Removing fridge and sink from Hunter Compact - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-01-2014, 07:49 PM   #1
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Name: Shar
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Smile Removing fridge and sink from Hunter Compact

So, if I do remove the fridge, some cabinets and the sink from the Hunter Compact, how can I go about replacing the support? My understanding is that removing these items will compromise the stability of the trailer but I need to get rid of them. The only thing I want in it is any existing cabinet or shelves, the bench seats and table. Is there an instruction booklet on how to create new supports in the form of beams or something? (not mechanically inclined but have friends who are engineers and builders but would prefer advice as well from someone who has converted one or has knowledge of converting one. Thanks for your help! Shoegal
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:39 PM   #2
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The critical structure in a hunter trailer is the load-bearing divider walls between the forward cabin (where the dinette/bed is) and aft cabin (where the stove, sink, and fridge or icebox) are. The stove/sink side also has an added inner fiberglass shell comprising the 3 side walls and overhead all in 1 piece above the kitchen countertop, making a washable surface on that side. The other side doesn't have a separate divider wall, but the whole fridge and closet cabinet is load bearing.

The previous owner of my Compact Jr. gutted it just like you want to do to yours. He kept the roof locked down and never raised it. I found out why the first time I raised the roof to assess the condition of the rotted canvass. The pressure of the raise mechanism on the 4 corners of the roof caused the roof opening lip to buckle an fold in on itself across the middle where the walls should have been. Not pretty and very frightening to experience.

This is the same phenomenon that results from cutting the roof off of a coupe to create a convertible. The automaker has to beef up the framing under the doors to keep the car from folding itself in half, making a convertible significantly heavier than a coupe.

I had to have 2" x 1" x 9' steel "L" beams bolted to the outside along each side of the inner roof lip to support the thin fiberglass structure when the roof is raised. I used old warehouse shelving legs. they bolted to the opposite side of the lip from the roof raise mechanisms, tieing them together on each side bridging the weak center of the body. They did not show on the outside because the fabric sides covered them.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:44 PM   #3
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Name: Donna D
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Shar, I understand what you're trying to accomplish and why these cute little all molded towables may be a draw for your business. But, you're liable to end up with a mess. Have you considered, instead, a cargo trailer and spending your money on some great decals for the sides? You don't want to throw good money after the bad and not get what you want in the end and it doesn't sound like you're looking for a trailer to go camping in...
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