Burro center seam - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-28-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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Hi all, for those folks with trailers that have the vertical seam (like a Burro), have you replaced the interior trim/cover/moulding that hides the interior center seam? If you did what material did you use?

Long story, last week during the heavy rains in California I discovered a couple pinhole leaks or cracks in the ceiling of my Burro where the center seam is. I believe the defects are actually original to when the trailer was made. I can fix the leaks with some marine epoxy PC11 when it dries up, so I don't have any problems there.

But the decorative cover that hides the center seam is made of an 8" wide strip of thin, 1/8", plywood, the longest is about 8 feet. On top of that is some thin foam, I believe the foam is there to cushion the ceiling from those who would hit their head. Wrapped around all this is white vinyl which is stapled to the plywood backing. As you may have guessed, those pinhole leaks were hard to detect because water would drip onto the center cover, the foam in the cover soaked up all the water, and the vinyl held all that in. I just noticed by chance a few drops oozing out of one side when I was in the trailer during a heavy downpour. When I removed the cover the foam was quite saturated with water. I can probably reuse it, but I would have to take the vinyl off, which is held on with a ton of rusty staples, so that the foam and wood can dry, and then reassemble it.

I'm not sure I want to reuse the original (which is slightly moldy), since it has foam in it it will always have a tendency to retain moisture. I figured if there are any future leaks, I'd rather have it drip and notice it than have it be hidden.

One idea I had was just to reuse the plywood part, let it dry out and then stain or paint it. Another idea was to use some white plastic strips like gutter material. Or I could use thin countertop laminate cut into strips. I vaguely recall seeing some trailer on this site that had carpeting to hide the center seam. Thoughts or ideas?
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:51 PM   #2
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I'm wondering if your Burro has already been modified. The U-haul (clone) has carpet covering that seam from the factory, and I though the Burro did too

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Old 01-28-2010, 09:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
I'm wondering if your Burro has already been modified. The U-haul (clone) has [b]carpet covering that seam from the factory, and I though the Burro did too

Raya
Early Burros built in Iowa used carpet. Later Burros built in Escondido, California like ThomasE's had the padded vinyl that he describes.

I have seen that area covered in white plastic cut from 4 x 8' sheets (used to panel commercial kitchens and bathrooms) available in Lowe's or Home Depot.

I also like ThomasE's idea of staining the wood, possibly to match cabinet doors.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:21 PM   #4
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Aha, thank you Frederick

R.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:17 PM   #5
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My refurb'ed Burro has a metal strip about a foot wide covering the inner seam. Looks like maybe stainless steel with a brushed finish. It works, and it looks ok but nothing special.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:45 AM   #6
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My refurb'ed Burro has a metal strip about a foot wide covering the inner seam. Looks like maybe stainless steel with a brushed finish. It works, and it looks ok but nothing special.
That's a good idea. Maybe not stainless, but I remember at the local OSH (hardware store) seeing rolls of roof flashing, I think it was aluminum, that was about the same width. I could just cut it to length and screw it on.

My cheap side tells me that I'll probably strip off the vinyl and foam this weekend to see what kind of shape the wood, and if it's worth salvaging. From the back side, there's one spot, which was directly under the leak which is pretty dark and discolored. If it can't be saved I'll stop by the hardware store and see what kind of metal flashing or plastic panels they have.

Pretty sure what I got was original, I recall seeing somebody else's Burro pictures on this site that had exactly the same covering.

I'm not worried about matching the doors, they're white laminated particle board. Eventually I'll probably replace them with plywood. I really hate all the particle board in the trailer, too heavy, weak, and with any moisture and it completely swells up. Unbelievably the hot water tank support was made with particle board, water leaked and and the whole support was mush.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:08 AM   #7
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Thomas:
We have the same covering, and there was a pinhole in the roof where one of the screws holding it was a bit too long and penetrated, but as you mention, this is easily fixed. However, we did not have the volume of water enter in that you probably had, so no damage. i discovered the leak by accident when removing the strip to do some wiring.

If I were to remove and replace the strip I would actually duplicate it, since to my eye the strip looks quite good. Getting the 1/8" plywood in such a long strip is probably unworkable for a one-off, so here is my solution: Get some plywood, cut to width, then decide however many joints you want, make joining plates to glue onto the back of the strips to put them together and locate the joints in between the plywood anchoring plates glassed into the ceiling. That way you will not have any real problem getting the whole strip to lie flat against the ceiling.

Finding white vinyl should not be much of a problem, and likewise some neatly joined seams to join shorter pieces together should not be very difficult. Foam to cushion all this plus a staple gun and you are home free.

It is remarkable to me how "innovative" Burro became in the last desperate days of production: parts, materials, and whatever cobbled together from whatever could be scrounged, I suppose. For example, there is virtually NO particle board anywhere in my copy, only plywood. No supports, no cabinet doors (nice curved fiberglass ones which my wife does not want me to replace with custom wooden ones), you get the picture.

Good luck!
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