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1964 13' Gaucho Rebuild (Tim and Susan Viall)

We purchased the Scotty in Riverside, California in August 2012. It was entirely complete and listed for $1500. After discovering dry rot, I talked the owner down to $900. I assumed it would be a fairly easy partial rear-end rebuild. I should have looked more thoroughly.

When I got home and removed a piece of tacked up interior plywood siding, I found the right rear quarter panel almost entirely rotted - mainly from a leaking roof seam. Lesson learned - when you see dry rot, look closer and assume it is five to ten times worse than what you can see.

In the photo below, you can see dry rot problems around the roof vent and the roof seam to the rear of the wall mounted cabinet.

With the skins removed, you see the dry rot above the front window - leaking roof seam primarily.

Down to frame and sanding thoroughly. The frame, other than surface rust, was in good shape.

Frame sanded and under-coated.

Extensive rot on the right side, primarily caused by leaking roof seams which are the number one source of leaks on these Scottys.

Pulling the trailer apart went pretty quickly. Saved all the pieces for templates for rebuilding the trailer. This Scotty was built in Bristow, Oklahoma and unlike those built in the Irwin, PA plant, had a full wardrobe/closet cabinet to the left of the door. The Irwin Scottys have a short cabinet there.

Opted for 3/4" thick floor and thoroughly undercoated the pieces before putting them down. New linoleum went down soon thereafter. The two wheel wells were in good shape so just cleaned, undercoated, painted and reused them.

Ordered 4x10 1/2" plywood from Lowes for the sides. Joined the pieces horizontally using lap joints, waterproof gluee and Simpson Strong-ties. The joints are hidden below the dinette seats and cabinets. This yielded very solid walls with no vertical seams visible.

Installing the new sides - the door and window openings will be cut later.

Rebuilding the dinette seats. Note we are housing a porta potty in the right dinette seat for the rare, very rare emergency use only.

Constructing the gaucho bed in the rear - note we have installed two pull out drawers underneath the bed, leaving about 10" behind them for storing tent poles, skis and the like through the rear cargo door. In rebuilding the wardrobe closet and the center cabinet, we cut 6" off the width of each, adding 6" to the width of the gaucho which yields almost a full sized bed.

We installed roof panels of Masonite, finished with a semi-gloss white coating. It yields a good looking ceiling. Here also are the three cabinets installed, trimmed back by 6 inches.

Pretty simple gaucho slide out piece, which seems to work well.

The left dinette seat will be home to battery, 12v DC circuits and two 120v circuits. Have ordered a Progressive Dynamics 4135 Power Center, which will be the brains of the electrical system. We have installed all new lights from running and rear turn signals, interior inset mini spot lights - all of them LED.

Two light switches inside the door on the wardrobe closet control the exterior nightlight and the two spotlights over the dinette table.

I like the look of the two teardrop cabinets to install over the rebuild. The electrical outlet is for a future flatscreen TV and charging ports for cell phones.

We used 1" solid foam insulation.

In one day we spray-painted all the aluminum skins with Rustoleum gloss white - before we put them on the trailer - resulting in a nice paint job with almost no runs.

The sides were covered with 1/4" closed cell bubble insulation, silver both sides with a very good insulation rating. My friend Tom, a cabinet maker, installed a slide out shelf lower right - we will keep a large cooler in place of the ice box - which we can take outside for nice camping weather. The old trailer cleaned up very well and I like the teal on the bumper.

Interior trimmed out nicely with aluminum backsplash above the cabinet, a 700 watt microwave for when we have 120v power, a two burner Atwood stove top and a small bar sink. We found a nice looking "marble-look" Formica for both the countertop and the dinette table.

We like the color combinations and the look of the interior. Still have a couple of lights to install above the dinette and awaiting the arrival of the Progressive Dynamics 4135 Power Center to finish the electrical system. We used the original Scotty table, merely laminating new Formica over the top and a 3/4" strip around the sides.

Purchase price $900 and about $3400 more in the rehab/rebuild. Estimated about 800 hours total time between me, my wife and help from two cabinet and electrical-savvy buddies. You can email me, Tim Viall at if you have any questions.

National Serro Scotty Organization | Delton, Michigan 49046