Saturday, March 31, 2007

7AM - Taking care of the new MsTioga.
Yesterday morning while driving into our Camp here on the beach at Ligui, I was not paying close attention and slightly brushed up against some plants growing along the road. Nothing happened, no scratches. However, I am going to have to make some BIG changes in the way that I drive in order to keep from messing up the new paint job.

Reader Ken wrote suggesting the use of "Finish First" to keep MsTioga bright and shiny. MsTioga is interested!
Keeping MsTioga shiny bright!

Reader Phil wrote suggesting that the blocks securing the tilt-solar panel assembly be painted to avoid fiberglass deterioration. We also have to take care of the rust on the hinges!
Unpainted fiberglass.


8AM - How much did the fiberglass and paint jobs cost?
You might be interested in how much was spent for these jobs. We kept track of expenses using Quicken.

The fiberglass job cost $1,212US. Labor came to $775US and material, $437US.

The paint job cost $2,307US. Labor is $1,475 and material, $832.

There is some overlap in expenses between the painting and fiberglass jobs. A lot of prep work for the painting was required to prepare the fiberglass. I cannot break out that fiberglass prep work, but I estimate that the paint job would have about 1/2 the labor if no fiberglass work had been done.

11:30AM - Answering email.
We love to receive email. I fell a bit behind replying during the last few days of painting MsTioga. We are in a gorgeous place to do email. The pic below is the view from MsTioga's rear window.
View from our computer station.


3PM - MsTioga Magazine story about Jose's Fiberglass Shop.
I just published a story for MsTioga Magazine about Jose's Fiberglass Shop. Maybe
you need a fiberglass roof? Perhaps you would like to replace all of your aluminum
molding, as did MsTioga? Maybe you want a three color paint job?
"Fiberglass & Paint Jobs in Mexico"[link]




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Friday, March 30, 2007

6AM - On the beach at Ligui.
Yesterday when MsTioga and The Team reached the City of Constitución, it was decided to keep on going and head north. A little after dark, we reached Ligui, and headed for the beach.

This morning we found a great Camp on the beach. Everybody on The Team loves this Camp! Here on this beach is the perfect place to share with you all the changes to MsTioga that happened during the past six weeks.
George and MsTioga at Ligui.


Ligui view from MsTioga's roof.


8AM - Readers want to know!
During the past six weeks at Jose's Fiberglass Shop, readers have sent us a ton of email about the things being done. Here on the beach at Ligui, we have time now to look at questions and concerns of readers.

The tilt-up solar panels:
For a couple of years, The Team's friend John has been encouraging us to make our solar panels tilt-up to get more electricity. Also, Mr. Sunny wanted his panels to be all together, not spread out all over MsTioga's roof. The only way do tilt-up and get the panels all together, was to eliminate the air conditioner [which we never used].

The tilt-up assembly is constructed from 1" x 3" pine board, which is painted to protect against the weather. As you may see in the pics below, this assembly is connected to our new fiberglass roof by hinges which are screwed into fiberglassed boards. This attachment to the roof is incredibly strong. The solar panels will not blow away as we travel down the road.

The cable carrying electricity from the panels to the battery charge controller is very short. This cable goes into a fiberglass box which is covered by my first fiberglass project, the cover that you see in the pic. Mr. Datastorm's cables also use this fiberglass box.
Tilt-up solar panels & Datastorm antenna.


Cable run to fiberglass box.


The fiberglass roof.
When Jose first began to do our fiberglass job, we only asked him to repair one of MsTioga's dings. We knew all the things that we wanted done, but were concerned that if we laid the entire job on Jose, he would be scared off! It turned out that Jose is incredibly talented with fiberglass and loved the challenge of fiberglassing all of the things that we wanted done.

Readers have wondered where Jose found a sheet of fiberglass big enough for the roof. Jose does not use sheets of fiberglass, but "lays-up" the fiberglass which he buys in rolls. Before fiberglass is layed-up, it is a cloth. This cloth is drenched with a resin which when cured is incredibly strong. The laid-up roof is actually one piece of fiberglass now, with no seams and is fiberglassed to MsTioga's walls. There is no way for rain to ever leak past the fiberglass.

I wrote a MsTioga Magazine story about our Fiberglass and Paint Job at Jose's Fiberglass Shop in the City of Constitucion in Baja California del Sur. You may read about that story by clicking [here].

MsTioga's old EPDM rubber roof was 16 years old and patched with Eternabond tape to keep it from leaking. We did not know how much longer the roof would last and wanted to get a new roof while the rubber roof still was good. The new fiberglass roof weighs about 180 pounds, which is partly offset by the removal of the air conditioner.

9:30AM - Changes that MsTioga loves!
Little Mavicito and MsTioga were talking about the wonderful changes the fiberglass and paint jobs have made. MsTioga asked Little Mavicito to take pics of her favorite new things.
The rounded roof corners.

The front fringe corner.


In the pics of the front fringe [above] and the rear skirt [below], you see the outer doors that are painted the fringe and skirt colors. The aluminum door frames are also painted to match, a last minute change which we love soooooooo much!
The rear skirt.


Tioga/George graphics.

