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Crusty Casita

Restoration carpet floor rivets rehab rehabilitation renovation

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#1 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 04:47 AM

Hi All. Let me introduce myself, my name is Graeme, I live in Northern Vermont. My 9-5 is filled with turning wrenches ( auto technician). A few weeks back my fiancé purchased a used Casita. I'm not sure yet what model but I can tell you it's not a 13". We just took delivery of it last night, so I've had 3 weeks to lurk around and read up on a bunch of things regarding Casitas. I've never owned a camper before, and never owned a boat, so I'm delving into a world that is a little foreign to me. I consider myself handy. I've done quite a bit of carpentry, a little plumbing, tons of mechanic work and barely a smidge of fiberglass work. Sorry to be long winded, but I have a feeling this project is going to be long winded as well. I'm closing in on finishing a 15 year long motorcycle project, to give you some idea of how things progress in my world.
So, without further adieu.image.jpg image.jpg

#2 PerfectCasita

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:00 AM

What is the story on the frame up front?

Looks like some fun in your future.

 

Welcome on in..

 

--Jim.


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http://www.perfectcasita.com

#3 SoloMatt

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:02 AM

Welcome! Wow this will be a very cool project.... looks like you'll get to build it up just the way you want it!

EDIT: I just noticed the (I think) stove top hood vent on the curb side. If that is a stove vent, it's likely a 16' (although the camera angle sure makes it look like a 13'!). You can tell it isn't a 17' by the door. There are lots of very helpful people on this forum who can answer all sorts of questions you may have.

Good luck with your project!

Edited by SoloMatt, 28 June 2015 - 05:11 AM.


#4 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:13 AM

So yeah, the previous owner took the shell off the frame and welded up the weak spots and painted it. Installed a new plywood floor. I'm not sure yet what he used, but I know it's not osb. All of the carpet has been stripped, which of course means all of the interior has been stripped. Somewhere along the way he got sick of the shower walls being in the way so he put them up for free on Craigslist, but since no one wanted them he threw them out. I honestly don't know how much is missing but I think it's a lot. I have yet to see any indication of any plumbing, wiring, or cushions. I also haven't spent two minutes inside it. So, here are some of the questions I've assembled so far. In no particular order.
1. Is Kanga Back the preferred wall covering? I've read a bunch and it seems like it fits the bill, with the attached foam backer and all.
I can see the reason for the film, so there is less of a thermal break, therefore less condensation.
2. How the heck do you carpet the inside of a bowl?! There isnt one square corner inside this baby!
3. Rivets or stainless bolts with nylon lock nuts? My understanding is the rivets act as a weak spot, thus failing before damage is done to the fiberglass. Here in northern Vermont the roads get a fresh skim coat of pavement every 20 years, if it needs it or not. ( the roads are crap) and I'm 5 miles out on dirt, so my thinking is this little casita may need to ability to flex a little and pop rivets when the flex gets to be too much. Also, 1b. Does anyone offer a do it all kit? Casita didn't seem to when I spoke to them.
4. What kind of sealant on those rivets or lock nuts?
5. Sealant for the windows?
6. Is there an option out there for a sliding or openable rear window. The previous owner said he was going to put a piece of lexan in where an ac unit used to stick out of the very back.
7. If I am missing things like shower walls, or other big ticket items does anyone out there have a casita bone yard? I called Casita and they guessed 1200$ for the shower walls! ( of course, I don't know the model or year so the guy was telling me the price of the last ones he sold)
8. Adhesive for carpet on walls and ceiling? I've seen several different things, is there a consensus on what works?
9. Any tips for outside storage in sub zero winters? I hate to do it, but at this point it may be our only option, since the shop space we are renting barely fits in our budget, renovating this will really stretch our budget further.
10.Anyone want to come to Northern Vermont and just whip this baby back in shape as a gesture of kindness and goodwill?
Thank you, and thank goodness for the Internet, without a forum like this I imagine getting this project started would be a bit more difficult.
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#5 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:15 AM

You know, maybe it is a 13". I guess I'm just going to have to measure it today and check around for the data plate.

#6 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:17 AM

A couple more picsimage.jpg image.jpg

#7 Plainsman

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:18 AM

Wow. A project like the Great Pyramids. Looks like a 16-SD to me. You have my very best wishes. Have fun!


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"OTRA" (On The Road Again)
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2004 2500HD Duramax Diesel Crewcab

The Sandhills of 'East Wyoming'

#8 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:22 AM

What is the story on the frame up front?
Looks like some fun in your future.
 
Welcome on in..
 
--Jim.

Hi Jim, I'm not sure what's going on with anything at this point, the frame seems solid enough, but honestly I haven't studied it much. I'm not afraid of metal work though. I've got lots of experience welding and such. The carpet thing has me more nervous than any metal work it may need!

