1997 Viking 2060ST rebuild (floor, front compartment)

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by Dubbya, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    Not a ton of obvious progress this week as I've simply been framing wall sections. Here's the stack of sections I've completed so far.

    [​IMG]

    Both side walls, the front bulkhead wall that separates the storage compartment from the cabin and the two rear angled wall sections.

    Wow. Just went through the list of fasteners I've used to this point and realized I've bought 110 2"x4" mending plates! That's a lot of steel! [:D]

    It's also a lot of drilling as I've pre-drilled almost all of the holes and countersunk them to prevent the wood from splitting. Haven't split a piece yet! The mending plates will split the wood as well but it's easily avoided if you lay the frame on the concrete and make sure it makes solid contact with the floor prior to swinging a 4LB hammer at it. Just used a block of wood for the 4"x6" plates but I've gotten good enough at using them at I don't use a block for the 4"x6" or smaller plates at all.

    I've also been cutting the 4"x6" mending plates in half across their width so as not to waste them. At that point, they're more like a bunch of really heavy-duty staples. Nonetheless, they still provide additional support to each joint. Used properly, they'll hold the joints together long after the wood on either side of the plate has obliterated due to stress. Overally, it's run me an extra $100 but I think it's worth it as the framework and joints are so much more sturdy.

    Using as many mending plates as I have really hasn't added much in terms of weight either. Overall, including the steel angle I bolted to the camper frame to support the floor, I'd estimate that I've added a total of 80 pounds to the gross weight of the camper. No biggie IMHO!

    I had to take apart the bulkhead prior to setting the mending plates to it as it was 1/4" out of square. I'm really not sure what I was thinking when I put it together but, in my defense, it was an "end of day" part of the build. Thankfully, it occurred to me the next morning and I was glad I'd checked it prior to hammering on the mending plates.

    I removed the ceramic screws and used a hammer to knock the bottom sill off. Looking at it, there were several pieces of broken wood from the ends of the vertical members still stuck to it. I'm amazed at the strength of Gorilla wood glue, especially if the framing members are clamped and screwed.

    While I'm using their standard wood glue which is intended for indoor/outdoor applications, I found that Gorilla also makes 100% waterproof glue. Evidently, you apply the glue to one piece, dampen the contact area on the other piece and clamp them together for 2-4 hours. I was thinking that if the wood is rotten enough that a staple won't hold it together, what good is 100% waterproof glue? Based on what I've seen here, it seemed like overkill.
     
  2. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    On a side note, thinking ahead toward setting the old outer skin panels in place, I realized I'd need to clean the existing butyl tape residue and associated grime from the painted aluminum surface and that I needed something that would do it without giving me a buzz or creating a fire hazard in the garage or garbage cans.

    Here's the solution:
    [​IMG]

    Goo Gone spray gel is citrus based, smells great and works like a charm. It doesn't take off everything without some elbow grease or a stiff bristled brush but, if you've scraped off as much butyl or putty tape as you safely can, spraying Goo Gone gel on the residue, letting it sit for 5-10 minutes and wiping it with a rag is pretty much all that's required.

    It's really not a ton of work and it won't harm the paint or striping. Being a gel, it doesn't run or drip unless over applied. Goo Gone stays put and does it's magic within a few minutes. Leave it on longer to let it dissolve tougher grime.

    My Goo Gone Gel Spray Review:
    It doesn't really work overly well for caked on road grime on the aluminum's textured surface but some brisk rubbing with a soft rag coupled with some scrubbing with a stiff bristled toothbrush (I never throw away a good toothbrush) does make a significant impact.

    Even after wiping with a clean rag, it does leave a bit of greasy residue behind, so you'll want to be careful to wipe everything down with alcohol prior to trying to paint, apply adhesives, sealant or striping of any kind.

    For $5.49 a bottle, Goo Gone is definitely a good product and I'd seriously recommend it. I've used another product called "Goof Off" and it works well for removing paint over-spray or glues but I'd think that it's a little too strong for this application as it can really do a number on paint or vinyl graphics if over applied.

    Nope, I'm quite satisfied with Goo Gone but I'll probably just give the trailer skins a good workout with some rubbing compound to remove whatever grime the Goo Gone didn't.
     
  3. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Re: 1997 Viking 2060ST rebuild (Square your wall sections)

    The last thing you want to do when building frames is take them apart after they've been completed and the glue is cured so I thought I'd share the method I use to check each wall section and framed opening for squareness.

    To avoid building a series of trapezoids that will throw off anything that attaches to them, I wanted to make sure that every section would be plumb.

