Compact Jr. - Overwhelmed!! - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-02-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
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Name: Mari
Trailer: Hunter compact jr
Washington
Posts: 15
Compact Jr. - Overwhelmed!!

Hi all!

We recently purchased a '72 compact JR and after perusing this website were really excited to be part of the FGRV family.

Well, until we got Jr. home! The PO advertised that there were only cosmetic upgrades needed and "small fiberglass patchwork" to be done...sounded easy enough.

We planned on installing updated wood look flooring, redoing the cushions and curtains and refurbishing the peeling veneer cabinets.

When we started peeling the old linoleum up from the plywood we found that the plywood had rot as well as the wood framing around the door!

At that point we decided to gut everything so we could fully see what needed to be done to the floor. What we found next is what is giving me panic attacks!

When we removed the "kitchen" cabinetry and wall over the wheel well we found that the "small fiberglass patchwork" had been understated!

It appears that when the "hole" was created from the axle breaking it also moved the driver side wheel well. We noticed the piece of wood that had been fiberglassed in to create what appears on the curb side to be a support for the old benches was rotted.

My husband picked away at that rotted wood assuming it would just need to be replaced only to find that once that wood was removed the wheel well had a gap between it and the trailer shell revealing the source of the rot - we can clearly see the ground outside!

I welcome any and all advice and direction where to turn for help figuring out what we do now. It's starting to rain here in Seattle and we don't have a garage to store Jr in and what we paid for the trailer did not account for all this work it appears will cost more than anticipated

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Old 10-02-2016, 03:57 PM   #2
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Oregon
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Since you're in Seattle, you might try checking into mobile fiberglass boat repair businesses, or even a boat repair shop. They slow down in winter and might want the work - plus they'll have an indoor repair area. Can't hurt to ask, email some pics to see if they're interested, and get some bids. Since it's not a cosmetic issue it shouldn't cost too much to get it patched together correctly - especially since you've gutted it and they have the other side to use as a model.
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Old 10-02-2016, 04:15 PM   #3
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Name: Mari
Trailer: Hunter compact jr
Washington
Posts: 15
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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
Since you're in Seattle, you might try checking into mobile fiberglass boat repair businesses, or even a boat repair shop. They slow down in winter and might want the work - plus they'll have an indoor repair area. Can't hurt to ask, email some pics to see if they're interested, and get some bids. Since it's not a cosmetic issue it shouldn't cost too much to get it patched together correctly - especially since you've gutted it and they have the other side to use as a model.
Thanks for your input - I have a couple of calls out but I'm assuming since it's the weekend they're not in the office. When you say "it shouldn't cost too much" what should I expect to pay for something like this?
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:13 PM   #4
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Compact Junior
Saskatchewan
Posts: 18
Unfortunate CJ troubles

It is unfortunate that your Fiberglas RV experience begins with this kind of unscrupulous and dishonest sales pitch to get you to buy.
Once gutted, fiberglas trailers can be ``restructured` and then redecorated to suit your unique taste. Look on the bright side, your CJ will be wholly your own from the ground up!!!!
My wife and I redid our Compact Jr. known now affectionately as CJ!!!! We have tested it twice this summer....and our satisfaction is high!!!
Good luck on your adventure.
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:34 PM   #5
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Name: Mari
Trailer: Hunter compact jr
Washington
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Thank you for the encouragement! I would love to see your finished accomplishments with CJ. So glad this forum is here!
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:35 PM   #6
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Name: Randy
Trailer: 1980Trillium 1300
Ontario
Posts: 373
This is what I would do if I were you: DIY at home for minimum cost, only taking time..
-Cut off the wheel well, re do with resin/fibeglass/body filler..nicely.
-Re-attach wheel well(inside), using 3 L-shape aluminum brackets to rivet it to floor and side pl(after straighten outside panel)
-Re-glue again from inside with resin/FB,
- Exterior body work for side panel(cover rivets/fill, sand, prime and final touch to finish)
-Well, it would be done, secured and sound.
Just my thought...
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:43 PM   #7
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Texas
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Have a look at Wade K's Compact Jr Restoration.

