Another Restoration Thread - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-11-2021, 10:09 AM   #1
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Another Restoration Thread

Hi all

Iíve been a lurker on this site for several years and it seems the right time to change that and get a restoration thread going for our project. Itíll be nice to have it here for posterityís sake, and who knows, maybe someone will get an idea or inspiration in much the same way I have from this forum.

Itís not our first camper but we purchased our Ď86 Perris Pacer from the original owner last summer. We knew what we wanted and had been looking for the right trailer to come along for some time, and while Covid made that more challenging (and expensive,) we jumped when this one became available. We got good use out it well into the fall and knew that we wanted to update it and make it more ďour ownĒ at some point, but that time came much sooner than we hoped. The little egg had lived its whole life in Southern California and was primarily used as a desert camper and lets just say thatís it didnít enjoy the Oregon winter as much as we had hoped. Early this spring I discovered wet, soft subfloors and the distinct smell of rot. Not awesome. I started to peel back the vinyl floors and sure enough, instant project.
Attached Thumbnails
DD00F20E-401A-40E4-A5D7-4D391832711F.jpg   B3010650-2F69-4CB4-AD06-3A43072DCECD.jpg  

D31870AD-B1EB-4492-8390-863396403833.jpg  
Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2021, 10:56 AM   #2
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Whelp, looks like Iím going to need to get better at attaching photos. Strange that the photos are oriented the correct way on my iPad, but post at 90į. Hmmm.


My initial hope was to spot replace the waterlogged subfloors and call it good, but the more investigating I did, the more water damage I found. I also found evidence of a previous repair, so this wasnít a new problem. It became clear pretty quickly that what I hoped to be a spot repair around the closet was going to be a bigger job.

Iím never one to leave something thatís well enough alone, so once I started pulling that thread it can be hard to stop! Itís turned into a much bigger project and here we are months later still plugging away. Floors became ďletís get rid of this shag carpet and add insulation.Ē No big deal. Then that became ďwell now that the wiring is exposed, lets upgrade to LEDs!Ē Plus there is identifying the water intrusionÖ and on and on it goes. Itís turned into a much bigger project and here we are months later still plugging away.

Okay, Iím getting ahead of myself a bit. First step was to rip out all the old carpet. It wasnít terrible, but it wasnít great either. Plus we almost froze in the Wallowa Mountains in October, so I knew I wanted to add some insulation. Next step: get those floors out. Much easier said than done! Unlike some other trailers, the Perris Pacer subfloor is glassed in! The pacer is a full shell ďbathtub designĒ and the floor is laminated to the shell. Scrapers, chisels and a multi tool was needed to get it out. If you get too aggressive with your tools you can gash a hole in the bottom. Ask me how I know. . The water damage turned out to be pretty extensive and went under the fiberglass into both the closet and front bench, so I decided to cut them out as well to get the best access. Good bye bench!
Attached Thumbnails
C87AE6B4-2E5A-48A9-81E5-5CB0DD6E6047.jpg   9CD1A419-C15B-4DF3-A5E6-1CCF8AE93661.jpg  

CAEBBD3B-9434-4497-A633-4C0BFEA6D27B.jpg  
Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2021, 11:03 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Trailer: 1988 16 ft Scamp Deluxe
Posts: 25,358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenius View Post
Whelp, looks like I’m going to need to get better at attaching photos. Strange that the photos are oriented the correct way on my iPad, but post at 90į. Hmmm. <_<
Take all your photos in landscape mode and they should post just fine. It's portrait photos than need to be rotated.

This is going to be a fun thread to follow!

Welcome to FiberglassRV!
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2021, 07:13 PM   #4
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Thanks! I rotated that photo 90ļ as well. Still came out sideways. Meh, 2 out 3 ainít bad. Good to know about the panoramic view. Wish I would have know that 6 months ago.

As stated above, one thing lead to another and I created a chain reaction that was hard to stop. By weeks end I had the trailer stripped down nearly bare (I left the rear benches and kitchenette.) The pile of rubble in the driveway was impressive! The whole thing was pretty daunting, but Iím nothing if not persistent.

