Restoring the "Haunted Mansion" - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-06-2015, 06:28 AM   #57
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That might work, too...what about that expanding foam in a can you can get at Home Depot or Lowe's? Is that easy to work with?
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:33 AM   #58
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Some more thoughts on this. Since the separated door skins already have the right shape (which you could tweak to some degree), you need to keep them spaced as they were and connected in at least a few places, maybe every 4 - 6 inches apart. Think of an I-beam. Top and bottom carry the load and the web just keeps them in proper relationship. (It is not much more complicated than that.) The spacers between the outer and inner skin of the door can be made of anything that can be fiberglassed in place and bonded to both skins. The window opening and the door lock area need to be reinforced more, as you mentioned. Then you could drill a few holes and spray in some of the foam from a can. That foam will not be providing any support, just insulation and sound proofing.
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:20 AM   #59
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My suggestion would be to check at one of the plastic shops. We have several Tap Plastics stores in our area
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:35 PM   #60
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An unexpected couple of days of spring-like weather meant we could get some work done on the Mansion that couldn't be done when the temps were at our typical February sub-zero variety.

But first...we got more presents! The new water tank arrived, complete with the drain valve and the inlet/vent connectors. Not sure about that plastic drain valve, but we'll give it a shot. We also got the water pump. Unfortunately, it didn't survive the trip from the Scamp factory. The outlet port was broken off. A quick phone call to the Scamp parts department got another one shipped to us - no questions asked... YAY!

We also ordered a sliding rear window which came all neatly packed in a wooden crate, delicately wrapped in a couple scraps of "rat fur," the wall covering Scamp uses on the interior of their trailers. Once we got everything unpacked, it was time to head to the garage and get to work on the inside.

First up was to take a look at the door now that it has had the opportunity to dry out. It wasn't too bad...it needs to be sanded, but it overall, it's in pretty good shape. The interior piece we cut out is still pretty nasty, so we've decided to go ahead and just trash it; we're going to have to refiberglass it anyway...might as well make it nice instead of patching in an old piece...and it won't smell nearly as bad.

Heading into the trailer, the first task was to actually secure the floor -- until now, the floor was just laid in the trailer. The warm weather afforded us the perfect opportunity to finally glue it down. We crawled under the trailer and traced the frame on the bottom side of the floor. Then, taking the floor out, we used the lines as guides to drill pilot holes through the plywood. The plan was that once floor was back in place, we'd see the holes from the top side, and then use them to drill from the top down through the frame underneath. Then we could screw the floor down. We cleaned off the frame, prepping it for glue, then we laid down a heavy bead of adhesive before dropping the floor into place.

It felt good to get the main floor down once and for all. We didn't attach the "step" area by the door, though. Sure, we had cut a piece of plywood for that area based on the old floor that came out of the trailer, but we decided to hold off for now and take care of the door sag issue first, and then recut a new piece to meet the door once it was in the proper position.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:44 PM   #61
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Next up, we wanted to get a pic of the block we used to help hold the strut forward of the door in place until the glue cured. We also took a shot of how we held the brace in place at the top of the strut -- the other end was wedged against the floor/frame. A simple drywall screw was all it took!

We unscrewed the block with the plan to use it again to clamp the other forward closet strut which we still had to make. Of course, we created a template using a big piece of cardboard and several smaller ones.

When the template was done, we transferred the curve to the plywood. Then we cut the curve and tried a test fit inside the trailer. Once we got the curve right, we cut the tab to be 3" wide.

Once the tab was cut, it was time to glue it in place. Since there really wasn't a place to clamp it (it was too far from the window's edge) we screwed the small scrap block to the floor, put a piece of scrap between the tab and the block and clamped the bottom of the tab. Then we clamped a framing square to the tab to make sure it was square to the floor, and then used the brace to push it against the wall once the glue was applied. To keep the top of the tab in place (it wanted to shift toward the window, we used a used 2x4 and braced it between the floor/frame the top of the tab using another drywall screw.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:47 PM   #62
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Once the forward tab was in place, we went after the tab on the driver's side - the one at the rear of the kitchen. Again, it was in a position that didn't allow much by way of clamping, but we had so much success with the braces that we went ahead and braced it too. This one was a tight fit, so the one brace was more than enough.

