Uhaul CT13 Restoration Initial Questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-29-2019, 07:23 PM   #1
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Name: Ken
Trailer: UHaul
New Jersey
Posts: 107
Uhaul CT13 Restoration Initial Questions

Hello All,
I am new here. I have never owned a camper trailer and I am looking to embark on a restoration of a Uhaul CT-13 as my first foray in this realm! Crazy?!
Anyway, my current global plan is as follows (not necessarily in exact order):

1. Remove body from frame
2. Fix a few rust-through areas of the frame by welding (minimal).
3. Likely add a lift kit.
4. Prep and re-coat frame. Undecided on the product and method at this time.
5. Replace bearings
6. Check gas supply piping, etc.
7. Remove body windows.
8. Remove all exterior and interior finishes, mechanical, electrical and plumbing components from body.
9. Prep and paint body exterior
10. No idea what to do with body interior surfaces that will be viewable.
11. Paint insides of all cabinets
12. Replace central seam cover
13. Reattach body to frame.
14. Test, fix and replace furnace, thermostat, battery
15. Finish interior with new flooring, cooktop, cabinet doors, cushions, etc.

So, at this time, considering the depth of disassembly and restoration intended, I wanted to know if anyone with direct experience can share common weak points, good practices, things to look for in ANY of the areas of this endeavor. That way, as it unfolds, I can be on the look out.

Any help or insight at all would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Ken
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:39 PM   #2
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Name: bill
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There is an active UHaul camper page on Facebook. I’d go check them out. I’ve heard the UHaul frame is problematic.

On painting I would move it to the end. Any work along the way can impact a nice paint job. And I would try to polish the outside and not paint. Cheaper, easier, and looks good IMHO. If you have a lot of patching to do on the outside then painting then makes a lot of sense.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:24 PM   #3
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Name: Ken
Trailer: UHaul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
There is an active UHaul camper page on Facebook. I’d go check them out. I’ve heard the UHaul frame is problematic.

On painting I would move it to the end. Any work along the way can impact a nice paint job. And I would try to polish the outside and not paint. Cheaper, easier, and looks good IMHO. If you have a lot of patching to do on the outside then painting then makes a lot of sense.
Hi Bill,
Thanks for your reply.
I have seen the frame design (past threads) that show it fully exposed and separated. I’m a structural engineer and I don’t have a problem with it. The rust is minimal and absolutely repairable. The painting is essentially planned at the end of the exterior work. It is also because of aesthetic desires that it will be painted.

I’m really looking for a list of weak points and specific things to look for. Do you know of any?
Thanks,
Ken
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:02 AM   #4
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Leaking windows and proprietary taillights that are cracking and falling apart are the biggest complaints. Uhaul also has proprietary wheel rimss that some people will change out when they do all this work.

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Old 07-30-2019, 05:43 AM   #5
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
Posts: 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transposure View Post
Hello All,
I am new here. I have never owned a camper trailer and I am looking to embark on a restoration of a Uhaul CT-13 as my first foray in this realm! Crazy?!
Anyway, my current global plan is as follows (not necessarily in exact order):

1. Remove body from frame
2. Fix a few rust-through areas of the frame by welding (minimal).
3. Likely add a lift kit.
4. Prep and re-coat frame. Undecided on the product and method at this time.
5. Replace bearings
6. Check gas supply piping, etc.
7. Remove body windows.
8. Remove all exterior and interior finishes, mechanical, electrical and plumbing components from body.
9. Prep and paint body exterior
10. No idea what to do with body interior surfaces that will be viewable.
11. Paint insides of all cabinets
12. Replace central seam cover
13. Reattach body to frame.
14. Test, fix and replace furnace, thermostat, battery
15. Finish interior with new flooring, cooktop, cabinet doors, cushions, etc.

So, at this time, considering the depth of disassembly and restoration intended, I wanted to know if anyone with direct experience can share common weak points, good practices, things to look for in ANY of the areas of this endeavor. That way, as it unfolds, I can be on the look out.