MsTioga's favorite thing, is the rear fender. The fender used to be a separate plastic part. Now the fender and the wall appear to be one. Blended smooth and gorgeous!
The rear fender.


3PM - Time to kick back on the beach.
This morning I replied to some of the emails that came in during MsTioga's paint job. Also, cleaned up a little of the sand that blew in over the weeks at Jose's Fiberglass Shop. Man-O-Man! There is a lot of sand inside MsTioga.

I've been experimenting with taking care of a new paint job. The paint is still drying, and will not completely dry for about two weeks. Still, MsTioga's new paint has to be cleaned. I've been using a damp terry cloth towel and gently removing traffic dust and bugs.
Resting on the beach.




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Thursday, March 29, 2007

6AM - Six weeks at Jose's Fiberglass Shop.
What a fantastic time we have had at Jose's Fiberglass Shop here in the City of Constitución. Wow! There have been some tough challenges during these six weeks!

My Mom gave me a tiny plaque that hangs on the wall in MsTioga's kitchen. I've let the words of advice written there guide me a whole lot during these six weeks.
Mom's advice.


8AM - Finishing up.
This morning I've re-installed all the exterior cabinet doors that Gaspar painted yesterday. Next comes re-installing the rear clearance lights. And then the final inspection of MsTioga to make sure that The Team is ready to be on-the-road-again.

We are alone at Jose's Fiberglass Shop this morning. Jose is driving his sister-in-law to the airport in La Paz, but has promised to drop by to say "Goodbye" on his way out of Constitución.

11AM - Heading out to the Port of San Carlos.
MsTioga is all put back together again. Now we are going to visit our friend, Julian Nava the fisherman at his home in San Carlos.


Before and After pics.
Many readers have sent email asking MsTioga for before and after pics for comparison. MsTioga has picked out a before pic. It is a shot of MsTioga and George in the City of Benecia, California [February, 2004]. Little Mavicito promised to take an after pic today showing the same view angle of MsTioga as in 2004.

Benicia, California February, 2004.


West of Constitución, Mexico, today.


1PM - Javier the fisherman.
When I arrived at Javier's home, he was in the middle of constructing a mailbox. Javier was strangely quiet, and hardly talked to me. His grandson Hugo went over to take a look at the "new" MsTioga.
Hugo and MsTioga.


Javier and Hugo building the mailbox.


I wanted to say "Hi" to Carolina [Hugo's grandmom], and Hugo said that she was sleeping. Two hours later, Carolina was still sleeping and her husband Javier was still not talking to me much. Suddenly it dawned on me that I had arrived in the middle of a family squabble! Hmmmmmm?

3PM - Heading back to Constitución.
I made some lame excuse about having to go back to Constitución and said goodbye to Javier and Hugo. It just is not comfortable for me to stay at Javier's under these circumstances.



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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

9AM - MsTioga's graphics!
Would you like to see MsTioga's new graphics? Hmmmmm? We just applied one of them to show you. Wow! This is sooooooo exciting!
MsTioga and George.


12 Noon - Ruined one graphic.
Three of the graphics went on great, no trouble. One stuck down wrong, and another had to be bought. Cost for one new graphic, $80 pesos [$7.25US]. Wow!
The big one.


3PM - One last change in the paint job.
This morning we decided to make a painting change. The aluminum frames of all the exterior compartment door are unpainted, and it was decided to paint them all.

Gaspar has been working on painting these little door frames all thru the morning, and just finished this job.

Exterior door with painted frame.


4PM - The lights and the doors.
During the day I have been reinstalling the stuff removed from MsTioga for the paint job. The ladder, door hardware, etc. Still left to do are some clearance lights and the exterior compartment doors.
Re-installing a clearance light.


6:30PM - Jose's and Gaspar's families come to see MsTioga!
As I was installing the water heater and furnace doors, Gaspar's family [wife and four children] walked up to see the newly painted MsTioga! A few minutes later, Jose drove up with his wife! Man-O-Man!! MsTioga is an attraction!



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Nite Camp at Jose's Fiberglass Shop


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

7AM - Datastorm working fine.
Mr. Datastorm is online this morning. Yesterday I told you about the hole drilled in Mr. Datastorm's feedhorn lens in order to evaporate the moisture inside. This worked great, and there is no moisture inside the feedhorn now.

8AM - Painting MsTioga.
Today for sure, is the BIG painting day for MsTioga. It is a bright and sunshiny day with no wind. Jose arrived at his shop a little after 7AM, and is waiting for Gaspar the painter to come to work. Gaspar should be here a little after 8AM. Gaspar walks his daughter to school before coming to paint MsTioga.

8:30AM - Painting the base coat.
Gaspar the painter calls it "the base coat." We have waited soooooooo long for this base coat!
Filling the spray gun.


First of three coats.


12 Noon - Painting front and back.
The wind came, and then calmed down. There was some talk about finishing tomorrow! However, Gaspar continued when the wind calmed down again.
Painting MsTioga's backside.


Painting the cabover.


3PM - MsTioga, first look!
Just as we were taking off the masking, Little Mavicito took this "first look" pic of MsTioga.
MsTioga's new paint job.



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Nite Camp at Jose's Fiberglass Shop