Since we were gluing fools, we decided to glue the tab in that extended the dinette seat forward. We are making the dinette bigger - closer to a double - and we wanted to make sure the bench seat had support all the way to the closet/pantry. We still have to put the tab in on the driver's side extending the seat tab to the kitchen strut, but we have to wait until that strut's glue cures.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:53 PM   #63
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Now that the interior was filled with braces, leaving no room to work, it was time to tackle some tasks on the exterior of the trailer. Remember the door we set aside? Yeah, let's start with that. It had dried enough for us to do some basic work on it. We reattached the door to the trailer using the new hinges. Surprisingly enough, after removing all the wet fiberboard, much to our surprise and delight, the door seemed to return to its more normal curved shape (not quite there, but WAY better than it was!). The top was pretty close to the shape of the trailer, but the bottom, like most Scamp doors, sagged out and away...about 3/4" of an inch or so.

Our idea to fix the door was to create a new frame inside the door - using galvanized conduit. The upside is that the conduit won't rot or rust, and would be more stable than trying to cut a piece of plywood that thin (which would probably snap as we tried to install it.). This was a total gamble - no one else has solved the door sag issue this way. But just because we haven't seen it done before doesn't mean it couldn't be done! We can do it! We can rebuild it - we have the technology. Or at least a conduit bender! Sure the bender was about $35, but the conduit is only a few cents a foot.

Hanging the door on the trailer made it easier to bend the pipes until they forced the door back into position. It was tricky trying to keep the conduit bends straight but we discovered there is a faint line printed on the outside of the conduit -- and we used that for "aiming" the bends. They weren't perfect and we had to bend and "unbend" a few times, but eventually, we were able to just about eliminate the sag/curve problem! Any spacing left between the door and the body will easily be taken care of by the door seals (at least we hope so! We are really pleased how well the conduit worked. In the picture, there is one cross brace -- we'll have a couple in there, along with a wood frame around the window and a wood brace across the door where the lock will go. That brings up another issue. You'll notice that the pipe goes all the way down...and there's no way the lock will fit. No problem. The plan is to get the pipes glued into place on the door (everywhere but where the lock will go), then we'll slice through them to make room for the wood frame around the lock. Once everything is glued (including the wood frames), we'll fiberglass the pipes into position, add foam insulation, and then glass over the whole thing.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:57 PM   #64
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Now there's one more issue with the door we need to deal with. The previous owners, when they replaced the floor, they didn't keep the door frame square -- it's about 3/8" wider at the bottom than the top. Because of that, the door doesn't sit in the "center" of the door opening. In the pics below you can see what we mean.

Since we're going to have to pretty much reglass the entire inside anyway, our plan is to glass over and bondo the hinge holes on the door and then redrill new ones about 1/4" to the right...That should center the door in the opening. But we'll save that for a later day.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:56 AM   #65
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Finally real life and the weather cooperated to give us a few hours to work on the Mansion. Today's agenda included cutting new holes for all the utilities - water (gravity fill for the tank and city water, plus the drain for the sink), power (both incoming and the outside outlet), outside storage access hatch, as well as vents for the A/C unit.

Ran into some issues today though. We had to scrap our plans to put the new PD4045 in the overhead compartment above the front window. It's just too big. So we moved it to the floor right by the driver's side wheel well. Works out better, we think...more centrally located, the space it takes up would have been poor for storage, and we get to keep all the storage under the dinette where some people have put their power centers.

In our second "crisis," our initial plans called for having the A/C unit on the driver's side, under the stove area near the floor. But, because we now had the PD4045 there, we had to scoot the A/C forward a bit. Then, if we wanted to put in the exterior hatch to try and make the usable space that would be otherwise "dead" under our counter, everything would have gotten too tight and vents/hatches would be overlapping or couldn't be placed due to the contour of the camper hull.

So, we did a little head scratchin', a little figurin', a little measurin', and made the decision to move the A/C unit to the right front corner near the floor at the bottom of our "closet." We're going to go with the 6" deck plates as both intake and exhaust vents just like was used by Dan (aka Youhauler) here: My best add-on: Air conditionned in my U-haul CT-13

The pictures below show the cutting of all the "utility" holes, and the test fits of the hatches/vents/valves. We're making progress...the plan is to hopefully get the trailer ready for paint by mid April. Hopefully that'll give us enough time to finish the interior in time for camping season!
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:07 AM   #66
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Name: Tony
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Here are some more pics of the "utility" holes we needed to add. The city water connect and the drain outlet.

