Jim's Trail West Campster - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-11-2007, 09:24 AM   #15
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Okay, you probably saw the bigger ones. You can check by right-clicking on a picture and then clicking the "Properties" option on the popup menu. It should say the image is 500px X 375px.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:22 PM   #16
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For my recreational time today I decided to fill in some more of the modifications shown at at http://www.sunnyarbor.com for your perusal. The "Galley - Kitchen Side", "Galley - Closet Side", and "Non-Trailer Stuff that Goes Along Anyway" sections have been brought to life. More next weekend. Enjoy, and post any questions here!
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:36 PM   #17
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For my recreational time today I decided to fill in some more of the modifications shown at at http://www.sunnyarbor.com for your perusal. The "Galley - Kitchen Side", "Galley - Closet Side", and "Non-Trailer Stuff that Goes Along Anyway" sections have been brought to life. More next weekend. Enjoy, and post any questions here!
Great stuff, Jim!

Q.1. Does your Campster have the Coleman wall lamp? And if so, is it mentioned in the manual?

Q. 2. What do you hook the tarp too on the top (the one that uses two poles and hooks to the trailer? I've been thinking of adding something like that.

Q. 3. You probably said, but what year is your Campster? Mine has the cabinets like a Compact- a metal trimmed edge and then wood veneer inserts. Yours look different.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:41 PM   #18
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For my recreational time today I decided to fill in some more of the modifications shown at at http://www.sunnyarbor.com for your perusal. The "Galley - Kitchen Side", "Galley - Closet Side", and "Non-Trailer Stuff that Goes Along Anyway" sections have been brought to life. More next weekend. Enjoy, and post any questions here!

There are some pretty clever things going on in your trailer--I especially liked the "bathroom" shelf/cabinet door!
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:48 PM   #19
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Thanks, Steve, I hope you find more in the pages yet to come. Of course, this trick can be done with any door simply by moving the hardware from the sides to the top/bottom, and adding a little chain. The doors are already prefitted into the holes.

Bobbie, here are your answers:

A1: It did have the Coleman wall lamp. I never trusted it or used it. My Dad put two additional layers of asbestos deflectors above the built-in heat deflector, and there is still minor heat damage to the ceiling. As I recall, you couldn't stand to run it for more than ten minutes anyway because it made the cabin too warm for comfort. When I removed it, it practically fell apart in my hands, so it probably was good that we didn't try to light it recently. I simply capped the gas line that powered it, and pushed the line back into the bulkhead. The real reason for removing it was I wanted to put a shallow cabinet there for magazines, eyeglasses, pocket change, etc. What I remembered as a manual now appears to be a 4-page cardstock advertising folder, "Introducing the fabulous new... Trails West Campster," showing a Volkswagen, a Datsun station wagon, and a Ford something as tow vehicles. The light is simply listed in the Standard Features as "Propane Light," and there's no separate manual for the light.

A2: The edge of the tarp that hooks to the trailer has four evenly-spaced large metal grommets, which hook over corresponding "J-hooks" (like the ones used on the front of the bunk to hook the chains) fastened on the roof. But how you screw them down takes some care. The hooks have two screw holes. The back wall is reinforced with plywood. The kitchen has a liner. Position the hook on the roof (J up and pointing to the rear) so that the inside hole is over the plywood. Drill through the fiberglass into the plywood, and insert a long screw into it. On the second hole (at the end of the hook), drill through the fiberglass BUT NOT THROUGH THE KITCHEN LINER. Use a short sheet-metal screw that barely protrudes through the fiberglass when seated. Don't overtighten and strip this one -- it's only function is to keep the hook tail from moving sideways, and doesn't need a lot of down-force. Don't forget the silicone sealant when you put in the screws the final time.

