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k corbin 05-29-2016 07:20 PM

Karin's Campster Renovation
 
We all realize there is more than one way to do things and this thread is a history of how I am doing things. This is not my first fiberglass RV renovation.

I thought I would document my fixer upper Campster renovation here since I bought it from one of the forum members and other members have asked me to post my restoration progress. The project will be ongoing for a little while. I bought my Campster knowing it needed a lot of work but fortunately I do have the skills and knowledge needed to bring it happily into the 21st century. I am a former aircraft mechanic and have worked with fiberglass as well as metals and all kinds of adhesives and materials. I am also a wood worker and have done metal fabrication too. Plus I can do wiring, plumbing and even upholstery. I have also renovated several houses over the years.

Lets start with some before photos.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4...pster%2Brs.jpg
Above is the before photo of the right side. I will be painting the exterior to coordinate with my Honda Element tow vehicle which is red with the black lower trim colors on the bumper and plastic panels. Fortunately Epifanes marine enamel paint has a great color match to the red and Rustoleum bumper and trim paint matches the black. The car and trailer will look like they were made for each other! The Epifanes primer will go on first. But there is a lot of prep work to be done before painting.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-a...ip%2Bhome2.jpg
Where to start with the major prep work? I have some minor fiberglass work to do here and there. We always have epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth on hand because working on boats and other objects is part of our life style. So I will briefly be showing some of those repairs in this thread.

Remember I am not asking anyone how to repair the problems. I already have done these types of thing before on another RV I own.

The first of the bigger repairs I need to make before I get onto the painting is to repair some damage in the plywood floor that occurred near the doorway. I need to remove the door and frame to do this task and since I have to remove those to paint this is where I will begin the renovation.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K...doorframe2.jpg
Over the years the door frame at the bottom has pulled down leaving gaps at the corners where the sides meet the bottom. It is going to need some shimming and some new L brackets as well as new butyl tape under the framing. For some reason a previous owner drilled a few holes in the upright flange of the lower threshold. This appears to be one source of the water coming that occurred in combination with new door gasket material needed and a gap at the top corner of the door. Getting doors to line up square with frames with even gaps was never my favorite task but at least I know I can make it happen...after some blue words of course.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-e...doorframe1.jpg
But now it is raining again so I am going to fill the dumpster with old interior materials having already taken the before photos of the inside. I discovered I have enough of a special marine closed cell foam liner material for the ceiling that I rescued out of that same dumpster last year. I am located in a building that has marine related businesses in it. That dumpster is a great free materials resource, I love it when the sail lofts and marine interior businesses clean house and get rid of their leftovers ;)

Evergreengirl 05-30-2016 08:25 AM

Cute little camper. I look forward to following the progress on your project. Sounds like you have the skills to make it happen.


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV

rwilhelm 05-30-2016 12:28 PM

Campster
 
I too, have a 71 Campster and I am very much interested in Everything you do to it. Looking forward to read more.

Thank you for sharing.

Roger

k corbin 05-30-2016 03:53 PM

more door leaking causes
 
Today I was removing cabinetry and trim around and near the entry door so I can begin repairs around the door frame and to the floor at the entry. I also took off the aluminum rain drip cap that was above the door as well as all the screws that were holding the door trim in place. This lead to the discovery of yet more causes contributing to having some rot on the plywood floor. Yes I am using the plural, it was not leaking from just one source it was multiple sources contributing to the problem.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N...ck%2Bdoor1.jpg
When I pulled the rain cap off I discovered the fiberglass shell is cracked diagonally into the upper left corner of the door area see photo above. I will have to add layers of resin and tape on the inside and outside to reinforce that area. As you can see I will have a lot of holes to fill in as part of the repair. A new rain cap will be purchased but installed with 3M VHB tape and no screws near those weak corners that like to have cracks run out from them.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1...r%2Bframe5.jpg
The second issue (shown in the photo above) is also a major one that was created by the Trails West employee who trimmed the shell to create the door opening. They cut the opening a little too tall. When the door jamb was installed the upper aluminum jamb extrusion only overlapped the fiberglass by a scant 1/4". The putty tape is not getting enough coverage area to keep it sealed up tight as nothing is pulling the fiberglass shell tight against the jamb. You can see the putty tape in the photo, it is just sitting there exposed and it is mostly not even in between any materials. The rain cap was having to do the work of keeping out the water but it too was damaged and no longer sealed properly. I am going to have to add some additional fiberglass material along the top of the door opening. I am removing and not reusing the original one piece fiberglass kitchen surround so I can cut some of it and use it to extend that upper area. It is going to be handy patching material for filling in other unwanted openings such as the old electrical panel inlet.

Now for the problematic threshold. The photos below are what was under the aluminum extrusion to support it. Vinyl flooring was under there forming the support. They covered it on the backside with big beads of construction adhesive sitting on top of the fiberglass bottom of the shell. This is not something done by a previous owner, this is the factory install job.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-M...eshold%2B2.jpg
When I removed the threshold there was a hidden surprise. Under the threshold was a piece of the old vinyl flooring it spanned over a gap of an inch or so with the fiberglass shell as the bottom curving up just slightly at the outside edge. They ran 12 volt wires through that gap.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Q...eshold%2B3.jpg
They squirted construction adhesive in the gap to provide support for the vinyl flooring and the aluminum threshold.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0...eshold%2B1.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-S...eshold%2B4.jpg

Then they ran screws through the aluminum threshold on into that gap. The screws missed going into the fiberglass which meant the construction adhesive was the only thing holding those screws in place. The screws cut through the sheathing on the wires in various places exposing the copper strands. Didn't someone just talk about a "hot skin", well there is a good source for how it could happen. Fortunately those wires were no longer in use. What a mess, no wonder the treshold was sitting crooked, leaking and coming apart from the rest of the door frame. Remember this photo below of the lower corner with the big gap? Now we know why it looked that way and why they had to add corner angles to try and support it.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-e...doorframe1.jpg


I will be thickening some epoxy resin with wood flour and glass fibers and filling that mixture into the gap between the shell and the plywood at the doorway thereby building up a solid base for the threshold that won't rot and it will grip screws nicely. It will no longer be used as a wire chase. I will show that threshold building task later in this thread since it is going to take a while to get the doorway rebuild done.

The other thing I will be doing after fixing the above issues is adding some wood to create an inner frame around the door opening, it too will get fiber glassed in. The doorway really needs that strength as the shell is simply too floppy in that area which is the cause of the corners of the jamb frame coming apart from each other which of course creates more leaks. While the Campster is a fun little trailer it was "built to cost". Each of these tasks takes a while but none is truly difficult.

My break time is over, back at it, I still have that kitchen cabinet to get removed so I can get to the backside of the door threshold. I had to wait for my friend to arrive as it would be a struggle to pull it out on my own. He had to help me remove the door as well as it is heavy and I did not want to risk breaking the glass or bending the door jambs.

Borrego Dave 05-30-2016 04:50 PM

KC, FWIW, I wouldn't use VHB on the rain cap as I think it's a bit over kill. There are other types of double sided tapes that will do the job and be a lot easier to remove if need be. :rolleyes: just sayin'.....

k corbin 05-30-2016 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Borrego Dave (Post 590143)
KC, FWIW, I wouldn't use VHB on the rain cap as I think it's a bit over kill. There are other types of double sided tapes that will do the job and be a lot easier to remove if need be. :rolleyes: just sayin'.....

No doubt you wouldn't use it but then again I already some on hand so I will use it :). We always have some VHB around in the workshop for use on industrial projects. I don't live "normal" like most people, I live in a maker space with a product designer/automated machine designer/boat builder. We have Laser cutters, 3D printer, CNC machines, vinyl cutter, all the standard wood working tools, metal lathe, milling machines and lots more plus lots of great adhesives, fiberglass resins with pump dispensers, buckets full of wires, test equipment, automated machinery parts, shelves and drawers full of metal, wood, plastics and fasteners of many kinds. I am in a small waterfront industrial mixed with residential neighborhood where I have access to all kinds of great supplies. There is a West Marine store right outside the door. I am definetly not your average 66 year old woman, I started building jet aircraft for Boeing in my 20s and was a lead mechanic there. Oh and I do know how to remove VHB tape if needed. You can learn how to do that on youtube ;).

rwilhelm 05-30-2016 09:20 PM

Holy Moly! I'm totally in awe!! Hope I don't have THOSE kind of issues!

Thank you!!

Roger

k corbin 05-30-2016 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rwilhelm (Post 590197)
Holy Moly! I'm totally in awe!! Hope I don't have THOSE kind of issues!

Thank you!!

Roger

There is no predicting what you might come across in RVs.:eek:

k corbin 05-31-2016 12:48 PM

How to remove VHB tape
 
Tip for removing VHB tape. It grips very well to surfaces but removes very cleanly without needing any chemicals and without leaving any residue. How you remove it is different than other more familiar tapes. In fact you might have already been using one of the VHB tape products without realizing what it was. You know those 3M Command pull to release mounting strips that can be used to mount pictures, bins and on the walls so you can remove them without damage to the walls? You have probably seen TV ads for this. There is a little tab at the end that projects beyond the object you mounted and you just pull the tab stretching the tape parallel to the wall so that it releases cleanly from the wall? That is the trick to taking off VHB tape, just tease up enough of the VHB tape at the end so you grab it with pliers and start stretching keeping it as parallel to the surface as you can. If you want to mount something but think you might want to take it off later then leave a little bit of the tape projecting out from the edge of object you are mounting so that you can grab onto it.

For mounting objects VHB tape comes in many thickness and strengths. On the thicker tapes there is a foam layer in the center. If you take a long, thin, sharp blade you can cut through the foam in the middle to remove the object you have mounted. Then you tease up the ends of the tape left on the objects and do the pull and stretch technique. So what kind of blade is going to get in there and cut that foam layer in the center of the thick VHB tape? I use a "tissue blade". They are easy to find at the craft stores where they are sold for slicing polymer clay. Here is an example of one for sale on the internet. I use it for other things too so I already have this tool on hand.
https://www.amazon.com/AMACO-11052K-F.../dp/B0006O02CG

So don't be afraid to use VHB tape just because you think it will be impossible to remove at some point in the future.

k corbin 06-03-2016 12:07 AM

Progress, the old interior has gone into the dumpster. Of all the stuff in it there was only one original light fixture with an intact curved shade that was worth salvaging. Well that is not totally accurate I have hung onto the poptop fabric for now as I need to measure it and make a pattern from it.

It think going to Seattle Fabrics tomorrow and getting some red fabric to remake the popup will be my reward for my completing this first phase of the renovation :).

Of course even when I am not physically working on the project I am still working on it gathering supplies and brainstorming how I am going to reconstruct it.

One chore I am not looking forward to is replacing all the bolts that go from the interior and through the frame. They are ALL badly rusted as are the brackets that were used for anchoring the cabinet fronts in place. We did purchase a nut splitter which will help with some them. The framing that is just on each side of the door that the kitchen cabinets tied into and supported the cabinet shelves was a real bear to remove as the bolts had to be severed from inside the interior. Thank goodness for Dremel cut off disc,they have gotten me out of tough spots more times than I can count. They could not be budge with an impact driver except for one bolt that sheared off just under the head from that effort. Too much moisture in that area by the door for too many years so that even soaking with a rusty bolt removal solution for several days did not yield any results.

Borrego Dave 06-03-2016 12:16 AM

K C, thanks for the info for removing VHB tape. Didn't see any of that on the 3M site.

Triker 06-03-2016 12:25 AM

Yes! Thank you for the great info 'how to remove VHB tape'! :aplas :thumb

rwilhelm 06-03-2016 01:06 AM

Fascinating. Really like your narration. I'm learning!

Bobbie Mayer 06-03-2016 07:31 AM

I didn't save my poptop fabric and then regretted it- if you end up with measurements or a pattern on paper please let me know. I made a top (also after a trip to Seattle Fabrics) but am not yet good with it. If I end up starting all over I'll do it with a pattern.

Are you going to replicate the interior or change things around?

k corbin 06-03-2016 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer (Post 590822)
I didn't save my poptop fabric and then regretted it- if you end up with measurements or a pattern on paper please let me know. I made a top (also after a trip to Seattle Fabrics) but am not yet good with it. If I end up starting all over I'll do it with a pattern.

Are you going to replicate the interior or change things around?

I will be making a pattern to share as a CAD drawing as a .pdf file with all the measurements then also some photo sewing instructions and a materials list. I will likely put it into my Etsy store as a digital download.

As to my renovation plans. There is only so much one can do in that square footage so the basic floor plan of kitchen by the door and sleeping/dinette in the front will be the same. However I will not be having any tall upright cabinets. In the kitchen area I will have countertops on both sides, cabinets below, small cubby cabiinet up above for quick access to little stuff with some LED tape task lighting under the cubby cabinets. A new sink will go in the original location. I am not going to have a built in stove. Instead I am going to have a quick disconnect propane fitting on each side. That way I can use a r portable burner on either side I choose to and when needed the countertop can also be a place to put a portable propane block heater to keep it up off the floor. When I want the countertop for working on other projects I won't have a stove taking up space on it. Porta potty will be housed in a cabinet below the countertop that has a bit of ventilation to the outside air.

