The Window is In!

I can see outside now!

I can see outside now!

I finally got a break in the rain, so was able to install the new clear, smoke colored, opening window in the Casita’s door.

The old window out and on the ground.

The old window out and on the ground.

The first step was ridiculously easy… removing the screws that held the old frame in, sliding a spatula underneath the bottom outside flange… and it just fell out.  After I had the old window out, I test fitted the new one.  Perfect!

This is going to be the easiest mod I’ve ever done! I exulted.

There was one chore to do before I could mount the new window — scraping off the old silicone.  I used a good silicone remover which made the job not difficult.  Just tedious.

Next was sticking the weather stripping to the new outside flange.  It was cut perfectly to size.  So I had Ron carry the new window outside for me where I would triumphantly mount it.

The new window

The new window

But then, Murphy reared his ugly head.

The directions said nothing about drilling screw holes in the frame.  So I got a few screws in, but the weather stripping wasn’t compressing and there was a half inch gap between the window and the inner frame.   I thought it must be that the weather stripping was too thick, so I removed it and replaced it with butyl tape.  But the butyl tape wouldn’t compress and there was still that one half inch gap inside.

Then I realized that the screws weren’t penetrating deeply enough, so I drilled pilot holes for the screws and tried again.  Still no compression of the seal–and still that gap.  So I figured I needed to drill the pilot holes deeper….  and I drilled a hole all the way through the outside frame.

New window interior

New window interior

So I took out all the nice, matching black screws that were provided and hunted through my screw collection until I found some shorter screws that were the same width.  Amazingly, the screws bit in, compressed the outside sealant and pulled the inside trim flush against the window.

But there was still some covering my mistakes to do.  I had to insert a screw into the outside frame (well sealed) to cover my Murphy drill-through.  And I had to paint it and the interior screws black to match the frame like the factory screws.

Anyway, it’s done, and now that the window is in, I am thrilled with it.  I can see the view outside my dinette bed while I’m reading, surfing, working crosswords or just enjoying a cup of coffee.  And the window opens!  Having that extra ventilation is wonderful.

New window open

New window open

The window has a very good latch.  It’s as secure — or maybe more secure than the original window.  If someone wants to break in while the window is closed, they are still going to have to break the glass.  And I won’t leave it open unless I feel it is safe to do so.

But like all projects, this one means I have a couple of new projects to do

First is new curtains.  I don’t want curtains up in the daytime because they would block the view.  So I’m planning to mount an attractive curtain rod and make curtains with little rings to go on the rod. They will slide off the rod easily so I can store them during the day.  And they will slide open easily if I need to open them to see who is outside the door at night.

That presents another project.  The screen door is between me and the window.  The only way to open the screen door is to open the outside door.  So I plan to attach a small cup hook to a narrow dowel and hang it from the last curtain ring on the right.  It can hang down to door handle level where I can reach it to open the curtain without opening the door.

The Murphy screw

The Murphy screw. I’m calling it a beauty mark. 🙂

BUT before I can see who is at the door at night, I need to wire my outside porch light so it can be turned on from the inside, too.

But I’m so thrilled with the new window that I’ll get the curtains done before our next camping trip in July.  The wiring might have to wait a little longer.

I need some time to recover from the Murphy ambush!

It’s a Non-Issue. Whew!

The previous owner was a great lover of silicone!

The previous owner was a great lover of silicone!

I feel so foolish!  I ALWAYS assume the worst when something goes wrong, as I did with the antenna.  I was sure it was broken and would require reinstallation and resealing.

Once I got up there and took a close look, I was able to simply turn the antenna back to its original position.  Nothing is broken.  Nothing has to be fixed.

That’s great, because it is starting to sprinkle outside.

I plan to leave the antenna as it is for now.  Eventually I’ll replace it with a new digital antenna.  At that point, I’ll remove all the silicone and use a much better sealant on the new one.

Thanks to you guys for your advice.  I really appreciate it, even though it turned out I didn’t need it right now.  🙂

 

Gearing up for My 1st Electrical Adventure!

