Caboose rebuild

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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby night*sky » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:06 pm

The Caboose actually went down the road a bit today for the first time in about 40 years! It had been sitting on the side of the access road into a campground, and the folks there were getting a bit antsy about getting it out of there so today it moved a few miles to the marina down by the lake. There's a few more details on the blog, but here's a picture of it at the lake. :applause:

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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby Shadow Catcher » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:12 am

I will be watching your efforts and will be rooting for you. This will be very special when you are done. :thumbsup:
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby night*sky » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:49 pm

Well, there's been a HUGE setback today. All the gory details and photos are on the blog. Maybe I should have picked a trailer in slightly better condition for my first attempt at this. :thinking:

Any suggestions and comments are welcome.
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby S. Heisley » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:05 pm

In the picture of it being pulled to the lake, it looks like a real caboose! Sorry to hear of the damage you found today. Something must've been holding it in place where it was originally sitting? Is the chassis wood or metal? I don't understand why the tongue would be positioning itself like it is now, unless it's only attached to wood. Can you get some blocks to set under the good parts of the wood to keep it up so you can work on it to shore it up? It's quite a project!
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby night*sky » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:26 pm

Hi Sharon, The wood is all rotted away in the front half of the caboose, there was nothing to screw into when I tried to reattached the loose siding panels. I can't see any visible cracks in the frame near the tongue, my guess is that the whole thing is just so compromised by rust that the frame members are bending. It was probably fine just sitting in one spot but the added stress of being jacked up twice for the tires and wheel bearing work followed by hauling it must have weakened it even more. (Or knocked off the rust that was holding it together) :lol:
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby mezmo » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:00 am

Hi night*sky,

It looks like your, Pre-Semaphore, American Leisure Time Industries Prototype Caboose is
a 'one-of-a-ten'-kind there! From the two pics on the owner's son's website, the prototype
[yours]version looks a little more "caboosey" to my eye anyway.

Also, I want to say at the start of this, that my suggestions/comments are just those. I don't
want you to feel like I'm trying to tell you how to restore or direct your restoration of the caboose.
I'm just trying to give some ideas/info for you to consider if they'd be of help in deciding your path.
There are many possible approaches, as I'm sure you're well aware of.

To start out, a lot will depend [obviously] on what you find out once you start the 'demo' process.
The one description, you relayed, said that they laid out particle board sheets directly on the steel
frame as the sub-floor. That, along with your one pic showing daylight at the wall and floor juncture
in the bedroom, makes me think your project will almost have to go back to the beginning, as the
floor is no doubt quite rotted out. I'd strongly recommend avoiding the use of any particle board,
or even OSB in the restoration. I know others may feel differently, but my experience with both
makes me avoid them.

So that brings up the question of whether you will go for a totally new floorplan or keep/modify
the exisitng. Another thing to consider, is if you'll be towing it back and forth from MN to TN or
if you're going to leave it in TN as your base, there. If towing a lot, you should restore closer
to RV-like, i.e. lighter, methods. If not towing a lot, maybe tiny house methods could be used
[closer to standard stick style building.] I'd also look into getting as much insulation 'power' as
you can if it'll be more of a stationary unit. [Check out something like this: Raycore SIPs:
http://www.raycore.com/, that looks like the most insulation bang for the buck, and looks
to be DIY friendly too. They might save a good bit of work over building your own SIPs.]

Concerning the bath and bed area, I plotted out your dimensions as reported, and ended
up with about an extra foot in length on each side, but that was located differently for each
side [!] and didn't agree with the center wall that the pics show goes from side-to-side and
which definitely divides the caboose into kitchen/galley and living area ["Lounge'] and then
the bath and sleeping area. So it seems a good approach would be to keep that divide, and
do each side of the dividing wall as a unit.

That makes the 'front half' of the caboose TT body 46 in [executive decision for that as bath
length] + 46 in (3 ft10 in) = 92 in or 7 ft 8 in in length + the front wall thickness and center
and bath wall's thicknesses. In general, from the specific measurements given, it seems
like the body is in two sections, one 10 ft [poss 11-12ft ?] long - Galley/kitchen and dinette -
and the other 8 ft long, -the bath and bed area, or 18 ft [poss19- 20 ft ?] total. That gives a
discrepancy of 1 ft 4 in since you said the interior length was 19 ft 4 in. That can all be
reconciled later when you can get better definative measurements. So for now I'll go
with 8ft and 10 ft as the two area lengths for now.

