Super Solar Compact Jr. - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-28-2008, 06:30 PM   #29
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Name: Bill
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Anyway, hopefully I'll have more pictures of further progress, soon enough now.
It looks like it's been a long time since your last post. Have you made any more progress???


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Old 01-11-2009, 05:53 PM   #30
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It looks like it's been a long time since your last post. Have you made any more progress???
Nothing but a few small projects done in the last 6 months. I had a shoulder injury that kept me from doing much for about 6 months, then the holidays interrupted things. I just started fiberglass jobs this weekend. I'll post pictures when I have enough new stuff worth showing.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:09 PM   #31
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Nothing but a few small projects done in the last 6 months. I had a shoulder injury that kept me from doing much for about 6 months, then the holidays interrupted things. I just started fiberglass jobs this weekend. I'll post pictures when I have enough new stuff worth showing.
what are you going to be running electrically that you need so many large solar panels in death valley?
are you planning to run the A/C off of the solar panels?
interesting build. i like that you are doing it yourself and getting what you want though out of the norm.
keep up the nice work.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:53 PM   #32
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what are you going to be running electrically that you need so many large solar panels in death valley?
are you planning to run the A/C off of the solar panels?
See the first post (picture 4).
Yeah, I'm planning on powering a roof-mounted 4800 BTU 24 Volt DC air conditioner, along with about 10 cubic feet of freezer space (my two biggest energy consumers.) With the added insulation, the AC should be able to maintain 70 degrees F even if it's 135 degrees outside.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:46 PM   #33
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10 cubic feet of freezer space? I assume for food storage for long trips!
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:06 PM   #34
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10 cubic feet of freezer space? I assume for food storage for long trips!
In addition to about 10 cu. ft. of pantry space. Plans are for enough food and water for one person for a month.
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:58 PM   #35
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Concerning the composting toilet. We have a Sun-Mar Compact installed in our 16ft Scamp. This was a unit that was used for field workers at our market garden that we previously operated. It started out as a temporary mod, but has become semi-permanent. Except for the size, it works great.

We plan to remove it, though and install a unit made for small yachts; two units come to mind, Nature's Head, or Air Head; that are about the size of a porta-potty. They also are priced considerably less than the Eco.

This will allow putting the bathroom back to the original size and configuration. It will also allow for reinstallation of the original bunk set-up or possibly a small dinette, as some others have done.

Interestingly, we owned a Compact Jr. over 30 years ago. The frame was definitely a weakness on that trailer. Upgrading the frame is the thing to do, especially if you attempt any off-road travel.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:47 PM   #36
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Concerning the composting toilet. We have a Sun-Mar Compact ...We plan to remove it,...
If the timing is right when get to that point I might be interested in you Sun-Mar. My home is off the grid and my present toileting is a bit too rustic though environmentaly sound.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:41 AM   #37
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Hi all! Long time, no post.

I've finally got back to work on the trailer. Been working on it for 6-8 hours a day, all month. I got lucky, and the highs have stayed mostly in the high low 90s most of this month.

Let's see, what did i get done:
Removed and fiberglassed in all windows, and all the other (8) other holes cut into the body for water, drains, propane lines, ect.
Removed the blue stripes from exterior.
Removed the Copact Jr. signs from the sides of the trailer.
Patched holes in fiberglass caused by the rubbing of the old frame in back.
Filled all the (dozens) of small pits on the front of the trailer caused by flying rocks and pebbles.
Removed the "rain drip edge" over the entry door.
Removed all the marker and tail lights and filled in the wiring holes.
Filled in all the (dozens) of screw holes left by all this stuff being attached to the exterior of the body.
Fixed both the front left and right corners of the fiberglass caused by former owners driving into walls. The right side you could see daylight, after digging all the Bondo and silicon sealant out.
Fixed the fiberglass over the right top corner showed a crack under all the sealant crap.
Removed all the rat fur (wow, it that a fun job)
Ripped out the carpet, and original linoleum flooring
Ripped out all the remaining wood interior, pluming, electrical system-- starting from scratch.
Sanded the whole interior, partly to remove the old adhesive, but also to level the fiberglass to make gluing on the insulation panels easier (another REALLY fun job).
Drilled the new holes to mount the body to the new frame.
Finally, today I just just removed the old wheel wells (easier than I thought it would be.)

That's where I'm at now.

Things I want to do this next month:

Fiberglass in the holes left by removing the wheel wells.
I wasn't originally going to replace the wood floor, but after looking at it without everything in the way, I've decided to pull it and lay down new 3/4" plywood.
Bed the body and frame with sealant and finally bolt down the body for good.
Build the new permanent roof and support structure and fiberglass it on.
Sand and paint the exterior.

So by the end of this next month, I should have the exterior completed and completely watertight. Then I get to think about the interior rebuild details. I'll be starting from a blank slate. I'll probably have to stop again at some point to allow me to save up more money. I estimate I still need to save another $14 grand to finish the project.

Will get some pics up within a day.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:21 PM   #38
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Will get some pics up within a day.
OK, pictures are harder to get than I thought. I keep working into the evening, so too little light to take good ones. I'll get then soon.
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:27 PM   #39
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Ok, I'm stumped windows and eight holes? Did you remove all the windows? I know you need to insulate but ventilation and natural light are important too! Will the pop up have them?
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:59 PM   #40
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Ok, I'm stumped windows and eight holes? Did you remove [b]all the windows? I know you need to insulate but ventilation and natural light are important too! Will the pop up have them?
I'm going to be adding smaller, modern, double pane windows at a later date (one on each side). So yes, right now no windows.

Added: The pop-up is being removed and replaced with a non-popup solid roof (see Picture 3 and Picture 4 for an idea (more details in my first post.)
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:07 PM   #41
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OK, Finally have some time for photos. Not much new to see in photos, but here we go anyway.


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The first three pics show the results of all the fiberglass work, removing the windows and fixing all the holes and damage in the shell. It's a complete blank slate at this moment. I just got the wheel wells finished a couple of days ago. The body is ready for paint, after I build and attach the new roof. I also have the body finally permanently bolted down to the frame and sealed along all frame members with butyl tape. Every couple of days, I'll tighten the bolts again, until they won't tighten any further, then I'll remove the excess butyl sealant with a razor blade.


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Yesterday I picked up the the four 4x8 sheets of 4.5" rigid isocyanurate foam insulation boards that will be used to construct the new roof section.

--- More in next post ---
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:34 PM   #42
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Here is a better shot of the interior.


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This is a shot of the new 3/4" floor, and the method used to attach frame to body/floor. Note that I also filled in the entire perimeter (the gap left between the plywood floor and the figlass body) with epoxy, to the level of the floor. The seams between the three floor sections is also epoxy filled.


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This shows a bunch of details. First, I had a section of plate steel that went from the back of the frame to the back of the bumper. This was to support rught under the door sill area. But, I was worried about water pooling in this area and rolling under the door sill, between the plywood and the fiberglass. This area is probably the worst design element of the compact Jr. trailers.

To fix the problems, I made two changes.

Fist, after I installed the new plywood floor, I fiberglassed from under the trailer's existing fiberglass and wraped it around the plywood, and into the trailer floor about 4 inches. You can kind-of see where the fiberglass ends in the left corner, because of the sudden lighter color there. This will insure water can't get between the fiberglass and the plywood, and I think it's a simple must-do modification to any Compact Jr.

Secondly, I removed that section of steel plate that went from the back of the frame to the back of the bumper, and replaced it with a section of angle-iron that ends right under the door sill. This way, water will tend to just drip down to the ground now and has nowhere to pool.
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