By: Bears Butt

I have a 1973 Prowler camp trailer that is 18 feet long.  Everything works and it is a wonderful thing to have on a hunting trip.  Heat, refer, stove, hot water and a toilet.  Well, I say hot water, I have to get a new control box in order for that to work, but it worked the last time I used it and connected the hot water tank up.

I decided to do a little renovation work this past month because when I opened up the bathroom door the back wall paneling was laying against the side of the toilet.  A problem I have seen coming for several years.  It used to leak and now the results of wet wood are showing up big time with dry rot causing the ceiling to “frog mouth” and the paneling coming off.

Keep one thing in mind throughout this story, I am a cheap guy.  If I can scrounge it I will and if it doesn’t cost any money that is even better.

So, beginning in the bathroom area I pulled down the ceiling and wall paneling.  I left the metal shower walls in place as well as the inside walls of the room.  They are holding up just fine.  I fixed the framing which was in incredibly good shape and repaired the ends that had come away from where they were supposed to be connected.  I used Gorilla Glue and that stuff is incredible.

Then I cut new sheet wood and screwed it to the now repaired framework.  Ceiling first, walls second.  Caulked it all with a 35 year paintable caulk and then painted it white.  Will this trailer last 35 more years?  I highly doubt it.  This picture shows a portion of the bathroom walls and ceiling repaired.

The sheet wood was some left over from a home repair job a couple of years ago.  Reluctantly I had to break down and buy some caulking at $2.35 /tube.

Bathroom Fixed


I also cut out the closet so it is one large open area.  Replaced the back wall and ceiling in that area as well, paneled and painted it, added a metal shelf and that area is ready for a test this hunting season.  The paneling was provided by a young lady just down the street who kindly gave me 3 full 4X8 sheets.  I chose to mount them without the finished side out so that the paint would stick to it.

Storage Area With Shelf

As for the shelf, it is a really good one sold in Home Depot stores, extra braced, lightweight and very stiff.  I was on my way home from town one day and low and behold it was sticking up out of someone’s garbage can on the side of the highway.  I quickly turned around and scrounged it up!  Free is a good thing!

Storage Area


4 Light Lightbar, nothing short of the best from my hunting friends.

The black lightbar you see there was picked up at the local Deseret Industries thrift store for $2.  Ya, I had to put in two AA batteries, but those little round lights can be directed to shine on where you want to see.

Finally the area at the other end of the trailer needed to have its Frog Mouth fixed.  That meant taking down the overhead bunk first.  That didn’t take long and with some more framing work fixed, up went new paneling and a fresh paint job.  I chose white paint throughout the fix as it will make the place brighter and seem bigger.  Besides, I had almost two gallons of bright white paint in the basement that would just get hard over time.

No rain will come in on me now!

For a few years I have noticed the on/off water faucet to the toilet was getting stiffer and stiffer to turn on and so I replaced it with a new one.  The place I went to did not have one of the newer 1/4 turn ball valves in the size I needed so I bought an old fashioned screw type valve (Ouch, $5.98).

So here is the deal, the pipe coming into the new valve is 3/8 inch, the water going out is 1/2 inch.  Actually the valve goes on backwards from how they normally do because that is how the previous owner chose to fix it once.  I just followed suit.  The half inch side has a reducer in it that reduces it back to 3/8 inch.  Then that pipe is fitted inside a rubber hose that is nearly 1/2 inch outside diameter and that eventually connects to the back of the toilet.

So, there you have the plumbing end.  When I turned on the valve (of course I have put water in the tank and the pump is on), the pipes would rattle and vibrate and make one heck of a noise!  Meanwhile water was spraying out the front of the toilet from under the seat!  WOW!  Floodsville!

I thought, “this is not good”!  And I figured because things had been sitting dry for over 7 years that perhaps the pipes etc. just needed to sit overnight with water in them to get it to work.  NOT!  This morning it still did the same thing.

Thinking back I could never recall ever having water come spraying out the front of the toilet.  It just sort of ran in and down the back of the bowl and would eventually fill to a level of desired depth.  The key word here is “eventually”!  So, without knowing it, I guessed the rubber hose was kinked enough to only allow so much water to flow through into the toilet and not come gushing forth like a jetted tub.

I had to test my theory, so I got my trusty little locking pliers and headed to the trailer.  Turned on the pump and clamped the pliers to the hose, hard enough to shut it completely off.  Then I turned on the valve.  Of course nothing happened because the water could not go anywhere.  Then slowly I released the pressure on the pliers and sure enough out came water without the banging and clanking of pipes.  When the pliers were completely released the pipes were howling and banging like a banchee.  But I had the problem figured out and now just needed to figure a good old country (redneck) solution.

To the garage for a large hose clamp and screwdriver and I was onto the solution quickly.  I pinched the hose back onto itself and put on the clamp, again tightening it until no water could come out.  Then I slowly turned the screw on the clamp until water flowed at a rate that seemed rather normal to me.  And there you have it.  No more banging of pipes and howling of water screaming into the toilet bowl.  My guests will thank me later for that.

And here is a picture of the fix.

Redneck Fix Job

The trailer is going to get a shake down come next week, as it’s rendezvous time and I have offered the use of it to my mountain man friends.  It will sleep up to 4 if one of them is small and can fit on the over head bunk.  I will call it “Bears Butts Lodge for Wayward Mountain Men”.  It will be better than sleeping in the back of the pickup or on the ground after too many bubbly drinks.

Bears Butt, “the solution man”

August 20, 2012


Written on August 20th, 2012 , Just more stories, Uncategorized

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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.