New purchase, partially updated Ventura 73' - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-25-2020, 09:43 AM   #1
Name: Vanessa
Trailer: Ventura 73
British Columbia
Posts: 32
New purchase, partially updated Ventura 73'

Hi Everyone.
I've been reading this site for about a week I think... several discussions already saved for later reference. That said, I figured I'd pipe in with my scenario.

We beat the purchase rush on Ventura this week. Occasionally I do a search for decent fibreglass campers but always in a bit of 'want' category. But given I work in travel industry - thinking NO time like pandemic present to take on project and low n' behold - this beauty turns up. But like others - now that it's home and upon further inspection - there's bit more work than anticipated. But overall - not too bad.

The Good.
The shell is in decent shape.
Frame is good with no visible rust.
New tires and axel.
Interior has been redone/cut.. sorta.
Burners, Sink, fridge removed (which is something I was hoping for).
Back of camper has 2" receiver with luggage basket.
rear table converted into permanent bed (mulling over that one).
New door (no window).
thumbs up on electrical inspection.
Drove home without problem (300 km).

The Bad.
The roof looks like raw fibreglass (very weathered).
The belly band is off in one section. Visually - looks like 2-3 screws/rivets not staying (stripped).
There are mysterious moisture spots in 3 places.
shabby dented house vents on side.
Crappy job adding furnace where fridge was (good furnace but wrong fit - and ugly color!). Plus vented to exterior on weather piece plywood.
Plywood floor looks old and weathered (maybe original). Floor is only plywood.

Just laying this out I feel overwhelmed. ha.

I'm thinking Elastomeric white roof coating?
Yes. I'll check or replace bolts to frame (see this mentioned a lot).
Maybe pull off all new panelling (taking note how to put back) and look for moisture (should I wait for rainy day to this too?)
Remove and reseal windows. All look original and decent.
Figure out something for front rock guard (forgot to mention that).
Daunted by floor - pulling up plywood and replacing.
sourcing new grilles for side (suggestions?).
I think I'll remove furnace and maybe just use a small portable if/when needed.

In advance - thank you for any feedback. Looking forward to the project...


Ps. Some images...
Attached Thumbnails
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exterior front.jpg  
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:24 PM   #2
Senior Member
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 4,014
I would never ever put that elastomer coating on a fiberglass roof. That stuff is common on mobile homes and stick built RVs.

You can pretty much forget new grills. Fix what is there, search RV salvage yards, eBay, etc. 40+ year old parts. You can patch the fiberglass if you remove the furnace. I’d give it some time before making any changes.

I would remove windows and reseal first, then body to frame bolts. Keep under cover until it is leak free. That front rock guard is worth saving.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:37 PM   #3
Junior Member
Name: Rose
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 14
1973 Ventura

I read your list and had to lay down.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:07 PM   #4
Name: Vanessa
Trailer: Ventura 73
British Columbia
Posts: 32
Good to know about the roof. What would you recommend? Did I see something about rubber paint? Whole thing is getting paint job. Up close the sides are a mix of white and Matt beige.

Rock guard is from a prowler. Its about 6 inches to short (hence piece weathered wood on bottom). It will stay for now but well keep eye out for replacement.

I was just reading another discussion about belly band. Ill be taking this one off. The Wood its connected to is very soft... on vent side near rear window. Ugh.

Took a Better look underneath... Bolts look new.

Definitely pulling out more of interior than planned.
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:01 AM   #5
Senior Member
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 4,014
I would not use rubber coating. If you want to paint the trailer, I would paint the roof just like the rest of it. Google fiberglass paint, roll and tip for details (assuming you are looking to do it yourself).

Nice thing about painting is if you end up patching some of the vent holes, it won't be so noticeable. Generally I do not recommend painting as it is a lot of work, and gelcoat can last nearly forever if properly stored.

These roofs are fiberglass, no seams, a continuous piece. Much different than typical RV stuff.
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Old 05-26-2020, 04:17 PM   #6
Name: Vanessa
Trailer: Ventura 73
British Columbia
Posts: 32
Good to know re painting. Yes we plan to do it ourselves. A friend has painted a few bolers.. hopefully they have some advice. I guess roof would maybe take extra coats? Thinking well get a look at it once interior is stripped down.

Were going to take belly band off. Over time it looks to have been screwed in... Current screws all very rusted. Currently digging on here for everything I can find on BBs. The wood its screwed into near rear window is soft/rotten. So that will need fix... and well see what else once its off.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:12 AM   #7
Name: Vanessa
Trailer: Ventura 73
British Columbia
Posts: 32
Hi there.
I thought Id share an update... as I contemplate a day off.

As I read on here before we bought it - it always ends up being more work. Well, aint that right! So far Im enjoying the challenge.

Bellyband is off. What a mess. Buytle tape, silicone.. rusted screws.. and latex over silicone. But its done. Im planning on filling the seam with bondo. Seems its what others on here have done.. but need to fix frame inside first. Re Bondo - might be some creative sculpting work given some corners dont line up. Open to advice.

Interior has been gutted. With each pull I hoped the frame etc would be good enough to keep. But as I was pulling off the bellyband I realized the inside wood frame was rotten in 3 places. So it will need replacing. Roof framing looks good. 2x6s cut with a curve. Any tips for framing or working around bellyband inside?.. does it have to be plywood? Currently is 2x 3/4 and 1/2 - 2 layers (3 around belly). Not sure if a previous owner just reframed over top of the old frame. I found some framing threads on here but I cant tell from the images.

Exterior. At some point it was given a layer of latex paint. Talking to a friend who works on sailboats. They confirmed I should strip off the latex. Ugh! Could be worse.. At least its not gelcoat. Using 3M safest to strip latex which is working well.

Floor. Plywood under table and also main floor needs to be replaced. Currently sourcing marine plywood and reading up on epoxy etc. Today I think I need to pull off door in order to get leverage to access main floor. Which Im dreading. Door is fine currently but reading up on here about doors - pulling it back might be tough. Cant think of any other way... Ive found some threads on this but feel free to share own experiences replacing floors. Click image for larger version

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Some more images!

Im starting to worry my end of June goal is unrealistic.
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Old 06-15-2020, 06:03 PM   #8
Name: Vanessa
Trailer: Ventura 73
British Columbia
Posts: 32
Bit of an update... feels like progress has slowed a bit.

Weve decide to glass the holes instead of fix or replace. We do not have fridge, sink, gas burners.. and not sure well ever put them back. .Found local luge athlete to help with fibreglass. Hes rather pro!

This weeks decisions: marine plywood vs non. As well the thickness for floor and under table. I have sheet regular 1/2 and thinking about going marine and 3/4. If anyone has advice? Read a few people advised against treated for interior.

Framing. Some areas look good while others need replacing. I struggle with complete reframe vs selectively replacing just few areas.

Have windows out. I wonder if over the years if on/off of windows weakens wood framing inside. Do I reframe windows or leave (most of wood, which looks marine ply looks good).
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:14 AM   #9
Name: Vanessa
Trailer: Ventura 73
British Columbia
Posts: 32
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