In the beginning - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2003, 12:42 PM   #1
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In the beginning

Originally posted by Lanny Webb


OK Stephen, here goes.

My apologies to everyone up front for how long this may become but evidently several folks are starting a complete redo of older Casitas and have asked me if I had any pictures. I learned a lot in the process and seeing what worked and didnít work for me might save them time. Iím pretty new at this posting stuff so if I exceed any limits or break protocol I hope the moderator will let me know before things get ugly. Should I attempt to only hit the highlights for brevity or does it make any difference? Somebody let me know.

To start I bought a VERY used 86, 16 foot Freedom Deluxe back at the end of last July. Paid $600 and still feel I stole it. The floor plan had the shower, bath, bunk bed and regular table set up. It was exactly the one I had been looking for for over a year and hundreds of hours surfing the net. I found it right here in a friends back yard. Since I couldnít start right away, I worked up plans at night of how I was to approach the project and what might be good additions and modifications. My gratitude to the folks at the Casita Club. I stole a bunch of good advice from their old posts.
Here is a before exterior shot.
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea1710f13c41outbfre.jpg/>

It looks better here than it did in person. There were so many things that had to be redone it was scary. All the rivets were covered over with what looked like old liquid nails or some king of hard caulk. I guess it was an attempt to stop the leaks. A previous owner had glued mirrored glass over the existing window glass. The silver had long since deteriorated to a psychodellic mess but it was a Casita and it was mine.<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea17208b3831oldwind.jpg/>

The camper had leaked like a sieve and been kept closed for years. The inside was absolutely shot. All metal was rusted, All wood warped and rotten, all carpet molded etc.. Interior before pics
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea172b4d4e8cwathetpm.jpg/>
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea172c489993rusthing.jpg/>
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea172e46f812stoveSM.jpg/>

I first removed all doors and fibreglass cabinets and walls. The shower was the worst next to the fridge which had been glued in with adhesive. The fridge took two calls to casita to make sure there wasnít some hidden bolts somewhere. I was positive after a couple hours of sweat and profanity it had to be bolted somewhere! It finally gave in.
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea1732fce12dFridge.jpg/>

Now the job of removing the old carpet. Its not as bad a job as it looks. My favourite tool was a spatula I modified for the job. Its 6Ē wide and I rounded the corners so they wouldnít stick into the fibreglass shell when I slid it under the old carpet. The flexibility of the wide blade along with the curved edges let it bend with the curves of the shell. Just start somewhere and have at it. All mine came out in one Saturday session.
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea175734be09crptspla.jpg/>


I left the carpet behind the shower shell. It was in pretty decent shape. Oh yeah. before you remove the shower shell, mark the old carpet with a marker so when you are removing the carpet later, you will know where to stop. Leave an inch more carpet than necessary. When you put the shower back in, it might not fit in exactly the same place. I did the best I could but it was still off about 3/4 of an inch. You can trim it after the shower is back in. If anyone wants to try it with leaving the shower in, I think it will work but you will have to work around the plumbing and gas lines etc.. I retrospect, I would probably go that route. I wanted to run 110 to the closet and I couldn't get it to feed behind the shower. Some of these are after the floor was removed but they are all I have.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea178ec242ddinsidebc.jpg/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea1790fd261estrpedshw.jpg/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea17933089d0strpedBK.jpg/>

The plumbing and wiring harness were next. I used a plastic pipe cutting tool to cut the ďgrayĒ pipe. Leave enough (2Ē or so) on each cut end for re attaching later. Cut the wires leaving enough (6Ēor so) on both cut ends for crimp connectors later. I marked each wire with tape and where it went. This ended up not necessary as they are pretty well colour coded already. The copper gas line came out by just undoing the connections.
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea17cae2622cpipcut.jpg/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea17f35c1956oldwtrht.jpg/>

All the windows were next. They come out easily. The smaller ones were only held in by the interior trim. The two larger side windows and the back window with the AC unit had rivets from the outside as well. The back window took two people because I left the AC unit attached.

OK, This is over the top but, I saved all my screws and acorn nuts to reuse. I ran them through an old rock tumbler for a couple of days to clean off the rust. It did an amazing job. If you donít have a rock tumbler handy, McFeelys has a great assortment of square drive screws. http://www.mcfeelys.com/

OK now the floor carpet. Wow, this was a mess. I canít imagine anybodyís will be as bad as mine was. When I pulled the carpet up, much of the underlayment came up with it. What was left was so rotten I could remove a good portion of the old press board with a shop vac. What was still stuck came up with a flat chisel and small hammer.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea17d4555dafcrptBk2.jpg/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea17d57da28acrptrtBK.jpg/>

At this point you should have an empty shell and the fun begins.
My next stage was to remove the shell from the frame but...

