Newbie with a Mystery - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-03-2017, 01:19 PM   #1
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Name: CowBoss
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Newbie with a Mystery

Hello my name is Deb, and I'm a newbie here. I'm hoping you guys can help me. First off...sorry if this is a repeat on here. My friends and I are trying to figure out what we have on our hands. This little egg has NO windows, and does not appear to have had any in the past. With the exception of the closet, floor supports for the front couch, and floor supports for the rear dinette/bed, it is gutted. There is a clear title, but its a lost title thing, so the description says "handmade."

So a couple questions here:

Is it a Boler or a Scamp? Or...? There is a VIN number on the trailer hitch, but this may have been stamped there at the time the 'lost title" was issued.

How would one go about putting in windows? If I cut a large hole in the upper shell for said window, does it need reinforcement around the edges...or can I just pop in a window with butyl tape and...(see next question.)

...use rivets? or can I use nut/bolt/loc-tite to install windows and other kitchen cabinet fixtures through the fiberglass wall?

It seems to have "rubber coat" roller painted on the top part of the shell. Should I remove this, and clean up the fiberglass to renew this to a shiny luster?...or leave it alone, top off with another coat and paint it with the color of my choice?

Thanks for any help you can lend.
Deb
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:41 PM   #2
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Yes, I think we met this trailer recently through another member. It appears to be a Scamp, based on (1) 3-bolt door hinges, and (2) straight rear bumper with angled ends. Scamp will sell an unfinished shell, usually with only the door by the closet installed because of its structural importance.

Rivets vs. bolts is somewhat contentious around here. You can use the "Site Search/Google" (bottom of the search menu) to find old threads with the arguments on both sides. There is a third option worth considering: tabbing. Epoxy blocks or strips of wood to the shell as needed and mount interior cabinetry to the wood. It may depend on whether you plan to install fiberglass components from Scamp or build out your own interior. Know that some floor-to-ceiling support (especially around the door) is necessary to maintain the shape of the shell and prevent catastrophic collapse under a heavy snow load.

What do you mean by "floor supports" for the front bench and rear dinette seats?

Modern radius windows install by screwing an inner trim ring to the outer window, which compresses the butyl-covered flange against the body of the trailer as you tighten the screws gradually. Search "reseal RV window" on YouTube to see how they work.

Windows and interior cabinets are normally installed after lining the shell for control of light, sound, and condensation, insulation, and appearance. Have you considered what you will use for that?

It's pretty much "once painted, always painted." Going back to gelcoat is an expensive process. I would strip the rubber coating before repainting. Again, there are lots of old threads on painting fiberglass.
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:01 PM   #3
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probably an early kit trailer, likely from Scamp...
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:53 PM   #4
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You may find reasonably priced windows on eBay, possibly listed under "teardrop trailers". Since there are no window cutouts, that gives a lot more flexibility on window sizes rather than trying to find a specific size. Scamp sells windows at a reasonable price, we bought two and adapted them to fit our Uhaul camper. Was much cheaper than having windows custom made.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:02 PM   #5
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now that's what I call a "blank canvas".
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:44 PM   #6
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Wow! Thanks you guys for the quick reply!

Yeah I figured my friend was in here asking around. It's been passed between the 3 of us, and looks like it's going to land in my lap. I did a reno on a '67 Aristocrat Lo-Liner, and think I'd like to give this a go!
Interesting about the Scamp Kit. I looked at their website and see they sell a lot of parts. Spendy I'm sure, so I'll be looking for used when I can find it.
Once painted, always painted...I like the sound of that! It doesn't leak (except at the belt from underneath...a sealing issue?) and I'm not savvy on the gel-coat process. Plus I just hate messing with anything that works.
Tabbing sounds perfect. I've done something similar on a fiberglass canoe.
With a little gumption and little dough (gotta go sell a cow) I think its a go!

Thanks for sharing your smarts!
Deb
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
probably an early kit trailer, likely from Scamp...
It could be that, too. One clue would be whether it has the fiberglassed-in ledges for the benches and bunk. The kit would probably have those. If someone just ordered an empty shell, I doubt it would have the attachments for the standard interior parts.
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:26 PM   #8
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I guess thats what I meant by "floor supports" for couch and dinette/bed. Fiberglassed in ledges. It has those.
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:59 PM   #9
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now that's what I call a "blank canvas".
Absolutely - could be a truly fun project with no need to work around the usual equipment & layout. The opportunities are endless!
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Old 11-03-2017, 05:09 PM   #10
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Be sure you use "radius" windows like Jon suggested. If you use windows with 90 degree corners, they really compromise structural integrity of the wall.
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Old 11-04-2017, 09:57 AM   #11
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Read my friend’s thread last night, and there is good info in the posts. (Julie From Montana.) Loved the Mummy reference...hahaha!!!

Thanks for the tips on radius windows. Round corners as opposed to 90 degree...makes sense this would be stronger, and less invasive on the fg wall.

The thing also has the ensolate lining, mostly intact. I was thinking about covering this with canvas and sealing afterward with a clear coat. Marine vs acrylic? Suggestions? I see the new Scamps have carpeted walls. Something about that gives me the willys (and not the Jeep kind either.)
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by CowBoss View Post
Read my friend’s thread last night, and there is good info in the posts. (Julie From Montana.) Loved the Mummy reference...hahaha!!!

