our first trailer - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-19-2011, 06:02 PM   #1
rox
Junior Member
 
rox's Avatar
 
Name: Rox
Trailer: 13' Ventura + Honda Element
British Columbia
Posts: 24
our first trailer

Hi Guys, I just made the switch from a tent trailer to our first 13' fiberglass. It is a 70's Ventura that needs updating and need some advice. Now that we have the trailer purchased and at home I have found it needs far more work then the painting, cushion covers that I had planned on. I only have a couple of days that I can work on this, I was counting on this trailer for our upcoming 3 week family road trip.

First issue: The wood panelling is rotting from water damage, I am pulling it all down and found the entire trailer covered in wood framing glued to the fiberglass shell. What are my options for re-covering the walls? I am afraid if I pull the framing off it will pull of chunks of fiberglass to, am I limited to re-covering with panelling again?

Next problem: The trailer is a full fiberglass shell, it wraps under floor between a wood subfloor and the metal frame. The when I pulled out the kitchen I found 4" of water sitting, needless to say the wood sub floor is rotted out. The problem is there are two layers, the first layer is glued to the fiberglass, the second layer is screwed to the first layer I think to hide the damage. Is there an easy way to pull the subfloor without pulling the fiberglass bottom with it?

Related to the last problem: under the front sofa area there is a bolt that straps camper to the trailer frame, this bolt goes through the subfloor I need to remove and I cannot pull out the bolt to replace the floor, should I cut around it and leave that section of subfloor or?

I have many other problems I will need advice on, but I will leave off with this one last one for now: The 3-way fridge that I pulled out appears to be very rusty all along the back side, is this normal? Would it be safe to operate or is it a loss?

By the way I love this site, I have already spent many hours reading threads. You guys are awesome.
Attached Thumbnails
ventura.jpg   trailer.jpg  

__________________

__________________
rox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 07:56 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Roy in TO's Avatar
 
Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
Posts: 4,954
Quote:
Originally Posted by rox View Post
I only have a couple of days that I can work on this, I was counting on this trailer for our upcoming 3 week family road trip.
Sounds like me, when we first got ours shortly before our 1st 3 week trip. I took Donna D's advice and considered the trailer to be a hard tent on wheels, with space to store you gear in.

We cleaned up the best we could. Made sure the running gear was all in order. Patched the hole in the roof with duck tape. And took our vaction.

Upon return, we started getting into the bigger jobs.

Have a great trip.
__________________

__________________
Roy in TO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 08:23 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,432
There's a saying, if you don't have the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over? Do overs cost more time and more money! There's nothing wrong with a hard-sided tent, sounds like Roy and family made some memories out of it. Two words come to mind: Safe and clean. Always want to have a trailer that's safe to go down the road... you're sharing the road with others. And everyone knows your dirt is cleaner than the previous owners dirt

Good luck!
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 10:19 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Francesca Knowles's Avatar
 
Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
Registry
Hello!

WHEW!
That's a lot of questions...
I'll take a swing at them one at a time...
My suggestions will be the red entries in the middle
Quote:
Originally Posted by rox View Post
Hi Guys, I just made the switch from a tent trailer to our first 13' fiberglass. It is a 70's Ventura that needs updating and need some advice. Now that we have the trailer purchased and at home I have found it needs far more work then the painting, cushion covers that I had planned on. I only have a couple of days that I can work on this, I was counting on this trailer for our upcoming 3 week family road trip.
1) The family road trip is more important than perfection in the trailer.
Cobble things together as best you can and GO.
F.K.K.


First issue: The wood panelling is rotting from water damage, I am pulling it all down and found the entire trailer covered in wood framing glued to the fiberglass shell. What are my options for re-covering the walls? I am afraid if I pull the framing off it will pull of chunks of fiberglass to, am I limited to re-covering with panelling again?
2)Check with other owners of this trailer (see registry) and ascertain whether the interior framing makes any important contribution to the structural integrity of the trailer. If it does, you must keep it. .
If it doesn't, I'd still reccommend that you keep it- you have an opportunity there to put insulation in before you replace the paneling you've torn out.
F.K.K.


Next problem: The trailer is a full fiberglass shell, it wraps under floor between a wood subfloor and the metal frame. The when I pulled out the kitchen I found 4" of water sitting, needless to say the wood sub floor is rotted out. The problem is there are two layers, the first layer is glued to the fiberglass, the second layer is screwed to the first layer I think to hide the damage. Is there an easy way to pull the subfloor without pulling the fiberglass bottom with it?
3)If the floor is as rotten as you indicate, digging out those portions should be relatively easy. SEE NEXT ENTRY
F.K.K.