I will be creating a small cabinet across the front that spans between the two seating areas with the top of the cabinet forming a support for the table when dropped down for use as a bed base. It will have a removable front and also a hinged top on that cabinet. In that cabinet I will put the converter and it can also house other things such as controllers for solar etc. Ventilation in it of course. By having the front removable it will make it easy to work on the electrical wiring components. Of course it will also be vented and open on both sides to the large seat base cabinets to keep those electronics cool.

For structural framing of the lower cabinets I will be using aluminum angles. While it does cost more than using wood the build goes faster and it is lighter and stronger too. The aluminum flexes well with the movement of an RV without falling apart versus wood cabinets that are screwed and stapled together. I have used that type of framing in my Sunrader remodel. Fortunately the company Online Metals is located right in my neighborhood so I can get the materials at a reasonable price with no shipping charges. I will be covering details on how I put it together later in this thread but a sneak preview of the framing system never hurts :)There will be differences of course but it is the same basic technique of framing. Here are a few of the in progress photos of what that framing looks like in my Sunrader.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N...Bframe%2B1.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1...0/IMG_0904.JPG

Bobbie Mayer 06-03-2016 07:08 PM

Oh, that looks like a great idea. I like the quick disconnect with propane stove, too. Having the pattern available for sale is a great idea as people are always needing to replace the canvas. (Mine was okay except for all the seams and a few tears in the screens- I should probably have just resewn them all!)

k corbin 06-03-2016 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer (Post 590935)
Oh, that looks like a great idea. I like the quick disconnect with propane stove, too. Having the pattern available for sale is a great idea as people are always needing to replace the canvas. (Mine was okay except for all the seams and a few tears in the screens- I should probably have just resewn them all!)

The Phifer company who also make the woven Phifertex vinyl coated materials for sunshades and outdoor furniture also make an insect screening product. It will outlast any of the other soft insect screen materials. It is vinyl coated, UV resistant and can take the folding up and down. Having discussed fabric options for the main part of the project with Seattle Fabrics I will be going with the coated Sur-last fabric. It is a little lighter in weight than Sunbrella so it will fold easier but it is just a strong and its life span is rated equal. The colors are resistant to UV fading. They do have a gold color that is a good match to the original color used on the Campsters but I think I will opt for the scarlet color to go with my new paint job, that and the black screening will look very smart together.

DonnaMarie 06-04-2016 02:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k corbin (Post 589977)
We all realize there is more than one way to do things and this thread is a history of how I am doing things. This is not my first fiberglass RV renovation.

I thought I would document my fixer upper Campster renovation here since I bought it from one of the forum members and other members have asked me to post my restoration progress. The project will be ongoing for a little while. I bought my Campster knowing it needed a lot of work but fortunately I do have the skills and knowledge needed to bring it happily into the 21st century. I am a former aircraft mechanic and have worked with fiberglass as well as metals and all kinds of adhesives and materials. I am also a wood worker and have done metal fabrication too. Plus I can do wiring, plumbing and even upholstery. I have also renovated several houses over the years.

Lets start with some before photos.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4...pster%2Brs.jpg
Above is the before photo of the right side. I will be painting the exterior to coordinate with my Honda Element tow vehicle which is red with the black lower trim colors on the bumper and plastic panels. Fortunately Epifanes marine enamel paint has a great color match to the red and Rustoleum bumper and trim paint matches the black. The car and trailer will look like they were made for each other! The Epifanes primer will go on first. But there is a lot of prep work to be done before painting.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-a...ip%2Bhome2.jpg
Where to start with the major prep work? I have some minor fiberglass work to do here and there. We always have epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth on hand because working on boats and other objects is part of our life style. So I will briefly be showing some of those repairs in this thread.

Remember I am not asking anyone how to repair the problems. I already have done these types of thing before on another RV I own.

The first of the bigger repairs I need to make before I get onto the painting is to repair some damage in the plywood floor that occurred near the doorway. I need to remove the door and frame to do this task and since I have to remove those to paint this is where I will begin the renovation.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K...doorframe2.jpg
Over the years the door frame at the bottom has pulled down leaving gaps at the corners where the sides meet the bottom. It is going to need some shimming and some new L brackets as well as new butyl tape under the framing. For some reason a previous owner drilled a few holes in the upright flange of the lower threshold. This appears to be one source of the water coming that occurred in combination with new door gasket material needed and a gap at the top corner of the door. Getting doors to line up square with frames with even gaps was never my favorite task but at least I know I can make it happen...after some blue words of course.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-e...doorframe1.jpg
But now it is raining again so I am going to fill the dumpster with old interior materials having already taken the before photos of the inside. I discovered I have enough of a special marine closed cell foam liner material for the ceiling that I rescued out of that same dumpster last year. I am located in a building that has marine related businesses in it. That dumpster is a great free materials resource, I love it when the sail lofts and marine interior businesses clean house and get rid of their leftovers ;)

You certainly have some SKILLS K.Corbin and this is fascinating...I'm in awe! Thank you for sharing. Its so very good of you to share this wonderful tutorial for so many to learn from. Looking forward to watching it evolve...amazing!

Tom Trostel 06-04-2016 04:33 AM

Refrigerator?

k corbin 06-04-2016 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Trostel (Post 590962)
Refrigerator?

Because I will often travel solo I just need a small fridge and can make do with one of the little portable 12 volt units with an AC adapter. I do plan on having a solar panel on the roof and I will travel with a Honda 1000i generator mounted in a tongue box so a 12 volt fridge/freezer will work out fine for my needs.

I am going to have vinyl coated mesh fabric as the door panels and side panels on most of my cabinets. This means there is air circulation inside of my cabinets. Therefore I can put the portable fridge on a slide out shelf inside of the kitchen cabinet as long as I pay attention to the recommended clearances for the unit. Likely it will go on the side opposite the water tanks to keep the weight balanced. Or of course I could mount it on the countertop but I prefer to conserve countertop space for projects as the trailer does double duty as a work space.

If I ever change my mind and want a propane fridge then I can build one in by adding the needed vents and utilities. It could go in above the countertop in a surround or under it. The aluminum framing system I use makes it easy to quickly add in a new upper cabinet area.

EllPea in CA 06-04-2016 11:17 AM

Aluminum framing, tell us more?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by k corbin (Post 591005)
The aluminum framing system I use makes it easy to quickly add in a new upper cabinet area.

KC, I'm fascinated by your aluminum "framing system." While you're sharing about your reno, would you include a few details about how you fabricate this system? What material do you begin with, what tools needed?

Would love to know more... (the "closet" in my Lil Bigfoot was completely gone when I got it... I've installed a temporary shelving and plastic drawer system which is temporary and needs a better solution).

k corbin 06-04-2016 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA (Post 591020)
KC, I'm fascinated by your aluminum "framing system." While you're sharing about your reno, would you include a few details about how you fabricate this system? What material do you begin with, what tools needed?

Would love to know more... (the "closet" in my Lil Bigfoot was completely gone when I got it... I've installed a temporary shelving and plastic drawer system which is temporary and needs a better solution).

I use 6061-T6 aluminum angle, that is the type that is considered to be structural aluminum. I use aluminum pull rivets to put it together. Two at each intersection put on a diagonal. Because that type of angle has a rounded inside corner the piece that comes up to meet it on the inside of the angle needs to have the end rounded over to match that radius profile. By getting that end right up against the surface of the piece you are joining it to you increase the strength of the join since it can't rock sideways out of square as the movement is constrained. So rivets on the diagonal and a tight butt joint make for a strong structure that will remain square without a lot of extra diagonal bracing.

You can cut the angle to length with a power miter saw if you have a carbide blade in it. You will also need a metal file for smoothing off any burrs on the cut edges. But really it is only a few tools you need. The saw, a drill motor, a square, measuring tape, some clamps, a file and a rivet puller. Helps to have a disc sander too if you don't want to spend a lot of time hand filing to round over those edges :)

I pre-fabricate on a flat floor surface sections such as the front face of a cabinet run. Then using a square bracket as a brace I stand it up in place and measure and cut to length the pieces which go back towards the wall. I do it that way because the wall of the fiberglass RVs tend to be wavy with variations in the distance to the front face of the cabinet plus of course those walls are not square to the floor since they have to be fabricated at an angle to get the shell structure to release from the molds they are layed up in.

When I get started building cabinet frames I will create a photo tutorial with more photos of making the joins. But really it is very simple to do even for a beginner as long as you have the tools for it.

In the Sunrader i do have a closet for which I did some wood framing and added a drawer system. My drawers are food service tray pans which were designed to slide into tracks or be put into recesses for things such as salad bars. Here are some photos of that closet.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-c...504/closet.jpg

The runners are made from some PVC pieces that are for supporting PVC lattice fencing around the edges. They are mounted to upright 1 x 2 boards which are solidly glued to thin plywood sides. It is important that you have very good glue coverage between the 1 x 2 and the plywood. The uprights and plywood form a lightweight structure that is part of the class of structural types called "stress skin panel". A stress skin panel is actually quite strong for carrying a lot of weight, it will hold up to some flexing movement without fracturing apart. The individual pieces in this type of building system do not have to be large as by means of that complete surface adhesive bonding they share the load as one large unit. Monocoupe constructions such as an Airstream trailer or airplane incorporate the stress skin panel theories.

My closet walls were then attached to the floor and to the ceiling. There are three wood shelves, top, bottom and middle which control the distance of the sides to each other. You will see a small block of wood under each of the rails on those upright 1 x 2 boards. Those blocks keep the plastic drawer runners from rotating down under the weight of the contents of the drawers which is why I could get away with using that light weight plastic. They are essential to the project in terms of strength and longevity of use. So the drawers slide smoothly, they weigh very little and they don't rattle.

It looks a bit patchy on the inside because I had to splice one of the plywood sides not having a full piece long enough as I made that side out of 1/4" Baltic Birch which is only 5' long. Come to think of it the other side, the on the left in the photo below was only 1/8 thick plywood underlay since it was next to the shell of the fiberglass bathroom. The load is primarily carried by the 1 x 2 's not the plywood It is amazing how light weight you can build when you put the principals of stress skin panel construction to use :) Most people over build RV cabinets thinking that they have to be done like kitchen cabinets from a house. What you really need is a light weight structure than can take movement without falling apart.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-C...et%2Bsides.jpg

EllPea in CA 06-04-2016 05:16 PM

Awesome info
 
Thank you so much for the details on your aluminum framing. I really look forward to more details. The closet with shelves looks *really* we'll done, and I like the American ingenuity of using something made for one thing in a new and different way!

k corbin 06-04-2016 05:25 PM

table brackets for bed side support conversion
 
Instead of having wood support cleats the whole length of the dinette side benches I will use 4 pairs of these. There will still be a support to the floor in the center and at the foot of the bed as well as the center board resting on a cabinet at the far end under the window.

These are removable table brackets in stainless steel sold by Sea-Dog through marine supply stores. They will bolt to the face of the benches and under the table top. Much lighter than having two 75" long pieces of wood that also take up width in that narrow area. I don't anticipate putting the table down into the bed position very often but I do want to have the option to do so. These are also a great option if you just want to add a few extra inches of space at the end of a counter top or for mounting a little removable shelf and of course you can hang one end of a table off the wall with them. Being stainless steel they could even be used on the exterior if you put a backing block on the interior for screws to grip into. Adjustable table leg(s) at the other end of course.
https://www.downwindmarine.com/images/P/891924.jpg

Davie B 06-06-2016 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k corbin (Post 590784)
Progress, the old interior has gone into the dumpster. Of all the stuff in it there was only one original light fixture with an intact curved shade that was worth salvaging. Well that is not totally accurate I have hung onto the poptop fabric for now as I need to measure it and make a pattern from it.

It think going to Seattle Fabrics tomorrow and getting some red fabric to remake the popup will be my reward for my completing this first phase of the renovation :).

Of course even when I am not physically working on the project I am still working on it gathering supplies and brainstorming how I am going to reconstruct it.

One chore I am not looking forward to is replacing all the bolts that go from the interior and through the frame. They are ALL badly rusted as are the brackets that were used for anchoring the cabinet fronts in place. We did purchase a nut splitter which will help with some them. The framing that is just on each side of the door that the kitchen cabinets tied into and supported the cabinet shelves was a real bear to remove as the bolts had to be severed from inside the interior. Thank goodness for Dremel cut off disc,they have gotten me out of tough spots more times than I can count. They could not be budge with an impact driver except for one bolt that sheared off just under the head from that effort. Too much moisture in that area by the door for too many years so that even soaking with a rusty bolt removal solution for several days did not yield any results.