Any help or insight at all would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Ken
Ken,
That's quite a list, right from the get-go. All do-able, though. I'd second the suggestion re the U-Haul Facebook page......these are all pretty standard issues that many people have dealt with, in various ways........and they have a pretty good collection of archived threads on standard things like rebuilding of the windows.

Frames often have minor rust-through--on corners, as behind the wheels, for instance. Often very much patch-able.
Separating frame from body generally done after twisting off the old "elevator bolts" that hold body to frame. Unless they've already been replaced, that's easier than trying to unbolt them, only to have them spin. I got most of mine to break off by clamping big Vise-Grip to nut on bottom and rocking sideways---a few back n forths, and the bolt shank snaps.
Stock wheel bearings last a long time, and are sealed units. Can be replaced with some GM assembly---don't recall which.
A number of people have replaced the whole axle unit with a Dexter axle assembly........fresh springs... and bearings... and ability to raise the ride height some... and upgrade to brakes, if you wish. As well as then having a choice of wheel styles to pick from.
There are still some folks running the standard furnace, and a few guidelines on how to get it running. (I just removed ours.)

Stock controller, inverter & solar panel are generally upgraded to new... a 50-60W modern panel & controller still fits up top pretty well, and some supplement that with folding panels for higher capacity. (We're getting by with a 50W panel, but just run LED lights and the roof fan off it.)

Our CT had been rear-ended before we bought it. I eventually repainted it with automotive acrylic enamel, sprayed on. Pretty economical, as automotive-type paint goes, and looks decent.

Windows can be rebuilt, but are often still somewhat fussy, leak-wise. The back window can be replaced with a new Scamp unit, by widening the opening a half-inch or so on both sides.......some have used the same Scamp window on the front of the U-Haul, too. The rear side windows can be rebuilt or replaced with either custom-made windows (Motion windows, for one source, but pricey), or in our case, horse-trailer windows. (These just barely fit, with some mods, but seem to work fine now with some tweaking... and were very affordable... $250 for a pair, including shipping)

Several options people have explored with replacing the stock cooktop and sink. Or, if you camp where there's electric more often than not, you could just convert space to flat counter-top and put some 110V accessories of your choice there. (our choice)

Adding AC has a few standard options, too. Occasionally on rooftop, with some bracing/strengthening ribs added? Often with a bracket holding a 500W unit up to one half of the back-glass. Sometimes under the front seat just inside the door (a bit complex to do, but several have). We added a top-hinged panel to the skin of our CT, and poked it through the sidewall by where the stovetop used to be.

I've probably gassed on long enough. Best of luck with your project!
Gary
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:12 PM   #6
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Name: Ken
Trailer: UHaul
New Jersey
Posts: 107
Hi Gary,
Thank you for your thorough response! It was helpful. But, I have a lot more questions.

Regarding the Facebook group, I only have a Facebook biz page and that will not work. Oh well, for now. I don’t want to open a personal account, so maybe I will have a friend be my liason…lol.

So, first and foremost, my original plan fell through. So, THAT particular CT-13 will become someone else’s property. However, I did find another one and pulled the trigger. I own it, and will take possession of it next week. So, the plan mildly changes due to different condition/issues.

I want/need to change and/or upgrade various things, so I decided the best way to collect info from members is to break down my questions into the different systems. So, here goes…

WHEELS and AXLE:
This unit has custom aluminum wheels and includes a spare on that same custom aluminum wheel. The tires are 175-80-13.
Q1: So, knowing this alone, does that mean the hubs were changed?
Q2: Or, does it mean the axles were changed?
Q3: Can someone tell me if the stock axles are torsion or if they use a rubber “spring”?
Q4: How do I know the difference between the stock axle and the aftermarket axle?
Q5: Do all of the axles use sealed bearings?

