3M Marine Cleaner and Wax - Review - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-13-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
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3M Marine Cleaner and Wax - Review

I just used this product for the first time on the trailer. This is the first time since it came from the factory that I haven't just washed it with Zip Wax Car Wash.
I've been trying to balance UV damage and oxidation versus damaging the gel coat.
I did a lot of research before I finally decided what to use.
I'm pleased to say that the 3M product was very easy to use. I didn't have to rub it very hard so it didn't feel like I was sandpaper ing off the gel coat . It gave a pretty good shine but not quite the blinding effect of new from the factory.
Just my product review--I know there's a lot of opinions on the subject!
Phil
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:17 PM   #2
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Good for you Philip! Very glad it worked for you. I have often said, it's not about the differences in the wax, but what you're willing to use! Honestly, some waxes are a chore to use and folks spend the bucks on it, but give up. Wax/cleaners/polishes need to be used. It's part of maintenance! USE IT!
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:31 PM   #3
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Phil i am a big fan of the 3M products. Cleaner and Wax product is pretty well their lightest grade of product. If you want to push the shine up you need to use a power buffer when applying or go with the Restore and Wax if it got to much oxidization. If you check the 3M site they also have a few other suggestion as to steps to take with what products to getting the shine right back up. Normally they suggest adding a coat of good wax to it after you have used the base product. They also have a product called Finesse-it that will really boost the shine up as well.
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:58 AM   #4
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Thanks Donna & Carol. I got the 3M name from the forum here. I know it's been recommended although I couldn't find the posts again. At any rate it did the trick so I thought I'd share.
I'm thinking about getting a cheap electric buffer. Canadian Tire has one for about $50. I'll check out the Finesse-it also.

And, Donna, just a word of advice. Be sure to take sunglasses when you pick up your new Escape 5er Even if it's not a sunny day the shine's gonna be awful hard on the eyes from that big surface
Phil
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by reeves99 View Post
And, Donna, just a word of advice. Be sure to take sunglasses when you pick up your new Escape 5er Even if it's not a sunny day the shine's gonna be awful hard on the eyes from that big surface
Phil
I think Donna's biggest problem will not be the glare, but how to move the thing down the road. Pretty tough to do that when you are just sitting in your trailer, lovin' it, not wanting to leave it.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:52 AM   #6
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The glare off of Donna's new trailer is going to match that glare off her very shiny new truck! They are going to look amazing together!!!
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:08 AM   #7
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I got a cheap battery powered buffer from Canadian Tire.
Now, when I go on their site, I find almost no selection in 4" pads. Almost all are 6".
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:15 AM   #8
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Glen. I've looked in a couple of Cdn Tire stores and there's definitely no 4" pads. The smallest seems to be something like 7" which seemed overkill for my little trailer. I'm considering getting a disc for my drill. Has anybody tried that route?
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:45 AM   #9
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Glen. I've looked in a couple of Cdn Tire stores and there's definitely no 4" pads. The smallest seems to be something like 7" which seemed overkill for my little trailer. I'm considering getting a disc for my drill. Has anybody tried that route?
You will be happy you got the 6" or 7" which is what I use. Makes the job go a lot faster. The wool disk being the your best choose if using the 3M products.

The problem with using a drill is it is very easy to go right through the thin layer of gelcoat on the trailer as you can't controller the speed as you can with an actual variable speed power buffer.

If looking at the different types and if your not comfortable using one of the high speed polishers the pros use which if used incorrectly can also damage the finish your best to look for a variable speed "orbital" polisher - its much harder to do damage to the finish with one of those. I have found the ones that have the handle off to the side such as the Porter cable pictured below to be much easier to use & control then the ones that have the handle right on top over the disk area.

I am fortunate to have a "Car Guy" next door who also happens to work at an auto body shop. So he came over and showed me how to correctly use the high speed polisher he had when I first got the trailer and needed something with a bit more power to take off the 16 years of heavy oxidization from the top of the trailer. Since then I have purchased my own variable speed "orbital" polisher that helps make the yearly wax job go much faster.

There is a pretty simple write up giving the pros and cons as to the various types of buffers found here.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:52 AM   #10
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For the inexperienced I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using only a random orbital polisher. It is too easy to burn or damage the surface with a rotary polisher or a drill.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:54 AM   #11
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Thanks Carol. That's really helpful!
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:56 AM   #12
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I wore a hole in the gelcoat of an old boat, using a drill. Happened in the blink of an eye.
I'd go with the Porter-Cable shown above and then find somebody to show me the technique.
Must be a Youtube video out there somewhere ( or hundreds ).
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