Baja Burrito Resto Mod - Page 9 - Fiberglass RV



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Old 07-31-2018, 02:30 PM   #113
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Name: catherine
Trailer: Burro
Florida
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Following cause I'll need to do this soon.... hoping someone can repair my frame instead of building a new one but the back and front are pretty rusty��
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:46 PM   #114
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Name: Cory
Trailer: Burro
Tennessee
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If you think you have leaking windows, you may consider this ...

I did a garden hose test on my camper, and it appears I fixed the leaks. I feel so relieved. I will need a good rain test to be 100% sure, but I thought I would comment on what I found.

I was convinced the windows I rebuilt were leaking. I even took them out and resealed them again and they still leaked. Come to find out, there were numerous pits in the fiberglass shell, mostly on top. I thought they were just cosmetic pits/defects. Most were the size of pencil lead tip. I put bondo-glass on all the holes, sanded and touched up with some spray paint. I then sealed the entire camper in wax ( I will comment on this in another post).

If you are having leaks you cannot get rid of, you may want to look at this. It looked just like the window was leaking as the water was running down the inner shell and then along the window. All I saw was water at the bottom of all my window frames. I finally figured it out when I noticed a really small leak in the cabinet above the sink. I knew the new vent was sealed good, and there were no windows above it. That's when the light bulb finally went off.
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:37 PM   #115
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Name: Cory
Trailer: Burro
Tennessee
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Burro Waxing

I've seen several posts on how to wax fiberglass campers here on the site. Not sure how it is going to work long term, but I really like the way it turned out now. It did not cost much to do, or take that long.

I just cleaned with bartenders friend and then added 6 coats of Zep wax (approx. 1/2 gal). Actually I did one coat and my wife did the rest for me while I was at work - I think she is a keeper. We just used a rag to apply.

I may strip the camper back down and clear coat or repaint later. I did not have the heart to remove/paint over the original decals. It kinda has that sweaty/retro look that is popular now. The camper has already been repainted once. I have numerous touch ups with a can of spray paint, but the wax really helped blend these patches in. It also had some really dull/flat areas where I think it was down to the original fiberglass. Again, the wax really helped this to. The finish is not perfect, but looks good from 10 ft away.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:39 PM   #116
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
California
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Originally Posted by Scoboatn View Post
I just cleaned with bartenders friend and then added 6 coats of Zep wax (approx. 1/2 gal). We just used a rag to apply.

Cory, have to ask, what type of rag are you using? I use a white microfiber cloth that I wring out to just over damp. Leaves a nice coat with no runs to worry about. 5 coats on my SD17 takes less than a quart of Zep for a great shine.
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Old 08-31-2018, 05:09 AM   #117
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Zep Wax

We used an old white cotton t-shirt. It was cut in about 1 quarter. We folded it over several times so that it made a pad about the width of your hand. That seemed to work pretty good. I'd say a micro-cloth would work better. I think a sponge would work also (it is really just floor wax). Mine would look really nice if I took an orbital buffer and buffed it out.

We probably could have gotten by with less wax, but we put it on extra thick as we were trying to address some of the leaking issues. Some wax in the bowls got dirty and was thrown out between coats also.
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:08 PM   #118
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Name: Cory
Trailer: Burro
Tennessee
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Maiden Voyage

1982 Burro we purchased in 2012. Did not get started on the resto until Fall 2016. Meant to take in out on our 2017 Yellowstone Trip, but I had some leak issues I could not get taken care of. Finally got around to fixing the leaks and finishing up a few other things this Fall. It is about 95% complete, but 100% usable now. We took it out to Carolina Hemlocks for our first trip. Really nice to get to use it after all this time and work. Dream come true for me. Everything worked just fine.
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:47 PM   #119
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Name: Gabrielle
Trailer: Burro
Texas
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Starboard for the floor???

First of all, this is coming from Jeff, Gabrielle's less attractive but more handy better half. She put me onto this thread since the Burro she brought home last weekend is going to need a new floor. It's going to need a lot things, but the floor will be the first project i'll have to tackle. Thanks for the details here, as it will help quite a bit as I get ready to do this, probably in the evenings throughout this week.

One thing i've noticed on ours is that there is damage at all four corners where the frame meets the outer shell. Just some glass work that i'll have to tackle, but that's part of life I guess.

Anyway, to the point of my post, I was wondering if there was any reason not to use marine King Starboard (think a 4'x8' cutting board) for floor material. I can get it in multiple sizes and thicknesses, but was wondering if there was a reason NOT to use it in stead of plywood in this application. It's not really that much more expensive than marine grade plywood, but will definitely not rot. One small catch is that it's not as rigid as plywood of the same thickness. I'm thinking the cross bars are close enough that this won't be that big of an issue, and I could always add additional cross bar supports to the frame if the floor does tend to sag a bit.

One more thought, question: Once I replace the floor, i'd like to be able to easily pull the shell again in the future. from what I can tell, the only thing holding the shell to the frame is the floor, but if I screw through the floor into the frame, then put floor covering over that (tile, linoleum, etc), i'm concerned i'd have to remove the floor covering in order to pull the screws. Any thoughts on getting around this? is there enough area under the seats and cabinets to put all of the connection points there, an not in the main floor area? I'm just trying to plan ahead. I know I don't want to get into a frame reno now as it's in OK shape, but probably will sometime in the future.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:26 PM   #120
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Marine King Starboard

I've never used starboard, so I can't say much about it. I'm sure someone else in the forum has and will have some good comments for you. I like the no rot idea. The only thing that comes to mind, is that I think the stiffer the floor, the better. The factory frames are pretty weak/thin tube. Any flexing can cause metal fatigue. The floor really provides the needed stiffness.

