Hi all.

These 2 images show, more or less, the shape the interior is in, in my Grumman.

I know a few of you have done fairly extensive restorations and I was hoping to get some input.

As you can see the roof is not supported except by the walls forward of the bathroom.

In fact the bathroom wall is just attached to wood strips screwed to the side of the fiberglassed wood (?) ribs that run across the roof. These panels or walls do not appear to support the roof at all.

So the big question is....

Are the walls load bearing or do I need to add some support? The roof is clearly very very heavy.

I am eventually trying to make the layout as open plan as possible.

The other thing is it would appear that the channels at the wall bottom where it meets the floor was designed to take a 2 by and be used to frame the wall up.

The previous owner told me he removed no framing and that's just how it was made. Yikes!

Under the window you see there were two vertical pieces of wood joining the two horizontal ones that I replaced due to rot BUT there was no wood that reached either the floor of the ceiling.

I am planning on framing these walls but the big question is whether the roof needs support or if the walls are designed as is to do that?

Thanks in advance for the help!!

PS the window in the 2nd picture is covered and has a small fridge under it and a blue tote lid.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Paul, 

       I looked up the mirrors, and they look almost exactly the same as stock, stainless steel would be nice, mine are rusty iron! Cool, that's good to know! 

    Yup, those are vents on the deck, the gas tank is under there so I guess that's supposed to keep it from blowing up, LOL.  Air goes in those then gets sucked out from under the dash and to the rear of the boat where there are more vents that get the fumes out from under the dog house too. It is a fairly unique old boat! It has a little 4 cylinder Chevy 153 engine that's rated at 120 HP! The original owner said he used to tow 2 skiers easily! I don't know how they get that much power, but it does have twin carbs on it. I'm betting it's a lot wilder cam than they used in the old Chevy 2's!

      Grumman was a really prolific company, they were into everything! I love all their WW2 airplanes, They pretty much helped win the war! My buddy from Alva sometimes flies a Grumman A-10. You have a boat, and I have seen a few Grumman canoes! I don't know of any other motorhomes that are made of 1/8" thick aluminum! If I was rich I would like to paint my beast Sky blue with all the Grumman airplanes flying in the clouds! I'm not really into the jets, but I'm thinking maybe a sort of time line thing from the earliest planes, to the jets on the back! 

      Well, it's supposed to get up to almost 40 today, so, it will be a good day to finish digging my way over to the old garage! I went out yesterday and dug about halfway over, there's a good 2 feet of snow in the driveway!  All since Christmas, That week between Christmas and New Years I was working in there doing a valve job on a buddy's Ford 9N tractor, there was hardly any snow then!

    Well, have a  good day on the RV building. Take care, talk to you later. Kirk

I took most of the week off from working on the Grumman until today. Its Sunday night around 9 and I just finished up. I really wanted to work on the roof. First I pulled the window shaker from the window openning behind the driver and tried to put the original window back in. Well..it is in kind of.
The original window ( which the previous owner had saved ) hole had some kind of adhesive foam tape that stuck it to the aluminum wall.
I put some buytle one it but of course that doesn't stick. So right now its screwed in and held on the outside with aluminum tape.
Yes I get that when I add the interior wall it will clamp tight with the screws given the extra width/ depth but I have other windows with no interior wall that are stuck on great with this foam stuff.
Been looking online for 20 mins but dont know what to search for. Keep finding draft excluders and butyl tape. I need this sticky foam stuff if I can find out what its called!
So that was job one. After that I sanded the roof. There was a bunch of old roof coating that had turned gray and deteriorated and was long long past being useful.
I'm talking about the roof sides not the flat top. I'm planning on coating with rustoleum topside primer that's for boats.
It's a good primer.
Then either use top side paint on the sides and roll tropicool on the flat top.
So that's it. I need to fing that double side sticking sealing foam.
But it's coming along slowly!

Hi Paul,

    It's finally starting to warm up a little here too. I was out for about an hour Saturday over to the old garage, hadn't been in there for about 2 months. I have an old Index vertical milling machine over there that I needed to take a look at. Last time I tried to use it, the motor made a bunch of noise and locked up. So, I took a good look to see what's up. Looks like some damned mice decided that would be a good place to store a bunch of Hickory nuts, and when I turned it on some of them got ground up and worked their way down between the armature and field. This motor mounts vertically, so stuff can get down in there. I'll have to take it off the mill, pull the armature out and get the pieces of nuts out of there. I bet I make up some kind of screen to cover the openings in it when I get it running again!

