Blank slate fiberglass trailer-HELP - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-14-2020, 05:58 AM   #1
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Name: Kim
Trailer: Chariot
New Jersey
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Blank slate fiberglass trailer-HELP

Hi!
I have been hunting for a small Fiberglas camper for years and I just can’t make the price point. I really want to keep the weight to a minimum so that I can pull it with my 2017 Dodge Van (tow capacity 3500). I am negotiating the purchase of this 1994 Chariot 10-6 fiberglass trailer! Then the fun begins. Good news is that it is a blank slate. The bad news is that it’s a blank slate. Priorities: mini kitchen with sink, countertop,fridge,storage at front. No stove. I want to have water and a water heater and an outdoor shower hook up. I will never be off grid so I do not need holding tanks. I guess I need to add a bit of insulation, framing?? Wiring for plugs throughout. Then a good vent fan and ac. Beyond that will be the fun cosmetic stuff that I am not too worried about. Where do I start? Where do I find craftsman to do the important work properly for me? Thank you.
I will add photos later if I can figure that out. Trailer body Inside is 10’6” long, 6 ft wide, 6’4” tall. Weighs 740 lbs. could weight/carry up to 3000
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:22 AM   #2
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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If that deal falls through, a 3500 lb tow rating should work for any Scamp 13 or 16 (assuming combined rating, etc are good also).
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:25 AM   #3
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Proper response requires pictures!!!
How many are going camping?
When I rebuilt my Scamp I found "salvage" cabinets were useful and I fitted upper cabinets along both sides and a cabinet base for the kitchen area/sink/
The bunks were built in place along with the utility storage areas underneath.
Refrigerator or icebox is next.
You really need some of the furnishings to properly plan the layout as inches are critical as well as the intended function.
Base for bunk:

Finished:

I found that working on a two foot "module" worked for me. The center aisle is approximately 2 feet and the bunks actually are about 28" wide. One shorter than the other to make room for the refrigerator by the door.
Here is the modified kitchen base cabinets:

This is how the high cabinets are installed:
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:36 AM   #4
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Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Missouri
Posts: 628
Kim,

The Chariot 10-6 is an interesting choice. Pretty unique.

I suspect that trailer interior design might be a bit of an art form?

Where you put the heavier components could affect what pilots call "weight & balance" and lead to possible sway situations while towing.

As previously said, your van could easily tow many/ most 13' fiberglass trailers. Since you mentioned not being able to meet the price point for those, I'm wondering if you will try to do some of the interior work yourself? If so, you might look into what some of the van interior customizers do:
https://youtu.be/ucf2FVIdr1Q

You can search YouTube for many similar foam cabinet videos.

Many things can be created without much in the way of power tools. EPS/XPS foam can be cut with X-acto knives, electric carving knives, or "hot wire" tools (available on Amazon.com). Fiberglass screen material can be cut with some strong scissors or a pair of tin snips (Northern Tool & others). Glidden Gripper paint (Home Depot), regular Gorilla Glue, and/or Gorilla Wood Glue can be used in the assemblies.

Foam and fiberglass screen may be fine for cabinets and hatches but, I think that 1/8th inch plywood (Menards & other) glued to both sides of the 1/2" (or 3/4" ?) EPS/XPS foam (maybe with Gorilla Wood Glue?) is probably better and stronger for weight bearing components (i.e. beds, benches, etc.)

Do remember that, because they are dealing with 4-wheeled vehicles, the van interior guys don't have to worry about the sway issues that can plague 2-wheeled trailers.

As a DIY project, this sort of sounds like a bigger undertaking than most would tackle? If you do take it on, I'm sure that many of us would like to see pictures of your progress and the completed project.

Best of luck to you!

Ray
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:47 AM   #5
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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As an aside I have found that the savings of building or restoring over buying something ready to go is pretty much illusion.
The main difference is the length of time the investment is spread over.
I have over $10, in my rebuild, but then I have a lot of "features" that a stock trailer would not have and I was able to "Pay as you go"

So I have a pretty much a custom 1985 Scamp with 300 watts of solar, new axle, new floor, etc for $10,000 plus and hundreds of hours of labor.
Please note I never tracked the cost as I considered it therapy, but SWMBO did track most of it and she tells me pretty much all of the time, but she is happy with the result as it was refurbished pretty much to satisfy her.
If saving money is the goal, buy what you want that fits your needs and does not need as much work.
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:54 AM   #6
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
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Originally Posted by rdickens View Post
Foam and fiberglass screen may be fine for cabinets and hatches but, I think that 1/8th inch plywood (Menards & other) glued to both sides of the 1/2" (or 3/4" ?) EPS/XPS foam (maybe with Gorilla Wood Glue?) is probably better and stronger for weight bearing components (i.e. beds, benches, etc.)
If you can afford to, put carbon fiber tape between the fiberglass and foam. It will lend strength without weight. You don't necessarily need to cover the foam entirely put some vertical and horizontal strips maybe 1 or 2 inches wide since carbon fiber tape only strengthens in the direction of the fibers. How many strips will require some experimentation. I fly RC airplanes and use carbon fiber tape a lot to strengthen and stiffen structures(spars, foam wings, etc.). It works really well with epoxy so the resin for fiberglass should work. Just beware of any dust just like fiberglass.
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:13 AM   #7
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Name: To Infinity & Beyond!
Trailer: 1985 Uhaul VT-16 Vacationer, 1974 Hunter Compact II & 1977 Argosy 6.0 Minuet
Tennessee
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KimH just be aware there are LOT'S of lightweight fiberglass trailers out there for sale that can be best described by your term "Blank Slate".