FRAME:
I will likely still remove the body from the frame to address any frame issues. I would first try to use PB Blaster and loosen the bolts conventionally. If that doesn’t work, I would potentially go the bend/break route. Obviously, this is done from underneath.
Q6: Are the tops like carriage bolt heads? Please enlighten.
Q7: I have plenty of photos of bare frames. However, I do not know where the tops of the bolts are located in the cabin. Are these readily accessible? Are they in the storage compartments?
Q8: If I see a need to replace the axle, is that a bolt-on replacement? Or, do I weld on plates/tabs and use those to bolt on the new axle?
Q9: If I want to lift the unit, I assume I am on my own with the way to do it. It is not rocket science to me, so I assume I would simply increase the height of the axle attachment plates/points. Sound right?

BODY:
The body on this one is already painted. So, other than touch-up, I will likely leave it alone. It looks decent. Maybe 8/10 by my standards. That is good enough for this type of vehicle.
Q10: If I want to replace the seam closure strip that covers the exterior seam in the middle, what is used? Where do I get it?
Q11: What is the midship driver’s side access door for? Electrical and water hookup?
Q12: If I want to replace this midship access door, can it be sourced? From here?
Q13: If I want to replace the cooktop hood vent grille/outlet, can it be sourced? From where?

GAS SUPPLY:
The cooktop, furnace and propane tank holder were removed. I am not sure if the under-frame gas line was replaced or not. Anything missing will need to be replaced.
Q14: Where can I source either a single or dual propane tank holder for the front tongue?
Q15: Does anyone have any closeup photos of the stock front propane tank cage and connection to the tongue, as well as the hose connection?
Q16: Does anyone have some detailed photos of the original gas line routing and attachments?
Q17: Does anyone have a detailed photo of the gas line penetrating the floor from underneath? In addition, does anyone have a photo of the gas line coming up into the cabinet?

HVAC:
Q18: I likely want to use a gas furnace. Can OEM replacements be sourced? From where? I would be interested in a complete system, meaning furnace and T-stat.
Q19: If the original furnaces can’t be sourced, what is being used now? Where can they be sourced?
Q20: I have seen various AC solutions. I do not want to put a window unit in. My preferred solution would be a split unit with the wall-hung evaporator inside and a small condenser outside on the tongue (modified to support it). Alternatively, I would go with a window unit mounted on the floor in the middle in front, between the seats, with two intake ducts from the side of the body and two exhaust duct front and center of the body. I saw that on the white Jeep build and liked it. What is suggested for AC that looks “built-in”?
Here are a couple pics...



APPLIANCES:
I am a home chef and enjoy cooking and want something that will fit the opening and is high quality.
Q21: What replacement high quality gas cooktops are being used? Suggestions? I like this, unless a higher quality unit is available...

Q22: I was thinking of a small stainless steel hood. Any suggestions or sources?
Q23: There is currently a Haier dorm refrigerator in place of the original icebox. I assume it is a standard 120V unit. What is the preferred unit? 3-way (propane/12V/120V)?

WATER SUPPLY:
I understand the pump faucet works. And if I understand it right, the tank is located on the passenger side rear under the seat.
Q24: Is the tank replaceable? If so, where can they be sourced?
Q25: I will want to replace the water lines to the tank. Where do they run, what are they and where can I source them?

ELECTRICAL:
From the Service Manual….The U-Haul Camper Trailer appliances operate on 12 volts. There are two primary sources and one secondary source.
The primary sources are a 12 volt deep cycle battery and a 120 volt, 30 amp, converter which, when plugged into a 120 volt source, provides a 120 volt supply inside the camper, a 12 volt supply to the camper appliances and charges the battery.
The secondary source is a solar panel installed on the roof of the CT. This solar panel acts only as a trickle charger for the battery and is only intended to keep sulphation down when the trailer is on the lot.
Q26: Where is the converter located?
Q27: I am not sure if the solar panel is still mounted. Regardless, I want to update it to a more modern unit. What is used?
Q28: I know there is a 120V outlet on the left side of the cabinet over the sink. Are there any others?
Q29: Does this use the flat electrical attachment of the round attachment? And, is there a benefit of one vs. the other?