     I used some butyl tape that is sticky on both sides. I got it at Collin's RV supply store over in Rockford, but I don't remember what they called it. I drilled the window frames about every 4 inches all the way around then opened up the holes in the frame so Stainless Steel screws would go through them into the siding and wood inside. I don't know if securing them to the siding and framing is really a good idea because of they might need to flex as the body moves with the bumpy roads! Time will tell. I did both the windows on the drivers side, and haven't had any problems yet, but I have only put on a couple hundred miles.

     That primer sounds interesting, I need to do something with my roof too. I think it's cracked again where it likes to crack between the AC and refrigerator vent. I was thinking I might need to redo the gel coat. I think there is some kind of color tint boat people use in the gel to get a color match. I need to ask my buddy in Alva about that He works at a boat building place, and knows way more about this stuff than I ever will!

     I've been in my basement building model airplanes most of this week. I am putting another SE5A together, My Alva buddy got me back into models before he moved back down there. He bought the first SE5A kit for me for Christmas that year. I spent many hours building it and have had a bunch of good flights with it. The one I'm doing now I found on  Craigslist about 4 years ago, for $10.00, I couldn't pass that up! this was a $150.00 kit! I have a bunch of RC planes now and like building them better than flying them. The stupid government got all scared because some idiot told them we might load our planes with C4 or something and turn them into flying bombs, so now we get to deal with almost as much Red Tape as you would to fly a real plane! What a bunch of crap!

     Anyway take care and have a great day, talk to you soon. Kirk 


So here is the result of my work on Sunday.

Popped the window shaker out. Spent forever removing the old sealant

that was around the frame.

Next picture is window in but held with trusty aluminum tape for now until

I cant get some of that adhesive backed butyl tape. It is all screwed together but without the interior plywood wall it doesn't clamp in. Also shows the roof sides that

I sanded down to fresh gelcoat. The gray stuff you can see on the left of the roof

is remnants of old rubber coating I guess that has long since been useful.

The roof also has some previous fiberglass patches and the crazed riverbed cracking

in the gelcoat in places. I need to address the weak spots. The ugly but solid parts Ill just reseal with tropicool eventually when I do the entire top.

I sanded the vertical parts of the roof just so I can prime it with topside primer. I don't know if its the best thing to do but it seems better that just leaving as it is. I don't know if the tropicool is self leveling. Might have to mask off the roof top to stop in dribbling down the sides. Should be easy enough to look up though. Maybe I can apply to the side too?

Vertical indexing mill huh? Is that a CNC like a HASS or similar?

We have an old Bridgeport mill and a newer one from MSC with a DRO at work, though they don't get used anymore. Moved away from milling and just concentrate on turned parts now. Anytime I need to make a jack plate for a boat they come in handy but they always terrified me. lol.

Funny thing is I'm totally comfortable with the lathes we have.

Also I never got into the RC planes but have a couple of old Tamiya SRBs.

An original rough rider and a hotted up super champ. Used to love building up

kits when I was a kid. Don't think Id have the time these days!

Have a good one!

Hi Paul,

     I've been out running my roomie around doing job applications this morning. Then when we got home I shifted the old Ford into park and it locked up the steering wheel so tight it wouldn't  move at all. I couldn't turn the key to unlock it either. Had to go mess with that, a couple shots of good old WD-40 and a little brute twisting on the wheel and it finally unlocked. I guess for some reason the front wheels were really jammed and putting enough strain on the steering that it wouldn't release.

      Then I was digging around in my pile of "Treasure" and found my old ergonomic wireless keyboard, I thought I got rid of it years ago, so, I had to hook it up and see if it still works. It does!! Now I have to learn to type again, LOL.

     What is Tropicool? I haven't heard of it, I know there is some kind of insulating paint that's available, that I was thinking about putting mine, but I never did. I would think anything to make the top reflect the sun would make it a little cooler inside. I stayed in mine a few Summers when I was working about 100 miles from home, used to park at the shop, then come home once a month in time to pay bills.  That was a couple of fun Summers!

     That is an Index vertical mill, it's similar to a Bridgeport, but a little smaller. Still about 1,500 LBS. though. Its an oldie, made in 1948, and spent it's life in a school shop until the stupid school stopped teaching kids things that could actually make them a living! I got it from the guy that bought it from the school a few years back, he was moving to Wisconsin and didn't want to move it again!

