Hello From North Dakota - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-12-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Derik
Trailer: U-Haul
North Dakota
Posts: 3
Hello From North Dakota

My wife and I recently bought a 13 foot 1986 U-Haul and LOVE IT! We've taken it out once so far and have plans to redo the upholstery this winter but on our one short trip so far we have found a few things we would like to do and are looking for any tips.

1) Is it worth replacing the pump for the "swamp cooler"? It would be nice to have something like an AC but not sure if it will work that good up here as say down in TX or AZ.

2) We would like to make a mount for a table top fan or mount a small oscillating fan in the corner by the stove. Any tips for attaching something like that to the fiberglass shell and not causing any damage?

3) Any tips on replacing the icebox with a fridge? Is it worth it? Anyone remove it all to gather and just make more storage?

4) I would like to mount a grill to the back. Anyone attempt this before?

We have a LONG list of things we would like to try/do with the camper that I am sure we will never get completely through so looking to hit the ones that will give us the best return first.

Thanks everyone in advance and I'm looking forward to exploring the Forums more!


PS, I'll post some pics when I'm not at work to show you what we have and want to do.

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Old 07-12-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
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Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,916
Hi Derik in North Dakota, from Donna D. in Oregon. to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here!

You're going to find lots of kind and helpful people here on the forum. I'm sure someone will be along shortly.

I just wanted to say HI and I'm glad you're going to post some pictures.

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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Name: Bob Ruggles
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 2012 Chevy Silverado
Posts: 1,260
Swamp cooler will either work poorly or not at all or make it more uncomfortable anyplace where there is significant humidity. Absolutely would make things worse in Michigan, for example. During the monsoon season in TX or AZ would make it uncomfortable. Best to use real AC. I attach things to fiberglass in my EggCamper with suction cups and/or velcro. By all means get a fridge unless you want the space. Getting ice can be a hassle depending where you are when you need it. Attach the grill to the frame or bumper, not to the fiberglass. There you have my opinions. Probably worth what you paid for them. Enjoy.
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:04 PM   #4
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Name: Glenn
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 3,425
If you attach the grill to the trailer, you will have to move the trailer to shield it from wind, unless you get lucky and the wind doesn't shift direction.
If the grill is not attached, you just move the grill in the lee.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
Senior Member
Name: Gene
Trailer: Scamp
North Dakota
Posts: 599
Welcome to FGRV Derik. I'm in ND also. You should like it here. Lots of good help and info here.
I'd get the fridge. If you don't want to replace your icebox you can at least get an electric cooler. Coleman makes a good one. I also got a chest that will freeze. Quite versatile. I like this option since I live in a small town and can get frozen food when I go out of town and get it home without it defrosting.
I have a Coleman chest like this that I got at an auction sale.
Koolatron Kool Kaddy Electric Cooler | Wayfair
I also got a Dometic portable freezer on Ebay that looks like an ice cooler. New they are expensive but if you keep an eye out a good deal can be had there.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:20 PM   #6
Junior Member
Name: Derik
Trailer: U-Haul
North Dakota
Posts: 3
I've been thinking about converting the old "dorm fridge" I have from college. It's the right size, it's free and still works great despite being almost 30 years old. Only problems are it would need power and I'd loose my garage beer fridge.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #7
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Cyndi B.'s Avatar
Name: Cyndi
Trailer: 2010 Scamp 5th Wheel/2007 Toyota Tundra/2015 Tundra
Posts: 1,105
Welcome to the FGRV, Derik. Got to live in Dickinson for 6 mos. Our weekend get away from our 23' house was with our 5ver was to Teddy Roosevelt National Park, Medora or Bismark.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:02 PM   #8
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carlkeigley's Avatar
Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,361
to the forum Derik.
Lot's of information on this forum.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:28 PM   #9
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 3,712
Our swamp cooler was incomplete so we replaced it with a fantastic fan. Note that the swamp cooler is always open to outside air, can't close it like a standard roof vent or fantastic fan. Wasps & bees like to make nests in it. We have extended our counter top by using the tops of wood snack trays on shelf brackets at each end of the existing counter. Removed original ice box, made a platform in that area, and installed a dorm fridge. Had to slightly enlarge the opening. New power converter and all new wiring, both 110 & 12 volt to allow for the fridge, electric heater, additional lights, TV, coffee pot, toaster. We've made many modifications, still working on it. How are your windows, any leaks. Look in all the storage areas with the liners out, if you have them, leaks from windows, marker or tail lights, and seam flaws will show up there. Wind driven rain can enter the stove vent louvers and drip on to the stove. Leaks can occur at the solar panel. I mention all this as leaks have been the most frustrating repairs I've had to do, and they can be quite difficult to locate. If you want to attach something to the wall, one option is make a hole and use those plastic inserts like Uhaul used originally for the curtain rods. Note that the space between the inner and outer shell varies throughout the trailer, so be careful if you drill or insert screws. A previous owner used too long screws in a couple places on ours and they went right through the outer shell.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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Gilda's Avatar
Name: Gilda
Trailer: 2011 Scamp 13'
Posts: 1,145
You'll find all sorts of opinions regarding ice-box vs. refrigerator. You can do a search with the search tab above and find past postings. Personally, I like the simplicity of an ice-box and we have had no problem finding ice. Basically, if you can find a gas station, you can find ice. Another downside, though, is there is less space for food in an icebox. We also carry a a separate cooler in the car 'cause we eat lots of fresh vegetables.
The Gleeful Glamper
Gilda (Jill-da)
"Here we go again on another amazing adventure"
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:26 PM   #11
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Posts: 1,300
Welcome to FGRV. Your camping style will dictate what would be best for you. If you mostly camp in parks where there is electricity available, then a dorm style refrigerator and a cube heater would work great for you, but if you just weekend camp "off the grid", then a cooler would be of better use to you. We tend to camp off the grid for longer periods, so a danfoss style 12 volt compressor refrigerator works best for us combined with our solar panel. I would encourage you to replace your swamp cooler with either a Fantastic Fan or Maxx Air fan. You can also use a very high bonding double stick tape to attache items to your smooth fiberglass walls. This method would allow for future changes without needing to repair holes. Good Luck with your future adventures.
Dave & Paula

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