EXTERIOR:
Q30: Does anyone know of a good quality water proof cover?
Q31: I saw a Velcro-attached screen door on the white Jeep build. Does anyone know where to source one?

I realize that is A LOT! But, it is everything that I can think of at the moment for the major systems I will address. Any input is appreciated. Please add the question # if you are kind enough to reply.

Let the journey begin!!

Ken
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:07 PM   #7
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Name: Ken
Trailer: UHaul
New Jersey
Posts: 107
Hi Gary,
Thank you for your thorough response! It was helpful. But, I have a lot more questions.

Regarding the Facebook group, I only have a Facebook biz page and that will not work. Oh well, for now. I don’t want to open a personal account, so maybe I will have a friend be my liason…lol.

So, first and foremost, my original plan fell through. So, THAT particular CT-13 will become someone else’s property. However, I did find another one and pulled the trigger. I own it, and will take possession of it next week. So, the plan mildly changes due to different condition/issues.

I want/need to change and/or upgrade various things, so I decided the best way to collect info from members is to break down my questions into the different systems. So, here goes…

WHEELS and AXLE:
This unit has custom aluminum wheels and includes a spare on that same custom aluminum wheel. The tires are 175-80-13.
Q1: So, knowing this alone, does that mean the hubs were changed?
Q2: Or, does it mean the axles were changed?
Q3: Can someone tell me if the stock axles are torsion or if they use a rubber “spring”?
Q4: How do I know the difference between the stock axle and the aftermarket axle?
Q5: Do all of the axles use sealed bearings?

FRAME:
I will likely still remove the body from the frame to address any frame issues. I would first try to use PB Blaster and loosen the bolts conventionally. If that doesn’t work, I would potentially go the bend/break route. Obviously, this is done from underneath.
Q6: Are the tops like carriage bolt heads? Please enlighten.
Q7: I have plenty of photos of bare frames. However, I do not know where the tops of the bolts are located in the cabin. Are these readily accessible? Are they in the storage compartments?
Q8: If I see a need to replace the axle, is that a bolt-on replacement? Or, do I weld on plates/tabs and use those to bolt on the new axle?
Q9: If I want to lift the unit, I assume I am on my own with the way to do it. It is not rocket science to me, so I assume I would simply increase the height of the axle attachment plates/points. Sound right?

BODY:
The body on this one is already painted. So, other than touch-up, I will likely leave it alone. It looks decent. Maybe 8/10 by my standards. That is good enough for this type of vehicle.
Q10: If I want to replace the seam closure strip that covers the exterior seam in the middle, what is used? Where do I get it?
Q11: What is the midship driver’s side access door for? Electrical and water hookup?
Q12: If I want to replace this midship access door, can it be sourced? From here?
Q13: If I want to replace the cooktop hood vent grille/outlet, can it be sourced? From where?

GAS SUPPLY:
The cooktop, furnace and propane tank holder were removed. I am not sure if the under-frame gas line was replaced or not. Anything missing will need to be replaced.
Q14: Where can I source either a single or dual propane tank holder for the front tongue?
Q15: Does anyone have any closeup photos of the stock front propane tank cage and connection to the tongue, as well as the hose connection?
Q16: Does anyone have some detailed photos of the original gas line routing and attachments?
Q17: Does anyone have a detailed photo of the gas line penetrating the floor from underneath? In addition, does anyone have a photo of the gas line coming up into the cabinet?

HVAC:
Q18: I likely want to use a gas furnace. Can OEM replacements be sourced? From where? I would be interested in a complete system, meaning furnace and T-stat.
Q19: If the original furnaces can’t be sourced, what is being used now? Where can they be sourced?
Q20: I have seen various AC solutions. I do not want to put a window unit in. My preferred solution would be a split unit with the wall-hung evaporator inside and a small condenser outside on the tongue (modified to support it). Alternatively, I would go with a window unit mounted on the floor in the middle in front, between the seats, with two intake ducts from the side of the body and two exhaust duct front and center of the body. I saw that on the white Jeep build and liked it. What is suggested for AC that looks “built-in”?