With a nearly blank slate of a shell, itís really easy (and fun!) to daydream about the mods and customization that happens next. I made multiple drawings and created a Amazon shopping list that would make my mom blush. Should I add solar? An outdoor shower? What about a liftĒ Maybe a front dinette with a porta potti? Man, dreaming of the possibility was the good old days.

Good thing I have a partner that keeps me on track. ďFind the darn leak, dummy.Ē Now thatís the voice of reason. it was tricky to locate the water intrusion, but I thought I figured it out. I tried the hose test and was pretty sure all the water was making itís way down the door channel and then following the door seal to a break where the strike plate is. It pooled right inside the doorway on the floor and you could see it streaming in. Turns out I was wrong about that theory (more on that later) but my location was right. Still, with the effort it took to get the floors out and the scope of work I created for myself, I knew I *never* wanted to do this again. Every opening in the shell was now suspect; every penetration the enemy. I decided that eventually I would need to remove every light, window, screw, and vent, inspect them and either close them up or reseal with fresh butyl tape.
Attached Thumbnails
F100FA51-BB80-46E8-B6A3-FB9308DE335A.jpg   0101E3BA-5D5E-4D8E-831A-805B241C9E3D.jpg  

DA1931AC-7D83-46AD-9D05-30CC65395101.jpg   818C667D-F0A6-4FAA-BFCB-66DA4038E21E.jpg  

Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2021, 08:09 PM   #5
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Time to build back better! Anywhere the hull looked thin or suspect I glassed. Any unnecessary holes were epoxied. Interior shelves and hull penetrations made by the PO were removed and either epoxied, glassed over from the inside, or both. Gaps were filled with expanding foam and

For the new subfloor I stared with 1/2Ē marine ply. In retrospect 3/4Ē would have been better, but with Covid forcing material costs up it was over $100/sheet for the 1/2Ē when I went to buy. I plan to put down 6mm rigid flooring as well, so I think in the end there will be plenty of rigidity.

Again, Iíd prefer never to do this again, so I went overboard and am pretty sure the trailer itself will disintegrate before the floors do. The marine ply was cut to size and dry fit, then sealed with a waterproof marine penetrant. The ply was bonded to the fiberglass with subfloor adhesive and new stainless steel carriage bolts. There was a bit of separation between the glass and the floor in place between the frame support rails, so I jacked up glass from the bottom and put weights on the top to ensure a good bond.

Eventually I would glass all the edges of the floor using ďpeanut butterĒ resin and filled in all the seems and gaps between the pieces. Then another layer of epoxy resin was laid over the entirety of the floor. The original wood that wasnít removed under the rear benches and on the raised portion under the dinette was also sealed up. At this point itís overkill, but again, water is NOT getting to my floors.
Attached Thumbnails
94BA5A5D-BE72-4453-8297-BC7411D414C9.jpg   33D236B8-66BF-42C5-B8DD-24FFB88305A9.jpg  

Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2021, 09:46 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Johnny M's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
Deep South
Posts: 1,234
Nice work!
__________________
1971 Boler 1300 - "Suite 13"
1987 Play-Mor II - "The Beach House"
Johnny M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2021, 10:41 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: CalCop
Trailer: Casita
California
Posts: 137
Very interesting!
Thanks for the posting
CalCop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2021, 11:51 PM   #8
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
The last several months have been a bit of a blur, so it’s a little hard to remember the order of things and what I thought was a priority at the time. I’ve restored old cars and motorcycles, but this is the first time I’ve tackled something like this, so creating the weekly to-do list was always a little bit uncertain. One thing is for certain, however: I definitely didn’t do a good enough job of taking pictures and documenting each step of work along the way. Sure wish I had.

There was a lot of glassing, epoxy-ing, rewiring and butyl-taping. There were probably some other verbs that I could make up too. An embarrassing amount of spray foaming voids and caulking gaps happened as well. Somewhere in there I removed the bracket for the front bunk. We decided to alter the layout and add a permanent rear bed and two-person front dinette, so that was just in the way.

