Tools of the Trade

We used a lot of specialty tools while working on the trailer, but here’s a quick post about one we found invaluable – a pair of Amerimax Metal Bender Pliers – available on here.

We picked these pliers up at the hardware store while looking for something that we could use to straighten out the trim that wraps around the edges of the trailer.  The trim was severely bent in several places, especially where the tree had fallen on it.  We first tried a rubber mallet, but even though the aluminum is soft and relatively pliable, we just couldn’t get it straightened using a mallet.  This tool worked great for putting small sections at a time in between the plates – a lot of elbow grease was necessary while squeezing to help straighten out the edges, but the end result was better than anything else that we’d figured out!  They sold larger plates, but we made do with the ones that came with the pliers, just edging them down the trim and pressing as we went.

If you have a similar problem, get yourself a pair of these – while it wasn’t as good as going back in time and preventing the tree from falling on the roof, it was the best solution that we found!

Better than nothing!

Working to get the kinks out!

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Attack of the Vampliers!

We visited the Shasta for another weekend of discovery and screw removal, fancy pliers in hand. We ordered a pair of Vampliers brand pliers, and as you can see in the pictures, we were able to remove some pretty nasty screws with their help!

Vampliers with rusty screw

The Vampliers grip their prey.

We removed about 50 rusted screws that we hadn’t been able to remove with ordinary pliers, and the Vampliers lived up to their claims. The teeth wore down a fair amount during their first day of use, but the ease of removing all those rusted screws was well worth picking them up.

Very rusty screws

The Vampliers bit into these horrible screws!

Even with their amazing powers, there were still 5 incredibly rusted screws that they weren’t able to grip, so we had to improvise flat head screwdriver fittings with a Dremel and a cutting wheel. That trick worked amazingly well, and after a few minutes of cutting and removing, we had the final screws out of the trim!

Rusty improvised screws

Instant flat-heads!

Next up, removing the last remaining windows, and getting a better peek at the condition of the wooden frame!

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Another Missing Piece


This gray slab might not seem exciting – but we’re pretty enthusiastic! This is a replacement exterior roof vent for our refrigerator, fresh off a trailer from New Jersey. Our original vent was damaged when a tree fell on the Shasta. We just found this replacement, which looks like it is in much better shape. We’re pleased to have located another piece of the puzzle!

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Lights! Camera! Shasta!

10_23_2013 3_15_05 PM_jpg

While the winter season is upon us (even though it is only October, we’re expecting snow later this week in Pennsylvania!) we won’t be able to do much actual work on the Shasta.  We’ll just have to satisfy ourselves with hunting down some of her missing and damaged parts, so we’ll be ready to start some serious body work in the spring.  In addition to major upgrades like a new roof vent, and major body pieces like tracking down the missing rock guard on the front, we’re looking for all kinds of lighting, including getting the running lights back to the original shape.  However, we didn’t have to look long for new interior lights!  Two out of three of the current shades are broken – the heat probably weakened the plastic, so they were pretty easily broken.  One in the rear was broken by the loft, and the one in the front was probably broken by the fridge door slamming into it.  Without much difficulty, we managed to find two shades and three fixtures in great shape! These new parts came from a 1973 1400 in Massachusetts.  We’re looking forward to getting these installed as one of the finishing touches once we’re done with the body work.  They’re going to look great!


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