    Here's what I do when building a long wall section

    I use a couple of scrap pieces of lumber which are similar in length and identical in thickness to raise a temporary plywood base on which to build my frame so that it's off the floor or work area and so that I can use wood clamps more effectively.

    After cutting my frame members to length, I lay out the frame roughly on my temporary plywood base. Making sure the board isn't warped and leaving a few feet between the screws, I screw the longest horizontal framing member (or top piece of the frame) directly to the plywood base in at least two places. Depending on the length of the board, more than two screws may be required.

    I lay out the (vertical) end pieces, apply glue to the ends of one of them then place it on the plywood base and move the second (bottom) longer member into position then clamp the assembly together. I then repeat the process for each vertical member before moving the second horizontal (bottom board) into position and clamping both end joints at the other end of the frame.

    Using my tape measure to make sure they're the same measurements, I compare the diagonal distances (corner to corner) between the longest members. If one corner measures longer than the other, I slide the bottom frame member perpendicularly to the top member until the measurements are the same then screw or clamp it down to hold it there while I resume building the rest of the frame.

    With everything glued and screwed in place and making sure it's still squared, I'll let the glue set for at least 20-30 minutes before removing the screws that are holding it down. I then lay the frame on the floor and check it again before hammering in the mending plates,

    Works like a charm, makes things so much easier to put together and prevents having to take them apart to fix them later.
     
  4. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Re: 1997 Viking 2060ST rebuild (New Walls Are Up)

    Made some significant progress again this weekend! With support and assistance from the DW, I was able to get the interior wall paneling on, set the walls up, join them, get them in position and fastened down to the camper frame through the floor.

    Driver Side Front Corner
    [​IMG]

    Curb Side (Other Side) Front Corner
    [​IMG]

    Curb Side (Other Side) Rear Corner
    [​IMG]

    Driver Side Rear Corner
    [​IMG]

    The vinyl coated Luan panel I used for the interior walls is called "Stratos", part of the "Fantasy Series" produced by CanWel (BroadLeaf) was Gorilla glued and stapled on using 18 gauge 5/8" crown staples.

    The wall sills were fastened through the floor and frame using 2" #12 self drilling screws and #10 fender washers. In order to maximize their effectiveness, I tried to place them as close to a vertical member as possible. Unfortunately, I had to drill a 7/8" countersink for the washers as the screws were a little bit too short. If I'd had it to do over again, I would have picked up 2-1/2" screws and saved myself the hassle. Nonetheless, while it's always better to place the washers on the top surface of the would instead of drilling through it, having the washers in place makes for a lot of contact surface.

    In addition, I utilized the same technique to connect the rear top panel to the ends of the sidewalls so that the screw heads would be flush with the surface of the panels. This will prevent them from distorting the outer skin when install it.

    The staples do tend to show up on the light colored wall panels, but a little white latex caulking dabbed atop each one hides them exceptionally well.

    I was a little concerned that the hammer in mending plates would distort the wall panels but the bulges are hardly noticeable at all.

    Note that, if you're going to cut luan and want to avoid it splintering, cut it upside down and use a very sharp finishing blade in your saw.

    To make the long cuts, I placed the panels on the camper floor and clamped them down with 5/8" OSB which I set back 4-1/4" as a cutting guide. Each cut was razor sharp and perfectly straight and, since the panels were upside down, none of the "nice side" had any splinters showed.

    After drawing lines, any cutouts were made using a oscillating multi-tool with a plunge cut saw blade attachment. I highly recommend this versatile tool as you can pick them up anywhere for $35-$150 and, with the plunge cut blade attached, it makes complex, razor thin angular cuts more quickly and easily than a jigsaw.

    [​IMG]

    They're not really the best sander IMHO, but you can find them just about anywhere plus, the price ($35) and variety of scraping and cutting blades available make them a great gift idea and addition to anyone's tool box! [;)]
     
  5. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Just pluggin' away at the front storage compartment and front walls.

    I've lined the storage compartment and bulkhead with 1/2" G1S (Good One Side) plywood, screwed to the wood framing with zinc plated screws. Once again, that oscillating multi-tool (plunge saw blade) came in handy for cutting the corners on the opening for the bulkhead cabinet door.

    It's kind of slow going as I do some fancy "cabinet grade" miter cuts but the lines nice and tight and solidly attached to the framing now with just the compartment ends to do now.

    In the interest of getting the camper on the road by next weekend (for our first trip out this year) I've opted to forgo painting the compartment for now.

