Rebuild--rear-ended Uhaul CT13 - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-10-2014, 07:10 AM   #21
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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I saw two other Uhaul tail light modifications that I like. One had fiberglassed in the original opening and flush mounted the 2 X 6" oval lights vertically. The other was also fiberglassed in staying with the original curve but used surface mount lights. The flush mounted lights looked better but the surface mount would be less prone to leaking. A flush mount that has a flange would be better than the type I'm used to on trucks that sets in a rubber mount.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:57 AM   #22
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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I've been saving descriptions and/or pictures of different taillight options for the last month... and yes, there are several options that look both do-able and respectable. I might not be pursuing this 80's GM pickup option if I didn't already have a lot of fiberglass repair work to do back there. Since I do, though, this seems like a minor, "warm-up exercise" to do... most of which I can do while the camper sits outside. And I'd have to admit that it also appeals to the make-do, gear-head part of me.....
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:49 PM   #23
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Well... getting close to having the form/plug made up for creating my fiberglass "buckets" for the taillights. Glued n screwed 2 scraps of wood together, and shaped them to the needed size and contour of the pocket, and glued n screwed a piece of heavy sheet metal to that--the oversized metal will be the form for the flange at the edge of the "pocket", which will get glued or glassed to the inside of the camper shell. Tonight, I rounded the edges of the wood pieces, and used automotive seam-sealer to make a fillet in the inside corners. A few days from now, I'll be painting some customer parts, and will shoot several layers of clear on the form... and then sand it smooth, so that the fiberglass "pocket" will hopefully let go of it when cured. I found an online source for mold-release, that I'll order this evening... should be here by the time the form's ready.

BTW, I think I know what I'm doing--but I've never done this before, so I'm not intending to be preach-y here. Just describing what I'm trying to do. In a week or so, I hope to have some newly-made parts to put into play.

Pic attached is from my not-so-smart phone... better ones further on, if this all works.
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Taillight-fab-01.jpg  
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:28 AM   #24
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Name: Rick
Trailer: Burro
Massachusetts
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Hi Gary,

If you are willing to do more of a mod to the rear of your CT, you may want to consider the bumper. Your original looks to be toast and might need to be replaced. Several of us who have CTs and Burros believe that the original bumper on the CT is too large and too flat and detracts from the cool curvature of the camper. Replacing it with a custom tubular one made from bent black iron pipe or similar would be a great mod. And from what I read, I'll bet that you have the skills to do this....just a suggestion.

Rick
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:41 AM   #25
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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Original bumper

I want to put my two cents in and disagree with Rick, I like the looks of the original bumper and don't think it takes away from the curve of the body, but to each thier own, just my two cents worth
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:14 PM   #26
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Thanks for the suggestions. I confess, I don't know what to do about the bumper yet. IF I can straighten it [not too likely], I'd thought about trimming it down just a bit on the ends.

Also have considered making one out of somewhat less massive rectangular steel tubing or some such.

Also saw a Scamp or Burro that was to be fitted with a 57 Chevy truck rear bumper.(?) Looked nice, but that camper rear end was somewhat different shaped, so not sure about that. [I DO have a rural junkyard just down the road that's overflowing with 40's-70's cars and trucks, though... using something from there is tempting.]

But that decision will probably wait till spring...
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:22 PM   #27
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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First tail-light "bucket" popped off the form today!

Not a perfect fit with the GM tail-lamp assembly, but pretty close. I've sanded a bit on the edges of the GM part, so now it settles into the bucket pretty well. Need to tweak the opening in the back of the bucket a little more, so the tail-light assembly will fully nestle into it. If I have to tweak the bucket or the light assembly too much, I'll back up and modify the form before casting the bucket for the other side.
But at this point, I'm just happy that it's fitting pretty close... and that the form release agent worked like it was supposed to, and the part popped right off of the form earlier today. So far, so good.

