Rookie vs. 1990 Casita (Project Thread) - Page 13 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-17-2016, 09:06 AM   #169
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaggydoink View Post
I'd be much happier if it was a bazillion degrees outside, but I've been cooped up long enough that I'm ready to just suck it up and get out there!

Short update for today - I had it in my head that I needed to get the ceiling panels in place before getting the moon roof installed, but in studying the inner bracket I realized that I could install it, then remove said inner bracket in order to trim the thickness, then reinstall it... so that exactly what I did after work today:



One area of slight concern is the fairly big dip in the roof which is at the front side of the moon roof, it was hard getting a great picture but this captures it at least to some degree:



I can't imagine water won't pool up there, the big question is whether or not it'll find a way to seep through the butyl tape seal for the moon roof... something I'll need to test. The other funny thing is that for ever hole, crack or window I get sealed in the shell, the greater the suction seems to get on the areas that are still open or have a gap when the AC unit is running. This has me second guessing my choice of AC units a bit, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see on this.

Jonathan
This is why they build in raised curbs on RV roof vents. If you have any clearance space for fitting under your garage door opening then build a mounting ring to put under the skylight.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:17 AM   #170
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Name: Jonathan
Trailer: 1991 16' Casita
North Carolina
Posts: 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Question to Jonathan: lots of butyl tape on Amazon right now. Which one did you buy and would you recommend it?
I've been using this:

https://www.amazon.com/Colorimetrics.../dp/B00GMSUF22

In all candor this is my first experience with butyl tape so I'm far from being an authority, but it's been easy to work with and I've been happy with the results so would recommend it at least based on my experience thus far.

@ KC - that makes perfect sense and how I remember all of the hatches being on the various boats my Dad owned when I was growing up. I'm literally scraping by on floor/ceiling clearance in my current place, this might be one of those things that I have to leave a little vulnerable for the time being then revisit down the road.

Jonathan
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:04 AM   #171
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Name: Steve
Trailer: casita 17 SD
Pennsylvania
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Thinking or re-thinking ventilation

Quite a while ago you made the decision that having your camper in the garage was important to you. That required design changes to allow it to fit like removing the original roof vent and resisting the suggestion to install a curb to get your skylight up out of the water. You are now noticing how air tight your bottle is getting. When I saw you reinstalling the kitchen counter with its 2 burner stove, I was reminded how important my ceiling vent fan is when I use the stove in my Casita. Windows can work for ventilation...unless it's raining. When it's dead still outside, windows provide little ventilation unless you are heating inside. So imagine two people sleeping and the temp outside is cool(not cold). No wall insulation. You start the stove to make coffee. I guarantee you will have condensation on the walls. The work you have done so far is outstanding. I suggest you consider rethinking your design parameters.
Steve
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:11 PM   #172
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Name: Heidi
Trailer: shopping
Florida
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Your problem brings me back to a riddle that I remember from my childhood. It went something like this: There was a semi truck that was 2" too tall to clear the overpass and a line of cars directly behind him, which kept him from being able to back out of the predicament. How did he solve the problem?

Perhaps not so obvious to a 5 year old, but the answer was to let enough air out of each tire to allow for the clearance of the overpass.

As a last resort, perhaps this is something to consider if you find you absolutely must put a higher piece on the sunroof. You seem to have a well stocked garage and perhaps have an air compressor with a long enough hose to inflate and deflate tires quickly.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:31 PM   #173
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Name: Steve
Trailer: casita 17 SD
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I think the wheels have been removed to fit in the garage.
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:15 AM   #174
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Name: Jonathan
Trailer: 1991 16' Casita
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@ Heidi - initially this is what I had hoped I'd be able to do as I have deflators and an on-board air system on my Trooper which would make the air down/up process very easy; unfortunately it didn't drop the camper low enough. Grrr. Smaller wheels/tires didn't work out either as they wouldn't fit over the drum brakes. Grrr x2. The solution I finally landed on solved the clearance issue, although as you can see has the drum brakes almost literally scraping on the ground (there's less than 1/4" clearance):



One idea I've toyed with is losing the drum brakes which I think would gain me a fair bit of vertical play. I've talked myself out of this thus far as retaining the brakes seems more important, although I'd welcome any opinions on this.

