Hunter Compact Jr 1971 new owner - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-28-2020, 05:18 PM   #1
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Name: tim
Trailer: hunter compact
California
Posts: 11
Hunter Compact Jr 1971 new owner

I traded my neighbor a chevrolet motor for his trailer. It had been sitting outside for 20 plus years. I live near the ocean so you can imagine the condition. I started to replace all the rusty screws and bolts that were bleeding rust onto the blue gel coat. I have the usual things to replace. A few broken windows, some wood rot and rust clean up. This one someone made a top that allows you to stand at the stove and somewhat in the dining area. I will post pictures very soon. I an struggling right now with wheels and bolt pattern. Trying to find a matching set of 13 inch wheels in 4 lug pattern which only measures 3 inches!! I am so challenged by this. Thanks for the website and support. I am trying to have fun, but even the smallest trailer to be restored takes time and effort. I look forward to taking it on the road to visit family. Thanks Tim.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:44 PM   #2
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
Posts: 2,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadsterswap View Post
I traded my neighbor a chevrolet motor for his trailer. It had been sitting outside for 20 plus years. I live near the ocean so you can imagine the condition. I started to replace all the rusty screws and bolts that were bleeding rust onto the blue gel coat. I have the usual things to replace. A few broken windows, some wood rot and rust clean up. This one someone made a top that allows you to stand at the stove and somewhat in the dining area. I will post pictures very soon. I an struggling right now with wheels and bolt pattern. Trying to find a matching set of 13 inch wheels in 4 lug pattern which only measures 3 inches!! I am so challenged by this. Thanks for the website and support. I am trying to have fun, but even the smallest trailer to be restored takes time and effort. I look forward to taking it on the road to visit family. Thanks Tim.
The first thing you need to do is take the shell off the frame. You frame needs a 100% inspection. It is very likely not going to be in a safe condition if it has been sitting for 20 years near the ocean. When you get a new frame also get a new axle and of course new wheels that are of an easy to get configuration as well as new tires. Starting from the bottom up in your salty environmnt location is the only realistic approach.


I have just been doing that very thing with my 1971 vintage fiberglass trailer that also sat for around 20 years. The leaks from windows and door allowed water into the interior. It then ran down the bolt locations into the frame and rotted out the steel but much of that damage could not be seen by looking at the underside of the trailer frame. Fortunately I had friends who donated their labor and shop space and handled the cutting and the welding of new frame. I paid for all the materials and did the painting and assisted in removing the old frame and installing the new one. Of course I also helped with the measurements for creating the measured construction drawings for the new frame.


Yes it was more money than I wanted to spend but at least I know I will be much safer going down the road, especially on those unpaved roads into the various parks and BLM camping sites that can really stress a frame going over uneven ruts and bumps.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:28 PM   #3
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Name: tim
Trailer: hunter compact
California
Posts: 11
I thought the exact same thing. I wanted to take the body off and blast the frame. I knew if I went down that road right now I would be out of the game. Instead my buddy is a certified welder and we went over all of the welds and mounting points and discovered most of the rust was surface rust. We did some grind back for inspection. For sure he said this would not be a good serious off road rig. This will spend most of its time at my daughters in Joshua Tree where it is very dry. The floors were excellent. One tire went flat and it was tilted to the right and up. The water from the broken window flowed to the rear right corner of the trailer and rotted only a 1 foot section in the corner. The other piece was not part of the flooring just a closet bottom filler that was very thin. The original cabinets and such are very good. All of the glass and calking I am redoing. All new stainless hardware.Heavy duty chassis paint after scrub down and etching.
If I love it after I use it, I will strip it all the way down and do it the way I usually do things. I have too much going on with the SCTA land speed racing season starting in May. I agree with you in every way, your suggestion is the right way to do it. I am cutting a corner but made sure with inspection that it was an OK corner to cut. Time on Desert Roads will tell. I also thought about it breaking going down the road. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:51 PM   #4
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
Posts: 2,786
I thought the same thing about my Trailswest Campster when I bought it, that the frame looked good and there was only surface rust. So did my friends who looked at it and the previous owner as well.

But when I pulled the shell off the frame it was a whole different story, the upper surface of the frame was in bad shape with rust through. Hidden damage, I am just glad I got convinced to take the shell off for a proper inspection.