Gary... grinning in Iowa...
Attached Thumbnails
14-0930-taillight-01.jpg   14-0930-taillight-02.jpg  

14-0930-taillight-03.jpg  
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:37 PM   #28
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"Pretty close" works for us if it works for you

Love following along on the big rebuilds...
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:33 AM   #29
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Nomad
Nevada
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Wow I am blown away how tallented you are! I wouldn't even know where to beguin with this task and I used to do auto body and paint! Kudos to you Sir one hell of a job you can look back on this with self pride!

I wish I could be around to help so I could learn!

JOB WELL DONE!
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:04 PM   #30
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Whoa! As Elvis would say, "Thank you... thank you very much..."

I'd have to say that problem-solving challenges kind of get me going. [Ones on the tail-lamp-alternate level... not peace in the Middle East or anything.] That, and I'm quick to take the bait of "It can't be done"... which sometimes leads me to spend WAY too much time far down some bunny-trail, trying to prove otherwise.

So, this has been fun... and looks like it will work ok. I didn't make the form quite as big as I should have, so I'm having to shave a little plastic to make the stock GM lamp nestle in there. I guess I'll go ahead and make the 2nd "bucket" up this weekend, without changing the form... then, if the weather stays mild a while longer, I'll hope to glue both buckets in place on the camper while it stays outside... gonna be a while before I've got space freed up inside the shop for it.

Carryin' on...........
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:39 PM   #31
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Trails West Campster, CampStar, Uhaul, Fiberstream
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groys02 View Post
First tail-light "bucket" popped off the form today!

Not a perfect fit with the GM tail-lamp assembly, but pretty close. I've sanded a bit on the edges of the GM part, so now it settles into the bucket pretty well. Need to tweak the opening in the back of the bucket a little more, so the tail-light assembly will fully nestle into it. If I have to tweak the bucket or the light assembly too much, I'll back up and modify the form before casting the bucket for the other side.
But at this point, I'm just happy that it's fitting pretty close... and that the form release agent worked like it was supposed to, and the part popped right off of the form earlier today. So far, so good.

Gary... grinning in Iowa...
Really excellent work here....fiberglass Dave
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:07 PM   #32
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Nomad
Nevada
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Originally Posted by groys02 View Post
Whoa! As Elvis would say, "Thank you... thank you very much..."

I'd have to say that problem-solving challenges kind of get me going. [Ones on the tail-lamp-alternate level... not peace in the Middle East or anything.] That, and I'm quick to take the bait of "It can't be done"... which sometimes leads me to spend WAY too much time far down some bunny-trail, trying to prove otherwise.

So, this has been fun... and looks like it will work ok. I didn't make the form quite as big as I should have, so I'm having to shave a little plastic to make the stock GM lamp nestle in there. I guess I'll go ahead and make the 2nd "bucket" up this weekend, without changing the form... then, if the weather stays mild a while longer, I'll hope to glue both buckets in place on the camper while it stays outside... gonna be a while before I've got space freed up inside the shop for it.

Carryin' on...........
I wish I had you around here to help me with my Chris Craft been looking for some help for so long:{

I know its not trailer related but would be nice to find some talented help.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:27 PM   #33
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Thanks again for the kind words, both Roger and Dave.

Dave, I have not done a great deal of fiberglass work, and read your lengthy post on tackling fiberglass repair twice. You did a very nice job with that, and it added a lot to my confidence to just go ahead and dive into this repair project. I'd recommend it to others:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ass-52498.html

The FibreGlast website had some helpful articles, too, and that's where I ordered the release agent [FibRelease 1153]... a product that I didn't already have, and had no experience with. [FYI, Dave's article was much more personable than the "industry" info.] FibRelease 1 step mold release for composites. In stock | Fibre Glast

So, I'd recommend Dave's article for general information and encouragement... and the FibreGlast folks as one source of materials.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:56 PM   #34
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Well, took the plunge tonight, and glued in the driver's side taillight bucket. Removed the original lamp and gasket material first--pretty broken up after the rear-end hit, but saved the pieces anyway. Only needed to enlarge the opening a little from the stock shape, shown in the photo with the green tape--the inside of the taped shape is the size of the new opening.

