Rucio's Winter Makeover - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-13-2012, 06:47 PM   #15
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Rucio is going to get painted, but we are not going to paint it ourselves. A, we can't get the garage warm enough safely to do that, and B, we'd rather have a professional do that bit. But we are doing all the sanding prep.

The sides and front and back are pretty easy, just a matter of taking the waxy shine off the gelcoat. But the roof? Sweet mary mother of god. Somebody painted the roof with a coat of white paint, maybe it's that RV roof paint or whatever, but it does a spectacular job of holding on to dirt. During two visits at thanksgiving and christmas, I spent hours and hours and hours with the palm sander, up on a ladder, coaxing this stuff off. That rough sanding phase is finally done now and this weekend we'll move on to starting some of the fine hand-sanding, both inside and out.

But check out the contrast here to get an idea of how terrible the roof looked. Now, when I did get this paint off I found that the trailer might have been in a hail storm or was chewed by ferrets, because there are a lot of little dings up there. They have since been skimmed over with the Bondo, however.
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20111126 sanding the roof 1 small rucio burro winter makeover.jpg   20111126 sanding the roof 2 small rucio burro winter makeover.jpg  

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Old 01-13-2012, 06:48 PM   #16
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In the last picture of the closet it looks like there is a imprint of where the window may have been at one time? Are the windows smaller than originally?
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
In the last picture of the closet it looks like there is a imprint of where the window may have been at one time? Are the windows smaller than originally?
Jim, those windows are original. Burros had the outer mold sort of shaped in a frame around the windows for lack of better words to explain. Well, I guess the inner mold has some of that, too.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:58 PM   #18
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Whoops, just found another picture of the rain gutter a little farther along, plus chicken-pox Burro.

Sorry for the crappy image quality - I'm doing all these photos on my phone because I don't want to bring my nice Nikon to the garage with the dust all over the place.
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rain gutter small.jpg   patching dings small.jpg  

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Old 01-13-2012, 07:09 PM   #19
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Boy, I'd love to have a garage like that, even with no heat. Just look at the height and the steel beams. Impressive.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:12 PM   #20
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Yeah, it's so great to have this huge space. It's a friend's garage and we are super grateful to have access to it.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:39 PM   #21
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Hi Jen, Fantastic job so far. Thanks for all of the pics. My Boler has been hand painted and in my quest to find away to have the paint removed. (no place to do to myself) I found that boat yards will use a Soda Blaster on FG boats to remove paint but not harm the gelcoat. Have you tried the Soda blaster on the body anywhere? Was the clean up form it horrendous?

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Old 01-13-2012, 07:43 PM   #22
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Mark, the beauty of the soda blaster is that it just blasts baking soda, which is totally harmless in the quantities we are blasting with.

We've just used it on the window frames so far - geez, never occurred to me to point that thing at the roof paint! But I can see how it would work. It's a really useful tool for cleaning up things that a sand blaster would damage.

When blasting the window frames we did the work outside, and it left just a little bit of soda laying on the ground (and between your teeth). No biggie.

Oh, and editing to add that they work best in dry conditions, which is to say that on a humid day, the nozzle gets clogged up.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:00 PM   #23
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The big moment of truth came today inre the longitudinal flange where the clamshell hulls are joined. Per the discussion on the "is this condensation?" thread, I decided to look hard at the possibility of just chopping that flange down instead of re-capping it with the U-shaped Trimlok.

So, further inspection today confirmed that the hulls are bonded together on the inside, so we expected that I would not end up with two half-burros upon cutting into it. The two flange bits of each side hull are not even glued together in any way - they're just kind of hanging out there not doing a lot. So off they came.

We used a Dremel cutting tool for the first rough cut, and then used the grinder to smooth that up a bit. Finally, hitting it all with the palm sander improved appearances quite a bit.

After that, we dumped a WHOLE BUNCH of fiberglass resin into the resulting gap between the outside hulls, and put some fiberglass cloth over that. Once that's dry, tomorrow, we'll start Bondo-ing over to smooth it all out. We'll end up with a bit of a ridge, but nothing like the flange-ridge. I'm happy with how it's going so far. I think for sure the structure is now stronger, not weaker. While my dad was up on the ladder attaching a strip of fiberglass cloth and resin to the roof, I heard him exclaiming, "this thing ain't never coming apart!"

So to anybody else who's eyed up that Trimlok and the flangey thing underneath, you have my blessing to get rid of that whole mess.

Oh, and funny thing about this trailer. I am getting to know it pretty well by now, and have decided that at the Burro factory circa 1980, careful attention to detail was just not the name of the game. The two halves are joined together a bit willy-nilly. In places on the roof, one side is higher than the other. It did require some care when we went after it with the Dremel because of the crookedness.

Ok, pictures.

1 Starting to chop.
2 Flange-less back side
3 Front with flange,
4 Front without flange.
Attached Thumbnails
cutting off the flange 1 small.jpg   cutting off the flange 2 small.jpg  

cutting off the flange 3 small.jpg   cutting off the flange 4 small.jpg  

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Old 01-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #24
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Gee,
If we could just lose weight that easy.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:06 PM   #25
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1 A view of the front of the trailer, from the side. Flangeless below the window.
2 More chopping on the roof. You can see how not-connected the two flange things are.

3 Roof after some grinding.

4 Roof after smoothing up with palm sander.
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cutting off the flange 6 small.jpg   cutting off the flange 7 small.jpg  

cutting off the flange 9 small.jpg   cutting off the flange 8 small.jpg  

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Old 01-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #26
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Give me coveralls and a Dremel, and I'm MAD WITH POWER. mwaaaahahahaha.
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jen with dremel.jpg   cutting off the flange 10 small.jpg  

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Old 01-13-2012, 10:43 PM   #27
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Jen, great work and pictures. I can't wait to see that silver paint and like the interior cabinet work. I had the same thing happen with an uneven body when I rebuilt mine. Most people don't notice it, but the back left is about half and inch lower than the right. I didn't see it until I had it all put together, but I sure see it now. If I end up with another restore in the future I'll find out more on the soda blaster, it sounds like fun
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:32 AM   #28
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Jen: Do you recall which HF soda blaster you used? Also did it require a separate compressor? Kind of basic questions but I really like the idea of soda blasting. thanks Mike
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