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Old 07-27-2009, 10:26 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1991 Burro 17 ft
Posts: 16

First off thanks to all of you that responded to my post titled "Are there any drawbacks to owning a fiberglass trailer". With the overwhelming response we received we started our search and after several near misses we finally bought a 17' Burro this weekend which we drove 430miles home yesterday.

Overall the shell and the interior are in good shape but here's what we think it needs:

1. The frame has a lot rust, most of it seems surface rust but being in SoCal I'm not an expert in rust. My plan is to wire-wheel it as much as I can and then POR-15 it. I'm thinking replacing the frame would be cost prohibitive and not a DIY job? One side of the propane platform is borken so I'll have to weld that - I have a small mig-welder at home I can use for that.

2. The interior needs some updating, it's "totally 80s" inside. We'd like to re-cover all the interior foam with some shade of red that'll look nice against the white interior. Can anyone point us to some modern looking interior for some ideas?

3. We'd like to replace and reface the 1.5" thick doors and cabinets with some lightweight material that reflects light and makes the inside look more modern.

4. The main door doesn't seal very well at the top and leaks water when it rains according to the previous owner.

5. The shower has a seam that's missing caulk and the water goes right through it and apparently drains to the lower part of the shell - according to the previous owner. Not sure where it ends up but I'm assuming it drains through to the ground.

6. We're not thrilled with the re-circulating toilet. We're thinking about ripping it out and mounting our thetford in place since it's really just for #1 to avoid having to walk to the bathroom when it's cold and dark outside.

7. It was a bear to park it in the storage since the front jack doesn't have a wheel. I'm thinking about replacing the jack with a wheel jack.

Is there anything else we should consider besides what I listed and if you've done anything similar can you share your experience? I'm a DIYer by nature but totally new to this.

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Old 07-27-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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Trailer: 1983 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 3,082
Use this to clean up the frame http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt...nAczrlAe1jZiqDw

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Old 07-27-2009, 11:07 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler and 1987 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
Posts: 2,025
Congratulations! It looks pretty nice!

1. I would think your idea would work out fine.

2. Do what you like! There is a post about interiors somewhere.......

3. I like the wood doors. Quite a few Burros have white doors and most people replace/cover/paint them because it's TOO white. If you really hate the wood look I would paint them a color to match you decor. I have never seen a Burro with a wooden bathroom door and that wall set up. I'm sure someone modified that.

4. New weather stripping?

5. That's not good. I'm not sure how a Burro bathroom is installed....

6. A nice porta potty would work but I wonder about that recirc toilet.....I've never seen one in a Burro either. All the ones I've seen have RV toilets with holding tanks.

7. You might be able to add a wheel to what you have. I don't know how easy it would be to push anyway.
1979 Boler B1300 | 1987 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | We officially have a collection!
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:26 AM   #4
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Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft Rear Bed
Posts: 335
Congratulations Russell! Nice looking trailer indeed. I saw a Burro 17 in San Diego last week for the first time. Looked very similar to yours.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:01 PM   #5
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Trailer: 17 ft 1986 Burro
Posts: 890
On our 13 foot Burro I replaced the doors with clear pine shelving from Menards ( a midwest lumber place) It's prepackaged so it might be available anywhere. About 5/8 inch thick and very light
I cut the doors to size and used a clear polyurathane 2 coats to seal it from any moisture. New hinges ( the same type that were there but nicer) and new ceramic white knobs.

Nice white clear pine, pretty grain with the white Burro interior looks like Ikea.

We plan to do the same with our new 17 foot Burro also.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:11 PM   #6
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Trailer: Bigfoot 21ft (25B21RB)
Posts: 755
nice looking burro, congrats
Phil & Denise Underwood
1973 13ft Lovebug
1998 17ftCasita FD
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:30 PM   #7
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Trailer: Y2K6 Bigfoot 25 ft (25B25RQ) & Y2K3 Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette
Posts: 5,040
You probably have one of the last production Sac City Burros. It looks like it may have been either a kit trailer or the bath added later. That's definitely not a stock production bathroom/shower. Replacing that toilet with a standard RV toilet may be a bigger deal than you think, depending on how that one is installed. The stock Burro toilet had an integral 6 gal. black tank immediately under the toilet.

That interior is actually "totally '90s". The "totally '80s" interiors were brown tweed!

Good luck!

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Old 07-29-2009, 10:33 PM   #8
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Trailer: 2005 17 ft Escape ('Turtle')
Posts: 393
Russell you have a nice customized Burro! And it sounds like you plan to have fun adding your own custom touches. You will find lots of how-tos by searching around the forum.

I have concerns about the leaky shower, since Burros are double walled construction it is pretty critical to find out where the water has been leaking to and figure out what damage it may have caused and how best to dry it out. There had been a vent leak in our 13' Burro and water between the walls meant mold that was not accessible to deal with. We did the best we could and no more leaking and keeping it very dry when stored stopped the problem from getting worse, but we could never clean out the cavities completely. We did not have a shower so don't know if there might be a way the water could be draining to the ground, but it also could be trapped between the fiberglass layers. Hopefully a 17' owner can add some information about that.

Our 13' Burro was a Sac City Burro and I never did find the exact replacement for the rubber sealer around the door, though I purchased many varieties of what is available these days. You may have to use a combination of things to get a good seal, that is what we ended up doing, we actually had to use some caulk at first, later, before we sold it we replaced the not very attractive (but functional) caulk and used some stick on foam weather stripping at the top on top of the existing rubber sealer. The curve in the Sac City Burro doors makes the top susceptible to leaking as the rubber sealant ages. Don't through away the old, unless you find something we couldn't find in our searching, just add to it.

Have fun with it, it sounds like a trailer with potential and needing some tender loving care has found a good home!


"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Enjoy our travel photos at: Turtle Travels
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:33 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1991 Burro 17 ft
Posts: 16
Everyone, thanks for the input

Yes, our biggest concerns are:

1. the shower leak
2. the rust on the frame

In regard to the frame is it hard to seperate the shell from the frame? I'm a huge DIYer when it comes to cars/trucks/motorcycles but I've never really done any work on the trailers and two I'm afraid I don't have the garage ceiling high enough (or backyard space) to take on a project like replacing or fixing the frame (we have to store it at a storage facility).
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:42 PM   #10
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Trailer: Casita 1999 17 ft Liberty Deluxe
Posts: 10,962
Here it is, Benita's Interiors, not a how-to thread. Enjoy!
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:44 PM   #11
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Trailer: Casita 1999 17 ft Liberty Deluxe
Posts: 10,962
You should maybe break up your questions and ask them again in the Problem Solving section. There might be folks who will read it over there that don't bother much with General Chat.

And congrats on your find!
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:47 AM   #12
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Trailer: 2007 19 ft Escape 5.0 / 2002 GMC (1973 Boler project)
Posts: 4,149
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Hi: Russell,H... Nice trailer!!! I recomend some elbow grease and "20 Mule Team Borax" for the clean up and a small sign at the door "Martha Stewart doesn't camp here"!!!
Looks really great to me.
DIY'ers are always willing to learn!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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