Mods for 1978 Scamp 13 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-05-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
Oregon
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It all started when I decided to go to Alaska...
I was feeling stagnant here in Eugene, had graduated from school a year earlier, didn't feel attached to the idea of continuing to live here and all the sudden I just decided working next summer in alaska would be a great place to start. This was in summer of 2012, by december of that year I had done lots of research an purchased the 1978 scamp from a couple in Portland and bought a 1986 Isuzu trooper to tow it with.
Over the winter it sat in the yard covered in a tarp and often a little bit of snow and a lot of wet rain.
I knew when I bought it the roof vent was leaking and learned on the drive home that the turn signals didn't work and the wiring was spotty but the propane heater and stove were working, the undercarriage was good and interior in almost complete condition (no table and some funky homemade interior cabinet modifications but nothing I couldn't live with).
Here are the pictures that Ron, the great guy who sold me the trailer sent me before I went to look at it:
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:12 PM   #2
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Sweet! So what are your plans? Gonna live in her or travel?

deryk
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:38 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
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First things first I pulled out the little cabinets he had built sitting on the dinette booths so that the bed was full sized again. I also pulled out the roof vent and order a fantastic fan on the internet. The full sized porta potty didn't fit under anything because it was too tall so I got a smaller one that fit under the front dinette.
Then we started in on the long process of installing the fantastic fan. To make the spacer for the fantastic fan we didn't want to cut into the head space at all (my bf who is coming with me is 6'1") so we bought pvc trim and glued it to the roof so that the fan would stick up above the roof line instead of down into the head space. I bought filler and made a gradual slope around the pvc down to the roof and smoothed the whole thing out in an effort to make it more aerodynamic. Then after sanding down the roof area surrounding the vent and the filler we fiberglassed the whole thing in sanding down between each couple of layers and adding white tint to the last couple of layers so that it matched the rest of the trailer. One final sand and we used butyl tape to stick the fantastic fan down before drilling the whole thing into place.
The whole process took us months to do because my boyfriend and I only have usually one at best two days a week off at the same time and we wanted to do it together since we have never done fiberglassing before and wanted as many hands available as possible to help. The probability of having nice enough weather on those two days for us to work on the roof (I have no sheltered area to work on the trailer) was very low. We found a nice day about once a month to work on it. The first few coats of fiberglass we actually had to put a big box on the roof over the work, then a tarp, then stick a heater in the trailer to get it to dry because it was below freezing outside and had icy mist.
Today is the first time it has rained since we completed the project and i went in the trailer to check it out after about 12 hours of steady rain. No leaks! You have no idea how happy I am!
The only thing that looks a little out of place (and this is just ascetic) is that the newly done fiberglass is so much shinier than the rest of the fiberglass shell! We don't really want to repaint the outside because we look at it as theft insurance that the outside is kind of wore with ugly caulking that was used to fix leaks around all the windows and the stickers pealing. I really have to stop myself from shinning the rest of it though now that the roof looks so nice!
Don't have any pictures of the process but here is a picture of the finished product doing its job in the rain:
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:43 PM   #4
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
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Originally Posted by deryk View Post
Sweet! So what are your plans? Gonna live in her or travel?

deryk
I would say a combination of living and traveling. My boyfriend and I both got jobs at a lodge on the kenai peninsula for the summer season, May-September. To get up there this April (in a month!) we are taking the alaskan marine highway from Bellingham Washington up to Haines alaska then driving around and sight see for a month or so until work starts. The lodge is giving us a trailer spot and we will be camping out there for the rest of the summer. After that who knows!
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:49 PM   #5
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Sounds like a grand adventure! Im envious.

The fan install looks great! I can't wait till camping season!

