Perris Pacer rebuild - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-10-2008, 09:28 PM   #1
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Trailer: 13 ft Perris Pacer
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You know, they say if you want something done right.....

I originally bought this trailer last summer and was pretty excited at first. Solid frame and shell, shiny, all complete, pretty much unmolested and a few things that needed attention had already been tended to by the previous owner. Good, right? Well, after a few shakedown trips deeper problems started to emerge and his "fixes" were pretty half hearted incomplete attempts to fix-er-up. I just don't think he had the proper knowledge or tools to do things right. So, I gutted it. Here begins the transformation that will basically rebuild the entire trailer with the exception of the shell, frame, and axle. Fortunately those 3 are rock solid.

First order of business was adding a new LP tank and relocating it to the front of the tongue, welding in a battery tray (originally didn't have a house battery) and adding a battery box and deep cycle battery. The 28 year old wiring was starting to get brittle and weathered, so I ripped that out and installed a new 7 pin and wiring as well as a 60 amp intellipower charge wizard converter. New 110 wiring and outlet were added also. 3 New interior lights (only one installed so far) as well as new tail lights and rear marker lights were also installed. The exterior is also getting new dog dish hubcaps, frame paint and a vertglass treatment.

The floor was creaking and rotting far worse than I anticipated. Carpeting can hide a lot of things. Unfortunately you don't find these things out until you rip out the carpeting, and by then you're pretty much committed to whatever the job ahead of you may be. The main kitchen area floor had been replaced by the previous owner with 3/4" pine fence boards that were covered by a sheet of 1/4" plywood, and the bunk/dinette area floor was original 28 year old OSB. eyes I was able to rip out pretty much every square inch of flooring by hand with no tools. Scary.

One thing I learned about these trailers - no matter how nice and shiny they look - NOTHING is square. This made for some interesting challenges in measuring out the floor (along with a few expletives,) I opted to make cardboard templates of the floor area and then transferred them to 12 ply 3/4" cabinet grade birch plywood to get the most precise fit. No more creaks and no more flexing with this floor. After thoroughly cleaning the fiberglass floor, The main floor was test fit, then glued into place with bondo, then bolted straight through to the frame. This accomplishes several goals - tightening & loosening the bolts individually gives the ability to level the floor and adapt to any imperfections in the fiberglass shell and frame rails, it makes it stronger and creak-free, and also reinforces the body>frame strength. At this point the main floor and floor subsections under the dinette seats are affixed. The center board (under the table) and kick plates are just mocked up until I finish running the water hose and wires underneath.
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:36 PM   #2
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The flooring under the dinette area...
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:52 PM   #3
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The main floor area. Yeah, I know...
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:02 PM   #4
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Looks like you got your work cut out for you!

The guy must have found a special on Pallet wood ... ewwwwwww

I am sure it will be great when you are finished. Sounds like you have better skill than he did.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:48 PM   #5
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After tearing it all out down to the fiberglass:

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Old 03-10-2008, 11:55 PM   #6
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The new flooring in place:
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:01 AM   #7
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Since the lighting isn't the greatest on those photos, here's a before/after close up:
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:14 AM   #8
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The floor sections inside the dinette seats and front bunk additionally will all be glassed right to the walls and given a liberal coat of epoxy resin to seal them up from spills and further strengthen the vertical walls on the bench seats. The kitchen floor area will be covered with colonial cherry pergo (leftover from a house project) and the upper bunk and kick plate (step) will be carpeted with something brownish/burnt orange type speckled kitchen carpeting.

Today I installed the new shurflo pump, ran the tubing, sealed up the countertop and glassed all the holes from the old faucet and drop in cooktop. The new Shurflo electric faucet will be located between the sink and window (so I will actually be able to use what little counter space there is) and the countertop will be filled, sanded, primed, painted, and re gel coated before the new black atwood drop-in cooktop and sink are installed. I couldn't find a range hood that fit like I wanted it to (most of them stuck out too far for my liking) so I elected to just have the old one media blasted and powdercoated gloss black to match the new stove.

New cupboard doors and hardware throughout as well as a 3 way fridge to replace the icebox are also in order. I'll post more on that when I've decided on what kind of cabinet facing to go with. (Likely cherry to match the floor.) It doesn't look like much now:

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Old 03-11-2008, 12:51 AM   #9
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Angelo,
It looks like you are making great progress! Thanks for the pictures! Your description makes it look simple and easy, but I'm sure your personal investment in sweat, tears and blood sacrifice is considerable.
Please continue reporting. Your progress is encouraging to many others.
Thank you,
Ann & Kurt K.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:37 AM   #10
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Thanks. Yes, there are a lot of specifics that I left out but will be happy to answer any questions that come up for someone looking to tackle this stuff on their own. As far as I know, there is no documented rebuild or remodel of a Pacer on the net anywhere, so I'm trying to be as thorough as possible without boring everyone with the mundane details. That said, this is really a learn as you go thing for me too. FYI I'm into the floor about 30 hours so far...
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:36 AM   #11
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"Nothing is square" Boy, you said it, brother! Drives you nuts trying to get cabinet doors and drawers to fit!

But hey, working new problems stimulates brain cell growth...
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:54 PM   #12
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Angelo, what a great restore you are doing. Once you get done you will know your trailer from top to bottom!
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:32 PM   #13
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Been plugging away the past few weeks, slowly but surely. I'll be ready to shakedown by memorial day.

Re-wired the whole inside
Rebuilt the door hinges & handle/latch/lock assembly
wet sanded most of the interior w 2000grit, will probably do another pass just for fun.
installed pergo in the kitchen w/ a nice aluminum threshold
installed tan indoor/outdoor carpet (looks nice, durable, easy to clean) in the dinette area
refinished (gelcoated) the kitchen countertop
installed new cooktop, range hood, shurflo electric water
leak/pressure tested the water system
re-sealed the rear half of the belly band (had a few "suspect" spots I didn't like)
re-sealed & leak tested windows
FINALLY found the correct positive latch hardware (8 sets)
killed a few ants

cutting new cabinet doors & drawers this week
curtains are halfway finished
replace wheel bearings & seals
paint tongue & front of frame
vertglass
still brainstorming/working on finding the "right" fridge

...go camping!

I just got in and it's dark outside, so pics tomorrow.
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:14 PM   #14
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Here are a few shots of the progress. Sorry about the lighting. Half of the trailer is under an awning and the other side is in direct sunlight, so it's really hard to take good pictures without them either washing completely out or being too dark.
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