New guy, new camper, new questions... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-29-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
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Name: David
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New guy, new camper, new questions...

I'm going to combine an introduction, camper sitch status and heap of questions in one post.
My name is David and I have been reading this forum for a few years, mostly in the classified section, but also watching peoples rebuilds and mods with great jealousy.
Anyway, my wife and myself live in NM with our beautiful baby boys ages 3 and 3 months. We have been searching for a camper for several years and have dreamed of (at least I have) a fiberglass camper that would.... well I don't need to tell you people the benefits of owning one.
So a week ago I found and purchased a Hunter Compact II in Colorado and brought her home. Within the first 24 hours I had gutted the entire camper with the exception of the kitchen counter, sink and stove. I've decided that the floor is solid and the frame is in fine repair (ish). The furnace and fridge are not anything I'm interested in dealing with and are both out. The pop top hardware and fabric are gone and a sky light has been fitted over the kitchen to provide headroom. I've read every post I can find on the Compact Jr and II and quite frankly the roof refit is not going to be in the budget.
So as far as my vision... I have seen many of the projects in these forums and while I think there is a lot amazing work and knowledge here, my budget will not allow for much of what I see. I want to build a camper that is safe and dry. A place that my family can sleep in and enjoy without the hangups of a gadget clogged environment but with comforts not possible with tent camping. I will build it to sleep 4. I'm sure there is some laughter from that one but my professional training is mechanical design and I have a few ideas kicking around. Now for a few questions.

1. I have read about and priced Reflectix and think it makes sense considering the cost. I would like to cover it but I can't imagine the "rat fur" is very cheap. So i went to the fabric store and looked around. Does anyone have any experience using polar fleece? I found a heather grey polar fleece for $5/yard and it seems to me a good alternative. Not cotton, semi durable, stretches well. Thoughts?

2. I mentioned the roof. Does anyone have any examples of a Compact where the roof was "domed" to create standing headroom? I saw an example here where one person created a tongue and groove ceiling and it looked great. I would like to do a similar ceiling but with a larger curve to create height. Thoughts?

3. Relating to the wall covering, does anyone know the approx square footage of the inside walls of a Compact II?

I'm sure I have bunches more questions but a lot of you have already helped me and my project by sharing yours. Thanks to all those that take the time to answer and others that have taken the time to post info and pics of their projects.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:56 PM   #2
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There she is on the trip home. 300 miles and she pulled beautifully.

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Old 06-29-2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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Welcome David from North Carolina. Ok we will need to see some pictures. Everyone on here likes to see pictures. I'm sure someone that knows more about your unit will give you some information. Good luck
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:00 PM   #4
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Got the picture out before I could post. Nice looking unit.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:02 PM   #5
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I'll take some and upload them asap. There isnt much to see. Ugly as sin right now.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Seldomseensmith View Post
1. I have read about and priced Reflectix and think it makes sense considering the cost. I would like to cover it but I can't imagine the "rat fur" is very cheap. So i went to the fabric store and looked around. Does anyone have any experience using polar fleece? I found a heather grey polar fleece for $5/yard and it seems to me a good alternative. Not cotton, semi durable, stretches well. Thoughts?
You'll probably want something that doesn't absorb odors or moisture. Breathing in and out at night puts a lot of water in the air.

Since your Hunter has flat walls, maybe you'd be interested in something like this: Guess what I'm using for insulation!
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:20 PM   #7
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@ Donna, i did see that post and considered. There are a few curves i would like to contour to. As far as moisture, I understand the condensation concern but am trying to understand the benefit of rat fur over fleece material. Fleece is spun plastic and although it can trap moisture, it doesn't absorb it. Also we live in NM and the humidity here is often single digits. Nothing that is wet, stays wet for long.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:50 PM   #8
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David, welcomed to the group! Looking forward to seeing your refurb process. Keep in mind that there will be areas of your camper that get touched and rubbed more than others. Ratfir is meant to take abuse, but fleece is not made for constant hard use. It will be much more easily damaged than ratfir. IMO, I'd spend the money for ratfir, or ensolite (the 'elephant skin' vinyl that is also used)
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:09 PM   #9
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Take Wikipedia for what it's worth:

There are disadvantages to this fabric as well. If not treated with a flame retardant, fleece is quite flammable....

Fleece also tends to generate a high amount of static electricity, which causes the accumulation of lint, dust, and pet hair.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:32 PM   #10
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Thanks Donna. That's a great point. Fleece is off the menu.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:44 PM   #11
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Dave,
I have followed your posts over the last several years on RV-Net under the truck camper section. Your trip reports and pictures made me want to get a truck camper, but I decided on a trailer. Anyway welcome to our fiberglass world. We all love pictures of our projects so please do not disappoint us.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
You'll probably want something that doesn't absorb odors or moisture. Breathing in and out at night puts a lot of water in the air.

Since your Hunter has flat walls, maybe you'd be interested in something like this: Guess what I'm using for insulation!
to the forum David.
Will be following your progress with interest.

And thanks Donna for that link. I've read it too and was trying to
remember what it was so I could see it again.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:39 PM   #13
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While I've not had experience in replacing the insulation and rat fur I wonder if carpeting and under carpet insulation would work well?
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:28 PM   #14
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Thanks Donna. That's a great point. Fleece is off the menu.
David, until the question gets asked and research is done, NONE of us knows what the best outcome might be. I have never heard anyone asking about polar fleece as a wall covering and initially thought it was an interesting concept. THAT's what sharing knowledge here is all about.

Fleece might still be doable. Maybe Scotchguard or the like? Too, it's about expectations. There are those that have champagne tastes on a beer budget. It's NOT about US, it's about YOU and your expectations.

I'm still stuck at "hard sided tent" and "my dirt is cleaner than your dirt." So what do I know...
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