Also, it's a slightly different trailer, but K. Corbin has done a thorough documentation of her process with Karin's Campster Renovation.

There are others, too. You might want to browse the Modifications, Alterations, and Updates forum, or search for "restoration" or "renovation." Lots of people have done marvelous work on these trailers!
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:47 PM   #8
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Name: Mari
Trailer: Hunter compact jr
Washington
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinh View Post
This is what I would do if I were you: DIY at home for minimum cost, only taking time..
-Cut off the wheel well, re do with resin/fibeglass/body filler..nicely.
-Re-attach wheel well(inside), using 3 L-shape aluminum brackets to rivet it to floor and side pl(after straighten outside panel)
-Re-glue again from inside with resin/FB,
- Exterior body work for side panel(cover rivets/fill, sand, prime and final touch to finish)
-Well, it would be done, secured and sound.
Just my thought...
Great advice! That's exactly what we were thinking but needed confirmation that it waa a good plan thanks!
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:48 PM   #9
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Name: Mari
Trailer: Hunter compact jr
Washington
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary F View Post
Have a look at Wade K's Compact Jr Restoration.

Also, it's a slightly different trailer, but K. Corbin has done a thorough documentation of her process with Karin's Campster Renovation.

There are others, too. You might want to browse the Modifications forum, or search for "restoration" or "renovation." Lots of people have done marvelous work on these trailers!
Oh yes! I read k corbins daily!
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:57 PM   #10
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Texas
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Here's another one....

Have a look at Frederick's Project Boomerang. It turned out very, very well!
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:58 PM   #11
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Name: Talia
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr.
USA
Posts: 117
I just repaired very similar damage to my '72 Compact Jr this last week. It looks like at some point in time there was a bad blowout that badly damaged the passenger side wheel well, and broke off the two small frame pieces on either side. I had the frame repaired by a custom trailer manufacturer. Then this last weekend, I cut out the damaged fiberglass portions, used cardboard and parchment paper to make a backer over the holes, and laid up many layers of cloth and resin to fill in the holes. I've never done fiberglass work before, and it came out great.
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Old 10-03-2016, 03:26 PM   #12
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Oregon
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Originally Posted by Mcmari View Post
Thanks for your input - I have a couple of calls out but I'm assuming since it's the weekend they're not in the office. When you say "it shouldn't cost too much" what should I expect to pay for something like this?
Ask their hourly rate. It could be about the same as auto repair shops...around $100.00 an hour.

But remember you can control the number of hours required from an expert by doing the prep work yourself. It might be slow to get calls returned as right now the fiberglass people are finishing up at the end of the busy warm and dry weather season as we have just this week launched into our rainy season. But at least your little Compact can be rolled into a garage to be worked on where it is dry and you can have some heat.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:57 AM   #13
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
Posts: 152
Compact Jr. - Overwhelmed

Hi I just read your post and may I offer a suggestion. I worked in the energy sector and we always made a list first of everything we felt must be done to correct any problems. We the assessed each item and placed a number beside it as to what must be tackled first and so on . By doing this we then could start working on the repair and once it was finished check it off and move on to the next one. This approach may assist you and break your repair job down into smaller jobs that seem to be more manageable. Yes you have to do it all, but not all at once. Mind over matter I guess! Good luck with you new project and I hope you enjoy your trailer. Don't neglect to ask for help here on this site if needed, many have faced similar issues and are willing to advise you , we hope you don't give up.
Cheers, Duane
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:32 AM   #14
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Trailer: 13 ft Boler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getaway1 View Post
Hi I just read your post and may I offer a suggestion. I worked in the energy sector and we always made a list first of everything we felt must be done to correct any problems. We the assessed each item and placed a number beside it as to what must be tackled first and so on . By doing this we then could start working on the repair and once it was finished check it off and move on to the next one. This approach may assist you and break your repair job down into smaller jobs that seem to be more manageable. Yes you have to do it all, but not all at once. Mind over matter I guess! Good luck with you new project and I hope you enjoy your trailer. Don't neglect to ask for help here on this site if needed, many have faced similar issues and are willing to advise you , we hope you don't give up.
Cheers, Duane
Agree totally, because of your situation,, no covered area to work that might be where to start. What kind of environment are you willing to work in?
This work could be done under a tarp with a space heater but are you willing to go there?
Yes this project will cost some coin but done right it will give many years of enjoyment and still give you good return on money spent.
Fred
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:48 AM   #15
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Name: Mari
Trailer: Hunter compact jr
Washington
Posts: 15
getaway & Fred, that's exactly what we're doing. The list keeps changing a bit but we know the fiberglass has to be #1 then the subfloor. We think those are really the only things the rain will hinder.

