Burro and U-Haul people: has anybody glassed-in overhead storage? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-25-2011, 06:38 AM   #1
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Burro and U-Haul people: has anybody glassed-in overhead storage?

I've decided I REALLY REALLY need some additional shelving in the 13' Burro. Thinking about a u-shaped kind of thing that would go in over the rear dinette/bed area.

And then I thought, wouldn't it be neat if we could make this shelf out of fiberglass and sort of sculpt it into the interior mold? Has anybody done any creative storage-building with bondo and what have you? Is this even possible?
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:48 PM   #2
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Hi Jen:

Have found that a few cleats and ledgers in my Burro were "glued" in with body filler. It's thickened polyester resin so it has some affinity for a surface of cured glass. However, "bondo" really has its place in 1) patching and bridging/fairing damaged surfaces and 2) building up surface features such as fillets and radii in glass tooling (plug or original positive) on which a mould or negative is laid up. I don't believe the idea that you can incorporate bondo into a composite, weight-bearing structure which is subject to flexing and cracking under load is a very good one except where absolutely necessary (autobody repair and its boat and trailer equivalent) Better to find a light-weight sheet material, allow it to contrast with that inner hull, and make it a bolt-on imo.

jack

PS: What I meant to say is you won't catch me grinding away gelcoat and tabbing on a sheet of glass or plywood or just about anything and I'm not even faintly interested in considering white lightening as modeling clay. YIMV.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit View Post
Hi Jen:

Have found that a few cleats and ledgers in my Burro were "glued" in with body filler. It's thickened polyester resin so it has some affinity for a surface of cured glass. However, "bondo" really has its place in 1) patching and bridging/fairing damaged surfaces and 2) building up surface features such as fillets and radii in glass tooling (plug or original positive) on which a mould or negative is laid up. I don't believe the idea that you can incorporate bondo into a composite, weight-bearing structure which is subject to flexing and cracking under load is a very good one except where absolutely necessary (autobody repair and its boat and trailer equivalent) Better to find a light-weight sheet material, allow it to contrast with that inner hull, and make it a bolt-on imo.

jack

PS: What I meant to say is you won't catch me grinding away gelcoat and tabbing on a sheet of glass or plywood or just about anything and I'm not even faintly interested in considering white lightening as modeling clay. YIMV.
I added a wire shelf to our VT and used the removable hangers to support. wire tied the hook to the wire. Only have 1 short trip on it . if it doesn't hold am contemplating drilling holes inserting automotive nylon screw receptacles and nylon wire holders around the metal wires on the shelf.
picts. attached

Mike
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:36 PM   #4
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Thanks both! The idea of attaching something separately to the inner hull is making more and more sense. This will be a fun engineering project, certainly. I also want to make an L shaped overhead shelf for above the front dinette.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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Jen, you can mount shelving to the inside using pop rivets. You just need to buy the short rivets and make sure not to drill through the outer shell. Thats how all of the curtain rods are mounted next to the windows. There is about 3/4"-1" space between the inner and outer shell. That is how I mounted my back splash in my burro-stream and it worked out perfectly. A lot easier than molding fiberglass or bondo. You could attach some sort of brackets to the inner shell with the pop rivets, then mount any type of cabinet or shelf that you desire. Similar to what Scamp and Casita do, but on the Burro, the rivets will be hidden behind the inner and outer shell.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:27 PM   #6
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Jen,

We screwed hooks into the bottom of our side shelves and hung a kind of hammock from each side built-in shelf on our VT. It serves as pj and other clothing storage when we are camping. It also serves to keep our sliding doors closed by hooking bungie cord from the doors to the hooks, but I don't remember if our Burro needed that particular fix.

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Old 09-25-2011, 08:31 PM   #7
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If you go to the documents section and look at the suggestions made in the original Burro manual for adding shelves, you will see the way they suggest hanging a fiberglass shelf by glassing it in. I'm currently looking for one of the old fiberglass shower pans that somebody suggested in another thread would make good shelving material.

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Old 09-26-2011, 04:56 PM   #8
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Frog is correct that fabmat tabs might be the way to go if attaching a scribed shelf to the area (of exposed outer hull)between the inner liner halves. Certainly wouldn't want mending plates and angle brackets bolted thru the outer skin. I suppose you could pull out the tasteful peckerwood-grain hardboard from the hanging locker and get down and itchy/messy by tabbing shelves in there. I'd prefer to glue in shelf supports but what do I know aside from sometimes it's also helpful if things are easily reversible/removable and 5 yrs. bonding bulkheads in glass ocean cruisers with the heaviest woven roving you'll ever see. Even some bitty strips of mat and a burp cup of resin and paintbrush is still messy and sucking styrene really isn't that great.

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Old 09-26-2011, 11:34 PM   #9
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Glassing something in, can be done. I would not call it easy. Mikes idea makes more sense.

To glass it in, you need to grind/sand away any surface paint or gelcoat--probably no gelcoat inside. Wipe with solvent, let dry and then using wet fiberglass tape glass it in. I use West Systems Epoxy. To make glue I mix the epoxy with 403 filler--so if you want to glue in a premade shelf that woukd be a start. I use 410 filler to make fillets. And of the lighter fillers from 405 which is silicon dioxide on up can be used to make a smooth radius. Then you can applied the fiberglass tape over that.

So you get the idea. It is a long job, an hour a day, and a day to dry between each small step.

Far easier to attach a wire shelf.

A fiberglass shelf wouod strenghten the shell some, and if done well would enhance the look of your Burro.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:35 PM   #10
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Forgot to say, it is messy and woukd require lots of plastic, disposable gloves, etc...
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:07 AM   #11
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I have the same type of wire shelf at the back, like pictured above, it is held in place by screws with the plastic adapters. It holds a considerable amount of weight and it great storage. I'd love to figure out another place to put more. Mine was installed by the previous owner.
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