Rosie the Riveter

My first riveting job

My first riveting job

Another dragon slain!  I got the black and grey tank vent covers replaced today!

I was unsure if I would need 3mm or 5 mm rivets, so I got a package of each.  I practiced riveting — and drilling out rivets — on the piece of fiberglass I had cut from the roof when I installed the fan.

Working with the 3mm rivets was easy.  But I did not have the hand strength to pop the 5 mm rivets.  I was so hoping that the 3mm size was what I would need for the job.

After I scraped the caulking off the rivets on the old vents, I was thrilled to see that they had used 3 mm!

It was pretty easy removing the old vent caps.  The caulking was another matter.  But I used a good silicone remover and was able to get every trace of the old stuff off.

I did discover a wasp tending a nest in the gray water pipe.  I squirted her with Raid, then used tongs to remove the nest.

I lined the vent caps with butyl tape, then fit them over the pipes.  I was disappointed that the new vents have a different hole pattern than the original ones.  But I just stuffed a ball of butyl tape in the old holes, drilled new ones… then very proudly did my first riveting jobs!

I don’t know if I needed to caulk the rivet caps, but I felt better putting a dollop of self leveling caulking on them.

With self leveling caulking over the rivets

With self leveling caulking over the rivets

I am tired, but feel such a sense of accomplishment.  There are so many little things I was afraid to do in the Casita because I was afraid of rivets.  Now I can remove the vent on the side of the kitchen cupboard and get rid of the rust in the corner and repaint it.  And I have plans to add larger cupboard vents and also vents at the bottom and top of the closet.  And I can add a vent to the bench where the water tank is so heat can get to it and the pipes in winter.  I’m also thinking of maybe adding vents to the side of the dinette seats for the same reason.

Also, I have ordered another Maxx Air window vent.  I tried the fan with just the rear vent open.  The fan sounded like it was straining, and there was no air circulation over the dinette.  So then I opened the dinette window the same distance it would open if I had another vent there.  The fan motor sounded happier, and I got a delicious cross breeze in the dinette area.

I’ve also ordered a clear, smoke colored opening window for the front door.  And a new wire kit for the battery so I can replace the stiff wires that I’m always afraid will break. So I have mods galore planned!

We want to go camping later this month after we get past vet visits for Sunny and Sheba.  But I’m afraid it’s going to be way too hot to enjoy being outside.  We’ll plan on a couple of days, and if we enjoy it, we can extend it for several more days.

Also, I REALLY want to get to the mountains in July or August.  That was the real impetus for the fan and vents — so we can be comfortable there without electricity.

So I am happy. I’m looking forward to learning the things I need to learn to do my new projects.  And I’m betting that by the time I get them finished, I’ll be confident enough to tackle the fan motor replacement on the furnace!

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