Maureen's questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-09-2008, 07:14 PM   #1
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Maureen:

You had some questions and we started running off at the mouth, for which I apologize. The least I can do is attempt to actually answer them in my trademarked cryptic style:

Original parts: No, and you won't need them, because all the appliances are generic RV parts. Only the fiberglass hull and frame is original to Burro. And with most trailers. A welder can do the frame, and a boat shop can do the fiberglass. You are highly unlikely to get totally stuck on such a project.

Worth more original: Unlikely, but it depends on the buyer. Generally speaking these are not artifacts, so properly done modifications will probably just enhance the value.

Laminate floor: It has been done and to good effect., but check under the carpeting for how the inner shell fastenes to the floor. The transition, which is not level, may give you pause. I would never do it, because if moisture should come into the trailer through vents, windows, whatever, you may not be aware of it until it is too late and the damage is extensive.

Weakness in floor: No experience with this, although your idea seems to have merit.

Water pump: I take it there is no shower, toilet, or hot water heater. A good hand pump should be just the ticket, and they are available from any RV parts supplier. As I stated, my personal opinion places no value on trying to stay original.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:43 PM   #2
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A manual hand pump will keep you from wasting fresh water and accumulating gray water...
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:20 PM   #3
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Maureen,

I can't speak for others, but I found the hand pump that we installed in our Burro to be too slow and a lot of work. We had a large water container with a pump on it that was much faster, so I just used it, pumping it into a CoolAide pitcher. The hand pump became the tool to get the toothpaste down the drain. To do dishes, I bought a 30 cup coffee pot at Goodwill and heated water, and used the pitcher to pour it into a dishpan in the sink.
We made our Burro comfortable for us. With two of us, we just took out the front bunk and put in a two-person dining area. I always took the bed down, but that dining area would have allowed us to leave the bed up if we had wished to (Now, with the UHaul, I rarely take the bed down.)

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Old 04-10-2008, 07:46 PM   #4
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(Maureen Gummert @ Apr 10 2008, 02:48 PM) We're drowning in Central Iowa, Too wet and too cold to go out and play.
Bout ready to mount the Burro to my pontoon
Oh I get it now, this is the leak test for the burro.

Got a couple, 2 small drips by back window and one at the vent. I am already pondering a fantastic fan so I have to pull it anyhow.

I am thinking I should pull the inside trim from the back window and check the integrity of the seal from there? Any suggestions?

I PULLED THIS/THESE POSTS FROM ANOTHER PAGE (STILL LEARNING)
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:03 PM   #5
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On the assumption that you do not have a rear gravel shield and its accompanying hinge rail, I'll offer this:
If the leak is actually coming from the seal around the window frame you could examine it closely to see where it may be coming in and apply some extra sealant (no silicone, go to an RV place and get something better).

If it is raining I would wait until you can get the surface dry first. If you are not sure where it is coming in you could try some duct tape (the aluminum foil type, not common ordinary duct tape) to temporarily put a strip over the suspect seal. If that stops the dripping you might even remove a small portion at a time to locate the problem.

There is little use for the idea of sealing it from the inside, and the double shell makes it quite useless. There is a small chance you might locate the leak that way, but water travels where it will, as in mysterious directions.

I'v had a FantasticFan for all these years (great company and service) but I switched it out to a MaxxFan for these reasons: No cover necessary, so you can keep it open in rainy weather (you will quickly see the value of that) and much more aerodynamic shape. The FantasticFan needs a bulky cover, and even then you are likely to have the airflow from the fan significantly reduced.
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:07 PM   #6
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Yes, there is a REALLY big hump in the floor down the center line, and the bolt heads holding the floor to the frame are the kind they use to build bridges, I think.. they are HUGE! The encapsulate is so thick that you would need a jack hammer to nail anything down to it as well.

I have looked and looked and tried to figure an easy way to do a laminate or engineered wood floor, but it would take putting in a sub floor to level it out. Lots of shimming and cutting recesses for the bolt heads.

Right now I have a sheet vinyl floor that is "OK", but not a permanent solution. You get used to the hump after awhile, I guess.

The entry floor sag was fixed on my 13 footer by doing exactly as you suggest. I do not have issues with mine 17.

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Old 04-10-2008, 09:16 PM   #7
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What is Gel Coat... where do you get it? Is it white or opaque in color?
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:35 PM   #8
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What is Gel Coat... where do you get it? Is it white or opaque in color?
Google is your friend. This is one explanation out of many: Gel Coat Troubleshooting
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:52 PM   #9
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What is Gel Coat... where do you get it? Is it white or opaque in color?
Think about the process of building a Fiberglass Trailer. The shell is built up in thin layers that are applied to the inside of a mold and allowed to cure in the mold. Then it is released from the mold.

The "Gel Coat" is the 1st thing that is applied to the mold. Then comes the resin and the fibers.

A metaphor would be like building a house by starting with the paint.
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:13 PM   #10
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Ok now I feel really silly, I thought gel coat was something you bought for the exterior. I want to paint the door what is a good product?
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:49 PM   #11
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Here's an expanded version of what Frederick said that I just ran across:

All Livingston boats are manufactured out of molded fiberglass. Livingston has molds for each of the different models we build. Before the actual fiberglass lay-up process can begin, the molds are carefully inspected for flaws and blemishes and then waxed and hand buffed to a high sheen. Then the prepared mold is rolled into our lamination room where gel-coat is sprayed into the mold.


Gel-coat is essentially polyester resin with pigments in it, which becomes the shiny white exterior finish of the boat. After the gel-coat has cured, a thin veil of chopped strand and resin are rolled out by hand to insure the fiberglass materials are applied tightly into all the molds seams and features. After the veil layer has cured, more chopped strand and resin are applied and woven roving is laid over the top. The roving is expertly worked by hand to insure the resin is applied evenly throughout the lay-up
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