I used a HF cutoff tool to remove my rusted bolts. It's an inexpensive and useful tool. It did the job easily. I put some red locktite on the bolts.


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV

k corbin 06-06-2016 01:52 PM

We all realize there is more than one way to do things and this thread is a history of how I am doing things. This is not my first fiberglass RV renovation or the first time I have used tools.

Today's rusted bolt removal job is on the trailer tongue. The new tongue jack I am installing is the type that bolts into three holes and installs through the hole in tongue upper plate. However a PO seems to have had a problem in the past and could not get the old mounting bolts out so they cut them off flush with the upper surface of the tongue. Then they welded on a second plate over the top but did not get it perfectly aligned. That misalignment meant I could not use an Easy Out screw removal type of tool to get the old bolt remnants out. While I was able to drill out majority of the bolts shaft some of is still trapped because of that welded on second top plate. So I will have to reach up through the hole in the bottom of the tongue and grind off the remaining shaft sides of the old bolts that the drill did not take out. I will need to install the new jack with through bolts so I need a flush surface for the nut to pull against.

My hand is small enough to reach up into the lower hole to reach inside to the bottom of the upper surface but of course a large grinder or cut off tool would not work to grasp onto and control in such tight quarters. So out of the tool box comes something I bought years ago. A Harbor Freight Micro Die Grinder. The shaft is only 5/8" in diameter but it will run at fairly high speeds; I won't need to run it at maximum speed for this job. You need an air compressor to run it but I do have one of those, a nice portable workshop sized Dewalt.
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Fortunately being a major tool junky for all of my life and sharing workshop space with another major tool junky I do have a lot of options on hand for cut off tools and grinders both large and small. I am also good at accurately drilling the heads off bolts and rivets as that skill was needed in my job as an aircraft fabricator and mechanic. I simply had no choice but to be able to accurately drill the head off a screw or rivet without enlarging the hole it went through. I learned to do that nearly 40 years ago and it is certainly a great skill to have for renovating older fiberglass RVs.

The tongue is strong and functional enough but it sure is ugly looking. The lumpy surface rust was painted over with Rustoleum or some such product. So while I am working on the tongue I am also cleaning up that lumpy paint job, smoothing it out, treating the rust, adding some steel epoxy filler to level the surface and giving it a new paint job. Soon I will be able to check that tongue off my list of needed repairs :) But right now it is too hot out there to work on the tarmac so I will get in air conditioned car and go see if I can find replacement trim parts for the windows.

k corbin 06-07-2016 10:41 PM

Uh OH :eek:
When I removed the bolt inside the door that went through the steel framing tube that runs front to back underneath where the floor rot was what happened was a slightly wider diameter of the tube came out along with the nut, the rust got to it. Rust is mother nature's version of Locktite, you will only have to wait a few years for it to stick stuff together.

Guess I will have take the shell off sometime this next year and get a new tube section welded in to replace that one. In the meantime I will move the bolt to a solid section and reinforce that damaged area. This was a localized issue related to the water coming in from the improperly installed door frame that was leaking for years. That bolt hole was acting as the drain outlet for the water coming in. I will be replacing all the bolts that tie the shell to the trailer, hopefully I won't see this problem on any of the others. I dream of someday having an aluminum trailer frame built for it but being a poor peasant will settle for steel no doubt.

When frustrated go shopping to cheer one's self up. So I went to Seattle Fabrics and got the fabric, zippers and screening for the popup canvas section. Tomorrow is another day :)

theresa p 06-08-2016 06:29 AM

Karin----I have neither the need or desire to completely reno my trailer.....but I am really enjoying reading all about yours. :)

Thanks for documenting your step-by-step. It's not only greatly educational, but entertaining, too.

I look forward to seeing the finished product.

k corbin 06-08-2016 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theresa p (Post 591630)
Karin----I have neither the need or desire to completely reno my trailer.....but I am really enjoying reading all about yours. :)

Thanks for documenting your step-by-step. It's not only greatly educational, but entertaining, too.

I look forward to seeing the finished product.

Thanks, I seem to have to amuse myself with renovating houses and now little fiberglass RVs. I should know better but always seem to go for the sweat equity since I have the skills and that is what I can best afford to do. I don't actually find it to be a lot of fun getting covered with various kinds of dirt, paint and adhesives but I do enjoy learning about methods and materials, problem solving and the planning stages of it.

Maybe it is just part of the cycle of the very young girl I once was who always dreamed of building her own home and liked making and fixing things and using tools. To thine own self be true, I have always been and still am who I was even at a very young age even before I was old enough to go school.

My best friend that I share workshop space with has a welder. He is going to do a patch up reinforcement on that weak area of the frame for me. But of course I will use that as an hands on lesson opportunity with his machine as I might have a need to weld more things in the future on this project. I once took a short course from an artist on basic welding but that was torch work. I just wanted to try it out of curiosity. I did have a good touch for it since I am a tool user.

k corbin 06-08-2016 11:45 AM

finding a forgotten treasure
 
Yesterday I was prowling around in my friends garage looking for some tools and other stuff I knew I had. He lets me have some storage space in his garage. That garage it is an unholy mess but that is because it is a lifetime's worth of project stuff from a very creative person. While looking for stuff I discovered a 6 piece bundle of 8 foot long aluminum angles. When I walked to the other end and looked at the shipping label on the bundle I discovered it was my very own aluminum angle :) I had ordered it several years ago for my Sunrader project and then in the exhaustion and sometimes mental confusion created by a bad health episode (now resolved) I had forgotten that I had it on hand. Hooray for me :okra now I have pretty much all the materials I need for building the cabinet framing for the Campster. No more stress worrying about trying to fit the purchase of it into an already too tight budget. I am glad I had put off ordering the angle, I had planned to do it last week but my progress was slow due to the heat wave so I delayed placing the order since I was not ready to start framing. There were also two 8' long pieces of square aluminum tubing, I knew those were lurking somewhere and was glad to see them turn up :)

rwilhelm 06-08-2016 04:25 PM

Campster Windows
 
4 Attachment(s)
I got some pictures for you. 2 Surprises, one of my window pulls is also missing and I have screens on the windows. I will try to post more on the screens later.

k corbin 06-08-2016 09:09 PM

Looks like the only logical place to put a handle is at that leading edge of the inside pane that extends just past the center divider.

I will be interested to see more of the screen detail.

Thanks for taking the time to get photos. Eventually working together the collective owners who are members may well be able to gather all the facts and come up with a restoration plan and materials list for those windows.

I really need to take a drive up to Evergreen RV and pick the brains of the guy in the repair shop there who knows his after market exterior seal replacement supply catalogs. That is assuming he is still employed there.

I have a package waiting at my mail box service. I am hoping it is the felt gaskets I ordered but then again it might be my hitch anti rattle device.

If I can't find another way to make affordable window screens I am going to 3D print the curved corners in a profile to work with standard household window screen framing components. That will keep the cost under control versus ordering everything from the RV supply system. I can also print retaining clips to hold the screens in place if need be. I was wondering when I was going to take advantage of my friend's 3D printer that is here at the workshop for making RV parts.

rwilhelm 06-08-2016 09:55 PM

Fascinating. Pretty handy having a 3D printer available. They are still relatively rare. I'm glad to help because I know I will need some help in the future. You've already helped with front window. I appreciate that. I'm taking a trip east to my nieces wedding in about a week or so. Was going to use the trailer, but that turned out to be a bit ...... ambitious, so I'm taking the train. Will be returning the 1st of July and then start looking at all the little things I want to fix. Don't know if I will have time to have the original refrigerator installed before I go. The place I'm taking the trailer is called Dr George, the RV Doctor. He has a salvage yard for rv's as well as a repair shop.

I'll get back to you on the screens, but I'm not sure when.

Roger

k corbin 06-08-2016 10:30 PM

Campster thru the frame bolts
 
I made a discovery pertaining to the bolts that tie the shell to the frame. They installed the those bolts while the epoxy slurry that secured the plywood floor in place was still uncured. Those bolts are basically impossible to remove without a ton of work as they are completely bonded in by the epoxy that is under the plywood. The nuts are rusted firmly on underneath and while I could use a nut splitter to remove those I would even then still be unable to take the bolts out. Without grinding them all the way down to the fiberglass shell they are there to stay. It makes no real sense to bother with removing the bolts at this point in time, I will save it for a future time when I replace the frame. So for now I will leave them in place since the bolts are functioning but I will also install some additional new bolts through the frame as a backup security measure.

I am also working on removing the old steel angles that bolt only through the fiberglass shell. Those were the tie down support for the old wood cabinets. Two are out and four more to go. The bolt heads also have to be ground off to remove those angles as those bolts were also epoxied in. So for now they too will have the bolt shaft with a nut in place underneath the trailer. It does not matter if I do that, they are doing no work except for plugging a hole in the floor. One of these days I will grind it flush to the fiberglass and put fiberglass cloth and resin over the hole. But that is not high on the priority list this summer.

I only need to replace 18 inches worth of the plywood floor area that starts at the door as that is the only rotted section in the floor. The rest of it just needs sanding to remove the dirt then I will coat the surface with some epoxy paint and seal all the edges too. Then I will put a fillet of caulk around all the cut edges and seal it to the fiberglass so that no water can get into the voids underneath. Nothing difficult about that part of the job except for too much bending and kneeling. It is times like that when I literally do lay down on the job :)

Talia 06-09-2016 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k corbin (Post 591685)
My best friend that I share workshop space with has a welder. He is going to do a patch up reinforcement on that weak area of the frame for me. But of course I will use that as an hands on lesson opportunity with his machine as I might have a need to weld more things in the future on this project. I once took a short course from an artist on basic welding but that was torch work. I just wanted to try it out of curiosity. I did have a good touch for it since I am a tool user.

Nice to know a good welder, isn't it? I can't pick up my newly-purchased 1972 Compact Jr for another week (it's three states away from me) but when I do, I want to get a friend of mine who is a professional welder to reinforce the frame, since I hear that it can be weak at the tongue/body point. Are you planning to just add steel reinforcement bars there, or are you going to add a central beam going under the front center, and out to the hitch? I'm not sure exactly what to tell my buddy to do when I get mine home.

k corbin 06-09-2016 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talia (Post 591883)
Nice to know a good welder, isn't it? I can't pick up my newly-purchased 1972 Compact Jr for another week (it's three states away from me) but when I do, I want to get a friend of mine who is a professional welder to reinforce the frame, since I hear that it can be weak at the tongue/body point. Are you planning to just add steel reinforcement bars there, or are you going to add a central beam going under the front center, and out to the hitch? I'm not sure exactly what to tell my buddy to do when I get mine home.

Unfortunately I do not yet have a decent background knowledge of trailer framing specifics or hitches and tongues. So I will have to take a pass on this question.

I would suggest you re-post your question in the section designated for towing, hitching, axles and running gear. I would very much appreciate it that no one answers your question in this thread as it will then be lost from easy access by others who also are also very much in need of that valuable specific knowledge.

k corbin 06-12-2016 07:36 PM

removing a section of rotted floor
 
I have been working on removing a section of flooring just inside the door that had significant rot in it. Along that doorway wall the rot went fully along the edge of the 4' wide area against the entry wall and also extended further up the sides. Then there was a large area right as you walk in the aisle that extended in about 15".
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K...doorframe2.jpg
If the rot had just been a small area I would have cleaned it out and filled it with thickened epoxy. However this being an area that will have a lot of stress on it from the in and out traffic and also while standing there to prepare meals I decided that structurally I really needed to replace a wider panel that ran all the way from side to side so that the point load of a human body would be spread out over a wide area for stability and longevity of use over the years.

The plywood floor in my Campster was installed with thickened epoxy onto the fiberglass under shell. I do appreciate that it was done that way even while I am doing the fairly miserable task of prying up that old plywood. At least that is what I keep telling myself as I am working.

The first task was to decide on how large a section of flooring needed to be removed. I settled on 17" as being the minimum and of course it had to be at least 4 foot wide as was the original flooring. My piece is a little longer as they had also added some addition plywood sections at each side of that 4' width. The original floor is 3/8" thick, my plywood piece is metric so it is very slightly thinner which is nice as that leaves room for adhesive under it to level it up to the rest of the floor.

I did some testing to see what would be the easiest way for me to remove the old flooring given the tools I had and also my hand strength and comfort. I do have some wear and tear arthritis in my hands so I do want to take it easy on them to avoid getting into too much inflammation. Slow and steady is the speed I drive :) My test quickly sorted out that if I scored the plywood into approximately 3/4" inch squares I could quickly pop out the chunks using an old garage sale purchase chisel. This is not a task for your good chisels.

