Removing Coach Shell from frame - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: bret
Trailer: Burro 13'
New York
Posts: 18
Removing Coach Shell from frame

To begin the process of removing the coach from the trailer frame, I first removed all of the electrical wiring and gas lines that connected through the floor. My coach was fastened to the trailer using lag bolts. The bolts heads were a mess, so i decided to cut all of the bolts from underneath. I used a sawzall and was able to slide the blade between the floor and the frame and cut off all the bolts. I then removed the front and rear windows of the coach and slid long boards all the way through from front to back. I then lifted each end of the boards using come alongs. (I am fortunate to have a barn with exposed rafters to use the lift the coach off the trailer. I then cut the floor away from the coach. The floor was fiber glassed to coach, so i used a grinder to cut through the fiberglass on the inside of the coach until i hit the wood floor. The wood was very rotten so i was able to pull the wood out from between the inner and outer shells of the coach.
The task of inserting the new floor into the grooves between the inner and outer shell took a while. I used some rope and a cam strap and cinched it down to get the coach to its orginal shape. The reason for this is that the gaps in the door need to be right before you measure and cut your new floor. The coach will not hold its shape without the help of a strap/rope. I then placed 3 4x8 plywood sheets on the trailer and lowered the coach down. I traced the outline of the coach on the plywood to give me a ruff estimate of where to cut. Once i fiddled with getting the 3 sections the proper shape and inserted into the coach, i mixed up small batches of resin and fiber glassed the plywood to the new floor on the inside and outside as well as the seams in the plywood sections. Once it was all finished, i lowered the coach with floor back onto the trailer. I used galvanized carriage bolts to hold it down. I also had extra supports welded into the trailer frame down the center to give more support to the floor.
I could then move on to fastening the inner shell of the coach to to floor. for this i choose stainless steel screws.
Replacing the floor was the hard part. I am now finishing up with patching the exterior where the vents were for the gas fride and range.... I am finished wiring the 12v system, the 110v system, and put in all new pumbing. Upholstered seat cushions are done and are waiting for me to put in the new cork floor. Only a few hours left and she will be ready for the road!

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Old 08-11-2013, 03:18 PM   #2
Junior Member
Name: bret
Trailer: Burro 13'
New York
Posts: 18
Pics of floor replacement

Here are some pictures of floor replacement for reference. I also used an asphalt fence paint to seal the exterior of the new plywood floor. I painted it while it was suspended. I refurbished and painted the trailer along with the addition of the new supports. before i lowered the coach on the frame. I stuck ice and water shield on the trailer frame to seal the floor to the trailer.
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Attached Thumbnails
good view of coach lifted off trailer.JPG   lifting rig.JPG  

rope and strap.JPG   setting coach on new plywood to trace the outline.JPG  

fiberglass exterior bottom front.JPG   fiberglass exterior bottom seams.JPG  

fiberglass front interior.JPG   fiberglass interior seams 2.JPG  

interior fiberglass.JPG   fiberglassing 4.JPG  


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Old 08-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
Junior Member
Name: Jared
Trailer: 1980 Burro 13'
Posts: 14
How to lift a trailer w/o a barn :-)

Thank you for posting all those great pictures. I think it inspired us to just get going with it, although we did not have the luxury of exposed rafters to lift against.

Fortunately, our landlord had 6 ratcheting jacks that we used to lift the shell while we removed the wheels and slid the frame out. We were able to slide the frame out the front, despite the rear bumper interfering with the jacks, by lifting with a 2x4 while a third and fourth person removed and repositioned the jacks. Tough work, but if you throw enough people at it, anything is possible. Kind of like an old fashioned barn raising. (how did your barn get built anyway?)

Here are a couple pictures that are hopefully pretty self-explanitory...
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IMG_4452.JPG   IMG_4458.JPG  

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Old 08-13-2013, 09:31 PM   #4
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Name: Mary
Trailer: Escape 21; (formerly Casita LD 17 & 16)
Posts: 9,088
The posts prior to this one were copied from a thread in the "Hi, I am..." forum. Here's the link:

Just Purchased 1985 Burro 13, Will Be Needing Some Advice on Renovation.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:17 PM   #5
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,916
Thanks to Mary for noticing a need. Gotta love those Admins!

But you know me Mary! Maybe change the title to: Removing Burro Coach Shell from frame

Sure would help with Search
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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