Burro seam up the middle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-12-2016, 09:46 AM   #1
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1978 Burro
Michigan
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Burro seam up the middle

Well here goes nothing. I was working on my Burro the other day and pulled off the molding at the front of my trailer to find there was no fiberglass resin in the crack between the two halves of the trailer. I had some left over resin from coating the entire center part of the ceiling and thought I may put some in the crack. After putting what I had left I got to thinking why couldn't I just trim the seam lips, apply cloth and resin and smooth out the entire seam? Of course I'd do it in partial steps so I don't perform a Humpty Dumpty.

By the looks of it to me is there is no structural need to have the open seam. The factory has applied cloth and resin inside to hold the two halves together. If I was to ad cloth and resin to the outside after trimming the lips off I can't see how this would compromise the structural integrity of the cabin. In fact I think it may help strengthen the shell.

Of course I know what an assumption can do if you don't have enough information at hand. I have an electrical background and that ain't going to help much in this situation.

Has anyone done this to their trailer?
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:42 AM   #2
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Name: bob
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Someone did it to either a Burro or a Uhaul. I would not as I believe the ridge provides some structural support. I'm also sure there is some fiberglass resin in there but maybe not full to where you can see it. Our Uhaul did have a couple leaks through the seam and I sealed it with ProFlex. When we decided we wanted a camper with no seam over the roof we bought a Casita. Well that wasn't the real reason, but did eliminate that problematic seam.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:17 AM   #3
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The lap joint provided by the standing seam provides a lot of strength - both in resistance to flex and in the ultimate strength in the joint - lots stronger than a butt joint which you are proposing. I'd just seal it with Proflex as suggested and apply a new cover strip over the joint. I'm a former U-Haul owner so I know exactly what you are thinking and I wouldn't do it.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:56 AM   #4
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Duane,
I may be getting off-track a little here. BUT, if one of the reasons to consider removing the standing seam with TrimLock over it is for appearance reasons, then here's a proposal:
I've had to do a bunch of repair work on my U-Haul, which I think has the same kind of seam as your Burro. And I don't care for the look of the TrimLock. When I get to the point where I'd be considering buying new TrimLock, I figure [1] remove the old material, and then clean the heck out of the standing seam... [2] buy plastic U-channel, instead of TrimLock, and scuff the inside of it with ScotchBrite pads, and wipe with alchohol... [3] partially fill the channel with polyurethane windshield adhesive, and press it in place, holding it down with masking tape for several hrs while the polyurethane cures... and [4] clean up the squeeze-out after it's cured [having put masking tape down parallel to the seam earlier, for the squeeze-out to sit on]
My expectation is to have a permanent water-tight seal, with a tidier appearance. Downside?---not readily reversible.
For what it's worth.............
Gary
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:01 PM   #5
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Jen removed the vehicle seam on Rucio, her Burro, back in 2012. Perhaps she'll chime in and let us know if it's problematic or caused any issues since. Rucio's Winter Makeover
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:29 PM   #6
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
Ontario
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I've removed the seam on my burro with great results , not because I wanted to but because a tree had fallen on the roof and I had to do a lot of fg work on it anyways. I'm happy I did it and after four years it has remained watertight and no signs of cracking or coming apart. The Mohawk ridge on the burro does not provide any strength and you will not weaken the structure as there is already fiberglass on the inside. If you are planning on painting the trailer I would defenetly go for it. If I were to do it again I would use a new product put out by cgc and available at lowes Canada which is a roll of fg tape and I'm not talking about the mesh fg tape but a new product that is a thin fg mat tape which is inexpensive and I think it would be perfect for that job. I also think it would work good for any one considering removing the belly band on a trillium.
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:19 PM   #7
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuaneQ View Post
Well here goes nothing. I was working on my Burro the other day and pulled off the molding at the front of my trailer to find there was no fiberglass resin in the crack between the two halves of the trailer. I had some left over resin from coating the entire center part of the ceiling and thought I may put some in the crack. After putting what I had left I got to thinking why couldn't I just trim the seam lips, apply cloth and resin and smooth out the entire seam? Of course I'd do it in partial steps so I don't perform a Humpty Dumpty.

By the looks of it to me is there is no structural need to have the open seam. The factory has applied cloth and resin inside to hold the two halves together. If I was to ad cloth and resin to the outside after trimming the lips off I can't see how this would compromise the structural integrity of the cabin. In fact I think it may help strengthen the shell.

Of course I know what an assumption can do if you don't have enough information at hand. I have an electrical background and that ain't going to help much in this situation.

Has anyone done this to their trailer?
Not sure we're you are located in michagan Duane but I am right near Detroit and you would be welcome to check out my burro anytime
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:10 PM   #8
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trailswest Campster
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The ridge on the shell is made of of two "flanges". Flanges do provide structural strength.

But the question is not if they provide strength...that is a given that they do, the real question is does the shell actually require that extra strength for support of the shell? Or were they simply a convenient way to pull the two halves together and also have that join ridged while they worked instead of trying to deal with a floppy shell edge?

Why would they leave them and not trim them off and smoothy glass over the outside of the seam? That answer is pretty obvious to me, there was a lot of labor expense and material saved by not doing so. It takes a lot of time to fair out a surface and it takes a fair amount of cloth and resin too. Plus then you don't have any gel coat over the area when you are done. So why would they go in that direction if they did not need to do so in order to sell the units?