@ Steve - condensation is definitely another small concern I have lingering in the back of my mind. Per above, if I were to ditch the drum brakes I'm pretty sure I'd have the space to install the curb as well as a fan unit and theoretically all would be good. I wouldn't have a problem making this change, I just don't know if it's a wise trade?

Drawing things out a little further, let's suppose the best option is to keep the brakes so therefore I'm capped on the roof height at least for the time being. Do you think a fan - either single larger one, or set of smaller ones - in another location or locations would be wise?

And speaking of rethinking, the portable AC unit which seemed like a logical decision doesn't seem to be working out very well in a number of ways, so tinkering with a few other options is one of the main items on my list for today... must... have... cool!

Jonathan
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:47 AM   #175
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Name: Steve
Trailer: casita 17 SD
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Ventilation, AC, brakes

Jonathan, I owned a 1999 16' casita and even when it does not contain camping stuff, it weighs over 2000 pounds. Without brakes, it will push your trooper. Everyone has experienced a situation where traffic unexpectantly slows very quickly ahead of you. That's why you need brakes.
I think some kind of mechanical ventilation that is electrically efficient is important in a camper with a cook stove. It can be located anywhere,
but the place where it was originally located is the best.
I am curious as to why the portable AC is not working out.
If this were my project, I would pull it out of the garage, install the wheels, remove the skylight, jack up the low spot and reinforce the ceiling, install a Maxxair fan, put the skylite on Craigslist, and then continue the renovation. It just does not seem appropriate to tolerate a pool next to a skylite just so you can put the trailer in the garage.
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Old 08-20-2016, 11:57 AM   #176
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaggydoink View Post
@ Heidi - initially this is what I had hoped I'd be able to do as I have deflators and an on-board air system on my Trooper which would make the air down/up process very easy; unfortunately it didn't drop the camper low enough. Grrr. Smaller wheels/tires didn't work out either as they wouldn't fit over the drum brakes. Grrr x2. The solution I finally landed on solved the clearance issue, although as you can see has the drum brakes almost literally scraping on the ground (there's less than 1/4" clearance):



One idea I've toyed with is losing the drum brakes which I think would gain me a fair bit of vertical play. I've talked myself out of this thus far as retaining the brakes seems more important, although I'd welcome any opinions on this.

@ Steve - condensation is definitely another small concern I have lingering in the back of my mind. Per above, if I were to ditch the drum brakes I'm pretty sure I'd have the space to install the curb as well as a fan unit and theoretically all would be good. I wouldn't have a problem making this change, I just don't know if it's a wise trade?

Drawing things out a little further, let's suppose the best option is to keep the brakes so therefore I'm capped on the roof height at least for the time being. Do you think a fan - either single larger one, or set of smaller ones - in another location or locations would be wise?

And speaking of rethinking, the portable AC unit which seemed like a logical decision doesn't seem to be working out very well in a number of ways, so tinkering with a few other options is one of the main items on my list for today... must... have... cool!

Jonathan
If it is collapsing the shell that means you need a fresh exterior air source for an intake to offset the pressure. Yes the AC will work a little harder but you will find a balance point and it won't be all that large of a physical opening needed as it will suck the air in from it since that is the point of least resistance.

Experiment with opening a window and then blocking off most of the opening. When you see the deflection problem BEGIN to go away then measure how many square inches it took to solve the issue. There are small adjustable ports that can go through the sidewall or even come from underneath the trailer where the air is a little cooler. You will want to size that adjustable port with a little more adjustment left at the top end of the open size versus being not any adjustment left. Remember wind and barometric pressure also creates changes in air pressure on the exterior.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:19 PM   #177
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Name: bill
Trailer: 1996 Casita LD
North Carolina
Posts: 78
I definitely would NOT ditch the brakes. Sooner or later you will need them. Once they are gone, they are gone.

