13' Casita Trailer Off Restoration. - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-16-2017, 04:36 PM   #61
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
California
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Hi Bill, glad to hear you're on the mend. I have no idea but would that vent be there because of a heater? Kind of looks like the opening on the front under the sink would be the location for one.
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Old 11-16-2017, 04:51 PM   #62
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Hi Bill, glad to hear you're on the mend. I have no idea but would that vent be there because of a heater? Kind of looks like the opening on the front under the sink would be the location for one.
You probably are correct. But seeing as this will mainly be seeing hot weather for the foreseeable future, I'm not to worried about heat. I will always be able to add something in the future should heating become an issue.
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Old 11-16-2017, 05:03 PM   #63
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Name: Eric
Trailer: 1987 Casita 16
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Hope you are able to get out and get back to the things you enjoy. Interesting that you rosin is a golden color. My Casista has a black rosin. Wonder if they changed, or if that is one of the differences that came with 13 verses 16. Mine is a 1987 and I am redoing it likewise. Notice that your stove cabinet is a lot better shape than mine, lots less little holes and cutouts.
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:41 AM   #64
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
Ohio
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The vent was definitely there for the return air for the factory Suburban furnace.

I have since replaced the rivets with SS sheet metal screws on our 1999 17' SD.

The two holes in front of it were for the thermostat.

Joe
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:07 PM   #65
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
Florida
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Gel Coat Failure

Instead of painting the interior pieces, my idea was to gel-coat them because it would be a more durable thicker finish that could be repaired without having to re paint the whole piece.

I don't know if it was how I did it, or if the materials I was using were no good, but my results were mediocre.... The gel coat I used was clumped up quite a bit in the can. I used quite a bit of thinning agent an power mixer to get the gel-coat fluid enough to spray. Filtered own the can to get rid of any clumped material and I then added my hardening agent in the correct amount, mixed thoroughly then sprayed.

The gel coat went on thick. I used two whole quarts to spray one coat on the interior pieces of the camper, minus the kitchen piece. I think I am going to build my own kitchen area, as the amount of work required to get my original one how I want it will be just as time consuming.

After spraying I was pretty excited because the pieces looked great. They had a nice even gloss sheen on them. As the gel-coat dried, the finish became more dull and Flat. I thought maybe if I sanded them pieces down with some fine sandpaper and buffed them, the finish would be acceptable but the surface is just too porous. You can see the little pores in the finish.

I'm not sure whether to try an additional coat of gel-coat (maybe different brand), or to paint them with a two part paint that is really hard like Imron. I really don't want to put another coat of gel-coat on there if it is going to be just as porous. Sanding them down and polishing them is a ton of work too.

This stuff stinks too. Smelled like I had a fiberglass boat making factory in my front yard for a day or two.

Here are some pics.

Any advice or recommendations on gel-coat? What did I do wrong?


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Old 01-14-2018, 06:11 PM   #66
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
Florida
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Rear Window Frame

Super busy as always but had some spare time today and decided to work on the camper a little. My rear window frame was absolutely destroyed by the previous owner putting an A/C unit into the window frame. It has holes all over, was bent and corroded to the point none of the screws would work.

I decide to just weld the upright supports in instead of bolting them in because the screw holes and material around the holes was corroded and shot. While I was at it, I filled in all the screw holes, got everything as straight as possible and cleaned it up as best as I could.

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Old 10-10-2019, 06:21 PM   #67
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
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So A LOT has gone on since I have posted. We have been so busy but it has all been with great things so I am not going to complain.

Well, the windows are in now. I decided not to use the window frames that were original to the camper for the front back or sides. It ended up being too much work to try and salvage them, along with the fact that I like the cleaner look of a one pane window. I ended up buying some gasket used to install windows, some lexan glass and cut my own two windows for the front and back. This is a lot of work, and getting the gasket to seal and lock the window in properly isn't a whole lot of fun either. I bought some other windows for the sides that were just slightly larger. I did have to do some cutting to get them in...

