IMG]20141111-01472-2 by JP M, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  20. jman1200

    jman1200 http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/jmanotas/

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    Nov 11, 2013
    Ontario
    FITTING THE ABS PANELS

    The following post is entirely about all the things I had to do to make the @#$%& ABS panels fit properly. I spent more than a week on this and installed and removed the panels more than 20 times. Crackerjack said it was a PITA, it is more a HPITA ! [LOL] [LOL] [LOL]

    These is what I had to do, it might be different to everyone that attempts this but I hope it serves as a guide and encourage you to trim pieces that you believe don't need to be adjusted. The facts are:
    - Coleman built a storage box, not a piece of furniture so don't expect the old box where you got your templates from to be 100% accurate.
    - The old pieces used as a template might have been deformed.
    - Coleman also trimmed and adjusted the box to fit the ABS panels.

    Enough said, here we go:

    Remember I already said that I reduced the width of the box at the front by approximately 1/4". The front panel was being stretched.

    I trimmed the two front edges of the new aluminum floor, same reason as before.

    [​IMG]20141105-01417-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141105-01415-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    It took me days to accept that this had to be done:
    The top of the front ABS panel drops almost 1/2" so you need to install the top panel on an angle to match that drop. In my case I had already glued it so I had to place the whole panel on a table saw and trim this top section. Here are before and after pics to better explain it. Because it ended being so thin, I added another piece of wood underneath to better support it. By doing this, I also reduced the total height of the assembled front panel.

    [​IMG]20141104-01411-3 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141109-01438-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    The bottom lip of the front ABS panel needs to fit underneath the floor and then the top of the panel fit to the point were the top edge matches the inside edge of the top wooden panel.

    [​IMG]20141015-01259-4 by JP M, on Flickr

    In my case this was not happening. The two metal brackets that hold the front lid locks were preventing the ABS panel from coming in. Again, after lots of debate I reduced the thickness of the wood where the two brackets are mounted to move them in about 1/4"

    [​IMG]20141109-01442-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20141109-01440-2 by JP M, on Flickr

    The last was adjusting the height of the top ABS panel which I described in the previous post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017

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