deteriorating fiberglass - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-23-2007, 09:05 PM   #1
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I have a factory accesory topper, bought new by my Dad with his 77 Ford F250. It's been outside, on the ground, for the past decade. The GelCoat has largely evaporated/burned away, and it now has a "hairy" fiberglass strand finish.
I would like to save this topper - as I said, Dad bought it new, it came with the truck.
A friend of mine with a body shop suggested rolling/spraying on a coat of pick-up bed liner as a cheap, durable finish. The liner material would completely contain the fiberglass fuzz, it would be easy to apply, it would probably stand up to the sun better than gel coat, it would simulate the original textured finish to some degree, and it's cheap.
I would chose white.
Any thoughts/comments?
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:09 PM   #2
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I dont think you have anything to lose by trying that idea.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
A friend of mine with a body shop suggested rolling/spraying on a coat of pick-up bed liner as a cheap, durable finish.
HI Dana,

I have a old 13'Scamp that I am restoring. It really needs a exterior refinish, it is covered with scratches and nicks.
You have just given me a great idea

Thanks,
John
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:22 AM   #4
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John-I would not do that to anything that you want to look really nice. The bed liner stuff retains a rough finish. I don't know how the bedliner would hold paint. It is supposed to be stain resistant which also means paint should not stick to it. I don't know if the stuff comes in anything but black and that would be extremely hot in the summer. I sat on a friend's truck tailgate for about 1 second on a sunny day, he laughed like mad because he said that he had done the same thing.
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:35 AM   #5
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I don't know if the stuff comes in anything but black and that would be extremely hot in the summer.
Well, it now comes in every color under the sun, and I think Dana mentioned he'd chose white. My only comment is white doesn't stay white..turns kinda cream colored pretty quickly, just as black doesn't stay jet black but turns kind of a dull brown/black. Acid rain, etc. contribute to the color change.
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:18 AM   #6
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I cannot locate my "Fix it and Sail" book at the moment, but the author has part of a sample chapter on Exterior painting on his website.

Exterior Paint

In that chapter he describes surface prep and painting of deteriorating fiberglass.

Bobbie
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:04 AM   #7
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Dana,
Before making any final decision, I'd contact a boat or auto body shop that does fiberglass work and pick their brains. Getting the bedliner material off if you decided you wanted a nicer finish later, might be an impossibility.
Also, contact someone who has a white bedliner about how it when dirty and how well it can be cleaned.
It would be a shame to make an irreversible decision if the result might not be satisfactory.
In-expensive is not always the wisest choice.

Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:46 PM   #8
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I agree!
I'm concerned about "color shift", too, though I wouldn't mind at all if white turned to cream over time.
I'm concerned with a number of things: color change, durability, flexibility, touch-up, paint-ability, proper surface prep....
I have heard from the this body shop and another source that durabak is a good product.
No decision made yet. Thanx to everyone for the input.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:57 PM   #9
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Please remember this Forum is for “Care and Feeding of Fiberglass Trailers”. This topic has been moved to General Chat.

That said, I manufactured Fiberglass Canoes over 35 years ago. The gel-coat is still great on the two I have left. Fiberglass can be refinished with a new outer finish to be as good as new.

My house boat is fiberglass and has been sitting in the sun out on a lake for over 20 years and the fiberglass is still in good condition. My experience is the Fiberglass is a great product and very durable. If yours has issues, it is probably a bad batch or manufacturing issue.

A couple of repair tutorials:
http://www.torresen.com/butterfly/bu...hullrepair.htm
http://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/17.htm
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userp...eutral+Gelcoats

Maintenance tutorial:
http://www.bostonwhaler.com/Rec/default2.a...erglassrefinish
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