     Tomorrow I have to go meet my brother in Rockford and get the engine for the plane I'm working on. We need to find a restaurant that's open! Everyone in Il. is scared of the Covid BS. I guess we'll have to sit in the van and have our breakfast in our laps! What a joke!

      Well, have a good day, and take care. Talk to you later. Kirk

Tropicool is a silicone roofing paint made by Henry. Its expensive but I guess it really helps keep the heat out and will waterproof and seal. Trouble is its shiny bright white. You slap it on with a roller. That's why I'm priming the sides and will go over with topside semigloss. The really shiny part will be the rooftop and you wont see that.
Took the night off from the RV to put a floor in the boat. It was about time I got round to that! Needs trimming and a few holes cut here and there then carpet and screwing down but it's a start!
So I forgot to ask. Are you a pilot? Seems like you might be especially as you're getting an engine for the plane! Or are you just planning on having a few beers and going for it? LOL
Also I guess you are lucky with the Covid
A lot of death around here but then I'm in retirement central.
Chances are you'll get it and wont even notice but if you're unlucky it'll kill ya. When you personally know a few people it did kill it kinda changes your mind.
Enjoy your breakfast whenever you eat it!
And get that old Grumman running!
Take care.

Hi Paul,

     I took a look at that Tropicool coating, Looks like a wonderful thing except for the price! But it is guaranteed for 12 years so, If I divide the price by 12 it's really not bad. Looks like it will take almost 3 gallons to do the whole roof! I looked  over at my RV this morning when I went out to feed the cats, and there was one of my babies sitting up on the dash on the inside! Somehow they had moved the doghouse enough to get in. Mine isn't secured to the floor right now because I was in the process of putting in new carpet and padding when I parked it. I need to get the old girl fired up and move it back to the driveway or someplace other than the lawn, It's sinking fast out there! With this thaw going on, I probably won't be able to get it out of there till it dries out a bunch!

     No, unfortunately I'm not a pilot, just a pilot wannabe! I've had a few lessons in an Ultralight and loved it! They are sort of like flying a lawn chair, just a little scary at first, but I got used to it quick!  I'm thinking I'll probably have to sell my old airplane since I lost my job I won't be in a very good position for buying parts! Better to let it go now than put a bunch of bucks into it then have to let it go anyway.

      I lost my ex-sister-in-law to what they said was covid, but here in Illinois people in Chicago who die of bullet holes get counted ad a covid death, I guess it gets in through the holes!  I think it's strange that no one is dying from Flu this year! Go figure! I don't believe much of the garbage they try to feed us on TV anymore! They seem to have a real problem reporting something that doesn't go along with their agenda!

       Well, have a great day and take care, talk to you soon, Kirk


Hey Kirk.

I finally coated the roof. It covered all of the patches and came out very well.

This is good stuff. It even filled the spider cracks and bigger in the gelcoat that I though I would have to redo. Originally I masked off the sides as I was planning on repainting them but after I saw how well it sealed and covered I decided to do those too.

Not thrilled about the finish that's visible on the sides ( as its bright white shiny rubber ) but it saved a huge amount of work. Of course since I finished it some leaves fell and a lot of pollen too. That's whats in the photo.

Now I have a completely sealed roof. I know there is some moisture in the roof between the inner and outer fiberglass layers. No I idea if I should run a dehumidifier in there to suck is out or not. Its not visibly wet, but as the cracks would have let rain in, there has to be moisture in there.

Also decided to look at the running lights and headlight/ turn signals and such.

The previous owner had left me a 5 gallon bucket full of running lights all single wire.

Long story short I ordered some new cheap LED ones from Amazon with 2 wires.They arrive today. With the old ones I just couldn't figure out how to wire them and have them flush, having to add that second wire without drilling a bolt all the way thru the roof so attach either the red or black wires.

If they were all red wires I'd be happy bolting the ground thru but not mixed the way they were. Attached is a photo of how janky that was . I wired 3. ALL had only the ground attached to I bolted thru the red and although it worked I just don't think its good. So they are coming off and the new ones will just attach to the red/black harness of the RV. Also no bolting through and they will be flush.

The lights I was given with one wire are, I guess, usually used on metal bodies so the one mounting screw just grounds to it. No good for fiberglass.

I could have used them if I really had to by drilling another hole to pass the wire thru and ring post the wire to the back of the unit but even then they wouldn't be flush.

So there you go.

