Hi we are a couple getting ready to renovate our 1976 beachcomber - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-27-2017, 06:28 PM   #1
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Name: Frederic
Trailer: 1976 beachcomber
California
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Hi we are a couple getting ready to renovate our 1976 beachcomber

Just purchase our 1976 beachcomber camper. She looked good until we started taking the walls off. Mold had started on the the wood. So we have decide to cut the entire camper and start new. The problem and we feel the fiberglass roof is week, what do you recommend to fix this?Click image for larger version

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Old 08-27-2017, 09:50 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Fred. Some one will be along with some answers for you. Be sure to keep any of the panels you take down for patterns if you're going to change them out too. BTW, most all of these eggs have roofs that are not made to walk on. Stiffer ceiling ribs would give you a little more strength.
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:37 AM   #3
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Name: Frederic
Trailer: 1976 beachcomber
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Welcome to the forum Fred. Some one will be along with some answers for you. Be sure to keep any of the panels you take down for patterns if you're going to change them out too. BTW, most all of these eggs have roofs that are not made to walk on. Stiffer ceiling ribs would give you a little more strength.


Perfect tks
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:17 AM   #4
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Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
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And so it begins!


Agree with Borrego Dave's advice and wish you the best of renovating!


WHEN you're done (and you will be if you take it one toothpick at a time every day), wishing you many happy trails!


BEST
Kai
Fear of Fiberglassing--our reno story here on FGRV, link below:
https://www.google.com/url?q=http://...ATg2ThZ9oVtiFQ

Better link, photos of the gutting and rebuild:
https://www.google.com/url?q=http://...LXZBHKmIqevDQQ
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:00 PM   #5
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Welcome to the site with all the advice you could really ever need! The fun with a camper like this is you get to learn new skills and gain a level of confidence that owners of new campers can only dream about.

Don't be in a hurry and know that when you are finished you will know everything there is to know about your camper. This also gives you an opportunity to make a camper that fits your exact needs.

Good luck!
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:26 PM   #6
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Name: Eric
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I found it very helpful to read through the threads that had been posted of rebuilds over the years. I am in the early parts of a rebuild, and find that even going back and looking at what others did motivates me to keep going.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:33 AM   #7
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Name: Michael
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All moulded components should be removed and discarded. Hard materials like fiberglass, plastics, metal etc. are not permeable to mould and can be cleaned with soap and water and reused.
I suggest you remove the insulation first. Make sure you wear a P-100 respirator for protection against the fiberglass dust and mould particles. Open your door and windows when doing this.
The safest way is to remove and replace structural members one at a time. Fiberglass is reasonably strong but it can break. It is also flexible so it may sag. You have a better chance to maintain original shape if you replace one structural member at a time.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Welcome to the forum Fred. Some one will be along with some answers for you. Be sure to keep any of the panels you take down for patterns if you're going to change them out too. BTW, most all of these eggs have roofs that are not made to walk on. Stiffer ceiling ribs would give you a little more strength.
Amen to this! Pile all those rotten wood things behind your garage or wherever but don't throw them away! Invaluable as dress patterns and for measuring out new panels, measuring where the supports go, and all the other odd-shapes and odd-attachment points that are really difficult to determine from thin air.

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Old 08-30-2017, 12:37 PM   #9
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After you remove what you can, soak the remaining things and surfaces with concrobium, its on the right in this picture:




I love that stuff, it kills mold, and the roots, and you just leave it on there to prevent future spores from settling in. If you sand, clean, etc., re-apply it before you assemble things and close it up again. I just put it in a spray bottle like for window cleaner. That musty smell is gone. It does not have bleach so it doesn't whiten anything, just kills it.

I like the comment about the respirator, I got mine at Lowes for about 30 bucks and will will also come in handy when you start laying fiberglass resin because it filters out those fumes.

Enjoy the project!
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:41 PM   #10
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Name: Frederic
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Tk u all for the feedback! We parked it in the garage for the winter. Plan is to have it done by next summer! We have 2 little ones ready for camping! Ok..so progress so far...removed all the insulation, some of the rotten woods, installed support beams, removed windows. We found out its really time consuming to removed the woods stuck to the fiberglass without damaging the fiberglass. We read on this sute acetone works, but hey we have a whole camper to do! So far we used a wood chisel...slow but working. Any better ideas out there? Also, we need to support the ceiling but not sure how to go about that? Any specific ideas? Here are some pics. Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:43 PM   #11
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by fvicaire View Post
Tk u all for the feedback! We parked it in the garage for the winter. Plan is to have it done by next summer! We have 2 little ones ready for camping! Ok..so progress so far...removed all the insulation, some of the rotten woods, installed support beams, removed windows. We found out its really time consuming to removed the woods stuck to the fiberglass without damaging the fiberglass. We read on this sute acetone works, but hey we have a whole camper to do! So far we used a wood chisel...slow but working. Any better ideas out there? Also, we need to support the ceiling but not sure how to go about that? Any specific ideas? Here are some pics. Thanks for the help!
You didn't say but was there any interior cabinets or closets in it? Any floor to ceiling items are there for roof support. You have the roof supported well now to keep it from sagging any farther during the reno. From the pics you can see a bit of sag. A few folks that have done the same type reno have added metal ribs with a slight bend to match the curve. I haven't had to do this but have been a woodworker forever. If you're replacing the ceiling ribs, use your jacks, a little at a time to raise the roof and give it some time to set. If it was me, I think I would use aluminum flat bar shaped to fit the new curve. One on each side and through bolted to two or three selected ribs. Adding to the sides leaves the full flat wood surface free for the ceiling covering.
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:44 PM   #13
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Name: Kathleen
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
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Holding up the ceiling

Your support jack looks super!


We used two pieces of sturdy plywood and a 2x4 and a rubber mallet to gently urge our ceiling up while the upright supports were out of Peanut. (one shell with two nuts)


We started with it barely pushing on the ceiling and Paul gently banged on the bottom of the 2x4 every hour or so until the distance again matched the uprights he'd taken out and the curve looked right where the uprights (galley) had been long gone.

We didn't have any way to get it into the garage...so Paul made a huge tarp tent for it--

just a few of the pieces that were removed and used as templates

Your time frame sounds good--

BEST
kai
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Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 081.JPG   Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 073.JPG  

Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 043.jpg  
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:42 PM   #14
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Name: Don
Trailer: Beachcomber
British Columbia
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Hi Frederic, I also have a Beachcomber and noticed a soft spot at the door so I thought I would quickly rebuild the area around the door. LOL That was four days ago, I have now ripped out about one quarter of the wall paneling and insulation and I can see it is going to be a total gut job by the time I am finished. I am lucky enough to have space in my garage so I can keep it out of the rain for the winter while I work on it. I am looking forward to reading your progress and comparing notes with you. cheers
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