Compact Jr., Cliff's Rebuild - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-03-2008, 02:31 AM   #1
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After tagging on to other Compact Jr. threads, ie. Larry's, Ricks's, I decided to start my own. I will surely run into some issues that will need your experience, and possible solutions. At this point the CJ is up on blocks, and frame detached. I added extra cross members to the frame similar to Larry's.

Now my current problem... The front tongue is angled, and bent upward. I am not sure if the hack job the previous owner is holding it taunt at that angle. I am not an experienced iron worker, so I need suggestions from experienced welders. I want to cut all the extra braces off down the original level frame.


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I am not sure if grinding the welds, and then use a 3" cut off wheel would do any good. Should I continue to break the beads of the weld to remove the top layers, or should I hack the front off an add new lengths of C channel. I am concerned that most of the tongue weight will be at the seam of the new piece. I will truss the bottom of the frame similar to what Larry did on his frame.

What to do?
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:55 AM   #2
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Cliff, I'm not an experienced welder, but I do have one and use it on stuff when I need to. I do have a friend who is a great welder and in the Steam Fitters Union . I haven't done a frame up restoration on anything, but if I did and got down to the frame and it looked pretty bad. I would consider building a new one made from galvanized steel , if it wasn't too much money. You may save a lot of time working on that old steel. You wouldn't have to worry about that frame ever again. Just a foolish thought. Tim
Tom,
You make a good suggestion, and it may very well come to that, but I really did not want to go there. If I build a new frame, I would replace the axle, add a braking system etc... I did not expect the bent frame, until I got the body off.

The added hack job, on top of the original frame makes the tongue sit to high, and probably caused the frame to bend like that.
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:07 PM   #3
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Wanted: Any Compact Jr. owners have an original canvas top for the pop up that I can borrow. I would like to use it as a pattern to make a new one.
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:15 PM   #4
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Cliff, Its a tuff call either way you deal with it, I'm not standing in front of the old frame to see what you are seeing. But I'm sure some others may have a good idea to help you out. If your like me you want to get away without breaking the bank, so maybe you can just replace some of the real bad pieces. It may not hurt to have a welding guy near you to stop by and take a look. I brought up the galvanized steel because that's what I was going to do when I thought about building a teardrop. Tim
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:45 PM   #5
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Cliff
How does the material fasten into the trailer? Can you hang the new material in place at the top and then adjust the lower hem and then finally sew it together.
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:47 PM   #6
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BTW, that's Rick's trailer. I took a couple of pictures at the Niagara Wine Tour back in September.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:52 PM   #7
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[b]Wanted: Any Compact Jr. owners have an original canvas top for the pop up that I can borrow. I would like to use it as a pattern to make a new one.
Cliff
Would you like me to give you directions on how to make a top?
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:05 PM   #8
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Cliff,
I'm no welder so I can't help with your questions about your frame problems. Mine was altered by an unknown previous owner and the method seems to be holding up very well. There is a piece of C channel welded under the original frame rail from just in front of the axle forward to the tongue. The tongue has been altered to raise the hitch coupler.

http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/mm41/to...sonphotos18.jpg

The vinyl collar is attached with 5 bolts through it per side and 3 in front and rear (16 total). These pass through the fiberglass flange of the lower roof. The upper, moveable roof has the same number of nuts and bolts. A bead of chalk between the vinyl and fiberglass prevents any gaps from leaking air.
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:40 PM   #9
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Would you like me to give you directions on how to make a top?
Rick,
I myself will probably not sew it, but will try to get suitable materials, and take it to a referred seamstress. She makes various items for campers/boaters. Instructions would be nice to have, if you already have it typed out.

Thanks,




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Old 11-03-2008, 05:47 PM   #10
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Cliff,
I'm no welder so I can't help with your questions about your frame problems. Mine was altered by an unknown previous owner and the method seems to be holding up very well. There is a piece of C channel welded under the original frame rail from just in front of the axle forward to the tongue. The tongue has been altered to raise the hitch coupler. snip....
Is raising the hitch height is a necessary evil? ha ha. I am not sure why the previous owner attempted the same process of raising the hitch, but that is how it ended up.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:39 PM   #11
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My guess is that he was towing with a bumper hitch on a pickup truck...... this is Texas.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:05 PM   #12
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After tagging on to other Compact Jr. threads, ie. Larry's, Ricks's, I decided to start my own. I will surely run into some issues that will need your experience, and possible solutions. At this point the CJ is up on blocks, and frame detached. I added extra cross members to the frame similar to Larry's.

Now my current problem... The front tongue is angled, and bent upward. I am not sure if the hack job the previous owner is holding it taunt at that angle. I am not an experienced iron worker, so I need suggestions from experienced welders. I want to cut all the extra braces off down the original level frame.



I am not sure if grinding the welds, and then use a 3" cut off wheel would do any good. Should I continue to break the beads of the weld to remove the top layers, or should I hack the front off an add new lengths of C channel. I am concerned that most of the tongue weight will be at the seam of the new piece. I will truss the bottom of the frame similar to what Larry did on his frame.

What to do?
Cliff---- why not scarf all that junk that the previous owner put on there off? Betcha then the original frame/tonque will flex back (might take a little weight, tho). Then wait until you have the rest of the frame/axle/springs the way you want them, calculate what tonque height you desire and refab the coupler area-- add the trusses last. Larry
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:21 PM   #13
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Cliff---- why not scarf all that junk that the previous owner put on there off? Betcha then the original frame/tonque will flex back (might take a little weight, tho). Then wait until you have the rest of the frame/axle/springs the way you want them, calculate what tonque height you desire and refab the coupler area-- add the trusses last. Larry
Larry,
Yes, "scarfing" is what I was attempting to do, but it will be like performing surgery on the weld beads. I was thinking the same thing, the flex in the original frame may be partially caused from all that extra junk on top. I started grinding, and using the abrasive disc cutter, then stopped to post here for comments.

Is the truss a solid or tubing underneath?
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:43 PM   #14
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Larry,
Yes, "scarfing" is what I was attempting to do, but it will be like performing surgery on the weld beads. I was thinking the same thing, the flex in the original frame may be partially caused from all that extra junk on top. I started grinding, and using the abrasive disc cutter, then stopped to post here for comments.

Is the truss a solid or tubing underneath?
Cut above the weld, leaving the bead on the original frame, then grind the rest off...
The truss is flat strap the same width as the frame w/short pieces (1") of square tubing for spacers. A shot of both the Scamp and the Compact. Larry
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