what have I done.....I need guidance!!! WNY area - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-21-2008, 11:03 AM   #1
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Hi all; I am very new to this site and have read many posts on how to fix/rehab my 1977 Scamp 13, but I am very overwhelmed at this point and I really haven't found the "answers" to all my questions. (or perhaps I have found too many?) I just don't know where to "jump in".

The wiring is in a kind of in a heap, will need to start over, the front/back windows are removed (have them) and all cabinets have been removed(have them). New pergo flooring has been installed. Inside looks good, fiberglass is good, no cracks, etc. Now I have to replace the cabinets but not sure if I should order rivets from Scamp or use SS bolt with acorn (don't know what sizes if I do go with SS bolt). It's just me doing this, no help.....I know...crazy!

I'm excited to do this rehab but really don't know where to start. Anyone in the Batavia NY area that might be willing to look at this and give me some tips or anyone out there that has rehabbed their 77 scamp 13 willing to share their experiences?
thanks,
Laurie
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:43 AM   #2
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Hi Laurie,

Ur actually in a very good position with the Scamp gutted to rebuild it the way you want. One of the best posts of all time that answers most of your initial questions here is:

Butyl Tape

On page 4 is a description of the size of the SS Screws etc used and even jumps to BoltDepot to order them if you want. I got my initial supply there and get the odds n ends from Ace Hardware in the SS they stock pretty good supple. The rivets vs SS argument goes on forever here, but I'm glad I used SS and replaced my rivets when we gutted ours. It is quite a bit more expensive then rivets however.

Good Luck refinishing and lots of photos please.
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:53 AM   #3
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Hi. Laurie.

I understand the overload of information. I am in the middle of a redo, too. One thing I've learned, is the folks on this forum have lots of ideas and experience and will share both liberally. I eventually settled on a plan and am happy with how things are going to turn out. Take your time and digest everything. You'll get a feel for what works and what you're capable of. None of the work is terribly complex, so just take a deep breath and pick an area to start.

I love photos too.

Bonnie

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:29 PM   #4
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Thanks Greg and Bonnie,
I am in the process of re-reading that post and taking it one step at a time and focusing (somewhat) on one thing at a time. It doesn't help that is feels like it is going to snow outside and I just came up from 90 degrees (FL) a little over a week ago....or maybe it does because I can do more research inside!!
thanks again and I will post some pics soon!

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:54 PM   #5
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One additional thing you mentioned is the wiring.

While ours was gutted I just completely replaced the wiring. The Home Deput has everything you need and you can buy the wire pretty inexpensively in 100' rolls. Get one roll of black and one of white should do the whole trailer. Then we laid out what we were putting back in electrically and planned for all LED and Cold Cathode lighting and built a new wiring harness and fuse blocks for it strategically placed. Plenty of wiring posts that can help.

Never a better time to know that the wiring is new and sound when you have complete access to it, then later on the road at midnite heading for a campsite and your trailer running lights malfunction.



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Old 05-22-2008, 11:00 PM   #6
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The wiring is in a kind of in a heap, will need to start over...

I'm excited to do this rehab but really don't know where to start.
Welcome Laurie,

The Scamp Wiring Diagram is in Document Center as a PDF (click this link) and it will open in a new window.

I'd suggest coming up to Ontario for Bolerama on your 4th of July weekend with a camera and note pad. There are over a hundred fiberglass trailers of various denominations and lots of owners that are willing to proudly share their accomplishments.

There are a lot of conversations that go like this:
You should see Joe over in the yellow trailer to see how he did X, then pop in to see Suzy in the green and white 13'er two fields over to see how she did Y. Oh, yours is one of those models... I know Waldo is here and has a fix for that. Anybody know where Waldo is?
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:05 AM   #7
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Question

Thanks Roy,
That's about 4 hours away but do-able! Sounds like fun! It would be great to see so many!
I started getting more familiar with the camper yesterday and some things look better than I remembered and others....well...not so good.

