Karin's Campster Renovation - Page 14 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-08-2016, 12:41 PM   #183
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia D. View Post
This is an interesting post. I did not know there was a finer grade of birch ply, other than Baltic. I too am using 1/8 birch for the walls of my trailer but am using the regular grade. Even that, though, has been very hard to find here.
I have all my panels cut and tacked up temporarily to get a sense of how it will feel. I like the result so far. I am not using any stain, just non-yellowing polyurethane. probably satin rather than finish with a shine to it.
Is the grain finer on the cabinet grade or is it that the construction is better?
The cabinet grade is the same grain. But the specifications for cabinet grade does not allow any defects on the surface such as filled areas where there might have been an empty knot hole or other flaw in the veneer. I will want to hand select the sheets as to color match as there can be variation. It also has birch on the opposite side that does not have defects.

The birch plywood I can get at my neighborhood lumberyard does have some of those filled areas. It also has a different wood species veneer on the backside that is allowed to have even more filled areas.
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Old 09-14-2016, 01:17 AM   #184
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Trails West Campster andTeardrop American
California
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Hi Karen
Long time no talk to. But I have been following along. I raised the top to get to the serious stuff and because the top leans a little towards the Jones' I took a hard look at the springs. Now the top I have is a homemade from a PO, heavy plywood actually. BUT there are two springs on both sides, one top and one bottom. The top spring is the smaller of the two. Having two springs just never occurred to me, but it would be easier to stretch two smaller springs. I know I'm a day late and dollar short, but I thought I would pass along the discovery.
Also, I have decided to build a simple frame of 1x2 with the verticle members tilted inward at the top, to provide support and lateral stability. I intend to use the frame at the rear of the trailer and build a second for the front end of the top only as necessary.
I had a propane bottle added to the front along side the battery. Professionally done but not great esthetically. Maybe I'll make a cover for the combo.
Last but not least, the one window with a handle has lost it. So, at the moment, I have no way to open them. I'm going to look at using a suction cup as temprorary way to open them.
I was able to loosen up the windows in the door so that they open now.
Got carried away. Pictures are (or will be) available if you would like.
Roger
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:47 PM   #185
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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Roger, look at the various threads for the Campster I have seen several notations about them favoring a lean towards one side or the other. My top does that as well, it favors a lean to the driver's side, not a lot but some. It did more so before I took apart the lift mechanism and straightened the arms on that side. There is still a slight difference in lean but I will be showing in photos at a later date how I am going to correct that as soon as I finish up all the interior trim pieces. But I can describe it.

I will be creating two sets of X straps that attach at each of the narrow widths of the pop up top. These straps are installed on the interior side of the pop up canvas. So this means I am going to create four individual strap sets. They will each be adjustable and identical to each other.

Each one of those four identical strap sets is compromised of the following.
Two sections of 3/4" wide nylon webbing. (I have color matched the webbing to my canvas color.) At the ends the strap will be doubled over an inch or so and a grommet will be hammered in. A screw and washer will go through the eyelet and into the wood framing. The two sections are then secured to each other with a ladder lock buckle. The buckles should be offset from the center so they are not in front of the zippered opening.

You do need to use a flame or hot knife or soldering iron on the cut ends of the straps so they don't unravel.

No sewing needed to put in the grommet

Only a couple of rows of stitching to install the buckle and that can be done by hand or machine.

Video on the buckle installation. This type of buckle can be found in many fabric stores as well as online.
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:53 PM   #186
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Washington
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Oh, great idea. I put the straps up on mine when the top canvas was off (to keep it in place- otherwise it leaned completely over- but never thought of using that to adjust the slope.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:25 PM   #187
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwilhelm View Post
Hi Karen
Long time no talk to. But I have been following along. I raised the top to get to the serious stuff and because the top leans a little towards the Jones' I took a hard look at the springs. Now the top I have is a homemade from a PO, heavy plywood actually. BUT there are two springs on both sides, one top and one bottom. The top spring is the smaller of the two. Having two springs just never occurred to me, but it would be easier to stretch two smaller springs. I know I'm a day late and dollar short, but I thought I would pass along the discovery.
Also, I have decided to build a simple frame of 1x2 with the verticle members tilted inward at the top, to provide support and lateral stability. I intend to use the frame at the rear of the trailer and build a second for the front end of the top only as necessary.
I had a propane bottle added to the front along side the battery. Professionally done but not great esthetically. Maybe I'll make a cover for the combo.
Last but not least, the one window with a handle has lost it. So, at the moment, I have no way to open them. I'm going to look at using a suction cup as temprorary way to open them.
I was able to loosen up the windows in the door so that they open now.
Got carried away. Pictures are (or will be) available if you would like.
Roger
Roger, I look forward to following your modification thread. Feel free to leave a link to it and/or a link to your photo album in this thread . Campster owners can then switch to it at will

Thanks for reminding me about the handle. I did make some for mine but I have not yet made a lock.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:12 PM   #188
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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Campster sliding window handle

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The window handle pulls on my sliding windows were missing. I created some very basic but functional ones with aluminum angle. I used 3/4" angle as that is what I had on hand in the workshop shorts bin, but 1/2" x 1/2" angle would be just right so use that size for yours. 1/8" thick angle is sufficient. Just remember after 45 years of use you probably do need to replace the felt run track, you don't want to break your glass trying to force open the sliding windows that don't want to slide easily. New handles will not solve the problem of windows being stuck closed.

