Replacing wall/ceiling carpet in Casita Spirit (not deluxe) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-06-2016, 10:59 AM   #1
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Name: Joanie
Trailer: Casita Spirit
Oregon
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Replacing wall/ceiling carpet in Casita Spirit (not deluxe)

Husband just came home a couple of weekends ago with a '95 Casita Spirit as best as I can tell as it has the bunk bed option, and we have begun restoring. He's working on taking out the spongy floor right now. The big question, though, is what to do with this smelly wall/ceiling carpet? I'm afraid what's behind that carpet and wonder if the best option is to take it out. It doesn't look to be in bad shape actually, but not loving the all over carpeted insides anyway. But, what do I replace it with? I've read about different insulation, foam tiles, cork boards, replacing with new carpet or just giving the carpet a good cleaning. And now, after reading some of the posts here, see something about Reflectix bubble style insulation and headliner fabric which seems promising. Any advice for greener than green travel trailer newbies? Husband is quite talented and is capable of whatever may be required.
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:53 PM   #2
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The main reason that they carpet the interior is due to the fact that the interior fiberglass under it is not "finished" and smooth like the outside of the trailer. When the trailer is built, they apply gel coat to the molds first, followed by a sprayed in "chopper gun" application of glass fibers and resin until the fiberglass has been built up to the desired thickness. Unfortunately the inside is pretty raw looking when they're done, so it saves time and labor to just hide it with carpeting. This is also the same reason that they charge you extra for linoleum instead of carpeting on the floor. The carpeting hides a lot of irregularities, but when you want to put in linoleum, the floor must be smoothed by sanding, filling and grinding so that the vinyl flooring will not have any of these rough spots. If it wasn't done, those high and low spots would "telegraph" through the top of the linoleum and look pretty crappy.

Unless you're wanting to make a lot of extra work for yourselves, my recommendation would be to stick with carpeting, and if you do decide to replace all or part of it, I would stock up on several spray cans of 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive for mounting the carpet, (or whatever you decide to replace it with.)

FWIW, if it isn't in real bad condition, (i.e. all torn up or severely worn and frayed,) and would look OK if it were cleaned, I'd suggest renting a carpet cleaner, (the kind with a hand wand, not the floor only model,) or a steam cleaner and just clean it up. YMMV
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
...

FWIW, if it isn't in real bad condition, (i.e. all torn up or severely worn and frayed,) and would look OK if it were cleaned, I'd suggest renting a carpet cleaner, (the kind with a hand wand, not the floor only model,) or a steam cleaner and just clean it up. YMMV
I understand that replacing the carpet (or marine headliner on a Scamp) is a major job.

A couple of years ago I had a professional auto carpet steam cleaning place do a cleaning on a car we were selling. I had already cleaned it up some with consumer tools but it was still rough. We had to leave it at their shop overnight and when these guys got through I was amazed. The only thing they could not get looking much better was water stain that was quite permanent. I have no doubt that we got much more than our $100 investment back when the car sold.

Now I have not heard of anyone getting a Casita or similar cleaned by pros like this but it might be something to consider. If you could get it restored for $2-300 I would consider it well worth it when compared to the aggravation of trying to clean it yourself and no doubt cheaper than replacing it. You might have to educate the shop on the type of carpet / headliner and adhesive used also.

The company we used was a member of http://www.iicrc.org/
I don't know if that really means that much, but you might look for that certification. The linked website also has a Locate a Certified Professional link.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:47 PM   #4
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Name: Joanie
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Thanks for explaining the purpose of the carpet. I think we're going to go slow and see if a professional cleaning does the trick. The carpet really is in good shape. Just stinks beyond belief. Appreciate the links to finding a professional.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Joanie R View Post
Thanks for explaining the purpose of the carpet. I think we're going to go slow and see if a professional cleaning does the trick. The carpet really is in good shape. Just stinks beyond belief.
Keep us posted.. I would be curious to see how it goes if you go the professional (steam) cleaning route.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:22 PM   #6
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Hi Joanie,
If all it needs is cleaning, go for it. If it is a bigger issue and you are convnced replacing would be better, take a quick look at my reno "Boler Voyageur 1300". I bought headliner and replaced my interior. It wasn't the easiest part of my reno but it wasn't as hard as some people seem to assume it is. No matter what, do what's right for you and have fun.
Jay
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:41 AM   #7
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Replacing wall/ceiling carpet in Casita Spirit (not deluxe)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joanie R View Post
Thanks for explaining the purpose of the carpet. I think we're going to go slow and see if a professional cleaning does the trick. The carpet really is in good shape. Just stinks beyond belief. Appreciate the links to finding a professional.
It serves several other functions as well: controlling light (fiberglass is translucent) and sound, insulation (I think the carpet is foam-backed in Casitas), and preventing condensation in cool weather (without it you'd have moisture dripping from the ceiling). So it's pretty important.

Replacing it is a fairly big project, so I hope a deep cleaning solves the problem. But if not, here are some of the main alternatives used by other manufacturers:

Scamp uses a layer of foil bubble insulation covered with marine headliner, a carpet-like material that resists stains and mold. This seems to be a favorite approach for rehabbers, as the materials are readily available, not too expensive, and fairly forgiving to work with.

Escape uses vinyl-skinned, closed cell foam, similar to the Ensolite used in many vintage units. It can be wiped clean. I've seen a couple of rehabs using closed-cell foam. It was definitely tricky to fit the curved corners. Finding the material is difficult; most closed-cell foam lacks the bonded vinyl skin. Ensolite is no longer made, and I've never heard where Escape sources their liner.

Some of the squared-off trailers use a more conventional RV approach with furring strips, rigid foam insulation, and thin paneling of some kind. This would not work in a rounded design like Casita.

So-called "double hull" designs, like U-Haul, Burro, EggCamper, and Oliver, have a separate inner shell of smooth fiberglass gelcoat with insulation between it and the outer shell. Not an option for a rehab, but just threw it in for information...
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:24 PM   #8
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Name: Joanie
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Thank you for the info. Learned that much more. Appreciate the break-down on the different options. Still pursuing a deep cleaning at this point. My concern is if there was mold behind that carpet, how would we get to it? Would the deep clean reach it? I'm hoping it does. The more I think about the cost and work involved to remove that carpet, the more that carpet grows on me!
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:17 PM   #9
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Name: Steve
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Carpet

Does anyone know of a source for the Casita foam backed carpet?
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:28 PM   #10
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Name: K C
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Extra strength Febreze will take care of the smell. Get it in the trigger spray bottle. Just spray all the surfaces and close the door then let it air out for a few days. Then do your good deep cleaning after that. Who wants to smell mold while you are doing the cleaning? I know I did not.

I doubt the carpet itself is moldy, it is made of polypropylene which is mold resistant. But what happens is the surface dirt from the environment that sticks to it can get mildewed and moldy since it is "food" to those organisms. So a good cleaning should be sufficient to get rid of the dirt and dust that has accumulated in the fibers.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:37 AM   #11
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Here's hoping!
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:02 AM   #12
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Name: Beth
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Hi to a fellow Oregonian! How did it go?? I am about to clean the carpeted walls because our trailer had been sitting for a long while unused when we bought it. No visible mold. I also peeled up a bit in a few spots and nothing behind or on the foam backing. I hope it worked out!
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:04 AM   #13
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Has anyone ever tried an ozone generator for eliminating the smells? I've been looking at them and wondering if they really work. I believe they can be rented and from what I understand they eliminate the smells at the molecular level rather than just mask them I also understand from my research that they kill mold and any other little critters/viruses/bugs as well.
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