1998 Casita 16' Spirit Restoration - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-08-2019, 12:50 PM   #1
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Name: Julian
Trailer: 1998 Casita 16í Spirit
Nevada
Posts: 44
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1998 Casita 16' Spirit Restoration

Last October I purchased this RV used. Superficially, it looked good, but, like so often happens, looking beneath the surface revealed a lot of problems.



The water heater was MIA, the range top roached. The fridge had been replaced with a 120 VAC dormitory model, which does me no good as I am usually boondocking. The battery was dead and much of the internal plumbing had been removed or was so badly deteriorated, it needed to be replaced.



I replaced the dead wet-cell battery with and AGM, which required an new 3 stage charger. It was cheaper to replace the whole electrical panel than just the charger. I then added a solar charger and panels (movable). I also added a number of 12 volt outlets, a USB charger and replaced all the incandescent bulbs with LED's. Running lights too!


I installed a tankless hot water heater (propane and DC) and repaired/replaced a good bit of the plumbing. Next, I removed the fridge and found a Coleman Extreme ice chest that fits in the space and has room for 2 shelves to be installed above it, which I use for food storage, etc.


The kitchen drawer was falling apart so I replaced it and increased the width to 12". I also added a second narrow 4" wide drawer in the corner to store knives, etc. I used scraps of the wood grain printed pressed board for the new drawer fronts.


I added carpeting to the new storage area where the refrigerator was, replaced carpeting in one cabinet and under the kitchen console that was so dirty it could not be cleaned.



I removed the rusted out range vent hood (the fan bearings were shot!) and replaced it with one I made using a couple of 12v computer fans. I also added an LED strip light over the range. Finally,I added a shelf under the kitchen console and a folding shelf.


Over all, I spent over 9 months on this project, but I have had the camper out twice. The first time a couple months ago, where we found some leaks in the dump manifold and replaced that and more under the kitchen sink, which was also repaired. Last weekend I took it to the Julian StarFest, an amateur astronomy festival in Julian, CA where everything worked great. I even used my "swamp cooler" in a 5 gallon bucket while I took a nap in the 90+ degree afternoon heat! It worked, but I am currently working on a more powerful version. I have attached several pics. Enjoy!
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:41 AM   #2
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2017 Escape 17B
SW Virginia
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Nice work and interesting choices.

Walt
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Past owner of 1995 13' Casita, 1994 16' Casita, 2012 Parkliner, 2002 17' Bigfoot.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:36 PM   #3
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Name: habberdabber
Trailer: Casita
Wisconsin
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Nice work

Bravo on your restoration. I bought a '96 16' LD 10 years ago, spent some time fixing, but I have enjoyed the process. My one suggestion is to consider a propane refrig. My 23 year old one works fine, but it is really small and I too travel with a large well insulated Igloo...but keep it in the van. If you have access to ice, no issue then.


These old fiberglass rigs just hold up reasonably well....depending on the care of the owner, of course.


bon voyage,
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Old 08-11-2019, 08:31 PM   #4
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Name: Julian
Trailer: 1998 Casita 16í Spirit
Nevada
Posts: 44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Haberski View Post
Bravo on your restoration. I bought a '96 16' LD 10 years ago, spent some time fixing, but I have enjoyed the process. My one suggestion is to consider a propane refrig. My 23 year old one works fine, but it is really small and I too travel with a large well insulated Igloo...but keep it in the van. If you have access to ice, no issue then.

These old fiberglass rigs just hold up reasonably well....depending on the care of the owner, of course.


bon voyage,
Thanks for the cudos! I considered putting in a propane/AC/DC fridge, but understand they can be temperamental, especially when not level. I camp with the local astronomy club usually in a field somewhere and rarely in a campground. In short, it is rarely level. Also, my cooler will hold ice for 3 to 4 days, we are usually not gone for longer than that and every gas station sells ice. I current have the 55 qt. Coleman Xtreme, but I am looking at the 50 qt. Igloo as it would fit better in that space. Maybe as I learn more or my needs change, I may reconsider the propane fridge.

The next project is to replace the floor and add an awning. Iíll do that this winter.

Thanks again for the advice.
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