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Old 02-03-2016, 01:15 PM   #1
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Name: James (Jim)
Trailer: 1981 Burro - 13'
Ohio
Posts: 28
Registry
New Burro owner, FRV member

Hi, I'm Jim, from Cincinnati and Deb and I just bought a 13' '81 Burro. It needs a lot of TLC (and dollars!) but I hope to bring it back to life for my retirement trips! If anyone has "been there, done that" and can help me with ideas, advice and so on, I'd really appreciate the help. As a start, I'm looking at replacing the wooden floor (with 2 laminated layers of 1/2" aircraft/marine plywood, FULLY fiberglassed) and putting the shell back on. I've gutted the insides; water damage and mold made that imperative. Frame and shell both seem solid, will need painting and tweaking; replace coupler, etc.. This is a big project but I'm confident of my ability to DO it, and look forward to using it down the road. Thanks in advance for your comments/help, and I look forward to maybe meeting some of you soon!
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Old 02-03-2016, 01:25 PM   #2
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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If you are laminating why not laminate blue foam board between two sheets of 1/4 plywood?

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Old 02-03-2016, 06:44 PM   #3
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Name: James (Jim)
Trailer: 1981 Burro - 13'
Ohio
Posts: 28
Registry
Found out via another member that the wood has to be in 4 pieces that are bonded AFTER they are placed onto the flange at the bottom of the outer shell; they have to be separate to get them in place! Not sure how I'd put the foam in, may have to "punt" and use just one thick ply and route a tongue and groove into the meeting edges, or something like that. Once you get the floor inside the shell, and bonded, then you put the whole thing back on the frame and screw it down. I had thought the shell sat ON the floor; not so. Thanks for the suggestion anyway; I want the floor to be SOLID and hold up, I'm not a midget!
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:56 PM   #4
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Name: Myron
Trailer: Escape
New Mexico
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I had a 1981 Burro I did a lot of work on.

Go to U-tube and do a search for "Burro rehab project."

You'll also find others there. Myron
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:08 PM   #5
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Name: James (Jim)
Trailer: 1981 Burro - 13'
Ohio
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Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:53 AM   #6
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: Burro
Florida
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I know that three-quarter inch ply is available as pressure-treated, tongue-in-groove. I'm sure I've seen it at Home Depot. I am beginning a similar project with my early eighties Burro. My floor needs replacement, not because of moisture, but due to an infestation of carpenter ants. They tunneled between the layers of fiberglass, establishing a very cozy nest for thousands of the little bastards. This experience leads me to the desirability of pressure-treated ply.

Lynn
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:23 AM   #7
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Burro 1983 13'
Wisconsin
Posts: 139
Congrats on the Burro Jim.
I have had mine just under two years
and really have enjoyed it. Have fun!
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:56 PM   #8
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Name: James (Jim)
Trailer: 1981 Burro - 13'
Ohio
Posts: 28
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Wonder if treating it with something before I fiberglass it would work, too? I want a REALLY strong floor; treated ply might not be quite stout enough but it's a good idea! Have you figured out a way to lift the shell and get to the existing wood for a pattern? Seems like rolling it on it's side is risky to the windows! Haven't figured out that little detail, yet! Good luck with yours; keep me posted, I'm going to be hit and miss on working on mine.
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:58 PM   #9
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Name: James (Jim)
Trailer: 1981 Burro - 13'
Ohio
Posts: 28
Registry
Thanks, Bill; I'm looking forward to getting mine out on the road. It's a basket case right now, but has good "bones". Lots of work, should be a good investment if nothing else! Hope my Mariner Hybrid can pull it OK! Wish me luck.................
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:29 PM   #10
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Name: Bill&Laura
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Fiver
Kentucky
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Hi Jim, Congrats on your camper. We aren't too far away from you - we're in Kentucky. We adopted an old scamp last November, also rehabbing. Will be fun following your progress!
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:09 PM   #11
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Name: James (Jim)
Trailer: 1981 Burro - 13'
Ohio
Posts: 28
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Where in KY? We'd love a chance to see what you've done to yours.....we have a thousand ideas, not sure what would work or not! Not sure of our time frame; the rehab will be done around funds and time! Thanks for the shout; I'll be sharing what I can and asking about the rest, for sure. How far "into it" are you going?
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:53 PM   #12
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Burro 1983 13'
Wisconsin
Posts: 139
Burro manual

Jim if you go to the documents section on here and go to
Burro there are some documents that might help you out
a little. As mentioned earlier You Tube but Google also has
some good videos and tips as well as photos.
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:28 AM   #13
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Name: James (Jim)
Trailer: 1981 Burro - 13'
Ohio
Posts: 28
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Thanks; I've found a lot already; some of those projects are AMAZING! Almost too good to shoot for but I'll keep at it and see what happens. Thanks for the info and encouragement. Hope to meet you some time!
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:43 AM   #14
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1978 Burro
Michigan
Posts: 85
removing frame from Burro

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnJim View Post
Thanks; I've found a lot already; some of those projects are AMAZING! Almost too good to shoot for but I'll keep at it and see what happens. Thanks for the info and encouragement. Hope to meet you some time!
CapnJim, I got to thinking last night about how I removed my frame. I took the bolts out from inside the trailer. I cut off the bolts from underneath flush with the frame they way when I tried to remove them I wouldn't have to try and run the rusty part back thru the threaded hole. I also tapped on the head of each bolt before I tried to break them free.

