Thursday, February 17, 2011


It is often wonderful to plan out how an interior will be built out. One can draw it out on paper to scale to see if the proportions will work. Visualize it, meditate on it, try as you might, until it is in three dimensions, you have no clue how it work in real life. I wanted to be sure the flow, the function, and fit will be all correct. I took a day and built a cardboard interior. I built a CardStream. I wonder if Michael De Praida will make me a shirt.

On a quick side note... I love Michael. He makes awesome shirts of really high quality materials. I am wearing one of his shirts as I type this. Please, buy a shirt from him and tell him "Frank asked me to buy a shirt." Lets flood him with orders.

OKAY, OKAY!!! I can shill for my friends. Back to the double door...

Mocking it up the interior offers many things to the build. Not only do I feel the actual flow through the space, it allows me to locate all the wiring that needs to be run. I can locate the outlets, switches, and light so that once the cabinet are built, everything will fall into place.

Here we are looking into the front window. The desk is in the foreground. There will be a gaucho under the street side windows. It will pull out to a double bed.

Bruce plans to full time in the Double Door and this will be his mobile office.

Next on the street side after the gaucho will be the refrigerator cabinet. The 110 volt breaker box will be located in the cabinet above it.

The wet bath will be opposite the galley.

The wet bath will have a composting toilet sitting within a stainless steel pan. The interior walls will all be aluminum. For the walls of the wet bath, we will be using aluminum sheets. The opening and wall you see here will be an oversized shower door that has a large panel of frosted glass next to it. This will allow light to pass through from both sides.

Next to the fridge is a long run of base cabinets. A stove will be to the far right. A sink will be centered on the middle window. A 37 gallon tank will be under this run of cabinets.

Though not in the mock up, a run of metal upper cabinets will be used. These are salvaged from a 1954 Safari. They will probably be stripped and polished. That is all for later though.

To the rear of the wet bath will be a large pantry and wardrobe unit. It will also have a second water tank with 27 gallons. Combined the Double Door will carry 64 gallons of fresh water.

The mocking up of the interior might seem like a lot of work, but it has proven a good deal to me. When one has a conversation that turns into an idea, which morphs into a concept, that needs to evolve into a layout, this makes seeing and feeling it a reality. You have no idea how many times a drawing was handed to me of something that was impossible to build. I was always told "but, I drew it out so it must work". A full size mock up proves it will work.

Now you don't see it in those mock up photos, but all the electric has been roughed in at this point. The second layer of insulation has been installed too. Skins are being prepped for reinstallation.

The water heater went in for good also. I just could not take the look of the white, Atwood supplied door. I made my own from Alclad. Airstream offers brushed stainless steel doors. The problem, Airstreams are aluminum not stainless steel and they are certainly not a brushed surface. The double doors hatch can be polished to a mirror if wanted.

We also installed two inlets through the side. One is for 30 amp shore power the other is for a co axial cable connection. Previously I have used Marinco brand inlets, but Steve at Vintage Trailer Supply now stocks this alternative by Furrion. The inlet is not as beefy as the Marinco brand but at 1/2 the price it is well worth the price. I think these inlets look super slick on the side of the Double Door.

I actually called the VAP voice mail line to ask for help earlier in the week. I could not wait and I solved it. The problem is the that the "Sovereign" name plate is made from white metal.

Over the years two of the four mounting posts had broken off. To drill into it is very difficult because it is so thin and also incredibly fragile.

I cut the head off of a machine screw to create a proper diameter stud.

I then JB Welded the new stud on. Amazingly the JB Weld is holding it tight. I did not feel it was enough to hold it on forever. Yes, I said forever. I work to those kind of standards.

To be sure of it not coming back off I used a double sided automotive tape. I have been advised that this will work very well.

By the next update I will have interior skins in. The forward progress has picked up dramatically. It won't be long now before you will see the Double Door on the road.


  1. The mockup idea is great.

    My money's on the JBWeld - it's great stuff. I think the aluminum will oxidize under the double-sticky, and it will let go.


  2. It looks fantastic! The owner is going to be so happy! All that storage is what you need when you full time it...

  3. Everything looks great Frank. Can't wait to see the final product. Thanks for the idea on the water heater cover. I think I'll try making one of those myself. Looks WAY better than the white Atwood cover.

  4. I like that floorplan - really dig the long kitchen galley. I keep wondering if there's a way we could duplicate/flip around a modern 25FB twin floorplan into a 70s Caravanner or Tradewind...

  5. Lovely idea Frank; the cardboard interior. Well worth the effort, particularly if you're rejigging the layout. You can look at drawings a hundred times over & never quite get a true sense of how the space will work & feel; cardboard boxes are the future - nice work & (of course) great pictures.

    She's going to be a double-headturner when she's done.


  6. Finally catching up on my blog reading, this looks so fantastic Frank, I love the layout. It's really coming together now.

  7. Love the cardboard idea. I used it to mock up my entire teardrop trailer so I could get a feel for the space. Worked great until it rained...