My Broken Back 16ft. Casita - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV



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Old 11-24-2017, 08:58 PM   #15
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Name: Eric
Trailer: 1987 Casita 16
Illinois
Posts: 444
Yes, it looks like your floor has been replaced at some time, the plywood will not hold as well, put the OSB replacement should be okay. The gummy residue on the sides that is a gold/yellow color is the glue that is used to hold on the carpet. If you are not doing a total rebuild, and the carpet doesn't smell, you might leave it for a couple of trips and see how it works. It is a rubber backed carpet that helps with the insulation. Since they began a floor restore, I would guess there are no screws holding it down. They would be Phillips self tapping screws, and would go into the smaller support cross frame members. You might want to check how well it is held down now and what is holding it down. Might not be anything -- you can take a 2x4 and see if it will lift, before I had anything really in I think it went up with only a little pressure.
As Mike mentioned, the two halves are joined with glass and epoxy. The belly band holds it together until the glassing sets up, and then everything is put it. Since some of the support was taken out you have the sag. But I think you will be able to jack it up and get most of it back. Also if you stiffen the floor it will help since the frame is back a few inches from the shell.

If you go back with what you are planning, I don't think you will have much to worry about with the weight, unless you put more water and other things in.

I bet you will enjoy the extra size. That was why we moved away from the 13 we had on order for a while.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:32 PM   #16
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 282
Eric, Yes sir we will enjoy the space. I don't mind the simple appointments of the smaller trailers since we up and till now have been using a teardrop trailer or a tent.

I don't have the original carpet nor do I have the floor to ceiling cabinets. I will build the new cabinets from wood. What kind of flooring we will use is yet to be determined.

Mike
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:16 PM   #17
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Name: Evelyn
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot B17-DLX
Oregon Coast
Posts: 187
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Originally Posted by Nor Cal Mike View Post
Hello All,

I just posted my new member introduction last evening. Two days ago I bought a 1986, 16 ft. Casita for $300. All of the appliances are there. They look to be in good shape. It is missing...
Congratulations on your purchase! It always makes me sad when I see how much some of these FG beauties get neglected. Life happens to FG trailers, too, I guess. Then, folks like you come along with a plan and a determination to make it whole again. Bravo, and the very best of luck.

(I guess we all know how you'll be spending your winter.)
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:28 AM   #18
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
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Originally Posted by EricAllyn View Post
Yes, it looks like your floor has been replaced at some time, the plywood will not hold as well, put the OSB replacement should be okay.
When you say, "the plywood would not hold as well", what do you mean? Do you think plywood is less rigid than OSB? Plywood's property in that regard is wholly dependent on the quality of the product. High quality plywood such as marine grade, has fewer voids and more plys of veneer making it far more rigid than the cheap stuff of the same dimension I am concerned that OSB, due to it being made from short fibers (chips) might be more prone to bending or breaking at the corners. That is my biggest issue with this trailer has that issue at the edges for and aft of the fender boxes. Even propping up the ceiling with great force and jacking on the outside corners of the fenders from the underside exterior has not brought these back in line as of yet. I'll keep her jacked up for a few days to see what happens over time. I assume these trailers came originally with 5/8 medium grade plywood. Is that correct? I could go up to 3/4 and use marine grade, but I am loath to increase the overall weight. given my 4 cyl Subaru tow vehicle.

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Originally Posted by EricAllyn View Post
Since they began a floor restore, I would guess there are no screws holding it down. They would be Phillips self tapping screws, and would go into the smaller support cross frame members. You might want to check how well it is held down now and what is holding it down. Might not be anything -- you can take a 2x4 and see if it will lift, before I had anything really in I think it went up with only a little pressure. .
I checked and have found hex head screws but have not determined if they are going into the crossmembers or the main beams of the chassis. Obviously where the OSB is missing, there are no screws. I am glad the cab stayed on during the 50 mile tow home LOL.