If you are going to remove the frame with the floor pieces still attached to the frame I might consider cutting the bolt heads off on top (4" angle grinder with cutoff wheel) and then using vice grips to unthread the bolts thru the bottom of the frame.

I always try an avoid bring a rusty thread thru a tapped hole. The rusty part has grown larger and is very tough to run back thru. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

My opinion is (of course everyone have a different one) that a complete overhaul of an old FRV is the best way to go. You can make it completely your own and eliminate all the extra weight too. I am in the process of replacing the particle board pieces with cedar. Probably about 1/3 the weight. Doesn't have the look of oak of course but some stain and some poly and I'm satisfied.

Good luck in your endeavor.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:15 PM   #15
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Name: James (Jim)
Trailer: 1981 Burro - 13'
Ohio
Posts: 28
Registry
Good ideas, Duane, thanks! I, too, feel that a COMPLETE makeover is best; doing things half-way usually winds up being LESS than half right! None of the particle board doors or parts will be left; might use 1/4" aircraft ply and stain, depends on what we want to do when we get to that point. Still up in the air; getting it repaired road-wise is first! Any idea what a replacement for the rubber torsion elements would cost or where I can get them?
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:04 PM   #16
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1978 Burro
Michigan
Posts: 85
Burro leaf springs

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Originally Posted by CapnJim View Post
Good ideas, Duane, thanks! I, too, feel that a COMPLETE makeover is best; doing things half-way usually winds up being LESS than half right! None of the particle board doors or parts will be left; might use 1/4" aircraft ply and stain, depends on what we want to do when we get to that point. Still up in the air; getting it repaired road-wise is first! Any idea what a replacement for the rubber torsion elements would cost or where I can get them?
CapnJim, I'm guessing you are talking about the leaf spring nylon inserts which I replaced on my Burro? The nylon inserts I believe are 9/16" x 5/8" and
1 3/4" long. They fit right inside the leaf spring eyelets (one on each end of the spring).

The big problem I found rebuilding the suspension was the nylon bushings and steel sleeves at the rear of the leaf spring. The two welded "ears" that are on the frame (where the shackle links attach) have an odd ID. I searched and searched the internet to find an exact bushing that would fit into the ear openings and fit one of the nylon bushings for the 9/16" bolts.

I don't remember what the opening (ID) size was of the ears but what I ended up doing is buying a steel bushing that had a larger OD and smaller ID (and longer than I needed too). I then brought this to a machinist friend of mine and had him make the two bushings for me. The ID had to be 5/8" for the nylon insert and the OD had to fit the odd ID size of the ears. I wanted a nice tight fit and the old bushings were in real rough shape esp after I had to pound them out of the ears.

If your "ears" are in good shape you may want to leave them alone and just put some new nylon bushings inside. I assumed I could find something to fit but that became a mistake!

I've included a photo of the upper rear bushing on the frame ears. As you can see they didn't get painted and was the missing "link" in getting my Burro on the road.

Hope this all makes sense? If you have any other questions let me know.

8 Trailer Leaf Spring Suspension Nylon Bushing Sleeve 9 16'' x 1 75'' L | eBay

Carry-On Trailer 4 Spring Shackle Bolts & Nuts, Heavy Duty - For Life Out Here
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:03 PM   #17
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Name: James (Jim)
Trailer: 1981 Burro - 13'
Ohio
Posts: 28
Registry
Duane, mine has the rubber torsion type of suspension, no springs, no linkage. Each wheel has a plate that rotates on the end of the axle and can be adjusted for weight. It "seems" OK, but I've only towed it 1.5 miles to my house from where I bought it and didn't get to actually SEE it on the road. I'm familiar with the leaf spring type, my utility trailers have that and I've built a few, but this one is different; I'd assumed yours had the same. Thanks for taking the time to tell me what you'd gone through! wish it was like mine!
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:39 PM   #18
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1978 Burro
Michigan
Posts: 85
rubber torsion axle

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnJim View Post
Duane, mine has the rubber torsion type of suspension, no springs, no linkage. Each wheel has a plate that rotates on the end of the axle and can be adjusted for weight. It "seems" OK, but I've only towed it 1.5 miles to my house from where I bought it and didn't get to actually SEE it on the road. I'm familiar with the leaf spring type, my utility trailers have that and I've built a few, but this one is different; I'd assumed yours had the same. Thanks for taking the time to tell me what you'd gone through! wish it was like mine!
Oh! haha Now I get it.

I did a little poking around out there and found these. Let me know if I can offer any more help.

Two 3500 Torsion Half Axle Stub RV Trailer camper Torflex Axel Boat 1750 Ea | eBay

Ultra-Tow™ Stub Torsion Axles — Pair, 2000-Lb. Capacity per Pair | Trailer Stub Torsion Axles| Northern Tool + Equipment

Search | etrailer.com

https://www.google.com/search?q=Tors...w=1280&bih=691
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:59 AM   #19
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Name: James (Jim)
Trailer: 1981 Burro - 13'
Ohio
Posts: 28
Registry
Thanks!
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