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Stripping the Shell

December 12, 2011

I am itching to get building, however I do not want to have to fix anything later that I can easily repair now.   So time to get the shell ready.

Ensolite (insulation stuck to the fiberglass and painted to finish the interior)

Interior Before

Mess behind the yoga mats

After browsing blogs, forums and facebook pages I was leaning towards leaving in the ensolite, as that seems to be the standard advice across all posts, however due to water between the new ensolite and the shell I have decided to pull some back.  After a reluctant start, the more I tore out the better I felt about my choice.  There where a few moldy spots, many wet spot and a few unfilled holes that would be very hard to find from the outside.  Also to seal the seams a real fragile tape was used that I am sure would not have held up, the seals also had a clay like material some places, in other spots silicone calking and others an industrial calking.  The ensolite was good (except were yoga mat had been used), but now that it is all out I am happy with the choice to pull everything out, without this step I am not sure we could ever get rid of the musty smell the trailer has.

The yoga mats were attached with a construction caulking, I have started chipping it off, however a neighbor has offered his grinder for this part of the project making it much faster (and messier).

I also have a few rivets left to pull out (already drilled) and a few traces of the ensolite left to scrape off (a scraper has made quick work of this so far) and the interior should be good.

Interior Coming out

Pulling the ensolite off has shown just how big the fiberglass job pending is.

The yoga mats were attached with a construction caulking, I have started chipping it off, however a neighbour has offered his grinder for this part of the project so it should be much faster.

Pulling and scraping removed most of the ensolite fairly easily, but the traces left behind did not come off so easily.  Lots of scrubbing for a little progress.

Pulling off the hardware and closet

Many of the parts are old, painted over and damaged, and in some spots holding the ensolite on.  These all had to come off.  Drilling most of the rivets was pretty easy, as were most of the screws.  A couple few screws and bolts broke, which is not a problem as I plan to replace then all anyway.  A few of rivets and screws had rusted, making a mess on the fiberglass and ensolite, as well these were also the toughest to get off.  Nothing that can rust will be used on the shell when I rebuild.

The closet had also been fiber-glassed in on one side, making it a little more difficult to pull it out and clean up.

Pulled the door hinges off, marker lights, tail lights, awning strip and anything else I could find on the body

Removing windows

The windows installed with rivets were simple, the drill made quick work of these.  One window had been bolted in, so with the boys taking turns holding the vice grips on one side I was able to remove these as well.

Cleaned out

The front and back window were simple to remove, just needed someone to catch it.  (Found a video on YouTube that showed how to do this)  On the outside found a break in the lock strip, simply pulled it, the pushed the window out.  There was water in the strip which was concerning, withe the water and the obvious age of the plexiglass I will be replacing the front and back windows.

With the shell free of everything the next step will be removing the floor.  I want to patch a few holes and see what is causing the soft spots.  I also want to see what the frame, axle looks like.

Starting to look to the fiberglass work and sanding that is required to get the shell ready for painting.  I also need to decide if I will fix the standard standard side windows or just purchase newer RV windows.  The colors also need to be chosen soon, as painting the frame will happen shortly, and I want to paint the shell before I start putting it back together.

The trailer is quickly looking worse and worse, I can’t wait until I get to start putting it back together:)

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