Ventura reno - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-28-2016, 08:52 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Ontario
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Ventura reno

I have done a lengthy introduction, asked numerous questions and received lots of valuable feedback from generous members but several members have asked for pictures of my redo of a 1975 Ventura trailer so I am starting a thread on which I can give probably irregular updates of my progress.
I have had the trailer for about 3 weeks, I think, and have been working on it for about 2 weeks for a few hours at a time. I am proceeding slowly but most of my waking hours are consumed with everything trailer- planning, researching, looking for materials, ideas, daydreaming about trips , you get the idea.
For me the whole process is fun and fascinating and not to be rushed, or at least until my feet begin to get itchy.

The first pictures are of the trailer as it was as new to me. Then the progress over the next days of removing the contents. The last 4 were taken today, I have 2 or 3 hours to put in removing staples, bits of insulation, slivers of subfloor etc but basically I am now ready to begin repairing holes, rebuilding the framework that was removed because it had rotted, laying down a clean new subfloor, insulating and on and on.

But before I get to far on the the inside I need to make it watertight by doing the windows and sealing around the middle under the band. I just need a week or so without rain.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:00 PM   #2
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Progress over several days

The last pic shows some of the damage to the framework- all the corner framing was black and falling apart.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:08 PM   #3
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Today

Basically finished the deconstruction. included a pic of my work site. I have save any of the old fittings that may serve as templates or that I can reuse.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:16 PM   #4
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Oops,

Sorry the pics wer not finished loading.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:05 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1975 Ventura
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beginning fiberglass patching

I am beginning to prepare and patch the fiberglass holes etc. I am stumped by holes like this that have a reason to be there but may let water in. These are the wires that run from the front of the trailer to the hitch.
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:00 PM   #6
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What have I done?

What have I done? is the sentiment of the day.
I have not posted for a while but I have been plugging along with removing the door and frame and all the windows along with many other small jobs. I am fiberglassing holes and cracks etc. and I have to say it is getting really old. I can only do an hour or so a day using the resin because I am quite sensitive to chemicals so it has been about 5 days so far with lots left to do, including the belly band.
Having done many home renovations, I know that this happens at some point in every project but the slow progress of the rebuild is becoming discouraging and the amount of work yet to be done feels overwhelming.
Maybe it is time for a break or a change of focus. Maybe I will start making the new door or polish up the window frames.
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Old 07-11-2016, 04:10 PM   #7
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Great Work!

Hi Patricia, thanks for posting your pics and progress. It is overwhelming but you are doing a great job. I can related to your burnout. Hope you take a nice break and get back to it when it feels good.

Laura (not Bill)
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:16 AM   #8
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Thanks Laura.
I was reminded yesterday that daily to do lists are the secret, as long as they are realistic. Finished everything on my list yesterday and am now ready to start putting the new wood floor down.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:14 AM   #9
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Name: Kris
Trailer: Monarch Ventura
Alberta
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i know the feeling... I started my project off thinking "Ill have it done in 2-3weeks tops!" 3 months later im still working at it!
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:25 PM   #10
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So true

I started off thinking that "It is a small trailer, how hard can it be?"
It is not necessarily hard work per se (except for removing the floor) but much more fiddly than in a house where a wall can be taken down or put up in short order and you can see progress.
For myself, I actually attribute it in part to all the great advice on the forums. After learning the best ways to do the work from those who have experience and much more skill than I do, the perfectionist in me will not let me do a quick and dirty job.
Where are you at now? Please tell me that you starting to put the interior back in by now, just to give me hope!
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:14 AM   #11
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Wow, you've definitely got a project on your hands!! You've made great progress thus far, I'm looking forward to following along!

Jonathan
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:13 PM   #12
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Finally finished the fiberglass repairs inside and put the new plywood floor in the first section of the trailer (see pic)
The fg floor had dips in it so I put boards underneath held up by jacks to gently push the floor up and make sure that the shell made contact with the plywood so the resin that I spread on the fg could adhere the two together. Also put rocks on the top to add weight for the same reason. It will hopefully be firm with limited bounce.
The edges of the plywood and the whole area by the door where treated with resin to increase water resistance.
Also experimented with removing paint from the top half of the trailer, using a "gentle" paint remover and found that patching had been done with filler by a PO so it looks like the whole trailer will have to be painted.
As well, I began grinding the belly band area with a flapper disk in preparation for doing fg repairs on the outside (and inside again at the belly area).
Over the last few days I have been polishing the window frames and door frame with a product called Never Dull. It is doing a fairly good job of removing the residue from the butyl tape and shining up the aluminum. There is some pitting but basically the frames are in surprisingly good shape. I do not have the tools to polish and buff the frames to make them perfect but I am happy with the result.
I have ordered replacement hardware for the jalousie windows (Side Mount Torque Operators) online from Vintage Campers that should replace the worn out opening mechanisms. It was interesting to take one of the windows apart to see how they actually work but I think I can do the replacements without dismantling the windows.
I have actually purchased materials online from about 6 different businesses in the US so will be going down to Grand Forks next week and camping (in the Eurovan not the trailer) so I will be able to bring everything back under the healthy 48 hour exception.
Lots going on but nothing dramatic to show for my time yet. As soon as I get the rest of the floor down, I can start working on restoring the curve to the ceiling by adding metal supports to the roof framing and replacing the parts of the wall framing that I removed because it had rotted. Then I can move onto insulation and installing the ceiling and the interior walls. That will feel like a major milestone.
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:48 PM   #13
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Name: Kim
Trailer: Ventura
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Been there gutting mine it took forever heck I'm still working on mine lol

I do like your door lol (that's not a original door but nice!) I'm trying to find a replcment or figure how tonstop bloody window leaking on mine gah
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Old 07-20-2016, 03:26 PM   #14
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Trailer: 1975 Ventura
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Yes the door looks good from a distance but it is too thick and does not close properly, not watertight, I am sure. I do like the screen door though, it is cute and I want to keep it if possible.
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Old 07-20-2016, 03:48 PM   #15
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Aw I see most likely leeky .I did the redneck .99 screen for mine ( this was taken before I painted camper and this gives a quick glace at door I'll get better soon
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:05 PM   #16
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Momentous day!

