Prepping for a moderate renovation of my Casita - have questions - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-12-2014, 10:14 AM   #15
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Name: B
Trailer: 1982 Casita 13'
Posts: 27
The frame then spent an extended period of time at a trailer shop. Those knuckleheads ended up taking months to do a simple axle swap and repair. They actually installed the axle backwards the first time. I would strongly discourage anyone in the VA area from dealing with Commonwealth Trailer Sales in Sandston VA.

Eventually I did get the frame back. A new Torflex Dexter #9 axle in a zero degree down, leading arm configuration was installed. The axle included trailer brakes. New 14 inch wheels were installed.

I seem to have misplaced a lot of the interim photos, but we did get the Casita back together and managed to start using it in March of 2014. A fresh coat of Rustoleum marine paint was applied to the exterior. New running lights and break lights were installed. Here it is on our first trip to Nelson County VA.

The interior is very much simplified from the stock configuration. My wife had zero desire to cook inside so the galley was not replaced. We desired a larger bed, so I rebuild the bed to extended from the rear of the camper to within inches of the door. The size is between king and queen size. Loads of storage under the bed now. Pretty much all that is on the inside is a bed in the back, and a bench up front. The interior has been insulated with single sided Reflectix.

Its hard to get an interior shot, but here is a view through the front window of the bed area. You can also see the redesigned vertical supports I added (the arched things).

Second trip to First Landing State Park.

I also redesigned the door latch to a more modern and secure configuration.

The camper is very much still a work in progress. We are actively working on the inside. We have done some painting to the interior. I will be installing an electrical system this weekend based around the Progressive Dynamics PD4045. New curtains and curtain tracks are planned for the following week. New headliner is planned for this winter or next spring.

We had better get moving because we have a 2 week RV trip planned to Nova Scotia that starts in 4 weeks.

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Old 08-12-2014, 11:13 AM   #16
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Name: Nate
Trailer: 1981 Casita 13. TV: 2011 Honda CR-V
Posts: 118
Nice to see what you've done, thanks!

We're starting to strip down our '81 Casita, so interesting to see the similarities! I'm not sure any of your windows were original. Ours are all aluminum-framed, including the front and rear windows.

I pulled up the carpet in the bunk area last night, and it looks like my frame fasteners go THROUGH the plywood.

Any comments on the Rustoleum paint? Rolled? Sprayed? Holding up OK?
How about the Belly Band patch? I hadn't thought of eliminating it! Holding up OK there?
And finally, how'd you eliminate the weird bowing around the kitchen window? Did adding new support eliminate it?
Anything you'd do differently?

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Old 08-12-2014, 12:28 PM   #17
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Name: B
Trailer: 1982 Casita 13'
Posts: 27
Floor Fasteners: I don't know who (factory or previous owner) installed all those screws, but I did not put it back together that way. I sealed all the holes with fiberglass. Then secured the floor (through the plywood) with a combination of stainless steel carriage bolts and zinc elevator bolts.

The Rustoleum paint was great. We used their primer and Oyster White for the paint.Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint, White, 1-Quart - House Paint - Application was via the roll and tip method. Seems to be holding up quite well.

Belly band: Holding up very well. Anything from duct tape to chewing gum would be more structurally sound than the factory belly band. The belly band is purely a decorative cover of the seam.

Weird window: I totally did away with the window. The window was installed poorly and causing that bowing. I removed the window, screwed wax paper covered plywood to the inside in an area a few inches bigger than the hole. This provided a solid flat surface to work on, and mostly eliminated the bowing. I then applied fiberglass to the outside of the hole. Once cured I removed the plywood and fiberglassed the inside. You can sort of see the patch in the linked photo - it is the large green oval that has one coat of primer on it.

Anything I would do differently:
1) Replace the jaluzi windows. They are old, don't work well, and have edges that are deadly weapons. Too late now because I am not going to do more body work.
2) Spend more time with fairing compound. A handful of body imperfections are bugging me.
3) Buy epoxy resin, hardener and fiberglass mat in bulk. I started with a quart of resin and hardener. I ended up using a gallon and a half of resin, several containers of hardener, and 2-4 rolls of mat. Fortunately I learned and only bought big containers after the 1st trip to West Marine.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:23 AM   #18
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
Posts: 595
Nice project and thanks for the writeup and pictures.


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