Fiberglass RV

Fiberglass RV (
-   Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners (
-   -   My 1975 Ventura adventure. (

streetvan1 06-25-2012 07:38 PM

My 1975 Ventura adventure.
Just wanted to post a few pics, and ask a few questions. This is my first fiberglass trailer, but once upon a time, I had an old conventional one.

First thing, the brochure that came with it! Pretty cool. Nothing helpful as far as repair or maintenance, but pretty cool anyway.

streetvan1 06-25-2012 07:49 PM

And now, for quesion period!

My first issue is the door. It doesn't close properly. It seems to rattle, like it's not closing tightly enough, but it's close enough to the body in the middle where the latch is, then seems like it's pulled away at the top and bottom. I've been messing with it, trying to figure out what's wrong.

It almost seems like either the door is bent, or the trailer is bulged in the middle? Or is it simpler than that? It does leak some water, so I'd like to get it sorted out, then go on with fixing the water damage.

I must be missing something here. Any ideas?

mszabo 06-25-2012 08:47 PM

Looks like someone tried to break into it. It's damaged top and bottom, and at the lock. Or someone lost the key and damaged trying to get into it.

streetvan1 06-25-2012 09:21 PM

That's what I was thinking too. I was thinking I could pull the door off and straighten it, but I'm concerned that it might crack. The automotive trick for this is to put a block of wood in where the latch is, and push both ends til they bend into the correct shape, but the sidewall seems kind of delecate. Will I break stuff attempting this?

Dudley 06-25-2012 10:23 PM

where are you in Alberta, if your in Edmonton you can come over to look at mine or I can check your door for ya, I have a 76 Ventura . The doors are not the best on these and are a hard size to find, going to build a new one later this summer if I can find a window.

mszabo 06-25-2012 10:27 PM

It's a 37 year old door. I'd remove it and rebuild it.

Dudley 06-25-2012 10:31 PM

What ever you do, don't throw out the door latch!!! Its a Bargman L400 and they sell for about $200 used on Ebay or here

Darrell O 06-26-2012 07:03 PM

My Ventura door bows slightly outward at the bottom. The frame/jamb is fine though. You can check yours by holding a straight edge (piece of lumber - eyeball it to make sure that it's straight) but you will likely find the issue is with the door slab and not the trailer body/door frame.

I plan to rebuild the door someday and it looks like it should be simple and easy procedure. I expect that there's a (3/4"?) wood core sandwiched by the outer steel skin and interior paneling. When rebuilding day comes I will get a strong stable piece of plywood - possibly concrete forming grade, and new exterior door skin, about 3/32" from the bulk plastics shop.

The next step will be to disassemble the existing door and set aside all the hardware and metal pieces for reassembly. I'll use the existing wood core as a template, or a least transfer the measurements to the new plywood if the old wood is to rotten to handle, then reassemble.

To reduce the weight I may swiss cheese the wood core with a series of holes cutout with a 3-4" hole saw.

Finally, to eliminate future detoriation I would take a hard look at the construction and installation of the door window frame and take measures to prevent any future water ingress/leakage from it - which I suspect is the smoking gun for any wonky doors of this sort of design.

But for all of that, if you could scan that rare and cool Ventura brochure at a 300 dpi for the document center you would undoubtedly make other Ventura owners very happy - especially me.

WildBirder 06-26-2012 07:47 PM

Can't help with your door but cool brochure. thx for the pics.


streetvan1 06-26-2012 09:03 PM

Thanks for the tips guys! A friend of mine who worked building oilfield shacks years ago was telling me about a material they use, with steel on both sides, and foam type stuff on the inside, about 3 inches thick. It's well insulated and strong, apparently. He's going to try and score me some, then I'll try and make a door out of it. If that won't work out, I'll make one from wood and fiberglass.

Good to know that the latch assembly is desirable. I'll make sure it finds a good home if I don't re-use it.

Spent tonight cleaning and packing, fist trip with it will be Saturday. In spite of the door's likely terminal condition, I've been able to bend the top in enough that it keeps water out. So I'll call that a win for now!

streetvan1 06-26-2012 09:17 PM

and glad you guys like the brochure! I thought it was totally amazing when I found it in there. I don't have a scanner, but I'll see what I can do about getting decent digital copies of it.

Roy in TO 06-26-2012 11:28 PM

Do any of your friends have a multi-function printer? Many of the newer inkjets will now easily scan to a PDF. Those can be uploaded.

There is probably a way to save a digital picture as a PDF. My guess would be a MAC or using photoshop.

Dudley 06-27-2012 05:46 PM

Drew if your in Edmonton, I have a color copier/scanner that can do the job on the brochure. PM me for contact info. I would love a copy of it.

Dudley 06-27-2012 05:48 PM

BTW the user manual is in the document center as is a logo
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - 1976 Ventura Manual

streetvan1 06-27-2012 07:22 PM

Unfortuneately, I'm in Calgary. I do have a couple of friends up that way, but I usually only make it there once a year.

I'm going to hunt down that manual!

Dudley 06-28-2012 07:10 AM

thats what I thought, there was a Ventura for sale down there for a while now. The manual isn't that great but its nice to have.

streetvan1 06-28-2012 10:09 PM

Yeah, it's the one that was on Kijiji for a long time. The price was a bit high, but we worked it out! haha. These things are way more expensive than the bigger trailers, but so much better constructed, and I don't want to buy a giant truck for towing. The 4.0 jeep is big enough.

So my next question is this - I'm going to put in a 12 volt battery, which is conspicuous in its absence in my trailer. I see no tray, box, or terminals for it. I assume it should mount on the tongue area, but there's nothing there. Is that the best place? Or would it be better off under a seat inside? I mostly want it to run a breakaway device, but I eventually plan to get either a generator, or a set of solar panels, so as to be able to boondock camp.

Also, got my plate today, and the registration calls it a "Ventura Boler". Not sure how that happened!

Dudley 06-29-2012 05:29 PM

1 Attachment(s)
These animals did not have a battery, they ran off the tow vehicle. When I got mine, someone had ran wires to the bench by the door and the battery was there, not great idea to have a lead acid battery inside a trailer:(. I welded up a mount out of angle iron(bed frame) and welded it to the tongue as well as a mount for a 5LB propane bottle for the exterior coleman stove.

streetvan1 06-30-2012 01:06 PM

Ah, well that explains why I can't find the location for it! I was thinking of using a Gel cell inside, but I might go with a cheaper lead battery on the outside. Right now, mine has a double tank propane mount. I was thinking of changing it to a single mount, but I'm not sure how long one tank will last running a fridge and a furnace. Will I be ok with just one tank?

I do have a MIG welder, so putting a box out there shouldn't be an issue. I'm pretty sure I have to have a battery and a breakaway device to travel in B.C. anyway. Is that true? Either way, I don't need to stop for lunch, and come back to a dead jeep battery!

streetvan1 06-30-2012 01:07 PM

also, that work looks really nice. And your paint is awfully shiny! I hope to get mine somewhere near that nice one day!

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:10 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.