Neglected Casita - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-13-2019, 02:39 PM   #1
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Name: Dutch
Trailer: Casita
California
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Neglected Casita

Hiya Fellow Eggshell Owners,

Due to a busy life, I’ve neglected my 2095 Casita SD badly. I’m doing a great job of beating myself up over this, so please don’t pile on too much.
It has sat outside for about three years without any of the systems being run, and not plugged in. It is not on blocks. I did remove the battery. I’m in Sonoma County (northern CA), so it’s probably experienced 20 below freezing nights since it was last used, and nothing below maybe 28 degrees.
My questions are 1) Are there predictable issues I’m going to encounter when I plug it in? And 2) Are there things I should do before plugging it in and start turning things on? All systems worked fine when last used.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Thanks, and again, I know I blew it. I’m already falling on my sword here. I’m looking for help.

Dutch
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:39 PM   #2
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Nice going, now you must cut down the largest tree in the forest with a herring.



On a more serious note. Hopefully no rodents or bees got inside and there were no leaks. Hopefully you drained the water before leaving it. I would be cautious of the tires. I don't know how old they are but sitting in one spot is not good, especially if they were not aired up. I would replace them. Jack up each wheel and spin the tires, the bearings should be quiet, you may want to repack them if it hasn't been done in a while.



If it was not winterized, I would pressurize the water system with air and look/listen for leaks before putting water in the system. Turn off all the propane appliances and turn on the tank to pressurize the gas lines then shut it off. Let is set for a day and see it there is still pressure in the lines. (If you don't smell gas try lighting a burner on the stove. It should light then go out).


Install the battery and check out the electrical system.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:00 PM   #3
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Name: bill
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Check age of tires, they are all marked with a date code easy to decipher. Since they have been out in the weather, I'd personally replace them, as new tires are not that costly. And a blow out while you are driving on a single axle trailer could do a lot of damage.

Assume plumbing leaks so don't use it until you get a chance to test it. I'd do the same with propane.

Given the cord hatch and a few other common entry points, do not be surprised if you have some mouse damage, mud dauber bee nests in furnace vent, etc.

Heck, the Trillium I bought last year had been sitting for TWENTY years. So 3 years is not bad.

Check for broken vent covers, aged and cracked vent caps, and so on. Plastic can get really brittle if left out in the sun for long periods of time (my Trillium was stored in a garage for those 20 years).
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesdutch View Post
Hiya Fellow Eggshell Owners,

Due to a busy life, Iíve neglected my 2095 Casita SD badly. ...

Dutch

So we will still have fiberglass trailers in nearly the 22nd century. Cool....


Sorry, just funnin' with you.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:32 AM   #5
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Name: K C
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Washington
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There are some checklist on this forum that people use to check out trailers they are considering purchasing. Just use one of those checklist and check everything on your trailer with it. That should reveal any issue that might have developed in the last 3 years.

This type of thing is good to do every year anyway. No panicking allowed, just treat it as an annual chore that you would normally be doing anyway. So what if you left it for 3 years instead of 1. You can deal with what you find, it is not as if it has collapsed on you under a big snow load.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:46 AM   #6
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Well, the tires shouldn't be bad, since they won't even be made for another 76 years.
Just couldn't resist...
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:41 AM   #7
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Name: Dutch
Trailer: Casita
California
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Fat little fingers are the bane of using a cell phone😂. Itís a 2005...
I appreciate all the suggestions and good natured (deserved) needling. Iíll let you know how it goes. BTW, Iím planning on going to the April Fools get together at Bodega Bay (1/2 hour from home) as my first group thing. I look forward to meeting some experienced Casita folks.
Cheers!
Dutch
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Old 11-14-2019, 01:25 PM   #8
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
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Hi Dutch, I live just up the road from you in Mendocino County. The good thing about our area is that our climate is pretty mild compared to the rest of the country. That means the stress on your trailer is less when left in the elements. We do get a lot of rain though and it often comes in heavy batches. We have had some heavy rains in the last two years. The danger of damage due to freezing is minimal in most years other than the not very common deep freeze which may take our temps in the mid teens (F). I don't recall any of those in the time frame you have let your trailer sit.

