Saturday, January 21, 2012

Is This Part 5? Who Cares, 1957 Caravaner

I feel I am now caught up enough to stop the "updates". At FTW we have had the pleasure of working on Michael's 1957 Caravaner. We did a little stuff to get Michael set for camping earlier in the year. Now his trailer has come back to get ready for an even longer season that entails a cross country trip and many nights boon docking.

His 57 is in very original state, even though the previous owner did some work, it is fairly original.

Here you see the modern, stainless steel, 30 amp, power inlet that was part of updating the electrical system. Now a locking power cord can be used instead of just a extension cord. In 1957, the 12 volt system was a tractor battery connected to a single light bulb in the ceiling fixture. It was very basic lighting just really intended for setting up or while on the road. We installed a converter, fuse box, and a distribution box. Now the original 12 volt light is supplied, as are new under counter lights, and task lights.

All the exposed steel was first sand blasted, then treated with Por15 rust treatment. We then primed and top coated using a two stage automotive paint that matches Michael's tow vehicle.

This is the color. It is a metallic paint. I think it is called Deep Cherry.

We gave the rims the very same treatment. Rims are VERY hard to spray. Take my word for it!

They came out Fan Damn Tabulous if you ask me. They look super sharp with the baby moon hub caps offered by Vintage Trailer Supply. That, is also a very sexy wheel well cut out I might add.

The plumbing was, well, as I said earlier, ... the previous owner did some stuff.

The plumbing has all been converted to PEX. I like the solid copper band style as opposed to the crimp style rings. The blue and red lines allow for easy identification should an issue ever arrive. A new Whisper King pump, accumulator, and a winterization kit were also installed to make life even easier.

The battery and converter were tucked into the most unusable space possible. Just forward of it we installed the new water heater. This is not your normal water heater however. It is an RV 500 water on demand heater.

This is the unpainted aluminum door they offer. It will polish up like a mirror. This is the unit in a 1971 Overlander. I use this photo just to show what the door looks like.

In Michael's trailer we installed it with an eyebrow above it to make it blend with the original hatch next door. As you can see, the unit is very well constructed. The solid copper still on the left is where water meets flame. Everything about these units is impressive. The second you touch the water valve, it knows and fires up. Within one second hot water is at your spout. The moment you turn the water off, it turns off. Very efficient to say the least. You might also note the water fill tucked right up under there.

A drawer contains all the electrical stuff if an issue ever comes up. Like I said, a very well made item here. This makes trouble shooting easy and replacing any electronics easy. These units do cost about 3 times as much as a regular water heater, but I personally feel it well worth the extra cost. Want your own on demand water heater from Precision Temp? I am now a dealer and would be glad to hook you up(get it, hook you up?)!!!


  1. Like the PEX and the Precision Temp. Hope to get to that at some point.