TOTAL MAKEOVER - includes pics - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2006, 09:18 PM   #1
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We are streetrodders and former owners of a 13 foot Scamp. My husband didn't want to attach huge mirrors to our '33 Plymouth Coupe, so reluctantly we sold the Scamp and bought a (dirty word) tent trailer. After traveling with several friends with Bolers, Scamps, Lil Bigfoot and ALWAYS being the last one to get their camp set up, we decided to go back to a little fiberglass. It helped making that decision to discover removeable McKesh mirrors that don't mark up the sides of the car.

Late this summer we found a 1987 Lil Bigfoot in BC and proceeded to buy it. We knew it had some problems, but the price was right and we are very capable of redoing. So--our odessy began.

The major problems were a mushy floor; a bad axle spindle from spinning a wheel bearing and my husband wanted electric brakes, which meant replacing the axle. The door did not fit properly and someone had put their shoulder into it to close it, breaking the window and damaging the door itself. A new one was over $600. There was a lot of water staining in the front kitchen corner. Friends had "re-papered" right over their old wall material using craft felt and that is what we had planned to do also.

After getting the trailer home, we pulled all the lower cabinets out to redo the floor and really got a closer look. The wood was still wet and pretty much rotten. Then we decided it would be easier to recover the walls if the upper cabinets were also removed. Hmmm! It was not only water stained but REALLY moldy. At one time the walls had been a dark blue, which we could not even imagine. It must have been like a cave, and the previous owners had covered the stains with cellophane and painted it. S0---- I pulled on one corner of the wall covering and before we knew it the walls were bare except for the foam insulation.

We measured and ordered the new axle, went to work sanding and repairing the fiberglass exterior, welded extra floor joists to the frame, even added bracing all the way out to the door threshold. Put new plywood floor down and re-glassed all the way around the new wood. My husband totally rebuilt the door using new RV skin material and replaced the window and painted the door. Looks like new. That's where we are at at the moment.

Next phase: PAINT! Then put the windows back in and start on the interior. We bought new vinyl for the floor. We've found a source for the same type of wall covering (just waiting for color samples) and we have decided to reface all of the cabinets with formica, put in a new counter top and replace the stove top with a new two burner. The refrigerator works fine, so we will just put a new panel in the door to match the cabinets.

One thing we are not sure of is A/C. Most of our friends have put small household A/C units in the rear windows, but we had thought about a Coleman Polar Cub unit. They weigh almost 100 lbs and we aren't sure if this will be a problem. Also the fiberglass isn't as thick as 'normal' trailers and we're not sure about this. Has anyone put one of these units in their trailer?

We are adding three new flourescent lights, stereo and some shelving over the end of the bed. Add pleated shades, and we found a cute little fold down table to go in the center of the bunk area. I will reupholster the seat cushions and depending on how it sleeps we may replace the bed cushions with a custom made innerspring mattress (we did this in our old Scamp).

So--once again our "little" project has turned into a major overhaul, but when it gets done it should be a little dream.

Please see my other Post for "Pictures of Total Makeover"

Bonnie and Roger Miller, Ephrata, WA
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:19 PM   #2
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Bonny and Roger: I speak streetrodder quite fluently and tow our Trillium with a much rodded 1937 Plymouth moredoor! (See attached avitar!)
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Old 10-06-2006, 07:05 AM   #3
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Hotrodders Unite!

Sounds like you're doing everything right and are going to have a perfect-for-you trailer when you're done.

I don't have an A/C either, but living and camping in the Pacific North Wet it's never been a problem...even campning in HOT central Oregon where the temperatures are over a 100 degrees during the day....and cools off rapidly at night. Fans and open windows keep the air moving enough to be comfortable.

Maybe instead of a roof-top A/C you'd consider a Fantastic Fan?? The problem I have with built in A/C and built in furnaces, is you're carrying them (and the weight) around even when you don't need them. If I was to put in a A/C, I'd consider following Lance's lead in putting it into a cabinet with a door to the outside.

Check out Lance's website here for more info: Blue Boler Mods

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Old 10-09-2006, 02:13 AM   #4
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Thanks both of you for your comments on the A/C . We saw another trailer with the unit in the bottom of the closet and have considered doing that. We have a power vent (not a Fantastic Fan) and I am sure that wiould help, but I'm spoiled and I really think A/C is a must. Bonnie
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:27 AM   #5
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If you have crank-out windows, one of the Yahoo Scampers came up with a way to temporarily mount a standard, El Cheapo, 5KBTU a/c in the window -- He says it only takes him about five minutes to set up and another five to break down -- He carries the a/c in the bed of his pickup (but it could easily be set on the floor for travel).

Buddy's Air Conditioner
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:37 AM   #6
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If you have crank-out windows, one of the Yahoo Scampers came up with a way to temporarily mount a standard, El Cheapo, 5KBTU a/c in the window -- He says it only takes him about five minutes to set up and another five to break down -- He carries the a/c in the bed of his pickup (but it could easily be set on the floor for travel).

Buddy's Air Conditioner

Looks like a neat application, but unfortunately we have sliding windows. Thanks for the post. R n' B
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:47 PM   #7
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With my grandson's help, we figured out how to resize some pictures of the demolition of our 13 foot Lil Bigfoot. Next week we plan to start painting, then we can serious about putting things back together again.


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Old 10-13-2006, 06:17 PM   #8
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you've taken on a great project..... the results will be great to see!!
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:29 PM   #9
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Looks like you have your hobby for the winter. Hope all goes well. Your grandson helped with the pictures, will he be giving you a helping hand with the trailer as well? Wish we had a nice shop like that one. Cool!

Sherry

P.S. can't wait to see the results.
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:05 PM   #10
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I especially like your choice of screws.

Perhaps the idea is patentable -- something like: "Bonding of Wood to Steel via the Oxide of Iron Method"
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:22 PM   #11
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Looks like you have your hobby for the winter. Hope all goes well. Your grandson helped with the pictures, will he be giving you a helping hand with the trailer as well? Wish we had a nice shop like that one. Cool!

Sherry

P.S. can't wait to see the results.
We hope it doesn't take all winter. We have a lot of work to do on our 1933 Plymouth Coupe, too. Friends have asked us what color we are going to paint it and we jokingly say "grey primer, to match the car". It has been in primar going on 8 years now. The trailer will be Wimbledon White---soon! Maybe tomorrow.

Thanks for the encouraging words. We'll keep you posted.
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:39 PM   #12
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Hey Roger... What a great looking shop to work in. I am really envious. Enjoy and make sure that you keep the photos coming. I look every night to see what is happening out there.
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Old 10-19-2006, 02:30 PM   #13
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Hey Roger... What a great looking shop to work in. I am really envious. Enjoy and make sure that you keep the photos coming. I look every night to see what is happening out there.

Thanks, everyone, for the encouraging words.

Just got the first couple of coats of paint on the trailer and had a few small runs on the curvy parts, so I am scuffing the whole thing down for another coat. Was very pleased that I didn't get any fish eyes (which fiberglass is prone to do) so I must have done a good job on the prep work.
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Old 10-19-2006, 06:11 PM   #14
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Hi Roger, GREAT JOB! A question about the frame. In the picture there appears to be three pieces coming out from the frame to a fourth piece. Am I not thinking right or is this for strengthening the area at the door. If so is the picture backwards? Also do you any other pictures of the rear of the frame? Due to the molded in bumper I've never been able to see under mine. Thanks in advance. Keith
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