I have desperately wanted to have a Fantastic Fan installed in my Casita.  The original owner ordered it from the factory without any roof vent at all!  But our local RV shop does such shoddy work that I wasn’t willing to trust them with cutting a hole in the roof of my Casita.  (His fixes were largely responsible for the early demise of my Aliner.)  Also, the Fantastic Fan is made for RVs with thicker roofs, and a lot of shops will tell you a Fantastic Fan can’t be installed in a Casita.

The Fantastic Fan

The Fantastic Fan

I figured the only way I could get it done by someone I trust was to make a trip to Texas and have Larry at Little House Customs do it for me.

But tonight I read this article on how to install one.  It answered my BIG question on where to tie the wires in.  It says I can use either the wires to the bathroom fan or to the lighting.  It also showed me how to score the insert to fit my narrower ceiling.

I think I can find the wires to the bathroom fan without doing any damage to the ceiling carpet.  And I think I should be able to fish the fan wire the short distance needed.  I may have to loosen a little bit of the carpet at the ceiling/bathroom wall juncture.  But I can restore that with contact cement.

Cover for the fan so I can use it when it's raining.

Cover for the fan so I can use it when it’s raining.

My big questions will be which wires to tie to which fan wires.  But I figure I can take a photo of the wires and ask the guys on the Casita forum.  They are GREAT at patiently answering even the dumbest-sounding questions.  (The reason I know is I have already asked several!)  😀

So I ordered the Fantastic Fan tonight from Adventurenet.  I’ve had several positive dealings with them in the past, and they have great prices and low shipping costs.

I also ordered a rain cover for the fan so I can leave it running when it’s raining.  With the MaxxAir vent I already installed in the rear window, I can partially open that window so the fan can pull fresh air through.

I ordered the vent cover with the removable louver so I can clean out leaves and pine straw that accumulate under there.  I was afraid that maybe the louver would loosen in time.  But it it does, I’ll devise a method to hold it in place.

I know that this project (like all my projects) will have me pulling my hair out trying to get everything right the first time.  And I’ll probably be really sorry I attempted it for a while.  But I am SO excited about learning how to do this!

If I succeed at this project, then I’ll try to add a switch so I can turn on the Casita’s porch light from inside as well as outside — another feature I’ve wanted for a long time!

Who knows…. I may even attempt the fast gray plumbing mod on my little trailer before I’m done!!!!

 

New Water Heater, Storage & Tatted Cat

Aliner under bed storage

Aliner underbed storage. The three drawer chest was taken out to allow easier access for the new water heater installation.

We got the old water heater out of the Aliner and the new one slid into place today.  That part was an easy job.

The difficult part was prying the mounting collar off the old unit and getting the old sealant off it.

We ran out of daylight on our project, so Ron taped plastic over the hole in the trailer.  And we are taking turns scraping the old sealant off the mounting collar tonight.  We are almost to the stage where GooGone spray gel will work.

View of right side storage

This photo shoes the shoe space in front of the converter, a clothes basket, with additional storage beside it.

Then tomorrow I’ll prime and paint it, and we can finish the installation.

I thought you might be interested in seeing a picture of our under bed storage since we have the bed boards and mattresses out until the water heater installation is complete.

All the space on the left is storage, except for the small area where my three stage smart charger and solar controller are mounted.  The controller is on that side because the plugin for my solar panel is on the exterior on that side.  The smart charger is there because that’s where the RV shop put it!

The rear right houses the water heater and water tank.  Next is the converter, which has space for shoe storage in front of it.  Then there is space for Ron’s clothes basket and a plastic box that holds toilet chemicals and such.  And in winter, the little ceramic heater fits in front of the plastic box.

tatted cat

Tatted kitty kat

Last night I worked on tatting an angel.  I started over four times before finally recognizing that the pattern was too advanced for me.  So I switched to a kitty.  The original pattern is by Nancy Taylor at Be-stitched.com.  But her pattern was for an elegant Aristokitty, and I wanted a more ordinary looking cat.  So I used the body and tail part of the pattern, eliminated the chops, and made the head a little bigger.

The fan and kitty will be used on a purse for my granddaughter.  I need to tat one more motif, then I plan to make some pretty beaded edging for it.  I’ll post a picture when it’s completed.

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