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Crusty Casita

Restoration carpet floor rivets rehab rehabilitation renovation

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#16 Tom Haberski

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:19 PM

Big project, depending on how much you want to do.  I'd more or less forget about the shower parts, unless you can find a damaged Casita.  You could think about removing the whole bath area and use it for seating, storage, a bunk, or something.  Your project will take a lot of time.  I refurbished a 1996 16' LD and it took awhile, and I was recently retired........but it was a complete rig, and almost everything still worked and was in place. 

Start your Casita forums and fiberglass trailer forum searches for wall coverings and the like.  Others have gutted and refurbished these rigs with a large project like yours, but the parts were still there, usually. 

 

I've used stainless fasteners to replace a lot of rivets.  I think the rivet story is an excuse for a cheaper and quicker production technique.  I rivet if it's a "blind" fastener with no access to the other side, otherwise S.S. fasteners.  I've seen no fiberglass cracking with S.S. fasteners over 8,000  miles of use.

 

Silicone or 3M 5200 would be good fastener sealants.

 

Butyl rubber strips are used for window sealants.  McMaster-Carr is a great industrial supply house that has everything you need, and alot more you don't need.

 

Any protection is better than none for winter storage.  I built a bow arch shed to store my rig.  Not heated, but I was able to work on interior projects in the winter with a small electric heater inside the Casita.

Attached Thumbnails

  • shed.jpg
  • storm shed 2.jpg


#17 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:53 PM

Tom, thanks for the feedback and info. I'd like to find a wrecked Casita so I could install the bathroom, or at least do as much as I can and leave it open to improve upon when and if I ever find parts. I'd imagine the plumbing parts are fairly generic, no? Where we the grey and black water tanks located? If I can find those used that's a good start. I'm just wrapping up a very long bike project, so it only makes sense that I transition into another looooooong project.

#18 Tom Haberski

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 04:38 PM

If your Casita is a 1980's vintage it likely does not have a grey water tank........I understand they just had a garden hose outlet on the exterior.  The black water tank may be built into the toilet......mine is........not a separate tank as the stool sits on top of the fiberglass tank.  Plumbing and even electrical are typical hardware store items.  Camping World is a retail & catalog distributor of a lot of RV parts, and there are other suppliers for hardware online.  My 1996 does not have an opening rear window.  You'll likely not find that option available, and just getting a replacement may be tough on such an older model.

 

bon voyage,


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#19 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:10 PM

Excellent, I thought perhaps there was a tank of some sort attached to the stool. Good deal, one in our favor.

#20 JennandGraeme

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:13 PM

By the way Tom, that's a cool looking hut for your camper, what kind of materials did you use?

#21 Tom Haberski

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 06:33 PM

The plans & design for the shelter are from Stimpson Marine....Google them & you'll find them.  In retrospect, I'd have saved a lot of time just buying a temporary shelter from the big box stores.....but I originally started that project for storage of a sailboat I had at the time.  (Casita visible in the background in attached pic.) The store bought shelters are useful, but dark (grey plastic coverings) and the bow arch just looked much cooler (like a whale) and the greenhouse white plastic has held up well for 5 years so far (it's in the shade, mostly).  The bow arch also shed snow very, very well, as you can see in the previous images.

 

The materials are 1" X 3" pine boards bent in a jig (shop made) to make 1/2 arches which are joined at the top.  The cost of materials was the same as the store bought version and much more costly in time.  I have a superabundance of time, the sort of which is not money, so that part didn't matter.  But I'd buy a temporary shelter next time,to save time.  I just don't like the battleship grey covering on most of them.  There are white versions, now.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Bow arch shed (2).jpg
  • bow arch.jpg


#22 javadog

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 10:49 AM

Graeme-
That camper is a great find and will be the source of a lot of gratification if you like tinkering on projects.
My question is what is your vision for how much restoration you want to do to it? How much do you want to have in the way of amenities and how much money
are you willing to spend? I have worked on beater boats and stuff before and they can become a bottomless pit for money, especially if the parts are hard to
source and have to be shipped from all over the place. You might want to call Larry at Little House Customs in Texas and ask him about getting some used
parts in good shape. Read up on the Hepvo valves which replace plumbing p-traps. They don't freeze and don't have to be winterized.
I would consider getting it in useable shape and use it for a while without electricity, gas , plumbing, or tanks. You could put a drain valve on the
potty black tank pretty easily and only use it for liquid waste. You could bring along 2 or three portable water tanks like the Reliance Aquatainer and not
need a fresh water tank, plumbing, pump, or power. Use a portable gas stove outside. If you were at a campsite with power you can run an extension cord to
power a fan and a low power light or two. That is what I wanted in a camper--hard sides, a door that closed, a bed, and a porta potty. Air conditioning is nice to have but
not necessary if you just don't go camping in the hottest part of the summer. I was going to convert a cargo trailer, but they got expensive fast and needed a lot of
reengineering work if I wanted to add insulation, windows, and basic systems. I made a good decision on getting a used Casita instead, but there is a lot of wasted space and stuff I won't use like a
water heater, and quite a few things I would do differently if I was designing it from the ground up like you.
Good luck and keep us updated.