A3: The pictures in my flyer look just like my woodwork, except all the doors and drawer-fronts have trim around them in the flyer. I don't know if it came that way, or if my folks removed the trim, leaving what you see in my pictures. My registration slip says it's a 1970 Camper DeVille Campster. There's a California vehicle ID plate just to the left of the doorknob on the outside of the trailer that says "M 350" (a model number?) and "S 0377" (a serial number?). From my Dad's handwritten notes on the flyer, it appears he paid $1,396.00, four dollars less than it's 17' predecessor sold for. It appears the vendor was Chapman Mobile Homes, Inc., 12415 Beach Blvd. Hwy 39, Garden Grove, CA. The names Jim Lester and Wally Patterson are pencilled in with phone numbers in my Dad's handwriting. The manufacturer is listed as Trails West/Campster, 16710 S.E.82nd Drive, Clackamas, OR 97015. Options listed on the flyer are "Outside Vented Space Heater", "Gas/110 volt refrigerator", and "Bracket for inside-outside dinette table." I'm guessing the factory-option space heater was under the sink, based on the photo of the outside that's in the flyer. There's a vent there that isn't on my trailer.

I noticed one other oddity that may help identify the manufacturing year. The frame under the body isn't like the photo in the flyer. The flyer shows a box frame, with the A-frame welded on an angle underneath it, rising about 8" at the front of the body, and then stretching out horizontally to the tongue jack. On mine, the frame rails under the body are actually bent just before they come out in front, continuing horizontally until they meet at the tongue jack. You can see this in the pictures I initially posted of the Bronco/Campster latch-up. There always seemed to be a lot of bounce in that bent area on the road, and I took measures to correct it this summer. It will be included in the Miscellaneous Big Stuff link when it goes live.

On a lighter closing note, while looking for info on the Campster I came across my Dad's 1955 Federal Income Tax Return. Listed as a business expense was gasoline at six cents a gallon, along with $4 hotel rooms and $1.20 restaurant meals.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:02 AM   #20
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A1: It did have the Coleman wall lamp. I never trusted it or used it.

Mine works, and I'd like to be able to use it in the winter but it sort of flashes on and off, like the gas line is choked or something. (I didn't think gas gases could do that.) I've only tried it for a few minutes, though, maybe if I let it burn for awhile sometime it will work right.


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A3: The pictures in my flyer look just like my woodwork, except all the doors and drawer-fronts have trim around them in the flyer. I don't know if it came that way, or if my folks removed the trim, leaving what you see in my pictures. My registration slip says it's a 1970 Camper DeVille Campster. There's a California vehicle ID plate just to the left of the doorknob on the outside of the trailer that says "M 350" (a model number?) and "S 0377" (a serial number?).
My registration just says Trailswest Campster (or rather Trlswst Campster) and has a plate from Idaho that says S 0149. I will have to look to see if there was an M number.


Quoted: I noticed one other oddity that may help identify the manufacturing year. The frame under the body isn't like the photo in the flyer. The flyer shows a box frame, with the A-frame welded on an angle underneath it, rising about 8" at the front of the body, and then stretching out horizontally to the tongue jack. On mine, the frame rails under the body are actually bent just before they come out in front, continuing horizontally until they meet at the tongue jack. You can see this in the pictures I initially posted of the Bronco/Campster latch-up. There always seemed to be a lot of bounce in that bent area on the road, and I took measures to correct it this summer. It will be included in the Miscellaneous Big Stuff link when it goes live. End Quote

I'll have to look closely at mine. Any chance you can scan in that brochure and post it?

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On a lighter closing note, while looking for info on the Campster I came across my Dad's 1955 Federal Income Tax Return. Listed as a business expense was gasoline at six cents a gallon, along with $4 hotel rooms and $1.20 restaurant meals.
Golly, with prices like that, why did he need a trailer??

At least inflation on the trailers has not quite kept up with gasoline.

Bobbie
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:12 AM   #21
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Looking at your tongue; it does look like mine. I have different windows, though. Mine look possibly like replacements. The two sides are sliders, the front is a solid window. No shield.

Also looking at your picture: Are you pumping potable water in from outside instead of using the internal storage tank?

What is the tube that sits on the roof and runs parallel to the pop top?

I was looking at this awning: Awning

It has the same problem of needing to be attached to something but your solution would work. Currently I'm carrying my EZup but those are darned heavy and bulky.

Bobbie
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:52 PM   #22
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Does your light surge rythmically or is it intermittent? If rythmically, how many minutes or seconds per cycle? Do your stove burners also surge in time with the light?

The long tube is a piece of 3" PVC drain pipe to hold the awning and poles. Lately we've gotten lazy and just tossed them inside the trailer instead of putting them in the tube.

I'll have to reduce the flyer before scanning it, but I'll see what I can do.

