DIY or have it professionally done? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-12-2014, 07:13 PM   #29
artrageous's Avatar
Name: Sharon
Trailer: 1995 16 ft Scamp
Posts: 79
Steve, thanks for the tip about the refrigerator and the sizes.

We're going to check with an electrician friend (we were supposed to call him back tonight but totally forgot--life is way too busy right now) just to see if this is something he could help us with.

And John, point definitely taken about gas stoves!

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Old 11-12-2014, 08:18 PM   #30
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 3,129
Originally Posted by john madill View Post
Rogerdat mentioned parachute packing and gas connections in the same post.

Reminds me of the fellow that decided to try skydiving. The instructor showed the fellow how to pull the ripcord and pointed out the cord for the emergency parachute too.

The fellow jumped out of the plane and pulled the ripcord. Nothing happened. Then he frantically pulled the emergency chute cord. Nothing happened.

As he plummeted down he saw a woman going up!

He shouted to her "Do you know anything about parachutes?"

She shouted back "No, do you know anything about gas stoves?"
Your joke makes me proud to be a Michigander! And reminds me of the rule that a true gentleman knows at least three jokes suitable for mixed company. I'm now have two, one more to go

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Old 11-20-2014, 10:47 AM   #31
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Name: kevin
Trailer: 13' Scamp
Posts: 170

Everything on a camper is DIY besides verification i.e. watch as many you tube videos as you can find. Find someone who looks like they know what they are doing. Set up computer next to camper. Follow steps exactly. Often times companies who sell products will put out their own instructional videos, which is basically learning from the master. I installed brakes on my camper following directions from etrailer.

Gas connections same thing. Do everything correctly, test every joint with soapy water, then get the system pressure tested. Don't be afraid to waste a few buck in practice materials. Also I have a pressure valve on my tank. Every time I turn on the gas I turn it on, let the pressure stabilize, then turn it off and wait for a bit to see if the pressure has decreased. This will make sure you don't have a big leak.

Of course, gas lines might be the scariest thing to install because it is harder to verify if you have done everything 100% right. Electric stuff much easier, you just can't be color blind
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:19 AM   #32
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2000 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe...Tow vehicle 2015 Toyota Tacoma Dble Cab V6 Prerunner
Posts: 897
Always use flared fittings for gas lines....and with a proper flaring tool.........very easy
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:52 PM   #33
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,912
Diy ???

[QUOTE=KevinScamps;493018] "Everything on a camper is DIY "

Can't say that I agree with that comment. When everything goes right there is a lot a novice owner can do without risking damage or injury to them selves or others, but when things go wrong they can go very wrong.

Especially in areas like 120 VAC (and even 12 VDC) wiring, LP lines and brakes, I just don't feel comfortable that the work might have been done by someone following another's YouTube video.

First, I have seen a lot of YouTube videos that include incorrect instructions and dangerous shortcuts. Second, many YouTube videos are only about "Similar" not identical applications. And third, a whole lot of YouTube videos seem to be made by self-aggrandizing amateurs that are more interested in showing their own video work than in showing a correct way to do a job.

Yes, I often look at a lot of YouTube postings to get an idea about how to do a specific topic, like how to replace the heater core on an S-10, a real bear of a job, but even then I found a lot of Mickey Mouse methods to avoid doing it the right (and more difficult) way. In short, many amateur YouTube videos seem to always want to show a "better way" than the original design required.

That said, you can look at a YouTube that shows how to strip; and crimp a wire, but is that enough to be sure you do it right time after time. I have repaired enough failed DIY wiring to think not.

And following a YouTube video to install brakes for the first time I won't even comment about. If someone is an experienced brake mechanic, a YouTube is certainly helpful, but I don't think that's a job for the novice and I hope that they are not next to me on the highway in the event of an emergency.
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:44 PM   #34
artrageous's Avatar
Name: Sharon
Trailer: 1995 16 ft Scamp
Posts: 79
From the get-go I was more comfortable with the idea of re-doing the interior (mainly carpentry stuff and probably rat fur) but beyond that we'll probably have to have professionals do it.

Just wish we had more time to work on it and a place to work!
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:44 AM   #35
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Name: Jared
Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
Posts: 1,610
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
DYI Flared LP Fittings....

In years of doing RV repairs & rebuilds, I can't remember doing a single tube flare, but I can recall finding and replacing a lot of cracked and uneven flares.