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Old 03-30-2013, 12:54 AM   #6
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
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Last weekend we got so much done! My friend's boyfriend Mike, a mechanic and contractor, came over and cleaned up the electrical. By the time he left we had new wiring, a 12 v fuse box, all connections crimped and lots of training on how to working do any further wiring we may need. He was such such a help and we send him home with a big bottle of Crown Royal (per advice from folks here on the forum).
Other than the fuse box, we now have a double 12v outlet out of the right side of the kitchen counter, near the front bench, a 120v outlet on the left side of the counter near the rear dinette another 120v outlet in the cabinets above the kitchen so that we can plug in our LED ikea-type lighting that we will mount. AND, we wired one 12v light that will be mounted above the front bench. Oh, and how could I forget the fantastic fan, it now works!
Below is the most telling photo of what the electrical looked like before. Yes, those are old electrical cords spliced together into a broken old electrical box that is being held together with electrical tape.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:03 AM   #7
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heh that is one of te problems with buying something used...I had a sailboat I lived on that a prior owner wanted to add ac power to the boat so he went to home depot and bought a standard house small metal ac panel and wire and did it...was so rusty it scared me...pulled it out used appropriate marine grade wire and panel...tada works like it should. Sometimes the parts can be a little more expensive then house grade stuff at hd... but some stuff is not the same.
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All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.... J.R.R. Tolkien
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:01 PM   #8
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
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Yah a shaking moving trailer is not a house, quite obvious from the way the wiring was falling apart. And splicing in old extension cords to use as wiring? THAT seems like a fire waiting to happen! Totally worth it to buy the right stuff.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
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Things got so crazy in the end that I didn't have time to finish posting the whole process of my mods but here is a pic of how it looks now. We have it in full winter mode sine up here in Alaska we consistently had nights below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Reflectixs under cow hide on the floor. As well as lining the front booth and blanket over that, Reflectix over the big windows, Small electric heater to use while plugged in, rug in front of door to take off boots and plastic box on booth by door to put shoes. Not all that is visible in the pic.
Behind the pup is a 'library' that I built under the support for the nonexistent top bunk. We also built a counter extension with an electronics drawer and a shelf with big lip over both front and back bench.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:36 PM   #10
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
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My next mod will be dealing with the condensation. The cushions get so wet where the fiberglass and outside wall touches because of the temp difference. It is the worst when we use the cadallitic heater so we don't use that one over night but make sure we have hook ups and if in the electric heater. Lining the front booth with reflectix helped create a barrier between the cold fiberglass/ plywood floor and the warm inside of the trailer. We also need to do it under the sink and back booth.
Other than that we just try to keep stuff away from the walls and use the hair dryer and towels to periodically dry the cushions. I also have a damp rid in every compartment.
I found that air circulation helps a lot so I'm going to install vents from all the enclosed spaces into the main heated space and buy some of that marine spacer stuff mentioned in another post.
We have successfully stopped anything from molding but man is it a pain!
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:37 PM   #11
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Looks real cozy! Im sure your counting down till it gets warm lol!
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All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.... J.R.R. Tolkien
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:44 PM   #12
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Insulation and ventilation is really critical. On most of my boats the mattress i slept on always got damp and was hard to ever get it to really dry out. Well on the last boat since I was redoing it, I added 2 layers of that reflectix style insulation and covered it with cheap carpeting from walmart where i slept, then built a lattice like frame work that raised the mattress up 2-3" and let air circulate under it. Well 2 winters and it stayed dry and was much warmer and had no condensation issues.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:49 PM   #13
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
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Insulation and ventilation is really critical. On most of my boats the mattress i slept on always got damp and was hard to ever get it to really dry out. Well on the last boat since I was redoing it, I added 2 layers of that reflectix style insulation and covered it with cheap carpeting from walmart where i slept, then built a lattice like frame work that raised the mattress up 2-3" and let air circulate under it. Well 2 winters and it stayed dry and was much warmer and had no condensation issues.
We do have so carpet remnants we were going to put down outside once the ground isn't a giant sheet of ice. Maybe I should cut a strip off the end and the sleeping area with that. Thanks for the idea!
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:53 PM   #14
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Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
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Ps I used slats in the middle of the bed where the table would go since I have no table and connected the spread out slats with burlap straps so they accordion out into a bed or fold back under the gouch for a couch. No condensation there just like the lattice you were talking about.
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