This also shows our version of how we took the idea from Dan (aka YouHauler) and have started to implement it on our Scamp. Liking the idea very much! We'll be using a paint pan as a "drain pan" - which you can see in one of the pics.

Also worked on the door. We used some conduit and a conduit bender to create struts that we can glue and then glass inside the door to get it to hold it's shape. We'll fill the top part of the door with a wood piece so the lock and window have something solid to hang on to and we'll fill in the bottom part of the door with insulation and then cover the whole thing with glass (mat, most likely) and resin. At least the door fits the shape of the trailer now!

We'll have to fill in and redrill the holes on the door for the hinges...but at least we'll have the opportunity to reinforce them when we do!

The next step is to start on the exterior - sand, fill and prep for paint. The goal is to have it to the paint shop (we're working with a local technical college's automotive collision/repair program... it's not what you know, it's WHO you know...) by mid-April. Hopefully they can turn it around fairly quickly so we have more time to work on the interior before camping season! Keeping our fingers crossed.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:54 PM   #67
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Well, warm weather makes it oh-so-easy to get out and work on the Mansion!

I hope you all are liking the photos (I hope they aren't too much...if they are, just say the word...)

Anyway, here's an update!

There are some days when you have a project when you do little but it looks like a lot, but there are some days when you work like a dog and it doesn’t look like you accomplished a darn thing….today was one of those days.

Taking advantage of a weekend of warm weather, we decided it was time to tackle the body work on the Mansion. After acquiring a new orbital sander (the old one finally gave up the ghost), we went to town on the old gelcoat with some 60 grit sandpaper. From our research, that coarse of a grit should really only be used if you’re doing some serious repairs. Well, we thought what we are doing could be considered serious….

Fortunately, the body of the Mansion is in pretty decent shape. As we’ve documented, one of the previous owners pulled out all the interior cabinetry, and, fortunately, sealed up most of the holes where they were riveted to the hull. There were a couple of holes that still needed to be filled, and there was one serious crack below the back bumper that needed to be repaired, but for the most part, we got off pretty lucky.

One of the challenges we were dreading was that of the spider cracks that were on the upper corners of the door and over the front window on the driver’s side. We determined that they were only in the gelcoat — they didn’t go through the fiberglass — so that was a plus. But, in order to get rid of them and make sure they don’t come back once we paint the trailer, we had to grind the cracks all the way down to the fiberglass — and the gelcoat was quite thick on the corners.

We also had spider cracks near the bolt holes for the door, so we ground those out and filled those cracks, too.

The original marker lights had four holes drilled through the body for each light — two for the rivets, and one for each of the wires for the light. The new LED lights only need one hole for the wires. So, to reduce the possibility of water getting behind the light and then in to the trailer, we decided to seal up one of the holes on each light.

There were two stray holes on the back of the trailer – we have no idea what they were for – that needed to be filled in, and the top hole for the spare tire bolts also had spider cracks, so we ground it out and added a little bondo to handle those.

The one real major repair that we had to deal with is probably in one of the most inconvenient places — it’s just below the rear bumper on the right side…Somehow the pod had developed a 2″ crack. We used the Dremel with a cutting wheel, cut a slot and then used a bit of resin and fiberglass to patch it. It’s gonna be a pain to sand, but it had to be fixed. It’s below the floor, but still…if we going to fix it, we should fix it right.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:02 PM   #68
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Trailer: Scamp - The Haunted Mansion
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We mixed up a little bit too much resin, so rather than let it go to waste, we used some of the fiberglass scraps and started glassing in the wood struts which until now were only held in by the PL adhesive. We’ll tackle the interior fiberglassing once the exterior of the shell is ready to paint. (And yes, we’ve got a tentative deadline to get the trailer painted…it’ll be heading over to Pickens Tech’s paint booth around mid April…YEA!). We can’t wait. We think that once the trailer is painted, we’ll have turned a major corner on the road to restoration!