The approach I took was that even though your Caboose isn't "Tiny", it still isn't
large either, so I tried to max out the use of available space. I'm assuming also,
that you are planning to have a single person occupancy for the most part too. A
dedicated bath really eats up space if it is big/large enough to actually use. I
understand, that you [and a lot of others] don't necessarily care for a walk-through
bath, but it is hard to deny that it is a most efficient use of square footage in a
small space, especially if there is a sole occupant. So the trick is, to try and keep
that efficient use of space and to avoid the "look" of a walk-through bath. Also
no one alone can simultaneously use [be in] two rooms at the same time, so If you
can use the same [or some of the same] square-footage from one for the other
when it's in use then you gain more effective space for the use of both rooms.

Floorplan #1

100604

A couple things that would be of benefit to use, I think, are a cassette
toilet and, above that, a folding/fold down lav sink. These are located
behind a door to hide them from view when not in use. That set-up would
still be a very efficient use of space even if you just use a regular RV toilet
with or w ithout a holding tank instead of the cassette toilet. Also in
"Floorplan #1", I went with a shower pan located within the floor. i.e.
below the floor level surface, with a cover finished in the floor surface
material, that lifts up for use. The closet, that is normally located in the
same space, is on wheels and can be rolled into the "lounge area" when
you need to use the shower and can also be utilized as a "door" closing off
the "lounge' area from the bath n bed area while the shower is in use.
Also, note that a single faucet can be shared by the folding lav sink
and the shower when located in the wall they share.

I'd consolidate all the HVAC and the kitchen stove in one area at the
end of the Kitchen counter - that's a centered location there.

I'd also add a second door, especially in the sleeping area, for safety escape
purposes - also nice for cross-ventilation too. Since they'd be located at
opposite ends of the unit it wouldn't matter if they didn't "match". I
also threw in an "Optional" fold-down front end porch and a fold-up
roof for it as a possibility.

Another good idea for a tiny house or travel trailer, I think, is the
use of a Murphy bed when you can fit it in. It has the benefit of an
actual real bed, all made up ready to use, available for only
the effort it'd take to open a door. A table or desk/work surface
can be attached to the Murphy bed in the closed position for daytime
use, These can/will fold up or can automatically move out
of the way when the Murphy bed is opened for use.

Floorplan #2

100603

The "floorplan #2" locates the Murphy bed in the front,
working the same way as in #1. Here you could leave the existing
bathtub in position. Since that is an occasional use Item, I'd build a "3/4"
height closet located above it, that is hinged at the roadside wall towards the room center along that wall. This allows it to swing
out of the way against the roadside wall, thus opening up the tub
for use -or- you could use the same idea with an in-floor shower
pan and have a full-length closet there that'd swing out of the
way in the same manner. I put the cassette toilet/toilet area
opposite that, with a door hiding it from normal view, but when
its in use the door is of the same size as needed to close off the
"lounge" from the bath n bed area.

In plan #2, in the 'lounge' area, I attenuated the dinette seat to
a small portion by the entry closet with a small table in front of it.
The rest of the former dinette area is used for a recliner surrounded
by either open space or base storage cabinets built around it. What
would be more comfortable than an actual recliner [Wall type'd be best ?]
It'd sure beat a 4 inch thick foam dinette cushion for comfort. If a complete
correct sized recliner couldn't be found for use, just edit off the exterior
excess areas of a usual overstuffed recliner and I bet it could be made to work.

Here are some links for the things I mentioned for your research if you so desire:

http://www.flyingbeds.com/08.album.favs/SideFold/inde

Cassette toilet

http://www.thetford.com/Home/Products/P ... fault.aspx

http://www.truckcampermagazine.com/ask- ... t-systems/

Murphy bed mechanisms:

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=8&site=ROCKLER

Google "Murphy Bed Mechanisms" for more kinds.

From 1955 Little Gem TT:

https://plus.google.com/photos/10741252 ... banner=pwa

Just look at side mount/fold bed, and with table:

http://www.flyingbeds.com

http://www.resourcefurniture.com/space-savers

Their video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nljmEUe ... re=related

http://www.resourcefurniture.com/space-saving-video

Raycore SIPs:

http://www.raycore.com/


Fomaldehyde Free Plywood:

http://columbiaforestproducts.com/


TnTTT SIPS thread:

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=7543&p=978506#p978506

Well here's 'hopin' I haven't inundated you with too much info !
Good Luck with getting it to TN.