Related to the last problem: under the front sofa area there is a bolt that straps camper to the trailer frame, this bolt goes through the subfloor I need to remove and I cannot pull out the bolt to replace the floor, should I cut around it and leave that section of subfloor or?
4)Those bolts hold the trailer body to the frame and won't keep doing that unless they're very securely and properly attached. If you're replacing the subfloor, the bolts must be removed and properly reinserted or replaced AFTER the new subfloor is installed. Cut the old bolts out with a saw or torch if you have to.
F.K.K.


I have many other problems I will need advice on, but I will leave off with this one last one for now: The 3-way fridge that I pulled out appears to be very rusty all along the back side, is this normal? Would it be safe to operate or is it a loss?
4) Metal objects rust in fiberglass trailers, which are notoriously poor "breathers away" of water vapor. If the fridge works, don't discard it. The rust can be stopped by the use of various chemical compounds and the surface recoated. F.K.K.
WHEW AGAIN!
Hope some of that helps!

Francesca
__________________
.................................
Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
Francesca Knowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 10:44 PM   #5
rox
Junior Member
 
rox's Avatar
 
Name: Rox
Trailer: 13' Ventura + Honda Element
British Columbia
Posts: 24
Thanks for the advice guys! My replies in purple, so for the long long post!

Hi Guys, I just made the switch from a tent trailer to our first 13' fiberglass. It is a 70's Ventura that needs updating and need some advice. Now that we have the trailer purchased and at home I have found it needs far more work then the painting, cushion covers that I had planned on. I only have a couple of days that I can work on this, I was counting on this trailer for our upcoming 3 week family road trip.
1) The family road trip is more important than perfection in the trailer.
Cobble things together as best you can and GO.
F.K.K.

About the weekend to work on it, I meant to work on it any time in the near future. I am a single mom with a full time job, I really don't have the time or energy for projects. Believe it or not, my intention on buying the trailer was to save time, haha jokes on me hey.

First issue: The wood panelling is rotting from water damage, I am pulling it all down and found the entire trailer covered in wood framing glued to the fiberglass shell. What are my options for re-covering the walls? I am afraid if I pull the framing off it will pull of chunks of fiberglass to, am I limited to re-covering with panelling again?
2)Check with other owners of this trailer (see registry) and ascertain whether the interior framing makes any important contribution to the structural integrity of the trailer. If it does, you must keep it. .
If it doesn't, I'd still reccommend that you keep it- you have an opportunity there to put insulation in before you replace the paneling you've torn out.
F.K.K.

I have done some searching and cannot seem to find any history on the brand/line. I suppose I will have to replace it with more panelling. I was just hoping there were other materials I could use and still keep the framing and insultion. I am not a fan of the panelling, I have searched all week for alternatives and can't seem to find any.

Next problem: The trailer is a full fiberglass shell, it wraps under floor between a wood subfloor and the metal frame. The when I pulled out the kitchen I found 4" of water sitting, needless to say the wood sub floor is rotted out. The problem is there are two layers, the first layer is glued to the fiberglass, the second layer is screwed to the first layer I think to hide the damage. Is there an easy way to pull the subfloor without pulling the fiberglass bottom with it?
3)If the floor is as rotten as you indicate, digging out those portions should be relatively easy. SEE NEXT ENTRY
F.K.K.

The floor is rotted in places, but solid in others so I am concerned those areas will break holes into the fiberglass. I guess I will have to crowbar it up regardless, there really isn't any way around it.

Related to the last problem: under the front sofa area there is a bolt that straps camper to the trailer frame, this bolt goes through the subfloor I need to remove and I cannot pull out the bolt to replace the floor, should I cut around it and leave that section of subfloor or?
4)Those bolts hold the trailer body to the frame and won't keep doing that unless they're very securely and properly attached. If you're replacing the subfloor, the bolts must be removed and properly reinserted or replaced AFTER the new subfloor is installed. Cut the old bolts out with a saw or torch if you have to.
F.K.K.

Thanks for the info on the bolt to the frame, I am not a handy mom so I will likely have to bring it in to a repair shop for this job, but what you said makes sense and needs to be done.

I have many other problems I will need advice on, but I will leave off with this one last one for now: The 3-way fridge that I pulled out appears to be very rusty all along the back side, is this normal? Would it be safe to operate or is it a loss?
4) Metal objects rust in fiberglass trailers, which are notoriously poor "breathers away" of water vapor. If the fridge works, don't discard it. The rust can be stopped by the use of various chemical compounds and the surface recoated. F.K.K.
I am afraid to light that fridge, I will take it into an RV shop to get tested to be safe, I cut the propane line to pull it out so it will need repair to the lines anyhow.

