Rebuild--rear-ended Uhaul CT13 - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-11-2015, 05:20 PM   #57
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Name: Gary
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Iowa
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Back on task again. Got the bumper brackets welded up & fitted, between yesterday & today. The pics that follow should pretty well explain. Used about 6' of 1.5" square tubing to make the bulk of the brackets, with 2 straps on the outboard sides to bolt to the frame--as the original brackets did. Added a 1" square tube between the two brackets, after mounting them and finding a lot more "flex" in them than I wanted.... also added a spacer of dense polypropylene between top of bracket and frame, and a bolt. [I didn't notice, when originally planning the bracket, that the bottom of the frame slopes up as it approaches the rear of the camper. The spacer pretty much levels the bracket out. Oy!!]

Used the trusty Sawzall on a piece of 2x2 steel tubing to make tapering channels for the bumper to mount to... then notched the top of the brackets slightly where I wanted the bumper mounts to go, clamped bumper-with-mounts-attached to the brackets, and tack-welded them in place. Then removed bumper to finish welding.

After re-mounting the bumper, it all feels good and solid. [at least, when you bang your knee into it] Now, to start the spare tire holder.... [might be a couple weeks before any more news--off to CO soon for some cool, dry mountain air] Gary
Attached Thumbnails
15-0711-bumper01.jpg   15-0711-bumper02.jpg  

15-0711-bumper03.jpg   15-0711-bumper04.jpg  

15-0711-bumper05.jpg  
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:33 PM   #58
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I guess I lied about giving things a break for a while. I went ahead and made a "form" for the casting of my vertical spare tire well yesterday afternoon. 'Set the spare on a scrap of plywood... wrapped a band of 1/4" thick polystyrene around it [for wiggle-room in-use]... and then stretched a sheet of plastic over the whole thing--stapling it to the plywood base. 'Wrapped it with masking tape to smooth out the pleats n wrinkles in the plastic. And then wiped it all with mold release.

This afternoon, with my wife's help mixing and spreading resin, we put 3 layers of matte on it... took a 2-hr break... and then came back and did an additional 3 layers, with the early work now firm but definitely still "tacky" to the touch.

Now, to wait patiently till tomorrow sometime, to see if I can pop it off of this makeshift "form" without too much trouble. [I think it'll work.] I DID notice that the plastic on the top sagged down against the wheel somewhat, compared to being fairly taut before applying the matt & resin. I assume that was due to solvent in the resin... and it didn't sag enough to be a problem--just a curiosity.

Pics below. Cheers............... Gary
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_0137-spare cover-01.JPG   IMG_0138-spare cover-01a.JPG  

IMG_0138-spare cover-02.JPG  
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:40 PM   #59
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:28 PM   #60
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Really ingenious how you do that! Also looking forward to your results.
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:18 AM   #61
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Gary, if it doesn't pop out easily let the air out of the tire, it may help. How are you planning to attach it to your spare?
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:30 AM   #62
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Dave... I'd thought of the air in tire thing too; always nice to have an idea confirmed by others, though. I went out last night to check on things; the f/g was still somewhat tacky, but I could peel up some of the excess resin that had oozed over the tape at the base... without lifting the tape... so I don't think it's going to be too badly stuck.

I figure to basically cut a round hole in the outer skin [and maybe a bit of the inner skin, near the top of the dish], and then bond this dish/recess to the surrounding skin with more f/g and resin. With the whole dish used, I figure the spare can sit on the bottom of the vertical dish [which in turn will be supported by a brace between bumper and that square side-to-side tube I added]... so it only needs a firm enough mount/bolt to hold it vertical... not "suspend" it. I figured to use a threaded rod and disc like are in the trunks of lots of cars... spin it up snug, and maybe drill a hole in the rod for a safety clip, just in case.

