Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Traded the Barth for the Cortez I always wanted... :)

Sad day for the Barth project, it was terminated before completion... in lieu of a 1969 Clark Cortez. Follow the new blog at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Picked Up the Awning and Got it Installed

So Emerson and I went to Yakima again (where we bought the Barth) for a little road trip to pick up what I thought was an 18 Foot A&E 8500 awning frame... turns out when I got it home and went to install it, it was actually a 19 footer... oops.

Well, we started out pretty early Saturday after dropping the cat off at the vet, Emerson and I went east and arrived in Yakima by about 9:15. We brought along plenty of ratchet tie-downs, old towels and U-Haul brand plastic wrap. Cameron (guy I bought it from) and I wrapped it all up and got her strapped down to the GTI for the trip home. Only adjustment I needed to make was the tie strap that went through the cab needed to have a rag under it so it wouldn't flap on the roof. This is my view on the way home:


So when I got home we unwrapped it, figured out it was longer than I thought it was... so we needed to make a few adjustments to make it work. First was now that it was an extra foot longer, I would need to mount the lower front foot above the wheel well, instead of in the trim behind it. I had to flip the top brackets over to make it fit.


Nothing to major. I will probably put another couple of screws in the top on either side of the mount point when I fully install it... right now since I don't have the fabric yet, this is a test run of sorts to make sure it fits and works properly.

So the front arm installed like this:


You can also see from here I needed to cut about 2 inches off the arm in the front to allow the inner leg and arm to retract enough to clip into the lower mount without lifting the arm out of the travel lock. This will not affect the total length of the arm at all, everything below that grey and black latch was not necessary for height.

and the rear into the trim (frame) like this:


You can see, there really is no longer awning that would have fit on this 25 Footer (remember the bustle is included in that length too)


and the full awning installed! (Awaiting new fabric, that green is NOT staying there! :)


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Some updates, we all love updates, right?

Ripped out the carpet, most of the ceiling, sealed up most of the roof (leaking pretty good around the roof A/C), broke the AC shroud (can build another from Aluminum for under $60, could also be the leak at the AC), got a few car audio/video items (CD/DVD player for movies, Tunes Back-up cam, 21" LCD), took out most of the overhead cabinets to replace the ceiling, removed the old window tint. Still need to work on the Converter, then install an inverter and run inverted power from that to the rear for a 2nd 19" LCD Monitor, laptop and Speakers for the bedroom.

Overall work is going pretty slow with time, but things should start moving along here shortly.

Thinking of making the Dinette about 6" skinnier to allow a strait isle front to rear, and give more room in the "Kitchen" area. A single there is good enough, it's just the 3 of us anyways and we plan to make the rear a Super King too... and we have a bunk over the cab.

Other things on the to do is getting any additional wiring ran and all leaks sealed up while we have the ceiling down.

I think I might have found a 18' awning frame (arms, feet, roller) on CL, hopefully I can pick that up this weekend. Then it's calling in another favor from my dad to sew up another awning. Smiler


Friday, February 25, 2011

Let's talk Audio/Video...

Alright, so it looks like the Barth is going to be wired for some Audio/Video Action. My brother recently bought a 2003 Jetta with a pretty interesting deck in it that he didn't want, so I offered to take that off his hands for a reasonable price.

The deck has some cool features. Built in 3" LCD screen, 2 RCA outputs and 1 Backup Camera Input. Plays MP3 and DVDs, SD card input, Line in and USB for plenty of flexibility. So it looks like the 8-Track is coming out after all in favor of the new media.

I figure I can run my Droid on Google Maps or Pandora, piped in to the stereo. Movies? Sure I can do that too, and I think I will yank the Dash AC out (pictured below) and replace it with a 21" LCD computer monitor I don't use anymore. Not bad for a back up camera, huh?

So While I have the ceiling down I will run wires for speakers, Backup Camera and all that jazz. I guess I need to figure out a Inverter as well for the Monitor, but that won't be too hard I have a Cheap 300 watt laying around, and that will do the trick nicely. I think I'll hard wire that into the dash switches for easy on/off switching.

For the rear, I will have my old laptop (bad screen and tired battery) mounted in the rear cabinet, running off another inverter or off 110v depending if we are on the road or not. (I wish I kept that 700w inverter from the Aristocrat now...damn) This one will play videos, hook up to WiFi (Pandora, Netflix, Hulu) and output to a 19" LCD (for now until I go larger later...that's just what I have now) and my favorite Altec-Lansing Desktop sub and speakers. I can also bring along a portable external HD with movies and Music from home.

Well that should just about cover it for now. None of this will get put in for a while, need to tackle the other stuff first. But plans are always good... especially since it will be a whiole lot easier to run wires when the ceiling is down, like I said.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The weekend is upon us!!

So we took the valves back that didn't work at Lowe's and I grabbed a couple of carpet samples of what I may put in there... I'm leaning to the multicolored one to bring in the reds, browns and blacks together... but it's also the most expensive too. 2nd on the list is the Berber (center). Both of these will go with the fabric I got from my dad.


Then looking through the lights I came across this, it's meant to be down lighting for a deck, but I'm going to use it for the entry steps. I may or may not have it on one of the dash switches, and maybe I'll have it triggered when the door opens... not sure. But it's only 7W 12v so it won't drain the battery very fast, so I may just run it direct from the dash, or run it on the same switch the lit Barth entry handle is on.


