Hey, y'all, newbie here! I paid a modest amount of money for an 89 Rexhall Airex 29' this spring and am gonna make 'er as pretty and solid as I can on a shoestring and then go on driveabout for awhile. I looked hard and long and far and she was the best I could find at the time. The 100 mi drive home was a delight, she seems to run well down the road, handles well and the stereo is quite powerful. ;-) LOVE the big bay window. All in all, quite solid, no more delam than I was seeing on units for twice the price, etc. When she's cleaned up and redmaxed I think she'll be quite handsome and we'll be perfectly bonded. The only thing I fear is 6 mpg. LOL.
I'd like to report on some delamination repairs I'm doing, perhaps they'll be of value to someone else.
Thanks to George, who gave me the idea here:
Delamination on 1986 Bigfoot
(last post, page 1)
"...feed epoxy resin directly into separated space and provide mechanical force to joint components together during resin polymerization...Use of multiple feeding tubes into this separation area and low viscosity epoxy resin...mechanical force could be applied by placing braces inside the trailer and forcing the fiberglass into the original shape from outside..."
I purchased 3 of these (the deepest clamps I could find), which I found for a mere $17.82 ea with free shipping:
Amazon.com: Irwin / Hanson / Vise Grip (VIS24R) 24 in. Locking C-Clamp: Home Improvement
and I already had two 18" bar clamps and a few very large old iron c screw clamps.
And ordered up some thin resin here:
Epoxy :*Epoxy Resins and Hardeners
Bought some 60cc syringes and some very small aluminum tubing and made a needle about a foot long, which was about 6" of overkill but fun. ;-) Got some xilene for cleanup.
There was significant delam around the passenger side rear window in the bedroom with some leakage from the awning
rail above and a good deal of water ending up below. The interior panel under that window was fairly well gone so I removed it, as well as a chunk of the floor, replaced with some scrap wood. I basically gutted all of the crap in the bedroom as it had two bunks and desperately needed new wall covering.. I removed all 3 windows
in the bedroom and tarped the whole thing up well with a used 30'x50' ad banner as I am in the great moist north.
Used some bamboo sticks to kind of prop open the layers and used the hole saw in two areas inside at floor level, just breaching the inner layer of ply, then employed a cheap ol' blow dryer on low in multiple sessions to make sure any moisture was gone. Used the syringe/needle and drenched everything with 99% isopropyl. Figured that was the best I could do for clean and dry.
I began at the front side of the window (warming it up with the blow dryer first for the helluvit), the highest point to stick back together, pre-clamping below the area to isolate the goo to just the upper area. Used the bamboo sticks to kinda hold the layers open while I injected about 2 oz of epoxy all over. Used .5" boards and clamps, left it for 48. I began here because it was a small but tricky area, maybe 7" wide by 24" high. IT WORKED EXACTLY AS I HAD ENVISIONED IT. HALLELUJIAH AND THANK YOU, GEORGE!!!
I've repeated this process another 3 times, with 2 - 8 oz each time for variances in area and how far down the side the delam had progressed, left clamped up for 48 hours. I'm having to work around hardware in vertical strips, limited by my long clamps. If I had a dozen of these things this would go a lot faster. For the area below the window I'm using 1x12's inside and outside, with the heavy screw clamps on the top, the long reach vise grips over the window frame as far as they'll reach, and a board wedged laterally on the lower portion of the outside board to mash in further down than I can clamp. That's backstopped by a table with a weighted patio umbrella and a few cinder blocks, funky yet quite effective.
I'm a bit more than half done, just taking it slow as it's fairly cool here and I want to make sure it sets up completely before I declamp and I avoid glueing up on a rainy day.
I could not be more thrilled with how absolutely effective the epoxy resin is for this application. Most folks I spoke with prior didn't think this would work, but after cogitating muchly I couldn't think of a better plan and now I'm feeling vindicated. We'll see how it holds up with time and vibration, but it looks solid as a rock.
This is just the first of many little repairs and enhancements I have planned... Thanks for all the great tips!