#23 JennandGraeme

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 07:45 AM

Thanks for the thoughts Java, I've been mulling over our trajectory with this project. My instinct is to restore it, but the more I think about it, the more I think about making it useable. We could improvise an outdoor shower easy enough, and when tent camping a pit privy has always been enough. One of my main concerns is that we have it structurally sound enough for travel. My understanding is that the interior walls provide that structure. Perhaps instead of a bathroom a closet is in order. I do think that the foam backed carpet will be the interior lining, however, that could change as well.

#24 JennandGraeme

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 04:30 PM

Ok, yesterday was our first day of work on the crusty casita. We removed the hastily glued on indoor outdoor carpet which was put on a couple small sections and with an angle grinder fitted with a wire wheel removed much of the adhesive. It worked really well, the only draw back being that it put the adhesive all over me and the floor, but it was easy enough to clean up. We're probably half done with the adhesive removal, then we'll figure out where to source the foam backed carpet and adhesive.
Has anyone used the marine grade carpet adhesive? I saw that west Marine carries it, and from the description it looks like it's just what we need. Made to adhere carpet to fiberglass. Seems simple enough.

#25 araden

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 06:13 AM

I've used it a couple of times to replace carpeting on the inside of my hull.  Worked well.


- Al
SouthEast Florida
2014 Toyota 4Runner
2014 Spirit Deluxe - "Scrimsharker"


#26 justus2

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 02:58 PM

Graeme

It looks very much like my 16 SD did 2 1/2 years ago. My opinion, is that it is worth the work. We just finished our first two shake down trips - two because we found a few things we could have done better. But now we know just about every inch of this toy. So I will bet that with you being a mechanic, "good enough" just isn't "good enough". So your final product will be worth the effort.

 

Have Fun

 

Bob



#27 JennandGraeme

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:44 AM

well folks, not much activity from me, because there hasn't been much activity on the project. Life keeps getting in the way! Tonight we are slated to go to the local home improvement stores carpet shopping. I got a little freaked out on my drive to work this morning because I realized we haven't even thought about the interior wiring. I think I've got some electrical planning in my future.tomorrow we are supposed to take care of removing the remainder of the adhesive. That should go pretty easily. Then I think we'll have a couple hours planning lights, outlets, etc, followed my making a materials list. Progress is slow, but with my motorcycle project done I have a little more time to commit. Thank you Bob for the encouraging words, and thank you Araden for the input on fiberglass adhesive.
Graeme

#28 Dutchman

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:22 AM

2. How the heck do you carpet the inside of a bowl?! There isnt one square corner inside this baby!

 

That reminds me of my visit to the factory and the factory tour.  In one spot two men were inside pushing carpet all around.  It looked like two dogs fighting under a blanket.   If you have a chance at visiting Casita, take the tour. I've done it twice since I bought my Casita.  Very informative, to see the process from an empty hull to each addition inside to completion.  As well as to see what goes where.  I wonder if Casita would sell a module or interior component, to save a bunch of time.

 

A few years ago, in Eureka, MT, I saw a beautiful, shiny 13ft 'egg' of undetermined origin.  The owner said he bought it as an empty, dirty shell (it had been used as a chicken coop), and restored it inside and out.  He then painted it two-tone, to match his fifties era car.  This was at an antique car/trailer show.  So, yes, it can be done. Good luck on your project.  

 

Dutchman


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#29 borderbrae

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 01:46 PM

Looking at the photos it looks like where the side dinette would be is set up for bunk beds.   

 

You do have a window in the bathroom, something a lot of folks would love to have!! 

 

Bathroom, hmmm, since you do have the toilet and shower pan I wonder if you could build the 2 walls that are missing for the bathroom and then use something like truck bed liner or rhino coat to seal the area so you could shower in there? That may be over simplifying it but it's an idea. Wouldn't be insulated like the bathroom with double walls and carpet between them is, though. 

 

Quite a challenge you and your fiance have before you but sounds like you're willing to take it on. Good luck! 


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#30 JennandGraeme

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 06:20 PM

Well, just back from the local box store to investigate carpet and carpet pad options. Looks like marine grade carpet won't break the budget, but the carpet guy pointed out that we would need to use a special double adhesive pad, made for gluing down then having carpet glued to it. Which, of course was something they don't offer at said box store. I like the idea of mold and mildew resistance, I just wonder how hard this pad material will be to find, with those qualities. That said, the PO installed regular old plywood floor, which now I'm thinking we need to upgrade to marine grade, if we are going to go through all these other pains. We are yet to work out the wiring diagrams, but after a quick google image search found a nice color one of a spirit deluxe 17'. It isn't the same, but gives me an idea of what we're going to need to run for wire. I'm not so concerned sboit hooking things up yet, just getting the wires in before the carpet. We' ll deal with connections and such after we have the carpet in. Really, at this point the primary objective is to get it to the point where we can install all the interior components that rivet to the shell and install the window and fan. Get it weather tight as it were, since we are paying rent to keep it in the shop were using, and haven't got covered shelter for it at home yet. If ever. Here in Vermont, if it isn't raining, it's snowing.





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