This should make one wonder.

Why are there so many "Blank Slate" trailers available?

The answer to that question is EASY!

Old trailers like old cars, old houses and most anything else OLD are EASY to take apart it's that "Puttin It Back Together Part" that becomes a REAL PROBLEM!

Most "Fixer Upper" trailer folks git into a rebuild project that is way over their head both physically and financially. The result is letting that trailer sit for years. Finally after all that heartache, agony and expense they finally decide I am now too old or too incapacitated to fix the damn thing so now lets try and offload it on another "Dreamer" like myself!

YOU said you have looked for "Years" for a trailer.

Just imagine IF you had SAVED just $50-$100/month and put that $50-$100/month in a "Trailer Savings Account" for "Years" (Your Words) you would not have to worry about buying a budget minded fixer-up trailer. You could have purchased whatever fiberglass or any other type of trailer you wanted BRAND SPANKING NEW!

I suggest you seriously reconsider your purchase of this or any project trailer. By your own admission you are looking for a "Cobbler" to assist you or perform the work for you of rebuilding this project trailer to your vision. NOT a good plan unless you have LOT'S of MONEY & PATIENCE to "SPEND" with a well known and reputable trailer restorer. If that is the situation then you might as well Bite the Bullet and go buy a nice trailer ready to go NOW. The ultimate price you will pay be the same without the wait and all the heartache that goes with a trailer rebuild project.

2 years from now when you are STILL NOT FINISHED with this trailer project while having spent lot's of time, many thousands of Dollars with several different "Cobbler's" who promised you the world and delivered nothing you might just reflect upon my post by saying to yourself:

"Gee that Advice of NOT Buying This Project Trailer Just Might Be the BEST ADVICE I Never Took"!
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:42 PM   #8
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Name: Nicolas
Trailer: 1978 Boler
Almonte, Ontario
Posts: 111
To buy new or used?

I agree with Vintageracer. You need to seriously consider how your money is spent. I bought a fixer-upper and was capable of doing all my own work. However, I needed some advice from a fibreglass restorer and he offered a freebie quote on him doing all the work for me. My $2K investment was going to cost an extra $10K. Didnít go with that work or the work that I originally went to him for either. Did the work myself and now the $2K is worth more like $8K with only $2K of outlay and, yes, hours of labour of love. Decide if you have the time, the desire and the proper environment to do this work. I got stung by a neighbour who didnít like me doing repairs in my laneway. I am fortunate that I have a child about 20 minutes away who has a rural property upon which to store and work upon my trailer. Not ideal but it works for me.
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:50 PM   #9
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Washington
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Kim,
There's a lot of wisdom in what 'vintageracer' Mike has stated. Heeding his advice would be wise.


Been there, done that...
Fran
'74 Compact II
totally restored, by myself, tho.
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:24 PM   #10
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimH View Post
Hi!
I have been hunting for a small Fiberglas camper for years and I just canít make the price point. I really want to keep the weight to a minimum so that I can pull it with my 2017 Dodge Van (tow capacity 3500). I am negotiating the purchase of this 1994 Chariot 10-6 fiberglass trailer! Then the fun begins. Good news is that it is a blank slate. The bad news is that itís a blank slate. Priorities: mini kitchen with sink, countertop,fridge,storage at front. No stove. I want to have water and a water heater and an outdoor shower hook up. I will never be off grid so I do not need holding tanks. I guess I need to add a bit of insulation, framing?? Wiring for plugs throughout. Then a good vent fan and ac. Beyond that will be the fun cosmetic stuff that I am not too worried about. Where do I start? Where do I find craftsman to do the important work properly for me? Thank you.
I will add photos later if I can figure that out. Trailer body Inside is 10í6Ē long, 6 ft wide, 6í4Ē tall. Weighs 740 lbs. could weight/carry up to 3000
If you are putting toilet in it then you will need a holding tank for the black water. The RV toilets don't flush like a house one does.
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:25 PM   #11
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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If I had paid myself $75.00 per hour for the work on on my scamp I could have bought a new Airstream Bambi, but then the layout would not have been what I wanted.
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Old 07-22-2020, 12:29 PM   #12
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Name: Harold
Trailer: 1975 Scamp, 13-foot
Redding, California
Posts: 377
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This thread made me think of the many vintage and antique auto restorer's I've known. For many, the fun is in the restoration, and as soon as the restoration is complete they sell it and start looking for another project. Often, even ignoring their labor, they lose money. It's a hobby and a labor of love. (Or a sickness )

In 2001 I bought a 1968 Jaguar XKE. It was a survivor/driver and I totally resisted doing any restoration work on it because I knew it would be on blocks in the shop for years. Fifteen years after many smiles per mile I sold it for a profit. I did the same with a 1930 Model A Ford.

So, I think the thing is, if you enjoy building things go for it. If it's just to save money and go camping, maybe find a different way to accomplish your goal.

I was lucky and found a great deal on a Scamp 13, but for all the camping I've done with it so far, it would have been far cheaper to rent a camper. In fact I think the resale market is largely driven by those who don't camp nearly as often as they thought they would.

Just my thoughts....

Harold
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