1985 Casita 13' Renovation - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-26-2019, 12:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricAllyn View Post
The electrical can be an easy fix. Use the box from home depot for the 120v and use electrical extension cords to run them around the outside of the shell. I put in 4 circuits, one that goes to an outside outlet, on that goes to an outlet on the stove/sink, and two that are to the cabinet by the door, one for a microwave, one for an A/C. I mounted the A/C on a shelf at the bottom of the cabinet. I made it so that it slides in when I am on the road, and slides out when in a campground. That makes it efficient.
I also had the mount in the back window, and took that out, also took out the small pieces that were on both sides. I kept those and used them as patterns for the Lexan that I put in. You can get the gasket in lengths that will allow it to be one continuous piece.

The 12 volt system is easy to do. Use #14 wire and use different colors for the different systems. Since you are redoing it all, go with LED lights, and you can find at Amazon some small 12v switches with a blue "on" light. In fact almost of what you will need will be available from either Amazon or Home Depot.
I would suggest you put a battery in, and an inverter and a converted, so that you have a lot of options camping. You can even wire it for solar, even if you don't put any in, since this will be the easiest time for that kind of thing.
Lots of help on the forum, several build threads to look at for ideas.
Thanks Eric, I appreciate the feedback. It seems very strange to me that there was no converter, battery or other 12V system to speak of in the trailer. I don't know if this was common, and even the popups of the era that I have seen seem to have more sophisticated electrical systems.

When I plugged everything in, 120V power went to everything but the overhead lights on the ends of the cabinets. I think it will be a little easier to add on as we go if I put in a battery and converter. I just finished completely wiring a much larger trailer, and this Casita should be a good bit more simple.

I am starting to re-read your restoration thread in order to see where you went with the A/C. Your process seems to be one of the most similar to my plans. These forums are always a wealth of information, just not always easy to find.

Best regards,
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:47 AM   #22
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Further dismantling

Further items coming apart.

There was a pool of silicon sealant on the roof vent. A mere five hours of chipping away with the scraper and listening to podcasts and it's out:

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The vent screws were a bit of a pain, but not terrible. I also took photos of every mark, every opening so I would remember what they were for and how laid out, and the original but very deteriorated fixtures. It would be difficult to describe how often I refer back.

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The rest of the interior comes out:


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Old 07-14-2019, 08:57 AM   #23
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Starting to prep for paint

Sanding everything short of the stickers. I did some sanding to clean up the outside for painting.

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Then mounted my new hoist and prepared to separate the shell from the frame. This frame is in shockingly good shape for its age. There is surface rust, but it is solid throughout based on some initial sanding. Not bad for a 34 year old trailer. Though I just realized I forgot where the serial number markings were.

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So, two questions I hope someone can help with:

1) Are there any issues with painting onto the original remnants of the gel coat on the outside? I would like to use marine deck style paint.

2) where is the original serial numbers located on this thing? I did not see a sticker, and maybe haven't examined the frame enough.

Thanks!
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:12 AM   #24
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Matt.
Have you considered a small, roll around/portable AC unit, that requires a much simpler ducted vent to the outside. Perhaps a spot for this unit could be created when you design your new cabinetry.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:25 AM   #25
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Matt.
Have you considered a small, roll around/portable AC unit, that requires a much simpler ducted vent to the outside. Perhaps a spot for this unit could be created when you design your new cabinetry.
Herb.
Hi Herb,

I think you are spot on. I saw a number of examples of that at a Tin Can Tourists vintage rally and think that is the way to go. I was planning on eventually installing a shelf and inner cabinet in the closet to make that work, though that is not necessarily final. If it works, it may also go under the front bench.

One other appliance that I am debating location on is for a catalytic heater. I am thinking of a 3000 BTU model also in the base of the closet, or in the front bench. I think there is enough room at the bottom of the closet between the door of the closet and the wheel well at the bottom to fit one in. I need about 2" of depth, depending on how the gas line runs in.

It is interesting that this trailer did not come with any heating or cooling other than the windows and a roof vent without a fan.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:06 PM   #26
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Framework

After separating the frame from the shell, I put it in it's own area for a bit.
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First the grinder to remove odd bolt remnants and smooth things sticking out.


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Then a great deal of sanding and scraping with stripping discs, wire wheels and sanding discs to remove the old paint and get to metal. When cleaning up the frame, I noticed only one area with an issue. One of the main supports for the rack on the back of the frame had rusted through, and so required a short trip to the local welder.

