Underbelly Overhaul!

After our not-so-excellent experience with a mobile RV tech, we decided this had to be done! When Allen and I put our heads together and work to make something happen, we usually rock it. (And if we want to kill each other along the way, at least we come out the other side still in love!)

Jeff at LoneStar Mobile RV Repair cut into the underbelly material (which is just corrugated plastic to begin with) to “fix” our leaky tank valve and kind of left it a mess. He said he shortened the cable and that should’ve fixed it. #1-he didn’t replace the valve so I don’t see how shortening a cable would do any good. #2-now the handle won’t close all the way. #3-he did this to the gray tank, which wasn’t leaking! He’s qualified… Here’s how it looked after he left down in Dallas…

 Anyhow… Moving on to our awesome DIY teamwork!

We’ve been thinking about this for a while and decided on using sheets of aluminum to replace the underbelly material. It’s lightweight and durable, and it won’t rust! When Jeff cut into it and a bunch of water poured out, we decided NOW was the time! Also, Allen doesn’t get much downtime so we had to use Christmas break. Plus, most campgrounds won’t let you do this much work on site, so we were fortunate enough to have friends who put up with our racket and even helped us out some.

Thank you Brandi and Tommy! You guys are awesome!

 Here’s a better shot of the underbelly material once we got it off and it dried a little…

 The underbelly was held up by self-tapping screws that were pretty easy to take out. Once we got that down, this is what we found…

 It was soaking wet… Water between the plastic and (we’ll call it foil bubble wrap insulation)… Wet fiberglass insulation that was all bunched up… Wires hanging into all that…

So we pulled the old insulation out and put new, thicker, R19 insulation in it’s place. We zip tied all the wires up so they weren’t hanging down everywhere. Then we measured and Allen cut sheets of 063 aluminum (~25lbs/4×8 sheet) to fit. I held it up and he screwed it in place. I attempted to draw a diagram underneath so we know where things are now…

Oh, and we even found a random bungee cord in the mix!

 We overlapped the sheets a little going from back to front so that rain water from the road doesn’t go up into the underbelly. Then we went around and used silicone to seal the edges…

 Since we had the old insulation, we let it dry out and decided to use it to insulate the garage. The garage had nothing before, so this will help some! We did the same thing with cutting the sheets to fit, moving from back to front.

 It was COLD work, but I think we rocked it out! I’m pretty proud of us…

Oh, and before doing the garage, while we were waiting for all that wet stuff to dry out, Allen took a wire wheel to the underside to get the rust off, then coated it with Rust-Stop…

We have another mobile tech coming out Thursday from Colerain RV to hopefully actually fix/replace the waste valve, check and repair or replace the tank heater in the back bathroom, and put the new motors in the bedroom slide that Jeff just handed to me. Fingers crossed! I do have to give Ray at Grand Design props… He’s been in a great mood the last two days, cheerful, and seems like he actually likes me! Way better than he was last year in 2015! So maybe this will be the end of our crazy issues for a while…

We dumped the tanks this morning in our friends’ septic tank, so grateful for them! Here was our map (best “campground map” ever!) Gotta love it!

Sometimes living in a camper can literally be crappy, but I still love it. Frozen water, leaky poo, as long as we have each other we’ll get through it…

Cheers to getting things done right!


2 thoughts on “Underbelly Overhaul!

  1. We’ve had to remove underbelly panels and insulation too, in order to replace a grey tank valve. That was NOT fun (not an exact replacement, so lots of customizing and refiguring), and today he told me he thinks we need to replace 2 more valves. I’m going to make sure hubby reads your post, as I like the improvements you made.

    Liked by 1 person

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