Rebuild--rear-ended Uhaul CT13 - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-05-2015, 05:53 PM   #81
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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RB,
Nice to have some history with fiberglass repair... sounds like you did well.

I managed to do some getting-ready work this afternoon. Labor Day weekend, after all, better get ready for some laboring:
[1] When the camper got hit from behind, the glue bond between inner and outer shells was broken all around the window opening, so I glued the two layers back together again today. I used a 3M product, like we use in auto repair... 2-part urethane glue... very viscous when mixed, so doesn't drool out of the joint and make a big mess... seems to stick well to anything & everything. Took about all the Visegrips I own.
[2] Then removed both the water reservoir and the power converter from under the back seat area. [took pictures of hoses & wires, and labeled each wire on the converter] Probably will replace the converter with a modern unit when I buy a new solar panel, but removed it carefully just the same. [maybe someone's "restoring" one and would like the old unit... it looks to be in sound condition]
[3] And then, just cleaned up and vacuumed some. Hope to spend some time later this weekend gluing in flanges to bridge the cut lines from when I removed the inner panel/portion. [that should make sense when I post some pics of it]

keepin' on........... Gary
Attached Thumbnails
15-0905-0207a!.jpg   15-0905-0212a!.jpg  

15-0905-0212b!.jpg   15-0905-0214a!.jpg  

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Old 09-06-2015, 06:36 PM   #82
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Iowa
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Another bit of work done this afternoon. Started to glue flanges on one half of the cut-line from removing part of the inner shell earlier. I figure to glue these all around the cut, and then when I set the inner shell pieces back in place, they'll rest on these flanges [and be glued to them].

I got a piece of 1/8" ABS plastic, and cut it into 2" wide strips... then cut them to length needed for different spots along the cut-line. Where there were right-angle corners, I clamped the strips to a piece of angle-iron and heated the corner with a heat gun until it softened... bent it around the angle-iron, and waited a bit for it to cool. ABS is thermo-set plastic, so once it cools in this new shape, it stays put. Then marked a center-line on the pieces and sprayed the ABS with a glue "prep"... softens the plastic surface a bit [or some such], so the glue sticks better.

The glue used is a 2-cartridge, mix-in-the-nozzle-tip thing, so not the best for the DIY-er without the applicator gun. [Sorry... I had the applicator gun already... just needed the right kind of adhesive for bonding to plastic & SMC etc] Similar glues are available online, which don't need special equipment to apply. After clamping up, peeling the tape off removed most of the glue that squeezed out.
As I go up the vertical part of the cut, I'll use short screws to hold the pieces together where there won't be room for clamping.

More news as it happens. Happy Labor Day........... Gary
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15-0906-0215.jpg   15-0906-0217.jpg  

15-0906-0218.jpg  
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:55 PM   #83
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p.s. A quick look online for "2-part glue fiberglass repair" yielded a bunch of different products......... the link below had 2 or 3 different products which would probably work similarly to what I used, without the need of a dedicated applicator gun. Longer search would no doubt reveal other options.

Adhesives
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:37 AM   #84
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Last update for Labor Day weekend flurry:
Finished glue-ing in the flange pieces [line of screws you can see in pic below] without incident. Twisting & tugging on the glued-in strips didn't tear them loose, by the way.

By evening, did initial fitting of 2 pieces of inner shell removed long ago. Almost finished trimming and fussing with fit when it was time to quit for the day. Some idea at last of just how much the spare "recess" intrudes on the sleeping space... once mattress is fitted, with foam pad on top of it, the bump shouldn't stick up much, though obviously it will be a hard spot compared to the mattress surrounding it. It'll be on "my side" of the sleeping platform, so that minimizes potential woes... if it's an occasional nuisance, it's one I created, and I'll live with it. [The wife & I are medium-sized people... I think this is still going to be a huge step up from sleeping on an air mattress in a smallish tent.]

Once I finished trimming & fussing with fiberglass edges where they meet the spare recess, I think I'll put off gluing the shell pieces in and do some insulating with 1/4 polystyrene and/or Reflectix first... maybe pull some new wiring etc while that back end's opened up still. [I say maybe because the psychological benefit of gluing the pieces in may out-weigh the practicality of doing the the additional work to wiring & insulation now.]

