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Old 12-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #1
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Name: Jim
Trailer: 1998 14" Burro WB
Illinois
Posts: 34
1998 Wide Body Burro ground up rebuild

I have been lurking here for quite some time. I have wanted to find a fiberglass camper for nearly a year. I recently found a 1998 Wide Body Burro in need of major work. I have done car restores, in the past, and figure this couldn't be any worse. It has a bad floor, frame is cracked in at least 2 places. One of the PO tried to fix the floor and did a really bad job. I don't know much about the burro and will be looking for answers here.
I live in Northern Illinois.Any other Burro owners in the area is welcome to come look. I plan to make some mods. Moving the water tank inside, add a water pump, add a furnace, among a others. I will post here as I progress. I have followed others in their rebuild and really enjoyed reading the posts.
I have the body ready to come off the frame. My problem is, it going into winter and I need to find a place to do the work inside. I am going to try and get it in my garage this weekend but I am not sure it will fit through a 7 ft door, off the frame. Here is a picture of what I am starting with. I think it will be fun.
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Burro (Medium).jpg  
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:20 PM   #2
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Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Delaware
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Sweet! Progress reports are always welcome. We love photos of the problem, the solution, before, after and in between. I know acting as your own documentarist takes time from the project but worth it when we applaud the result.

jack
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:47 AM   #3
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetalkington View Post
....I will post here as I progress. I have followed others in their rebuild and really enjoyed reading the posts.
Hi Jim, welcome to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here

As you see I posted some of your thread. I too enjoy reading/seeing others rebuilds and will follow along on yours

Just a reminder about putting something in the garage while you're working on it.... what goes in.... has to come out. Watch for any height change during the rebuild!
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:56 AM   #4
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Hi Jim and welcome to the forum. Here's a current thread addressing the same issue. Raz

trailer too tall to get in garage
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:49 AM   #5
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Name: Jim
Trailer: 1998 14" Burro WB
Illinois
Posts: 34
Thanks for the replies. I will likely use that method when I get it back on the frame and need to work on it inside. I like the dollys. I plan to take it off the frame in the drive way and use furniture rollers to get it through the door. If my measurements are right I have a few inches to spare. Once I get it through the door the room is 8 feet. That should give me enough room to lift it and work on the floor.

I took it to a manual car wash and isolated the leaks to: all the window frames, a hole in the seam below the rear window, and the worst culprit the spare tie holder had broken out of the rear wall and was leaking badly. Is that rack always bolted to the rear of the shell? Seems to me it should be on the rear bumper. How do others attach theirs?

The windows are all in using putty. I am ordering some butyl tape to redo them with.

Here are some pictures of the floor, after the car wash. You can see where it has gotten wet.
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Rear Floor (Small).jpg   Front Floor (Small).jpg  

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Old 01-01-2013, 07:02 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1999 Burro
Kansas
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Exclamation Me Too, Jim.

Greetings to all from another new member also up to his neck in a frame off rebuild of a 1999 Burro. Main issue is the floor of course. Not all rotten floors are due to leaks. Mine, it turns out was rotten when it was originally installed! I've found @20 sheetrock screws driven through the floor in random spots, but covered by the glass matting. They poked through the underside and each was covered by a dab of caulk. The original owner only owned the camper for a couple of weeks before trading it in. Seems the factory tried to hold an already de-laminating floor together with those screws until it was glassed. I've had it since July 1999. Each year the floor has grown softer and I've kept it in an out building as long as I haven't been out on the road.

What's more (and this is really a hoot!) my floor grows mushrooms! They periodically pop out of the holes pierced through the floor to accomadate the plumbing. They are tennacious critters as they push aside the silicone caulk that plugs the hole. Will try and send Pic.

Current status is the Burro is off the frame and blocked up. Appliances and plumbing is out and I'm ready to attack this rotten floor. I have left the air conditioner on the roof, the windows in place, the awning on, and the converter in. Wires are taped up out of the way. Any of you floor replacers think I need to remove any of these too? Also I plan to use (very fresh) marine plywood for a new floor glassed both sides and edges and glass seamed to each other. I am always open to any suggestions, especially from those with experience.
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setting up .jpg   There's a fungus among us.jpg  

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Old 01-01-2013, 07:42 PM   #7
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Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Delaware
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Well, I never! Those scallywags at Escondido Burro sure knew how to screw up/down those floors.

jack
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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Name: Charlie
Trailer: '83 Burro
Virginia
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CraigS, I have a first generation (1983) that I bought from ShaneO a year and a half ago. He had just completed doing what you are doing now. He posted several pictures and descriptions about his progress, so perhaps you would want to look at them in the archives.

One great idea he had was to seal the plywood top, bottom and edges with one of the heavily textured black bed liner products. When he put it back into the fiberglass he sealed everything with the same product as well as some other things he added on, and I honestly believe the thing would float if I sealed the door!