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo
Last edited by mezmo on Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby bobhenry » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:59 am

Damn it Gal I am sorry... When I saw the 1st pictures and how they had all but buried the frame to make entry easier where it sat I suspecioned that galvanic corrosion and wood rot would be lurking somewhere.

As to layout I am dealing with 8" tall 12" wide by 6 foot long wheel wells that encroach into the center areas. I have chosen to make this area narrow storage cabinets and small sink on one side and install the frige freezer and stove on the other. Even with the tiny fridge and frezer the bar top over these appliances are at tall bar height ( about 42-44 inches) . Some concessions in Mezmo's designs will need to be made for these floor pan interuptions.

On a lighter note if you are seriously looking for a murphy bed have I got a deal for you.

http://tippecanoe.craigslist.org/atq/3388179648.html
Growing older but not up !
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby pappaw » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:30 am

Bob Wrote: "Oh a little background about me 62 Male recently divorced, handyman, electrician ,plumber, and all around good guy, looking for a spot of ground in Mn or Tn" :rofl:

After looking at this, I remembered there was a guy in the 70's in Williamsburg, Ohio that was building travel trailers that looked like cabooses. But look different from yours night*sky :thinking:

Good luck with your rebuild. :thumbsup:

Cheers :beer:
Image Cheers from Granny, Pappaw, and Cocoa (the Dachshund) Image
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby night*sky » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:35 pm

Norm, WOW! Just wow!! You really put a lot of time into this, THANK YOU!

The caboose will be my full-time home, and will be moved frequently, good insulation is a must-have as well as light weight. Yes, it was already in the plans to take it all the way down to the frame and start over, but now even the frame looks to be toast. I'm back to the drawing board on how to even get it from KY to the house here in TN without it disintegrating in the 65 mph wind, even if it's on a flatbed. Towing it is definitely out of the question.

I like the floor plan ideas, although (maybe it's my computer screwing up) the two diagrams you posted appear the same. (diagram #1) I've got strong feelings that the exterior should remain as true to the original as possible, which means keeping all the windows. Plus I just love all the light inside. An additional door would be good, or an emergency egress/window at the very least. Perhaps a small door at floor level that would appear from the outside to be an access for mechanicals??

I like the Murphy bed idea and had been considering that even before I found the caboose, that could open up the whole front for an office/lounge area. I do have some furniture that I've thought about incorporating, depending on weight when I get to that point. I have a hide-a-bed sofa that I like, though it sleeps like $hit and I could remove the bed and just use it as a couch with storage underneath and a fold up/down table instead of the dinette. I also have a fantastic leather recliner, but it's large and heavy.

I'm not sold on the cassette toilet and the fold down lav idea, mainly because of my full-time status, not sure how they would hold up to such continuous use.
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby night*sky » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:00 pm

Bob, that's a nice looking Murphy bed! If it's still available in... oh.... say a year or two when I am maybe close to the point of working on the interior...... :lol:

I'm just sick about the frame being in such poor shape, couldn't really see under it when it was parked in the woods. :(
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby night*sky » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:06 pm

pappaw wrote:
After looking at this, I remembered there was a guy in the 70's in Williamsburg, Ohio that was building travel trailers that looked like cabooses. But look different from yours night*sky :thinking:

Good luck with your rebuild. :thumbsup:

Cheers :beer:


Yes, the Semaphore Caboose was built in Williamsburg. Mine was built by American Leisure Time Industries and is basically the prototype for what would become the Semaphore. More of the history of the two TT's is here:

http://caboose.goellisphoto.com/?page_id=2

http://caboose.goellisphoto.com/

Do you by chance have any info or photos of the Semaphore Caboose or the company? There's virtually nothing on the internet about it other than what his son has posted on his website.
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby mezmo » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:23 am

Hi night*sky,

Yer Welcome.

Sorry to hear of the complicating discovery ! Not what you and
we all all here wanted you to find. That could definitely put a crimp in
the enthusiasm department, BUT from the tone of all your posts,
both here and on your blog, I'm sure your attitude will be - "Well
that'll just make it all-the-more 'Interesting' " ! Since you've discovered
that the original build method didn't quite work - you've seen the
results - I'm sure you'll find a new build method that'll avoid that.

My apologies for Floorplan #2 being incorrect ! I normally compose
my longer posts in WordPad and then copy them to the reply posting
box. I think I'll switch to Word or such as that's easier to edit in
than WP. I just edited the pic for Floorplan #2 in the original post and
it now shows the correct one. Here they are again for easier reference
now:
[Again, click to enlarge.]

