Rucio's Winter Makeover - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-12-2011, 05:08 PM   #1
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Rucio's Winter Makeover

This weekend I brought my Burro over to the Pittsburgh area so I can keep my dad out of trouble for the winter. We just got started today.

Here's the list of stuff we plan to do, or at least want to do, or hope to do:

  • paint job inside and out with associated patching and sanding
  • new overhead storage bins/shelves front and back
  • rearranging how the spare wheel is attached
  • re-doing the cabinet doors inside
  • adding an outside access hatch to the space under the rear dinette
  • new sink faucet
  • trying to jam some reflectix between the hulls wherever we can manage it
  • LED lighting inside
  • LED tail lights and marker lights outside
  • jimmying with the door to make it hang a bit straighter a leak a bit less rain
  • cleaning up the window frames and re-sealing those, see point above about not leaking rain
  • doing something to create a kitchen countertop of something other than easily stained fiberglass
  • new smaller propane tank to replace the 30 or 40 lb monster I have now
  • making the front rock guard look something other than ugly
Yesterday we took out all the cabinet doors, the fridge, the stove, the plumbing for the kitchen sink, the cubbyhole covers, etc etc.

Today's job was pulling the windows out, taking the rock guard off, removing the weatherstripping from the door, scraping butyl tape from everything, and whatnot.

A few photos coming up!
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:13 PM   #2
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This is Winter Makeover HQ, a friend's garage. These friends regularly foster kittens for the Beaver County (PA) humane society, so when we get bored with RV tinkering we can run into the house and play with the fuzzballs.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:15 PM   #3
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The paint scheme will look vaguely like this. That creamy-cream color inside, and a light silver outside. The silver will be lighter than the silver/gray here but a similar color combo. I'm going to get new Burro decals from that joint in New York state, probably in a chocolate brown since I'm sticking with the turquoise-n-brown colors inside.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:19 PM   #4
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We are dissatisfied with the fact that the spare wheel is hanging right on the fiberglass rear hull, with support bolts going right through the wall. We, and by "we" here I mean my dad and my uncle, are going to design a spare support thingamajig that will be welded onto the bumper - so the weight of the wheel will be supported by a steel structure instead of flappy fiberglass.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:20 PM   #5
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Look! Almost naked!
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
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Has anyone done soda blasting? Soda blasting is the new awesome. We picked up a blaster today at Harbor Freight and went to town with it. Okay, well, we tested it on one of the window frames. It's pretty great, (although I noticed I could taste the flying baking soda). This will let us clean up and re-use the original windows, at least the aluminum frames. We'll put some kind of clear coat on them after the soda blasting.

The windows also need re-doing with all the rubber gaskets and I'm hoping I can find that stuff online someplace. We are planning to re-use the plexi, so any tips for smoothing that stuff up again would be welcome. It's a bit scratchy and dull in places.

Photos below show soda blasting in progress, and a before-and-after (the lighter bit being after, and the dirty looking bit being the before).
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IMG_1337.jpg   IMG_1336 copy.jpg  

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Old 11-12-2011, 06:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen b View Post
The paint scheme will look vaguely like this. That creamy-cream color inside, and a light silver outside. The silver will be lighter than the silver/gray here but a similar color combo. I'm going to get new Burro decals from that joint in New York state, probably in a chocolate brown since I'm sticking with the turquoise-n-brown colors inside.
Nice car, is it in your storage location? 1953 Pontiac or Chevrolet?
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:00 PM   #8
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Hi jen,
4 things that might help.

1. Take a look at fiberglass propane tanks if you want a really nice lightweight tank.
Lite Cylinders Propane Cylinders - Product - Camping World

2. Maguirs makes a very good plastic polish for the plexi, but I would seriously recommend polycarbonate as a replacement

3. This company sells airstream replacement parts, but they are a good source for rubber gasketing. The photos on the website are not to any scale so beware! They have a $25 minimum order so if you get anything ask for a sample of all the gaskets they have. Part # 45308 is a very good door gasket for our trailers too. They may have other odd parts you can use so look around.
Inland RV Center Inc.

