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Old 07-11-2010, 07:54 PM   #21
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Mission Accomplished! I finally got all of the parts rounded up and found the time to rent the concrete saw.

I used a 14" diamond tipped walk behind concrete saw to cut out two 12" x 48" slots in the floor. I did not recall them putting down wire mesh when they laid the floor, but I can now confirm that it's in there and that it makes it really hard to extract.

The final result, I've got 1/2" clearance between the garage ceiling and the AC, and 1/8" clearance when lifting the back shell over my workbench. I forgot to measure that part out ahead of time, but sometimes you get lucky.

For the tongue, I set the angle iron that supports the propane tanks on a tire dolly (Harbor Freight part #67511). This left the bottom of frame tubing 6.25" off the ground after I sank the tires 9.5" below the surface of the garage floor. I tried setting the jack post directly into the dolly, but the post did not retract far enough to make this configuration work.

All of the leveling jacks still have about an inch of play.

Since I had to put the unit in nose first to get the door to open on the correct side, I built a pivoting tongue that fit into the hitch on the back of the camper. My unit's rear hitch is plenty sturdy, some of the newer units supposedly have a lighter duty hitch so be careful if trying to re-create my configuration. I scared myself a bit when trying to pull the camper out of the hole the first time. About half way up, my minivan started loosing grip. The squeel of the tires was enough to elicit a visit from my wife who was not completely on board with the project and the mess the concrete saw made the night before. But after a bit of research I found that taking off the parking brake on the van tends to give one more pulling power.

Eventually I'll get a couple of metal plates to cover the holes in the floor when they are not in use, and I'll have some liners formed to fit into the holes to make sure that the clay does not try to settle into the holes, but this is good enough for today.

Thanks to everyone for their input.

Here's an alternative link to a page with the pics. You may have to be a site sponsor to see them.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:52 PM   #22
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I'm impressed.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:26 AM   #23
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Very impressed, indeed. And it should be pretty easy to fill those holes should you ever sell the house.

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Old 07-12-2010, 12:37 AM   #24
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That worked out really well. It's nice to see something like that come together.

You may want to consider digging out another 2" of soil and putting down 2" of concrete. It should make the trailer easier to extract and look a lot more "finished". More importantly, if you get heavy, soaking, rains in your area, the bottom of the holes may fill with water.
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:57 AM   #25
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Very cool. I see as an added plus, you don't need to use the steps, lol.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:54 AM   #26
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Wow! What an incredible piece of work! In looking at the pictures, I had one thought. As the TM goes in and out of the holes, you don't want the sidewalls of the tires to scrape on the rough edges of the cut concrete. WMTIRE may chime in, but I think it could damage the tires. Laying a sheet of heavy vinyl or draftsman's mylar sheet over the edges of the holes might provide enough protection.

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Old 07-12-2010, 10:04 AM   #27
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When I look at your clearance tolerances (AC, stabilizers, work bench, etc.) it is absolutely amazing to me that everything came together. Extremely well must be very tickled!
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:52 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Bill View Post
As the TM goes in and out of the holes, you don't want the sidewalls of the tires to scrape on the rough edges of the cut concrete. WMTIRE may chime in, but I think it could damage the tires.
I would agree that it's an area of concern. I've only got about an inch and a half of side to side play but the edges are fairly smooth from the saw. If I get some liners formed I'll be sure to round the top edge off.

As for concerns about water and needing to fill the bottom with concrete, my garage is elevated enough that I don't plan on having water issues, but now that I've made that comment I'm sure that the kids will bring in a hose to make a pool for a pet frog...

It was pretty exciting to see it up when I headed out to work this morning. I was not sure if I would ever have the ambition to take on this project, but I'm glad that I did.

If my efforts to quiet the AC unit are half as successful I'll truely be a happy camper.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:27 PM   #29
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I thought that pivoting tow arm was brilliant. That solved a lot of potential issues.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:33 PM   #30
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Well we've had it in and back out a few times now, and tonight we set a personal best. 30 minutes from arrival back home to camper fully set up in the garage.

1) DW pulls out vehicle occupying pull through space in garage, and I pull the TV and TM diagonally through second bay of garage to get the TM on level ground where we can push it into position.
2) Unhook WDH and lower TM tongue onto dolly, back TV out of way.
3) Push the TM to the edge of the ramps.
4) Install pivot hitch on the rear of the TM and hook up to TV.
5) Back the TM down the ramps and unhook pivot hitch.
6) Proceed with routine TM setup.

The hardest part is coordinating the multiple hookups of the TV to the TM. I think a rear view camera is going on my Christmas list....
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