Burro Seams - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2010, 04:48 PM   #1
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Hi...new to the fiberglass trailer world and this site.

Looking at a Burro 13' from the 80's and I was wondering if any of the Burro owners out there could tell me about the durability and life of the seam seal.

What should I look for.....water stains etc? What is your experience? Looks like joined in half opposite of the way others are joined (Hunter, Scamp, Casita).

Thank you,

Craig

(Gotta find the right trailer)

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Old 07-19-2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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Trailer: Burro 13 ft and Teton 32 ft
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Hi...new to the fiberglass trailer world and this site.

Looking at a Burro 13' from the 80's and I was wondering if any of the Burro owners out there could tell me about the durability and life of the seam seal.

What should I look for.....water stains etc? What is your experience? Looks like joined in half opposite of the way others are joined (Hunter, Scamp, Casita).

Thank you,

Craig

(Gotta find the right trailer)
its a type of trim lock that seals them but i had very little sucess with trim lock ,try jc wittney thats wee i found mine for around 30.00 .over all they hold up very well .
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:09 PM   #3
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 1983 Burro 13 ft
West Virginia
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Craig, I can only speak to my Burro. The seam you speak of is rarely an issue and is covered with Trim Lok which further protects against water intrusion. Areas to check for leak damage is behind each wheel (on the outside of the trailer) where the plywood floor edge is exposed. Another easy place to probe for floor rot is under both the front and rear bunks. Locate a joint or bolt hole in the green fiberglass sheet you'll see in those locations and probe under it with a pocket knife or screwdriver. Burros are double wall construction...an inner and outer shell...frequently, when windows leak, they leak into the void between the inner and outer halves, with the water going directly to the plywood floor which is sandwiched top and bottom with green fiberglass mat. Water can infiltrate for years, damaging the floor with little evidence inside. When the floor becomes structurally weakened, the outer fiberglass shell settles down onto the frame where it protrudes on both ends of the trailer, and road shock gradually causes the frame to damage the fiberglass. Another area that will indicate either frame or floor problems is the door....the door itself will no longer "fit" correctly and the door opening itself will be wider at the bottom than at the top. Either measure the opening with a tape or look for large, uneven gaps when the door is closed. If your exam finds floor rot...use it to negotiate price. Its a fair job, but the floor can be replaced to be better than new. Also figure on changing the axle if its the original. The rubber suspension will no longer be flexible and the trailer will bounce quite a bit. Dexter can build you one with electric brakes...freight and all....for $500 or less. I found all these things out the hard way...but I have a Burro that's now watertight and light, and tows like a dream. Good luck with your search. eBay has a couple UHauls up for bid.
Mike in WV
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:02 PM   #4
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Areas to check for leak damage is behind each wheel (on the outside of the trailer) where the plywood floor edge is exposed. Mike in WV
Hi Mike,

I have a 17ft burro that has begun to leak from the right wheel well like you suggest here. I finally figured out why the floor was wet when I sealed up the wheel well with a plastic bag and tyvek tape during a rain storm which kept the area bone dry.

My question is soon it will be rainy season again and I want to fix the situation for good and don't know what to use to seal the leak and where to actually seal it. Ive been under the trailer and it seems like the culprit is actually the fiberglass in the wheel well which looks like some kind of substance was once applied to it probably to rectify the same situation.

I don't know if this is the proper forum to post this so admin feel free to move it if necessary.

I just really would like some expertise in fixing it so I don't hurt my burro.

With much appreciation,

Laurie
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:15 PM   #5
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I avoided these problems by buying a new trailer, however, it occurs to me that the wheel well could easily be covered with aluminum sheet which would also prevent thrown stones from impacting the fiberglass. The aluminum could be easily cut to fit the half round area and of course the arched area would be covered with a single sheet. Then bonding the aluminum to the body with a good seal/bond material which is available in hardware stores, and possibly some rivets in areas not directly impacted by the wheel plume. Has anyone ever tried this?

Just a thought.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:41 PM   #6
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 1983 Burro 13 ft
West Virginia
Posts: 45
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Hi Mike,

I have a 17ft burro that has begun to leak from the right wheel well like you suggest here. I finally figured out why the floor was wet when I sealed up the wheel well with a plastic bag and tyvek tape during a rain storm which kept the area bone dry.

My question is soon it will be rainy season again and I want to fix the situation for good and don't know what to use to seal the leak and where to actually seal it. Ive been under the trailer and it seems like the culprit is actually the fiberglass in the wheel well which looks like some kind of substance was once applied to it probably to rectify the same situation.

I don't know if this is the proper forum to post this so admin feel free to move it if necessary.