First I used my replacement piece of plywood to mark my line onto the old floor for the area I was going to remove. Then guiding along that line with a straight edge I cut that line down into the original plywood floor using my small Porter Cable circular saw that was set to just shy of 3/8" in depth. That nice straight line will give me a good fit between the original floor and the replacement piece.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-t...480/floor1.jpg
To create the hash grid of small squares I used a carbide coated, grinding type of blade in a Dremel Saw Max. That carbide grit coated blade is forgiving of not being guided with a straight edge or run in a perfectly straight line since it is a grinder rather than a regular saw blade. So that made cutting the small squares go very quickly as I did not have to stay as focused on not binding up the saw blade while making cuts. My back is not as limber as it used to be so being able to be a little sloppy in cutting the hash grids was of real benefit as far as personal comfort went. I can work very precisely but don't always need to :). The grinding blade also gives me a wider space for getting a chisel into the kerf. This saw depth was set just shy of 3/8" to avoid any possibility of cutting into the shell.

I did need to be sure to avoid cutting into the bolts in this area that tied the fiberglass shell down to the trailer frame. I could not get them out because they were epoxied in place with wet epoxy engaging into the threads when the original floor was set in place. You can see in the photo below where I stopped that lowest line on the left where I stopped the cut line just short of one of the bolts. Oh well, no big deal, I just cut around them and leave them in place. They are not hurting anything being there. I will make clearance holes for them in the new floor panel and add in two new hold down bolts through the new floor section. Someday a new frame underneath but not this year.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_...480/floor2.jpg
Hooray, only 15 more inches of old plywood to remove then some cleanup work with a different style of carbide grit grinding tool to get rid of the last of the old wood fibers. Tomorrow I can mix up thickened epoxy and install the replacement plywood piece. Of all the remodeling work that needed to be done this is actually the most yucky of the jobs with all that sawdust it generated. (Yes of course I take safety precautions and I use respiratory protection!)

Elizabeth EWA 06-13-2016 09:48 PM

More window handle/latch pix
 
2 Attachment(s)
Passenger side window from the inside. The handle/latch is missing from the other side so I'm interested in what you come up with to replace it. It appears to be held on by glue or some such (no rivets or screws in sight)

There is a spring clip that latches into a grove in the vertical bar. The window is NOT latched in these pictures but you can see the grove where the latch fits...

I figure that a piece of wood or some such in the track should be a good enough latch so I'm not obsessing about the latching part. Besides, right now the windows are hard enough to open without messing with the latch.

I'm also really interested about the screens. I tested a piece from one of the build-it-yourself screen kits in the grove outside the sliding part of the windows and its a good fit. Actually maybe a bit tight. I think I'm going to use some old bits from that kit to rig up something temporary if the bugs get bad when I go camping in a couple weeks. Not a big trip but the first time I'll actually get to sleep in my trailer.

k corbin 06-13-2016 10:25 PM

My back was locked up today so I thought it was going to be a get nothing done day but then a friend came to the rescue :) I decided in order to get that old resin and plywood remnants leveled without making a long term career out of it that the job it would be best done with a nice sized belt sander and some coarse grit sandpaper. That meant I needed to borrow my friend's sander since I had sold mine several years ago. Fortunately the man came with the tool and he job got done with no stress on me. He also got out his offset grinder and took care of removing some old rusty bolts for me.

Tomorrow is plywood installation day! That is a big step forward. I would have done it this evening but I crawled in bed with a muscle relaxer and the two cats.

It is good to celebrate whenever I get to cross something major off the list such as the floor repair. I think I will celebrate with buying a much needed new 30 amp electrical inlet. Gee I sure do know how have a wild celebration :party

theresa p 06-14-2016 05:17 AM

Karin---you party animal, you! :)

Hoping your back is feeling much better. I am looking forward to seeing the new floor.

Bobbie Mayer 06-14-2016 07:29 AM

Ironically, I have screens. But the windows aren't opening (again). When I have time I'll clean them out again and now that I store the trailer inside they'll probably stay cleaner. No handles on my sliding glass, though. I was just pushing them from the outside. I just don't need them to open often up here in Washington. But if anyone needs screen pattern or pictures let me know.

k corbin 06-14-2016 08:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer (Post 592802)
Ironically, I have screens. But the windows aren't opening (again). When I have time I'll clean them out again and now that I store the trailer inside they'll probably stay cleaner. No handles on my sliding glass, though. I was just pushing them from the outside. I just don't need them to open often up here in Washington. But if anyone needs screen pattern or pictures let me know.

I will get my handles made sometime in the next few weeks. If I have enough material I will make some extra pairs. They will be very easy to install, just clean the glass, peel of the backing paper on the adhesive strip. Press the handle to the glass, then wait 72 hours before pulling on the handles.

Bobbie Mayer 06-14-2016 09:02 AM

I was going to do that with a wooden handle and epoxy but never did.

rwilhelm 06-14-2016 01:47 PM

I would be interested in a window pull to replace the one that's missing. Duh, Guess that's pretty obvious.

k corbin 06-14-2016 02:31 PM

I am at the stage in a major renovation when the emotional high of getting all the old pieces torn out has worn off.

Now I have entered the emotional stage when there are so many small things as well as big things to be done "biting" at me that it feels like I have walked into a mosquito infested swamp where I am going insane. :violin

Lots of holes and cracks to be filled..... so I had better get to it. Today I took out the old electrical input which left a big hole and I was filling that in using some of the fiberglass material I saved from the old kitchen surround. I will post some photos of that process when it is completed. I started that project because when I work on the doorway I will be using fiberglass cloth and resin and it will save time to put cloth and resin on the interior of electrical hole patch while I am working on the doorway as the areas are very close to each other. Mix and cleanup once instead of twice. Kill two of those mosquitos with a single swat :)

Elizabeth EWA 06-14-2016 09:28 PM

Screen pattern
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer (Post 592802)
Ironically, I have screens. But the windows aren't opening (again). When I have time I'll clean them out again and now that I store the trailer inside they'll probably stay cleaner. No handles on my sliding glass, though. I was just pushing them from the outside. I just don't need them to open often up here in Washington. But if anyone needs screen pattern or pictures let me know.

I'm definitely interested in a screen pattern and/or pictures... And since I'm on the east side of the cascades, I expect that I'll need the windows to open in the summer...

Bobbie Mayer 06-14-2016 10:12 PM

I took a quick glance at them tonight. (I'm leak-testing the new top by having the trailer sit out in the rain and wind- it passed!) The screen appears to be just set into the window frame. It's not a separate screen. I'll get some pictures tomorrow of how it is done.

k corbin 06-15-2016 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer (Post 592935)
I took a quick glance at them tonight. (I'm leak-testing the new top by having the trailer sit out in the rain and wind- it passed!) The screen appears to be just set into the window frame. It's not a separate screen. I'll get some pictures tomorrow of how it is done.

Congratulations on passing the leak test!

I am looking forward to seeing how the screen was originally done. It will be fun to see the photos on the thread for your Campster. I had noticed that on my Campster the interior center, upright, division bar looks to have been made to have a screen spline inserted in it.

k corbin 06-15-2016 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elizabeth EWA (Post 592781)
Passenger side window from the inside. The handle/latch is missing from the other side so I'm interested in what you come up with to replace it. It appears to be held on by glue or some such (no rivets or screws in sight)

There is a spring clip that latches into a grove in the vertical bar. The window is NOT latched in these pictures but you can see the grove where the latch fits...

I figure that a piece of wood or some such in the track should be a good enough latch so I'm not obsessing about the latching part. Besides, right now the windows are hard enough to open without messing with the latch.

I'm also really interested about the screens. I tested a piece from one of the build-it-yourself screen kits in the grove outside the sliding part of the windows and its a good fit. Actually maybe a bit tight. I think I'm going to use some old bits from that kit to rig up something temporary if the bugs get bad when I go camping in a couple weeks. Not a big trip but the first time I'll actually get to sleep in my trailer.

Your window framing appears to be somewhat different than mine. I won't be doing anything elaborate in the way of window pulls or locks. The pull will be a piece of aluminum angle attached directly to the glass with VHB tape. For a latch I use a very easy to find item. You just set it over the metal edge of the bottom track and tighten a thumb screw. I like it because you can position it for having the window open just an inch or so for fresh air but it is still secured from a person trying to slide it open from the outside. Cost for two windows, under $4.00. Most hardware stores carry a variation of this product so if you have lost the lock for your window you can get one while running errands today and then install it in less than 3 seconds. It is called a sliding window lock. Even if you still have the original latching window handle it is a nice item to have for extra security.
https://mobileimages.lowes.com/produc...93705518lg.jpg

Bobbie Mayer 06-15-2016 01:07 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here are what I believe are the original screen. Screen doesn't move- it is fixed in the frame.

k corbin 06-15-2016 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer (Post 593017)
Here are what I believe are the original screen. Screen doesn't move- it is fixed in the frame.

It has gotten warm again here, too hot to work without an open window. As I can't slide my windows open because of all the dirt, moss and deterioration in the felt I am going to pull at least one of my side windows out today to replace the glass run felt. We will see how they made that screen installation work:)

But I will still make removable screens so I can use a window air conditioner in the open window if I want to do so by realizing they will have to remove the clamp ring.

Thanks for posting the photos it did help us understand how the screening was done. Now others can replace theirs if they want screening. Knowing that it takes removing the clamp ring is valuable information to solving the mystery.

Bobbie Mayer 06-15-2016 03:32 PM

I need to get mine opening again- I should do that but I'm chicken to take the windows out.

But it stays pretty cool if the top is up and the back screen is up- though I know actually working in it is different than sitting there. Does your door have a working screen?

k corbin 06-15-2016 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer (Post 593044)
I need to get mine opening again- I should do that but I'm chicken to take the windows out.

But it stays pretty cool if the top is up and the back screen is up- though I know actually working in it is different than sitting there. Does your door have a working screen?

My door is still screened, not removable other than by taking out the spline. That sure makes it difficult to clean the glass :(

k corbin 06-15-2016 04:16 PM

Campster original window screen
 
From the evidence gathered with the help of fellow Campster owners we now know how they installed the screens in the factory and what it takes to replace a missing or damaged screen. You will have to remove the inside window clamp ring to do the job.

See photo below showing the clamp ring removed where the hidden spline groove has been revealed. You will need to use individual segments of spline in between the screw locations that hold the clamp ring in place. That big screw head at the lower edge is possibly a previous owner fix.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Z...e%2Bgroove.jpg

k corbin 06-15-2016 05:02 PM

Campster window removal single handed
 
No helper for me today so I had to devise a belt and suspender removal plan for taking out the windows. This is how I did it.

First step I used a small tool make for removing O-rings to pull out the putty tape all along the lower edge. It works great for hooking out the putty. This is a very inexpensive item available at auto parts stores and hardware stores. Photo below shows this small tool.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-q...%2Bremoval.jpg

Photo below is of my beautiful assistant that volunteered to hold the window in place so it could not fall while I continued to work on removing it.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-P...w%2Bsafety.jpg
Take some clamps and a piece of plywood around a foot or so high and clamp onto the belly band where the upper and lower halves are joined. Because it is hollow underneath you can get a clamps in there and over the edge of the wood. I added a soft foam block that was from packaging material between the wood and glass and put barely any pressure on the window. It is just a gap filler. A rolled up towel would also have worked just fine.

Next step is easy too. Go inside and remove the clamp ring. Remove any excess putty tape that might have squeezed out to the inside.

Next go back outside an pull out the rest of the putty tape. I don't have the arm strength to just yank the window out and I did not want to pry it out so I took my time and used the O-ring tool and pulled out the putty. Work from the bottom edge up towards the top center on each side and there will be no danger of the window falling out. I needed a step stool to stand on so I could reach the top edge so if you are vertically challenged have one handy.

Now if you feel you need to you can hold one hand against the window and remove the clamps with your other hand letting the plywood drop out of the way. Otherwise just use both hands and take the clamps off, the window likely is going no where since it is on an inward slant and will most likely have some pull on it from the small amounts of remaining putty tape.

Just pull on the upper edge of the frame and it will begin to come away from the shell. You can change hand position downwards as you work if needed. Hooray, you are done without needing a helper or a lot of physical strength :party
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N...ndow%2Bout.jpg
Every day try to do something you were afraid to do. That is pretty much the attitude it takes to face working on vintage trailer items such as windows. It is perfectly normal to worry about messing up so don't let it hold you back from getting your project done.

Bobbie Mayer 06-15-2016 06:15 PM

My philosophy is not to do anything that renders the trailer useless if I can't finish it. At least, not in June. But it is good to see how to do it. I may tackle it in the fall.

k corbin 06-15-2016 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer (Post 593082)
My philosophy is not to do anything that renders the trailer useless if I can't finish it. At least, not in June. But it is good to see how to do it. I may tackle it in the fall.

My Campster has most likely not been useable in a very long time other than as a damp, leaky storage unit. Maybe a racoon would have liked it as a camper.

k corbin 06-15-2016 08:44 PM

Window pane pain..
 