    [​IMG]

    I've checked it six ways from Sunday to make sure it's all plumb too and I'm pleased (thankful to the good Lord, really) that it all came together and that the new compartment lid frame is going to solidly supported on all edges.

    [​IMG]

    I just know someone is going to crawl up there and I don't want the lid framing to break when they do so I've added a 1"x1-1/2" brace to the all face at the top of the bulkhead. This will allow the top edge of the compartment lid to be fully supported across it's width and to remain straight where before it was merely attached with a few (four?) screws to the bulkhead. [;)]

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully I can get the sides done and the lid on tonight but I'm thinking of adding some additional support to the sides of the storage lid framed opening. Just seems a little to "light duty" to me.
     
  6. JKBob

    JKBob New Member

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    May 31, 2012
    Hey FL_Bill, you want to make me a door please? [:D] They want about $350 to ship a plastic replacement door and frame to Canada.
     
  7. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    FL_Bill?

    I already priced one out too! LOL!

    Still looking for some "by the foot" trunk seal from a local supplier. No sense using the crappy stock deck lid seal. It's only $20 (plus shipping) but seems it can't keep a wet fart from working it's way through the lid into the storage compartment.
     
  8. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

    I know. I called for pricing and it was 175 for the door and to ship it from MI to FL was about another 130. I spent 130(I think) on the metal and another 50 (plus tip, like 20 bucks or something) at a metal fabricator and did a little trim work on it my self. Now I have a nice lid. I think I would go with 1/16" next time however. 1/8" is a bit heavy. I never weighed mine, but it is around 47lbs. Strong as can be though. I am thinking about putting a rack on it to haul fire wood. Or one of the kids on the long trips when they are fighting....
     
  9. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    *snort* bahahahaaaaaaa! [LOL]

    Love it!
     
  10. JKBob

    JKBob New Member

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    May 31, 2012
    Thanks for doing this write up Dubbya, I've got the same trailer so this is very informative.

    Dumb question time.
    Where are you going to put the trunk seal?
    The PO had some foam weather stripping tape inside the lid of mine. That looked like it was doing a good job everywhere except the crack in the lid.

    I Jerry rigged my broken base back on with 5/8 x 5/8 pieces of wood wedged in the groove under the lip and screwed back on through the wood pieces. I plan to seal it up with Flex RV around the edges and Plasti-dip the whole inside of the lid. Should keep the water out until I can get a better door made. Maybe I'll throw a roof patch over the crack in the lid to make it look more redneck.
     
  11. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Instead of replacing the lid seal, it appears the PO just kept making the clamps tighter, hoping that the seal would magically start doing its' job. Now the lid is warped at the ends and, even with a new seal isn't likely to work properly.

    Not sure how I'm going to tackle it exactly but I'm thinking a 1/2"x1/16" or 3/4"x1/8" aluminum angle screwed to the deck under the lid might work. I guess the biggest problem with these lids is that they're plastic and don't have any rigidity to them after being cinched down for so many years without any real support.

    Hmmm... The more I think about it, the more I'm swayed to do away with the plastic base entirely. Just use aluminum angle to build a new base and maybe even add some to the lid itself as well to stiffen and straighten it up so that any seal I do decide to use has a solid chance of making full contact around the perimeter.

    Don't mind me, just brainstorming...

    Yeah, a new lid base made out of angle would allow me to use a nice wide hinge too... that alone would improve the rigidity of the lid at the rear of the opening... Another piece of flat stock across the front would certainly help too.

    I'll keep thinking about it...
     
  12. RFryer

    RFryer Hopkinton, MA

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Hopkinton, MA
    I had a new diamond plate lid made at a local sheet metal fabrication shop for $165 and it turned out great and will last forever. I later wished I'd rebuilt the entire storage compartment out of it
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Yup, that's pretty sweet right there. I'm pretty sure I saw that post a while back.

    Looks like money very well spent!
     
  14. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    The storage compartment is done and lined on the sides. I didn't run the plywood all the way to the top as you can't see it when you open the lid anyway.

    [​IMG]

    So, to reiterate, there's a 2"x3" running across the back of the compartment lid opening that is connected to a 1-1/2"x1" rear cross member which rests atop a 1-1/2"x1" lintel and the top edge of the 1/2" plywood rear wall.

    The 1-1/2"x1" sides of the lid opening receive support from 1-1/2"x1" struts which were turned on edge, flush to the inside of the opening and connected at either end under the lid frame between the front and rear walls.

    While intended to support the sides of the opening and top deck of the compartment, the struts also provide support to the 6" top front wall panel.

