Casita Restoration - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-20-2012, 09:50 AM   #1
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Name: James
Trailer: 86' Casita 13'
Colorado
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Casita Restoration

I just bought a 1986 13' Casita and I think it needs to be completely gutted and restored. From what I've been reading here, it sounds as if redoing the wall carpet can be a rather daunting task, however it has to be done. I also to replace a window and the ceiling vent. Anyone have any tips for removing and replacing the rivets? Anyone have any advice all? Am I dreaming, if I think I can turn this thing around? I also have a small hole that needs to be patched, tips for that would be appreciated also. Just getting into this and I need help.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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James, Congrat's! Yes, it's my understanding that removing the carpet can be daunting project. But so worth it when done! I purchased a 85 that I thought of doing the same thing. (purchased a newer verison a couple of weeks later, so the 85 became someone elses project)

But I had checked into options. Spoke with a car restorer as well as a guy who restores Airstreams. They both said it could be done and suggested different options. One option I liked was tuck and roll, like the car's from the 50's/60's. That way you get the insulation as well as a finish that is cleanable!


As far as rivets, I would suggest calling Casita, for rivet caps! I believe you can use common rivets but the caps, can be purchased through Castia.
They have a great, supply/service dept and ship quick. I even purchased a water heater from them when my blew out. (my fault ) they were cheaper than anything I could find around here. And had it at my door within a week! Can't say enough about their service dept!




Please post pic's of your project!
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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Name: Glen
Trailer: 2001 13 ft Casita Patriot Deluxe modified 1969 25' Airstream Trade Wind
California
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The Casita Carpet is bonded to the foam rubber backing from the mill. Then Casita glues it to the fiberglass shell.

The carpet is 3/16" thick and the foam rubber backing is 1/2" thick.

Unless the carpet is damaged it can be cleaned. I used a carpet cleaning service to shampoo the interior of both my 13' and 17' Casitas. Cost about $ 100 to $ 150.

If the carpet is pulling away from the shell it can be reglued to the shell by using a syringe with contact cement .

Remember the carpet is installed on the entire interior of the shell before anything (cabinets, bathroom, equipment) is installed.

If you have a damaged area Casita can supply you with the carpet/foam.

Your best buy for most everything is from the Casita Factory. Do comparison shop though.

Have fun with your build.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:22 PM   #4
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Hi James, welcome to FiberglassRV we're glad you're here.

Anything, absolutely anything can be accomplished. BUT, it stands to reason it depends on your skills, talent, budget and desires. More than one person has gotten part way through a complete rebuild and lost interest. Keep that in mind. Not trying to dissuade you, but it can be reality.

Unless the carpet is horribly stained, I'd try cleaning it first. Rent a steam carpet cleaner with upholstery attachment. Don't soak the wall carpet! If need be clean twice.

If the rivets are holding, do they just need snap caps?

How big a hole? Bolt size or a 2" round (kinda thing). Repairs will depend on what size it is...

Along with Casita, I'd suggest looking at the store here for parts: Little House Customs

Honestly, if you'd post one problem per thread in the Problem Solving forum, we're here to help you.

Have any pictures to share?
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:17 AM   #5
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Name: James
Trailer: 86' Casita 13'
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Thanks for the replies. I really think the wall carpet has to go. There are a number of areas where it appears black and the little camper has a very musty smell. The hole I need to fix is roughly 1 1/2". I spoke to Casita and I think they will be a very helpful.
I'll post some pics this weekend.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesguest View Post
I'll post some pics this weekend.
looking forward to those pics James!
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:35 PM   #7
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This subject reminded me of something I have wondered. If the little plastic piece that the Rivet caps snap on to is broke would one have to contact Casita or are there othere suppliers of those things that one can go to?
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:52 PM   #8
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Name: Glen
Trailer: 2001 13 ft Casita Patriot Deluxe modified 1969 25' Airstream Trade Wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Masse View Post
This subject reminded me of something I have wondered. If the little plastic piece that the Rivet caps snap on to is broke would one have to contact Casita or are there othere suppliers of those things that one can go to?
The advantage of calling Casita is they will sell you the two pieces of the caps along with an assortment of rivets that are Casita specific.
Get 2 sets and you'll be good for years.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:59 PM   #9
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Name: James
Trailer: 86' Casita 13'
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Day 1