The windows were easy enough to take out, now the issue of replacing the felt in the track is in progress and I am sad to announce that it is not going smoothly.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-b...ow%2Bfelt1.jpg
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8...ow%2Bfelt2.jpg
Look at those photos of what I have to deal with. That old style felt is made with knitted steel wire with flocked fabric over it. The years have had their way with it, all rusted, and in the lower channel there is no metal left, that section is just rust and rotted fabric. That is not dirt in the photo that is powdered rust, all that was left of the metal in the lower half of the track. I could not even budge the glass to move it at all. Fortunately I was smart not to have even tried very hard at sliding the glass pane open. The loose pieces shown pulled out of the channel are from the half of the window the sliding pane moves into.

So that means my only choice to repair the window was to take the rivets out of the frame joint and then try to remove the glass by spreading the frame apart. You have to be careful not to damage the frame when you pry the frame open at the joint but a pair of 24" spreader clamps can help you do that successfully.

So I got the rivets out, spread the frame gently apart to release the glass and then only one side of the glass, the upper part, would come out of the felt channel. The lower area has a firm grip on the glass and it won't budge. Running a knife along did not work. Gentle tugs did not work, etc. So time for a chemical weapon attack! I have sprayed some rust busting solution used to loosen bolts into the lower channel and let that sit for a while, now I am letting it soak overnight with some shower cleaner & soap scum remover that will also dissolve hard water spots. It might be helping!!! Morning will tell.:gitrd

Fellow Campster owners, be forewarned if you are having trouble opening your windows, this really is a pane pain in the...neck. I was not expecting the felt replacement to be this much trouble....oh well one just has to keep moving forward to get to the end of it. But just remember this is only one of the two sliding side windows so I still have another one to go.

Bobbie Mayer 06-16-2016 07:47 AM

That probably explains why, although I had mine sliding fairly easily, after a winter outside near the water they froze up again. I haven't tried very hard to free them since then but I'll bet that they rusted up.

k corbin 06-16-2016 08:40 AM

Hooray, the soaking with the shower cleaner overnight worked its magic. The window glass was freed up this morning and slid slickly along the felt.

If you need to try it the product I used is "Method Daily Shower Cleaner" I think it is likely fairly easy to find in grocery stores, or in stores such as Target, etc. I have seen the "Method" line of cleaning products in quite a few stores. It did occur to me that rusted iron plus years of rain equaled an extreme case of "hard water spots" along of course with your basic grime from being outside for all those years.

I am going out to spray the shower cleaner in the lower half of the other window that I have not yet removed to see if it will help free up that sliding window before I start working on it. It certainly is not going to hurt anything in an already dysfunctional window located in a trailer with a non existent interior :rolleyes: Just remember the cleaner is not a fix for the felt, it will need to be replaced with a modern material upgrade that has no steel in it to get rusted.

This is one of those situations where if you knew all the steps needed and had the tools and supplies on hand it would take less than a day to remove both of the sliding windows put in new felts and seals and then reinstall the windows. A pro could likely do the job in under 3 hours. Of course I am just fumbling along as I don't have an exact road map to follow for this project, only bits and pieces of knowledge gathered here and there plus some experimentation for things such as using shower cleaner to free the glass up so it moves.

The most useful tip I gathered was to use spreader bar clamps to safely open the window frame wide enough to remove the glass pane that slides without distorting the aluminum frame. I got a pair of 24 inch bar clamps that can have the ends reversed to either pull in or push out. This is the pair I purchased. https://www.doitbest.com/products/do-it-clamp-spreader It is easy to turn the clamps around to make them spread things open. Just turn the knob on the small head to take it off. Then slide off the larger head that has the hand sqeeze function, reverse the heads and slide them back onto the bar. I will need to reverse the heads back the other way to hold the frame together while I install new rivets in the end of the frame. They were very affordable as far as bar clamps go. The Do-It-Best chain of hardware stores is my all time favorite of the name brand stores.

I have other bar clamps around but they were not suitable for reversing the heads on.

Bobbie Mayer 06-16-2016 09:25 AM

I have another kind- I'll try that this morning. Great idea! I hope it works on your other window, too.

k corbin 06-16-2016 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer (Post 593158)
I have another kind- I'll try that this morning. Great idea! I hope it works on your other window, too.

Bobbie, the cleaner is not going to be a fix for your stuck window to keep it functioning through the season. Of course you can try it but I was not suggesting that it would make a sliding window work again. I could not remove the felt without using that as well as a thick knife blade. Running the knife blade along the hardened felt does further destruction of the felt. I needed to further destroy the felt material in order to get it removed.

You can't just pick out one thing in a list of things in a process and consider that to be a cure. There is no cure other than rebuilding the window with modern versions of materials. You can't restore rusted away steel and rotted fabric or even make it functional again.

What if you got the window open and then could not close it again? You will be much worse off than you are now with a window stuck in the closed position. Please don't try to force it open when there is no guarantee you can get it closed again. You did state that this summer you don't want to start something you might not be able to finish.

Bobbie Mayer 06-16-2016 03:27 PM

It isn't opening- but it was recently, so it was worth a try. It is much easier to close than to open because you can push on the edge of the window so that doesn't worry me. When I first got the trailer I cleaned them out really good and washed the felt and got them working fairly well, but I think now they are stuck for good (until I take them out or find someone to do it).

k corbin 06-16-2016 08:07 PM

patching a hole in fiberglass
 
We all realize there is more than one way to do things and this thread is a history of how I am doing things on my 1971 Campster renovation project. This is not my first fiberglass RV renovation.

Once upon a time there was a leaky and corroded, ancient electrical inlet
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i...c%2Binlet1.jpg
and now there is a hole that needs to be filled
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_.../holefill1.jpg
I saved some patching material when I took out the old kitchen counter
Just tape it in place and trace the outline of the hole onto the patching
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-U...s360/hole2.jpg
I cut around the outline using a bimetal blade on a bandsaw
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2...s480/hole3.jpg
After a little test fitting and minor adjustments it fit just right.
Next on the outside of the trailer I sanded a bevel on the edges of the opening and I also sanded a bevel on the edges of the patch. This helps to widen the surface area and the depth of the epoxy adhesive which helps to prevent cracks developing along those edges.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-B...s375/hole4.jpg
I used duct tape on the inside to hold the patch in place making sure the tape spanned over all the gaps. That tape is now acting as a backer to keep the filler materials from pushing all the way on through the gap as I work. The outside surface of the patch should be level to the surface of the exterior wall or slightly higher. The wall was not perfectly flat but that did not matter as long as the patch was not below that surface level. Sanding to level is better than adding filler to bring it up level. I start securing the patch in place using an Epoxy Putty stick for the adhesive/gap filler. Begin in two corners, let it harden then do the other two corners. That way it is fixed in position but if you did need to adjust the height you only have a little bit of epoxy to remove to break the patch free.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-M...s375/hole5.jpg
Now finish filling all around the edges of the patch with the epoxy putty. It will stick to itself so you can add more, sand some after it cures and add more again if needed. Then do a final surface level sanding. I use a random orbital sander for this work. Coarser grit first then 220 for the final.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-F...s375/hole6.jpg
My patch might look not very even in this photo but when you run your hand over the surface and look at it in a sideways glancing light you will find no difference in the surface of the materials. It is now ready for cleaning, priming and paint.

You can see how the sander took off some the the surface on the patch where it had been higher than the surface of the wall.

If this was a patch for a much larger area I would have added a layer of cloth over the outside of the wall to strengthen the joined edges. But that is not necessary for a hole this size that is not going to have a lot of force or stress applied to it. Filling in a window opening would have required that extra layer of fiberglass.

There will be fiberglass cloth and resin applied over patch on the inside of the wall to reinforce it. A couple of layers of cloth with resin will be enough. I don't need to show you a standard fiberglass cloth and resin patch on the inside of a rough fiberglass interior wall as there is nothing special about doing that.

I would never use Bondo for leveling fiberglass as it is a hygrosopic material meaning that it absorbs moisture even after it cures. I you do need to use a surface filler that is easy to sand you can mix micro balloons into thick viscoscity epoxy resin. That is how it is done in boat yards. The epoxy makes a strong bond to the fiberglass gel coat.

I use the epoxy putty stick material to fill in all small holes, dings and chips in the gel coat. It is quick to cure, easy to mix and apply and it bonds well to the gel coat and any uncoated fiberglass. The epoxy putty stick I am using here is PC Lumber, it does not matter that the label say lumber it also works great on fiberglass. I like that the color is a light beige and also this formula has a very smooth, creamy texture that sands out nicely.

I have time tested this patching method, I used it 5 years ago on renovating my fiberglass Sunrader motorhome and there has been no failure of the work. :wub

k corbin 06-18-2016 12:23 AM

:eek: Feeling very discouraged with the results of trying to find any close matches for replacements to the exterior seals that trim out the windows. Repairing fiberglass is a whole lot easier than repairing windows you can't find seals for. Funny how that works, sometimes it is the very small parts that mess up the big stuff such as glass and aluminum framing.

I have not given up just yet but I do think I will take a trip to the RV boneyard and see what I can find in the way of windows that are of more recent vintage which would work as replacements.

Borrego Dave 06-18-2016 12:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k corbin (Post 593415)
:eek: Feeling very discouraged with the results of trying to find any close matches for replacements to the exterior seals that trim out the windows. Repairing fiberglass is a whole lot easier than repairing windows you can't find seals for. Funny how that works, sometimes it is the very small parts that mess up the big stuff such as glass and aluminum framing.
I have not given up just yet but I do think I will take a trip to the RV boneyard and see what I can find in the way of windows that are of more recent vintage which would work as replacements.

Just a thought before looking for different windows. Being the side glass thickness on cars has been reduced over the years, maybe look into an auto glass seal source instead of an RV supplier. I have had luck with dealers sending samples for testing, fit and color, even free :). None of what I asked for was RV related but it can't hurt to ask.

k corbin 06-18-2016 02:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Borrego Dave (Post 593416)
Just a thought before looking for different windows. Being the side glass thickness on cars has been reduced over the years, maybe look into an auto glass seal source instead of an RV supplier. I have had luck with dealers sending samples for testing, fit and color, even free :). None of what I asked for was RV related but it can't hurt to ask.

It does not matter if I order it from J.C Whitney or from Vintage Trailer or from Ebay sellers or any other source as they are all sipping from the same well for the automotive window glass run channel. It never was exclusively for RVs, they just "borrowed" it. The material I got is identical from J. C. Whittney and on Vintage Trailer except for a 20 cent price difference.

The glass in my Campster side windows is 3/16" thick. I am pretty handy with my Mitutoyo calipers, they are always in my tool box when I work on projects.

Actually I am pretty good at sourcing materials and I even get hired for that work. But sometimes things don't exist. Unfortunately the windows on my Campster have a total of 8 different seals that were used on them and it appears that only the window run channel and the fuzzy felt strip used on one divider and the screen spline are still available. Also possibly one of the outer seals might be a close match to one that still exist from Hehr but I don't yet have a sample of that seal to verify that. So that leaves 5 seals, possibly 4 that are so far unobtainable. One of them is similar to the looks of a triple fin windshield wiper blade that I remember from a couple of decades ago but it did not match in size for fitting into the 1/32" deep T slot groove in the extrusion with any of the currently made materials. We will see what tomorrow turns up on my visit to the auto parts store, perhaps I can modify a newer wiper blade for use as that wiper seal by cutting it apart. I have a few more samples I ordered that will get here in a week or so that have some potential as substitutes.

But as the repair guy at my local RV repair shop who has a room full of window seals hung from the ceiling said....they don't make windows like that any more, they changed the way the frames are made for the sliders.

My entry door seal no longer exist but that is not an issue as I can stack up two modern gaskets and make it work OK.

Desktop fillament extruders are around now because of people turning plastic pellets into 3D printing fillament but they are not yet capable of doing the kind of shapes I need to make in the pliable plastics.

Borrego Dave 06-18-2016 04:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k corbin (Post 593431)
It does not matter if I order it from J.C Whitney or from Vintage Trailer or from Ebay sellers or any other source as they are all sipping from the same well for the automotive window glass run channel. It never was exclusively for RVs, they just "borrowed" it. The material I got is identical from J. C. Whittney and on Vintage Trailer except for a 20 cent price difference.
The glass in my Campster side windows is 3/16" thick. I am pretty handy with my Mitutoyo calipers, they are always in my tool box when I work on projects.
Actually I am pretty good at sourcing materials and I even get hired for that work. But sometimes things don't exist. Unfortunately the windows on my Campster have a total of 8 different seals that were used on them and it appears that only the window run channel and the fuzzy felt strip used on one divider and the screen spline are still available. Also possibly one of the outer seals might be a close match to one that still exist from Hehr but I don't yet have a sample of that seal to verify that. So that leaves 5 seals, possibly 4 that are so far unobtainable. One of them is similar to the looks of a triple fin windshield wiper blade that I remember from a couple of decades ago but it did not match in size for fitting into the 1/32" deep T slot groove in the extrusion with any of the currently made materials. We will see what tomorrow turns up on my visit to the auto parts store, perhaps I can modify a newer wiper blade for use as that wiper seal by cutting it apart. I have a few more samples I ordered that will get here in a week or so that have some potential as substitutes.
But as the repair guy at my local RV repair shop who has a room full of window seals hung from the ceiling said....they don't make windows like that any more, they changed the way the frames are made for the sliders.
My entry door seal no longer exist but that is not an issue as I can stack up two modern gaskets and make it work OK.
Desktop fillament extruders are around now because of people turning plastic pellets into 3D printing fillament but they are not yet capable of doing the kind of shapes I need to make in the pliable plastics.