I ordered my ss bolts and hardware today and just got off the phone with a guy at Scamp. He said he didn't think I was capable of putting in the windows(based on my questions) and I should pay to take it into a shop (after getting the gaskets ($48). (I'm rehabbing an old one because I don't have the money to get a new one, so I would like to do as much as I can)

He also said it is the hardest thing to do to the scamp. At that rate, what chance do I have of doing my rehab? I was feeling pretty upbeat about it till I called about that.

Is there another way to put the plexiglass on the windows? I was thinking of replacing it with new plexi anyway, so if I were to get a bigger piece that actually fits around the window, could it be put in without the "gasket" method? or am I asking for more trouble? I just don't want to hurt the fiberglass by doing something stupid.... Windows were already out when I bought it and actually I don't even know what the gasket looks like because they threw it away.

It just keeps getting deeper and deeper.....this can't be that hard, can it?
yikes....
Laurie
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:03 PM   #8
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. . . The Home Deput has everything you need and you can buy the wire pretty inexpensively in 100' rolls. Get one roll of black and one of white should do the whole trailer.
Great advice from Greg, but I should add a couple things.

First, most of the 12 volt wiring in your trailer should be done with 12 or 14 gauge stranded wire. (I use 12 gauge in the new circuits I run.) Some places -- RV, Marine and some hardware supply stores included -- have wiring where the black and white wires are joined together very much like the two sets of wires in a cheap household extension cord. If they have it the electrical department people at the store should know what this is and where you can find it.

Because they may carry higher electrical loads some wiring in your trailer should be done with thicker, 10 gauge stranded wire. This includes the wiring from the battery to the converter and from the tow vehicle charging lines to the trailer.

Next (and don't let this scare you, it's really pretty simple), most trailers have three or four electrical systems:

One is the 12v system that powers the 12v lights, fan(s) furnace, and so on inside the trailer.

The second 12v electrical system connects your tow vehicle's brake and indicator lights to your trailer, so when you signal a turn or hit the brakes, the lights on the outside of your trailer blink like the ones on your tow vehicle.

Many trailers have electric brakes, which are very nice to have and require their own wiring that connects to the tow vehicle, too.

All-in-all 12V wiring is pretty simple to do and, as long as you install fuses in each circuit, very safe.

The last electrical system is the 110v AC system that powers the 110 outlets and any 110v AC appliances, such as the "converter," which charges the battery and "converts" the 110v power to 12v to power the 12V stuff inside your trailer and charge the battery. Your trailer may have other 110V goodies like 110V outlets to plug things into, 110v lights, an air conditioner, propane/110v refrigerator, and an electric or propane/electric water heater.

110V AC wiring is reasonably easy to do, but unlike 12v wiring it can be very dangerous if done wrong. My suggestion is you find an friendly electrician or hanyman who is willing to explain how things need to be done and inspect your work to make sure your wiring job is done safely.

--Peter
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:16 PM   #9
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He said he didn't think I was capable of putting in the windows(based on my questions) and I should pay to take it into a shop
He also said it is the hardest thing to do to the scamp. At that rate, what chance do I have of doing my rehab? I was feeling pretty upbeat about it till I called about that.

Is there another way to put the plexiglass on the windows?
Laurie,

I have not done the windows, but from what I've heard it can be very difficult for the average person. The main reason is that you are bending the plexiglass to fit the curve at the same time you are fighting with the gaskets. I think I've read it taking from 4-8 hours for some people here.

I'd say if the body was flat (like on some trailers) it is a job you would want to DIY. If you bring it to the pro's they are used to working with the gaskets, they have all the right tools and tricks. I don't imagine it would take them more than 15-20 minutes to install a window if they had the plexiglass, maybe a bit longer if they had to cut it to fit.

There probably is another way to do the windows, I imagine you would have to build a frame and by the end of it all, it would not be worth it.

BTW we took Donna D's advice when we first got our trailer. Consider it a hard tent on wheel while you work on it the first year or two. I imagine it will take us 5 years to get ours to where we want it. The delays are due to time and money. We have to make the time to do the work. The cost of restoring is about the same as buying one in good shape or a little more, but you do get to spread out the cost over a few years while you do it. Consider what it would cost you to rent a trailer for a week or two each summer and your costs don't seem all that bad.

