Supporting roof during rebuild? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-14-2014, 08:52 AM   #1
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Name: Nate
Trailer: 1981 Casita 13. TV: 2011 Honda CR-V
Posts: 114
Supporting roof during rebuild?

Started removing parts from my '81 Casita 13 last weekend. I've read enough to know that the kitchen cabinet/post/lower and the closet support the roof structure of an egg. So what do I do during a rebuild? I've searched the forum, and can only find warnings that the roof requires support, and not much mroe discussion than that.

I'm pulling the body off of the frame. Do I pull the closet/kitchen cabinets out AFTER pulling the body off the frame? Before? And when I do, how do I keep the roof from sagging too much/collapsing?

Just want to make sure I do the right thing, and do it in the right order.

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Old 08-14-2014, 09:06 AM   #2
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Posts: 976
Since you don't have a roof AC there's hardly any weight on top. Since the shell will not be bouncing along the road, I wouldn't worry - but if you're concerned you could cut some 1x2 firring strips to fit and jam them between the floor and ceiling after you gut the interior.

Fiberglass is pretty strong stuff, if your isn't degraded to the point where you have glass fibers showing on top, you're probably good to go without the sticks.

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Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design:
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:47 AM   #3
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
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The key issue you will face when you put it back together is that you don't rivet your cabinets and roof supports in the sagged position. You will want to support any sags in the roof and then rivet the stuff in. Especially the Iron support holding up the the kitchen top cabinet to the base cabinet. If you work slowly in rebuilding your project it wouldn't hurt to clamp a piece of 1/4" plywood strip across the length of the roof maybe 6" wide and wedge some 1" X 2" furring strips between the floor and the ceiling board especially if storing out in the sun. Resin and fiberglass can do what is called cold flow and take a set under stress after sitting for periods of time.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:24 AM   #4
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 5,028
Just to ease your mind, I have towed a Scamp 13 over 600 miles with no interior cabinets. While it acted somewhat like a pillar of Jello, it suffered no damage. When replacing or installing new interior components , care must be taken to maintain the shape of the shell and to providing adequate support and stiffness.
The trailer won't collapse under it's own weight from simply removing the interior, but it may move around a little which requires a little care.
below are photos of "Shelly"(the afore mentioned Scamp 13) the first is the shell without furniture or support, the second and third are the finished trailer with a full interior....
Attached Thumbnails
Shelly#8 001.jpg   June 2009 003.jpg  

June 2009 004.jpg  
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:24 AM   #5
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Name: Nate
Trailer: 1981 Casita 13. TV: 2011 Honda CR-V
Posts: 114
Ahh, OK. That helps to know!

So my thought is this:
Finish removing furniture from interior, then I can strip all wall/floor coverings.
Remove body from frame (So I can work on body inside garage! Won't fit otherwise, and frame needs work/replacement.)
RE-jack/support body before I do any glassing. (Filling fridge holes, fixing cracks, etc)
Do glassing as needed.

Does anyone feel doing the glassing or bodywork off the frame is a problem with an empty shell? Seems like it should be fine as long as I maintain the shape?
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