    [​IMG]

    Barring any unforeseeable disasters, I have a lot more confidence in the lid deck being able to support whatever I lid I throw on top of it and I know the front compartment panel won't budge either.

    I've also sandwiched 1/2" standard plywood into 3"x6" plywood blocks which were glued and screwed to the front wall framing and inside wall of the compartment. These will provide a nice sturdy place for the latch screws that lock the closed lid in place.

    Finally, to end the night, I started running the wiring for the marker and signal lights. I should have that done tonight before I move on to cleaning up the incredibly rusty floor tracks for the lift system tomorrow.

    Those wire wheels are sure going to get a workout! [;)]
     
  15. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    One of the three key areas I've been concerned about is the space between the top edge of the lid deck to the top of the bulkhead wall.

    Here's what it looked like when I first removed the outer skin:
    [​IMG]

    Originally, the top edge of outer aluminum skin was barely long enough to reach the top edge of the wall where it was stapled in place. The aluminum trim piece that covers the stapled edge wasn't sealed properly and water could penetrate the compartment, often running down the front of the water stained luan on the bulkhead wall and the floor inside the cabin.

    [​IMG]

    You'll note that I've purposefully left this area uncovered as I was considering whether or not to use Eternabond tape or Bakor BlueSkin flashing membrane to cover it. In the end, my decision was based on functionality versus price.
    [​IMG]
    A 50' roll of 4" Eternabond tape would run me $82.99 while a 50' roll of 4" Bakor BlueSkin flashing membrane costs $14.99. Very different products as the BlueSkin is not pressure sensitive, so I wouldn't need any sort of squeegie or roller to apply it. I saved a few more bucks there! Yay, me!

    The BlueSkin flashing membrane is not designed to be exposed for extended periods of time and it won't be since it's going to be covered by the camper's aluminum skin. While Eternabond can be exposed and painted if desired, it's simply not an issue here.

    Both stick like poop to a wool blankie and both are "self sealing" if punctured. It was a pretty simple decision to make, really.

    Since I only need one 83" length (I'll go a little wider and wrap it around the corners at each end) and still have plenty left to lay down on the lid deck framed opening.

    I'll also use it at the rear of each wall corner where failed caulking on and under the 45 degree joints in the aluminum wall trim allowed water in. BlueSkin FTW! [LOL]
     
  16. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Well, not a hugely productive weekend but I knocked off another couple of items from the "ToDo" list.

    The lights are wired and tested. Since I reused the existing harness, it was a cinch to ensure things didn't get messed up. The wiring under the trailer was secured in place using 3/4" and 3/8" wire loom along the frame and up through the floor where required. Any sagging wire loom was secured using Mounted Head cable (zip) ties, screwed to the underside of the 5/8" floor.

    The storage compartment framed opening and the bottoms of the front and rear wall-to-floor joints were lined with 4" Bakor BlueSkin flashing membrane (tape). This should help prevent rain or road spray running down the walls and working its' way between the underside of the floor and the frame.

    Switched RV lights were added to the left and right of the storage compartment's rear wall. At some point, I'll be adding a pressure switch to the top lid that bypasses the on/off switches on the lights but for now, the switches are reachable from either hatch. No more running for a flashlight every time I need something out of there at night.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the BlueSkin wraps around the framing members most likely to make contact with the compartment lid and plastic lid frame and hopefully prevent leaks caused by the large number of screws used to attach the lid.

    [​IMG]

    This photo shows where the BlueSkin was applied to the bottom member on the front and rear wall. The tape wraps down and under the floor edge and about 1/4"-1/2" down the camper frame.

    [​IMG]

    Going forward, once the front and rear skins are put on, the bottom edges will be sandwiched between a 3/4" aluminum angle and the BlueSkin, screwed to the underside of the floor and to the frame before the inserted edge is sealed with clear silicone.
     
  17. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Didn't get a whole lot done last night other than to build a new double pulley assembly to replace the one that got torn up by the lift cables when the old rotted floor gave way under it.

    Using the stock wall mounted double pulley as a template, I cut two 4-3/4" lengths out of 1"x1/8" flat stock steel, drilled the mounting bolt and pulley bolt holes, then bent the steel to shape using the bench vise, folding pliers and a hammer.

    [​IMG]

    Using the side grinder, I cut the excess off the flat bottom piece to line up the ends and removed the burrs before giving the pieces a quick shot of Rustoleum rust paint.