While we waited for the bondo and the fiberglass to harden, we continued on sanding the trailer. We spent a lot of extra time sanding where the decals once were — of course the gelcoat under them was pristine – unlike the faded, oxidized gelcoat everywhere else! As much as we sanded, we never could totally get rid of the Scamp logo and stripes — but you can’t feel where they once were. Hopefully, the primer and paint will cover that. You can see in the pictures below the faint remnants of the logo — but it’s only a visual thing…the area has no adhesive, and it’s as smooth as glass to the touch. The bondo patches in the left photo are to fill in a pretty good sized ding (the top) and one of the holes for the old light (bottom). The two holes you see are for the water tank fill door and the exterior power outlet.

After we got what we could reach from the ground, it was time to go upstairs and tackle probably the worst thing on the trailer — the hatch patch. Evidently this trailer had a one time an “escape hatch” in the roof. A previous owner took the hatch out and then cut a second window on the driver’s side near the front. Recycling the piece they cut for the window, they filled the hatch hole with it, glassing it from the inside and then putting on some bondo on the outside. The thing is, they didn’t finish the job. The bulk of the bondo up there was unsanded and filled with pock marks. Now, granted, not many people will ever see the top of the trailer, but hey, if we’re gonna fix it, we may as well fix it right….right? So using the 60 grit sandpaper, we went after their partially finished bondo job. There were some low spots all around the patch, so we just decided to slather on another layer of bondo.

This was probably where we spent the bulk of our day…just sanding this. The hole is positioned in such a way that you have to lean out to get it — and you don’t want to just throw all your weight on the roof — that would be a decidedly poor decision. We’re sure there are going to be a few sore muscles tomorrow!

Once we got the whole trailer sanded at least once — and in some places a whole bunch of times, we decided to take a break, let the bondo we just applied harden, and work on the door.

In a previous post, we showed how we used bent conduit as the structural support in the door. Having let it sit and cure for several days, it was time to see how it turned out! Surprisingly enough, the door was actually quite stable — and yet it was still really lightweight! We were very pleased!

Now, we needed to make a hole for the new door latch. We got rid of the cheesy “garage door” handle that originally came with the trailer. It was rusted and gross. We ordered a nice new shiny chrome one from Amazon…but it required a much bigger hole!

First, we needed to cut away the piece of conduit where the lock would eventually go. Using our trusty Dremel and a hack saw (for the last little bit), we sliced the conduit. We didn’t glue under this particular section of pipe since we knew we’d be cutting it out. Thank goodness we did that. That adhesive is some pretty tough stuff!

Once the conduit was out of the way, it was time to locate where the lock needed to go. We did a quick test fit of the door and marked where the edge of the door frame on the trailer would be and then put a mark just shy of that on the door. Using that as a reference line, we marked and cut the hole.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:05 PM   #69
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It fit like it was made for it! After all, it was! Next up, we wanted to put in a piece of plywood to act as a support for the door…and one that we could use to attach the strike plate on the lock side. Like others have done with this kind of lock, we had to cut a “U” shape to get the lock to fit. Eventually, this wood piece, which goes all the way across the door, will be glued to the fiberglass shell using the PL adhesive we’ve been using throughout the camper. The pics below show the wood cut and the lock being test fit in the hole.

The next step was to put a wood frame around the window hole. If you recall our previous posts, the “wood” that was in the door had rotted away and smelled like something died inside the door. We vowed this wouldn’t happen again. Using the same pressure-treated, water resistant plywood that we used for the floor, we cut four 3/4″ x 2″ pieces and glued them around the window hole. We must’ve used every clamp we had in the shop to hold those buggers down! Now the window has rounded corners, and the frame is square. The plan is to use the same foam that we intend to put in the rest of the door in the corners. And when we go to fiberglass the inside of the door, we’ll fiberglass over the “sandwich” of the interior side of the door, the plywood and the exterior side of the door, making it impossible for water to ever get back in to the inside of the door.

In the photos below, you can see the hole lock from the exterior, and what it looks like with the new lock test-fitted in the hole. So, it doesn’t look like we did much today, but every step forward is one closer to seeing this project finished!
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:10 AM   #70
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
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Nice job Tony.....you just can't have TO many clamps
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