APPLIANCES:
I am a home chef and enjoy cooking and want something that will fit the opening and is high quality.
Q21: What replacement high quality gas cooktops are being used? Suggestions?
Q22: I was thinking of a small stainless steel hood. Any suggestions or sources?
Q23: There is currently a Haier dorm refrigerator in place of the original icebox. I assume it is a standard 120V unit. What is the preferred unit? 3-way (propane/12V/120V)?

WATER SUPPLY:
I understand the pump faucet works. And if I understand it right, the tank is located on the passenger side rear under the seat.
Q24: Is the tank replaceable? If so, where can they be sourced?
Q25: I will want to replace the water lines to the tank. Where do they run, what are they and where can I source them?

ELECTRICAL:
From the Service Manual….The U-Haul Camper Trailer appliances operate on 12 volts. There are two primary sources and one secondary source.
The primary sources are a 12 volt deep cycle battery and a 120 volt, 30 amp, converter which, when plugged into a 120 volt source, provides a 120 volt supply inside the camper, a 12 volt supply to the camper appliances and charges the battery.
The secondary source is a solar panel installed on the roof of the CT. This solar panel acts only as a trickle charger for the battery and is only intended to keep sulphation down when the trailer is on the lot.
Q26: Where is the converter located?
Q27: I am not sure if the solar panel is still mounted. Regardless, I want to update it to a more modern unit. What is used?
Q28: I know there is a 120V outlet on the left side of the cabinet over the sink. Are there any others?
Q29: Does this use the flat electrical attachment of the round attachment? And, is there a benefit of one vs. the other?

EXTERIOR:
Q30: Does anyone know of a good quality water proof cover?
Q31: I saw a Velcro-attached screen door on the white Jeep build. Does anyone know where to source one?

I realize that is A LOT! But, it is everything that I can think of at the moment for the major systems I will address. Any input is appreciated. Please add the question # if you are kind enough to reply.

Let the journey begin!!

Ken
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:11 PM   #8
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Name: Ken
Trailer: UHaul
New Jersey
Posts: 107
Cooktop example:


AC Example:

Side inlets, front outlets...


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Old 08-02-2019, 07:36 AM   #9
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
Posts: 262
Ken,
I'll have a go at replying to at least some of your questions. And, if you haven't already checked it out, under the "More" tab at the top of the page, you can go to "Document Center", and clear at the bottom of the list that pops up, select "U-Haul" from the specific manufacturers listed. I think this link will take you there directly:
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - U-Haul

Also, a caveat: I've done a ton of work on my own CT, but I'm hardly an all-around authority... and I've taken a non-stock approach, too, so that probably affects my point of view.

Q1-5: I don't recall hearing of anyone finding aluminum aftermarket wheels that fit the stock, 4.75" bolt circle of the U-Haul, and have the same wheel offset, so that the wheels/tires don't rub on the lip of the wheel opening.
Stock axles are torsion-spring design--I believe the axle is inside the tube, along with a rubber surround. Works well for a long time, but eventually sags and loses range-of-motion... our CT still works well with the stock axle, but when I put a pair of jack-stands under the rear bumper on our slab at home and then raise the tongue, it meets one stand before the other, so I think one side has sagged a little bit.
I believe all the stock U-Haul hubs used sealed bearings... a replacement axle likely would have serviceable ones. And if the previous owner (PO) had changed out the hubs for the Chevy units, you could have a stock axle with serviceable hubs. (one option sited by a CT owner on the FB page---1990-2001 Lumina rear hubs... 5x4.5" bolt pattern) Stock U-Haul offset +1 7/8".