Finally, after just over a year of owning my trailer, I actually took it out on the road. Okay, it was just around the block and it took me well over an hour to back it into the driveway when I returned but it felt so good to have a weathertight, mobile trailer. In my defense, I have never towed a trailer before but with my "how hard can it be" attitude (which also got me into this epic project in the first place) I was sure I would ace it. By the time I finally got the trailer onto the driveway, albeit at a pronounced angle, I had started to figure out the knack of turning and reversing. Not totally confident yet but a whole lot more humble.
This little drive was my mini "shakedown" for the real test tomorrow. I am going to attempt to take the trailer about 15 kms to a garage to have the brakes done and the tires and axle looked at.
It has been a year since I posted on this thread though I have still been asking a lot of questions about repairs (thanks to all you have answered and helped) I have basically been working on the body and, of course, living on the prairies of Canada was able to do nothing for 6 of those 12 months.
What I have done so far:
Interior:
-stripped everything out of the trailer, including all electrical and propane
-replaced about 1/4 of the interior wood framing (rot from water)
-removed the wood floor and replaced with marine plywood
-repaired all the pinholes and cracks (that went through the shell) and larger holes with resin and mat or resin with balloons
-made a support system for the roof and sheathed it in 1/8" maple plywood (varathaned)
-painted all exposed interior fiberglass areas with Rustoleum Topside paint
- replaced fiberglass insulation with rigid insulation
-built 2 tall cabinets from 1/2 in birch plywood reinforced on the front edges for stability; the traditional wardrobe cupboard is switched to the driver's side and on the curbside is a full height cupboard that is about 1/2 as deep.
-installed new 125 ah battery (will have solar in the future)
-began wiring with Progressive dynamics system, have got as far and basic wiring of the DC (the only thing I have not done myself- my son who is an electrician took pity on me when I kept calling him with questions)
Basically the inside is still just the insulation and framing so I still have to install paneling and build the benches, kitchen cupboards, finish the electrical, do plumbing, put up blinds, make cushions ...

Exterior: (pic below)
-removed a thick layer of tar from the roof (hellish job) and repaired, primed and painted it
- removed the belly band and fiberglassed the top and bottom halves of the trailer together to make it more weathertight (another hellish job)
-removed what I assume was house paint put on by PO and sanded (seemingly endlessly), primed and painted with 3-4 coats of Rustoleum Topside white paint.
-removed the grills in the kitchen area and replaced with a hatch (ebay-$25.00) to access the area under the future kitchen counter for water containers etc.
-installed 30v plug on the outside, a cable input and water refill port
-installed a Fantastic fan
-removed the windows, took them apart and rebuilt with new crank mechanism and weatherstripping and cleaned the aluminum the best I could with Nevr Dull (far from perfect); reinstalled with butyl tape
- during a trip to BC I made a detour to Centralia WA to a RV salvage yard and found a truck camper door in great shape. With a little shaving of the top of the wooden door frame (reinforced it above to compensate) the new door fits very well and it even has an integrated screen door. I took it all apart and cleaned, painted and put on new weatherstripping before installing.
-replaced all the lights on the exterior of the trailer with new led lights and all new wiring to the TV (son again)
Still left to do on the exterior: use Por 15 on the hitch and bumper, some touchups on the body paint, install one propane line, hitch box, build a new rockguard, some Ventura decals, install solar, plastic trim on the windows to cover the screws, new brakes, maybe tires, new spare at least and I would like to eventually try to remove the rust from the frame underneath.

I have listed all this not to boast or brag about what I have done (though actually seeing the trailer hitched up today did make me a little giddy) but in order to encourage others who are considering a project trailer to pause for a second to consider whether they really want to hand their life over to such a "hobby". I was neophyte and did not have a clue what I was really getting into. It has become all consuming at times, is costing far too much but I am learning a lot and know I will have a trailer that will function for me for many years, I hope.
Here she is so far: (I really need to think of a name)
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:27 PM   #17
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Everything is looking great! Would love to see some inside progress pics. I just brought home a ventura project of my own, cant wait to tackle it!
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:43 PM   #18
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Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Ontario
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Congratulations on your trailer, Phil. I hope you heed my warnings about how these renos can taker over your life. I will post some pics of inside progress once my trailer comes back from getting brakes etc.done and once I have something to show. If there are any particular areas though that I might have already covered, just let me know. There are other Ventura owners and previous owners who are willing to share and offer advice too.
How about pics of your new acquisition?
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:51 PM   #19
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Here she is. The only picture I have on the iPad at the moment.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:14 PM   #20
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Trailer: 1975 Ventura
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Do you know the year?
It would be great if you could take some closeups of the tags or decals that are visible in the pic. I would love to be able to see what they say. It is hard to find info on these trailers so anything like that is interesting.
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