Refurbing an '82 Fiber Stream - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-28-2013, 06:30 PM   #1
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Refurbing an '82 Fiber Stream

Accomplished a lot today with the help of two helpers.

Once we got it up in the air we used electric and air tools to wire brush and grind the entire frame and cross members. We then wiped it all down with mineral spirits before brushing on Rustoleum rust inhibitor. We also did the hitch and tank tray (taken down to bare metal as well), and all tank fittings and straps.

I've posted +30 pics on the site in the following link- look for the Fiber Stream link at the top of the main page on http://www.flyingtigertransport.com

We will post updates and the "After" shots soon.

Dave in Baltimore, MD, USA

82 Fiber Stream
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:52 PM   #2
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Missing Reverse Wiring and Substitution Approach

We removed the old tail light units and I realized this unit never had reverse lights. Surprise! My new replacement Peterson's (Amazon) do, and they are required in Maryland as part of the inspection.

After realizing it would be tough to fish a new "yellow" lead through the frame I had a brainstorm Why not "steal" (re-purpose) the existing WHITE lead from the trailer/tow harness and use it as the in-frame lead for the reverse lights??

After installing a new Bargman splice box and trailer cable I disconnected the WHITE lead from the "common" terminal and tied it down under the YELLOW terminal (reverse from tug). Then, at the rear, I pulled a new WHITE and YELLOW lead from each tail light using the existing WHITE as a pull line. This gave me a replacement WHITE (common), and a YELLOW line for the reverse light. At the connection point in the hanging closet I cut the WHITE wire from the frame wiring and spliced it to the new YELLOW leads to the tail lights. I ran a new WHITE wire through the floor and bonded to the frame and tied all WHITE common wires at the rear to this new ground line. This saved me from having to run a yellow wire either in the frame or along another less secure route.

As a general rule in doing all refurbs I also removed all plastic connectors (many which have totally failed, one burned) and soldered and applied heat shrink tubing. We still have to do this throughout the unit, but look forward to getting rid of these really dangerous devices. I will post the picture of the COMMON white lead connector near the 12VDC converter that burned and failed - my first Fiber Stream electrical gremlin conquered!

Happy Camper
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD1994 View Post
We removed the old tail light units and I realized this unit never had reverse lights.

After realizing it would be tough to fish a new "yellow" lead through the frame ...
My older Fiber Stream used a thin-wall plastic tube (drip irrigation line maybe?) as a conduit and strapped that to the frame. At 3 points spaced equally along the run from front to back they poked a hole through this tube to attach the white wire to the frame to make sure the frame is at "ground" potential. I would check yours to make sure you have not inadvertently grounded your reverse lights somewhere along the middle of the wire harness.

I had no problems fishing a new yellow wire for my reverse lights through my "conduit" .
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:52 PM   #4
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We removed the old tail light units and I realized this unit never had reverse lights. Surprise! My new replacement Peterson's (Amazon) do, and they are required in Maryland as part of the inspection.
That's very unusual. Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. 22-221 (c) (2013) says:
Quote:
Any motor vehicle may be equipped with one or more backup lamps
Are you sure you need them?
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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That's very unusual. Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. 22-221 (c) (2013) says:

Are you sure you need them?
Thanks for the COMAR cite. Curious that it's the 2013 version, I will have to check further. All motorized and towed vehicles are required to have backup lights, and I don't think there is a weight limit exception (e.g. 1500 lbs). I will look into it, but I think they are handy to have especially since I want to setup the tow line to power the markers, tails and optionally, the reverse lamps for campsite lighting.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:32 PM   #6
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Updates

Just a few more items. I checked the white line in the frame bundle and it was free of any other grounds. Fred suggested that this might have ground take-offs as did his unit. I lucked out.

Using the old ceiling panels (after removing the fully intact and live insulation for re-use) I transferred the pattern onto the FRP stock. I slightly downsized the OA cuts to accomodate the side and center moldings. The #6 pan head screws are sized for plastic trim covers, and I will post the completed job soon. The FRP cut nicely with a sheet metal shear.

The 2nd pic of the interior is the location where I will run the 2 #14 wires for the Fantastic Fan. (more pics of that install later this week).
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JD1994 View Post
All motorized and towed vehicles are required to have backup lights, and I don't think there is a weight limit exception (e.g. 1500 lbs). I will look into it, but I think they are handy to have especially since I want to setup the tow line to power the markers, tails and optionally, the reverse lamps for campsite lighting.
I agree that reverse lights are good; the question is just if they are really required by law anywhere. The 4-pin wiring connection used almost universally for light general-purpose and RV trailers without electric brakes has no way to provide a reverse light circuit, and so almost every small utility trailer and rental cargo trailer would be illegal, if reverse lights were really required.

I have considered adding reversing lights - including docking lights on the sides - and just connecting them to the trailer's battery through a manual switch on the trailer. It would be rare to backup into a site without getting out to survey first, anyway, so manually hitting the switch would be no big deal.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:53 PM   #8
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I replaced the old leaky vent with a fantastic fan on Sat. Every Philips head screw was rusted out and the unit was installed with hot glue. Yes, HOT GLUE. I hope no one else ever uses this method. Not only did it leak, but took over an hour to remove with a heat gun and putty knife.

I used a Dremal to cut slots in the screws then removed with a slotted driver: they all came out without breaking off. Not sure if the pics posted. If not I will repost from laptop.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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I'm constantly amazed at some of the CRAPPY modifications some folks find have been done to these great trailers. HOT GLUE, oh my stars it wouldn't have surprised me if you said it was decades old silicone....
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I agree that reverse lights are good; the question is just if they are really required by law anywhere. The 4-pin wiring connection used almost universally for light general-purpose and RV trailers without electric brakes has no way to provide a reverse light circuit, and so almost every small utility trailer and rental cargo trailer would be illegal, if reverse lights were really required.

I have considered adding reversing lights - including docking lights on the sides - and just connecting them to the trailer's battery through a manual switch on the trailer. It would be rare to backup into a site without getting out to survey first, anyway, so manually hitting the switch would be no big deal.
I put reverse lights on mine, they work great. I put them on an angle, I can't see through the camper, anyway.



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Old 08-20-2013, 12:58 PM   #11
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Started topping the old floor with 3/4 ply and 1/2 angle. Used the angle to bridge the dropped area and bolted thru to raise the old ply. More pics when we finish. Makes a huge difference without having to replace whole floor.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:03 PM   #12
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A few more pics.
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:13 PM   #13
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On the Road in Maryland with the Fiber Stream

First outing with the refurb'd unit. In central Maryland in KOA Antietam.

Plenty more cleaning and final outfitting and decorating going on. It's a wee bit small than the Airstream but cozy.

Was really surprised on how hard it was to fit the cushions to make up the bed. They are REALLY tight and REALLY firm. Actually, hard as a rock. Looking for a mattress topper before tonite!
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:51 AM   #14
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Installed microwave in reefer cabinet. Very tight. Will install a fan to assure cooling when unit works.

Also changed out all cabinet latches.
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