Not sure if I did this "by the book" or not. I was a little concerned that once I thickened up the catalyzed resin with the glass micro-spheres it might not wet the bonding surfaces... so I brushed a layer of plain resin on both the inside of the trailer skin and the flanges of the bucket first... then thickened it up till it was like somewhat sugared honey. Painted a thick layer of that on both trailer skin and bucket... and then brought the bucket up against the skin and screwed the two together. Just enough tightening of the screws to start bulging out the paste--not tight at all really. [I didn't want to warp the skin, just snug it up to the new bucket.]

Seems like it worked... guess I'll find out tomorrow if too much resin drooled out of the joint before the catalyst kicked off. Or if the screws are hopelessly glued in place. Pictures below......

Tomorrow, I'll figure to glue in the passenger side. Then do some sanding and shaping on the driver's side, and see what it looks like with the taillight assembly stuck in. [More pics tomorrow, then, hopefully.]
Attached Thumbnails
14-1004-Before01.jpg   14-1004-Bucket01.jpg  

14-1004-Bucket02.jpg   14-1004-Bucket03.jpg  

14-1004-Bucket03a.jpg  
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:35 PM   #35
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Nomad
Nevada
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Gary your the man! You got some cahonas tackling this job! It is going to be so nice when your done. I bet your really excited? :}
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:11 PM   #36
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Thanks for the encouragement, Roger.

Went back at it today... glued in the bucket on the passenger side, and smoothed up the edges of the driver side... fitted the tail-lamp base and lens [not permanently, just checking].

Had some fairly minor fit issues... a little tweaking here and there... but it looks like it'll work, and almost like I intended it to... such a deal. The Chevy assembly isn't perfectly uniform in section, top to bottom, so the top of the lens sticks out just a little at the middle--but doesn't at the bottom [see the last picture below]. I think I'll fill in the top of the lens with some window urethane, so there isn't a recess there to admit and collect water... and then when I finally install it for good, put a thin foam gasket at the top so moisture doesn't tend to infiltrate there... and leave a little gap at the bottom of the lens so that whatever water does get in can escape. There's a gasket between the lamp "base" and the mounting surface, and another gasket between the base and the lens, so with a little luck whatever water does work into the tail-lamp recess won't actually get into the lamp itself.

Hope that makes sense... some pictures below... 'night, all...
Attached Thumbnails
14-1005-taillamp01.jpg   14-1005-taillamp02.jpg  

14-1005-taillamp03.jpg   14-1005-taillamp03b.jpg  

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Old 10-05-2014, 07:54 PM   #37
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Trails West Campster, CampStar, Uhaul, Fiberstream
Washington
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Looks factory, done at home without fancy "stuff" and done by an owner. You should be proud...$1000 job at our shop...I love it
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:05 AM   #38
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Thanks, Dave!

I got the passenger side smoothed up and its taillight installed this morning... now the camper's back outside for the time being, and I'm back to customer work. One last pic below, from rear, with both lights in place........
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14-1006-taillights-01.jpg  
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:11 AM   #39
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Name: Perk
Trailer: U-Haul VT 16FT
Arizona
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Gary,

How has the restoration been going? Any updated photos of your success?

Perk
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:08 AM   #40
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Perk,
Restoration work has been essentially on-hold since last October. But last Friday I finally got it back in the shop! [Customer projects finally leaving, one way or another... just 2 to finish, and I'm retiring.]
I picked up some 1/32" thick cut-off wheels for my air grinder, and have borrowed a Dremel tool from a friend... one or the other, or a combination of both, will be used to remove a large-ish chunk of the interior fiberglass at the rear of the trailer, so I can readily patch all the outer-skin breaks from the inside. [Then, later, bevel and feather patches on the outside.]
I'll be tackling that cutting-out fairly soon---and I'll be sure to wear long sleeves, rubber gloves, googles & respirator. Will post pics of that slicing-and-dicing, as it happens.
For now, just a pic of it back inside and ready for work............
Gary
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