Last but not least... one in a million! I found the right valves to replace the guts in my winterizing vales. One got a bit torn up getting it out the first time, and the other probably just needed a new seal, but now I have two smoothly operating valves and didn't need to mess with removing the existing pipes/valves. Yay!

I also scored on the bits I needed for removing most everything in the Coach... at McLendon's in Renton, WA (where I found the valves above) I was able to get the right bits on clearance for only $0.13 a piece!! Normal price? $2.49!! So I bought 10. :)

We should be able to get the overhead cabinets out, and most of the ceiling down this weekend... we'll see if I'm able to get any put back up... probably not. We'll just work on getting the old stuff out. I would really like to get the 12v system working, independent of the Generator or Shore power. Need to open up the Converter and sand a few points to hopefully get them working again. The problem is it's not returning the power to the battery directly when you unplug it. There is a relay I see moving alright, but the points may be gummed up or something. We'll see.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekend work, and slept in in for two nights, propane woes.

So my wife was gone on a girls weekend, so the boys got some work done on the RV and took it for another drive... some good some bad... well here goes:

I scraped all the purple 1980's tint off, let's a lot more light in and got rid of that horrible purple, weathered bubbled tint. Some came off really easily in sheets, and some was a LOT of scraping with a razor blade, (or 4).


E and I brought out a heater, a laptop and some desktop speakers to watch a movie and sleep both Friday and Saturday nights. Friday we slept in the twins, for Saturday I found a piece of plywood that worked great to make it into a big King, and we slept the other way (heads to Port, feet to Starboard) That was fun both nights! Sunday we took it out for a little spin to keep everything flowing. Stopped by the Auto Parts store and Grabbed a new filter and a in-line fuel pump to help transfer the fuel up to the mechanical pump after it's been sitting for a while. I think I'll wire that up to one of the switches on the dash, but maybe on a momentary switch instead of a toggle... hmmm. Toggle for now.

Went down to my dad's to visit on Sunday and he showed me a bit about the drain valves that are leaking, I tried to get new guts, but the guy at Lowes was useless in helping, I guessed and it wasn't quite right... back those go. I am trying to replace the guts without removing the valves themselves... they have been there for a while, so I don't want to do more damage trying to remove them than I need to... this will be fun... I think I'll have to go to McLendon's in Renton, they have a MUCH better plumbing selection then HD/Lowes for stuff like this. So I'll snap a picture of the valve body, and bring one of the existing guts with me so hopefully I can get the right one.

He also gave me a roll of excess fabric from one of the jobs he did. I like it a lot, I guess it was something like $80/yard and was imported from Italy. There is not enough to do both the rear cushions AND the dinette... so I'll have to choose one or the other... or... maybe just use this for the tops and sides of the cushions and use a complimentary fabric for the bottoms... I'll have to unroll it and get real measurements, but I think it's about 5-6 yards x (54inches wide) so we'll see. It has a really nice look and feel to it.


I tried to get a couple gallons of Propane filled to test out the furnace and such... and the fill valve is stuck open so the LP just poured out on the concrete... have to get it replaced.

Well that's about it. Until next weekend (or I get a chance to get out there again.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Plans Plans Plans

Kai, this one's for you to answer your question on Multiply

As you can see in the last picture, I have started to take the ceiling down. The leaks destroyed the ceiling panels from one end to another. I plan to pull the overhead cabinets down, Check for any more leaks, insulate and replace the ceiling panels. They are basically luan with vinyl/fiberglass coating on one side, like you might put in a shower wall, riveted into the aluminum supports then trimmed. The walls in the bathroom need to be replaced as well. These run about $12 per 4x8' sheet so not to bad at all.

After that I may replace the carpeting and pad, paint a few of the interior walls (dining area) to brighten it up a bit (may use paintable wallpaper like this) Remove the paint from the kitchen and dining room drawer and cabinet faces and re-stain them to match the rear cabinets or go a bit darker like 'espresso'.

I will take the covers off the cushions to see if they can be washed without falling apart to get some of the stink out... I'll steam the foam to bring it back to life, and see about re-installing them as is. Some are pretty torn up (hidden in the pictures) so I may sew new covers for the cushions. The Roman shades are going away as well and will be replaced with new curtains. The purpled tint will come off the windows and will be replaced with limo tint again (like I did in the trailer).

I still need to test the LP systems like the furnace and water heater, replace the winterizing valves in the water system that refuse to seal closed. The 12v pump cannot shut off when it's on as there is a constant pressure drop do to these leaks.

Soooo... that is what's needed to get it Camp-able, then we go to the outside where the real fun begins.

Stripping all the paint and polishing the lower half. Stripping the vinyl woodgrain finish and painting the upper section blood red to match the interior. This will also wrap around the front  under the windshield and on the back around the window above the bustle (trunk). The bumpers will also get stripped and polished as well as the hub caps will get brightened up a bit.

Hopefully I can find an awning to replace the one that is missing, and then that would just about do it. Other than the steps I had to rebuild, the rest of the rig is pretty solid structurally, so it just required some tweaking. :)

Oh, and I need to build the slide out to support that rear bed, those cushions were just floating there in the pictures.