After an absurd amount of time researching and considering all of the insulation options (and I mean all of them) I never want to read about R-value or thermal bridging again. In the end, I decided on Armacell's Ensolite IG2 from Foam Factory. It’s a 1/4” high density closed cell foam that wasn’t the cheapest option, but also didn’t break the bank. This topic has been hammered to death on this forum (and every other camper and boat forum) so I’ll just say that I think it’s the right product for the job. The foam is moderately pliable and a little difficult to work with in tight spaces, so I ended up putting Reflectix in a few places like the outermost parts of the upper cabinets and inside the rear benches around the water tank and A/C. We also decided to use Reflectix tape on all the seems to cover wires and help with the transitions
Attached Thumbnails
3827E1AE-A767-4699-9677-3223EAB3E096.jpg   96AEC588-5DAA-4C5C-A6A5-657402D0964C.jpg  

6A7A126C-6786-45DD-BEBB-12CBC097C639.jpg  
Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2021, 12:18 AM   #9
Member
 
Name: rj
Trailer: currently shopping
Colorado
Posts: 38
Yeah, when I go to update changes made to mine, I forget all of what I did. The ensolite you chose. Does it only come in one color?
funkgun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2021, 11:33 AM   #10
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Armacellís Ensolite only comes in black from what I can tell. I did not mention it in the thread yet, but we intend to cover it with a marine headliner so the color was inconsequential. Well, not completely. The black has the excellent side effect of blocking out all of the light coming through the shell. We still havenít put up the headliner material, but the foam is performing terrific thus far. It deadens the sound and the temperature regulating is already noticeable. This is going to be one cozy Hobbit hole.

I think some have had success painting the foam directly to get closer to the original Ensolite that came in many of these older trailers. After working with it I think thatís a real possibility, but I donít know if I would trust a regular old latex paint to hold up. If it were me I would look into an elastomeric paint or something along those lines.

For clarification, our Perris Pacer just had a layer of high pile carpet adhered to the fiberglass shell and nothing else. Iím pretty certain it came from the factory that way.
Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2021, 02:31 PM   #11
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Restoration Thread (Ď86 Perris Pacer)

With insulation about 80% done (I intentionally left places like in the closet, under the sink, cabinet uppers, etc. undone,) we turned our attention to some other things. I swapped the outside patio light with a smaller, amber LED from scamp.com and changed all exterior running lights to LED as well. The range hood vent was a hazard and I racked my head on it multiple times, so out that came. Now what to do with the hole in the side where the vent was? Who knows, weíll sort that out later. I screwed a piece of galvanized sheet metal over it until a more permanent solution was decided on.

With the oven hood gone better ventilation was a must. The original ceiling vent was just a hole with a lid that cranked up and down. An electric fan would be a giant upgrade. Besides, the crank handle on the old vent in the ceiling protruded down several inches and was just another thing for me to catch my head on. MaxxAir fan ordered.

Side note: does anyone know of a trailer that has wood glassed into the ceiling like the Perris Pacer does?
Attached Thumbnails
6A31A6BA-FD2A-4BF5-B22E-D238047DDFD0.jpg   D3935FF8-4B98-41B2-A606-12A148239190.jpg  

Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2021, 01:42 PM   #12
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Even know we were far from done, we took the Pacer out for its first 2021 voyage for a long 4th of July outing with just the subfloor, exposed insulation and not much else. I woke up the Thursday morning we were to leave with a hole in the roof where the old vent was and one in the side where a window used to be. Got up early, worked for a couple of hours to get the new fan in and shore up the window, packed up, and set out toward Mt. Hood! Day two of our trip I took some time in the afternoon to hook up wiring to the fan and got it to work. The first time the electric motor whined to open the hatch was glorious! If you donít have an electric fan in your ceiling, stop reading this and go order one. The difference active ventilation makes in these little trailers is hard to overstate. Major caveat for the MaxxAir though: on DC the fan works like a champ. On AC, it turns out, not so much. Discovered later the fan needs a voltage regulator! I installed some weeks salter and now it works great on AC or DC.