4. I recently upgraded my tire carrier as well. My Scamp has a reinforced rear panel to strengthen the area where the tire is bolted. I built an additional aluminum support extending down to the bumper. using both the body and the bumper will give you the strongest attachment, but I would fiberglass in a support panel for the body. My tires are 205/70-14s so they are fairly heavy and the new mount is rock solid.

David
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:07 PM   #9
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Looks like you are off to a good start, putting your tire on the bumper is a good idea. Keep the pics coming.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:40 PM   #10
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Jen, It sounds as though you have a great plan. I'm sure you know this but I remind in case you forget, the reflectix goes in much more easily when the windows are out. rb
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:07 PM   #11
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Okay, where was I?

Some stuff from back in November first.

The door came off, of course - that's getting surgery to re-shape the hole for the door latch. I removed the infamous L400 and am replacing it with a new Fastec lock, and their shapes are totally different. I don't currently have photos of that process but will try to get some.

One of the things I quickly learned in the process of camping last year was that the rain gutter above the door was about useless when it came to diverting rain away from the door opening. Its profile reminded me of one of those infuriating teapots that send most of the tea dribbling down along the spout instead of into your teacup. So we made a plan to build that up into a more substantial diversion channel.

To do that, we duct-taped (yes, we went there) a thin plastic piece of hose to the existing structure, the idea being to then fiberglass resin and Bondo sculpt over it to create a more substantial channel. We also extended the molded gutter a little longer and slanting away from the door. We more or less almost made it look the same on each side, even. Sort of.

That's had a couple of Bondo layers stuck on and sanded, and it's looking more and more useful. I need to snap some photos of it tomorrow as it's looking now, but here's the initial build process.
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20111125 rain channel 1 rucio burro winter makeover small.jpg   20111125 rain channel 3 rucio burro winter makeover small.jpg  

20111125 rain channel 4 rucio burro winter makeover small.jpg   20111125 rain channel 5 rucio burro winter makeover small.jpg  

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Old 01-13-2012, 06:16 PM   #12
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This is the first spatter of Bondo on the new-improved rain gutter, doorless Rucio, and some fun with the grinder. The hardware that was holding on the clunky rock guard was kind of stubborn.
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20111126 rain channel 6 small rucio burro winter makeover.jpg   20111126 rain channel 7 small rucio burro winter makeover.jpg  

20111125 grinding off rock guard hardware screws rucio burro winter makeover small.jpg   door off small.jpg  

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Old 01-13-2012, 06:26 PM   #13
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Jen,
When you are done with the rain gutter mod, you can add this, it comes in bright and off white, works great over windows, doors, along your roof line.
EZE RV Gutter System, 10' - Product - Camping World
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:30 PM   #14
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We're also re-doing the cabinet doors to be lightweight and prettier. I got some nice maple boards to make frames, and they'll have some kind of insert. I'm wavering between finding some tin to put in them or using plexi that I can soda-blast to be opaque. I might go with the tin, much less work.

Anyway, the storage door openings make me think that this was a kit Burro. They all look like somebody drank a whole six-pack before starting to cut the holes. Although when we get to the adventure of slicing off the longitudinal flange, I will note that the factory work was not exactly what you would call precise.

The tall closet opening had this awkward bit of fiberglass across the middle that, when I bought the trailer, did not actually correspond to anything like a shelf. On my first get-it-usable round of improvements we did put a shelf there to match, but now it's coming out to accommodate a nicer cabinet door frame. We're also cutting the hole a little taller to make the whole space easier to use. The first photo is from last month, and the second and third are from today when we tested the new door frame to mark where the hole will be embiggened.
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20111125 tall closet small rucio burro winter makeover.jpg   20120113 tall closet 1 small rucio burro winter makeover.jpg  

20120113 tall closet 2 small rucio burro winter makeover.jpg  
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