Boy, I did not intend to start a big project. My little guy is expecting a new kitchen and bunk beds built pronto. Thanks for reading my long post, I will post my progress / demo after the weekend.
__________________
rox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 10:47 PM   #6
rox
Junior Member
 
rox's Avatar
 
Name: Rox
Trailer: 13' Ventura + Honda Element
British Columbia
Posts: 24
You said it, safe and clean is what I am after. I will attack the must do's first and worry about the rv comforts later on. thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
There's a saying, if you don't have the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over? Do overs cost more time and more money! There's nothing wrong with a hard-sided tent, sounds like Roy and family made some memories out of it. Two words come to mind: Safe and clean. Always want to have a trailer that's safe to go down the road... you're sharing the road with others. And everyone knows your dirt is cleaner than the previous owners dirt

Good luck!
__________________
rox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 11:01 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Francesca Knowles's Avatar
 
Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by rox View Post
[COLOR=#9932cc]

Boy, I did not intend to start a big project. My little guy is expecting a new kitchen and bunk beds built pronto. Thanks for reading my long post, I will post my progress / demo after the weekend.
!!!!!! to the endlessly fascinating world of bringing "dead" trailers back to life :
Try to take it one step at a time...
And don't make yourself crazy if it's not perfect before your family trip.
Make it "workable" between now and then.
Save the major this-is-permanent re-do's for the rest of the summer, after you get back.

Good luck, and
Enjoy

Francesca
__________________
.................................
Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
Francesca Knowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2011, 06:25 AM   #8
Member
 
Doug Arthurs's Avatar
 
Trailer: Boler
Posts: 93
Registry
Would tile board be a better solution then reg plywood. That way you would have a smooth easy to clean bright surface. Or another cheap way might be to replace it with sub floor plywood or thin plywood and prime an paint it.
__________________
Doug Arthurs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2011, 06:52 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
james kent's Avatar
 
Name: james
Trailer: Boler 1984
Ontario
Posts: 2,938
There's some good advice given here. Yes, make it safe and go ahead and use it. You will get a much better understanding as to what you want to do first on your new project.
"Do it right the first time" Mike Homes
__________________
james kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2011, 11:04 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Francesca Knowles's Avatar
 
Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by rox View Post
[COLOR=#9932cc]
I am afraid to light that fridge, I will take it into an RV shop to get tested to be safe, I cut the propane line to pull it out so it will need repair to the lines anyhow.
Hi, Rox

Here's something easy to do that occurred to me this morning:
If yours is a 3-way fridge, set it to 110 and plug it in. (For running on 110 or 12v, it doesn't matter that you've cut the gas line.)
If it cools on 110, that's a pretty good indicator that it'll work on propane, too, and worth saving.Check out the price of new ones !
One word of caution- do be careful to keep the fridge upright while you've got it out of the trailer. Strange and sometimes incurable ills can arise with these units if they're placed on their sides or tops.

Francesca
__________________
.................................
Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
Francesca Knowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2011, 12:33 PM   #11
rox
Junior Member
 
rox's Avatar
 
Name: Rox
Trailer: 13' Ventura + Honda Element
British Columbia
Posts: 24
Thanks Francesca, I actually had that puppy plugged in before the demo and it did work. All the rust just freaked me out, I am not sure I could have my babies sleeping next to a rusty appliance being feed propane, we had a big propane emergency when I was younger that I don't want to relive (a story for another time). I may just put it back in to run off of power or at least have it tested for leaks etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Hi, Rox

Here's something easy to do that occurred to me this morning:
If yours is a 3-way fridge, set it to 110 and plug it in. (For running on 110 or 12v, it doesn't matter that you've cut the gas line.)
If it cools on 110, that's a pretty good indicator that it'll work on propane, too, and worth saving.Check out the price of new ones !
One word of caution- do be careful to keep the fridge upright while you've got it out of the trailer. Strange and sometimes incurable ills can arise with these units if they're placed on their sides or tops.

Francesca
__________________
rox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2011, 01:21 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Francesca Knowles's Avatar
 
Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,543
Registry
Hi,Rox

I hear you!
The first thing I did when I got my Trillium was take it to an RV place and have the propane system pressure-tested for leaks.
$25.00 worth of peace of mind!
Since you'll have to have your cut gas line repaired just so you can use the cookstove, I'm pretty sure they'll test the system at that time.

Francesca
__________________
.................................
Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
Francesca Knowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 06:03 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,432
You don't have to use plywood or wood paneling. Anything that's flat and fairly rigid would work. For instance: Crane Composites Inc FTST.1 4x8 White FRP Panel#
__________________

__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.