Plus we do a lot of research and a lot of planning before we do something.

Roy
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:46 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies! I just ordered the window parts and and maybe by the time my tags come back from FL the parts will be in so I can legally drive it to the glass shop. I was going to install the old plexi (doesn't look too scratched/bad) but, since I am going to spend $$ getting it installed, I better get new glass as well. Someone mentioned Lexon plexi for replacement, so I will see if they have that at the glass shop.

Here is what some of the wiring and the box looks like under the sink. I need to pull it out of the garage and really get into all the nooks and crannies to see what is there now that it has stopped raining for a few days!

thanks again, off to go challenge the guys/gals at home depot.....no rv places local
~Laurie
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:55 PM   #11
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Since you don't have a window already there... get the plexi from Scamp, it will be the right size and the right thickness to fit the gasket material. I found it was very little more than any place local. Granted I paid shipping, but it really wasn't that much and I knew I was getting what would fit in my trailer. Obviously Lexan would need to come from someplace other than Scamp. Remember, while Lexan is a LOT harder to break than plexiglass, it "yellows" alot faster then plexiglass.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:13 PM   #12
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Yikes, too late to add to the order. (just called and ordered door hinges/inner outer knob, etc.) Can I just clean up my old windows and re install them?

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Old 05-23-2008, 02:49 PM   #13
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If you are going to clean it up and use it and it has scratches, I highly recommend Meguiar's Clear Plastic Cleaner. It works like a charm with very little effort and does a fabulous job.



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Old 05-23-2008, 03:14 PM   #14
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thanks Carol,
I just ordered it and the polish!
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:51 AM   #15
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Laurie . . . You are an inspiration to us all. I am fortunate enough to be able to do just about anything with my hands. There are very few things that I cannot take on. So, I kinda take it for granted. My hat is off to you as you take this project on. Keep up the effort. We are all behind you.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:53 AM   #16
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Laurie,

I just finished replacing my front and rear Scamp windows. You have to have a special tool for installing that is very difficult to find but inexpensive. Some here do it without the tool, but I wouldn't recommend that path. It takes a minimum of two people to get the window in the gasket which takes about 45-minutes to an hour and three shirt changes. I'd rather rassle a Bear.
Then it takes quite a bit of patience and discovery learning how to use the locking tool to install the lockstrip. My first window took four hours and the second one 1.5 hours so you do learn how to do it although it is not a skill I'm that happy I now know.

I'd follow Donna's advice and get the plexi from Scamp. Right size and material for the opening. Only downside was UPS sent my windows on the train which derailed in KS and they burned up, so I had a slight delay.

Bottom line having done the windows I'd recommend that you only tackle them yourself (with help) if you have an extreme stubborn streak and are a glutton for punishment.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:26 AM   #17
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Thanks Pat for the kind words. I really could've used some inspiration over the weekend! A friend and I took everything out, wiring included and I took up the new pergo floor that the prior owner just put in. Luckily I did, because I found two spots of rot where one of the water tanks was (that was already gone when I got it). I specifically asked the guy if the floor was solid and if there were any problems with it and he said no. When I looked at it, it was a muddy mess due to a downpoor, and I didn't look at all points underneath. I know I am too trusting, but wanted to follow a little dream of going camping again anyway?

Well, now I have to rip out the floor, and it looks like the plywood is just screwed right into the frame. I did see one kind of fastener on the fiberglass that connected to the plywood, but it just broke off due to the rot. I'm very afraid of breaking the fiberglass where it is attached to the plywood around the curve of the trailer. Any proper way to do that and not create more damage? Also the plywood looks like it is in 3 sections. Does that sound normal? The other peices look fine (still old though being a 1977), but should I just rip all of it out and start over? I'll attach a pic.

