It has been awhile since I've updated the progress on the Burro
Rehab. A little recap of where we started...bought the Burro
August 2005 on Ebay. I would have gone several hundred miles (possibly thousands) but got lucky and found this one 100 miles south. Since we didn't know the condition of coupler, wheels, axle
, frame, and wiring, we decided to piggy back it onto a flatbed trailer. This was no easy feat. This is a wide-body Burro
and we had 1/2 inch clearance between wheel wells on both sides, and it took us 3 hours to muscle it up onto the trailer. In retrospect, I would do it again, it was nice to have peace of mind on the highway.
Gutted it out completely as the previous owner had made several large wooden cabinets and structures in the Burro. Very heavy, and mildewy.
Discovered that the floor was 75% rotten. Just beneath the top layer of fiberglass the plywood had been reduced to wood chips. The awning
attachment may have contributed as it was several cup hooks just screwed into the top of the egg. May have been the front window shield that was screwed directly into the egg. But it also appeared that the spray from tires
had worn out the fiberglass and allowed water to enter freely in front and back of the wheel. This baby has many problems but it is so much fun learning how to rehabilitate it.
This is what we have done...Replaced axle
with Dexter 22.5 degree down, with electric brakes
, 5 on 4.5 hubs. Rather than mess with measurements that I may screw up, the local RV place suggested we just send Dexter the old axle
so that they may replicate it. Cost $400.
Changed to 14" wheels for additional height. Bought St205/75R14 "C" rated radials from Belle Tire for $100 a piece with wheels. They will balance them for me once the Burro is on the road.
Completely sandblasted old frame and painted with POR 15 rust preventative that I bought online from the POR15 site. I bought a quart of the POR15 paint
and a quart of the Black Cote (top coat) for $64.00. I just about used the whole quart of POR15 preventative but could have gotten away with a pint of the top coat. As it is only needed on the areas that are exposed to UV rays….bumper and front of frame.
Had a local fiberglass place take 4 sheets of exterior grade plywood, and coat both sides with 3 layers of fiberglass. They also sprayed black gel coat on the bottom to waterproof the underside.
I cut out what was left of the old floor. Made a pattern of the perimeter of egg out of large pieces of cardboard, placed it on the complete rectangle of fiberglassed, sandwiched plywood and started cutting. At this point the egg was suspended by 4 x 6 posts in our pole barn that had two 2 x 8 cross members. We could slide the flooring under the egg to check for proper fit, then trim, check for fit, and make minor adjustments. Then strapped the floor to the egg for fiberglass pros to finish glassing underside of flooring and inside edges of flooring to the shell.
We then dropped the egg onto the frame and strapped it to the frame.
Just had the neighbor weld on a new coupler, rated for 5000 lbs., $30 at Tractor Trailer Supply. Weld on a single step with bracket $15 at Tom’s Borderline Bargains (RV surplus south of Kalamazoo), and two lightweight stabilizers at rear ($15 ea at Bontrager’s RV Surplus…south of Kzoo.)
Pictures of new flooring on freshly painted frame and new axle/wheel assembly.