Where to get professional mods? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-13-2009, 12:46 PM   #29
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<<<<But I would just look for a handiman in my home town area that comes recommended by someone, tell them what you want, and let them do it for you.>>>>

The trouble with using a regular handyman, is that their thoughts are regular old pine "2x4"s, which shouldn't be used in these trailers. Any framing, if any, should be done in lightweight fir, and 1x2", or 2x2", depending on what you are doing.

I don't know a lot about woodworking myself but I am hoping to start working on my Trillium with hopes of it being done by summer. My question is, what type of fir? I looked on the internet and it keeps coming up as douglas fir. I would like to keep it light as possible and would hate to buy something heavy.

Thanks
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:21 PM   #30
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Steve,
The "Fir" used by cabinet makers is almost always Douglas fir. It is inherently soft, and therefore, light compared to hardwoods. It is easy to work and has a very nice color and grain pattern. However, Fir is typically used as a face material and not for framing.

If, for your application, you need to build a wood frame, use material that is as stable as possible. Consider 3/4" "Baltic," "Fin" or "Euro" plywood (not to be confused with marine ply) cut into 1.5—2" -wide boards. This plywood is dense with 9 solid layers—with no voids or soft filler layers. It will hold a sharp corner, and can take and hold a screw into the face or side.

RJ
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:26 AM   #31
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What Penny was saying is that most handyman types think of standard construction techniques when they work on stuff. Using 2x4 lumber is great when you're building a house that stays put, but way too heavy for a lightweight trailer.

Which wood you should use depends a bit on where you live. Here in the Pacific Northwest it's easy to find hemlock fir 1x2s (which actually measure a little under 3/4x1-1/2 inches) which is strong, straight, dry, and lightweight. The platform substructure for our Scamp 5er loft and the steps up to the loft are all made out of that very stuff.


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Elsewhere -- like Ohio -- you will likely find different kinds of wood that have similar characteristics. The stuff you want to avoid is the cheap 1x2 white pine or fir "furring strips" that tend to be less than straight and less than strong.

--Peter

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I don't know a lot about woodworking myself but I am hoping to start working on my Trillium with hopes of it being done by summer. My question is, what type of fir? I looked on the internet and it keeps coming up as douglas fir. I would like to keep it light as possible and would hate to buy something heavy.

Thanks
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:05 AM   #32
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My choice of wood is a semi-hardwood - Alder. It is easy to work and is strong.
Check it out at http://www.hardwoodinfo.com/species_guide/index.php
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:25 AM   #33
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The majority of our major mods (fiberglass work, building cabinets and stairs, etc) were done by a small business in Roseburg, Oregon. They remodel the inside of RVs. It was the first time they had ever worked on a fiberglass trailer. We think they did an excellent job. You might check with your local RV dealers and ask them if there is anyone in the area who does interior RV modifications.

Nancy
I've seen Nancy's remodel. It is Gorgeous!
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:50 PM   #34
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A lot of things can be done by a boat shop, they are used to working with fiberglass and Florida has a lot of them. There used to be a guy in St Pete that had a big blue step-in truck with a marine upholstery shop in it. He would go to wherever he was needed and make whatever was wanted.

I can understand raising the suspension, but why change the hitch?

Is the waste water tank damaged or is it just the pipes? Pipes and valves are generic from any RV shop. A tank needs to fit the available space and that might take some hunting.

I would be careful about handymen, they may know less about the job than you do.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:00 PM   #35
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You want to get a professional quote on the suspension, it may change your mind about modifying it. If you get a shade tree job and it isn't straight you trailer won't track straight. In any case you want get your wheel bearings checked and packed. If they fail on the road it will ruin your whole day. I had that happen and it also ruined my axle.
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:16 PM   #36
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I just saw an ad for tanks: http://www.incaplastics.com/ I have not used them, but their site looks interesting.
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:38 PM   #37
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Nancy, I just bought a 13' and live near Roseburg. Can you give the name of the business that does the work?
Thanks Kar
Kar, this is Mike Nancy's husband. We had our work done at Oregon Coach Crafters, on old 99 south os Roseburg. The phone is 541-229-4678.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:26 PM   #38
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For those of you in the Northwest, I'd like to introduce myself and my new FGRV renovation company, THE EGG PLANT.

Please check out my website for more details.Thanks.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:23 PM   #39
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My choice of wood is a semi-hardwood - Alder. It is easy to work and is strong.
Check it out at http://www.hardwoodinfo.com/species_guide/index.php
Alder is not readily and cheaply available in the Washington/Oregon area, but Oregon hemlock is. That's why I use hemlock in my trailer framing. I knew from experience and just the feel of the wood that it's pretty strong, but I'd never looked its materials properties to confirm that.

Mike's post got me curious, so I looked up some comparison figures of the physical properties of Alder (as listed on the Website Mike links to) vs Oregon Hemlock (as provided by the US Dept of Agriculture's Forest Products Lab). Comparing apples to apples (wood at 12% humidity) for the three statistics I care about most when building a lightweight structure (product weight, strength when pressure is applied at 90 degrees to the wood grain, and shear strength, a measure of how well a screw will hold in the wood). Alder is considered to be a hardwood, so I expected it to compare favorably, but the results were very surprising. By simple, dumb luck I'm using an amazingly tough wood:

Weight Strength SideHardness
SpecGravity p.s.i. . p.s.i. .
. . . .
Hemlock . 0.41 . 740 . 570 .
. . . .
Alder . 0.39 . 340 . 515 .
. . . .

What this translates to, in practical terms, is a piece of Hemlock that weighs 5% more than the same sized piece of alder will hold twice as much weight, so I can use less wood to get the same structure strength.
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