1985 U-Haul Trailer - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-05-2014, 08:39 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: George
Trailer: U-Haul
Posts: 1
Smile 1985 U-Haul Trailer

I have a 1985 U-haul Trailer. I am in the process of restoring it to as new as possible. Since U-haul hasn't made these in quite some time. Where can I find parts? Right now I need tail lights. I would like the entire light including the plastic lense for both right and left sides. However, I would be happy with just the left lense.

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Old 10-05-2014, 11:42 PM   #2
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Name: Vanessa
Trailer: UHaul
Posts: 168
Just the right place

Hi George and Welcome to the Forum!

If you haven't checked it out yet, you might check out Gary's rebuild of those tail lenses you're interested in. The taillights are one of the toughest to replace, as they've not been available for years. UHaul had updated them with an adapter kit, and the last set was sold during the summer. So Gary, who is rebuilding a CT13 took on the ambitious task of retrofitting his with a couple of GM Lenses. You can check it out here:
Rebuild--rear-ended Uhaul CT13

Please be sure to check out the Document Center here under the MORE Tab on the top right of this page. You'll find lots of helpful information for your UHaul. Also be sure to stop into the UHaul FB page. There's lots of files there as well as a check list of known issues to look into and their fixes. There's plenty of good folks there as well as here, who can help you get her up and running like new!

Congrats on your new CT and again,

....no matter where you go, there you are!
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:46 AM   #3
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
Posts: 2,081
Welcome to the group George. You'll get a bunch of answers here so ask away
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:39 AM   #4
Senior Member
Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Posts: 132

I'd echo the earlier post... tail-lights seem to be unavailable, in any usual way. Someone may, of course, come up with some OEM ones when parting out a U-Haul, but it gets more unlikely all the time. And the adapter kits, which added a square corner to the round surface where the stock lights mounted, are mostly gone as well. [apparently] Another option is to just fiberglass in the stock opening, and surface-mount a more industrial-truck-style tail-light on the surface of the U-Haul, probably a little farther around the corner to the rear.

If you haven't checked the U-Haul Facebook page, you might want to. They have a lengthy conversation going over there on making a new, original-style lens for the U-Hauls, and one member in particular is putting a lot of effort into getting that sorted out. They've also contacted one or two businesses about making new lenses. [Doing the initial set-up to start re-producing them is apparently the expensive hold-up there.]

And once you come up with a lens, there's still the issue of the deteriorated rubber flange/gasket affair behind it... also unavailable, I think. And apparently a leak-prone area. But there have been different work-arounds suggested for that on the Facebook page as well. https://www.facebook.com/groups/UHaulCamper/

So some of this comes down to how valuable it is to you for the camper to be stock. The importance of "stock" varies a lot, from one person to the next.

Down-sides to my GM approach [which was spun off a comment of Mr Griebe's on the Facebook site]:
[1] Challenges of repairing fiberglass, in general, with all the "itchies".
[2] Can't readily go back to stock, once you've modified the corners.
[3] About have to paint afterwards--at least the immediate repair area.
[4] Going to alter how the striping package works around the tail-lamp.

[1] Readily available parts, either from salvage yards, or new aftermarket ones from eBay or elsewhere. There was something like a 10yr span of Chevy & GMC trucks [and Blazers?] that used these lamps, so not too hard to find used or aftermarket.
[2] And the new, aftermarket parts are cheap enough that I intend to get a whole new set soon, and toss my used set in a box for emergency spares. The 4 big pieces--bases and lenses--are $15-20 each, plus S/H.
[3] Should be "slightly" less vulnerable to damage, being inset a bit.
[4] Should be quite a bit less leak-prone, IMHO.

Well!... that's a bit more than 2 cents worth... hope it helps some.


p.s. My lenses were both cracked/broken, but I think all the pieces were still there. [LH side was more broken than RH] And I saved the pieces. The rubber flange behind the lenses was pretty bad, but the lamp sockets are in pretty good shape. I'd probably part with all that, if you wanted pieces to cut-and-paste.
"You'd care less what people think of you if you knew how seldom they did." E Roosevelt
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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Name: Michael J
Trailer: U-Haul VT
Posts: 449
Right and left lenses are the same and interchangeable not so for the GM option
We will work on gasket issue this winter

Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:45 AM   #6
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 3,711
I've seen a couple Uhauls where the original tail light opening was fiberglassed closed and other lights mounted there. One trailer just used surface mounted lights, and that pretty much eliminates any rain water leakage into that area which is a common problem. The other trailer used those 2" X 6" oval lights recessed in. If I needed to replace my original lights I would go with that idea.

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