I was perplexed that whoever redid the floor ran the seam of the OSB long ways rather than running a full sheet crossways across the cab. I was thinking that that method would allow the weight of the unsupported cab to simply push the OSB down over the fulcrum (main chassis beams) if it were not one piece across laterally the cab. Learning that the screws are placed in the steel chassis cross, members decreases that concern since the half sheet would be held down by screws.. However that break in the wood down the center of the trailer would put those screws under greater stress since they would have to resist the fulcrum effect rather than only the job fastening the cab to the chassis. T'would be better to have a full sheet across the cab, I think. Of course this assumes that the cab is firmly supported by the wood such as being bonded or having some sort of cleat or shelf molded in with the fiberglass to transfer the mass of the cab to the wood floor. I recognize the cabinets are a factor too. I think that glassing in some kind of wooden cleat at intervals where the cab is not supported by bulkheads(closets) would go a long way toward strengthening the structure without adding excessive weight.

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Originally Posted by EricAllyn View Post
Since some of the support was taken out you have the sag. But I think you will be able to jack it up and get most of it back. Also if you stiffen the floor it will help since the frame is back a few inches from the shell..
I hope so. Time will tell.

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Originally Posted by EricAllyn View Post
If you go back with what you are planning, I don't think you will have much to worry about with the weight, unless you put more water and other things in.
WE are going on a camping diet in this trailer. We plan to only carry lightweight pots, pans & utensils for two, lightweight bedding such as down or polyfill etc. I took up low intensity backpacking (no more than about 7 miles a day with under 1,000 ft. elev. change.) a few years ago and learned very quickly that a few ounces here and there quickly add up very quickly into a really hard slog.

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I bet you will enjoy the extra size. That was why we moved away from the 13 we had on order for a while.
I have often wondered if it would be possible to pull a larger trailer if it were equipped with smaller trailer amenities. This is my chance to answer that question. The extra walking space will be nice as long as I am not tempted to fill it all up LOL.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:35 AM   #19
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 282
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Originally Posted by Ev in Oregon View Post
Congratulations on your purchase! It always makes me sad when I see how much some of these FG beauties get neglected. Life happens to FG trailers, too, I guess. Then, folks like you come along with a plan and a determination to make it whole again. Bravo, and the very best of luck.

(I guess we all know how you'll be spending your winter.)
Thank You Ev for your comments. I agree that it is sadt that these little trailers suffer over neglect or by ill informed modifications.

Yes, my winter is all laid out given this project. We hope to be camping after our eldest daughter's wedding in March.

Mike
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:19 PM   #20
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Name: Eric
Trailer: 1987 Casita 16
Illinois
Posts: 444
The main issue with floors in the FG campers is with water. Plywood voids allow the water to sit inside the wood and begin the rot process. OSB has more rosin based fill and doesn't let the water move as fast through the wood to begin the rot process so generally lasts longer. Since it is cheaper than the high quality plywood, and generally less susceptible to the water retention, I think that it why it is almost always used. If the plywood is completely enclosed with rosin, then there is not a problem, but that becomes difficult with screws to hold things down, etc. i stayed with OSB and I did run it across the width so the seams were in good places, and with the Fiberglass on the bottom and top, the seams filled with rosin, and it became one structural piece.

I think the reason you have some of both is that the floor work may have been done at different times. Often the drivers side needs replacement first, since it has the water heater and the shower on that side.

I don't think weight will be an issue, especially if the cabinets are made of light fir, and not a hard wood. I am doing douglas fir with luan insets and I think it will actually be less than the ones that come with the camper.

On the flattening of the floor. If you have almost all the crews and bolts out, another way to get it to true up a little, would be to lift it and put something under the whole body, and them a support in the middle gets all the weight off the sides, it is all transferred into the middle support, and the sides get stretched, and with the flat bottom it gets a better shape, then the floor FG top and bottom of the wood will give you a very good floor, and a few side supports will give you good walls and ceiling. What I found is that I could set the curve with the walls if I supported the ceiling, and the curve on the wall was glassed in well. If you don't have any cabinets, then you could build your curve in the cabinets the way you want it, and glass it to make it strong.
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:07 PM   #21
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 282
Good points all sir. My next step will be to get the floor replaced. No work possible for a couple of days as my daughter is home for a visit.

Mike
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:01 PM   #22
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Name: Eric
Trailer: 1987 Casita 16
Illinois
Posts: 444
We had family from PA for Thanksgiving, and also the kids from around here, so didn't get anything much done, but it was great to have them here. This week hope to get back on it. Today it is supposed to get to 60, so probably more yard work than camper work. Leaves are still coming down.
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:03 PM   #23
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 282
Eric I am glad you had a great time with your family as did we.

We had a few of rainy days here in NW California over last week. Today was nice, my daughter has gone back home and my wife is off with some friends which leaves me with a free day.

