For the next stage, we had to separate the chassis and the egg. Six bolts through the 1″ plywood of the floor and the fiberglass into the frame were all that held them together. However, bolts attacked for years by road salts don’t have threads any more. They were just little chunks of rust. We got under the jacked up camper with a sawzall and cut them off.
Once the egg was free, it was so light that H.W. could lift one side of it at a time. The frame and the egg have a step in them, and the form of the egg sits between the wheels. Even with the wheel off, the egg still has to lift over the hub, and we weren’t thrilled about just dragging all the weight of the fragile fiberglass across the hub. H.W. lifted, and I jammed in bits of lumber, and we levered and pushed and adjusted, and eventually slid the egg over the hub, off the frame, and to its resting place on some pallets and plywood without incident.
The chassis looked awfully flimsy without the egg, and it sure bounced around on the highway, squeaking and crashing around behind us. We drove it all over looking for advice and somebody to do some welding for us. We wanted a bike rack made, some improvements to the frame, and possibly to have the axle replaced, before having it painted.
This stage of research was characterized by a lot of driving, wild goose chases, and a whole parade of idiots telling us what to do, punctuated by the occasional bright spot of clear and good advice. Like, the guy getting into his truck next to us at yet another sandblasting place, after yet another exorbitant quote from someone else who wouldn’t be able to bring it in for “another couple weeks at least”, who said “Have you considered powdercoating it? You should talk to this guy, just up the road, I’m on my way there right now, you should follow me over.” We let go of painting the chassis then, and turned to powdercoating.
We stood in parking lots in the rain asking RV repair people and trailer people and welding people and painting people about what we needed done, and they threw out numbers I recognized as “I don’t want to touch this job with a long stick but if you’re stupid enough to pay me this much I guess I’ll do it” quotes. Continue reading Up and off: chassis welding and powdercoating