If it really bugs you to have them remove them and add extra glass and resin over the area. If they don't bug you leave it be. I don't think there is a right or wrong here, it was simply an efficient method they used for speeding up production and keeping cost down.

When you ask why did they do something that way in manufacturing the answer often contains savings of labor and materials.
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Old 08-13-2016, 09:28 AM   #9
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some of the wide bodies actually came from the factory without the flange and they had a smooth surface at the joint. I worked on one a couple years ago, and have sen pics of others on here....somewhere. It looked nice. The interior part of the seam looked exactly like other burros.

I suspect labor costs and production speed had way more to do with it rather than structure. Perhaps it was the earlier wide bodies they did this with and then abandoned the process.
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Old 08-13-2016, 10:52 AM   #10
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina D. View Post
some of the wide bodies actually came from the factory without the flange and they had a smooth surface at the joint. I worked on one a couple years ago, and have sen pics of others on here....somewhere. It looked nice. The interior part of the seam looked exactly like other burros.

I suspect labor costs and production speed had way more to do with it rather than structure. Perhaps it was the earlier wide bodies they did this with and then abandoned the process.
My sons wide body does not have the Mohawk ridge
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Old 08-13-2016, 05:47 PM   #11
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1978 Burro
Michigan
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Burro Mohawk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikmay View Post
I've removed the seam on my burro with great results , not because I wanted to but because a tree had fallen on the roof and I had to do a lot of fg work on it anyways. I'm happy I did it and after four years it has remained watertight and no signs of cracking or coming apart. The Mohawk ridge on the burro does not provide any strength and you will not weaken the structure as there is already fiberglass on the inside. If you are planning on painting the trailer I would defenetly go for it. If I were to do it again I would use a new product put out by cgc and available at lowes Canada which is a roll of fg tape and I'm not talking about the mesh fg tape but a new product that is a thin fg mat tape which is inexpensive and I think it would be perfect for that job. I also think it would work good for any one considering removing the belly band on a trillium.
Hi Mike,

I would love to come and see your Burro in the LP but I live probably 600 miles or more from you. I'm in the Keewenaw Penninsula of Michigan about 30 miles from the tip where it snow and blows for about half of the year.

I like the idea of a fiberglass tape also. That would eliminate the need to make/cut long strips of cloth to use.

I don't know if I could make the entire seam smooth since the front and back portion of the seam near the bottom were poorly put together.

This would be a project for next year I'd say though. Right now I'm in the process of putting in an 8 circuit electrical panel for power and about 10 outlets also. I'm doing the wiring for the park, tail etc also this summer. Adding a new refrigerator also which had me cut out a little of the area where the "ice box" was.

I like making changes to just about anything if it makes things look or work better. Also not afraid of work and I'm finding it a fun project to redo my little ass. Thanks for the positive feedback!
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:00 PM   #12
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1978 Burro
Michigan
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Burro seam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Jen removed the vehicle seam on Rucio, her Burro, back in 2012. Perhaps she'll chime in and let us know if it's problematic or caused any issues since. Rucio's Winter Makeover
Thanks Donna! That is one big project on Rucio and some good ideas for me to chew on. That simple original door drip cap molded into the body at the top of the Burro door is just about useless because the rain just follows the curve and came right in at the top of my door. Floor rotted in a foot at the door.

Will try to post some pics of my progress on my gal as time goes by.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:57 AM   #13
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1978 Burro
Michigan
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Eliminate Burro seam up the middle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikmay View Post
I've removed the seam on my burro with great results , not because I wanted to but because a tree had fallen on the roof and I had to do a lot of fg work on it anyways. I'm happy I did it and after four years it has remained watertight and no signs of cracking or coming apart. The Mohawk ridge on the burro does not provide any strength and you will not weaken the structure as there is already fiberglass on the inside. If you are planning on painting the trailer I would defenetly go for it. If I were to do it again I would use a new product put out by cgc and available at lowes Canada which is a roll of fg tape and I'm not talking about the mesh fg tape but a new product that is a thin fg mat tape which is inexpensive and I think it would be perfect for that job. I also think it would work good for any one considering removing the belly band on a trillium.
Mikmay, I found a few sites that sell the tape you mentioned. Will make the job so much easier without the frayed ends that show up when cutting the fiberglass cloth. I'm guessing a 1" width would be about what I should use.

Thanks again for the great idea. Next summer I will tackle a portion of the trailer and it will probably be the back or front section first. I'm even "threatening" to cut the bottom portion of the front and back right open to line up the two halves near the bottom. I've got to do some more "cogitating" on it though.

Woven Fiberglass Tape in stock for same day shipping | Fibre Glast

PS I would like to paint the Burro some day after I redo all the windows and replace the plywood floor too. Lot's of work but sometimes work can be fun.
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:39 AM   #14
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Name: Eric and Sharon
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Ohio
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Hair cut on Burro?...yes!

the short of it is it was a $ savings to (even slowly) mass produce to not have a seam due to mold and gell coat issues to fix after the fg mold
On a remodel fix up( before putting 7K miles on it on our trip out west) I cut off and ground down the seam, used fg EPOXY RESIN with 1/4 in chop strand mixed in finished smooth with Bono and tip brushed white Rustolium on top of Bens Bonding Primer (very important according to the tech at Rustolium). Strength is already there with the fiberglass mat used by the manufacturer on the inside..
RESULTS: after seven thousand miles not even a spider web crack.I can post pics if your interested
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