Now is probably a good time to say that on our way up to the lake, we stopped for gas and while filling up smelled the strong, distinct smell of ammonia outside the trailer. I wasnít certain it was from us (or I was in denial,) but I was suspicious. Once we got to the site and sniffed around, it was clear that it was coming from our trailer, and from our refrigerator vent specifically. The last photo below is the exact spot we smelled the ammonia.

The refrigerator and potential repair is a saga in itself, but Iíll mention it here. The Norcold 3-way is less than a year old and still within warranty. We contacted them as soon as we returnedÖ and here we are in mid-September and the unit has not been repaired. Norcol has not responded to our many emails and calls. The shop we took it to that was recommended on their website is also unable to get a response. I realize Covid makes everything more challenging, and Iím sympathetic to that, but this is frustrating. If we end up having to buy a new fridge because they wonít, or canít, honor their warranty, it wonít be a Norcold. Hopefully Iíll have a more positive update at some point, but I remain skeptical.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_8339.jpg   IMG_8341.jpg  

IMG_8337.jpg   IMG_7964.jpg  

Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2021, 01:53 PM   #13
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Just before the trip on the fourth, I enlisted a friend of mine who does some wood working to make a custom fit cutting board that covers the sink and gives us extra counter space. We think it is an amazing addition and at the time of this photo it was the only ďfinishedĒ part of the project. Pretty funny. Note the foam insulation (with reflectix taped seems) and the previously mentioned aluminum sheet over the hood vent hole in the background. Donít know that itís worth a whole post, but I definitely wanted an excuse to post this picture of our cutting board!.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_8343.jpg   IMG_8344.jpg  

IMG_7968.jpg  
Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 09:27 PM   #14
Member
 
Name: rj
Trailer: currently shopping
Colorado
Posts: 38
Gorgeous work for your friend. Looks better than factory.

You make me think I am happy to have ignored Norcold
Maybe contact BBB https://www.bbb.org/us/oh/sidney/pro...680/complaints
In regards to the wood fiberglassed in, that sounds super sturdy. I would almost be a bit jealous of that.
funkgun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 09:58 PM   #15
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Taking it camping while still unfinished gave us a jolt of motivation and some new ideas. We love this thing! We daydreamed about magnets for removable window covers, rooftop solar, a computer fan range exhaust, outdoor shower, and even radiant heat floors. Most of that was enthusiastic wine talk, but who knows, maybe some day. Once home, the next step was removing all the cabinet doors and replacing them with new ones, a decision firmly made that weekend. While the doors were off and cabinets emptied, we painted the interior with BrightSide enamel Topside paint and added a dimmable LED light strip and some pretty cool marine fixtures.

From Scamp we ordered new interior cabinet trim, exterior door edge trim and the new ďpaddleĒ type door gasket. I was still under the belief that the biggest leak was from the gap in the ďDĒ style seal around the door. I was wrong about that, but a gasket update canít be the worst idea.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_7923.jpg   IMG_8001.jpg  

IMG_7991.jpg   IMG_8320.jpg  

IMG_8319.jpg   IMG_8318.jpg  

IMG_8338.jpg  
Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2021, 09:06 AM   #16
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Cool

Yeí Old Converter was, well, old. It also boiled my battery once and Iíve never quite trusted it since. In fact I couldnít wait to get rid of the thing, so I did. I can build, repair, or figure out most things with some trial and error, but electrical stuff has always been a bit of a thorn. Sprinkle in the AC to DC converting (or is it inverting?), fuses and breakers in the same system and thatís enough to make this guy reach for the Advil. Enough of you on here recommended the PD 2500 so I ordered that and will install in once the dinette is finished. Hopefully Iíll get to update and ask questions about that in real time! This thread is starting to get close to caught up.

I made a new kick plate for the step up to cover the wiring and water hose. The closet was insulated and redone with some shelving (with a hidden false bottom for valuables,) I replaced the extension cord door with a Marinco shore power inlet, glassed up the vent hole, and re-glassed the bottom of the closet. I had to cut out a chunk there to get access to all of the wood rot. Not the most excellent fiberglass work, but Iím getting pretty good at the stuff! With some additional sanding and paint I think itíll be seamless.

