Tips on Rehabbing a 1989 Casita 16' - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-08-2019, 06:18 PM   #1
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Name: Caleb
Trailer: Looking to rehab a Scamp
VT
Posts: 4
Tips on Rehabbing a 1989 Casita 16'

Hello. I finally found a good project trailer, a 1989 Casita 16' at a great price.

I'm looking for tips on where to get interior carpet, supplies for new cushions, and exterior paint brands and tips. It's been painted already, but i want to make it high gloss white on top, and the lower part below the seam sky blue.

A little background. The bathroom has been totally taken out. Some of the carpet has been taken off the inside ceiling. It roles ok and is pretty solid

My goal is to make it a bunkhouse for my backyard to be used by my small kids and occasional guests. I definitely want to put in ceiling support bunk beds where the bathroom was.

Not much travel planned. And I'll be keeping it very light since we only have a 2009 Subaru Forester to tow it. But it's low and we go slow. I won't have any gray or black water, don't need the stove, and will only need the sink to drain to the lawn below. We'll use battery LED lights and don't need a heater. I suppose I'll need a powerful ceiling fan next summer. And/or a DIY screen door.

Happy to finally move from our old ratty, but loved, 1997 Coleman Toas pop up to fiberglass!
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:46 PM   #2
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 303
The interior carpet is a fiberglass boat product and can be sourced from suppliers who focused on those. I have very a similar 16ft. Casita which I bought in similar condition as a total rebuild. I have pulled it with my 2010 Forester though I prefer to tow it with my 4.0 liter Jeep Cherokee XJ. You are correct in your plan to keep it light for use with the Subaru. That plan should also include the contents that you carry along for your "vacation".

Beware of removing internal closets and cabinets as they provide rigidity to the fiberglass shell.

Enjoy
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:45 AM   #3
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Name: Caleb
Trailer: Looking to rehab a Scamp
VT
Posts: 4
Thanks so much! Great to have your experiences support some of my instincts.

Does anyone have any quick links to the right rims/tires to buy? If not i'll be fine measuring and such.

Any idea how to match the color of the carpet? Sand color maybe? "Headliner" brand maybe? Links?

I am putting bunks in where the bathroom was to help the roof support that the bathroom wall provided.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:38 AM   #4
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 303
Can't say anything about carpets. I can tell you that the carpet on the ceiling of my trailer was replaced at one time and doesn't match the walls.

As for wheels, You should have the pretty much standard 5 on 4.5 inch wheel pattern. By the photos, it looks like you have the clearance to use 15" wheels if you wish. I am using standard steel 15" wheels from an 80's vintage Ford Ranger or Bronco II on my Casita. Many other brands of cars and trailers use that same bolt pattern.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:59 PM   #5
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Name: Eric
Trailer: 1987 Casita 16
Illinois
Posts: 469
I used a carpet from Home Depot and spay glued it to the insulation I spry glued on the the FG. It sounds like you really are going light, but like Mike said, make sure you get good support, and make sure that it goes to the floor and over the frame, otherwise, it will "bow out" with time, and the roof will settle. I found that with mine since I had support only to the wheel wells, I am now going back and re doing the supports.



I took out out the water, and will use the blue jugs for the water I need. If you don't have any tank for the sink, you may find yourself unable to stay some places, even though you don't plan to use it. I think Lisa found that with her Scamp in California.



Think about your electrical as well, since the future may involve use of a microwave, or the need for something else. Now is the time to give thought to it, and plan for a lot more than you think you might use. A few spare wires to be used later might make changes later a lot easier.


Just some ideas from my rebuild
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:58 AM   #6
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Name: Caleb
Trailer: Looking to rehab a Scamp
VT
Posts: 4
Thanks and blogging

Thanks everyone. I'm making a blog post here on my journey.

I cleaned the bejesus out of it inside and out. My wife and think we might be over our heads timewise with two little kids and winter coming. But I'm sleeping on it. I got it for $700.00! It towed well at 50MPH with my 2009 Subaru Forester but needs new tires, and new tail lights and wiring to my car, to road trip safely. I HOPE I can sell it for $800 if I need to.

My main issue is how much work it will be to get it to "cosy back yard guestroom" status. No plumbing or electrical needed other than an extension cord.

That means to me:
  • New DIY cushions and or mattress. I don't need the dinette table to come up for it to be a good guest room.
  • Finish painting or carpeting the inside. They took out all the carpet and insulation and started painting it. But the paint bubbled up I think from the heat, on one end of the camper.
  • New skylight vent
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:13 PM   #7
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Name: Brice
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 3
Join the Casita Owners Forum. The posters there are very knowledgeable about modifications and includes the just retired owner of the top Casita mod shop in the country.
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:07 PM   #8
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Name: Sandra
Trailer: 2006 EggCamper #35
Florida
Posts: 124
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Cushions available

Hi Caleb,

We just bought an EggCamper in which the original cushions had been upgraded for a memory foam queen. PO gave us all the original cushions but we don't see ourselves switching back and would rather pass them along than store them.


They are in good shape - fabric on top and vinyl bottoms. Picture example of cushions in the Original layout. shipping should be $70 unless they add an oversize charge. Would you be interested in the 6 cushions that make the U shaped area? If so I'm happy to take pictures and get measurements.


Sounds like a fun project for your boys Good luck with refurbish.
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:15 PM   #9
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Name: Sandra
Trailer: 2006 EggCamper #35
Florida
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Cushions in original layout.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:11 AM   #10
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Name: p@
Trailer: Casita
South Carolina
Posts: 237
Registry
calebjc...one thing you might want to consider is relocating the battery. i noticed there is no door for outside battery access (common on early models) and i can tell you getting to that battery for fluid checking, etc is a real pain. a lot of folks have moved the battery to the tongue for easy access. with a 16'er the additional tongue weight is a blessing on what is usually a tongue light trailer (prone to sway).

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Old 09-22-2019, 08:31 AM   #11
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Name: Sandra
Trailer: 2006 EggCamper #35
Florida
Posts: 124
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I re-read your thread re: desire to make cushions from scratch. Supplies for DIY cushions are upholstery store for the cushions and since Joann Fabrics has a VT location I would check there first for outdoor fabric. Recently they had deep discounts on large selection of outdoor fabrics.
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Old 09-26-2019, 06:25 AM   #12
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Name: Caleb
Trailer: Looking to rehab a Scamp
VT
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Thx! What are the dimensions roughly? I'm at calebjohnclark@gmail.com if you want to take it off list.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:52 AM   #13
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '82 Burro 13'
Northern VA
Posts: 244
If you want to keep the same tire size you could probably take the rims to a powder coat place to change the color.
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