Trailer Maintenance and Cleanup

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

We went to church this morning, then met our son for lunch afterwards. He brought Val’s car and our accumulated mail. We ran a couple of errands during the afternoon and headed back to the campground. Val dropped our son off at home and brought her car on out so we have both vehicles.

This afternoon and evening, we decided to do some organization of some cabinets. We had been just stuffing things in them as we went along and figured it was about time to rein in the mess before it got totally out of hand. During the process, we set aside a pretty good stack of stuff that needs to go back to the house instead of riding around with us all over the country.

Pile of stuff to take back home.

Pile of stuff to take back home.

Another project that Malcolm decided to take on is to clean the inside of our fireplace unit. It has had a couple of cobwebs and an inordinate amount of dust inside the main glassed in area where the “logs” sit. Malcolm finally got tired of looking at it and decided to see if he could open it up enough to clean the inside. He took pictures during re-assembly, so if you have a similar type of fireplace, here’s how to get to the insides. (Note: the unit just plugs in behind the fireplace, so please unplug it as soon as you can to prevent electrical shock).

Dusty and dirty.

Dusty and dirty.

Note that your fireplace model and mounting method may vary. Our fireplace says “Fmi” on the bottom panel. At any rate, the trim panel around the sides and top of the unit just lifts off four tabs.

Our unit as it sits in the cabinet. Trim ring installed.

Our unit as it sits in the cabinet. Trim ring installed.

Tabs that the trim ring rests on.

Tabs that the trim ring rests on.

Once the trim ring is off, you can unscrew the four screws (two on each side) that hold on the tabs for the trim ring and hold the unit in place. You should be able to swing the unit out (our unit had the electrical cord coming out of the right side of the unit, so Malcolm had to slide the left side out first, then pull it out the rest of the way). Once it is clear of the cabinet, unplug it from the outlet (assuming it isn’t hard-wired into the electrical system).

Turn the unit up on one side and you’ll see three screws hold the mounting flange on to the side. In the following picture, the mounting flange is toward the bottom of the screen.

Side of the unit with mounting flange still installed.

Side of the unit with mounting flange still installed.

Once the flange is removed, you’ll see two screws that are recessed inside holes in the cabinet. Those two screws hold on the front glass panel and frame (two on each side).

Mounting flange removed, showing holes where screws are for center panel.

Mounting flange removed, showing holes where screws are for center panel.

Remove the flange on the other side, then remove the four screws that hold the panel in place (a magnetic screwdriver is indispensable in this operation, by the way). The panel should lift away from the unit. Now you can clean to your heart’s content.

Unit disassembled for cleaning.

Unit disassembled for cleaning.

Re-assembly is the reverse of dis-assembly, obviously. Plan on dropping a screw or two as you are trying to negotiate the recessed holes for the center panel. Be sure to install screws in groups before tightening them all, to make sure everything will line up. Also, don’t forget to plug the unit in before mounting it back in your cabinet.

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