Wheel Rebuild for 1996 13' Casita Patriot - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-27-2014, 12:27 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Timothy
Trailer: 13' Casita Patriot
Posts: 2
Wheel Rebuild for 1996 13' Casita Patriot

This is my first time posting here, so please be gentle. I've received so much help from Chuck at FiberglassTravelTrailersRV.com that I feel I should share what I did.

Fiberglass Travel Trailers RV

About a month ago I purchased a nearly decrepit 1996 13' Casita Patriot. The frame was rusty, the brakes didn't work, one wheel had play (telling me I needed to do a bearing replacement), the wiring was shot, vents were bashed in, windows are broken, the battery was ruined and the converter was fried. The good news is that the fiberglass is in great shape and there isn't any structural damage.

What I've done:
1. Converter Replacement
Amazon.com: Progressive Dynamics (PD4635) 35 Amp Converter/Charger with Built-In Charge Wizard: Automotive
2. Total Re-wiring (including 7-round pigtail)
3. Vent Replacement
4. Fantastic Fan Installation
5. Rust Proofing with POR 15
Stop Rust with POR-15 - We Know What Permanent Means!
6. Replacement of Table Bases
7. Total Wheel Rebuild (including electric brakes)

On day one of the wheel rebuild I discovered that the brake posts were annealed to their nuts. I was able to break seven of the nuts, but the eighth had to be removed via angle grinder.

On day two I learned that I had ordered the wrong bearings for my 1" axle. Chuck at FTTRV immediately refunded me and guided me through the bearing replacement so I could relay to him the part numbers. When my bearings arrived I discovered he'd also included replacement hub caps that fit my wheels. They were a little old and slightly corroded, but he didn't charge me for them. The old hub caps that came with the trailer were toast, so I polished the ones that Chuck sent me using Aluminum foil and water. I was really skeptical that this would work - as I found the tip online - but just look at the pics to believe it. Splash a little water on your rusty chrome and the rub it with a small square of Aluminum foil. The rust will disappear and the chrome will come out all shiny. If you add a little chrome polish when you're done, that will add some corrosion prevention.

I wish I had better pictures now, or a video. Next time I'll try to document the entire process. For now I'll just say that I used POR 15 for rust proofing. A single quart will cover about ten times more than you think it will when you're using it for the first time. Make sure to cover everything - including yourself - when you're using this stuff. If it gets on you nothing will take it off except time. I still have spots on my arms from two weeks ago.

I also used nylon locking thread stainless nuts to attach the new brakes. A picture is also included.

I bought my 7" replacement electric brakes and Prodigy P2 brake controller from eTrailer.com. Finally, if you're in or around Seattle, I had my 7" brake drums turned by Break and Clutch Supply here in Seattle:
Brake & Clutch Supply

I'm really pleased by the final product. The brakes work perfectly, there's no longer any play in either of the wheels, and the wheels just look good. I repainted the wheels and the newly shined hubcaps look cherry. I'll try to remember to take a picture of the final product and add it to this thread later.

I can't add enough how happy I am with Chuck at FTTRV. If you've ever ordered anything from him you'll notice his packages are almost over-secure. He has been extremely generous in sharing his knowledge to make my project go more smoothly, and he's stayed in touch with me giving me suggestions and advice about my next project, which is to replace the Plexiglas on my front window. I hope this thread points some of you in his direction.


Egghead Tim in Seattle
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:29 PM   #2
Junior Member
Name: Timothy
Trailer: 13' Casita Patriot
Posts: 2
The first pic of the hubcaps is before polishing them with Aluminum and water. In the second picture the hubcap on the left is polished, while the one on the right is not for comparison.

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Old 05-27-2014, 04:37 PM   #3
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Trailer: 19 ft Scamp (Egg Salad Annie)
Posts: 260
Good Job
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