All for now................. Gary
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:17 PM   #85
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Iowa
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Well!!
3 Months sure went by in a hurry. Still working at finishing the single remaining customer job so I can retire... getting close. In fact, that's what got me out in the shop on a chilly/rainy Sunday afternoon to do some more work. I have to paint some pieces for the customer job soon that will be the same paint & prep as I need to do for the bumper bracket assembly I made for the camper. So I want to paint them all at the same time. And once painted, I want to re-install that bumper bracket... but that will get in the way of the exterior repair work back there, so best to do that first.
Since I already put 3-4 layers of matte & resin on the inside of the breaks in the exterior shell, I figured to just grind a shallow bevel along the cracks on the outside... then fill that with some short-strand fiberglass repair compound... then smooth further with conventional body filler before painting.
Also wanted to make a fillet in the raw corners where my spare tire well pokes through the outside skin. So I roughened up both sides of that seam with 36-grit grinding disc as well.
Pic 1---ground and ready for patching.
Pic 2---filler material added to resin. Mix-ratio-wise, somewhat more cabosil than resin, to where it approaches the consistency of smooth peanut butter. [This stuff is inexpensive, by the way.]
Pic 3---fillet formed. Went pretty well, actually. Mixed it up... put it in a sandwich bag with one corner cut off... squeezed it along the corner/seam... smoothed with the rounded end of a body filler applicator. [one of our soup spoons would have worked, but..........]
Pic 4---f/g filler product used. I just wanted a guaranteed-waterproof base layer on these exterior breaks... then I'll grind it down and use regular auto-body filler from there on, which will shape lots easier. [might not be necessary to add this step... call me paranoid]
Maybe by next weekend I can at least be painting, if not installing, the bumper bracket.
Best wishes... Merry Christmas... Gary
Attached Thumbnails
15-1213 Exterior fg repair 01a.jpg   15-1213 Exterior fg repair 01b.jpg  

15-1213 Exterior fg repair 01c.jpg   15-1213 Exterior fg repair 01d.jpg  

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Old 12-13-2015, 05:32 PM   #86
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Gary, thanks for posting! I've been following this rehab since the beginning... and I'm still amazed, truly. When folks have some issues, I often think... you should see what Gary is doing (and what Norm did http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post261276). No one would ever say, all molded towables aren't repairable!
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:03 PM   #87
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Name: Diane
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I am totally amazed! Been following as well, this is such wonderous work I can't wait till it's all done. Inspiring job you guys.
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:24 AM   #88
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Name: Gary
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Iowa
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Donna & Diane,
Thanks to both of you for being regular encouragers to those of us newer to the world of fiberglass camper/trailers. I look forward to the day when this structural work is finished, paint work and the rewiring are done, and we can start learning this new mode of camping.
In August my wife Elaine & I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary--hopefully that'll be in the Leadville/Fairplay part of CO... camping in the CT13... with our also-new-to-us miniature Golden Retriever along for the ride.
Keepin' on...........
Gary
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:33 PM   #89
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A little more work done...

But I can't seem to get pics to upload, after trying 3 times with re-sizing and other "cleverness". [i.e., directly transferring from iPhone to computer vs sending them to my email as a message attachment.] I'm 0 for 3... 4 pics, from 240 to 306 kb in size.

I guess some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you............

maybe later..........
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:43 PM   #90
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How to add photos to a post

Click reply and scroll down to bottom of text box.
  • Click "go advanced" add text to message window and then scroll down.
  • Click "Manage attachments" A separate window will pop up.
  • Click "browse" Then select the file to be uploaded. Be sure that the photo is appropriately sized. 1000 x 1000 pixels (or smaller) and no more than 50K. Forums software will automatically reduce the size, but smaller size photos will upload much faster. You may select several photos to upload at the same time by repeating the last step.
  • Click "Upload" After pics have loaded close the pop-up window
  • Click "submit reply" to mount the text of your message - photos will automatically appear at the bottom of your post.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:44 PM   #91
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Make sure you wait until the pictures have been uploaded, which can take a while.
I often take photos with the iPhone, send them by email to my Mac. I open them and save them to the desktop so they are easily found. Then just follow instructions in previous post.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:08 PM   #92
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Name: Gary
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Glenn,

Thanks for the prompt reply, and good, step-by-step instructions. I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I've been doing--other than not scaling the pictures down to the 50kb size..... more like 200-300. But it's consistently worked, up until my last post.
Thinking it could be a quirk with my cellphone/camera, I just went out and took the pictures over again with my digital camera... transferred them to my computer... and then re-sized them with Corel PhotoPaint. The 4 photos I just took are now 128-168... with one reduced further to 45kb.

