How much room is needed to build an RV? Can I build the plane
in a basement? Is it insured under my homeowners?
I'm building an RV-4 in the basement as we speak. I have an approx
concrete slab in an otherwise dirt-floored cellar. Builders that
I've spoken to
have advised me to think everything through in regards to laying
assembling my kit, and that's good advice here too.
IMO, you'll need about 15' for the jig, and room for tools, storage
and a bench.
In my case, I'm sure that I can build the empennage and wings
in the cellar. I
actually took two sheets of plywood, strapped them together to
make a 4x12'
"wing", and made sure that I could move it in and out of my cellar
Right until the end, you'll be building "parts". You might want
to try something
similar to see if you can get everything in and out of your basement.
As far as compressor noise goes, my husband was able to put his
compressor in the garage and then run the hose through a hole
the basement. Certainly a lot less noisy. The noise I do hear
is music to my ears, knowing what the end result will be.
Wife of RV6A Builder
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Is building the kit in my basement realistic?
Go for it *after* you make *sure* you can get everything out that
build down there. I would recommend you cut a piece of plywood
size of the wings, for instance, and get it in and out.
I have a walk-out basement. Makes it much easier. You could also
consider adding an exterior access of some sort, depending upon
brave you are.
As for the noise -- there is some, but it's not that bad. You
a lot more rivets than you buck, and most of the rivets you buck,
appreciate your wife's help on, anyways.
You may still want to check with your insurance agent regarding
in a basement voiding your house insurance. I don't think it
they may be concerned about paint and flamables.
I am insured with State Farm and they told me that under no
circumstances will the kit be covered under the home owners insurance.
They wouldn't touch the project with a ten foot pole and suggested
that I contact a specialized aviation insurance company (Avemco)
Several people have commented that the noise of building an RV
infrequent and not that bad. I find myself wondering what I'm
differently -- it seems like I'm always reaching for the hearing
protectors. It is true that riveting takes a relatively small
percentage of the time, and you can certainly get a quieter compresser
than my DeVilbiss, but there's also noise from:
- Grinder/scotch-brite wheel
- Die Grinder with scotch-brite, cut-off wheel, or rotary file
- Dremel tool w/ cut-off wheel or engraving bit
- Drill press/fly cutter
- Jethro Tull
I'm not saying the noise is a problem for me, although it probably
would be if I hadn't taken the time to insulate my garage before
I started. But don't fool yourself, if you have a noise-sensitivity
issue (neighbors, etc.) you may have to deal with it.
I am building an RV-4 in our basement. We have a walkout door
on one side
and I know it will come out. I started the tail feathers in October
completed them on Sept. 30th . I am know working in the wings.
building both wings at the same time. I think that this is the
only way to
go. Right know both wings are in the jigs, both leading edges
are done and
the tanks are ready for pro-seal which I plan to do next week.
I hope to have
both wings done by the first of the year. This is my first airplane
and what fun it is. I see that a lot of people are concerned
about the nasty
smell that primmers can leave. I am not sure if it is up to code
installed a standard box fan in one of the small basement windows
a small room approx. 8X10 our of 2X4s and completely inclosed
it with plastic
including the ceiling. I then put a standard door and a furance
one of the walls to alow fresh air to get in. It works great.
My wife who
smells everything dosen't smell it. One reason I think I have
gotten as much
done on my plane as I have in such a short time is because it
is in my
basement. If I have only a half hour I will go down and work
for that half
hour. It is allways comfortably warm and cool in the summer.
I also am able
to have a small TV, frig. VCR, ect. If you can build it in the
all means do it.
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