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Then prime and paint. Nothing fancy, but I finished it off with some clear coat that I had around the hitch in front, and used some undercoating on the rest of the frame to protect the paint. Fortunately the frame is small and not much was required all the way around, but a total of about six coats of paint and protectant over the whole thing.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:26 PM   #27
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Patching the little holes

There are lots of little holes in the shell and a couple places where there are little blemishes where the trailer was bumped on the corner, dinged on the wheel well, and where loads of rivets and bolts were. Not all of them will be replaced.

I first bought a small amount of Marine Tex. It seemed a bit too free flowing for my needs. I had only a small amount and it only did a small amount of holes. Since it ran too much, the holes still needed a little more material in a second pass on the outside in order to be smooth. I ended up using a quart of fiberglass repair material that already had the fibers mixed in on the inside and outside of each of the holes in order to complete the holes. Ended up using most of the quart and hardener. The only problem with it is there is an incredibly short working period with the fiberglass.

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I also went around and reinforced the seam between top and bottom while I fixed the two areas that had been hit in the past. Not badly, but enough to scuff up the seam.

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Then a great deal of sanding to get it all smooth. Fiberglass isn't fun, but it seems pleasantly repairable. Finally, I just wasn't happy with how the prep and sanding was going around the windows, so they came out.

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Old 08-22-2019, 07:34 PM   #28
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Starting the subfloor

The original OSB sheets on the floor and on the supports in the corners came out entirely fragmented, so there is no way to use the original as a template anywhere. Need to make my own.

I saw this curve tool on another restoration blog and decided to get the bigger size. And...this thing is brilliant! What a pleasant surprise.

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The floor also got a little sanding done to smooth some of the old irregularities and wood fibers entirely embedded in the old fiberglass resin. I will paint on some new resin before the final installation.

Still could use some help on my questions:

1) Are there any issues with painting onto the original remnants of the gel coat on the outside? I would like to use marine deck style paint.

2) where is the original serial numbers located on this thing? I did not see a sticker, and maybe haven't examined the frame enough.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:55 AM   #29
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2) where is the original serial numbers located on this thing? I did not see a sticker, and maybe haven't examined the frame enough.
Can anyone help on this one?
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:29 PM   #30
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Subfloor going in

Really happy with the way the subfloor is fitting. I verified the fit, and surprisingly it didn't need much trimming. The only trimming really needed was on the corner bench supports, to be shown later.

I used some extra waterproofing stain that I had left over that has worked will in similar applications, so a little extra protection was in order. I did seal the edges with fiberglass resin. Then fiberglassed into place all the panels. It is now profoundly more solid than before.

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Old 12-04-2019, 09:45 PM   #31
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If you look carefully on the frame you will find stamped numbers on the outside of the frame in the tongue. I think mine were on the drivers side. They are not always very deeply stamped, and may be in a different place on yours. Mine were also very uneven, as if done by hand. I think you can paint over the gel coat as long as you sand it first, and don't have any wax or other things on it.


Also remember to support the roof well, all the way down to the floor. I have also taken out my A/C and will go with a portable. Pictures to come on the thread I have, when I get back. Left Big Ben NP this morning and heading home.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:51 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by EricAllyn View Post
If you look carefully on the frame you will find stamped numbers on the outside of the frame in the tongue. I think mine were on the drivers side. They are not always very deeply stamped, and may be in a different place on yours. Mine were also very uneven, as if done by hand. I think you can paint over the gel coat as long as you sand it first, and don't have any wax or other things on it.


Also remember to support the roof well, all the way down to the floor. I have also taken out my A/C and will go with a portable. Pictures to come on the thread I have, when I get back. Left Big Ben NP this morning and heading home.
Eric,

Thanks, those on the tongue were the only numbers that I could find. Strangely, couldn't make them out until I had a little more contrast with fresh paint. I just didn't know if there were any on the shell anywhere that I had missed up to this point, say imprinted into the fiberglass on the inside. On all of my other vintage trailers, there are numbers stamped into the frame, but they don't match the VIN of the trailers.

I have a hoist in my workshop that I use to move the shell up and down off of the frame as I work on it. More pictures to follow that will show in more detail how it supports the roof as I have been painting. I have about 1.5 coats left on the bottom half of a two tone scheme, and then a lot of wet sanding and polishing.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:42 AM   #33
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Door sill and primer

There seemed to be a weakness in the shell at the door sill, and after fitting the new sub-floor, it needed to be strengthened and set up to fit the original aluminum cover for the base of the sill.

A simple mold with masking tape and some scrap wood provided the shaping that I needed. Then some of the mixed resin and glass filled in the void to even everything out.

After a great deal of sanding, it has come out very well, and strong, and seems to fit the aluminum step well.

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After that, I started priming, and the hoist has come in invaluable in raising and lowering in order to reach top and bottom. Three coats is the goal with minor sanding in between.

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