Brace Yourself, Clyde!

This was probably the most progress-filled weekend on Clyde yet! We had grown so accustomed to spending hours destroying things that seeing a lot of stuff get built is just mind-blowing! Anyway, the inside of our dear Clyde is completely framed. Meaning that all the walls are now structurally sound, braced where they need to be to allow the siding to screw into place, hold the windows in at the proper heights, etc.

Brace Yourself!

The walls are so sturdy now! When we first got Clyde, you could push on the wall and watch the exterior wall bulge. If you pushed on the wall to shake the camper, only a certain part would shake, because nothing was stuck together! Now, we can grab the brace and shove as hard as we want, and it goes NOWHERE! When you grab an exterior corner and push it, the camper moves as one unit. It’s solid!

In case you are wondering about the bajillion little silver plates, those are called “ties” and they are used to connect pieces of wood that do not screw into something else. Campers are actually put together with metal staples rather than these. While tearing Clyde apart, we found that most of the staples had either rusted/corroded and already broken or were the consistency of dry spaghetti. We figured out quickly that had contributed to how unstable the camper felt. We opted for a much stronger build. Of course, this many staples would have cost about $10 and lasted for a good 20 years. But, we mean for Clyde to outlive us and give some other group of nerds much happiness. So, we went with the $.52 each tie plates. The last trip we made to Lowe’s (aka our home away from home) we bought 40 of them. We are down to one now. Sigh. Here we come again, Lowes!

I did have a wonderful moment this weekend, though. We went to Big John’s Closeouts in Elizabehton, TN. It’s sort of like a builder’s Big Lots. They had our screws there! For cheap! So we got 300 of them (all they had) for about what 100 usually costs. And, I came up with a great way to keep them. They come in a small cardboard box that is very inconvenient to carry around and easy to knock over. So, being that I am a nurse and have access to a LOT of old prescription bottles, I got one of the large bottles (like 90 day prescriptions come in) that has the reversible lid (fat part down, child proof, fat part up, not child-proof) and cleaned it out, peeled off the old label and put the screws in it. If you knock it over, it won’t spill. AND the best part… with the lid on in the un-child-proof form, it make a small dish to keep a handful of screws in for easy access. Cost: FREE and I kept a chunk of plastic out of the land-fill! Not bad, huh??

My moment of genius!

Okay, it’s not rocket science, but it really did work out well. Oh, and notice the fake-grass under the bottle? It came with Clyde and has been thru Hell and back! We use it for everything. Any time we have to crawl under the camper, lay down to do something, etc. it comes out. I am sure its original purpose was to serve as an outdoor “rug” of sorts, but we’ve worked it to pieces! We will let it retire gracefully when Clyde is finished. Because I found an AWESOME outdoor rug at Lowe’s on clearance AND I got an additional 10% off because the only one left was the floor model (rug. floor model. Funny!). I’ll have to do another “stuff for the inside of Clyde” roundup soon, and put a pic of it in there. It’s very groovy, with my 70’s harvest colors and big flowers.

Now, what comes next for Clyde is a HUGE jump. We’re calling Lyon’s metal roofing tomorrow to put in our order. They are a metal roofing manufacturer here in Piney Flats, TN. Buying direct from them, you save a fortune. But, if you’ve ever seen metal roofing, you know it has all kinds of corrugation to it, to make the rain run down correctly. So, it’d be really hard to put on a camper, as it has quite tall peaks and ridges, that would make capping the corners difficult. Here’s where my husband is a genius…

He asked them if we could buy the metal BEFORE it got corrugated. And, you can. Flat, prepainted, good for 30 years at least. AND, it comes in a gorgeous tan color called “mocha tan” that almost matches Chad’s Jeep (aka Miss Behavin’), which is what we will use to tow. I am not sure what our exact cost will be, but it is going to be a HUGE savings. The cheapest we could find replacement camper siding was about $17 per square foot BEFORE shipping. Craziness on a $600 camper!!!! So, this is going to be around $3.00 per linear foot of 3.5 foot wide sheets. Since Clyde is only 6 feet tall, we only have to get 2 sheets per side, at about 12 feet each. So, yeah… it’s gonna be CHEAP. They even sell the screws and water-tight washers in matching baked-on paint. Clyde is gonna look like a new man!!!

So, long-story already too long to be short: We are going to start re-skinning Clyde next weekend. I am anticipating getting both of the long sides done that weekend, then we’ll worry about the ends next time. We didn’t want to bite off more than we could chew all at once (and we don’t have anywhere to store huge hunks o’ metal at Mom and Dad’s, where we work on Clyde). So, we’re starting there, and seeing how we do!

Believe me, my next post of Clyde Work should be AMAZING. Next weekend, the weather is supposed to be perfect, partly cloudy and in the high 70’s. Keep your fingers crossed that it stays that way! Rain will cancel the whole plan, since we have to take all the siding off both sides to get started on this! EEK!

Trust me, I’ll get PLENTY of pictures!

So, say prayers and do dances for good weather and happy engineering, since neither of us know what we are doing!




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Myron Pstrak
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 23:01:49

    Can’t wait to see the progress….


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