As far as the anchor points, I think you want a fair number and evenly spaced to help prevent frame flex. I would want more than just under the seat cabinets. There is not much flooring in these. It would be pretty easy to just pull the old floor and put in a new one when you pull the shell. You could use a floating floor with built in pad? You could easily snap it out and gain access to your screws, then it could be reused when you are done?

Good luck.
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:51 PM   #121
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Name: Tony
Trailer: Trillium & Burro
Washington
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Without digging too deep into the King Starboard specifics - how rigid is it and how would the bonding between the fiberglass shell & plastic work? The shell to floor bond would be key as thatís the only connection to secure it all together and keep it on the frame.

I looked at Coosa as an option but after talking with a local yacht repair facility, I went with their recommendation and picked up a couple sheets of 1/2Ē hydrotek BS-1088 marine grade plywood. Itís much more rigid than the coosa, much higher quality than the old rotted plywood I removed and Iíll be much more meticulous with the epoxy/fiberglass encapsulation and installation.

I figure if the old floor made it 36 years, the new one will outlast that (& probably me). Now just have to get back to it...
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:49 AM   #122
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Floor Repair - Attaching the floor to the shell

When the Burros were originally made, the floor was not bonded to the fiberglass shell, just more or less encapsulated by the shell. The floor is the only thing that holds the shell to the frame.

In your renno, a lot depends on how you cut the floor out. I chose to cut the upper inner shell lip off, install the floor then bond the floor to the shell again by pouring fiberglass resin in the crack between the shell and the floor (similar to what Toeknee alludes to). Some people keep the upper and lower lip and stuff the flooring in between the two lips. If the fit is tight, I'm not sure you would have to bond the two, but I would figure out a way to do so if it were mine.

There is no real right or wrong way. That is part of the fun. However I think Toeknee's choice of materials and method is pretty fool proof and a good way to go.
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Old 09-06-2018, 05:11 AM   #123
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Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Cory,
You've done a great job on your camper! Congratulations, on the camping trip and "putting it into play". Really sharp picture, with the sun through the trees behind it.
Gary
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Old 09-06-2018, 05:44 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by gablee88 View Post
First of all, this is coming from Jeff, Gabrielle's less attractive but more handy better half. She put me onto this thread since the Burro she brought home last weekend is going to need a new floor. It's going to need a lot things, but the floor will be the first project i'll have to tackle. Thanks for the details here, as it will help quite a bit as I get ready to do this, probably in the evenings throughout this week.

One thing i've noticed on ours is that there is damage at all four corners where the frame meets the outer shell. Just some glass work that i'll have to tackle, but that's part of life I guess.

Anyway, to the point of my post, I was wondering if there was any reason not to use marine King Starboard (think a 4'x8' cutting board) for floor material. I can get it in multiple sizes and thicknesses, but was wondering if there was a reason NOT to use it in stead of plywood in this application. It's not really that much more expensive than marine grade plywood, but will definitely not rot. One small catch is that it's not as rigid as plywood of the same thickness. I'm thinking the cross bars are close enough that this won't be that big of an issue, and I could always add additional cross bar supports to the frame if the floor does tend to sag a bit.

One more thought, question: Once I replace the floor, i'd like to be able to easily pull the shell again in the future. from what I can tell, the only thing holding the shell to the frame is the floor, but if I screw through the floor into the frame, then put floor covering over that (tile, linoleum, etc), i'm concerned i'd have to remove the floor covering in order to pull the screws. Any thoughts on getting around this? is there enough area under the seats and cabinets to put all of the connection points there, an not in the main floor area? I'm just trying to plan ahead. I know I don't want to get into a frame reno now as it's in OK shape, but probably will sometime in the future.

Cheers,
Jeff
Starboard has its uses but as you realized it does need good structural support. When it gets hot it will become less ridged and can deform and stay bent after cooling down. Not too surprising, it is a somewhat soft plastic. Same stuff they use for cutting boards. Strong, but not so hard that it destroys the edges on good knives. So overall it is not a good substitute for plywood. Good stuff for making swim platforms off the stern of power boats! That is its primary use in my marine neighborhood. That and countertops for fish cleaning stations.

As to the floor covering. You could use a loose lay vinyl. That material is a higher quality flooring that typically has fiberglass in the backing layer. It is held in place with double sided tape but only around the perimeter edges. This makes it much easier to remove if needed. Being a premium vinyl flooring it typically has a thicker wear layer coating on the upper surface versus the glue down vinyl flooring. Go to one of the big flooring stores, you might get a good deal on a remnant piece.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:06 PM   #125
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '82 Burro 13'
Northern VA
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Cory,

Really appreciate this thread and the details of your work. The Burro I got will need a lot of the same work you put into yours. Floor being a big one. Looks like I'll have to pull the shell off the frame. Going to be a challenge as I have no space to work on it at home. It sits now at a storage place, covered for now for winter. When I do get to working on it, it'll be pretty limited too.

I know the frame needs wire brushed and repainted, at least. From what I can tell while looking under it, it doesn't seem TOO bad, but a better evaluation will come when it's out in daylight. I was already thinking to brace the interior and it looks like it worked out well for you. I'll have plenty of holes to patch up anyway. Since I bought the trailer, I've mainly just removed a bunch of stuff that will need replaced anyway or what I didn't need. WIll end up doing a full rewire while I'm at it.

Thanks for sharing your work. It'll help me out along the way.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:01 PM   #126
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Name: Billy Sharpstick
Trailer: Scamp 13 - 2005
Florida
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Floor material

I redid my Burro floor a while back. I considered marine or exterior plywood, but ended up using Advantec with vinyl plank on top. Advantec is a subfloor material that looks like chipboard but is cured with a completely waterproof resin of some sort. Totally waterproof.
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