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 didn’t work for me might save them time. I’m 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 couldn’t 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.
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
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 wasn’t 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.
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 6” wide and I rounded the corners so they wouldn’t 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.
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.
The plumbing and wiring harness were next. I used a plastic pipe cutting tool to cut the “gray” pipe. Leave enough (2” or so) on each cut end for re attaching later. Cut the wires leaving enough (6”or 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.
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 don’t 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 can’t imagine anybody’s 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.
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 I’ll 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.