Froggie

PS Here's the URL for one of the threads posted about his progress on it;

1983 13 Foot Burro
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:59 PM   #9
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New Jersey
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Hello and Welcome!

Im lookin forward to seeing the pictures. Craig since you've owned yours for a while, I see the trunk on the back of your Burro and Im curious what you keep in it and how it effects your tongue weight?

I just got a ParkLiner on friday and I have a 2" receiver and was contemplateing doing something similar and keeping a few sling chairs, water hose, blocks etc in it but dont want to lighten the tongue too much.

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetalkington View Post
I recently found a 1998 Wide Body Burro...
I really like the styling of the Burro, with a wide body like yours being my first choice when I was shopping for a fiberglass trailer back in 2011.
I concluded that they must be as rare as hen's teeth because not a one came up on the market back then - at least not that I was able to find.

So, congrats! It sounds like you have your work cut out for you.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:47 AM   #11
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S-N-J, I don't think the company ever got beyond the shoestring stage of financing, and I don't think they ever got into what you would call mass production either, so with the normal attrition rate of campers figured in as well, it's not surprising you wouldn't see that many. The older (pre-1985) vintage campers came from happier and more prosperous times, so there are more of them. From what I have seen, these also were more predictably built to higher (or at least more consistent) standards. That doesn't help you find a "wide body" though, I'm sorry to say.

Froggie
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:12 PM   #12
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Name: Jim
Trailer: 1998 14" Burro WB
Illinois
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Sorry I haven't been out to do an update. With the holidays and my business change over to winter season, and working on my Burro I really haven't had time.

After finding out where the leaks were I gutted the inside. I took out all wiring, appliances, power center, and cabinet doors. I plan to totally rewire the Burro as the last job was a mess. One of the PO punched holes in the floor for every trailer light. Meaning I had 6 half inch holes in the floor for trailer wiring. My plan is to have 2 holes in the floor, 1 for wiring, and 1 for gas. Here are some of the pictures of the gutted interior.
I spent a few days going through everything and planning. I had to rent a storage garage to do the work because I only have room to work on the frame at my house.
I have it off the frame and on jack stands while I work on the frame. One thing that worked in my favor is the shell had been taken off the frame in the not too distant past so the screws weren't rusted out and they came out pretty easy.

Interior pictures:


I am downloading my frame pictures and will post them next.
Attached Thumbnails
_98Y1628 (Small).jpg   _98Y1629 (Small).jpg  

_98Y1630 (Small).jpg   _98Y1631 (Small).jpg  

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Old 01-02-2013, 05:27 PM   #13
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Name: Jim
Trailer: 1998 14" Burro WB
Illinois
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My poor Burro

I got the shell off the frame and I was surprised I got it home in one piece. I suspect the only thing keeping the frame together was the floor.

It looks like the poor Burro has been jack knifed as the first foot of the front "A" has been replace. The is a 6 inch split in the underside of the front frame. The rear of the frame has had plates welded on as it appears just behind the left tire is a buckle. Finally both of the front bends, where the A joins the main frame are broken in half, even though they had plates on the inside and out. I had to the rear half of the frame to the front with some ratchet straps to get it home. Here are some picts of the frame. I have restored cars and there are always issue hard to see when you first pick it up. This looks bad but it is nothing that can't be fixed.
Attached Thumbnails
2012-12-11_10-55-39_137.jpg   2012-12-11_10-54-45_694.jpg  

2012-12-11_10-59-25_765 (Small).jpg   2012-12-11_10-56-10_538 (Small).jpg  

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Old 01-02-2013, 05:47 PM   #14
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Name: Jim
Trailer: 1998 14" Burro WB
Illinois
Posts: 34
Off to the weld shop.

I have the steel cut for the rebuild of the frame and the layout of the repairs. There is a post in the forums that describes a support for the door and I will be incorporating that in my rebuild. Thanks Andy B. My door frame is cracked across the bottom of the door and the additional support should help.
I forgot to mention that the 2" hitch receiver had cracked the angle iron cross member it was attached to so I will be adding support for that. That is important for us as we ride bikes and our carrier will fit here.

Here are some pics of it going to the weld shop. I have removed all the paint I need to to have it welded. I have designed a major change to front of the frame using tube as opposed to angle and plate. Tube supplies better torsional strength. I think that has been causing some problems on this trailer. I am also adding two additional stabilizers the front frame near the door. I think the fact that there is no support between the front single stabilizer and the tires allows a lot of flexing where those broken bends are. I think they will make the trailer much more stable when parked.

You can see the straps and clamps I had to use to get it to the shop. Fortunately it was only 2 miles from my house. I will be working on the shell while it is at the shop. He said he will have it done in about 6 hours. Good news to me as he charges by the hour.

I will post some pictures when I get it back.
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2012-12-18_12-23-57_819 (Small).jpg  
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