Height-wise, the bottom of the spare should be even with the bottom of the camper frame... minimizing whatever amount intrudes on interior space above the back seat... also low-down, center-of-gravity-wise, though that's probably not a real big deal. 'Also thinking that the recess of the spare being exposed to the rear would make a good spot to mount the license plate. Will see fairly soon how all that shakes out.................. Gary
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:53 AM   #63
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beautiful work, gary!
when you cast this, I think a bit of sagging in the top would make it interesting... not generic... flat faced... boring. i see it formed to fit... swelled and dipped... curvy... the ringed appearance (following ya'll down the highway in my head) would give it real style! pizzazz!
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:53 PM   #64
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Okay!... Casting removed from makeshift form this morning! Wrapping the plastic with tape maybe wasn't the best idea... something in the resin softened the adhesive part of the tape, so that it only "let go" with patient persuading, whereas the plastic film pulled away from the fiberglass pretty cleanly.

I apparently confused some of you by calling this a "continental" spare approach. My bad. I think continental spares in the old days at least sometimes had both a recess formed in the rear of the body AND a cover... I was just going for the recess part of the concept, figuring to nestle the spare into it so it didn't project to the rear, but leaving it somewhat exposed. I've tried to show that in the attached pics, with the spare sitting in my new recess casting, on top of a floor jack, so that it's at the height I want. But in the photo it's behind the bumper, whereas it will end up recessed into the back wall of the camper, and in front of the bumper. I hope that makes sense.

My plan at this point is to have a spring-loaded, flip-up license plate holder mounted in the recess of the spare, with a plug-in connection for the license plate light. If I need the spare, I flip up the license plate, unplug the cord, spin off the mounting nut/disc, and remove license holder and spare. Normal road tire might not fit in the holder--we'll see. [I just designed the form around the space-saver spare... the real tire can be tossed in the tow vehicle for the time it takes to get to town and replace or repair it.]

All for now. Back to work.............. Gary
Attached Thumbnails
15-0713-spareWell-01.jpg   15-0713-spareWell-02a.jpg  

15-0713-spareWell-02b.jpg  
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:35 PM   #65
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A space saver tire mold???? Was this a test run? At least you know how the tape reacted to resin now.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:34 PM   #66
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No, Dave... that's what my camper came with. Like most cars, any more, so I didn't consider it that odd a thing. Seems like folks on the U-Haul Facebook side of things report it being a considerable nuisance coming up with just a rim from the dealers... and not much, if anything, that has the same bolt pattern and offset, if going non-U-Haul. So I just figured to run what I have.

I hope that isn't considered flat-out crazy... but I'm willing to listen, if those with more experience with these little campers than I have want to try and change my mind.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:35 PM   #67
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You might be getting a few customers as we Uhaul owners follow this rebuild, Gary. We have our spare there too but not with a permanent holder like you are creating.

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Old 07-17-2015, 06:42 PM   #68
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Brief update.
Started fitting spare tire pocket this afternoon... opening cut in back-panel, and pocket taped-n-propped in place. Only the tire slipped in at this point, as I'm cleaning up and painting the rim. Still some tweaking to do, but looks like it's do-able. [I guess it better be--now that I've cut a rather large hole in the back of the camper!]
All for now............ Gary
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:54 PM   #69
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Had a change of plans, vacation-wise, so instead of sucking up cool, dry air in Colorado, I've spent a fair bit of the last couple days working on the spare recess/holder.

Fine-tuned the opening in the back wall... re-shaped the spare well itself to aid in the spare sliding in... put in spacers on the bumper brackets [middle 2] to bow it out a bit for extra clearance... trimmed the "flash" from the rear edges of the recess, and added a reinforcing band around the bottom half of the opening [3 narrow bands/layers of matte]; it's now about .25" thick at the edge, so hopefully won't be vulnerable to bumps n nicks.

And then sanded the edges of the opening in the camper shell, and sanded the perimeter of the recess piece... taped in place... and glued in from the inside with 3-4 layers of matte n resin. [I'll add a reinforcing "fillet" between recess and camper shell on the outside later--basically, on the lower half, where it extends rearward of the shell.]

Really looking forward to this stiffening up the rear shell... patching the remaining cracks in it should be easier now.
All for now.............. Gary
Attached Thumbnails
15-0722-spareExt-02.jpg   15-0722-spareExt-03.jpg  

15-0722-spareInt-01.JPG   15-0722-spareInt-02.jpg  

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Old 07-22-2015, 09:19 PM   #70
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Better and better Gary. Don't know if you said or I missed it but what you planning on using for an outer cover? Now that you're the fiberglass expert have you thought of making up a FG cover?
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