Rookie vs. 1990 Casita (Project Thread) - Page 9 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2016, 06:54 PM   #113
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Name: K C
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found something for you ... a whole page full of low profile vents, prices are all over the place but some are very reasonable.
Hinged Hatches
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:53 AM   #114
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Name: Jonathan
Trailer: 1991 16' Casita
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
found something for you ... a whole page full of low profile vents, prices are all over the place but some are very reasonable.
Hinged Hatches
Thanks for the link KC! I've explored marine hatches, they seem like they'd be ideal considering the elements they're designed to handle, although the prices definitely reflect that and make me thankful I'm not refurbishing a boat! LOL!! I've been dragging my feet on this whole roof thing thinking I might get lucky and find something crazy cheap on Craigslist, eBay, etc., but getting to the point where I'll probably just need to pull the trigger on something new.

Jonathan
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Old 07-21-2016, 06:59 PM   #115
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I've been busy working on replacing the convertible top on my wife's new (well, 14 years old but new to her!) VW Cabrio the past couple of days but was finally able to put some time into the camper this evening. I ran out of time and wasn't able to get the strike plate reinstalled but got the door 95% the rest of the way done:



I'll know for sure tomorrow once I get the strike plate on how tight the seal is and how I did overall, fingers crossed!

Jonathan
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:11 PM   #116
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This morning I *finally* finished off the convertible top on the Cabrio, then spent the latter half of the day working on the camper.

After being concerned that there was a gap between the door latch and strike plate, once I got said strike plate installed I realized that there was a gap in the *opposite direction* now that the new door seal was on:



My short term solution is going to be shimming the door latch/lock assembly out by the half inch that it's off, not ideal but should work and let me focus on things that are more important for the time being.

I got a number of other random tasks done including patching the hole where the kitchen vent was (I made the decision to eliminate the hood vent over the stove as I don't think I'll have a need for it), fixing the broken sliding kitchen window, removing and reinstalling the rear tail lights more permanently and getting the window glaze bead on all of the windows... the folks at Interstate RV Metal & Supply were fantastic and matched what I needed based on some pictures I sent, pretty impressive!



More updates soon!

Jonathan
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:14 PM   #117
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Nice. Getting those windows properly fitted is a big, crucial step.
Well done.

Walt
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:42 AM   #118
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Nice. Getting those windows properly fitted is a big, crucial step.
Well done.
Thanks Walt. I must admit that I'm still somewhat nervous about how well this camper will do in the rain, I guess time will tell!

Jonathan
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:07 AM   #119
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If you do find some leaks you have more than the required skills to quickly remedy them, but with the care you are taking, I doubt you'll have any problems. We're all looking forward to the results.

Walt
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:33 AM   #120
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Name: bill
Trailer: 1996 Casita LD
North Carolina
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I have a question for all you Casita experts/historians. I had understood that Casita encases the wood floor between fiberglass both above and below. This unit did not seem to have any fiberglass above.

Did I misunderstand about Casita floor construction, or is it something that depends on the year or model?

Jonathan, I am impressed with your energy and progress as well!
Not sure this was ever addressed, but you misunderstood Casita construction. They did not cover the OSB floor with resin until 2004. Prior to that, it was exposed. Even after 2004, you are still subject to wood rot. Seems to be the one weakness of many fiberglass RVs. Do a search on google by brand: Casita floor replacement, scamp floor replacement, Bigfoot floor rot, etc. Many of the brands have this issue. What differs by brand is how hard it is to replace the floor. Realize the Casita is a sealed fiberglass tub. Any water leaking on the inside of the unit will end up finding the wood floor and rotting it out. Then you have the various intrusions from the bottom of the trailer. Casita has improved their process. I took a factory tour about a month ago. They now drill oversized holes everywhere they pass plumbing or whatever through the floor, and seal around each hole.
I think Casita's frig vent design is a problem too, not all other brands have that issue. Casita still uses the below closet mount for air conditioners on their 13 and 16 foot units.

Hey, at least we don't have the roof and wall wood rot problems that stick built campers have!!
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:41 PM   #121
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Thanks Walt. I must admit that I'm still somewhat nervous about how well this camper will do in the rain, I guess time will tell!