One thing I was amazed by is how poorly the window openings are cut from the factory. Looks like someone had a few beers on lunch break that did mine.

If you haven't noticed yet, we decided to do the door in a two tone paint job. We will run a silver strip in the middle to match the belly band once we get to that point.

As stated before, I am doing a pretty large solar array on the camper. I have another thread that goes more into this if you are interested in the details.http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...3-a-88925.html But here is the frame that holds the solar panels on the camper.


If you look into the open door of the camper you can also see that i had insulated the inside with 1/2'' polyethylene foam. This is the same stuff life jackets are made of. It is closed cell, insulated from heat pretty well, insulates sound very well, and will never rot or mildew from water/moisture.

After getting the door on and getting everything water tight, I took it to get the upholstery done. Something I realized while doing the foam insulation, I really don't like working with spray glue in a hot confined space. Plus I have never done it before and I didn't want it to come out looking like a turd. I have a friend who is in the business and he helped me out big time.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:52 PM   #68
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Trailer: Casita
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Next thing was to do the flooring. I had some bamboo laminate left over from a job that I was going to use, but after seeing some leaks in the camper, realized it was a much better idea to do a water resistant floor like Aquaguard.

I never ended up using the fiberglass pieces for the kitchenette or the front bench. I'm not sure if I am going to be using the pieces for the back two corners yet either. The closet piece seems like its fits too well not to use, but everything else has large gaps in the radius on the pieces or where it should meet up with the neighboring piece.


I also made some raised panels doors for the kitchenette. All of these were routed out of 3/4'" plywood and 1"x4"s that were cut down to size. After cutting out the holes for the stove and sink and putting them in, mounting the doors and drawers, I think it came out pretty nice.

Still have to paint everything.

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Old 10-14-2019, 12:28 AM   #69
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Name: Wade
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Florida
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Amazing! Awesome to see someone ditching the rivets and making a real custom interior. I'm looking for something (a 13' Castia or Scamp) to full time in. Not being able to modify/customize the "stock" interior was essentially gonna be a deal breaker. Was potentially going to scrap the entire fiberglass RV idea and start looking at Conversion Vans until I found this thread.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:48 PM   #70
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
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Put in some more hours over the past couple days.

Thought I was going to use the fiberglass pieces for the closet and back, but I just couldn't get them to line up and look good.

These will look nice, line up well and wont need to be repaired and filled before using them. They are also much more sturdy and should be much easier to add drawers/shelving in.

I'm trying to keep everything pretty simple at this point because I just want to finish this thing and use it. Could I build these cabinets with a little more refinement and cool drawers/doors? Probably. But once they are sanded and painted they will look just and function fine. I'm not looking forward to building the raised panel doors for the closet, overhead kitchen cabinet and overhead rear cabinet. Just time consuming.
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:28 PM   #71
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
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Got to work on the camper again today.

I built the overhead cabinet for the kitchen area. I put some additional bracing in the area where the supports go from the counter top to the upper cabinet.

I also cut the holes in the back two pieces for the hatch doors and also cut the hole in the tall closet for it's door. You can see how the fiberglassed pieces of wood will be easy to attach to. I then made the two doors for both of these cabinets out of some 3/4" birch plywood and some 1"x4"s. These door panels take some time to make and I'm glad I don't have to make anymore. Ended up making 7 of them.

I got to paint everything with a sanding sealer today as well. Maybe tomorrow I will do some sanding and finish triming and mounting the door panels to the cabinets.

As for the overhead cabinet in the back, I'm probably going to make this too, but I'm going to make the whole front face fold down on a hinge. The door for the cabinet just seems too small and it makes it difficult to reach the back corners of the storage area.
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:41 PM   #72
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade R View Post
Amazing! Awesome to see someone ditching the rivets and making a real custom interior. I'm looking for something (a 13' Castia or Scamp) to full time in. Not being able to modify/customize the "stock" interior was essentially gonna be a deal breaker. Was potentially going to scrap the entire fiberglass RV idea and start looking at Conversion Vans until I found this thread.
Good deal! Glad you found it. I was also debating whether or not to put all this effort into this camper instead of a conversion van. In the end, the fact twe got this camper for free ultimately determined the outcome. But being able to tow the camper someplace, detach it and have your normal vehicle is a big plus for us. With the conversion vans, you have to take your house with you everywhere you go, and I'm not a big fan of that... This way I can park the camper, let my wife and the dogs hang out and do their thing, and I can take off and go biking and all the other stuff that I like to do that my wife may not be so interested in. Or vice versa.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:02 PM   #73
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
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Work work work....