Thanks Greg for your advice on the windows. When I finally get to them I will have them put in. I do seem to be a gluten for punishment; but I am becoming less stubborn!! (or is it less stupid?...we'll decide on that one after I get this project done...hope I'm not too old to enjoy it by then!).
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:24 AM   #18
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Laurie, that looks like it's in a spot that you wouldn't normally find unless you gutted the trailer! Most owners wouldn't know they had floor rot in those areas, and you probably wouldn't have found it without checking under the furniture with the "ice pick" method. The most common area for floor rot is under the entry at the door. Frankly, in a 1977 trailer, assuming there are spots like yours is a safe bet. The only way I wouldn't assume that is if the trailer was a one-owner and either stored inside all it's life or was a desert trailer.

Anyway, yes the floor is in three sections. Unless you're planning on doing a complete frame-off, or there are larger areas than just what you show, I'd suggest just cutting out the bad area and section a new piece in there. There really isn't any reason to do more work than necessary.

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Old 05-27-2008, 09:49 AM   #19
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Hi Roger, the other owner knew about the rot because he gutted it (except for the wiring) and put the pergo flooring in. I bought it from him without it being put back together (just all cabinets put back in not attached.) He had the fiberglass bed peices stacked up in the back, so I couldn't see the corners. Bottom line...he knew it was rotted. Best guess is it became too much for him. That's fine, but he didn't need to lie about it. Someone else would have bought it if not me.

I have been searching the forum for floor replacement how to's and just stumbled on using CPES or Git-rot. Since these areas are relatively small, would that work? Honestly, I really don't think I could handle a total strip off and redo with no help. I'm getting exhausted just researching all this! I would love to do this stuff with someone helping, but by myself, it is so frustrating it makes me get a migraine thinking about it. I really didn't know it would be so much work. he said all it needed was to be put back together.

My thought was to get into the rot with this CPES stuff and then putting a coating underneath, then putting a 1/4 of some kind of wood inside on the existing floor to add strength. I plan on building a frame to make a permanent bed high enough to add some storage underneath. So, at least this area is not going to be walked on. Thought the easier fix may work.

As far as the entry door goes, there are problems there too. I need to add something to strengthen that area and there is a gap between the floor and the closet where it already rotted and the metal rotted as well. Wish it were totally gutted (all fiberglass taken out..closet, stove area, bunks, etc), so I could have seen all these problems before I purchased it. I have learned many lessons with this!! I guess that's what life's all about!

There also is rot where the wood is where the belly band is. Once I took the front bunk out I found that too. The camper looks better than it sounds, I think it still has hope.

Thanks for any thoughts on this. I'm done venting and want to jump in and have some fun personalizing it!
~Laurie

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Old 05-27-2008, 08:55 PM   #20
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just stumbled on using CPES or Git-rot. Since these areas are relatively small, would that work?

My thought was to get into the rot with this CPES stuff and then putting a coating underneath, then putting a 1/4 of some kind of wood inside on the existing floor to add strength.

As far as the entry door goes, there are problems there too. I need to add something to strengthen that area and there is a gap between the floor and the closet where it already rotted and the metal rotted as well. Wish it were totally gutted (all fiberglass taken out..closet, stove area, bunks, etc),


There also is rot where the wood is where the belly band is. Once I took the front bunk out I found that too. The camper looks better than it sounds, I think it still has hope.
Hi Laurie, sound 2 me like you have 3 problems.

Small spot for "Git Rot", the stuff is expensive and from my experience will only fill the volume of the liquid. The soft wood is really spongy, almost empty. So if it is a really small spot it works well. Larger spot, depending on where it is, you can cut out a section, bevel the edges with a router and put a patch in.

For the door entry, people have done a cut and patch. i.e cut out the square to about the edge of the closet and put a new piece in. The lower floor is a lot easier replacement than the ends on some trailers. If it is like mine, the whole thing drops down and sits on a metal lip, held in place with a few screws.

If you are that close to being gutted you might find it easier to remove the last two cabinets and go from there
The wood under the window => I got a piece of 1x4 and shaped it to the curve with a saw and plane. Chiseled out the old one, well it was so soft it was more like scraping. Roughend up the edge where the new wood and the old glass meet, added some FG resin with a bit of glass fibers and clamped it onto the lip. finished it off with a few flat head screws from underneath for good measure.

Roy
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