Trailer rebuilding: drainage, paneling and wood stove

Yes, I skipped a few days of updates. But now I have so much more to report after working all weekend.

On Friday, we had the big trench dug for the drain pipe. I spent Saturday digging and sizing and cutting over and over again until I could get the pipes joined up. It was quite the repetitive process and after numerous iterations gets frustrating too.

Just so you know, I’m using the drain pipe we had setup before (that froze solid last winter) as it was more than long enough for the job. I just had to cut it to the correct length, which is a bit tricky. I usually would cut it so it was too long and then refine it with more cuts as I got it closer and closer to the connection. It’s a PITA, but it works.

Here is the result: one drain pipe installed.


That’s all I did on Saturday. It took way longer than I thought to hook up the pipe, though there was a lot of digging involved to make the trench that goes under the trailer to the back. C’est la vie, as they say.

Speaking of digging, I also mentioned finding some shiny stuff that was dug up. Well, I managed to take a decent picture of a sample.


There was quite a bit of that, whatever it is. Some of it looks more crystal/gem-like than metallic. Perhaps we’re dealing with multiple minerals, which is probably the case. I saved some samples in case anyone comes over who wants to look at it.

Guess what I did on Sunday?

Shoveled dirt. A lot of it. Well, I also put the barrel on the end of the drain pipe and put it into place before shoveling, but for the most part, it was just moving dirt.

By the end of the day, the hole looked like this.


Almost completely full. Not bad for one day’s work. Well, more like a little over three hours, not really a full day. After slinging dirt for three hours, I had had enough. My back and shoulders were starting to feel it so we quit early.

Kat was busy inside on the weekend working on the paneling. I think she needs a break cause she is getting really frustrated with it. Some of the cuts have turned out bad for her and that is always disappointing.

I do have an interior shot from Sunday so you can see how the paneling is coming along.


So, that brings us to today: Monday. First thing we did when we arrived this morning is filled in the rest of the hole. That probably only took 30 minutes or so as Kat helped me with the final bit. Now we have a dirt path instead of a hole.


After that, I put sealer on the grout around the tiles. I was warned by the “experts” that you should always seal the grout, even if it isn’t for a kitchen or bathroom because if you try to wash it later, water will do bad things to the grout. I happened to have some grout sealer, so putting it on was no big deal. Except for the fact that my applicator bottle was seized. I couldn’t get the sealer to come out of it. So I just used a small paint brush and painted it on.

With the grout sealing done, I moved on to paneling while Kat worked outside doing some painting. We put two more panels up on the ceiling and I finished the walls around the tiles.

We took a pause for lunch, and then things got exciting.

Here is the beginning.


If you’re wondering what that is, that is stage 1 of the heat shield that goes behind the wood stove. It is a 1/2″ (13mm) cement board.

After that, we add some spacers and then put stage 2 of the heat shield, which happens to be some roof sheet metal. There is a 3″ (76mm) gap between the two shields.


Then, low and behold, a wood stove arrived. Looking quite spiffy too, with all of the work Kat has put into it.


The stove still needed a bit of tidying up, as you can see from the picture, but it was de-rusted, polished, painted and the gaskets for the window and door were replaced. Kat also cleaned out the mechanism for the draft slider so it is working better now too.

All that is left, is to put the chimney in. Unfortunately, with all of the changes to the height of the floor, the old pipe won’t fit. I could have probably modified it, but I felt this was an opportunity to try and reduce the angle of the chimney bend.

Of course, when you’re doing something like this, trying to figure out how to measure the pieces can get tricky as you have an angled piece that needs to fit into a vertical piece somewhere in mid air. If I was working in a CAD program, I would probably set up some guidelines to help with that. Well, we’re not in CAD, we’re in real life, so I set up some real life guidelines.


String is awesome! This will make it easy to take the measurements, do a bit of mathing, and then cut the new pieces of the pipe.

The old pipe used an angle of 30 degrees. This new one will only have a 15 degree angle. Hopefully this will help increase the chimney draft as we had problems with that last winter. We also added 6′ (183cm) of additional insulated chimney pipe outside when we added the roof over the trailer. We should be all set.

It shouldn’t take long to finish the chimney pipe tomorrow, so we will fully armed and operational very soon. Hide your rebel bases, cause we’re going to fire it up.


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