Q6: Most people use "elevator bolts" or "dock bolts". I bought stainless steel dock bolts, with a broad flat head that had little barbs that dug into the flooring to prevent spinning. (pic below)
Q7: Page 4 in the U-Haul Repair Manual has a floor plan that shows the body -to-frame connection points... I believe there are 15 total--2/3 of them inside the seating areas or cabinets. On our CT ALL of the 4 across the front were broken off, just FWIW.
Q8-9: Probably some welding of tabs required. Dexter and Flexride(?) are two brands I've heard of people using. Dexter can ship it to you with some additional "lift" built into its set-up. (probably ought to check their websites for more precise details/options)

Q10: Trim-Lock is the standard covering for the standing seam on the outside. Available on their website, or from Amazon, or eBay. I got ours off of eBay... 25' roll... I think it was 1/2"H x 5/16" inside. Usually comes in black, but sometimes if you look far & wide (RV supply stores?) you can find white as well.
Q11-12: Yes--water & electric hook-ups. Odd size, though, so not readily replaceable, unless you replace the whole door-and-recess assembly.
Q13: Probably a search to find something similar of about the same size---don't know of a direct replacement.

Q14: The LP holder on the tongue was two pieces... an upright, tapering base channel... and a channel-and-clamp ring assembly that slid down over that base, with a J-bolt to snug it up. If you have the base part still there, I have the upper part that I removed from ours. I also have the regulator & hose assembly. (yours for the cost of shipping, if you want the old/stock parts... in working order, according to folks we bought our CT from)
Q16-17: Diagram of the LP routing in the U-Haul Repair Manual (document center on this site)

Q18: Occasionally original U-Haul furnaces are available... not often, though. Some use a small radiant LP panel---works good, but requires a vent left open for fresh air, and produces water vapor as by-product, which may cause condensation issues.
There ARE new RV-unit furnaces available that are comparable size & configuration, but would probably require some degree of custom-fitting. (didn't find a model, on a quick search over on the FB site, but know someone recently discussed this over there... not the best "search" function)
Q20: Current popular option is AC unit mounting under seat platform in the passenger side front corner, with fans in the ducts to the outside to boost both inlet & exhaust flow. Pretty involved, but do-able. (pretty sure there's a write-up on this conversion on here---either in the U-Haul or Burro pages)

Q21: One suggestion, from FB group--- Suburban 2983A

Q24: I have a stock tank available, for shipping. One CT owner added a 6" round marine deck-plate, for ease of cleaning it out occasionally.

Q26: The original U-Haul converter box is under the seats in the passenger rear corner... most people replace them. Original solar panel controller was mounter on the outside of the vented battery box, under the rear seats below the back window... best not to count on.
Q27: We get along fine with a Renogy(sp?) 50W solar panel, running LED lights & roof fan only. Many people mount bigger ones and/or have a supplemental jack for plugging in an additional, movable panel. (nice if camped in shade) We ran separate 110V & 12V systems, so eliminated converter. Mounted solar controller in the closet space.
Q28: I think just the one 120V outlet, in stock form. Sometimes the original circuit breaker in it trips too easily.
Q29: Most people use the flat 4-way connectors. Depending on how your two vehicle is configured, you may need to add a converter, so tail-lights can both brake & signal. Curt tail-light converter, #56196

All I have time for at the moment. Have fun..............
Gary
Attached Thumbnails
17-0225 body-frame 01.jpg   CT13-Craigslist-TN-$7500-05.jpg  

17-0908 Wire-fishing 00b.jpg  
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:18 AM   #10
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
Posts: 262
Small update, re the wheel hubs, from the U-Haul FB page just this morning:

"Front bearing hubs for a 2000 Camaro / Firebird fit the original wheel."

Can't guarantee the info, but it's from one of their trusted, long-term, moderator-type folks. I'd bet on him being right.
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Old 08-03-2019, 04:11 PM   #11
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Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Illinois
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As one of the 2 who are famous for our Uhaul hub going bad, I can tell you that you might be able to find a U-Haul dealer who will help you out if you want new hubs. Except for ours (which broke before we go the Uhaul and was poorly repaired), they do last. Anyway, other Uhaul hauling trailers, the ones with dual axels and surge brakes, have the same kind of hubs. We were fortunate enough to find an old dealer who happened to have 2 in his shop that worked when ours broke down in the middle of nowhere Montana.