[Just tried to upload that smallest one... no luck. We ARE out in the boonies, with marginal internet, and with young people home from school now and perhaps loading the local cell tower more than usual.......... maybe that's it. Kind of frustrating.]
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:36 PM   #93
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I don't know.
I never resize them. I just upload and wait for the FGRV software to resize them for me.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:56 PM   #94
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I'll try my upload when I get up tomorrow morning... if it's just kids overwhelming the local tower, they shouldn't be up then.

Just tried uploading a picture that I successfully uploaded earlier this week... and it failed to load as well... which hopefully means I'm not messing this up, it's just "factors beyond my control".
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:43 AM   #95
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Still no luck uploading pictures. I managed to load four pics--one at a time--to my PhotoBucket account, thinking I could just URL-load them to here. Couldn't make that work, either.

I did manage to load them onto Facebook's U-Haul page a little bit ago, for those of you with a foot in both U-Haul worlds... sorry, best I can do for now.

Gary
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:08 AM   #96
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
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On the Facebook U-Haul page, Cindy Anderson kindly offered to somehow move the pictures over here. Thanks, Cindy, for offering to do that.

If that's successful, here's the text I was going to post here in reference to the now-infamous missing 4 pictures:

A little more work done...

Things have been more than a little hectic lately, but I wanted to get the lower part of the rear skin pretty well smoothed-up & primed, and the bumper back on and out of harm's way. [I'd never finished up all the welding on the bumper bracket, so that also needed to be done... and the bracket was just bare steel, which was starting to surface-rust... more reason to move this all a few steps farther along.]

I sanded down the f/g filler, and then applied a skim of regular auto body filler and smoothed it down. [pic 1] You can see there, too, my "note to self" diagram taped to the rear skin... a reminder of where there was a hole in the skin before all the patching began... vent for the battery box, I think.

[pic 2] Hung the bracket from the ceiling, and painted it with black "implement enamel"..... and painted the bumper blade with grey implement enamel. Not sure if I liked the shade of gray it ended up being, but it'll do for now.

[pics 3 & 4] And then reinstalled the pieces on the camper this morning. Hopefully I can take a couple days over Christmas and do a little insulating on the inside of the outer skin... and then glue the inner skin/panel back in place for good. The photo doesn't show it clearly, but the bottom edge of the bumper blade pretty much lines up with the top of the frame tube. [FWIW]

All for now... Merry Christmas to all...
Gary
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:18 AM   #97
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I pulled these images from the Uhaul Facebook page and am posting them for Gary. All I can say is WOW!
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:29 AM   #98
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With all that craftsmanship just to mount a spare tire, I can't wait to see the whole package when it is finished! I agree... wow!
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Old 12-20-2015, 07:21 AM   #99
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
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Jon--thanks for the kind words.
Seems like most of my craftsmanship or inventiveness or whatever is born of necessity. Our trailer was hit from behind, so all my cleverness back there is just from parts not being available... no tail-light lenses to be had... bumper bent beyond repair--and again, unavailable... camper came with the slender "temporary" spare, so it was possible to nest it into the back panel--don't reckon I would have done that if it'd been full-size. The rest of the rebuild process should be relatively dull by comparison.

And then I got to thinking...
What if I hadn't grown up relatively poor? making do?
I went off to college to study electrical engineering--simply because I got good grades in math, and liked tinkering with old radios. And that's where I met the guys who I'd hang around with for the next 10 yrs or so---all gear-heads, messing around with old cars.
Met the woman who's been my wife for nearly 40 yrs now at a rock concert--on the rebound from a first marriage gone bad. And she likes to camp, and make-do creatively too.
My first car was a strange conglomeration of old parts from a half-dozen other old vehicles... built on a shoe string budget on a friend's farm. I didn't realize that "you don't DO things that way!"

Ain't it peculiar, how life works out?.....................
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Old 12-20-2015, 07:32 AM   #100
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Gary, you don't fool me! Many folks would have slapped on an ugly slab steel bumper and welded on an uglier spare tire mount.

You did it to yourself: you have set your own bar high!

May the rest of your rebuild be as routine and dull as you hope...
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