1978 Beachcomber B15 in Nova Scotia - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-29-2013, 11:57 AM   #1
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1978 Beachcomber B15 in Nova Scotia

Just got home last night with a 1978 Beachcomber B15. Pretty good shape, but needs a few repairs. Sat unused for about 5 years, then was used for a few, then parked again for another year.

Stove works, fridge pilot lights, but wont stay going, furnace is so far a no go.

Will post a few photos here soon. Just have to wander back outside.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:12 PM   #2
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Here are the photos.

Drove home last night in a torrential downpour. So, got to find All the water leaks. Some creative fibreglassing and some interesting caulking are some of the features of this gem. Looks like gutting it will be the next step.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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There is a thread on the site from user squidley, he bought a new axle and describes exactly what you need to order. I would hot link it for you but I am now on my phone, the rain has subsided and it's trailer time. Just search his user name. The fridge venting is super special on these trailers, and I wonder if it came from the factory like this, mine was the same, talk about major leak possibility. Most if your leaks are most likely from the poorly sealed windows. Once removed and re sealed you should be good. I will post pics of my fridge venting fix when I get back inside.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:21 PM   #4
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So... I'm dying to know, have you had a chance to go through your trailer and get a good sence of what it needs?
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:39 AM   #5
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In the process of taking the cabinets out of it now. As soon as it gets warm I'm gonna jack it up and measure/inspect the axle to perhaps order a replacement.

Windows need new seals. Need a new roof vent. The roof is level on the inside but appears to be sagging from the outside, so I expect to replace some supports. It has a new floor in it, however I'll probably just replace that as well. And it smells mildewy, so I suspect all the insulation is bad.

I will strip it down to the supports and reglass what is loose and replace what needs it. Then, start rewiring and reassembling.

Anybody have suggestions on panelling material? Anybody used other insulating materials? I've got a few sheets of foil backed polystyrene here I used on the garage. I think they're 1/2" thick or so. Might work well in the trailer?
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:09 AM   #6
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I think that the polystyrene would work fine, the walls will except 3/4" of insulation, so if you dont mind losing 1/4 inch of insulating value, use what you have. Zero cost, and using something you have lying around is great. As far as paneling, I have heard of people buying straight from escape in chilliwack. you could check your local builders supply to see what is available. The trim I am not sure about, I did not use trim, so i'm not sure where people are buying it.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:04 AM   #7
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If you did not use trim, what did you use? I checked with the local rv dealer and they have vinyl backed ceiling material. I think I may go with that. Add a little more moisture resistance than just the local household panelling.

I've got most of the wall panels out now. Turns out the prev owner took out all the floor supports. So I've got some fibreglassing to do now, as the weAkened floor has now split in a few places. Still easier than an axle replacement in my books. I'll post some pictures soon to show.

Cheers.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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The floor supports are not glassed in, they are just 1x4 layed in flat. Get yourself some aluminum flashing, it can be easily cut with tin snips. Cut some rectangles, these can be stapled through with an air stapler. I just used PL premium in the Chanel's of the floor, layed in the 1x4 then stapled the aluminum rectangles at all the 1x4 joints. Lay your plywood on top of that, screw it to the 1x4 supports, then carriage bolt through both layers to the frame supports below. This will pull the fiberglass floor back into shape. On the walls I also used the PL premium instead of glassing, the repairs I made using PL are far more sturdy than the original glassing, I had made a mistake and tried to remove a PL'd peice of wood, the PL is still there with a thin layer of wood attached. I had to chisel the piece off. I am outside right now, but will post a couple pics of my floor process for you. My trailer is sitting right outside the doors of my metal shop. So the wall panelling I chose to use is not exactly the norm. The entire inside exept for the roof and front wall is 18g aluminum. It's a Fiberglass egg on the outside, and an airstream on the inside.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:07 PM   #9
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here are the pics of the floor process, you will note that I used truss connectors on the ends of the 1x4, not the flashing as I had described. The truss connectors where very hard to hammer into the 1x4 and I switched to the rectangular flashing pieces half way through the job. The flashing was also used on all the walls where two boards touched.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:44 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info. My floor is broke in a few spots, so I'll have to do a little glassing, which should be pretty quick. I see your trailer as well as mine had very similar leaks.

Did you just cut the panelling out around the closet while you worked?
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:02 AM   #11
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Forgot to add the pictures.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:21 PM   #12
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If I was going to replace the belly band, where would I get a new one at?
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:20 PM   #13
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I think that the front and back windows are what cause the most leaks, the radius of the windows does not seem to match the curve of the trailer very well. The outside corners seam to stick out a fair ways, these will need special attention when reinstalling. I doubled up on the butyl in these areas, and still had a gap that I pro flexed. Unless your belly band is is a total wreck I think that re using it is best. I have know idea where a new one would be sourced from, and I bet bending and fitting it up would be difficult, and I come from a strong metal background. The absolute best would be just to permanently glad the belly band, and chuck the old one. This is what I would have done, but I had real trouble trying to line up the front and back seams. The difference in planes from the top to the bottom was beyond my glassing skills. I did get some quotes to glass that area that were more than your trailer cost. I used aluminum etch and a wire brush and my belly band came out looking new. My trailer will be under cover when not getting used, so I think what lasted almost 40 years before, will outlast my use of this trailer.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:40 AM   #14
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My windows seem to seal ok, the factory sealant, however was not even between the fibreglass and the window, it was much too low. The prev owner compensated with a tube and half of caulking around each window. Needless to say, I have some scraping to do.

My biggest leak is the corners of the fibreglass, where the top and bottom half met. the gaps in all 4 corners are big enough for me to put my finger through.

My belly band is in OK shape. it has some "extra" screws in it though. I would like to replace it, if I could find a new one. Do you know if it is possible to buy just the black strip that goes in it. The aluminum part is probably OK, but the inserts have broken out in a few places.
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