Thursday, June 8, 2017

Facelift

U-haul Fiberglass Camper with fresh paint
I got a good deal when I bought our little camper years ago, but it did need some work. I've gradually spent time and a little money over the years to upgrade and replace/fix things. Two things have been on my list for a long time: paint and replace the patched in plexiglass side window.




old plexiglass window
Old Plexiglass Window
New Old Stock Window
New Old Stock Window
Someone had busted out the original side window in the past and of course hadn't saved the frame. Some previous owner had stuck a chipped and cracked scrap piece of plexiglass in there and then calked it up real ugly. Due to that, the window had no way to open to provide ventilation on that side. Several years back a company that specialized in selling surplus from warehouses, opened a crate they'd gotten their hands on. Inside were a bunch of windows with Uhaul stamped on them. Well they posted them for sale on their website. Didn't take long before a group of us stumbled on them and they were sold out in a couple days. NOS (New Old Stock) Uhaul windows for the campers that Uhaul had claimed they didn't have any for years. At some point they had a batch of replacements and had gotten rid of them I guess while cleaning out a warehouse. I talked to the folks at the company and they said they bought a bunch of stuff in crates from somewhere all site unseen. They had no idea what was in the crates till they opened them at their warehouse. And even then they didn't know what they went to. So with luck I landed 2 of them a right and left side. (I have the other as a spare in case one of them ever gets busted.) Well this week I finally got that installed by a window guy. Thrilled to have finally gotten around to it.


U-haul Fiberglass Camper before fresh paint
Before New Paint (but freshly cleaned)
U-haul Fiberglass Camper with fresh paint
After New Paint (Shiny!)
The one thing that is the most noticeable about the camper has always been the outside of course. Mine had lost most of it clearcoat and shine years ago and was mostly chalky and rough. It made it difficult to keep clean and when you did clean it, it was a chore. I had a couple of options: paint or wax. When adding layers of wax to the fiberglass campers,you have to use a lot of it. Most folks go with a ZEP floor wax and put on 5-6 layers. This gets it shiny but also leaves imperfections visible. You have to use barkeepers friend or similar product to really clean and whiten it. Mine ha a fiberglass patch that was visible and some discoloring due to water from rusty drain hole in rear window running down the back of it. With painting, the wife and I discussed what color for 2 years before we decided to keep it white. I took it to my bodyshop guy and he did her up nice with a new coat of paint in Super White. Now she's shiny and clean looking. He even painted the rock guard to match. It was a hard plastic with a rough finish to it and a bit yellowing. Now it's smooth and the same color as the camper. All in all, I'm happy we finally got her done up right. I feel the paint adds more to the value of the camper than just a wax job.

So with the facelift done, I'm turning my focus to some other tasks as I prepare for our next big adventure with her. More updates to come over the next month or two as we continue some work and find some time work in adventure.