Restoring the "Haunted Mansion" - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-19-2014, 08:24 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Sohkraites View Post
Jim -- It's too late. It's all glued and screwed down. But, never fear. It has been covered in resin by the previous owner (so much so that trying to remove it from the shell would practically destroy the shell -- and that's a task I really don't wanna take on!) The bottom side is likewise treated and will receive a serious coating of protectant...like the bedliner stuff.

- Tony
I just came upon this thread - you are doing some great work. This Scamp will be a show piece.
A note about the OSB floor in Scamps. During construction they spray the OSB board both sides with resin that soaks in, to create a strong sandwich. The edges are glassed to the FG shell, for a solid bond.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:04 AM   #30
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Paul -- I don't know if the OSB was factory original or not. I would guess not. Based on the condition of the lower floor when we pulled it out, I would guess that some previous owner replaced it -- and they did a bang up job when it came to glassing in the floor to the pod. Boy, did they ever. Hence, that's why I'm reluctant to pull it out. Instead, we'll just make sure the underside is coated and covered (sounds like something from the Waffle House! ). When we replace the lower floor, our goal is to sorta do what Scamp initially did -- coat both sides with resin and then install it with the same PL adhesive we used when we reattached the pod.

THEN...(there always seems to be yet another step...) once that's all done, the whole underside will be coated. Taking no chances there.

I am concerned about where the floor meets the door...When we pulled the floor out of the lower area, that first initial "step" was all rotten behind the metal threshhold....is there some special secret to keeping that area from rotting out? Also on ours, there was this metal bar riveted to the threshhold near the hinge side of the door. Any idea what that was for?

Thanks for all the advice and encouragement, folks!

- Tony
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:19 PM   #31
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Here's an update...

Now that the trailer and the pod are back together, we can get to work on the pod itself... We started by removing the door.... As with most Scamps, we have door issues. Ours has lost some of its curve, and that should be a fairly easy fix.... but, when we took the window out of the door, we discovered that the window evidently leaked...a lot...and for quite a while. The "wood" they used in the making of the door looks rotten and the fiberglass layers have separated from it and each other. (I posted in the problems section of the forum to seek out the best way to fix this.)

We also took the door off the hinges so we could work on removing the "elephant hide" which has become yellowed and brittle. The door seemed really heavy (is it supposed to be?). Thinking that it may be water logged, we drilled some weep holes in the bottom, but when it was stood up on end, there was no water... We kinda wonder if the heavy door helped wear out the hinges.

Speaking of the hinges, trying to get those off was a pain -- they were all rusted. Thank goodness for WD-40!

We also started to prep the exterior of the shell by removing the windows, remaining lights and the decals. The decals came off fairly cleanly using a heat gun and a scraper! The trick will be getting the front window out since it's gasket is a single piece...not the two-parter like the back window. The back window did have a leak, but after looking at the gasket, no wonder why...

Also undid the bolts for the spare tire as they were rusted and corroded. Discovered that there was absolutely no sealant of any kind behind the washers...and there was no support other than the fiberglass wall holding up the spare! The FG was slightly cracked, so we are thinking we'll just glass those over and look into a spare tire carrier that attaches to the bumper.

One of the next items to come off will be the belly band. It's in need of a good polishing and besides, it's loose in a couple of different places on the side and back...

Making progress...slowly but surely.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:53 AM   #32
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You might consider taking the trailer to a shop that does automotive undercoat.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:40 PM   #33
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Frank -- Probably will, but it all depends on the budget. Seems that's ALWAYS the governing body.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:59 PM   #34
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It's been a while since I've updated our progress here. I hope that you all are enjoying the show!

We've actually accomplished quite a lot, though it really doesn't look like much yet. In the photos below, you can see we did start taking apart the door...the old handle is history and a newer, sleeker handle has been purchased and is on its way as we speak. When we removed the door, it was extremely heavy...thinking that it was waterlogged, we drilled some "weep holes" in the bottom. Nothing. After doing a little more digging, we think that the fiberboard inside the door is just waterlogged and will NEVER dry out. When it gets a little warmer, we plan a forensic action on the door to remove the fiberboard. Once that's gone, we'll be able to recurve the door to the trailer and install some sort of frame to keep it from sagging in the future.

You can also see we got all the decals off. You can really tell the difference between the pristine areas under the decals and the weathered gelcoat. We went after the residue of the old Scamp sticker that came off years ago - a little Goof Off and a scouring pad and it was history.

