Wanting To Chat With Fellow Compact JR/II Owners - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-31-2007, 05:56 PM   #1
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Hunter Industries
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Hey Everybody
Im new to FGRV and let me say, I'm really enjoying the site! I've stumbled on it in searches before, but never realized what a resource it could be until I actually joined, so many many thanks to the creators and hardworking folks who maintain this site.
Honestly it's really great too, to finally see that I'm not the only person on the planet with a Compact! hehe I've heard from a few of you before, but I'm curious to know more, to hear some stories of positives and negatives of our little rigs. I'm still pretty 'young' in my experience with mine, since I only got in during summer of 2006, and haven't used it much yet, but I'm definitely learning.
FYI, my rig is a 1973 Compact II, top 1/2 white, bottom 1/2 a light green. From what I've seen (in all of your pics & postings!hehe) mine has the 3way fridge, the TINY bathroom, the stove with the oven, an H2O pump, and the little battery compartment with the outside door. Some wise past owner (I'm owner #3) added a toolbox on the tongue for stuff. Mine also has some suspicious marks around the side windows that look like there might have been tiny awnings at one time, anybody ever seen anything like that? Also, how complicated is replacing the pop top's fabric? Mine's not too bad, but I think it would be wise to do before it DOES get bad, right?
And how tricky would it be to add a porchlight? I've seen a few in other folks pictures, but I'm very unsure about making holes in the ensolite (spelling?). Does it just peel off, do you run wiring between the ensolite and the outer wall, or what?
I'm very curious to hear more about the other 'options' some of these seem to have come with. I've seen furnaces in some of yours, and have heard that some of the trailers actually came with water heaters as well?
Anyway, like I say, as a 'rookie' fiberglass camper Im just curious to learn more about the little rigs, so any info and input is MUCH appreciated! Thanks, Joe
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:45 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler, 1987 & 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
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Welcome Joseph!

I'm sure some of Compact owner will chime in soon.

Adding a porch light should be easy. I thought Compacts had that quilted material inside not ensolite? Would you want the light on the kitchen side? If so is there a light on the upper cabinet you could splice wiring to?
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:27 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1980 Bigfoot 17 ft
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Joe,
I own a Compact Jr. that I bought in Sept. of '04. I've enjoyed working on it and we've towed it all around Texas. My wife and I have attended the Bluebonnet Rally twice, the Pineknot Rally twice and are planning our first long trip in July to the Oregon Gathering. I've only seen one other Compact in person and that was a sad example of a Jr. by the side of the road. My trailer is very simple and has no furnace, no 12 volt system, no hot water heater, & no brakes. It does have air conditioning, a dorm frig, & microwave. I've seen old photos of small canvas awnings over the side windows, but none on current trailers. My trailer has small metal brackets on each side of the windows that I think were part of the awning system. I've thought about a porch light, but it's far down on my 'to-do' list. My vinyl 'collar' is currently off the trailer and at an upholstery shop to serve as a copy for a new one. Should cost $165 for a simpler version without the screened roll-up windows. I hope it goes back on as easy as it came off.

Tom Trostel
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:22 AM   #4
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Hey Tom,
Thanks for the info, we've actually spoken before via email, I was referred to you by someone else who said you were 'THE Compact guy' to talk to! hehe It was from our chat that I learned the difference between the Jrs vs the II's. From what I see in your pics, I LOVE how you have a microwave in place of the original oven! I DOUBT I'm ever going to bake anything, so I'd love to know more about that conversion.
So you've got your vinyl roof section off, upholstery shop huh? Now are you opting out of the screen windows up there, to save money, or convenience, or what? Personally I like em, since I'm tall enough that I'm right at eye level with them. In the drier climates of Ca, they're great for air flow. In my trailer the windows are old and dried out, VERY much like you would see in the rear window on a convertible car's top. Let me know how that repair goes, because I know I'm going to have to do it sooner or later... Was it a real bear to get the top apart?
Another upgrade I've thought about was finding a solar panel to fit right on top of the pop up top, to mount it permanently up there for dry camping. What better time to mess with something like that, then when the top is off for the vinyl repair?
And what kind of advice do you have about a porch light? Im hesitant about piercing the fiberglass hull without having a good plan. I do KINDA need to replace my rear tail lights too, they're quite worn from sunlight, even the housings. Have you had to do that?
Anyway, I think that's enough brainpicking of you for now, many thanks for any and all advice Tom! hehe
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:06 AM   #5
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Hi Joseph, Welcome. I have a 1974 red Hunter I, parent name on the Compacts. I had my top vinyl replaced a couble of years ago. First my dad and I took off the old one, it was in poor shape but still whole. I took it to Stark Manuf. in Chula Vista 619-425-5880. they remade the top, but the only change I made was to double the screen in the window openings and leave off the (clear?) plastic rool up windows. Being in So. Calif. it is warm, and if I get cold, I just pop the top down.
I still have the original ice box, but do have the two way sink and a two burner stove. Mine has the rock guard on the front window, but nothing else for an awning. I have an 10' x 10' easy-up awning I carry with me.
I will be at the Ca Desert Winter Warm-up on Feb 10th to 12th, near Palm Springs, if you want to see another, or contact me when you are in San Diego and I can show you mine. Sorry no pictures yet, I don't have that digital thing down yet.

Linda
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:14 AM   #6
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Joe,
The new vinyl collar will have clear windows in the same places as the original, but they will be sown in place. The velcro around the original windows had become stiff and didn't seal well. It seemed a weak link in the system, along with the folded vinyl at the corners, which are going to be reinforced. Hopefully this new one will last longer than 34 years.

The microwave was put in by a previous owner. It looks simple to do. Removing the old oven may be the hardest part.

I had considered placing a porch light under the door so the wiring could go through the floor.

Removing the upper top is a two person job. It's heavy and awkward at 8' X 3'. It's held in place by 4 bolts and taking it off is straight-forward. I needed to remove it anyway to repair the plywood ceiling. It had de-laminated due to water seeping through bolt holes and looked very bad.

Tom Trostel
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