If there is no evidence water leaks, rodent or insect damage, I think your problems will likely be limited to before mention, flat spotted tires or damage to your house battery due to being left in an undercharged condition for that period. All of those can be easily replaced.
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Old 11-14-2019, 02:41 PM   #9
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Before towing make sure it is road worthy. With tires which have not touched in at least three years I would just replace them. Pull the drums, inspect the brakes. If rusted or sticking, or maybe just to be safe, replace then brake assemblies. Its not worth the time and effort to replace just the shoes, or the springs, or the magnets, etc. Inspect and repack the bearings. Again, sitting for three years might mean its better to replace the bearings. Inspect frame, tongue, etc. Check lights. Finally you are ready to tow it to the shop.

What shop?

Well, while checking it out, if you have a plumbing leak it might make a mess but you wont get hurt. If you have floor rot it can be a big project to repair, but you won't get hurt assuming you don't put your foot through the floor. If the wiring has been chewed by rodents then it should either not work, or trip breakers or blow fuses. But you should not get hurt as long as you don't grab bare 120 volt wires. The battery is almost surly bad, but handled carefully it will be safe enough so you can replace it.

The only thing that might be really dangerous, because of neglect, are the propane appliances and the propane system. My sense of responsibility allows me to only suggest a professional inspection. So thats the shop I was referring to.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:59 AM   #10
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Neglected Casita

Agree that having a tech do a pressure drop test of the LP system is not a bad idea, especially if you hadnít done it prior to the hiatus. There could well be spider webs or other things clogging the various burners- fridge, water heater, furnace- so depending on your own skill level, you might have the tech test fire all the LP appliances, cleaning as necessary.

Before that, as said, check the tires (dates as well as any signs of dry rot) and do a thorough visual inspection of every nook and cranny for signs of water or vermin damage. Remove the battery and have it tested, replace if indicated. Then plug it in and check out all the electrical systems. Do that before you take it in for the LP check, since some of the appliances require power to work.

I donít have full plumbing on mine, so Iíll leave that for others. I like the idea of testing with air first. Not sure how that works, though.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:44 AM   #11
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Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
... Remove the battery and have it tested, replace if indicated. ...
No harm in that as long as its free, but a lead acid battery that has not been charged or maintained for three years is almost 100% certain to be sulfated beyond reasonable resurrection. Perhaps a good Battery Reconditioning Charger will return some life to it, but money says it won't be enough to make it worth keeping the battery instead of replacing it.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:17 AM   #12
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Name: Dutch
Trailer: Casita
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Thank you. I plan on getting a new battery first thing. Not sure what brand/type yet. In perusing various threads and sites, I don’t see a consensus on a “best” battery. I’m looking for a balance of cost and quality. On a scale of 1 to 10, I generally choose about an 8, except for my wife of course! (You never know. She might read this) Any suggestion on battery selection would be welcome.
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Old 11-15-2019, 11:01 AM   #13
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I went with a AGM mostly because I was tired of dealing with the excessive corrosion of a non-sealed battery. I choose Vmax Tanks. There are many good brands. Personally I would stay away from Walmart, Costoc, etc. and of course a true deep cycle and not hybrid type is best. In deep cycle batteries, the thicker the plates the better and thicker plates means heavier, so for two otherwise identical batteries of different weight, the heavier one is likely the better one.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:39 PM   #14
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How did you get a trailer so far in advance of current manufacturing? Bet it has some incredible features, like that satellite link to Mars!

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Good luck with your catch-up, but please, don't fall on your sword? It's not required and is going far beyond FGRV necessity.

CASITA GREG: Just noticed your post up there--good one.

BEST
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:28 AM   #15
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Plumbing in the early 21st century was PEX so it is probably okay check the wheel bearings and tire age. On a side note do you pull it with the Tardis and what is the towing capacity of a late century Tardis?
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Old 11-23-2019, 03:19 PM   #16
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Name: Dutch
Trailer: Casita
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Thanks for a good chuckle Eric! Best zinger so far. I pulled out my water heater anode and attached a pic. Is this typical corrosion, award winning corrosion...? Just curious Click image for larger version

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Old 11-23-2019, 03:27 PM   #17
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That is an anode made from a sacrificial metal. In other words, it's been doing what it is supposed to and now needs to be replaced. How quickly an anode is used up depends on the water in your area. Hard water will eat it more quickly than soft water. My anode was seven years old when I replaced it. Others have had to replace theirs after six months.
Make sure you use Teflon tape when you re-install so you can remove it later.
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