Rebuild--rear-ended Uhaul CT13 - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-20-2015, 06:02 PM   #43
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Looking good Gary but kind of wondering. Are you going to be able to get the interior part back inside with it in one piece again?
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:26 PM   #44
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Dave,

Good question. I actually think I could... but I don't need to... there's a bolt-together flange right up the middle of the "seat" portion of this assembly. I just wanted it all jigged up in one piece at this point so that as I made repairs, the whole assembly would [hopefully] stay lined up nice. It'll be a lot easier, too, to set it in place and glue together the flanges at the back-glass & the cut-lines I made if I do it one half at a time.

Went out after supper and knocked together a pair of braces which should keep the area just above the floor--and the surface where this liner meets the outer shell at the rear window--vertical, and parallel with each other.
I realized when I looked at the picture I just took of that bracing and all, that this all looks 'really' cobbled-together. But I just used whatever scrap wood came to hand... I really did measure and fuss a fair amount. [I think it's actually going to work.]

At any rate... 'bout ready to start actually mending the tears now. More news as it happens................. Gary
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:59 PM   #45
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Hey, it doesn't matter what the bracing looks like as long as it works. Looks fine to me.
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:49 PM   #46
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Name: Melissa
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WOW! just read this thread. Magnificent! Thank you for sharing your time and talents.
You're a true craftsman, Gary!
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:51 PM   #47
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Thankyou, Melissa, for the kind words. [you'll have to imagine me blushing and shuffling my feet]

I've worked a little more on the patching, the last few days. Getting sort of a system down. First I balanced the assembly on a stand, "face down", so that quite a few of the cracks are more-or-less horizontal. Then [with gloves, hat, and mask on, and wall-mounted exhaust fan running] I beveled the cracks I intended to target with a 3" 24-grit Rolloc disc in an air grinder, and blew the dust off when done. I cut off lengths of 6" wide f/g mat to match lengths of the cracks I was about to deal with [ie: 8" long crack... 8" or so long piece of mat... etc], and then cut the 6"w pieces into 3 strips--1"w, 2"w and 3"w. So far, I've wet the beveled area with resin, placed the 1"w strip down and wetted it... then the 2", etc. 'Working the resin in, and the air out, with a cheap paint brush with half the bristles cut off.

Off to one side, I treated a planter-box tray with mold release, and layered 4 layers into that--to use for the missing pieces in that rear "seat" area. After that set up overnight, I ran it through the table saw--splitting it in two length-wise, and trimming the edges to a uniform height. Used about 1/4 of that material today. By casting the 4 layers in a horizontal tray, I could slather on more resin, and ended up with about 3/16" thick material--quite stiff. I hope to rebuild the rest of the back seat area with that tomorrow.

To align broken edges, I used a couple layers of good masking tape, with spring clamps and wooden paint-stirring-sticks where needed. Seems to have worked pretty well. [also put wide masking tape on the underside of the repair areas to catch resin that might have drooled through]

Hopefully, the attached pics make sense of that description.... Gary
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15-0625-01.jpg   15-0625-02.jpg  

15-0625-02a.jpg   15-0625-03.jpg  

15-0625-03a.jpg   15-0625-03b.jpg  

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Old 06-25-2015, 08:59 PM   #48
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I was just thinking (after wiring a 7-prong trailer plug today) there is a pin for backup lights... You could have one of the few FG trailers with that feature working. Just a thought.


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Old 06-25-2015, 09:15 PM   #49
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Samuel,

Thanks for that encouragement. I do intend to wire things up so that the backup lights work... though I hope I don't have much occasion to need them. And since the pickup assemblies had them built in, it seems a shame not to wire them up... I can imagine there not being much call to add them to a camper that didn't have them, but now mine does!
And, I pretty much need to rewire/re-plumb/re-glaze the little rascal fairly soon anyway, so I just need the right harness kit, and away we go.......... Gary

Just checked... not hard to get 5-wire loom instead of more-common 4-wire... I'm thinking that's all the fancier I'd need to go.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:06 PM   #50
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Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Didn't end up with time to do a morning session AND and evening session on the camper, but did just come in from the after-supper round, which went pretty well. [This morning, my wife's Corolla got new front brake pads... probably a good thing, priority-wise.]

Tonight I wanted to reinforce the breaks where back wall flexed forward in last year's accident--right where the inner back wall meets the seat area on the passenger side, and through the driver's side horizontal piece above the battery area. And get at least one more chunk of the passenger-side storage-bin surround rebuilt--one of the missing-in-action bits.

All went pretty well... getting a better feel for how many ounces of resin does how many patches, and how many drops of catalyst to add to it.