#9 C.FiberglassFreedom

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 06:16 AM

I'm not sure why the carpet is of concern. Really it's dealer choice what interiors you can replace. I've seen beautiful wood slats going up and down a old custom Casita. Also on other fiberglass trailers which mimic Casita shape and design the interior came in like this cork board material. The carpet you would just cut at the fold seam if you look at Casitas that's how it is done then all glued together. I wish I could offer advice on glue but I'm not sure. There is quite a few pictures and stories online of people refurbishing a Casita. Judging at the design you're gonna be in a difficult situation for spare parts unless you find Casita scrap somewhere (does that exist?) Seems like you have all your upper cabinets, but yeah him tossing bathroom makes for an annoying situation. So I'm guessing where the toilet was there is just a hole? Is there not even a black water/gray water dump plumbing. Better question is there even gray water/black water container underneath. Most likely you'll have to get a new fresh water tank and plumbing... I forsee long evenings but if done smart could turn out to be something impressive. Good luck to you.

#10 SoloMatt

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 06:36 AM

I agree with Charlie that you could really do anything on the walls for insulation and appearance. Scamp uses 'rat fur' Casita uses marine grade carpet and Escape uses a form of insulated vinyl. There are positives and negatives to all of them. Beetlefreak did wood panel coverings for the walls, over the carpet that was there. Since your walls are bare, you have a lot of options!

Also... you may want to talk to Derek at Happier Camper here in SoCal, who just developed the HC1 fiberglass travel trailer, about his modular fiberglass furniture (http://happiercamper.com). Might be perfect for what you're trying to do, since you are nearly starting from scratch! Not sure if he's willing to sell the pieces separately for another trailer or if they are only available to HC1 customers... but worth a shot. And his dad has been restoring old trilliums and bolers forever, so they know they're stuff.

Edited by SoloMatt, 28 June 2015 - 06:42 AM.

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#11 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 07:10 AM

I'm not sure why the carpet is of concern. Really it's dealer choice what interiors you can replace. I've seen beautiful wood slats going up and down a old custom Casita. Also on other fiberglass trailers which mimic Casita shape and design the interior came in like this cork board material. The carpet you would just cut at the fold seam if you look at Casitas that's how it is done then all glued together. I wish I could offer advice on glue but I'm not sure. There is quite a few pictures and stories online of people refurbishing a Casita. Judging at the design you're gonna be in a difficult situation for spare parts unless you find Casita scrap somewhere (does that exist?) Seems like you have all your upper cabinets, but yeah him tossing bathroom makes for an annoying situation. So I'm guessing where the toilet was there is just a hole? Is there not even a black water/gray water dump plumbing. Better question is there even gray water/black water container underneath. Most likely you'll have to get a new fresh water tank and plumbing... I forsee long evenings but if done smart could turn out to be something impressive. Good luck to you.

I guess my thinking has been that carpet with attached foam back would help keep the weight down. But, I guess without actually weighing carpet with foam against other options I can't say it's a fact. I know I'm currently not much of a finish carpenter. We're about to go to the shop and give her a full assessment and see what I'd and isn't there. Then I'll know if we have water tanks etc. I know we have the shower pan and toilet.

I agree with Charlie that you could really do anything on the walls for insulation and appearance. Scamp uses 'rat fur' Casita uses marine grade carpet and Escape uses a form of insulated vinyl. There are positives and negatives to all of them. Beetlefreak did wood panel coverings for the walls, over the carpet that was there. Since your walls are bare, you have a lot of options!
Also... you may want to talk to Derek at Happier Camper here in SoCal, who just developed the HC1 fiberglass travel trailer, about his modular fiberglass furniture (http://happiercamper.com). Might be perfect for what you're trying to do, since you are nearly starting from scratch! Not sure if he's willing to sell the pieces separately for another trailer or if they are only available to HC1 customers... but worth a shot. And his dad has been restoring old trilliums and bolers forever, so they know they're stuff.

Thanks, I'm going to look into Happier Camper.

#12 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 09:32 AM

Ok, we just got back from a recon mission and determined this much. If the measurement of the fiberglass shell determines the length then it's a 13 footer. The data plates have been removed, so we don't know for sure what the model is, but on the bill of sale the previous owner called it a 1984. All of the shower walls are missing. Other than the toilet and the kitchen faucet there is no plumbing, it appears as though all the wiring will need to be redone, including trailer lights. The floor was replaced, but not with pt, so I think we'll redo that, and while we're in there deal with plumbing and wiring. There is no furnace, no ac, no fridge, no water pump. Almost all of the wood interior doors are shot, the wood panels on the seats are still good though. Oh, and it came with a brand new fan-tastic fan, so that's good.image.jpg image.jpg

#13 Plainsman

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 09:49 AM

No. It's a 16-footer. A 16' Spirit Deluxe. Hitch to bumper is the measurement. Neat trick, turning it upside down for a pic. You da man!


Edited by Plainsman, 28 June 2015 - 09:50 AM.

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"OTRA" (On The Road Again)
2003 17' Spirit Deluxe #1240
2004 2500HD Duramax Diesel Crewcab

The Sandhills of 'East Wyoming'

#14 SoloMatt

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 09:50 AM

Yep. What plainsman said. 13' body is 10'. So you've got yourself a 16 footer!

#15 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 10:42 AM

Ok, it's a 16. Cool. Sorry about the pics, I have no idea how I did that, but there you have it. Just try looking at them right side up on your device.
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