CindyL
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:41 PM   #12
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Name: Ken
Trailer: UHaul
New Jersey
Posts: 107
Gary,
Thanks for your fantastic replies. I will be specifically responding to your last post in a separate post.

Cindy,
Thanks for your help too.

Update...
I am picking up the CT13 on Friday. I have to drive to South Carolina to get it. Long trip ahead.
This is it...


After looking through it and understanding where everything is located, I will be addressing the frame and body first. But at the same time, I need to resolve the MEP systems. So, I need the following asap...
  1. Furnace
  2. On-Demand Water Heater
  3. AC
  4. Cooktop or Range
  5. Refrigerator/Freezer
  6. Battery and convertor/invertor

FURNACE:
I definitely want propane fired in a permanent installation. I am vacillating between sourcing an original furnace and thermostat or using a Suburban NT-16SEQ. It is 16,000 BTU.
Here is a photo..

It will fit in the factory space for the furnace, however, the exterior inlet/outlet is slightly different.
Does anyone have insight to this? Pros? Cons?

WATER HEATER:
I was thinking of the Suburban Nautilus On-Demand water heater for this. This will provide hot water for the sink and also for an exterior shower.
Here is a photo..

Has anyone done this? Is there a more economical on-demand unit? I do not want to have a standard hot water heater since the need for hot water will not be extensive. The on-demand concept makes better sense.

AC:
I was originally thinking of following the Jeep ExoSkeleton AC installation as shown below....





but I don't want to lose the foot space for a dinette up front. I want to have a full-time bed in the rear, so this front space is valuable. As cool of an installation as this is, and as much as I want to do it, space is the big concern. So, I was thinking of the Coleman-Mach Mach 8 Cub rooftop AC. It weighs 87 pounds. It is 41" long, 28" wide and 8" tall. Not too bad. The interior ceiling shroud hangs down only 2".

Any thoughts?

COOKTOP:
The easier answer here is a straight up cooktop dropped into the existing opening, albeit with a few width and length mods to fit. I like the Dometic glass-topped unit.

or a similar Dometic unit.
However....I am also considering a range (cooktop + oven). Something like this...

It would obviously mean cutting down the cabinet to mount it and then I lose the refrigerator location. Decisions, decisions.

Any help or advice concerning anything above is greatly appreciated!
Ken
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:18 PM   #13
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Name: Ken
Trailer: UHaul
New Jersey
Posts: 107
Gary,
Thanks for your fantastic replies. I will be specifically responding to your last post in a separate post.

Cindy,
Thanks for your help too.

Update...
I am picking up the CT13 on Friday. I have to drive to South Carolina to get it. Long trip ahead.
This is it...


After looking through it and understanding where everything is located, I will be addressing the frame and body first. But at the same time, I need to resolve the MEP systems. So, I need the following asap...
  1. Furnace
  2. On-Demand Water Heater
  3. AC
  4. Cooktop or Range
  5. Refrigerator/Freezer
  6. Battery and convertor/invertor

FURNACE:
I definitely want propane fired in a permanent installation. I am vacillating between sourcing an original furnace and thermostat or using a Suburban NT-16SEQ. It is 16,000 BTU.
Here is a photo..

It will fit in the factory space for the furnace, however, the exterior inlet/outlet is slightly different.
Does anyone have insight to this? Pros? Cons?

WATER HEATER:
I was thinking of the Suburban Nautilus On-Demand water heater for this. This will provide hot water for the sink and also for an exterior shower.
Here is a photo..

Has anyone done this? Is there a more economical on-demand unit? I do not want to have a standard hot water heater since the need for hot water will not be extensive. The on-demand concept makes better sense.

AC:
I was originally thinking of following the Jeep ExoSkeleton AC installation as shown below....





but I don't want to lose the foot space for a dinette up front. I want to have a full-time bed in the rear, so this front space is valuable. As cool of an installation as this is, and as much as I want to do it, space is the big concern. So, I was thinking of the Coleman-Mach Mach 8 Cub rooftop AC. It weighs 87 pounds. It is 41" long, 28" wide and 8" tall. Not too bad. The interior ceiling shroud hangs down only 2".