FWIW on the roof sloping: on our 1996 17 ! Liberty, a prior owner reinforced the roof section with three pieces of aluminum C channel. The purpose was to allow for roof air. The side benefit is the roof is pretty flat.

Also FWIW, I laced enough clearance to fit my Casita under my carport by around 2 inches. I hired a local welder, and gained nine inches of clearance. If I had owned the trailer PRIOR to the carport, I would have gotten a taller carport. But as typical, the too short carport came well before the camper. Lesson learned, but too late.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:32 AM   #178
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Name: Jonathan
Trailer: 1991 16' Casita
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@ Bill and KC - thanks for the input, it's truly appreciated!

I've been fairly busy between work and moving my mother-in-law to an apartment that's closer to my wife and I, this post should get me caught up on the small bit of progress I've made over the past few days.

On Thursday after work I came to the conclusion that the portable AC unit simply wasn't working out how I had envisioned. It was loud, it was creating a ton of suction on the shell, it started to leak and above all it never got the interior temperature more than a couple degrees less than the outside temperature. So first thing yesterday I decided to bust out the AC contraption I used on my original camping trailer (basically an 8x8 tent that sat on top of a modified utility trailer) and do a pilot run with it:



Even with it being 5,000-BTU and not blowing super cold air due to its age it worked 10x better, so my plan at this stage is to shift over to this type of concept only have it mounted in front of the shell on the trailer frame where the dual propane tanks used to be. A company called "ClimateRight" makes a really slick heating and cooling system although it's pretty expensive so I may go the route of modifying a new 8,000-BTU window unit... or I may just stick with the funky old 5,000-BTU unit for the time being as the number of times I'll need it theoretically should be going down as we move into September.

A good chunk of the remainder of yesterday was spent working on the main kitchen unit which I want to get installed so I can finish off the added kitchen unit which is turning out to help the door gap quite a bit. I cut one of the oddest shaped pieces of wood I think I've ever done to serve as a lower shelf for both sides of the unit:



Then made some cuts to get the openings for the cabinet doors to align to my new design and match, and finally did a bunch of patching:



Last project for the day was getting a start on the cabinet unit that mounts above the main kitchen unit, step one was cutting some various scraps I'd saved in order to build out the open side which originally attached to the wall for the oven/refrigerator which is no longer there:



There's lots left to do on this as I'm hoping to end up with rounded edges to match the opposite side, we'll see how far I go before my perfectionist brain says "good enough".

Jonathan
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:00 AM   #179
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Trailer: 1991 16' Casita
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I spent a little time yesterday plotting out some next steps related to the AC, bathroom and electrical, but the large majority working on the main kitchen unit and upper cabinet which ended up coming out fairly well - one more coat of paint on both then they should be ready to install.



Jonathan
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:58 AM   #180
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Burro 1983 13'
Wisconsin
Posts: 111
Wow what a project! You know rat rods are pretty cool you could do a rat rod
trailer. Lol Seriously good luck with your project looks like you are getting
the job done keep it up and before you know it you'll be on the road.
Best wishes.
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Old 08-22-2016, 06:39 PM   #181
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Trailer: 1991 16' Casita
North Carolina
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Thanks Bill, I appreciate your kind post. I'll be a little sad whenever the project is over as it's been so enjoyable, but am really excited to get myself out on some adventures with this wonky little guy. I've got three lined up already in September, October and November... ready or not, here I come!

Jonathan
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:59 PM   #182
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Trailer: 1991 16' Casita
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I ended up getting crunched on project time today after work due to the broken down motorist I encountered on the way home (yeah, it's probably not the wisest thing to do, but I stop for anyone who looks like they need help) but I managed to get the main kitchen unit mostly installed:



The remainder of this and the upper cabinet are on deck for tomorrow.

Jonathan
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