I got the headlights turn signals and rear / brake lights all working again but cleaning up the grounds and changing one bulb. That was nice and easy!

So tonight is putting up the new lights.

Sorry you are giving up the plan!

Talk to you later. Cheers.

Roof with Tropicool and pollen! Luckily nothing sticks to it or stains it. It all just hoses off.

Hi Paul, 

    that roof looks GOOD! I think I'll t4ry to get some of that to do mine, maybe that will stop the leak I have. I'm not sure where it's coming from could be just from the snow melting on the roof around the AC unit then running along the ceiling. I had almost 2 feet of snow up there this year! usually I would get up there and shovel it off, but this year it came down so fast and heavy I didn't have a chance to get it off before it had turned to ice. 

     I got lucky on my clearance lights. The local Farm & Fleet store had some leds on sale, I just grabbed enough lights to replace them all, later I discovered that most of them had 2 wires, so it was easy to do up the roof ones, there already was a separate ground wire up there so, I just had to hook them to it. I should never have one go out. These things are supposed to be good for something like 20,000 hours! I soldered and taped all the connections so they won't be coming loose either! I  had to re-wire everything around the engine after my fire, so that's all new. I put in all Led tail lights too, the4 only lights that aren't Leds are the headlights and dash light bulbs! I have landing light bulbs for my high beams, so I can see about a mile with them!

      Talking about the fire reminds me that I was going to tell you don't use ATF in your power steering, The flash point of ATF is a lot lower than power steering fluid. I blew a steering hose that squirted on the manifold, almost lost her that day! It was blazing away under the doghouse! I don't know why it didn't burn through the fiberglass, There would have been no stopping it then!

     I don't know what the heck is going on with me, lately I've been so dizzy if I try to even pick something up off the floor I almost fall over! Everyone tells me I should drink more water, so I'm trying that. The problem is that if I drink too much I'm in the bathroom all night! I don't know which is worse, I really do like my sleep, and that's hard to do in the bathroom, LOL!

     Well, have a good one and take care, talk to you later, Kirk


Hey Kirk,

Hope you are feeling better.

I managed to put up all of the new 2 wire lights. Pretty much a perfect fit. I'm not so sure how they will last. They do work perfectly though for now.

Had my first heavy downfall of rain since I did them last night . Also really the first rain since I did the roof.

No leaks anywhere that I can see. I really haven't done much else this week. Most of my time is spend raking leaves and I have 5 mature oak trees in the yard.

The only other thing I did do was cut an old door I had laying around as a mock up of the kitchen sink area. Hopefully Ill get that going properly this weekend if i get the chance. I like the idea of leaving it open like it is in the picture. That way the dogs can sleep under there without being on the bunks or bed. I did save the metal support for the drivers side top storage/ bunk. Well at least the last owner gave it to me and I saved it. Maybe I can incorporate it into the front support of the sink and make that span possible. I guess Ill find out soon enough!

Well you take care and Ill try not to catch my rig on fire!

Hi Paul,

     Yup, I'm feeling much better the last few days, I'm starting to think I was just dehydrated. I had been avoiding water because it made me have to get up and hit the john every hour, and sometime every half hour, Since I started drinking more water I have been a lot less dizzy and my BP is down where it should be! And, I'm only having to get up once or twice a night, Much better!

    The LED lights should be a great improvement as far as durability, and they use way less power than the old ones did, I think they are a very sensible addition to any older vehicle!

Glad you got your roof sealed, that should make life a lot easier now that you don't have to worry about leaks! I need to get mine done soon too.

     Yesterday I got out my old Power King tractor and took a ride around the property checking out the lawn and fences and such, Looks like I have some tree work to do as soon as the ground dries up. A few broken branches just hanging up in trees that might fall on the roof of the old corn crib, so, I'll have plenty of projects to keep me busy, instead of having a job to go to! I need to do some repairs on my house too, I have a bunch of birds making a home in the wall above the window AC unit that is built into the wall. they make an awful racket in the morning when the sun comes up, I guess they think they must be like chickens,

they get busy in the morning. At least they aren't crowing yet!! 

     I need to see if my Grumman will start, It's been sitting all Winter, so, it might need some help! I have had the float needles stick sometimes, and won't let gas into the carb, and sometimes the points get corroded and won't spark, but it's just a matter of  a little TLC to get her going again.

    Have a great day and enjoy. Kirk

    PS, I like the idea of having the under sink area open for room, that makes sense. TTYS!




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