New floor for a Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-08-2009, 04:00 PM   #1
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Two things I found out about this Scamp. The floor is molded into the fiberglass sides and wet particle board sucks. I was going to replace the frame with a conventional style frame, but the floor was rotted out and there is no way to lift the body off of the frame, so I cut the rotten wood out and replaced it with 3/4" plywood and fiberglassed it back in. I also added some strength to the frame since I was down that far, this turned out to be quite a job...and I'm not done yet. Every piece of wood in this old Scamp is rotted so there will be more to come. There are way too many places to leak that I am also fixing.



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Old 03-08-2009, 08:32 PM   #2
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Looks good Bill!

The link to your pics on flicker shows a lot more of the work you've done, 'cept the pic of your uhaul, that threw me off base for a minute. R U Trying to see if we are awake?
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:18 AM   #3
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I forget the name of the material, but that's NOT particle board (which is essentially sawdust and glue), nor is it OSB (the fibers are random) -- If it had been genuine exterior plywood, it would still look like that... Long-term water takes it's toll!

The cabinet doors, bench hatch covers, closet doors, etc. are particle board and deteriorate quickly when wet (Also heavy ). To reduce weight, I replaced my closet door and the hatches with some thin (about 1/8") beaded-board plywood that I had, and none of them have warped!
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:28 AM   #4
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The uhaul was in that group of photo's,I'm glad someones awake,because I wasn't.That beaded plywood sounds like a good idea for the doors,but I have a long way to go before I get to cabinet doors .I'm grinding most of the rivets out and countersinking new ones into the fiberglass and covering with duraglass to try to stop most of the leaks,The PO has so much silicone gobbed all over everything,and it still leaked,I still have more wet wood to replace also.This is turning into a total rebuild.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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I'm grinding most of the rivets out and countersinking new ones into the fiberglass and covering with duraglass to try to stop most of the leaks
Just some thoughts when I read that:

*The shells on these campers aren't all that thick, so I might worry about amount of material left to take the fastener loads if you are countersinking the rivets.

*If I were doing a major rebuild and wanted to eliminate fasteners pentrating the shell, I would think about either tabbing the cabinetry directly to the inside of the shell (probably on the inside, using fillets for the transition; or maybe by glassing in cleats, then fastening to those, but probably the former). This would add quite a bit of strength and "monocoqueness," and would eliminate any rivets (or worry about countersunk rivets pulling through or the filler or adjacent gelcoat/glass cracking).

Of course I'm not there looking at your trailer, so I'm just streaming thoughts here based on my experience with other fiberglass items.

Raya

PS: Except for if you don't like it cosmetically, I do think that new, well-installed rivets or machine screws would also be leak-free. Once POs have gotten to the "globbing silicone on top" stage you know there was a problem that wanted a real fix (re-bedding) but got a quick fix instead. One other thought is that if the shell was flexing unduly (due to a rotten floor or other issue), it would have put extra strain on the sealant of the rivets (tabbing would resist this much better; but of course you want to fix the extra flexing anyway).
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:53 PM   #6
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What year is the Scamp?
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:55 PM   #7
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Raya,you're right about the thickness of these campers,I was surprised how thin they are.I only ground far enough down to cover the rivet head,there seem to be enough fiberglass to get a good hold,and that was basically on the roof and on the cabinet side,the ones on the sink side I'm going to use ss bolts with rubber washers after I paint it . I also have some stress cracks near the front window that has to be sanded out and depending on how deep they are,I'll fill with vette bond.It seems that although the fiberglass is thin the gelcoat is a little thicker.It's a 1983 and I'm new to these little fiberglass campers,but after building a teardrop a couple years ago and years of body work ,I'm not shy about grinding into these things.I'm just glad I got a lot resin and cloth left over from the tear,because I'm goint to need it.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:54 PM   #8
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With your experience Bill, I doubt you need reminding.

For the benefit of others reading this thread later. The silicone may have been an attempt to fix the problem but one must figure out where the water is coming from. With a floor rotting it can come from either below or above. That requires investigation to solve the problem.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:49 PM   #9
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...but after building a teardrop a couple years ago and years of body work ,I'm not shy about grinding into these things.I'm just glad I got a lot resin and cloth left over from the tear,because I'm goint to need it.
Sounds like you have lots of experience and have it well in hand

Just curious, since you have a U-haul too, what you think of them in comparison? Word is that they were built heavier for the rental trade, but then again they did use Burro molds, so maybe that is "folklore," or may be it was just the frame

Raya
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:37 AM   #10
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This old Scamp was sitting in a field with a broken window another one open and the door not shut good, a friend seen it when he was hunting one day and knew I was looking one,I had since bought the Uhaul from someone one this site.I tracked down the owner of the Scamp and was told it belonged to his son,whom he didn't see too often but would ask if he wanted to sell it,a few weeks later I checked again and made an offer,this time I got a call that night and said he'd take that offer,I made the offer before I even looked inside,knowing it was fiberglass and the frame wasn't rotten (how bad can it be).LOL.I'm not sure it did leak from the rivets,but I wanted to clean it up for paint & take away all chances of leaking.

The Uhaul is twice the camper of this Scamp but it is also heavier and A little harder to tow with my 4cyl.Toyota ,The Uhaul has an outer and inner fiberglass shell and some nicer amenities (range hood, heater etc.) plus it sits a little higher,but for hunting & fishing,I don't want to get it muddy,that's why the old Scamp.I may sell the Uhaul once the Scamp is finished,not sure I need 2,(at least that's what my wife says.)
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:25 PM   #11
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Thanks Bill,

I know the U-haul is about 250# heavier on paper. I didn't know if they really were more heavy duty, or if it was just a more realistic weight, since U-haul had to answer to customers with specific tow capacities on a rental basis and therefore couldn't be as "optimistic" as some of the manufacturers seem to have been.

I also wonder if it is partially that they have more tongue weight - don't the wheels/axle look further back than on others? (Or is that my imagination.)

Sure would have been fun to be able to just run out and rent an egg! (But I bet they got tired of cleaning them vs. sweeping out a utility trailer or truck.)

If your U-haul is in nice shape, I can see where it would be fun to have a "beater" to run out to the woods with, and not worry about.

Raya
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:28 PM   #12
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Remember that UHaul has *two* shells, inner and outer, where your Boler and my Scamp only have one.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:49 PM   #13
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Yes, I realize that. But so do the Burros (same mold, but you don't hear the "they made them extra rugged for rental" about them). I was interested in the possible "ruggedization" done by U-haul. One sees it mentioned, and it makes sense that they might have been, as rentals. Also, they do claim them to weigh 1250# whereas a similar Boler, Trillium, etc. is usually said to weight something closer to 1000# (not sure what dry weight the Burros claim, but that would be an interesting comparison --- I don't consciously remember anyone saying they were particularly heavier than the Scamp, Trillium, etc.).

It does look as though the U-hauls have their typical single-member tongue. Maybe all the extra weight is in the frame and running gear; or maybe it was just a more realistic claim

Anyway, just curious.

R.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:40 PM   #14
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Owner of RV repair place in Florida told me he did the molds and based them on Burr0. I doubt that the shell is "ruggedized" (That's why fiberglass in the first place). It's in the large (proprietary wheels and tires, axle, frame, coupler, etc. and perhaps the appliances).
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