    [​IMG]

    Cost: $8 (excluding taxes and paint)
    Qty: 2 - 1" Pulleys: $6.77 (Home Depot part #B-522 Screen Door Metal Rollers)
    Qty: 2 - 1"x1/8"x4' Flat Stock Steel: $0.90
    Qty: 1 - 1-1/2" #8 nut and bolt: $0.33

    In the end, I'm a little concerned that as a floor (front right corner) pulley, the #8 bolt securing the rollers won't be strong enough to support the tension placed on it by the lift cables. Regardless, the 1/8" steel is twice as thick as the housing on the stock pulleys and isn't likely to give out any time soon.

    Again, here are the pulleys I used:
    [​IMG]

    A center punch under a 20 oz ball peen hammer make removing the axle pins easy as pie.

    I've also replaced one of the heavy duty single pulley in the left front floor track with the B-548
    1 in Screen Door Roller Assembly from Prime-Line Products. They come in a two-pack, they're markedly more thick the the B-522's and can accommodate a beefier axle.

    Considering that the stock pulleys use an aluminum rivet to secure the nylon rollers in place, I'm thinking the #8 bolt I used to hold in the metal pulleys should be adequate.
     
  18. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Lots of progress since the last post! The lift tracks, lift posts, springs, winch and cables are in. I'll put off swaging and connecting the loop ends to the eye bolts until after the roof is on.

    Driver (Right) Side Front Lift Track Assembly
    Note that I opted to build a custom floor pulley as the stock sized double pulley didn't mount to anything solid where it should have been placed.
    [​IMG]
    The floor pulley I made was constructed out of one piece (about 12" long) of 1/8" steel flat stock which was bent to accommodate a set of double pulleys (screen door rollers), then doubled over and bolted through the floor to a steel plate which was welded to the frame at the factory.

    I have no idea why they'd have welded it there if they hadn't planned to bolt the original pulley to it. In retrospect, it seemed to be one of the main reasons why this single component failed after the floor rotted out. Being that it's made of 1/8" steel versus the 1/16" steel used for the stock pulleys, it'll take a pretty significant effort to bend it.

    Driver (Right) Side Rear Lift Track Assembly
    [​IMG]

    Curb (Passenger/Left) Side Lift Track Assembly & Winch
    [​IMG]
    I've moved the winch as close to the rear wall as possible without affecting the placement of the lift channels themselves. Modifying the original rear bench framing will allow me to reclaim approximately 4 cubic feet of additional storage space under it.

    Curb (Passenger/Left) Side Front Lift Track Assembly
    [​IMG]
    I replaced this pulley with one of the metal screen door rollers.
     
  19. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    The bottom edges of the rear and front walls were stapled to the underside of the floor through the blue skin roofing membrane (4" flashing tape) and a 1"x1/8" aluminum angle was screwed to the frame directly under it. The angle pinches the bottom edge of the skin in place.

    [​IMG]

    The front angle had to be notched to accommodate the hitch frame. Easy work for the side grinder, a file and some sandpaper to smooth the cut edges.

    [​IMG]

    A bead of silicone was applied to the joint between the end wall's bottom edge and the top outer edge of the angle. This measure effectively defends the 1" edges of the overhanging floor from rain and road spray. The bottom edge of the angle (where it touches the frame) did not receive any silicone as I felt it would be a good idea to provide a way out for any moisture that did find its' way in there.

    I've since got the skin back on, finished cleaning years worth of silicone and latex caulking from the front storage compartment lid opening, installed the exterior lights, roof clasps, outdoor stove studs and awning supports.

    I was a little concerned as to whether or not the panels would fit inside the outside corner moldings but I managed to squeeze them in with a minimum of effort.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    The left side cabinet was reinstalled.
    [​IMG]

    The 1/2" plywood backing for the fire extinguisher was removed and aA 16"X18" Heavy Duty Steel Bracket was added to provide additional stability and support for the front section of the curb side wall. Fastening the bracket to the wall post and the main frame channel under the floor made this section of the wall incredibly sturdy.

    [​IMG]

    The rear bench frame was set in place and the top of the bench framing was attached to the walls.

    [​IMG]

    The lower portion of the bench, which hides the winch, main cable and lift system tracks, contains approximately four to six cubic feet of wasted storage space under it. I'll be removing the wall paneling from the front of the bench, beefing up and altering the framing to accommodate additional space for bedding and a floor level cutout for shoe storage.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, we'll have a nice place to stash our footwear and I won't be tripping over gym bags or the DD's flip-flops every morning! Plus, it'll give our Yorkie a nice place to hide during thunder storms! [LOL]
     

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