The water system will be fully detailed in the "Pressurized Water System" section of my website. I'll do that one next since you asked about it.

You probably have the original slider windows. After having owned larger and more luxurious trailers, my Mom highly disliked them -- they only would let air through half of the area, and they got hard to open and close with use. She had them replaced with "jalousy" (sp?) windows -- horizontal slat windows that crank open.

And finally... he needed the trailer because there weren't any hotels where the fish were. Of course, $4 was worth a lot more in 1955...
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:56 PM   #23
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Sorry... forgot to comment on the Cabela's "Reddi-Awning". That's almost exactly how my awning sets up. This one looks a little bit longer than mine. If I remember right, my Dad had ours custom-made by Lincoln Tent & Awning (Lincoln, NE). One trick -- we don't tie the guy ropes directly to the stakes. We insert a short rubber bungee strap between them to give the ropes and awning some flex if the wind comes up.
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:23 PM   #24
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Does your light surge rythmically or is it intermittent? If rythmically, how many minutes or seconds per cycle? Do your stove burners also surge in time with the light?
I think it was rhythmically; stove burners do not surge.

Quote:
You probably have the original slider windows. After having owned larger and more luxurious trailers, my Mom highly disliked them -- they only would let air through half of the area, and they got hard to open and close with use. She had them replaced with "jalousy" (sp?) windows -- horizontal slat windows that crank open.
That would be nice. Mine are hard to open and close- got easier with cleaning, but are still a pain, and you are right, they only open halfway. For now they are going to stay, though.

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Old 11-13-2007, 04:15 PM   #25
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It sounds to me like the way a Coleman propane camp lantern behaves when the bottle is about empty (or the way the old white-gas lanterns did when you needed to pump them up again). Make sure the bottle isn't nearing empty, and try lighting a stove burner at the same time -- just to be sure that's not the problem. If that's all okay and the lamp is still surging, shut it off and run the control knob all the way out and all the way in (as far as it will go clockwise and then back as far as it will go counterclockwise. Then try it again. The problem may be with the valve on the lamp itself, and this will help to clear it. I've seen cobwebs and bug parts find their way into the valve. If that helps, you may need to disassemble and clean the valve or replace it. I'd ask the advice of a trailer mechanic at an RV sales outlet in your neighborhood before tackling it yourself.

As I recall, replacing the windows was quite pricey. But if Mama ain't happy,...
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Old 11-13-2007, 04:34 PM   #26
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Just gave my propane supplier a call, Bobbie. He agrees that the valve and/or orifice need to be cleaned. If you're in the habit of topping off your propane bottle at a real propane dealer (not one of those bottle exchange racks at a 7-11) on the way out of town on a trip, ask them to take a look at it. They may be able to clean it on the spot for free.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:01 PM   #27
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Just posted the contents of the "Pressurized Water System" at http://www.sunnyarbor.com, and also added an item that has scanned images of the original manufacturer's flyer. Enjoy!
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:23 PM   #28
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Just posted the contents of the "Pressurized Water System" at http://www.sunnyarbor.com, and also added an item that has scanned images of the original manufacturer's flyer. Enjoy!
Cool! I love the brochure. I pretty much have the original exterior- striping, that funny symbol, original name (very faded.) My tongue does not lift up like the one shown, though. I still have the original drawer and cabinet fronts, but not the original quilted lining. I haven't done much aesthetically to the outside as I wanted to see how it would shine up and so far it really hasn't. Next summer's project. The reflective striping is in sad shape so I thought maybe I'd replace it with reflective red striping to match my Subaru, if I can find a product to spiff up the gel coat.

The propane light might have clogged a bit when I first started it up with a new mantle. I'll try cleaning the burner nose and the inlet- I should be able to get a fine wire to clean it. (I am a current science teacher (chemistry prof) so like you have access to all kinds of nifty things like rubber stoppers and cleaning wires.)

My water tank works; one thing I need to do is to extend the open-close valve to under the trailer. As it is, I keep the bed permanently made up, and then I don't have easy access to the drain valve, which makes me reluctant to fill the water tank. No problem with bugs- yet- but I'm worried about these giant outside cockroaches we get in the spring here. (They'd never make it into a water hose but might get in other places.)

Bobbie

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