We also removed the lights. Although they had been replaced before we acquired it, we weren't sure the previous owners did a good job. And sure enough, they didn't. There was no sealant under the lights at all, except a HUGE gob of silicone caulk where the wires went into the body.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:06 PM   #35
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Now it was time to remove the windows. As we showed in a previous post, our trailer had a windows that was "not original equipment." A previous owner cut out a window hole on the driver's side over what would be the stove area. They took the cutout and patched what appeared to be a hatch hole in the roof. In the picture below, you can see the two window holes on the driver's side.

As we took out the windows, we could see how lazy the previous owners were -- they didn't even bother to remove the windows to remove the old ensolite...they just did a crappy cut-around job and left the material under the window frame. A few screws and a sharp putty knife and we made pretty quick work of that.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:13 PM   #36
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Before we could go any further, we needed to stabilize the pod. As you have seen in previous posts, the previous owners removed the cabinets from the inside - effectively removing any and all structural supports.

Since we aren’t going to use any of the fiberglass cabinets or benches, the only reason we kept them around is to use them for basic templates for the new wood cabinets. In the photos, you can see we created a template for the sink and how we traced the cabinet onto the cardboard. We’ll use the cardboard templates to trace the shape of the trailer onto 3/4″ plywood to create tabs that will serve two purposes: 1) as structural elements to help support the roof and stiffen the size and 2) as ways to attach the cabinets to the fiberglass shell.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:21 PM   #37
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When we got the Mansion, the interior had the Ensolite covering stripped off, but what remained was a bit of black foam residue. In order to ensure that the new insulation and wall/ceiling covering will adhere properly to the walls, we needed to sand/scrape as much of the leftover foam off the walls. We also needed to remove as much of the foam as possible so that we could fiberglass in the struts that help support the roof and strengthen the door frame. To do that, we needed to get down to fairly clean fiberglass.

So, out came the orbital sander, respirator and safety glasses and away we went. By the time we were finished, there were three large dustpans full of black foam particles and fiberglass dust.

Sanding the walls also provided the opportunity to remove/prep the tabs that were already installed for the front bunks and the seat benches.

In the picture on the left above, you can see the tab that held up the left front corner of the gaucho bench in the trailer’s original configuration. In the photo on the right, you can see the reason we need to remove these tabs…rot. Besides, with the configuration we plan to use, these tabs really aren’t necessary anyway. The right front tab was in about the same condition.

The tab that held in the front side of the bunk was missing when we got the trailer, and only the fiberglass that once held it in place remained. Since we’re removing the gaucho seat and replacing it with a counter, this nasty looking protrusion below the front needed to go. A Dremel with a cutting disc made quick work of the unnecessary tabs.

The photo at the right shows the tab removed. A little more work with the cutting disc and the Dremel and the seam was cut down to size. We really didn’t need to get this too smooth – the whole thing will be hidden in the front counter/cabinet when we’re all done.

While we were working with the Dremel and the cutting disc, we decided to go after the old, rusty strike plate for the door. The screws were all rusted and stripped and despite our best efforts, they weren’t coming out the traditional way. Working the cutting blade between the strike plate and the fiberglass door frame, we sliced the screws.

With the strike plate removed, we could see why there was a wad of “patching” material crammed in behind the plate – the fiberglass was all torn up. We’ll take care of that when we start working on the outside body work. It won’t matter much though. When we repair the door, we’ll be putting in a different lock than the original “garage door” type handle that initially came with the trailer, so we’ll have to put in a new, corresponding strike plate as well.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:28 PM   #38
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Before we could do much more on the exterior of the Mansion, we needed to stabilize the structure. A previous owner removed the original fiberglass cabinets which provided internal structure and support for the trailer’s roof and walls. Hence, we were experiencing a little sag…which is pretty common among these little trailers.

In the previous post, we cut templates based on the cabinets. Using the templates, then, we traced the shapes onto 23/32″ plywood and cut them out using a jigsaw.

After cutting the tabs, we gave them a test fit. The most critical one for us was the one to the rear of the door. Once that was in place, we plan to use it as the basis for getting everything else “into square” (or at least as square as possible). We have no doubt that there is NOTHING in the trailer that IS square…but that doesn’t mean we can’t endeavor to fix it as we go.

Just wedging this tab/strut into place made a huge difference. Clamping it down brought the wall back into align (it was out about 3/4″ of an inch right at the belly band), and raised the roof – not much, but you could see it noticeably move upward. We didn’t force it too much — the strut was the same size as the cabinet, so it’s not putting any extra stress on the fiberglass.

Once it was in place, we used the template of the other side of the cabinet to create the next tab.

The plan is to increase the bed size to 54″ and reduce the size of the “closet” or “pantry” or whatever that space was in the original design. When it’s done, that storage area (which WILL become the pantry with some help from IKEA or the Container Store), will be about 11″ wide overall.