MMMM, guess I was expecting a response more like others say, "thanks, I'll look into that" for the free info offered for a possible fix from you or none at all. Everyone has knowledge that may help others from many sources. Some times it's the forest for the trees thing that lights the light for the fix. Think this is the 3rd time I've offered info to you as a suggestion and got a....well, kind of slap down reply so I'll step back. I know you'll do fine on your reno without info from the rest of us.

k corbin 06-18-2016 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Borrego Dave (Post 593432)
MMMM, guess I was expecting a response more like others say, "thanks, I'll look into that" for the free info offered for a possible fix from you or none at all. Everyone has knowledge that may help others from many sources. Some times it's the forest for the trees thing that lights the light for the fix. Think this is the 3rd time I've offered info to you as a suggestion and got a....well, kind of slap down reply so I'll step back. I know you'll do fine on your reno without info from the rest of us.

We all realize there is more than one way to do things and this thread is a history of how I am doing things. This is not my first fiberglass RV renovation.

I keep reposting the sentence above that I started the thread with in the hope that you will understand what it says. I am sorry that you still don't understand. Thank you for offering to step back, I do appreciate that.

Bruce Thomas 06-18-2016 01:17 PM

Messaged you b...Dave.

k corbin 06-18-2016 04:03 PM

Still working on replacing seals on the side sliding window on my Campster. The alumimum frame part I am addressing is the vertical center bar on the outside the window. It has a couple of seal strips on it. The one I replacing in this posting presses against the sliding pane and wipes across it as the pane moves in the track. Function often gives us the keywords that help us find replacements. But of course so does our own personal memory bank that records visual images of things we have seen before and done before.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-s...75/window2.jpg
The seals function of wiping was only milliseconds deep in recognition and the memory of a very recent DIY project, changing the windshield wiper blades on my car, followed immediately after. The original seal is triple finned and I could find no close matches for it in either window and glass catalogs or among the current generation of automotive wiper blades or in the RV industry.

What my original seal looks like in the side view.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-u...ow%2Bseal2.jpg
This is why it has to be replaced, almost 2 inches too short from loss of plasticsiser and it is deformed as well as hardened.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-U...ow%2Bseal1.jpg

What more recent windshield wipers look like
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-V...ow%2Bseal3.jpg

As you can see in the photos above they both have a base that will slide into a T slot. The base on the older version is slightly wider and very slightly thinner but close enough to be worth giving it a try with a modern wiper blade.

What the new wiper blade looks like installed in the T slot. I don't think the height difference between the old seal and new seal is significant. It is slightly taller but the original seal has shrunk in size in the last 45 years.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-J...ow%2Bseal4.jpg
The new blade does fit easily into the aluminum extrusion. However a strong sideways pressure can pull an edge out from under the lip. Therefore I have installed it with some adhesive making sure to spread it in under the edges of the T slot profile as well as on the center area.

I won't install this piece back onto the window today as I want to be sure the adhesive is well cured before putting any sideways force on the wiper blade. No point in rushing the installation other than rain is here for the next several days and I truly do wish I was done with fixing windows. :umb

k corbin 06-23-2016 01:00 AM

1 Attachment(s)
And here comes the rain.... I just got the window I was working on back in just a couple of hours ago. Happy not to have to put the tarp on tonight. Taking the window out was much easier than fitting it back into the hole. It took me a couple of tries to get it into the opening and of course the butyl tape was what was not helping matters with the first couple of tries. Third time was the charm, it turned out that if I put the lower left corner in first the rest of the window went in relatively easy. I will have to remember on the other two window to do a dry check fit without any butyl tape in place to see if there is a preferred corner that I should start with. I was trying to start by putting the top edge in first, then I tried the long bottom edge, those did not work as an approach so I got radical and started in a corner.

It was not an easy task to wrestle the window in on my own, 3/16" thick glass does not make for a lightweight object and I don't have long arms or a lot of strength in my back. But I do want other women to realize that we can do a window install all by ourselves if need be. Of course it is easier to have help and would have taken it had there been some around. :u

The sliding window now slides along just right, not too loose and not too tight. At least I had the joy of trying it and having it work perfectly as my reward tonight!

I had to make replacement parts for the small U channel sections that keep the fixed pane of glass elevated off the bottom of the aluminum extrusion so that any water getting into that lower channel of the frame will run out the weep holes. The original pieces were starting to fracture.
Attachment 96671
As I could not find any plastic U channel in our workshop stash I 3D printed the new pieces. Now that was fun, I had been meaning to get around to learning to use the printer. They were printed using black ABS filament.

Tomorrow I will make window handles out of aluminum angle since my slider is now functional. I am looking forward to having an easy task to complete :wub

Next big project up is fixing the doorway. I don't mind the fiberglass work of fixing the opening for the door. But I do know just how tricky it can be to get a door frame installed with even gaps between door and frame, having the door swing just right and get the latch aligned. Fortunately my work on the door does not have to pass inspection as it did when I had to hang aluminum framed bathroom doors in a 757. It drove me nuts trying to get perfectly even gaps all the way around the door. Fortunately I got to move on to other jobs fairly soon. The Campster door is pretty much out of whack, it will also require some wrestling time and it is not light weight either.

k corbin 06-25-2016 08:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Two of the sample pieces of window gasket seals that I ordered last week have proved to be of use as suitable replacements in my Campster sliding windows so I am feeling....:okra
I have shown those seals in another thread, they are post #32 and #34 of this thread https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...t-74974-3.html

So now I have all the puzzle pieces I need for renovating the fixed pane and I only need to find one more seal for the sliding pane half of the opening. That is big progress for having started with no information as to the seals needed for a total rehabilitation and then realizing just how many of them were going to be needed. Finding substitute seals is at least a little easier than finding a needle in a haystack. I am glad to have turned the corner from the road name frustrated onto the road named optimistic.

Not much other progress as I was in rainy day slacker mode for part of this week. Blame it on the weather when no one else is handy :reye2

But the weather prediction for next week is perfect, sunny and not extremely hot. I will not be able to blame being lazy on the weather. I will cut myself no slack on my slackerly behavior pattern. Yeah I know I am crazy because in this last paragraph I am really talking to myself. :chatter

Not to worry about me missing out on summer fun by working on my project, I am working right next door to a sandy beach. Those are the Olympic mountains in the background and big cargo container in the distance on the water with a paddle boarder in the foreground.
Attachment 96756

k corbin 06-26-2016 11:02 PM

No rain in the forecast this week so I am working on fiberglass repairs.
I have one big job to accomplish which is reinforcing the opening for the door. Actually I am very lucky that is the worst of it for fiberglass repairs and it is not an overly difficult task.

There is a crack at the top and bottom in the corners of the opening on the side with the door knob. The cause is quite an obvious one, there is no assist handle at the door so the frame gets used for one. The fiberglass is not even close to being thick enough around the door for the task of being a doorway much less an assist handle so it cracked under the stress.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-b...y%2Bcrack1.jpg
The solution is to reinforce all of fiberglass around the door opening. The stepped contour of the shell makes that simple to do without effecting the rest of the rear wall.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-E...y%2Bcrack2.jpg
I will be building up several additional layers of fiberglass on the interior with one or two new layers on the exterior. Then later on when I build a new kitchen cabinet and at that time I will add in reinforcement for installing an assist handle. I don't have my cabinet designed yet so that reinforcement can wait until I am sure of my approach.

It is very likely that while working on the doorway I will at times have some small amounts of resin left during the various steps. Therefore today I was prepping all of the other areas in the shell that need small repairs to take advantage of those small leftover batches of resin. Epoxy resin is expensive so I don't want to waste any of it.

One of those small repairs is to fill in a hole in the shell that is just above the tongue area. It is hard to tell from the photo but the hole is on a narrow ledge in a contoured area of the shell. Gravity will have its way unless I back the repair up while adding cloth and resin.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2...ont%2Bhole.jpg
The shell comes up from the bottom at a slant, then makes a turn parallel to the ground then goes up vertically heading up to the belly band. On that short, 1-1/2" ledge parallel to the ground section the hole is the width of the ledge and it is about 4 inches long. The hole extends just slightly into the radius areas which is another reason for backing it up with a matched contour backer piece. There was a failed repair to this hole by a PO. So I took that repair material out.

Today's task was to create a template from which to build a backer piece.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-B...mplate%2B1.jpg
I started the template making process by using a good sized, plastic contour gauge that I pressed against the surfaces. Then I traced the outline of thw contour from the gauge . I calculated the straight sections and extended them to intersect, I used a drafting template with circles to estimate the radius of the inside and outside curves and I used a protractor to check the angles. Then I built it as a 3D CAD model (see image below), used the 3D model to create a 2D drawing of it and printed out a paper template for a check fit. After a couple of tries I got a perfect fit :)
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K...2Btemplate.JPG
I could cut the backer plate from ridged foam using the CNC machine that is here at the workshop but it is buried too deep under my friends stuff and I don't want to nag him into the work of cleaning up as he has other things to get done that are client related versus my fixing up my little sad trailer. So instead tomorrow I will cut a solid template of 3/8" plywood and then use that as a router pattern to make about 6 identical sections from 3/4" thick wood. They will each have two holes drilled through as shown in the CAD model. The holes are there so I can run a 1/4" dowel rod through them to perfectly line up all the sections so that I will have a nice wide backer with a perfect contour its whole length. I will show photos of that process tomorrow or the next day. It goes fairly quickly to put it together once you have the tools out. Unfortunately my portable router table has to be fetched back home so I did not get the backer finished up today.

k corbin 06-29-2016 04:15 PM

I have the pieces roughed out for using with the router template pattern for backing up the hole in the fiberglass I need to fill in.

Extending the door frame and beefing up the thickness of the area where the door mounts is coming along at a pace of one or two layers each day or so. Probably 4 days or so left before it is ready to sand and prime on the exterior surface.

This morning I decided to tackle two task I have not been looking forward to because I knew I would end up covered in dust from head to toe. Does anyone like getting turned into the abominable snowman?

Those dreaded task were taking out the old the blocking for the table support rail. It was made from good strong Doug Fir that had been bonded to the shell with thickened resin and also screwed into from the exterior to hold it in place while the resin cured. The screws were all rusted and bleeding rust down the outside of the shell. No way to back them out of there. But since I had to grind down that thickened resin and wood on the inside the heads of the screws eventually just dropped out of the holes. My new table rail will extend almost all the way across the front wall to allow for some versatile positioning options.

The other grinding job was an area just under the passenger side window where whoever laid up the shell made a big bodged up mess of fiberglass cloth and resin that extended about 18 inches long. Since I want to insulate I needed to grind that back to the level it was supposed to have been.

I have now come clean in the shower but am still working on getting the dust out of the Campster. I looks like the ash fallout from Mt. St. Helen's is in there. But at least that job is done and I can move on to the next bit of unpleasantness which is more fiber glass lay-up around the doorway.

Looking forward to the day I can start building cabinets...but that is a ways off with lots of other tasks to come before it.

Rich and Rei 06-29-2016 05:43 PM

K.C.
Ejoying your posts and learning from them.
We have a 1970 Campster that the former owner pulled out of the field with a tractor. From that you can tell what shape it was in.
I knew we could make her pretty again.
The windows were siliconed shut-took Rich several days hard work to dig out the stuff.
There were no screens and no handle to open windows.
We just push real hard with a opened hand on the glass.
Rich had to make a new wood surround for the pop top as the old one was rotted.
A new vinyl floor was installed. Contact paper pulled off caninets and cabinets painted white.
I made a new canvas top out of ripstop-it was like trying to sew water!
That s just a few things we did and there is much more.
In August we are headed to a vintage camper rally so have been busy cleaning and doing minor repairs that seem to pop up every now and then,
We really like this little camper and the attention it attracts.

k corbin 06-29-2016 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich and Rei (Post 595684)
K.C.
Ejoying your posts and learning from them.
We have a 1970 Campster that the former owner pulled out of the field with a tractor. From that you can tell what shape it was in.
I knew we could make her pretty again.
The windows were siliconed shut-took Rich several days hard work to dig out the stuff.
There were no screens and no handle to open windows.
We just push real hard with a opened hand on the glass.
Rich had to make a new wood surround for the pop top as the old one was rotted.
A new vinyl floor was installed. Contact paper pulled off caninets and cabinets painted white.
I made a new canvas top out of ripstop-it was like trying to sew water!
That s just a few things we did and there is much more.
In August we are headed to a vintage camper rally so have been busy cleaning and doing minor repairs that seem to pop up every now and then,
We really like this little camper and the attention it attracts.