My handles are secured to the glass with VHB tape and that is a sufficiently strong way to mount them. I used black tape since that is what I had on hand, clear would have been nice but it still looks OK with black.

I did round over all the corners on the new handles, that is important to do since it is in an area where people sit and they might lean back towards the window.

No work on my project the last few days, I was under the weather and also out of an adhesive I was using. Tomorrow I will be back at it putting in more of the blocking for the new interior.

Nice evening here and still on the summer evening side of being warm. Folks were out on the beach with picnics and the local "dinner cruise" ship was coming back into port.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:04 PM   #189
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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adding insulation

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I might actually get all the insulation in before really cold daytime weather arrives. Although there have already been days when I needed to wear a light jacket.

I have been poking along on the remodel adding blocking against the walls and am now at the point of adding insulation between the blocking. I am using 1/2 thick poly-iso foam board that has reflective mylar on the side facing the exterior. My insulation is held in place by being pressure fit, made just very slightly oversized it can't fall out or even move out of place. I pressure fit them instead of putting glue onto the reflective surface which would destroy its ability to reflect. There will be another layer of reflective mylar added to the interior surface, that will be created using mylar "space blankets". That layer will be installed with aluminum foil tape which will completely seal off the wall insulation layer and the wood blocking from the interior moisture. No moisture means no mold growth



Working on the interior is rough on my back, when working on walls I am almost always bent over, not enough room to stand up and lots of bending up and down and going bent over in and out through the door. It makes for progress moving at the speed of a slug
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:30 PM   #190
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Manitoba
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Greetings KC,
We seem to be at about the same place with our trailers. I have done the rigid insulation as well and have put some birch ply on the walls and have built the one tall cabinet. Alas, I have to put the trailer to bed for the winter in a few weeks. I have to finish off the belly band later this week when we get a warm spell and then wrap up things until the spring. Rain and high winds for the last few days brought the reality home and today I put away my summer clothes and brought out fall/winter ones.
I assume you are able to continue much further into the fall ? I look forward to following your progress.
I like your space blanket idea. I have been using tuck tape to seal all the seams between the insulation and the framing (covering the framing too) but the space blankets would make it mostly seamless.
Sorry to hear about your back. I know how working in the limited space of the trailer can cause conditions to flare.
Take care.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:55 AM   #191
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
I didn't save my pop top fabric and then regretted it- if you end up with measurements or a pattern on paper please let me know. I made a top (also after a trip to Seattle Fabrics) but am not yet good with it. If I end up starting all over I'll do it with a pattern.

Are you going to replicate the interior or change things around?
For the pop up top.....you are welcome to come on by for a visit and take photos and I can discuss the details of what to do and you can make notes while I talk. I made a measured drawing in CAD that turned out to be accurate to work from but I don't have all the features of the protective flaps for the zippers on the drawing. I don't have written detailed instructions to follow. I have other things I need to make instructions for at this time of year so I am not likely to sit down and put it together in a file anytime soon.

As to the interior. I am not significantly changing the layout since it is about as good as it can get in such a small space. But I am changing some things. A cabinet across the front end the same height as the bed/benches. That will be used for housing batteries as I would not like them to be stolen. It will keep the weight centered up by the tongue.

The sink will still be on the same side. I am not at this time planning on building in a stove, I will use a portable countertop unit.

The side where the original fridge and closet were is going to be the same height as the counter with the sink. My fridge will be a 12 volt portable fridge/freezer unit, it can be on the counter top for easy access. That makes the best sense $$ wise for me as I can use it in my Sunrader, in my Honda Element for brief stay overs, in the sail boat or in the big Ford Van. Since I can only be in one place at a time why not just have one fridge that can be moved around?