We won't give up and appreciate all the great advice in this forum. I have two "pros" giving me bids and a friend that has offered to help my husband work on it Saturday!

We know it will be awesome when it's done!
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:46 AM   #16
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Name: Wade
Trailer: Hunter compact jr
Alabama
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Here is a before and after of my Hunter CJ. Don't be worried about gutting it, you will be happy you did in the long run. For the time spent, you get lots of rewards! Nice and clean with a solid foundation to build on. Also gets rid of that funky smell!
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:01 PM   #17
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Name: Mari
Trailer: Hunter compact jr
Washington
Posts: 15
Updates on the Renovation/Repairs

It's been about a month since we got "JR" and completely gutted her. Unfortunately, one of the casualties was while removing one of the 3 gel batteries it got dropped and broke so we now have to replace a $400 battery!

My friend took it upon himself to start the repairs on the wheel well. He basically used liquid nails in the gap, then put tons of screws in to pull the side of the trailer to the wheel well. Then once it cured up he removed the screws which of course left tiny holes but since we have fiberglass to repair he didn't feel that was a big deal.

We found that the subfloor needed to be replaced due to rotting near the entry door, so it was removed yesterday.

Today he and my hubby began fiberglassing the major holes that were left by removing the electric receptacle that was in the way of repairing the wheel well. It has a long way to go! They seem to be getting a lot done in between the rain.

Things on the short list:

- Finish fiberglass repairs inside/outside.

- We are using "project boomerang"s modification of installing a metal angle on each side of the pop-up lip to replace the support that the removed walls inside left. Since we are not in need of a "kitchen" and prefer an open floor plan this should work well with the new layout.

-We know that the floor rot is due to a door leak so now to the big task of figuring out how to replace the door since reading posts here note that it isn't an easy find. Once we figure out what to do about the door we'll reinstall the subfloor.

- One of our "Lift" sliders is missing bearings so based on others' posts here we need to find a replacement drawer slide.

- I need to decide about insulating the inside since I ripped out the nasty carpet that was glued to the walls.
I liked the idea of ensolite but since it only seems to be sold in black I'm not sure that's a good option. I saw a post about someone using Reflectix with a white side showing? I saw K. Corbin's insulation as well but not sure I want that much in there for our intended use of the trailer.
I appreciate any input or advice from anyone that's experienced. Still overwhelmed but glad I have a friend that likes to fix things and is pretty good at it!
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:53 PM   #18
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Name: john
Trailer: Compact Junior
Michigan
Posts: 237
Hiding the Reflectix....

Hi Mari

Reflectix is silver on both sides. If you cover the walls with it you get the feeling you are in a space capsule.

I attached mine with small squares of adhesive-backed heavy duty Velcro because I didn't want to glue something permanently on the walls.

Then I hid it with curtains and wood panels. The wood panels are just hung from the wooden window frames with small brass hinges.

I can't speak scientifically about its insulation properties but in warm weather the bare wall portion feels hot and not at all hot on the Relectictix part.

Same with damp cold weather, the Reflectix part feels much warmer.

Let's see more pictures of your Jr!
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