The rally sounds like fun. They do attract attention, I had someone stick his head in this afternoon informing me how much he liked it and that they are really popular at the moment with a lot of people wanting one.

I am glad you are at the point of being able to camp in it this summer.
I like the nice clean lined but still interesting vinyl design you did and the two tone color scheme of gold and white.

I still have that pop top wood to replace as well as the fabric. I will get to it when I need to start the paint job up on top. No point in taking it off and putting it back on twice :loltu

Most everyday I keep meaning to get those window handles done. I have the metal, but I just don't get around to the cutting and rounding off two corners. Such as simple job to make a pair, not sure why I have not stopped to do it.

k corbin 07-01-2016 12:18 AM

Repairing the door frame corners on a Campster
 
I was working on various odds and ends of fiberglass, getting ready to adhere in the floor section where I had rot to replace and such, all daylight kind of jobs that are on going at the moment.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-e...doorframe1.jpg
As much of what I am working on at the moment is in support of fixing the issues of the leaking doorway I also began repairs on the aluminum door frame. As it was never properly supported due to an oversized cutout in the fiberglass shell there was some damage to it. All the welds at the corners of the frame were broken. A PO's attempts to hold it together with steel L brackets had also caused its own issues. Oh well it is not in my budget to replace the dooor and its frame but I can certainly use a few basic metal working skills to bring it back to useful life.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1...doorframe6.jpg
Some of the corners and areas around screw holes had gotten somewhat bent, depressed and such. So I did some spot annealing where I needed to bring those areas back to flat again before I started pounding on it. Aluminum can be annealed to soften it but unlike steel or brass you will have no observable color change to guide you as to when it is annealed. All I can tell you about that is it does not take as long as annealing a piece of brass or steel. As I have done a bit of butane torch annealing over the years I just take a fair guess at it as compared to annealing time required for brass and or steel and so far it seems to be just about right. Why would I anneal it? I anneal it to help prevent the old work hardened (by stress and forming) aluminum from cracking when I pound on it to flatten it back out. I have a big chunk of steel I use an an anvil to back up my parts when hammering them back to flat. Other steel shapes that fit into the extrusion areas are my die forming tools. Nothing fancy needed, just a big old flat blade screw driver that has been ground to have an even wider tip and a few sizes of pin punches. You too can be a metal worker with just a few simple objects :)
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4...r%2Bframe7.jpg
I am not a welder of aluminum but I can fabricate brackets from a length of architectural aluminum angle so that is how I chose to mend to corners of the frame back together. For this job you need aluminum angle that does not have an inside radius in the corner. That type is found with the keywords "aluminum architectural angle". It is pretty easy to come by in hardware stores. You can cut it with a carbide blade in your power miter saw. Just take it slow and easy and make sure the blade has stopped spinning before you raise it back out of the cut.

My bracket repair will be stronger that it was with the original welded corners. Tonight I fabricated the brackets and tomorrow when daylight comes I will use them to reassemble the door frame. In order to install the brackets you do need to remove the old welding material from the surface of the framing so that the new brackets can sit flush against the frame. I did that removal with a metal cutting burr and my Dremel motor followed by the use of a metal needle file to get at the little bits under some narrow channels in the frame extrusion. Unfortunately I can't easily remove the hinges on the door and it is heavy and needs a lot of support so I will save the task of reassembly for outside while it is resting on the saw horses.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-G...r%2Bframe8.jpg
But I did take a photo so you can see where I am installing the brackets. They will not be visible after installation other than a few rivet heads in the corners of the frame. Those rivet heads will not interfere with the door gaskets. When I install the brackets I will adding a thin layer of urethane adhesive caulk between the brackets and the frame which will help create some water proofing seal in the corners. Of course more caulking will also be added on the surface. This work and good support under the threshold should keep things nice and dry with no more frame separation at the corners.

By the way you can not make this type of nearly invisible repair unless you remove the door and frame from the trailer because you will need access to that backside of the frame. One other thing I am going to do when I reassemble the frame is move the piece that used to be the threshold up to the top of the frame. It had several holes drilled in it that are potential sources of leaks should my hole filling material every fail. The piece that was at the top has no holes in that lip. You can see those holes I am talking about in the first photo on this thread. Right behind those holes and broken corner web you can see the rotted floor which is why I had to take the time to repair the door frame.

k corbin 07-01-2016 07:18 PM

Some women go for flower bouquets, I like those but I also enjoy the one below in our workshop. It is made up from all kinds of dowels, rods, narrow metal pieces, plastics etc. Today I selected a piece of 1/4" wood dowel out it for my afternoon task.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-P...500/dowels.jpg
I know my thread jumps around back and forth fairly often. That has to do with needing to break up my work sessions into short segments of bending time, kneeling time and standing time. Well sometimes there is also resin, glue and paint drying time when I am shut out for a while so I go and work on something else.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2...ont%2Bhole.jpg
This afternoon I finished up fabricating the backup blocking for the fiberglass repair I need to do shown in the photo above. That hole is about 6 inches wide and the surface it is on is parallel to the ground, therefore I wanted to back it up on the outside to begin my patch work.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-z...e%2Bdowels.jpg
I had previously created a template of the shape of the compound curve and planes of the surfaces. Today I took it and made that template into a router jig that was used with a pattern bearing router bit that can follow the shape of a template. The part I am routing is indexed on two of its side edges with some aluminum angle and also by two short lengths of 1/4" dowel. The dowel holes in the template were first used to drill two holes into all of my wood blanks I was going to be routing. I did that drilling on the drill press so that all the holes went perfectly straight.

I did put a wood handle on the top of the template to help keep all my fingers intact. Nothing special about the jig, it is just made from materials we had on hand, the main thing is to keep control of the piece you are shaping while keeping your fingers safe.

After I finished routing enough pieces of wood to create a stacked up length long enough to create the backup section I skewered them together with 1/4" dowel. I chucked a long enough skewer into my drill motor, sanded it a little as typically a wood dowel rod is a little too snug of a fit and slightly rough as well. Once I finished that step I just used the drill motor to twist drive the first dowel through the pieces adding them on one by one, snugged together as I went. Then the second dowel went in and the result is a nice long surface with even edges. I did not need to do any touch up sanding.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-q...2Bsilicone.jpg
I applied a layer of silicone to the surface of my backup blocking. That will help prevent resin leaking out as well as act as mold release agent. It is just 100% silicone caulking that I spread on with a paint brush then smoothed out with a dampened fingertip. It is not a deep layer, just enough to have a little give under pressure to help seal against the surface. I did say this thread was going to show my way of doing things and of course I do know it is likely different than how you might approach the same situation.

Once I secure the backer piece in place I will also do a belt and suspenders approach of adding non curing clay around the perimeter to catch any more potential resin leaks the silicone might have allowed out. An ounce of prevention is better than a resin mess to clean up. I can't be on both the inside and outside at the same time. :nope

Talia 07-01-2016 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k corbin (Post 596018)
Once I secure the backer piece in place I will also do a belt and suspenders approach of adding non curing clay around the perimeter to catch any more potential resin leaks the silicone might have allowed out. An ounce of prevention is better than a resin mess to clean up. I can't be on both the inside and outside at the same time. :nope

Natural clay, or a polymer?

k corbin 07-01-2016 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talia (Post 596023)
Natural clay, or a polymer?

Plastiicine clay. I use it now and then for mold making work so I have it on hand. It keeps for years in a sealed bag. It is perfect for this kind of project where you want to contain a substance with a temporary dam that is easy to remove and clean up. You don't need sulfur free for the task I am doing on the Campster, it is just the kind I already have on hand as I was doing mold making work. Regular plasticine is available at most art supply stores and at some craft stores too such as Michaels.

Plasticine Clay: Multiple Uses in Mold Making «

So my fiberglass repair method approach for this medium small hole has its roots taken from mold making methods. I am casting resin that has fiberglass cloth embedded in it against a silicone mold to fill up the hole. Then more cloth and resin will go over that filled area. It is just a small variation on working with a backer board. The plasticine does easily solve the issue of how to prevent leaks at the edges of the backer.

k corbin 07-02-2016 10:03 PM

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-g...doorframe9.jpg
An important piece of progress today I created the wood frame that is on the inside of the doorway. The photo above is where I had it set on sawhorses so I could set the door into it for a check fit to make sure I got my measurements just right. That door is way heavy for me, what were they thinking? Nowadays you can build them much lighter but still strong. I think at some point I will change the glass out for Polycarbonate which should take a few pounds of weight out of it. As long as it does not leak anymore I will be a happy Campster :D

The wood frame I created is made from Doug Fir 1" x 3". Doug Fir has a very good strength to weight ratio and it also has some rot resistance as well. Not as much rot resistance as cedar or white oak but better than many other species. It is a perfect compromise wood, native to my Pacific NW region, suitable for the purpose.

Without this sub-structure frame my door would not have the best level surface I can give it. I do need this wood frame in place before I can finish the doorway. My Campster doorway was a botched job by the installer and there was not enough material left for properly attaching the aluminum door frame. Only a few holes had material that screws could grip into. So I have had to extend the fiberglass further into the opening. To trim that new excess material to the right size I will be able to run a top bearing, flush trimming router bit against the edge of the Doug Fir frame. But some areas such as corners and the last bit down by the bottom will need to be trimmed with other tools such as an angle grinder, Dremel, etc.

So what size did I need to make the frame? The same as the width and length of the aluminum extrusion's surface that sets into the opening plus approximately 1/4" wiggle room. In this case that width is 24" plus the 1/4" of wiggle space. Why wiggle space? Because I know my aluminum frame has a slight bow where the lock insets, I do want to put some butyl tape under the threshold piece, plus in the real world nothing is ever a perfect dimension or perfectly square. I can always remove some material if the opening is too snug but I don't want to have to add any material back in. Of course lumber is also never perfectly straight but the two pieces I got are pretty darned straight with no visible twisting or bowing. So 1/4" is what I chose for a little bit extra adjustment room.

Tomorrow I will take some more photos of how the frame is held together for keeping it squared up during installation. I will be mixing up thickened resin to bed the wood frame into since the Campster walls are not straight. The mixture will bond the wavy fiberglass walls to th.e much straighter wood. Then I will be able to get the aluminum frame, with butyl tape layer under it, pulled nice and snug without the previous distortion it had. Hopefully it will also resolve the big gap that was between aluminum frame and the door's vinyl D seal.

So tomorrow maybe I should post a recipe for my special cookie dough in the food section? Wood flour and resin. Add flour until the mixture forms a soft dough. Spread with a spatula. It is a self baking recipe. Do not lick the bowl :floor

shaggydoink 07-03-2016 06:06 AM

Wow Karin! I spent time reading through your project while sipping my morning coffee, what an amazing job you're doing on this Campster. You've got mad skills and a wonderful attention to detail, very impressive! :thumb

Jonathan

Patricia D. 07-03-2016 08:19 AM

Impressive work
 
As always, impressive work and impressive write up. Looking forward to pics and the recipe.
I will need to make a new door for my trailer. Following from your comments on the weight of your door, if you were constructing a door from scratch, what materials would you use?

EllPea in CA 07-03-2016 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k corbin (Post 596157)
So tomorrow maybe I should post a recipe for my special cookie dough in the food section? Wood flour and resin. Add flour until the mixture forms a soft dough. Spread with a spatula. It is a self baking recipe. Do not lick the bowl :floor

LOL! Sounds *delicous*!

k corbin 07-03-2016 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patricia D. (Post 596184)
As always, impressive work and impressive write up. Looking forward to pics and the recipe.
I will need to make a new door for my trailer. Following from your comments on the weight of your door, if you were constructing a door from scratch, what materials would you use?

"from scratch" I don't believe that is a good way to go. You need specialized aluminum extrusions to make it work properly that are designed to have some strength. Although you might potentially get away with a Z shaped extrusion for the outer door frame and a U Channel extrusion for the door panel edge.Anyway you do have to purchase that material by the foot from a metals supplier. Typically those suppliers are not selling it at an affordable price in small quantities and unless you live in a large city you might not be able to find what you need locally. You also have to find the gasket that works with the set of extrusions you purchase. Then you need to create a panel of a thickness that fits exactly into the extrusion.

You will need to make a jig so you can assemble the extrusions perfectly squared up for the frame.

As to making the door panel it is a sandwich, a ridged foam filler with an overlay on each side. The overlay could be Filon which is a flexible fiberglass material being used as exterior flat panel coating on some trailers and motorhomes. Or you could use aluminum sheet material as an overlay. If you want a painted aluminum panel it is best to purchase one that already has a painted surface as it takes special coatings and primers to get a good paint bond on aluminum and that is much better done in a factory type application.