Here is photo evidence of what hidden situation you might find on that frame your friend says is in good shape. This is looking at the upper surface of the frame, you can see that the sides of the frame look just fine. It was this way at a critical junctions of the frame where the tongue tied in. Also found a similar situation towards the rear of the frame. Click image for larger version

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You have to see that upper surface of the frame, not just the sides and bottom. If it turns out good then hooray, and you can do a proper sanding and coating then before putting the shell back down onto the frame.
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Old 02-29-2020, 12:10 PM   #5
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1971 Hunter compact Jr, 1979 Terry 19', 2003 Scamp 16'
California
Posts: 110
There are many posts with pictures here that go through frame up restoration. Search for what your after using google and include fiberglassrv.com. for me using fiberglassrv's search engine require that I use a computer.
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Old 02-29-2020, 10:16 PM   #6
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Name: Frank
Trailer: Hunter 1 1974
Colorado
Posts: 4
Hunter Compact Jr 1971 New Owner

For sure have the axel replaced. We have a 1974 Hunter and the axel broke and had to be replaced and updated with a new 4 bolt wheel attachment. It seems the original axel was made for a boat trailer frame as these trailers appear to have made for beach camping. We use ours in the mountains of Colorado and the new axel works great!
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Old 03-07-2020, 11:56 AM   #7
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Name: Tom
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 13
Me Too!

I also own a vintage ('73) Hunter Compact Jr. trailer and live at the beach (San Diego) in California. I bought the trailer several years ago and haven't gotten around to restoring it yet. First thing I'm going to do is lift the body off the frame and check things out. Based on a quick visual inspection, I'm thinking that a new frame and possibly a new axle will be included in the restoration.

I'll be very interested to hear how your restoration project is going. Keep us posted.
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Old 03-07-2020, 11:57 AM   #8
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Name: Tom
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 13
Correction to my previous post. I own a 1973 Hunter Compact II, not a Hunter Compact Jr.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:34 PM   #9
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Name: tim
Trailer: hunter compact
California
Posts: 11
Question Hunter Jr Update

I will post some pictures soon. I have sorted out the hubs and wheels issue. (I measured wrong). All is well. It has a LPG lamp mounted on a post and I am unable to get that to work. It uses a half glass cover which I could not find and I used the Screen type that they sell to replace the glass. Where should I look to see why it is not getting gas? My stove works fine. There are no leaks anywhere. I do not really need the light, I just wanted to fix it. The previous owners made a fiberglass top for it that is raised in the rear for the kitchen. It is not the most perfect fiberglass job, but I had it Rhino lined inside and out and it hides many flaws. It does not pop up which is fine with the built in head height. It is amazing how much work a little trailer is to clean up. I replaced some broken glass and all the whiskers on the sliding windows. I also removed and resealed all three windows and cleaned them up. I am using stainless steel hardware on everything. The old steel parts were so very bad. I did not remove it from the chassis since on inspection I feel it is fine. I know there are those who would disagree. If there are issues I will take care of things. I replaced some corner floor pieces and the majority of the wood was solid. I choose to not go too crazy with the redo at this point and I left the original cabinets in place since they were solid. I wanted to see how things work in the camping world. I did make some storage lids on the bench seat area to allow easier access to the storage below the seats. It has been a fun project and I am looking forward to completion. It is the original blue and I am going to leave it as is for now. You will see when I post some photos that I took a little liberty with some frame and bumper colors. I also did not like the trailer lights and installed some 64 mustang tail lights. I will include a photo of my race car to demonstrate that I know a little bit about chassis work and corrosion since we run at the Bonneville Salt Flats.......Also one photo shows the seat foam and the original upholstery in the background.
Sorry for the bad photos. I tried to reorient them but failed. If you tell me how I will redo them.
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Old 03-28-2020, 10:37 PM   #10
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Name: Fred
Trailer: 13 ft Boler
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Bonneville, cool. Looks like a 2 wheel streamliner?
I would rnjoy hearing littld about your racer.
The place is on the bucket list!
Fred
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Old 03-29-2020, 09:47 AM   #11
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Name: Tom
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 13
Keep up the good work. You're motivating me to work on mine!
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:02 PM   #12
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Name: tim
Trailer: hunter compact
California
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I took it out to my home to get my wife to size up the cushion covers and make some curtains. It needs some polishing and some exterior detailing, but she is pretty good to go. It got my cats name Lotus.......and I had some Lotus stickers I put on the hub caps left over from my Lotus Super 7......I also have some mustang hubcaps but I do not want to use them at this time. I think I still need a hitch that goes lower, I do not like the trailer being at an angle when I tow. I will work on that. All I can say is that I learned a lot. It is hard work and there are many things to do even on the smallest trailer. I am not a wood worker and I can not imagine having to make new cabinets. I like the 64 mustang lights because the ones that were on it were generic RV looking lights. I am glad it was in good condition and not rotted when I started. The thought of a canned ham trailer and all the little sticks and aluminum to replace would be a bit much. I just worked on this straight for about 4 weeks to take it to where he is now. I just retired a few months earlier and I went right to work again! If you have one sitting waiting for you......Get on it! Do one piece at a time and you will get it on the road and have fun!
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:05 PM   #13
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Name: tim
Trailer: hunter compact
California
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One before and after photo.

It looks just a little better!
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