I tore into it today. OMG what have I gotten myself into? It needed to be done. The original OSB flooring was completely rotted out. There were a few hornets nests. There was a hornest nest inside the water tank. I think once I rip the carpet off the walls I'll need to pull the shell off the frame. There is a hole in the front. And a couple cracks in the back where the shell sits on the frame. There are multiple penetrations in the fiberglass floor as well. Here's a few shots. She's pretty good from far....... But pretty far from good.
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:36 PM   #10
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Well I am sure this is gonna be a huge project, but just post the process here and we will keep you encouraged.



Great Job!
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:01 AM   #11
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Trailer: 1989 Casita
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We are in the same "boat" with the 1989 Casita we recently purchased. It looked pretty good at first glance, but the smell was overwhelming. We ripped out the carpet on the walls, removed the layers of flooring that had been installed.... And before we knew it, completely gutted the little guy.

Rather than plug all the rivet holes with those little plugs, we are filling with fiberglass and totally restoring it to better than new. Our challenges will be finding a replacement back window. Casita told us they haven't used these large arched windows for 15 years, but did provide the name of their window manufacture.

We'll post photos soon. Can't wait to get it done
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:56 AM   #12
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Name: James
Trailer: 86' Casita 13'
Colorado
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Windows

HI Jodi,
I'm in the same boat here. Are you guys replacing all of your windows? Most of mine are ok? The previous owner put a an ac unit in the back window that has to go.

I like the idea of glassing over the old holes, thought about that myself. What kind of shape were your cabinets in when you pulled them out? My sink base was altered considerably and I've got some other issues as well. I don't think I can throw them back in. Thinking about wood, but not sure if this is the best idea for a fiberglass shell and it could present some fastening challenges. I've searched around and can't find much info on this. Probably post something in problem solving.

Good luck,

Let me know if you got any pointers.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:49 PM   #13
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Trailer: 1989 Casita
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Casita - a work in progress

Hi James
Our cabinets were okay - but we are totally replacing them. Any wood that was original in our Casita is rotted or moldy. We found the roof vent was probably the source of water leaks, so we've made a new frame around the vent ( with the vent removed) and fiberglasses the new frame. This strengthened the roof too. It was sagging about 2 inches. The next "anti-sag" solution is to add a small solar panel to the roof. The frame will also be fiberglassed in so it will create a very solid base and help power the Casita.

Here are a few photos of what we started with ( actually looks good to what it looks like now) and a few photos of the work in progress.
[IMG]http://i46.tinypic.com/2z4jxnr.jpg, [IMG]http://i45.tinypic.com/2zoizoo.jpg
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DSC_0012.jpg   photo.JPG  

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Old 06-02-2012, 07:56 PM   #14
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Name: James
Trailer: 86' Casita 13'
Colorado
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progress

I got the carpet and foam pulled out. It took awhile. I've got some more pics here. Lots of little holes and a few big ones. I'm curious if anyone out there has done this and actually removed the remaining adhesive on the shell that was used to stick up the original carpet. Is there some product to apply to make it easier? Other wise it seems impossible.

If you look at the pictures there one showing what appears to be about 1" hole in the floor that was purposely put in there. Don't know if this was done for a particular reason, or if I should plan on filling it. if someone out there has some insight about this it would be greatly appreciated.

Finally, I'm trying to figure out what to do about the windows. The existing ones are ok, aside from the back window which the PO cut out to install an electric AC. I'm thinking about looking into replacing them, but have no idea if it's even possible or how much I can expect to spend on getting new units.

Next i'm going to start sealing up all of the holes with fiberglass and gel coat.
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