No wonder the Burro floor is rotted - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2012, 10:39 PM   #57
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Name: Creek
Trailer: 1983 Burro
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I may have an ignorant question, but here goes; how do you place the four pieces of plywood into the shell while it is off the frame? I just bought my fiberglass kit (3 gal.) and this is my only concern...
Thanks for your help!
I love all of you.
-Creek
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:07 AM   #58
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One at a time.....

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Originally Posted by Creek Conley View Post
I may have an ignorant question, but here goes; how do you place the four pieces of plywood into the shell while it is off the frame? I just bought my fiberglass kit (3 gal.) and this is my only concern...
Thanks for your help!
I love all of you.
-Creek
Creek,

My floor is in 4 pieces. I did all the fitting and sealing of the front piece and when it was fitted and correct, left it in place never to come out again. Did the same thing for the rear. Next came the street side piece and finally the piece that goes up to the door area. I cut lap joints in all to use to bond them together. Andy has some really good photos in this thread showing this.

The body held the front and rear as these pieces slip into the slot between the shells almost completely around. That's why I did them first. When I started to measure and fit the other pieces, I used a bottle jack to hold them in place for fitting. Pressed them up against the ones that they fit next to. I have some more trimming to do on the last piece then my plan is to use waterproof glue in the lap joints. Once glue is in will put jacks back underneath joint seams and let it dry for a couple days. Final finish will be with the fiberglass 4" tape and epoxy resin.

I'm sure there are other ways to do this but this is what I am thinking......
Hope it helps. I may have a photo later today that I can post.

Jane D.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:56 PM   #59
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Jane D., thank you so much for your knowledge. That put the image in my head that I needed... I will post some before pictures soon.
Thank you!
-Creek
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:47 PM   #60
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Photos of Floor Pieces

Creek,
Hope these help clear up what I did. There are lots of ways to do stuff, you may come up with a better way, if so remember to give us a heads up!!

I used 5 ply 1/2" plywood. It's plenty strong and the slots are not the same width all way around so after doing some initial measuring this was the best size for me. And, a boat builder told me to try to always use odd # ply as it is stronger. Not to mention the fact that if you don't have routers to set the cut depth for the joint all you do is count plys. Worked just fine for me.

Good Luck and as I quickly found out, nothing is square, straight or otherwise standard on these little things so be ready to do repeated trimmings.

Jane D.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:28 PM   #61
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Great pictures, great advice! I have been thinking about 3/4 inch oak or birch for strength... And then, of course, rout the edges. Are you going to fiberglass the whole interior floor? I think I am going to, and then lay down bambood floors. Thought it would be a nice touch.
Thanks!
-Creek
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:30 AM   #62
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I may have an ignorant question, but here goes; how do you place the four pieces of plywood into the shell while it is off the frame? I just bought my fiberglass kit (3 gal.) and this is my only concern...
Thanks for your help!
I love all of you.
-Creek
Creek,
Jane provided some good advice and pictures, you can also look at earlier posts in this thread to see pictures of when I replaced the floor. The front and back pieces are fully supported on 3 sides when they are pushed into the slot around the perimeter where the old plywood came out. I used thickened epoxy spread inside the slot and spread on the plywood edge when assembling. The center two pieces are each supported on one side by the perimeter slot from the old plywood. I did not use jacks the way Jane did, instead I used drywall screws through the ship laps to temporarily fasten the ship laps together until the epoxy hardened. That method uses the front and back plywood pieces to support the middle pieces and also tightly pulls the ship laps together while the epoxy sets. After the epoxy was hard I then removed the screws and filled the holes with epoxy. The shiplap plywood edges were buttered with thickened epoxy prior to assembly. All the plywood pieces, and especially the edges were coated with multiple coats of epoxy and left to harden prior to assembly to make sure the floor was waterproof. I used 7 ply, 5/8" plywood for the floor. Whatever type of plywood you use, make sure that the glue used in manufacturing the plywood is rated for exterior or waterproof use. Some types of hardwood plywood has glue rated for indoor use and if it gets wet the plys can come apart.
I used fiberglass on the bottom of the plywood including covering the seams (pictures earlier in this thread) but on the top side of the plywood I only coated it with a few coats of epoxy to waterproof, no fiberglass. I could not think of a good reason why a layer of fiberglass was needed on the inside.
Andy
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:02 PM   #63
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Andy,

