cabinet fastening solution in a Casita - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-28-2012, 10:36 AM   #1
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Name: James
Trailer: 86' Casita 13'
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cabinet fastening solution in a Casita

I've gutted my Casita and plan on replacing the wall carpeting after repairing some holes and redoing the floor. The original fiberglass cabinetry is not in good shape and pretty hacked up by alterations the previous owner made. I'm thinking about replacing it with woodwork. Does anyone out there have any suggestions about an appropriate material? My initial thought is 5/8" or 1/2" birch plywood for the cabinet boxes and shelving for weight purposes. The big question I have is about attachment. What is the best way to go about this? It seems that if I choose to attach fastening blocks with adhesive I'll need to lay it all out before putting the carpeting on the walls. I've saved all of the original fiberglass pieces for templating, just looking for some ideas about fastening everything.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesguest View Post
I've gutted my Casita and plan on replacing the wall carpeting after repairing some holes and redoing the floor. The original fiberglass cabinetry is not in good shape and pretty hacked up by alterations the previous owner made. I'm thinking about replacing it with woodwork. Does anyone out there have any suggestions about an appropriate material? My initial thought is 5/8" or 1/2" birch plywood for the cabinet boxes and shelving for weight purposes. The big question I have is about attachment. What is the best way to go about this? It seems that if I choose to attach fastening blocks with adhesive I'll need to lay it all out before putting the carpeting on the walls. I've saved all of the original fiberglass pieces for templating, just looking for some ideas about fastening everything.
On the Deluxe,Scamp uses screws into the plywood edge from the outside with snapcaps.

I bought a shell and attached hand made cabinets the same way, only without the snap caps,then covered the screws with filler before painting the shell. This trailer was done with ordinary pine lumber and plywood due to budget constraints, but it was solid and the screws covered well. The paint is microrollered permawhite.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:29 AM   #3
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I think doing wood cabinets will be very nice. I built the cabinets for our house using 3/4" maple, and Maple hardwoods, totally glued, no nails anywhere. Way to heavy for your Casita. As Floyd mentioned, our cabinets in the Casita are mostly riveted to the shell. We visited the Escape factory in Canada. They have wood cabinets and, as I recall, epoxied blocks to the inside of the shell for fastening the cabinets.

I think birch is a good choice. I made a dresser out of alder with 1/4" birch panels and it is still is service 16 years later. Using panels insert could reduce the weight but might not work well with all of the curves.

Remember that the interior cabinets ad strength to the shell so fastening is important. That said, I would not fasten them too tight since the trailer needs to flex while traveling.

OK, enough analysis. I would epoxy blocks at strategic places and consider using existing rivet holes with screws (or bolts) as Floyd suggests. When installing the cabinets, leave the holes a little larger than the screws to allow for some movement.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:29 PM   #4
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Here are some pictures of tabing from the Scamp Factory.
I really like the Kreg pocket system for building frames for cabinets and other things. The joints are fast to make and strong especially when glue is added. The system works best with 3/4" material. You can build your cabinet frames out of 1 x 2 material and cover it with 1/4" plywood or just make the cabinets out of 3/4" plywood. Kreg also has a pocket system for 1/2" material but I have not used it yet.
I plan on building some trailer cabinets with 3/4" solid wood face frames with 1/2 " plywood sides using the Kreg system.

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Old 05-29-2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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Name: James
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Scamp tabbing

Eddie,

Does Scamp epoxy the tabs or are they glassed in? When tearing apart the Casita, I noticed that the original bench supports were osb that was glassed to the shell. The osb was completely rotted and the screws just spun when I tried to pull them out, so I sorta had to just rip out the whole cabinet.

I have a full service wood shop, and this is what I'm familiar with. Working with fiberglass is going to be new to me. Obviously, I'd prefer to use screws for attachment. My concern is compromising the shell strength with penetrations from the outside.


Should I plan on attaching all of the nailers with epoxy from the inside or will I be ok screwing through the outside and capping & sealing the screw heads? Maybe I go with Dave's suggestion which sounds like a little bit of both.

If you want to check out what we do go to telluridewoodworks.com.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:13 AM   #6
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Congrats James,
Don't put any more holes in the shell. I'd glass in wood tabs to attach stuff to. Keep in mind that some of those interior cabinets are structural; they help hold the roof up. Was going to stop and see your project on the way home from Boggy yesterday but was running late. I'm sure we'll see her soon enough, and I'm sure you'll do a great job. How about some pics.
Scott
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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James
I visited your website, you don't need any advice on the woodworking aspect. Just don't forget the entrance door size, it is about 18" wide on a Scamp.
I agree with Scott with no holes in the shell. I would use 2" or 3" glass cloth on each side of your tabs to attach the tab to the walls of the trailer. But I would first start off attaching the blocks to the wall with West System epoxy filler I'm sure the Casita is like a Scamp nothing is straignt or square. You may want to build your cabinet first and place it where you want it then use the cabinet as a guide for your tab placement. Be sure you allow about 1/8" for the glassing in of the tab between cabinet sides.
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