Thanks for the tips on radius windows. Round corners as opposed to 90 degree...makes sense this would be stronger, and less invasive on the fg wall.

The thing also has the ensolate lining, mostly intact. I was thinking about covering this with canvas and sealing afterward with a clear coat. Marine vs acrylic? Suggestions? I see the new Scamps have carpeted walls. Something about that gives me the willys (and not the Jeep kind either.)
Ah, Deb, I am exposed! I saw your thread last night and thought "uh oh!". I was going to post a joking reference to whether you and Julie were still friends.

Scamps use a marine headliner fabric for lining. Casitas use a carpet with an open-cell foam backing. Escapes use a closed-cell plastic insulation covered with a vinyl-faced material perhaps somewhat like naugahyde. Over on the TNTTT* forum, people build entire trailers out of rigid closed-cell foam from the building supply stores and cover them with canvas drop cloths, glue solutions, and acrylic exterior house paint.

You may want to look at the TNTTT site and read up on "foamie" builds for more information on this approach as it's very similar to what you have in mind. I think it might be expedient and relatively inexpensive.

Personally, I still maintain fantasies of lining a trailer with birch paneling but that will probably never happen. Meanwhile I content myself with dispensing impractical and worthless advice to others!

In any event, there's quite a menu of approaches to choose from. If you take some time to review different approaches that folks have tried, I think you'll find a lot of information out there.

* Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers - Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers € Index page
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:59 AM   #13
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thinking

I think this is just an amazing trailer I never suspected scamp to sell something like this.

Was this in their early days?


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Old 11-04-2017, 05:24 PM   #14
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I've been digging around for the past couple hours and gotta tell you guys, this site is a Gold Mine of information! Thank you all so much for answering our questions (Julie in MT and mine) We plan on meeting soon to swap the Egg from her farm yard, to mine. I seriously can't wait!

Okay one last question (for now) Anyone know what this ventilation plate is for? There's nothing behind it and am wondering if I need to make further plans for this location.
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Old 11-04-2017, 06:26 PM   #15
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With no windows in the rig, and no roof vent, I'm assuming they had to put a vent somewhere so that's the place they chose.

If you decide to turn it into a camper, that vent hole will need to be fiberglassed.
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Old 11-04-2017, 09:05 PM   #16
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Hey - Mike / Civilguy - yes, we are still friends! The short story on this is that I've been watching for a fiberglass egg for a couple of years. Deb and another friend both have vintage trailers, though not fiberglass. They found it, 'shanghaied' me into hauling it 30 miles to my place and let me stew about it for several weeks. I think it's more work than I want to get into but CowBoss Deb seems willing to give it a go.

If it's bigger than she is, you might see it yet one more time - on the For Sale forum ...

But I gotta say - I have learned so much from poking around on this site - thank you all! I've filled a notebook with notes and references. It's made me even more certain that a fiberglass is what I'm looking for.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:32 AM   #17
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Be sure you use "radius" windows like Jon suggested. If you use windows with 90 degree corners, they really compromise structural integrity of the wall.
All those poor, poor people that own 1968 through mid-1980 trailers. Little did they know their windows were problematic. When was the last time (or first time!) you saw the corner of a window with a crack in the body right there?

The owner is going to need to get radius corner windows, because they're available. The old fashioned Jalousie windows are no longer available.

There are benefits of one style window over the other (depending on which you want).
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:37 AM   #18
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I've seen a number of stress cracks in the corners of non-radiused windows. On the other hand, there are thousands of trailers out there, so it's not like its a huge problem. But the preventive is simple: drill a small hole in each corner before you cut. I agree- there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Do what you want!
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie in Montana View Post
Hey - Mike / Civilguy - yes, we are still friends! The short story on this is that I've been watching for a fiberglass egg for a couple of years. Deb and another friend both have vintage trailers, though not fiberglass. They found it, 'shanghaied' me into hauling it 30 miles to my place and let me stew about it for several weeks. I think it's more work than I want to get into but CowBoss Deb seems willing to give it a go.

If it's bigger than she is, you might see it yet one more time - on the For Sale forum ...
One approach might be to prepare the trailer as sort of a "camper shell" with windows but without all the utilities; I think Jon recently referred to something as an "adventure pod".

I used to spend a lot of time on the TNTTT forum considering building a trailer or outfitting a cargo trailer. In the end I went with purchasing a fully-outfitted trailer as I am so slow to complete projects and it seemed that Momma wanted to travel in this lifetime.

However, a small, minimalist trailer still turns my head. I wish I could keep a Compact Junior or an Eriba Puck in my "stable". I can imagine the simplicity of an ice chest, or perhaps the extravagance of a 12-volt compressor refrigerator, and a portable camp stove with a place to sleep and haul gear. I think I'd forgo plumbing but maintain a 12-volt system which could charge from the tow vehicle or a shore connection.

But, that's just my musings. I hope that you and Deb keep us posted on how things go as it's so fun to see the creative approaches that people bring to these projects.
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