I ended up messing up the door on the back upper cabinet, so I will have to re do it. But other than that, productive afternoon!
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:55 PM   #74
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Name: Bill
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So after many hours of sanding and painting and fitting and sweating inside of cramped spaces, I have everything in the interior pretty much laid out and in its final resting place.

I still have to hook up/finish the plumbing, run the AC wiring, run a few wires for random things, make and hang the vent Hood, add shelves in the closet, and more....

Anyway, what you all came for, the pictures!
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:52 PM   #75
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Looks lovely and so inviting!
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:32 AM   #76
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
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Originally Posted by lisantica View Post
Looks lovely and so inviting!
Thank you so much. I have an upholstery guy coming to recover the cushions and make everything match today. I also have an appt in a week or so to get a new axle put on the trailer as the current one is pretty much shot. I am also thinking about putting some shocks on it to keep everything from bouncing around.

I'm so glad this project is getting to the point where we can use it. My wife came in today and asked if she should schedule a place to stay for New year's and it didn't dawn on me that her plan could be a reality. But the more I think about it, I should be able to finish her up by then!
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:24 PM   #77
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
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Made a pretty cool little range hood for over the stove. I couldn't really find one I liked, so I decided to make one with some computer fans, led lights and some switches...

These fans are super quiet and they move a lot of air. They are also rated for use in wet areas. Same thing for the lights. I am painting the front and sides white to match the cabinets, I will peel of the white plastic on the bottom for an aluminum finish underneath.

I was also able to finish all but one outlet for the AC wiring. It's a pop up outlet for on top of the countertop and it should be here tomorrow. I also have a computer monitor that I will be using as a TV and an arm mount to mount it that should be here tomorrow.

I still need to finish the plumbing. And in order to do that, I need to finish the box on the front of the trailer that will hold the propane and water heater. I did some pretty cool stuff with the plumbing like a 21 gallon fresh water tank, ball valve filling capability and outside shower. I will do another post about all that later.
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:29 PM   #78
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
Florida
Posts: 83
The monitor (with speakers), monitor mount and pop up outlet came in and I was able to install them. I also bought a Roku and DVD player from my local Walmart and got them installed as well.

The monitor was $88 , the mount was $37 and the outlet was $58 on amazon. Probably my favorite place to shop. The DVD player was $24 and the Roku was $39. Not bad for a complete entertainment system.

Anyway, here are some pics.
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:27 PM   #79
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
Florida
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Got the hood vent in today. Looks good to me.

Also was testing the plumbing and ended up flooding the camper out a little. Luckily not too bad, but I put a dehumidifier in there for two days to make sure it dried out really nice.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:28 AM   #80
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
Florida
Posts: 83
Im about to order a replacement #3500 axel for the camper and I was wondering about whether to go with the high lift one or the regular.


The only reason I would consider not going with the high lift, or 10 degree down axles, is that I will have the solar panels up top and the rack for them which is going to weigh about 160lbs. Each solar panel weights about 30 pounds X 3, plus the frame which is about another 25 lbs, plus the hinges which are bout 15lbs per set, plus all the wiring ect. I don't want this thing to be too top heavy and feel like it wants to roll over when turning. While 160lbs doesn't sound like a lot, when you get it up high, it has quite a bit of mechanical leverage on the trailer. And I'm assuming the higher it is, the more leverage it will have.


I am going to put as wide a tire as possible on it as well to give it a little more stability. I'd like to hear some opinions on whether people think I should go with the lifted axle or the regular one.


Thoughts?
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