13' Casita Trailer Off Restoration. - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:23 AM   #101
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Can you imagine Casita came out with an expedition model that incorporated your design? There is a market for it. Heck, I could see a small shop doing conversions, probably just the outside stuff: frame, axle, lift, cage style wrap around frame, etc.
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Old 08-15-2020, 12:44 PM   #102
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
Florida
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Originally Posted by Wade R View Post
I was so impressed by the work you've done that I decided to try and copy some of your methods and buy a casita for myself. My girlfriend and I just purchased and brought home a 2004 17ft Casita. You sold me on fiberglass. Thank you for the inspiration!
Congrats on the purchase. Get ready for a lot of man hours! I cannot believe how much time I have in this thing. Did I go overboard? Of course, but that's what makes it so cool. Hope your project goes smooth.
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Old 08-15-2020, 12:47 PM   #103
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Trailer: Casita
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Can you imagine Casita came out with an expedition model that incorporated your design? There is a market for it. Heck, I could see a small shop doing conversions, probably just the outside stuff: frame, axle, lift, cage style wrap around frame, etc.
Doing it for the first time was pretty rough. Now that all the pieces are made and could potentially be templated, it may make it somewhat easier. Not going to lie, just the cost of the components is pretty high. I could only imagine the mark up being substantial. Here within the next couple months I plan to be traveling with it to GA and TN. Looking forward to enjoying it.
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:07 PM   #104
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Trailer: Casita
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I thought j posted this before, but I guess not...

I had planned on skinning the solar panel housing with aluminum to help keep water out and just make it look better. I got some aluminum from my local sheet metal shop and had them do some of the critical bends that I could not do at my house. Anyway, this is what it will look like when it's all together. I took this photo before sending everything off to powder coat. I just got everything back from powder coat and it looks great. I still need to assemble it all though.
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Old 08-15-2020, 03:06 PM   #105
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Name: Wade
Trailer: Casita
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How much of the underside of the trailer did you paint? Any photos of underneath?
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Old 08-15-2020, 03:59 PM   #106
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Trailer: Casita
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How much of the underside of the trailer did you paint? Any photos of underneath?
I painted the underside when I had the shell off the trailer. Didnt really worry about what it looled like, just painted it with that rubberized truck bed stuff to make sure some of the patched holes stayed water tight.

Got to test out the running lights I installed awhile ago too.
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Old 04-05-2021, 12:34 PM   #107
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Trailer: Casita
Florida
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Where did you get the 1/2 polyethylene foam you used? Also what weight did you use? I found this source, but it's offered in both 2lbs and 4lbs weight and I'm not sure which to choose. Thank you!


https://www.foambymail.com/PR/polyet...foam-roll.html
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Old 04-23-2021, 01:13 PM   #108
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Trailer: Casita
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Where did you get the 1/2 polyethylene foam you used? Also what weight did you use? I found this source, but it's offered in both 2lbs and 4lbs weight and I'm not sure which to choose. Thank you!


https://www.foambymail.com/PR/polyet...foam-roll.html
Sorry have been super busy. But I think I only did the 2lbs. I cant remember why to be honest.

I ended up having to repaint the whole camper. Took some time off from it, and the paint started to bubble and blister. Not sure what went wrong but ended up sanding the whole thing down and repainting it.

I used a high end paint this time called awlgrip .its commonly used on boats and is a two part paint that is very durable and hard. It is also super expensive, but a little seems to go a long way. I needed two quarts of white and one quart of the grand banks beige to complete 3 coats of each color. You can roll and tip it or spray it. I like to spray just because it is easier and I think you can get better results.

Many more pics and updates to come. Stay tuned...
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Old 04-23-2021, 01:33 PM   #109
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Gorgeous! I like the color combination.
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Old 04-23-2021, 03:16 PM   #110
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
Florida
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I decided to go with some non-trailer wheels and tires. I know, I know, load rating ect.... HOWEVER, going to a 17" x 8"wheel and a tire that is wider with a smaller sidewall, the camper will be much more stable. The sidewall on the current trailer tires allows for a lot of side to side movement and sidewall compression, making the camper a little more "wobbley" than I like

Tires have an 1800lbs load rating and the wheels are around 1700. Axle is a 3500lbs axle, so everything lines up. Went with a 245/45/17 which is 27" tall and 9.6" wide with an 8" tread width. Zero offset on the wheels.

This was before I got the wheels and I was comparing the two tires. Pretty big difference I'd say.

I also decided to paint a lot of the plastic hatch doors and other pieces. Sun is usually pretty hard on these pieces and hopefully the paint can make them last a little longer.

Here you can see the solar frame mounted to the roof for the last time and the door painted and mounted.

I'm not sure if i mentioned, but I bought some stainles boat rub rail to go where the belly band is. I fabricated little brackets around where to top and bottom shell meet so that it can be bolted on and I wasn't screwing into the fiberglass. Brackets are aluminum U channel extrusion, cut into 1.5" pieces and taped for a 1/4" stainless bolt on the bottom of the U. The u channel slides over the lip and is held in by two screws in the corners that scrw into both top and bottom shell lips and a large amount of 5200. You can see these brackets in my previous post.
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Old 04-23-2021, 03:24 PM   #111
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Trailer: Casita
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Next thing to do was to get the solar panels and the panel covers on the rack, and get the panels all wired up and the lights that I installed on the rack.

While doing this, I noticed I had a bad cell in my battery. Looks as though the BMS didnt catch an over voltage or over amperage event anf the battery puffed up pretty big. Surprisingly, the battery still works very well, but I am going to replace it and also change the configuration of the batteries to be a little more stable and not as hard on the bank.

I'm going over this super fast, there are so mamy details, so just ask if you want to know....
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Old 04-23-2021, 03:29 PM   #112
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
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Here I have the wheels mounted and the solar panels out and operational.

The camper is significantly more stable with this wheel and tire combo. Feels completely different when you try to rock the camper back and forth. Combined with the air-shocks, I'm sure it will tow very nicely. Hope to maybe give it a trial run this weekend.

The front box I made came out awesome and stays water tight. It holds the propane tank and the hot water heater. This hot water heater will produce way more hot water than i need, and I had to turn it down quite a bit. I'm sure the box will also store all my trailering odds and ends at some point.

Still haven't buffed the paint after painting it, or even washed and cleaned much, but it still looks great! IMO, the awlgrip paint is worth the money. Looks great and is hard to scratch.
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:05 PM   #113
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Trailer: Casita
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Got everything back together today.

Long day but was worth it.
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Old 04-25-2021, 12:56 AM   #114
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Name: CalCop
Trailer: Casita
California
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Bill,
That's absolutely beautiful!
Great job, but I am a bit worried about the gross trailer weight
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Old 04-25-2021, 01:49 AM   #115
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
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Bill,
That's absolutely beautiful!
Great job, but I am a bit worried about the gross trailer weight
Just because I am curious, how much do you think the trailer weighs? FYI, it has a new #3500 axle and all the framing for solar panels and box up front are aluminum.
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Old 04-25-2021, 08:32 AM   #116
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Trailer: Casita
California
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I really have no idea what the weight would be.
The batteries, new interior, fresh water tank and solar system adds a good amount.
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