Jonathan
My friend said we should build fiberglass troughs with drains to the exterior under each window. Now there is a concept
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:02 PM   #122
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Escape: "In the event of a water leak or condensation build-up, there are areas in the bottom shell designed to channel water through the drain holes to the outside".
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:03 PM   #123
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Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Manitoba
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Drainage wells for water

K. Corbin, I don't know if you were joking but, in my determination to not have my trailer succumb to water damage, I have decided to rebuild it with just such safeguards. The Ventura has wells slanting down from the back wall to the wheel. I have put a drainage hole with a plug at the lowest point in each one of these wells and have put Reflectix in the wells and over the wheels. For frame strength, I have had to put flooring over part of the well but have left a foot at the front,where the plug is, open. Once I have finished reframing the trailer I am going to make a 6" hole above the well on each side of the trailer by the back wall so I will be able to see if water has infiltrated.
This area will be under the dinette seats and I am not going to finish the inside of the boxes but will put in polystyrene insulation against the walls and maybe paint it, if possible.
At the front driver's side there is a similar well and I have treated it the same way and again I will not be covering the framing behind the cabinets there with wall covering, just insulation. The sink, water containers, pump etc will all be located there and there will be a hatch door to the outside and no wood flooring.
In fact, all the back walls of the enclosed spaces will be only covered with polystyrene so I will be able to see the state of a good portion of the framing when I do regular maintenance.
This may seem like extreme paranoia and overkill but I just decided that not having to deal with a musty, mouldy trailer was worth a little thought and effort.
As well, I am a fall, spring camper and maybe winter in the south so the added insulation should help to keep me warmer.
Pic 1- driver's side well Pic 2 - well at back wall
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IMG_2516.jpg   IMG_2513.jpg  

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Old 07-24-2016, 07:48 PM   #124
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My friend said we should build fiberglass troughs with drains to the exterior under each window. Now there is a concept
Trillium did do that in some of there trailers ,my 1300 has troughs and drains in the four corners
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:48 AM   #125
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Yesterday was another one of those days where I bounced around between a random collection of tiny tasks which all add up to forward progress albeit far less noticeable than some of the higher impact items I've done thus far.

One of said tasks was working on the door. I cut a 1/2" thick block to size which was my estimate on the gap but quickly discovered that this created a gap back in the opposite direction (not tight enough)... what the?!! I was puzzled for a couple minutes as to why I was having trouble getting things to line up period, then it dawned on me that the original alignment almost certainly factored in the thickness of the carpet and pad which I've since removed. My next step will be to cut some strips from some 1/8" aluminum I have and add two or three layers which theoretically should get the door snugged up where it needs to be.

Another task was temporarily sealing some of the holes in the shell which I'll need once I get to reinstalling some of the interior structural pieces. For this I decided to use some Nashua waterproofing repair tape which has aluminum on the outside, and a thin layer of butyl on the inside which sounded like a good bet:



I got some bright white duct tape which I had planned on layering over top of this to make the patches look a little less funky, although after stripping some more paint I came to the conclusion that the poor camper would likely be an aesthetic nightmare until I'm able to paint it so I may not bother... yep, it's getting worse!



Another tiny, yet time consuming project was working on the threshold for the door... which needed to be installed to get a tight seal around the bottom... which to install needed to have the floor extended... which required a special cut to get the width and height just right... which took forever, but I finally got done:



The last project for the day was to go back around and get the side running lights installed in a more permanent fashion. As I was doing this I was trying to remember the logic behind *not* doing this in the first place, but in the end I got all four lights installed with butyl tape seals on the exterior, sealant on the interior and the wire nuts replaced with crimped wire connectors:



As I was shuffling around I came across another structural detail I'll need to attend to - for whatever reason, Casita didn't put a cross support on the frame in one location (at the back of the main floor right before it steps up) which I'm noticing is causing the sub-floor to flex a lot:



I've got some angled steel which should take care of this, it will just be a matter of struggling through the process of drilling a few more holes in the frame... oh boy, my favorite.

Jonathan
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:41 PM   #126
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Trailer: 1991 16' Casita
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My short time after work today was spent working on the door which led to some good news and bad news. The good news is that the backing plate I whipped up out of the aluminum strips got the latch connecting with the strike plate in a way that felt the way it should when closing the door, a little bit of pressure required to make it click, and a nice firm grip once it did.

The bad news is that it led me to the conclusion that the door itself is still out of whack. From the perspective of the inside, there's a bit of a gap on the upper right hand side (1/8" or less) which I think I'll be able to resolve by tweaking the hinges a bit:



But the gap on the bottom right is pretty bad:



The shell itself in that lower area I think will get pushed a little further out whenever I get the interior structural pieces put back in, although at present my sense is that I'll need to warp (or un-warp) the door itself with a cross cut on the inside like this:



Theoretically this would allow me to ratchet the lower portion in, and result in a good fit all the way around... at least that's what I'm thinking at this moment.

Jonathan
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