Hopefully, the pictures tell the story.......... Gary
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15-0626-02.jpg   15-0626-03.jpg  

15-0626-03a.jpg   15-0626-04.jpg  

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Old 06-28-2015, 07:35 PM   #51
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Finished gluing last of back-side patches yesterday evening. Tonight, I removed the various "form boards" that I'd used to hold pieces in alignment, peeled off masking tape and put the shell "back on its feet". [Viewed now from the gelcoat/interior side, the cracks are more obvious.]

Very good to have this whole interior shell feeling firm again. I'll just need to finesse a few areas before beveling & filling the inside of the patches. [1] At the back of the seating surface, where it meets the back panel--just couldn't get at this real handily before. [2] Need to fine-tune the shape of the passenger-side bin opening, where I spliced in new bits for missing pieces.
[3] Where the seat area blends into the lower portion that heads forward. This spot I didn't get aligned well enough--I think I'll have to cut a slit in it and crank the lower portion around a little. Still, small project compared to all the cracks repaired so far.

Nice to have it light-weight again, too, compared to how cumbersome it was to handle with all the plywood bracing fastened to it!.......... Gary
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15-0628-01.jpg   15-0628-02a.jpg  

15-0628-02b.jpg  
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:37 PM   #52
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Gary,
That is some repair work you are doing.
I appreciate your pictures and narrative. Looking better each post.
Thank you.
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:01 PM   #53
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Name: Gary
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Iowa
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Well... had to shuffle things around in the shop for a few days, so hasn't been handy to sprawl and get fiberglass dust n fibers everywhere.

So, I turned to contemplating the back bumper I got [new 49 Chevy pickup front bumper--painted vs chrome], and pondering where to mount my spare.
Today, I started mocking that up, by making some wooden stands to hold the bumper in the position I think I want it to be. In the 3 pics attached, it's bottom edge is about even with the top edge of the tubular frame on the U-Haul... it's narrower by quite a bit than the stock bumper, with it's outside edges about 1" inboard from the outside of the tires... and I've mocked it up with about 4.5" of space between it and the back shell of the camper, at the center-point.

Sorry that doesn't show very dramatically, with the black primer on the bumper and all.
Why the change? Well, my back bumper--and the supports for it--were bent pretty bad in the accident a year ago, so I'm having to start from scratch, and I thought it was overly massive, visually. [My opinion, I know... I figure U-Haul went with a large bumper because they were renting them out to a lot of amateur trailer-drivers, and wanted all the protection they could get.]
I know I'm giving up some protection for those rear-corner, tail-lamp projections. A trade-off, in my mind... more the look I want, but less margin for error when in use.

Spare mount? On mine, before I got it, the spare was mounted on a stout column, which was in turn mounted to the back bumper. In the rear-end collision, the bumper rotated--knifing spare & mount right through the back panel. I'd like to avoid that.
I toyed with the idea of mounting it underneath--no room, really. Or making a rectangular "sleeve" for it to slide horizontally under the passenger side of the back seat--not enough forward room for that, either. So now I'm figuring to cast a big shallow bowl--just a bit larger diameter than the spare itself... stand it upright... and build it into the back wall. Sort of a "continental kit"... open to the rear. Probably build a curved bottom support for the spare, so it only needs to be "stabilized" in its upright position... not suspended there.
I'll hope to have some pics of the spare work in-progress by next weekend, but first need to make the bumper supports.

For what it's worth, I might not do this "oddball" spare tire mount if I didn't have to re-build the back wall anyway. It'd be somewhat more intimidating to slice up a perfectly good back-panel.
All for now,
Gary
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15-0704-bumper03.jpg  
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:33 PM   #54
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Very impressive. I don't know how many know the work involved in this project (I do). Great work
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:44 PM   #55
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I really don't know about the work involved.. have never done anything close to this. BUT, my jaw continues to drop when I see what you've done
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:05 AM   #56
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Thanks, Ian & Donna, for the encouraging words.

Sometimes it's a bit daunting--all that remains to do. But retirement IS getting closer... I hear that can help with the time needed. [Though I guess even that is not a 'given'.]

Ian--I just went and read the first 2 pages of your own re-build. Whoa! That, sir, is some incredible work! [Kind of feel like I'm just playing around, by comparison.] Look forward to reading more of your build as the days go along.

Another thing that keeps me encouraged, as my project sometimes drags, is that my wife and I've been camping now for 25 years, almost always in a tent... and only recently in a fairly roomy tent... with set-up and take-down in all weathers, and few good options space-wise when the weather goes rainy or cold. Even with a few rough edges, this little trailer is a definite upgrade.

More news as it happens...........
Gary

p.s. Photo attached of my-wife-the-trooper... camping at a central IA state park in January, a few years ago. [teardrop trailer from back 1/2 of car... more craziness]
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