My wife has forbidden me to spend any more money on the trailer until after Christmas. Since we are now both retired (she retired in June) we must moderate our expenditures more than before if we are to maintain our pay as we go retirement philosophy. Our extra cash this month went for an $1,100 Reliance tankless water heater to replace the old Paloma WH that went belly up after 25 years. That means that the new flooring material may have to wait until January. Frustrating.

In the meantime, I have put in four jacking posts in the interior and put quite a of horsepower into them causing the little trailer to be strung tight as a banjo. She is looking pretty straight down the both sides for the most part although the fender boxes are still leaning outward. I may have to live with that unless they decide to move back on their own over time once the walls are permanently fortified with new structural bulkheads. Until the flooring arrives, I will leave her strung up as she is in the hope that she may regain some of her shape memory.

After the jacking, the curvature of the door is pretty darn good. Maybe a little re-bowing on the door will be in order but not much. One problem that did arise is that the door is not plumb on the hinges, fore and aft. The top of the door is cocked too far to the left making for a poor fit in the opening and causing the door latch to be too tight on the strike plate. This can be fixed by redrilling the door to moving it to the rear on the top hinge. I think I will wait until all of the structural work is complete (new floors & bulkheads) and align the door as the very last part of this project.

Mike A
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:55 PM   #24
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Name: Eric
Trailer: 1987 Casita 16
Illinois
Posts: 444
I also waited until the last minute to do the door, since things inside can change. I am waiting for the new Dexter axle to be put on, and then I will probably be able to go camping. I hope to get the carpet up and windows in in the next week, and all the painting finished. I have the flooring -- snap link heavy vinyl -- and I think that will likely be the last thing in.
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:12 PM   #25
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 282
Eric, You are doing a great Job. That first camping trip will be a huge reward.

I have a favor to ask. Could you post a close pic of your top and bottom Hinges? The reason I ask is that I think mine may be bent. Especially the bottom one. Here are some pictures.


The bottom hinge is severely pinching the seal around the edge of the door. I think I can probably take out some of the offset to make it fit better applying some force on it in my vice.

Here is the top hinge. It looks like the top of the door is shifted too far to the left.


Something just occurred to me. Could the top and bottom hinges might be different and if so, the PO could have reinstalled them in the wrong places? I don't see these hinges being bent by the leverage applied from of a flimsy fiberglass door.

Thanks, Mike A
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:56 AM   #26
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 2,739
hats off to you

mike

looks like you have things about figured out for 300bux I think you got a bargain for yourself. I wouldn't go crazy with addons. No doubt you get it fixed and ready to tow you can sell it and move up or keep it and love it and the savings you have.

you guys that can do this stuff blow my mind!!


bob
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:19 AM   #27
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
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mike

looks like you have things about figured out for 300bux I think you got a bargain for yourself. I wouldn't go crazy with addons. No doubt you get it fixed and ready to tow you can sell it and move up or keep it and love it and the savings you have.

you guys that can do this stuff blow my mind!!


bob
Thanks Bob, I see this as a local weekender. We live 35 miles inland from the coast and love to spend much of our time along the coast between San Francisco and Seattle. I see little need for air conditioning, big power drawing appliances, etc. If it is comfortable and keeps the rain or dew off of our heads, that is good enough. I think I mentioned that we have been using a little tear drop trailer that I built 10 or 12 years ago so this is a big step up. We came to the decision that we really wanted something that would allow us to sit upright while reading a book and watching the rain outside. You can't do that in a teardrop. Who knows, we may sell this and move up to something better, a bathroom would be nice, but that means purchasing a new tow vehicle as well. We are not ready to do that in the immediate future given the ongoing expense of having one daughter get married last year and the other getting married this year.
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:34 AM   #28
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 2,739
our plan

mike I ran into A-Liners loved them bought one then had big-time back surgery. I thought my lifting days were over so I sold the A-Liner and bought the 13f Scamper. No we want no bathroom just a place to set, cook breakfast we boondock so the local walmart is our campground when traveling!

The A-Liner offers in some areas more than the Scamp we will see this is our first year but so far so good. With the Ford Edge we are at 1/2 our limit on towing but I don't think I want to pull more than the 13f with it.

I think you have the right plan some of us want more some less I respect everyones way of doing things but I guess I am on the cheap side in camping!

good campin

bob
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