Any thoughts?

COOKTOP:
The easier answer here is a straight up cooktop dropped into the existing opening, albeit with a few width and length mods to fit. I like the Dometic glass-topped unit.

or a similar Dometic unit.
However....I am also considering a range (cooktop + oven). Something like this...

It would obviously mean cutting down the cabinet to mount it and then I lose the refrigerator location. Decisions, decisions.

Any help or advice concerning anything above is greatly appreciated!
Ken
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:16 AM   #14
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 4,936
Looks like you're trying to make it into something it was not intended to be. When we wanted more options, like better furnace, gas / electric fridge, A/C, water heater, bathroom, full time bed and dinette at the same time, we bought another trailer, a Casita 17, a used trailer that needed no work at all, ready to go. Our Uhaul now just goes to a couple vintage rallies or local car shows.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:02 AM   #15
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Illinois
Posts: 2,694
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CTs were not built for roof-top AC. You would need to add some kind of support. People have done it. Too bad you did not buy our old VT that Clawsons in TX have for sale. VTs are made for AC.

We are not chefs, but we do have an oven in our Bigfoot Silver Cloud that we don't use except to store stuff, because we take along an Instant Pot and an Air Fryer. Frankly, I think we only used our house oven one time since we moved into our new house last year and that was for someone wanting to keep something warm at Thanksgiving.

Could you put your oven outside?

CindyL
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:51 AM   #16
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Name: Ken
Trailer: UHaul
New Jersey
Posts: 107
Mary and Bob,
Yes, I am trying to make it into something it wasn't intended to be. My reference point is this...

https://www.wranglerforum.com/f118/m...d-1644073.html



I like the concept a lot. So, my intent is to do something similar.

Cindy,
Thanks for the reply! I know they weren't made for rooftop AC, however, the Coleman-Mach Mach 8 Cub is only 87 pounds and 8" tall, and it is spread over nearly 8 SF, so that is 11 pounds per square foot. A typical snowfall is 20+ psf for reference. So, I figured it is a wash. I can reinforce the roof if necessary, I am a structural engineer (design buildings) but I was thinking I may not have to. I will take a look at it.
Which oven is in your Bigfoot? I do cook nearly every night and it is not just reheating and such. So, one idea was to have a swing up counter that maybe doubles as the under sink cabinet door. Anyway, I am more likely to go with a glass-topped gas cooktop and a separate higher-end toaster oven (Breville or something along those lines) that can be used as needed. I just really like built-in stuff.
As for putting the oven outside, the whole reason I went for the UHaul was inside cooking and sink vs outside. I was originally looking heavily at the Taxa Outdoors TigerMoth trailer, but I didn't like that I couldn't stand up and that I had to go outside to cook. When the weather is nice, no problem, but when it is rainy, not so much. LOL
Here is the TigerMoth for comparison...


So, this is why the White Jeep build is so appealing. It has indoor amenities, stand-up space and adventure styling...
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:56 AM   #17
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Illinois
Posts: 2,694
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I realized after posting that, that I was speaking to a structural engineer. Sorry!


I do not know the name of the oven. It is original to the 30 year old camper which has been in the fixit shop for 4 weeks (I suspect Kevin is out at the fixit place doing the repair that we were promised on Monday AM which was not done, since we watch the camper in the lot. This is the 2nd time that we were told it was fixed and was not! He did try to fix it this AM, but it needs new parts that no one bothered to call us about. We have to wait 3 days for the part when Amazon would overnight it! I am chomping at the bit to give them a bad review on Google and Yelp.), so I can't look at what kind of oven it is. Frankly, we prefer the IP and AF. I have swallowing issues, and the IP makes stuff, like chicken breasts, moister and easier to eat. We eat healthier since we got these.


The Weatherholzs who did the Jeep-matching rehab that you saw are on the Facebook group. I followed it. Unbelievable and adorable!


CindyL
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