While the process is a tad more expensive up front, I always use compression type (sometimes called "Ring & Nut") fittings on my LP lines, both for repairs and on new installations.

IMHO: The price of a cracked or uneven flare leaking is just to high for the novice to attempt.

Compression fittings are illegal for gas use in many areas, per code. They are far more likely to leak than a proper flare.

Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:31 AM   #36
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IF they are against code in ones area then, of course, follow local codes.
I can only reflect my own experiences in the Golden State.
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:17 PM   #37
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 3,129
There is a balance point between pushing way past what you are comfortable doing and pushing yourself to learn to do more.

Pulling the wire yourself for trailer lights and 12 volt system is probably in reach of anyone that can do carpentry using power tools to cut wood ;-) Having it hooked up by a professional is still a good option. But you are not paying the wages of a skilled electrician to pull wire. You learn how your trailer is wired, and save some money.

Same with gas fittings, you can do the grunt work of running copper tube, even do the flares (assuming you do flare rather than compression) and let a professional hook them up. If the flare is badly done the pro will cut it off and do it right. Worse case you know where your gas lines are and how they connect, best case you have a pro give your connections a passing grade.

Pulling 110 volt wiring is the same deal, it is grunt work to get the wires to the outlets or lights. You can do that part and let a pro finish it up.

YouTube and the internet in general have a wealth of information and tutorials, some are solid, and some sort of dubious quality information. And some have approaches that hit on areas of disagreement between the professionals on the "right" approach. Crimp connector and shrink tube a wire connection or solder and shrink tube? Experienced folks don't all agree on what is best. But they will articulate why and you can make up your own mind which seems to make the most sense in your own situation, or ask here.

That is where this forum can really be helpful It takes some work to educate yourself by checking several sources in order to come up with the right questions but many experienced folks on this site will answer those questions once you get going, at least that has been my experience.

You look up how to make a 12 volt connection and see different approaches, you ask and folks tell you why they use one or the other. Good chance whichever approach you use will work.

In my case which type of fiberglass resin to use poly or epoxy? A question I did not know to ask without doing my own research but once I asked I got lots of good advice on each type and why for my repair why I might choose one over the other.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:34 PM   #38
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 1,542
ANSI A119.2/NFPA 1192
Standard on
Recreational Vehicles
2002 Edition

5.4.6 Gas Tubing Joints. Gas tubing joints shall be permitted to
be made with a single or double flare of 45 degrees conforming
to SAE J533, Flares for Tubing, as recommended by the tubing
manufacturer, or by means of listed vibration-resistant fittings, or
the joints shall be brazed with a material having a melting point
exceeding 1000F (538C). Brazing alloys shall not contain phosphorus.
Sealants shall not be used on tubing joints. Ball sleeve or
one-piece internal compression-type tubing fittings shall not be
used. (See 5.5.5.)

As you can tell the NFPA book is dated 2005, the ANSI reference therein is 2002.
5.4.2 Gas Piping System Materials. Materials used for the installation,
extension, alteration, or repair of any gas piping system
shall be new and free from defects or internal obstructions. Inferior
or defective materials in gas piping or fittings shall be replaced
and shall not be repaired. Inferior or defective materials
shall be removed and replaced with acceptable material. The system
shall be made of materials having a melting point of not less
than 1450
F (788C), except as provided in 5.4.5, 5.4.6, and
5.4.12, or of materials (used in piping or fittings) listed for the
specific use intended. Gas piping system materials shall be permitted
to consist of one or more of the following materials:
(1) Gas pipe shall be steel or wrought-iron pipe complying
with ASTM A 53, Specifications for Pipe, Steel, Black and Hot-
Dipped, Zinc-Coated Welded and Seamless. Threaded copper or
brass pipe in iron pipe sizes shall be permitted to be used.
(2) Fittings for gas piping shall be wrought iron, malleable
iron, steel, or brass (containing not more than 75 percent
copper). Brass flare nuts shall be stress relieved or of the
forged type.
(3) Copper tubing shall be annealed Type K or L, conforming
to ASTM B 88, Standard Specifications for Seamless Copper
Water Tube, or shall comply with ASTM B 280, Specifications
for Seamless Copper Tube for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
Field Service. Where used on systems designed for natural
gas, copper tubing shall be internally tinned.

This applies up to the current 2015 code.

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