We are following your restoration with great interest! We too just bought a 75 beachcomber! It needs work and we really have no experience with this kind of thing. We'd like to start with the outside. What did you do to repair the fiberglass and then how did you go about prepping it for painting and what type of paint? Any advice would be awesome! Our windows also are going to need to be replaced at some point as they are cracked and pretty ugly...did you do your own?
Good to hear from you.
We started by scraping all the old decals off, removing windows and trim, and sanding the fiberglass with a random orbit sander (80 grit, then 120, 180 etc). We had some cracks in the roof that someone previous had attempted to repair by spreading some sort of paintable rubber over the top. It too had to all be scraped off. Then we ground away the damaged area and laid in new fiberglass mat and resin from both inside and outside.
In our trailer, we decided that we didn't need the old furnace
, as we camp in summer, mostly in serviced campgrounds and figured we could use the space better for storage and get a little ceramic heater if we really needed it. Consequently, we fiberglassed in the opening where the furnace
vent used to be as well.
We used an automotive acrylic primer and paint
from Dupont (Nason I believe was the name). I applied it with an HVLP sprayer.
On the inside we pulled out all the paneling and insulation and noticed that most of the 1 X 2 spruce framing that had been fiberglass bonded to the outer shell had let go over the years. We pulled it all out, scraped off as much as possible of the old resin from the shell and glued in new framing using polyurethane construction adhesive. (you can get this at Home depot or Rona)
For windows, we kept the front and back ones, but replaced all the side windows with new ones from SunView Industries in Summerland BC. http://www.sunviewindustries.ca/
You have to stipulate the wall thickness when you order (ours is 1") We ordered the windows just a hair oversized and trimmed out the existing openings to get a tighter fit than the original. The windows are bedded in a butyl rubber tape available from any RV dealer.
Our trailer also came with a "low pressure" (30 psi) automotive style 14" tires
and brake drums that no longer worked. We figured that with an original weight
of only 1450 lbs, we didn't need the brakes
so we replaced them with standard hubs , and put on new 13" trailer tires
with a 50 psi inflation recommendation. That saved another estimated 80 lbs of weight
, and lost us only about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ground clearance. Given the easier rolling and lighter weight
it should make towing even easier.
We are also reconfiguring the interior from its "pretence" of being a 4 person camper by eliminating the upper bunk, reshaping the dinette into a U-shape, and extending the counter area right to the front. This leaves only a smaller sitting area to the right of the door, and turns the trailer into a true, 2 person camper. I'll post some more phots shortly.
Best of luck with your project