The next tab was the one that will be the one on the driver’s side, opposite the back tab on the pantry/closet. In the original design, that side of the trailer had overhead cabinets supported by two “decorative” pieces of metal. Our plan is to eliminate those and support the roof with a small cabinet of some sort between the counter and the upper cabinets — maybe an appliance garage or spice rack or something — that’s still in discussion. Anyway, that tab needed to be cut and test fitted.

The fourth tab that needs to be taken care of is the one that will go on the forward side of the door. This one will be handled a little differently. We are going to remove the square piece of tubing that’s riveted to the door frame and install a cabinet that runs floor to ceiling for support. Besides, that old square tube is nasty looking, and even if it was polished up, it is awkwardly placed. We know it was there for support for the door, but we think our final solution will be just as strong and solid, and much more appealing to the eye. Since the bolts for the door come through right where we NEED to put a tab, we’ll move the tab just a little further forward, just enough to clear the bolts and then we’ll “shim” (if a shim can be a block of wood several inches thick!) between the cabinet face and the tab around the bolts. The cabinet face will be where the nasty tube is now and wooden blocks/spacers will tie the cabinet face to the tab.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:30 PM   #39
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Once all the vertical tabs were cut and fit, we had just enough time tonight to secure that first one — the one at the rear of the door. We slathered PL adhesive over the tab and then clamped it into place. It was tricky in that the tab wanted to twist slightly since the corner it was going into wasn’t exactly square. But we were able to get a pretty good seat on the tab. We used a scrap tab we cut and wedged it between the floor and the tab and held it in place with a second tie-down. Clamping it into place like this will make sure that the first tab will have a good bond with the top of the trailer. We then filled in any gaps between the tab and the trailer side with the adhesive…and then we called it a night.

The next time we work on the trailer, the plan is to tackle the other three tabs, which will, no doubt, require some creative clamping! Sure, we could just put in a screw or a half-dozen from the outside, but we really don’t want to put any more holes in the shell of the pod; all that will mean is another potential leak or another spot for us to glass/bondo over. We have enough of those little jobs as it is. So, we’ll be creative, think outside the box and glue the tabs into place. Once all the tabs we need are glued into place, we’ll set to fiberglassing them in. No sense in doing it in small batches — we might as well do it all at once.

While we wait for the three tabs’ glue to cure, we’ll work on replacing the tabs that were under the dinette that we removed due to rot, and start planning where the tabs will need to go for the cabinets. We’ll also need to figure out where the holes need to be for the A/C vents, water inlets/outlets, and the power inlet and outlet and cut them.

It may not look like much, but at this point, we have sort of turned the corner in the “de-construction” phase and have begun the “construction” phase. And that feels pretty darn good!
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:33 PM   #40
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Trailer: Scamp - The Haunted Mansion
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We also now have a blog about the whole process with these pictures and a few more...we welcome you to stop by there! You can find it at:

http://sohkraites.wordpress.com/

Thanks for following along with our adventure!

- Tony
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:15 AM   #41
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Like many Scamp owners, we have door issues that need to be dealt with in our restoration. When we removed our door for repair, it was extremely heavy. Thinking it may be filled with water, we drilled holes in the bottom (as shown in the pictures), but nothing came out. Feeling lucky, we decided to autopsy our door and see if there was water inside, or if the fiberboard had soaked up all the moisture that had obviously entered at the unprotected edge at the bottom of the window. Using a Dremel and a cutting wheel, we sliced all the way around the edge of the door, making the cut just inside the lip created by the core of the door. We figured that the edge would still allow the door to have some stability/strength and would provide us something to build from as we reconstructed the door.

Then, using a couple of screwdrivers and our handy pry bar, we lifted the interior panel of the door...and that's when this HORRIFIC STENCH was released from the bowels of the door...and we quickly found out where the smell was coming from. Just as we suspected, water DID get down into the door -- a LOT of it. The smell was coming from the fiberboard inside the door which was completely waterlogged -- almost to the point of dripping - and was completely rotten. As we separated the two parts, the bulk of the fiberboard came out with the inside panel as shown in the pics.

We scraped off what we could - most of it came fairly easy... We're guessing there was about 20 pounds of smelly, waterlogged fiberboard that ended up in the round file tonight.

In the last pic, it may look like a brownie with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, but it's rotten fiberboard with a sprinkling of fiberglass dust. YUCK!

We got as much as we could for now...before we can do too much more, we're going to have to let both pieces dry out. The exterior panel is salvageable, but we're not sure if we'll keep and reuse the interior panel...it might just be easier and cleaner to create a whole new interior panel from scratch. We'll have to see how they clean up once they've had a chance to dry out.
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:17 AM   #42
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Here are the two panels having been scraped. We've got to let them dry out before we go much further.
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