Thanks for the advice, and I only have one question for you... What router bit did you use to make your shiplaps?
Thanks!
-Creek
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:44 PM   #64
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Andy's the "Man" here

Creek,

Andy is who I stole many of my ideas from so listen to what he's telling you. I too did the epoxy coating on the wood edges and in the slot. The wood is exterior rated, not treated, and has waterproof glues in the plys. I am a fan of spar urethane and all the pieces have 3 coats and epoxy will go over that. I guess you could say that I have no intention of the wood ever getting wet.

The idea of using the jack to hold the wood came about due to the fact that I couldn't hold it up there and measure stuff by myself! No help on this project for me. Putting screws in the joints temporarily is a great method too. Should hold it all nice and flush.

I went into this with no experience in the fiberglass trailer arena and am basically learning as I go. I had only done a small epoxy job once before and was a bit concerned about getting it right but the first batch I mixed I used to fix an 18" vertical crack where the front inner shell pieces come together and it turned out great. Now I'm anxious to get everything else done so I can bond the floor to the shell.

Waiting on your photos!!!! Even though the Burros basically all look alike it's interesting to see what everyone else got themselves into.

J D.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:57 PM   #65
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Andy,

Thanks for the advice, and I only have one question for you... What router bit did you use to make your shiplaps?
Thanks!
-Creek
Creek, I used a 3/4" bit that is flat on the top. It took multiple passes around the perimeter because the slots were about 2" or more deep. The ship laps only took 1 pass because they overlap about 3/4".
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:18 PM   #66
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I am a fan of spar urethane and all the pieces have 3 coats and epoxy will go over that. I guess you could say that I have no intention of the wood ever getting wet.

J D.
Jane, if you have not already used the urethane, I would recommend skipping that step. If you urethane before using epoxy, then the epoxy will only be attached to the urethane and not the wood. I would guess the the bond between the urethane and the wood is the weak link, or maybe the bond between the epoxy and urethane, but not as good a bond as if it was all epoxy.

I coated the wood with epoxy mixed with acetone to thin it so it would soak into the wood deeply. After that coat hardened there was nothing on the surface, it all soaked in. Then I put on additional coats of epoxy to build up the surface, I put each coat on when the previous coat was still tacky to get the best adhesion between coats.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:26 PM   #67
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Urethane

Thanks for the tip Andy. I'll skip the urethane and do all the epoxy bonding first.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:23 AM   #68
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Thanks, Andy. I am finishing up my finals this week so I will be starting my Burro project this coming weekend. I CANNOT WAIT!
I will post MANY pictures as well.
-Creek
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:45 PM   #69
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Name: Creek
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Okay, guys, I just took my Burro off the frame and its shell is now on blocks. Also, the frame is at a welding shop for some extra angle (i'm stealing your frame design). I'm currently scraping out the lip around the inside where the new wood will fit into. My question is: How clean did you get the parts that you fiberglassed (like the lip and the inside edge)? And, what did you use to clean it? I'm concerned about the new fiberglass not adhering to the old...
Thanks, Andy and Jane!
-Creek
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:43 PM   #70
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Cleaning

Creek,

I dug out the bottom channel with a straight slot screwdriver and used a small paint brush to wipe out the small bits and dust that was left behind. Just used a wet rag and regular ole spray household/kitchen countertop cleaner to wash the top inner shell lip where you will bond the floor. All the resin and cloth that I have put in so far cured hard as a rock and adhered as it should, no problems at all.

Nothing fancy, just smells a whole lot better and is much cleaner.

Congrats on getting if off the frame and diving in!!
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