I think I have over stayed my welcome with the length of this already so Iíll quit and see if there is any interest in another installment. If you are still reading this, here are a couple pics of where I am now. I still have to redo all the woodwork with oak plywood.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea17db45154fKitchnstv.jpg/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea17dd0324bfshwrend.jpg/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea17de8b1deetablend.jpg/>
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Old 04-19-2003, 03:16 PM   #2
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love it. I'm doing all but the carpet on the walls. Your is looking good. Thanks for the inspiration.
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Old 04-19-2003, 07:19 PM   #3
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More More More!

Please post more pictures of your project!

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 04-19-2003, 07:25 PM   #4
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Hi Dan
Well as a moderator,I think you did one super job and your post was great in all respects.Never worry if its to long as long as info is vital to subject matter.

Ps----------$600.00 WOW. If you find another one let me Know. Thats not stealing thats highway robbery.:wave
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Old 04-19-2003, 09:23 PM   #5
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"Beginning?"

Lanny-please continue with as much detail (and pictures) as you can.Many of us are in the process of restorations and renovations on various types of "glass" trailers, but few probably as extensive as yours.Your work and detailed reporting is an excellent source of information for us all.Thanks for taking the time.
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:43 PM   #6
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Long posts

Lanny, It's absolutely no problem if you want to break a long post into several smaller ones. I agree with everyone else: Your project's very interesting. Such documentation is one thing this website is here for. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to write it up and post your photos. (More! More! Here! Here!)

:ola :ola
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Old 04-20-2003, 04:45 PM   #7
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Time?

Its hard to remember exactly, but as I recall, the removal of the interior fibreglass components took about four hours, give or take. That doesnít include the fridge compartment, it was about three hours in itself, or the shower, that took two, not including the breaks and time it took me to walk around and calm down or the numerous calls to the ever helpful Jay at casita. So all together it ended up being a really full saturday and a long Sunday afternoon.

All the plumbing, wiring, gas, etc., plus all the wall and ceiling carpet was also a long Saturday. The floor was the better part of another day including removing the screws and cleaning up the mess. It was a lot more work than the walls due to the 5% of sub floor that just wouldn't give up.
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Old 04-20-2003, 06:41 PM   #8
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wow!

now, THAT is a rehab job! you are an inspiration to us all. more! more!
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Old 04-20-2003, 08:23 PM   #9
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thanks

Hey thanks Kent, Its really been fun. The post has forced me to finish my log of the process. By the way, I love the pictures of your love bug. Are those bunk beds?
Lanny
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Old 04-21-2003, 02:53 PM   #10
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Carpeted walls

Hey Lanny,

Great Job of the fix-up it looks better than my scamp and we paid
$2000 for 4 years ago. I do have some questions about a musky
smell we have and I believe it is in the carpeted walls. We left our
windows open one night, just happen to be a night when a tropical
storm hit Florida. So it got pretty wet but now it sat over winterand when we open it up Wheow!! What I would like to do isremove the carpet, and insulution (if needed) and replace with paneling. What I would like know is how to go about it, what do I need to know BEFORE we start, How long we need to do the job (minus the other things we may find.) Thanks Dawn
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Old 04-23-2003, 04:57 PM   #11
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Walls

Hey thanks Dawn

I don't know much about the Scamp, perhaps someone else can weigh in here.
If it's like the Casita, then the insulation is part of the carpet, or the
carpet backing more specifically.

Before you pull the carpet. Try the industrial Lysol they make for
hospitals. Lowe's Home depot etc. It is supposed to kill mold and mildew,
even the aids virus so it must be heavy duty. Soak the carpet on a sunny day
and open all the windows etc. Give it a couple of runs through the process. I did that on my cushion covers and it did an amazing job.

If that doesn't work then pulling the carpet may be your only choice. Mine
was SO! mildewed I though it was a health risk.

The Casita has compound curves (they curve side to side and top to bottom)

If yours are flat then it should be doable. You will loose some insulation
from both noise and cold/hot when you loose the carpet, even with the
insulation. If you have to replace the insulation though, I read a post
several months ago about using a foil backed bubble wrap that Home Depot
sells. I don't have personal knowledge of it, never seen it, but it sounds
like a pretty good solution.
Good luck
Lanny

OH by the way, have you ever camped at Topsail Hill State park over near
Destin? I've got reservations there in a couple of weeks. It looks good on
paper.
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