For the front dinette I glassed in some supports along the curbside wall. I still wasnít sure about the design at this point, but knew I would need additional support and something to attach to in that area.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_7287.jpg   IMG_8236.jpg  

IMG_8234.jpg   IMG_8264.jpg  

IMG_8257.jpg   IMG_8322.jpg  

Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2021, 10:13 PM   #17
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
New cabinet fronts! Now what to do for hardware?
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_8360.jpg   IMG_8361.jpg  

Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2021, 10:47 PM   #18
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Front Dinette Build

We decided long ago to convert the rear dinette into a permanent bed (we were pretty much using it like that) and to ad a front dinette so we would have a place to eat, drink wine, and play cards on an unexpectedly rainy night. I considered many designs but mostly just wanted it to handsome, sturdy and functional. A spare bed, easy access to storage, and room for a potty (just in case) were essential. I started building some templates and trying to dec, but the curve of the walls and the lack of anchors points had me pulling out whatís left of my hair. I decided to call in a favor with a furniture-building friend. Holy smokes Iím glad I did! Just got it back two days ago and I couldnít be more happy.

It turned out to be a challenge for him as well and took him twice as long as he thought it would, so I felt vindicated in asking for the help. The finished product is amazing. No photo of it here but I got several coats of Poly on it this weekend and itís really something.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_8397.jpg   IMG_8321.jpg  

IMG_8333.jpg   65396015032__A70C8530-744D-43F7-9CE2-E727E26BCB5C.jpg  

Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2021, 10:55 PM   #19
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Front Dinette Build

More photos of the build. I cut holes into the bench for an outlet and the PD convertor. Some other notables are the slanted back that follows the front to give a bit more leg room and the tongue and groove slide in front of the toilet. You can see the wedge that the Lagun table arm is mounted to to get it back to vertical.

Speaking of the Lagun, that thing is terrific. I was concerned the table would be too big but with the swing arm and rotating table it's quite easy to get in and out of the seats and to move it out of the way of the oversized fridge. Turns out it's perfect!
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_8335.jpg   IMG_8377.jpg  

IMG_8378.jpg   IMG_8379.jpg  

Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2021, 11:25 PM   #20
Member
 
Name: JJ
Trailer: Perris Pacer
Oregon
Posts: 34
Hanging Marine Headliner

Still so much work to do and so little time! Fall is here and the rain is coming. Plus weíre attending the Fall NOG and we made that our deadline to be done. We leave in just over 72 hours from the time I write this! Oh boy, we clearly arenít going to make it.

Nevertheless, today was a huge day. We got the marine headline installed! As many on here have reported, itís quite the task. We took a somewhat novel approach that what was both successful and repeatable. I think I would recommend others try this method if you are scratching your head at how best to cut and install ďrat furĒ or similar headliner material. I, of course, was planning to measure carefully and cut less carefully, but the smarter one of us suggested we approach it like a giant garment and make patterns. I was skeptical, but only because Iíve not made patterns for garments before. It worked great!

It was time consuming to create the patterns, but that happened a couple weeks ago. We were able to cut all the material and get it hung today in about 6 hours. We rolled it out on a tarp, laid the patterns down, pinned them, and started to cut!

We used Weldwood Landau adhesive for the sticky stuff. She painted the insulation inside with a brush while I used a syphon sprayer hooked to the air compressor to shoot the material on the outside.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_8383.jpg   IMG_8385.jpg  

IMG_8388.jpg   IMG_8389.jpg  

Jenius is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
mods, perris pacer, renovations


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
17 ft '79 bigfoot - restoration/modification thread dlb Modifications, Alterations and Updates 50 07-13-2021 02:20 PM
Yet another solar thread..... Lizbeth Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 6 06-08-2006 01:12 PM

» Trailer Showcase

Lily

Wpuvy

Daisy

Pomfritz
» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.