13ft U-Haul Rescued - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-09-2009, 02:05 PM   #1
Gary P's Avatar
Trailer: 1984 U-Haul
Posts: 34
Hello all.
First Post... been lurking and soaking up info for a little while.

So after a 3 month search, I finaly found a descent FGRV I could afford to buy and fix up.

I drug a 1984 13ft U-HAUL out from behind a mobile home in the sticks of South Carolina (4 hours from home).

I hate to see cool old things just rotting away in the elements. It deserves to be restored.

Overall it's in OK shape. I already have a laundry list of things to do to it:

The outside is descent, it has a few spider webs in the glass but no severe damage. No leaks.
I will pressure wash it and buff the fiberglass to the best shine I can get, then wax it.
I'm keeping the stickers on it but I think I will clean them good then clearcoat them to preserve them.

I'm painting the wheels orange and putting baby moon's on them.

I will clean and repaint the frame.

All of the cushions are missing. I wonder if 13ft Scamp cusions will fit?

I will have to make a new table top. Mine's missing.

I will have to make a new top bunk for the Goucho. It's missing

The swamp cooler is no good. The pump works so I will try to use it on the 12v fresh water pump system.
I will put a Fantastic Vent in place of the swamp cooler.

The power converter works, but I don't think the solar panel is putting out any voltage.

I haven't tested the furnace yet. Gas isn't hooked up yet.

The stove top has to have some type of refinish.

I need a faucet/ galley pump. I think I will go with a 3-way since I'm putting the swamp cooler pump on the water system.

The Cooler is gone but I think I want to put a shelf for a microwave in it's place and just use a couple of regular coolers.

It has yukky carpet in the floor but I think I'm going to put laminate flooring in it instead.

Overall, it seems like it will make a pretty cool little camper for me and my family.
I can't wait to tear into it his weekend.
I think the worst part of the project will be the cushions. I may be able to talk my wife into that part of the restoration.

Here is a couple of pics the way she was when I brought it home.
I'll post a few more as I clean it up and fix the issues.

Happy Camping...
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:13 PM   #2
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Name: Kevin K
Trailer: 17' Casita
Posts: 3,064
Nice find.
Good cleaning and you'll be ready to go.
Have FUN.

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Old 10-09-2009, 02:14 PM   #3
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Name: theresa
Trailer: Outback (by Trillium) 2004
New Brunswick
Posts: 1,428

welcome, gary...and it sure looks like a great project! actually, it is in surprisingly good shape. hope your wife agrees to do those cushions! she'll most likely want to re-do the curtains to match. good luck, and keep those photos coming as the work progresses.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:51 PM   #4
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Posts: 2,554
As a fellow UHaul owner, thanks for saving it.

It looks in pretty good shape. I thought from your description it would be far worse. Those are the original curtains, in case you were interested.

There is a guy on uhaulcamper.com who brought back a UHaul in that was in really poor shape. He had to replace the cupboard doors, but he took his to Florida for a week this past spring after fixing it up. They clean up really nicely.
1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud, "The Egg Carton"
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:46 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2007 Casita
Posts: 3,437
Welcome Gary and Congrat's on a great find. Look's like it's in pretty good shape, with a little clean up and mod's that make your family's camping experience more pleasant you will have a great trailer! Enjoy! Thanks for post pic's..................... keep them coming as you progress thru your projects. Robin
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:03 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1971 Astro (ie. Campster/Hunter I)
Posts: 437
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Well Gary,

You lucky devil, its a great find, hope you have years of memories and fun, fiberglass is addicting being a great way to R.V. hope to meet you sometime.

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Old 10-09-2009, 08:28 PM   #7
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Name: Vickie
Trailer: 1988 Perris Pacer ('Bean') / 2015 Ford F-150, 2017 Winnebago UltraLite 27BHSS
Posts: 1,109
WOW, you've really put a lot of thought into this! Have you had a FGRV before??? I'm impressed!

You sound like a great "dad" to your rescued camper---will enjoy seeing your restoration!
1988 Perris Pacer
2010 Honda Ridgeline
2013 Winnebago Minnie 2101FBS
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:49 AM   #8
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Trailer: 94 Casita 16 ft
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WOW!! With a couple bottles of windex, some lysol cleaner, and some cheap sleeping pads that thing would be usable right now. You've got a migthy good start to your project already.

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
Gary P's Avatar
Trailer: 1984 U-Haul
Posts: 34
Thanks for the welcome's and all of the kind words.

Yes I think it's cool that it still has the original curtains. (I like original).

I hope my wife agrees to do the cushions to or otherwise, I have to learn to sew .

This is my first FGRV and I have put some thought into it.
I actually started out looking at canned hams, but after seeing how they were just totally rotted and basically needed a frame off to be right, I started looking at the "eggs" . Well... you see where I'm at now.... Glass Egg City for me. Very little or NO rotten wood in these things. Light weight, easy to work on, I could go on and on.
I'm happy I found it.

I'm sure I will have a lot of questions along the way. I have never even seen one of these U-Hauls up close so I have nothing to go from on making parts for it.

First order of business...clean the outside.
I'll post some pics when I get it cleaned.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:29 AM   #10
Gary P's Avatar
Trailer: 1984 U-Haul
Posts: 34
The progress is coming along nicely.

I got the carpet ripped out.

The outside is cleaned. It's oxidized and I will need to buff it (later).

The inside is in pretty good shape, everything cleaned up really well. I was pleasantly suprised.

Fantastic Vent is next.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:28 AM   #11
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looks great so far. Good luck
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:45 PM   #12
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Name: Pam
Trailer: U-Haul 1985
Posts: 3,259
Good job - wish mine still had the original stickers!
You can download the U-Haul Parts and Repair manuals from the Documents section of this website. My trailer might not have had stickers, but it came with these two lovely books of information! I'm sure that you'll find them very helpful.
FYI, the solar panel on a Uhaul is only meant to keep the battery from corroding between rentals - its not meant to charge the battery . (Uhaul was in the camper rental business in the 80's.) Enjoy your trailer
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:52 PM   #13
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,012
FYI, the solar panel on a Uhaul is only meant to keep the battery from corroding between rentals - its not meant to charge the battery.
I would agree, except with substituting the word "discharging" for corroding.
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:26 AM   #14
Gary P's Avatar
Trailer: 1984 U-Haul
Posts: 34
Well, in my original post I stated "No Leaks". (as was told to me by the seller)

Unfortunately, Not the case.
After 2 straight days of rain I find that I have 4 leaky windows.
3 of the windows are leaking from the rusted out felt channels and the rear window seems to be leaking from the top, under the rubber seal.
I found the link to the rubber channel source and I will order those.
There is also a window seal that is shown in the "U-Haul Trailer Repair Manual" that I need for all of the windows. I can't find any source on those. Any ideas?
I'm not sure if the new rubber channels will fix the leak or if I need to replace the "seals".
The problem is I can't find the identical window seals used on the U-Haul.

By the way, the manuals I downloaded here are invaluable. It really gives you a head start on figuring these things out without a lot of guessing.

Now I will have to wait on the cushions and the flooring until I solve the leaking problem.

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