You will need to source hinges, screws for the hinges, a window, screen and also locks. Then you have to make the appropriate sized cutouts for the window and the lock. You will have to cut a hole in the aluminum frame extrusion for the lock plate.

All in all you can save yourself a whole lot of time, money and frustration by having a door made for you by a company that is all set up with the materials and the assembly fixtures, the cutting tools and the skilled, experienced people.

If your door is not salvageable and the budget is super tight then
it is going to be much easier to fix up a door that is having a few problems rather than to building one from scratch. Or you could find one in good shape from an RV junk yard or craigslist. If it not the perfect size check it out for the potential of cutting it down to size to fit the opening. You can make the Campster door opening several inches wider and an inch or so taller if needed.

Or you could create a lovely carved wood, Gypsy Vardo style door to fit into the opening....That could be my someday, when I am in the right mood to make it, door as I enjoy doing a bit of wood carving now and again and I do know how to make stained glass windows and have the tools for it :ask

k corbin 07-03-2016 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shaggydoink (Post 596174)
Wow Karin! I spent time reading through your project while sipping my morning coffee, what an amazing job you're doing on this Campster. You've got mad skills and a wonderful attention to detail, very impressive! :thumb

Jonathan

Thanks Jonathan, glad it entertained you for the morning. I am enjoying your modification thread as well.

Patricia D. 07-03-2016 04:58 PM

Sorry, I should have been more explicit in my question. The door frame is more or less salvageable as is the little window.
When the PO bought trailer there was no door, just a wooden screen door. He made one but it is too heavy and too thick for the frame. So far I have found one Texas company that makes custom doors but with exchange etc, it would be about $500.
I am not phased by the thought of having to make the door itself. I was not sure what to use for the skin but the fg panel sounds like it might work. Many of the products used in trailers are unfamiliar to me so it is great to have this help.
I am going to keep my little wooden screen door. It is a novelty.
I think I will leave the carving for another lifetime. I want to get on the road sometime in the fall.

Donna D. 07-03-2016 05:06 PM

Patricia, maybe Fredericks post will give you some ideas how to build your own door, direct link: https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post443239


Now, back to Karin's rehab....

Patricia D. 07-03-2016 05:31 PM

Thanks for the link, Donna. You are right, I did not mean the hijack the conversation.

rwilhelm 07-03-2016 06:22 PM

Back from my trip, so if any photographs will help, give me a shout. Will be taking the Campster to a shop to re-install the fridge.

Good Job Karin

k corbin 07-03-2016 11:43 PM

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8...oorframe10.jpg
Before I put in the upright wood door frame I needed to install the new floor section that replaced the rotted area. So I mixed up some wood flour and epoxy resin. I was of course just joking yesterday about having a recipe as you just mix up some resin and then stir in wood flour until it is as thick as you need. Generally for this kind of job stir until it is about the consistency of peanut butter. If I am applying it to a vertical surface I make it a stiffer mix so it does not run down the wall. But all the work I was doing today was on a horizontal surface so peanut butter was just about right. There is a gap between the shell and the edge of the floor board I installed so I used my wood flour with resin mix to fill that up to the level of the floor board. You can see that as the lighter stripe by the edge of the opening.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-c...512/epoxy1.jpg
The photo above is the epoxy I am using, Mas is the brand, I am using the medium hardener. The weather is in the mid 60s today so medium takes 4 to 6 hours to harden up to very firm. I do use dispensing pumps. If you have a lot of epoxy fiberglass to do they are very handy. The ratio of is 2:1 so these pumps are calibrated that one push of each creates the perfect mix. You just go back and forth between the two until you have a sufficient amount then stir it up.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4...oorframe11.jpg
So even though I now have a nicely leveled floor that goes all the way to the original level of the door frame cutout I still have problems to solve with the door installation that were created at the factory. The opening was cut to be level with the original floor however the aluminum extrusion of the threshold hits on the top of the center bumper support piece and that tips the threshold up on a slope that goes towards the interior....Oh no my cup will runneth over and will rot the floor should I leave it that way. :reye2
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-I...oorframe12.jpg
There is also another problem with that threshold extrusion installation. I will have not just one but four screws loose! Look at the photo above at the screw hole that is supposed to secure the threshold in place. (actually I set the upper piece down for the photo but it is identical to the lower one) As you can see the screw holes are so low that they won't even penetrate the fiberglass of the shell due to the curvature of the shell.

The solution to my threshold issues is a simple one, I need to raise the threshold up higher by about 1/2" so the screws will have material to grip into and so that the threshold is not tipped at an angle from hitting against the surface of the bumper frame. To do this task of making a threshold I did not want to use a material such as wood as that is an area that is going to be prone to leaks and I don't want to deal with any rot under the threshold. Those corner joins in the extrusion need to have very firm support under the threshold so that they don't come apart. So wood is out, that leaves metal, plastic or fiberglass....or....or.. I could make my own threshold that will be a material that fiberglass cloth will readily stick to, that will strongly bond to the flooring, be structurally strong and it won't rot. Oh yeah, another batch of my cookie dough is just the thing I need. Look everyone, I can make my own composite lumber and it is easy to do :D
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Y...oorframe13.jpg
I had some white PVC lumber on hand that is 5/8" thick, that dimension will do nicely for the height of the threshold riser. Fiberglass does not stick very well to PVC especially when you coat the surface with some Johnson's Paste Wax. So my mold the threshold in place frame was very easy to do. I used double sided tape to stick the PVC lumber to the floor. On the outside edge I trimmed the lumber so it matched the height of the pieces on the floor and then pushed it against the shell with another piece of lumber held in place with a couple of clamps. Because my wood flour mix is quite thick it is not going to drain out of any small cracks. There might be a little squeeze out of the resin mix but it will be easy to trim off.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-q...oorframe14.jpg
I mixed up my wood flour and resin batch, peanut butter thick, and dropped it into the mold using the stir stick. Just work your way across, bouncing the stick up and down a few times on the blobs you drop in to get them to spread out and completely fill out to the edges and the bottom. I have slightly over filled because I am not sure how much shrinkage might happen. Tomorrow morning I will trim it to level and flush with the top surface of the form. How I will trim it to flush depends on how hard it is in the morning. Then I can remove the mold pieces get on to the next steps in the doorway modification.

Have a great 4th of July holiday!!!

k corbin 07-04-2016 03:42 PM

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-J...threshold7.jpg
My molded in place DIY composite threshold is done. I have put a contrasting piece of blue tape on the floor in the photo above so it is easier to distinguish the wood colored threshold from the wood floor. I had a little more sanding than I hoped for as there was no shrinkage during curing. As you can see at the outside edge it did make a smooth transition to the outside surface of the shell. The screws that hold on the aluminum door frame will now have plenty of material to grip into. There is no flex in that threshold when you step on it :) I still have a layer of fiberglass to apply to the outside of the shell around the door frame area as there was a crack in that lower left hand corner of the entry. Well I consider that little project a success....but wait for it....we are not yet done problem solving for this area of the door way threshold, this fix on its own is not enough to solve the problems of the frame breaking apart at the corners.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-R...threshold5.jpg
So now I have yet another issue to solve before the lower aluminum extrusion can sit well supported on the threshold. This time the problem lies with the extrusion itself. Look above at the cross section photo of the extrusion. I have represented the top surface of threshold base I just created in the color blue, my DIY composite is of course thicker in section and the extrusion is formed at 90 degrees, I was photographing at an angle. The inside edge simply does not have adequate support for resting on top of the threshold base. There is only a 1/8" wide edge at the outside edge of the frame for it to be supported on. That is ridiculous because that is next to nothing for support. If anyone steps onto that edge is going to rotate downwards which puts a lot of stress on the screws just below that edge and if those give way, which over time will happen, then the joints at the corners of the frame will break and of course that will cause a leak.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-d...threshold6.jpg
Fortunately the fix is very easy to do. You just need to add a filler strip into the extrusion that is the approximate height and width of the channel under that frame piece that rest on the threshold. A piece of aluminum bar stock that is 1/4" thick and 3/4" wide is a good solution and it is easy to find at hardware stores or places such as Home Depot. Cut it to length, use a small amount of epoxy under the bar stock filler inside the extrusion channel to keep it in place when you are doing the door installation. It is hard enough to install a door without parts falling out while you are working. The door frame will be bedded onto a marine bedding compound or thin butyl tape when it is set in place so it is OK if the filler strip is a few thousandths too high or a little bit too narrow for filling up the channel.

Johnathan mentioned my having wicked skills. I think the most wicked skill that everyone needs in any kind of renovation work is to be able to do "if then thinking" as in if someone steps on the outside edge of the aluminum threshold extrusion what is going to happen?

Or another version of it is "why did that happen" as in why did the joints in the lower corners of the door frame have broken welds and why did the corners of the fiberglass shell fracture at the upper and lower corner of the door lock side of the frame. If I do not solve these underlying issues of structural support I will soon have more leaks.

Now I am ready to move forward with bonding my wood door frame in place. After that I will add more fiberglass to the outside of the shell around the doorway. Eventually there will also be a "how I will attempt to support an entry assist handle in a very thin fiberglass shell". But those are for future episodes of "Karin's Campster Renovation".

k corbin 07-06-2016 01:35 AM

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6...2Bate%2Bit.jpg
No I did not get the wood door frame support epoxied in place today.
I have the best excuse ever....the dog ate my last mixing container :nono

Borrego Dave 07-06-2016 03:53 AM

:floorHave not heard that since the school days. From the pic it looks like the pooch was just nibbling. Sure you weren't just taking an extra day off for the forth of July weekend ;).

Talia 07-06-2016 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k corbin (Post 596218)
"from scratch" I don't believe that is a good way to go. You need specialized aluminum extrusions to make it work properly that are designed to have some strength. Although you might potentially get away with a Z shaped extrusion for the outer door frame and a U Channel extrusion for the door panel edge.Anyway you do have to purchase that material by the foot from a metals supplier. Typically those suppliers are not selling it at an affordable price in small quantities and unless you live in a large city you might not be able to find what you need locally. You also have to find the gasket that works with the set of extrusions you purchase. Then you need to create a panel of a thickness that fits exactly into the extrusion.

You will need to make a jig so you can assemble the extrusions perfectly squared up for the frame.

*snipped for brevity*

It's actually not as difficult as all that. People who build their own trailers make their own doors quite often with materials that are readily available from big box or hardware stores without having all the issues you mention.

rwilhelm 07-06-2016 09:48 AM

FASCINATING

k corbin 07-06-2016 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talia (Post 596630)
It's actually not as difficult as all that. People who build their own trailers make their own doors quite often with materials that are readily available from big box or hardware stores without having all the issues you mention.

I did say you could make it with Z shaped extrusion and U channel. I guess you missed that sentence, it was buried in the middle section. But Z channel is not a common hardware store item although you can create it from two sections of L shaped angle. :D

k corbin 07-07-2016 12:07 PM

The mold in place composite "wood" I created for raising my threshold while a bit pricey to make has proved to be good stuff!
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9...%2Btop%2B6.jpg
So today while standing above the Campster on the 2nd story building's walkway I was looking down at the rotting wood that goes around the popup and mounts the lift hardware. I had looked for structural PVC lumber (composite deck boards are not structural quality as they don't have fiberglass in them) but no one carries it and special order is expensive. So what to do if I don't want to keep having trouble with rotted popup wood :ask

I have decided to make forms for creating my own structural composite 3/4" x 1-1/2" lumber. To create my mold I will use PVC lumber from the home center stores for the surrounds as the epoxy does not bond strongly to it and screw them to a non-stick base. Wax the form, then mix up my resin and wood flour plus some fiberglass strands and trowel it into the form. After it sets I will remove the sides, take out the lumber, put the mold back together and cast the second piece. One form for the longer length, a second form for the shorter length.

No end grain issues to worry about! Plus because it will be structural quality it will be strong enough to level and stiffen that roof edge and I can set it on a butyl rubber base. Down side .... epoxy is not inexpensive but I do have plenty of wood flour and fibers on hand and the labor cost is zero.

This is a simple enough DIY project that most anyone could manage it. But do note that I am going to be using a medium speed setting epoxy which gives me lots of working time before it sets up. So if I need to mix up a second batch to finish filling a mold section I can do so.

Rain is coming this next few days and this will make a good indoor project to do that will help speed things along when the sun comes back and I can take the top off to replace the rotted material. I will have to start the fabric part of the popup job so I can coordinate its installation. As you can see from the dirt around the popup in the photo above I also had better get some perimeter locking trim with attached bulb seal ordered to act as a water barrier when the top is in the down position.

Bobbie Mayer 07-07-2016 12:37 PM

Your popup top is very different from mine (the one I lost).


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