My dinette table will have fittings for hanging it from the wall on the narrow end and on the longer side edge as well. I will be doing some interesting things with the interior in terms of using the table(s) and bench seats in different configurations for lounging, sleeping and working.
But it is easier to see it in photo action than to write it or sketch it.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:14 AM   #192
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia D. View Post
Greetings KC,
We seem to be at about the same place with our trailers. I have done the rigid insulation as well and have put some birch ply on the walls and have built the one tall cabinet. Alas, I have to put the trailer to bed for the winter in a few weeks. I have to finish off the belly band later this week when we get a warm spell and then wrap up things until the spring. Rain and high winds for the last few days brought the reality home and today I put away my summer clothes and brought out fall/winter ones.
I assume you are able to continue much further into the fall ? I look forward to following your progress.
I like your space blanket idea. I have been using tuck tape to seal all the seams between the insulation and the framing (covering the framing too) but the space blankets would make it mostly seamless.
Sorry to hear about your back. I know how working in the limited space of the trailer can cause conditions to flare.
Take care.
Thanks Patricia,
Yes I will be able to work on the interior through much of winter here as it is reasonably mild and generally above freezing. But if I want to put on the exterior red paint with a roller and tip method I will have to commit to doing it within the next 4 weeks as that likely be the last of the days reliably over 60 degrees. Otherwise I will have pay someone to spray the paint at a paint shop which is OK if I must do that. It just means other things can't be done right away.

I will be doing seams in my space blanket sections as they will be slightly recessed back from the surface of the blocking. My blocking is 3/4" thick and my foam insulation is 1/2" thick. So I am taking advantage and recessing the mylar back against the foam to protect it from the potential for abrasion by the wood paneling. The space blanket surface is on the delicate side. They are tough but not bullet proof
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:00 AM   #193
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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First things first but sometimes I forget to think about what I really need to do next before I can do other things. Fortunately I managed to save myself trouble just in the nick of time

All the foam insulation is cut and in place and today I was going to put on the Mylar Space Blanket material and started unfolding the sheet and put a piece of masking tape to hold up the top edge but then I realized I really ought to get the ceiling materials installed first. I don't want any glue drips on the Mylar or of course on the new wood paneling either. OK so no Mylar so get out the ceiling foam.

But I did't have enough of the soft closed cell foam for the ceiling insulation job so that means a trip to Seattle Fabric tomorrow and hoping they have it in stock. They usually do but sometimes not.

Of course I also need to have the wood paneling installed before I can build cabinets so I could not start on them. Plus it would be easier to run some of the wiring before I put in cabinets. And I should make a decision about a water tank and...yeah OK that was enough thinking ahead so I tackled something I actually could get done that I had been avoiding...CLEANING!!

I had not scrubbed all the dirt off the fiberglass surface that is the bottom of the shell between the plywood sub floor and the walls. At one of the front corners it was pretty dingy, no doubt that was from some black mold since the windows were leaking. That must have been the low spot the water pooled into. Now some people in this and other forums start foaming at the mouth at the mention of the word mold. However I live in the Pacific Northwest in the coast area and this is not toxic mold, it is the everyday black stuff that is always around outside in any area that does not get a lot of sun on it. Not hardly worth a shrug of the shoulders much less having a panic attack over it.

My cleaning solution was a basic detergent plus some Borax Washing Soda added into it. The Borate, ie Borax is a great killer of mold, mildew, blah, blah, blan and helps prevent mold growth as well as insect issues. But don't use it on aluminum, it says that right on the label. I will let the rest of you go off and buy some exotic mold killer for $$ that does not work any better than what you can find in the laundry detergent aisle.

When I cleaned out the small 1/2" wide gap between the edge of the plywood sub floor and the vertical side of the wheel well I discovered a small through hole right at the bottom curve of the wheel well. I guess a rock must have bashed into it. So there was something hiding under that grunge, good thing I decided to clean it. Just a small fiberglass repair, it won't very take long. While cleaning I did find one star shaped stress area on the floor and that must mean there was a bash of some kind on the underside. I will investigate that as well, it is not holed but might do with a reinforcing patch over the underside. If I am going to shimmy underneath and get out the epoxy and glass cloth I might as well do both of them while the ground is dry. Rain next week but not for a couple of days.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:40 AM   #194
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Trailer: 1975 Ventura
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I had to smile at your having to take a step back and handle some tasks before continuing on a bigger job that looks like progress. This happens repeatedly on my project no matter how much I try to think ahead. "Shaggydoink" addressed it a while ago, speaking of the myriad dependencies in the process.
BTW I first experienced west coast mold when I lived on one of the Gulf Islands and unknowingly stored books and sports equipment in a log outbuilding over the first winter. Sadly, no amount of Borax could have helped them, though it is now a staple in my house now.
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:04 PM   #195
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Good advice about Borax and mold. I will try it instead of the &$&$&$ product I bought at the HD.


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Old 09-28-2016, 03:29 PM   #196
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
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Good advice about Borax and mold. I will try it instead of the &$&$&$ product I bought at the HD.


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Just don't expect it to remove the stains that mold can leave behind. It is not a bleach.
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