Arggghhh. getting this Minit roadworthy is trying - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-06-2013, 11:00 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Lesa
Trailer: Minit
Posts: 21
Arggghhh. getting this Minit roadworthy is trying drive me nuts.

The ice box was no good. It was cracked so we removed it. Would really like to put an electric fridge in it but can't seem to find the correct size to fit the hole left by the ice box.

The windows on this Minit are odd. Only one opens. The others are sealed.
So, it is a hot box.
We would like to put an ac on the roof. Is this a good idea?

Had to remove the paneling on the lower half of the inside walls due to water damage.
Now trying to find something to replace it with as it has to make the curve.

The door is messed up. The PO kicked the door open and popped the hinges. They put bolts in as replacements. The door swings and shuts but it is warped. Doesn't seem to meet up right and there is a space on the top that shoudln't be there. It appears warped. Not sure what to do with that.

The handle is sheared off. Have to find a replacement for that that. It needs to be in and out handle and prefer a keyed one.

The PO put a crud load of stickers on it and they have been removed but left behind ghosts.
there is some fiberglass repairs that need to be done.

whew! There is a lot. We are new to fiberglass campers.
Excited but can use all the advice we can get.

Minit owners in SEKS

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Old 06-07-2013, 12:41 AM   #2
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 3,312
AC unit is heavy, trailer would have to be built with the structure intended to handle the weight. If not the roof would collapse or walls would bow out as trailer was squished like a balloon.

A lot of people put small home window units in. The install them through wall under rear dinette table supported by rear bumper, in a closet vented to the outside with unit coming through closet door or replace a window with an AC unit. Or come through the front using the tongue to support it. So there are options.

I have family in Kansas, made many trips out there camping for family visits so totally get wanting AC.

I suggest taking on one thing at a time, fix that and move to next thing. Windows sound like a good choice since that would make working on it more comfortable.

Post some pictures, only so many types of windows used in these things you will probably get some good advice on how they work, where to get parts etc.

Suspect window originally opened, something broke and rather than repair properly prev. owner just sealed the window. My front window was caulked and screwed shut with two small screws when I got it, owner said he could not get it to be rain tight since the latch was broken.

What does in and out handle mean? If this is the one in prev. pictures that looked like a twist handle. All replacements would have keys. But should be aware that if you remove the two hinge pins and you can just lift off the locked door. Not terribly secure.

You might check out the thin white plastic 4x8 panels sold at big box home improvement stores. They bend, don't know if you can paint them. Another approach is to make many shallow cuts with a saw from top to bottom on the back of a wood panel to make it more bendable. That is something of an art to get right but it does work.

Bolts that attach hinge to trailer or hinge to door can be loosened which allows hinge to be twisted a little bit up or down to get better alignment with opening. You use "warped" to describe the door. Do you mean not curved to match the curve of the trailer wall? Or crooked/cocked in opening?

square foam insulation of about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch is what scamp uses as a door seal, goes on trailer and door closes against it. It's 3/4 inch thick foam at the bottom of the door. So in effect door appears sort of warped if compared to opening right from the factory because the bottom does not come in as tight against the trailer. No idea if Minit is the same way.

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Old 06-07-2013, 08:21 AM   #3
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Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,957
I agree with Roger. ONE thing at a time. Make sure it works or is done correctly, then move to the NEXT ONE thing. And most of all... breathe. It may seem overwhelming, but if you slow down and fix ONE thing you'll feel success and empowerment.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
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ShawnKK's Avatar
Name: Shawn
Trailer: Boler
Posts: 368
One great thing about a older camper is you can do what ever you want to it. You do not have to go with the flow unless you want to. Make it your own. Think outside the egg! When I first got mine I told my wife I want to restore it like it was a new 1982 Boler. Since then, I said why. Let us make it our own. Get rid of these nasty 80's wall paneling was one of the first things on our list.
I guess your in a hurry to get this one the road? If so , it might be time to say it will get done when it gets done. Just a idea here but you were talking about your door. What if, you put some hidges on to of the door with lift springs you can get from auto stores or online and have it open from the bottom up like a awning. Just a thought to make it your own. One can even hook it to a ele motor and with a push of a button it opens. Crazy? Maybe. But way kool.
Like RogerDat said the HD does carry the FG and PVC board that will work get in there. It is thin enough to heat it and bend it then glue it.
Did you Google for a ice box that will fit in there? I had a cooler than ran off 12 volt and house current and it worked great. Then you could always go back and replace it needed. It was cheap too.
Are you in a hurry to get this thing on the road? If so just do the min to do it and later (winter) start the heavy stuff. This is what I am doing.
Do you have room for one of those stand up a/c units?
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:25 AM   #5
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 3,312
I think you started in the right place, clean up. Makes a world of difference getting old stickers and crud off and giving it a good wash.

BarKeepers Friend, a powdered non-abrasive cleanser and a scrub brush can do a lot to make trailer look better and provide inspiration and satisfaction from looking at a nice clean trailer.

On the sticker "ghosting" it is less of a problem than it first appears. If you clean well and polish using Zep or RedMax Pro floor wax the old fiberglass shines so much it makes the ghosts of stickers past blend in. If you paint, a little light sanding with fine sandpaper as prep for painting and they can be blended in pretty well.

Take lots of pictures! You (and the forum) will enjoy seeing your progress from "before" and "after" pictures.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:37 AM   #6
Junior Member
Name: Lesa
Trailer: Minit
Posts: 21
well, haven't had a lot of time to get in there and work on it this week but I will say...
The people that had it smoked like a train! I have put 3 coats of paint in there after cleaning and cleaning and the tar STILL is coming through!
We bought the board to replace the ends at the curves.
The door, well we bought a handle with a lock that we are hoping will go on it and work.
The fiberglass work should get done within the next week. Then, it will get painted.
The windows, well we can't get the tinting to come loose. It looks horrible.

still going strong though.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:12 AM   #7
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Roy in TO's Avatar
Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 5,024
Originally Posted by llco87 View Post
The people that had it smoked like a train! I have put 3 coats of paint in there after cleaning and cleaning and the tar STILL is coming through!
Whoa, slow down there Lesa. Every one of your problems has been discussed here before. You should learn from our mistakes. Search the forums for the best fix.

The problem above could have been resolved with a proper cleaning and priming with Kilz. With 3 coats of paint covering the problem it is going to be much harder to fix.

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