I just really would like some expertise in fixing it so I don't hurt my burro.

With much appreciation,

Laurie
Laurie, I'm the first to say that I'm NO expert...I bought a 13' Burro that was in much worse shape than was obvious, forcing me to remove the trailer from the frame and replace the flooring. Along the way, I found lots of areas that had allowed water to reach the rotted floor...most of which were flaws from the factory. From here forward I'll assume your 17' Burro is constructed like my 13', only larger. Remove a wheel, get a light, and look the cavity over closely. At frame level you should see the edge of the structural plywood floor. Any time you drive in the rain, the plywood gets doused! Another joint is where the inner and outer fiberglass shells join to form the wheel well, best viewed by lying on your back, and with a flashlight, look upward just inside the lip of the "fender". I sealed both of these areas with fiberglass tape and epoxy resin....bear in mind here, that my frame was completely removed at this time. I "painted" the edge of the plywood with epoxy resin a couple coats and then wet out the fiberglass tape and bedded it into the wet resin completely sealing the edge of any exposed wood. Did this twice (two coats). Where the two fiberglass shells join forming the wheel well....same thing. The factory had sealed some areas in random fashion with a ceramic-putty of some sort. VERY hard and brittle. This ceramic had separated in about half the applications and was serving as a funnel. Hammer-and-chiseled the loose off and resealed with epoxy resin. The areas I mention probably would NOT have leaked unless the trailer was being towed on wet roads/in the rain. Your description and solution sound like your trailer was leaking while stationary....since you used a plastic bag and tape to stop the water. Your leak source may be from somewhere other than those I describe.
I also found every external light leaking....from the taillights to the high-mounted clearance lights....all were leaking around both the mounting screws and the access holes for wiring. Lights leaking lets water go between the shells straight to the plywood structural floor. Also, make sure the drain holes or grooves in the window frames are clean and not plugged with dirt. I drilled several more in each window. My goal was to be as light and dry as possible, so I also removed the 'fridge and range, covering the outside vents with aluminum checkerplate. Both these vents were leaking big time! I had a sieve. Now, with the new floor, all the sealing efforts and new door gasket, resealed windows, (original window pane seals) some elbow grease and colorful (at times) language, the Burro is 100% dry in the hardest rains.....worth the effort. I use a Coleman camp stove and an effecient cooler...more versatile, since we cook outside mostly. A 5 gallon Igloo water cooler from a flea market is our potable water supply. Thinking about taking the sink out as well. Hope this helps...
Mike in WV
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:11 AM   #7
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Trailer: 17 ft Burro (Dance Hall Edition ''The Casbah'')
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I sealed both of these areas with fiberglass tape and epoxy resin....bear in mind here, that my frame was completely removed at this time. I "painted" the edge of the plywood with epoxy resin a couple coats and then wet out the fiberglass tape and bedded it into the wet resin completely sealing the edge of any exposed wood. Did this twice (two coats). Where the two fiberglass shells join forming the wheel well....same thing. The factory had sealed some areas in random fashion with a ceramic-putty of some sort. VERY hard and brittle. This ceramic had separated in about half the applications and was serving as a funnel. Hammer-and-chiseled the loose off and resealed with epoxy resin. The areas I mention probably would NOT have leaked unless the trailer was being towed on wet roads/in the rain. Your description and solution sound like your trailer was leaking while stationary....since you used a plastic bag and tape to stop the water. Your leak source may be from somewhere other than those I describe.

Mike! What an awesome reply and I grr-eatly appreciate it.

What you shared totally resonates with my problem even though your fixes sound a bit daunting. I really respect your fortitude in getting your burro waterproof.

Ever since I owned it, the floor near the wheel well would get wet when driving in the rain. Yet last year in a huge storm in Quartzite with angled wind it became soaked when just parked and other rains with angled rain would get it wet. Once I taped a cut open trash bag over the wheel well that worked. I also discovered that the external ac plug outside the camper was allowing water to drip down the wires inside the camper into the left storage area. So I taped that up as well.

So since I haven't been using the burro in the rain it's been fine but that will change soon. I think my wheel well has some kind of ceramic putty on it as well. So I will look into getting some resin and fiberglass. I was really, really hoping to not have to deal with epoxy and was hoping something like 5200 silicone would do the trick yet I do want to prevent the floor from rotting and I have no idea if damage has been done already!

I will check the lights as well for source of leaks and it just occured to me that the right wheel well under the sink may also be leaking and I just didn't realize it because it's in the cupboard and hasn't migrated to the rug outside the cabinet so I will check that as well.

I really appreciate your generosity in sharing your experience with me...invaluable!

With much gratitude,

Laurie
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