Floorplan #1
100604
Floorplan #2
100603

I treated the two 'sections' [I'll call them the 'Lounge' for kitchen &
living area, and 'BedBath' for the sleeping & bath areas.] of the floorplans
as separate units. You could go with them as is, or use one section
from one with the other section from the other if wanted etc.. And both/all
are 'tweekable'. And of course, you have time to consider your options
and make changes until it is finally complete enough to fit your needs. And
both of the sections were intended to use the same window set-ups and locations
as the original - for the most part. Adding the additional door is of course
a change, but could be easily integrated with the original.

I would say to keep an open mind on the possibility of using the folding lav sink.
The way they are made is: The faucet and drain portions are in a fixed
position that incorporates a small funnel-like 'bowl' that is overlapped by one
end of the 'lav sink' bowl, which is the part that folds up and down 90 degrees,
down/horizontal for use, up/vertical when not being used, or the toilet is in use.
There's nothing to wear out by the folding and it's as easy as opening and closing
a lid. Toiletries etc. can be accommodated with built-in shallow storage shelves a/o
cupboards in the upper portion of the space above the toilet and folding lav sink,
sized and fitted for the items they'll accommodate. Situating the toilet and
sink this way is a huge space saver, otherwise you'll dedicate twice the area
for very occasional use when half of that space as used in the folding lav set-up
gives all the function needed.

[Edit of 122012] I just remembered I had some pics of cassette toilets with
their corresponding folding lav sinks above them. The concept holds true for an RV/Marine
style toilet too. Pg 10 of my Album has some different examples. Here are just a
couple from that:

One folded down for use.

71376

One folded up.

71359



Also, the cassette toilet is a good idea if it fits your use pattern. If not, a regular
RV/Marine style toilet [Get a taller one with a ceramic bowl for durability and ease of
use and cleaning.] would be more compact but still usable compared to a house type
toilet. It'd work fine If set up in the 'park model' style - i.e. no black water tank -
or with a holding tank. And the folding lav sink would still work with both installations.
If you have a sewer set-up at both ends of the line [MN &TN] then you'd save some
work and expense doing the 'park model' style over doing a black water holding tank set-up.

I'd also forget using the sleeper-sofa. I've never seen one that that does either
function well. But they do make them now for RVs which would probably be somewhat
more space efficient to install, over what a regular furniture type one would be.
They also make smaller sized recliners for RVs now too. They seem to have
less bulk when compared to ordinary ones. A wall-style recliner would be the best
choice to use, as they move forward as they recline and don't hit the wall
behind them. In the second floorplan's 'lounge' area the "seat" could possibly be
made with a single bed sleeper set up if it was decided it was needed. I'd concentrate
on making your own bed [Murphy bed] as comfortable as possible and on storage.
Guest sleeping would be of secondary importance to me - let them bring their own
TD/TT/TTT etc. ! Ha !

As they say, 'Free advice is worth how much you spent on it' - or something to
that effect.

Anyway, good luck with its journey from KY to TN.

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby night*sky » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:44 pm

The caboose is STILL not home. :x
I listed it on Uship, and got a reasonable bid. No rush on my end, and the shipper has had some issues; a death in the family, and he jackknifed his rig the day before we were supposed to haul the TT home last week. Waiting now to hear from him that he's up and running again.

No luck yet finding a previous owner with a title, though I do have the name of the person that owned it 3 people ago. He also got just a BOS for it. :(

Since I have never welded and I don't think this is the project to learn on I've been searching for a good welder to redo the frame once I get it stripped down to that point. I got the name of one that was highly recommended, so at least that's a start. I've also been perusing boat forums recently. Those folks really know how to utilize every square inch of a space! Something the TT industry has not really adopted.

A gentleman on the vintage Shasta forum came across a magazine review of the 1973 Semaphore caboose TT, and I've posted the info here:
http://www.buythefarm.net/caboose.html
Pretty fun reading, it's obviously not my version of the caboose but it got quite a favorable review! :applause:
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby night*sky » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:47 pm

WOOT!!! My train wreck of a TT is finally home!! :applause: :D :thumbsup:

Pics and details on the blog.
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Re: Caboose rebuild

Postby mezmo » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Good for You !

Slooooooooowww Progress is at least progress.

Cheers,
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