bad day, my trailer got an "owie" - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-21-2014, 10:39 AM   #29
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Herschel suggested buying a pair of reflectors or lights that would wrap around the edge, and placing one on each side. You and he are on the same track.

It doesn't seem to be getting any worse with daily use. I have a long weekend coming up in mid October and will probably fill it in at that time. It's just a matter of buying the kit and getting around to it. (At one time, my dad had some small wooden disks with the word 'TUIT' printed on them. He would hand one to a friend and they'd say, "what's this?" Dad would reply, "You're always saying you will do something or other when you get around to it... now you have gotten a round TUIT." I guess I need one of those round tuits.
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:27 AM   #30
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A round TUIT is always handy.
Back to your first post - I think the reason you did not see any fiberglass mat in the break is that they most probably do not lay up woven mats of glass. It is in most cases all sprayed up into the molds as chopped fiber and resin and then rolled down tight, so the fiber is randomly oriented and results in different appearance from woven layups.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:19 AM   #31
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When I was touring the Snoozy factory I inquired about their FG method. Richard took me to the molds and explained to me how the honeycomb foam inner material and the rolls of glass mat are use. I saw huge rolls of FG cloth in different weights. I'm assuming the structure consist of glass mat that is positioned on both sides of the foam inner core then the resin is pumped into the mold to saturate everything. Oh, I also saw where the lower tub section is actually thicker than the upper section (viewed before entry door was installed). I would say averaging 5/8"-3/4" on the bottom hull section and 3/8"-1/2" on the top. I was told corners are generally thicker too. I was glad to see that, because the lower hull is quite strong & stiff and not as flexible as the top section. Just sharing what I observed.

SAMPLE: The image below shows a scrap piece of the FG wall material on the inside gel coat side. I scratched off some of the white gel coat so you can see the honeycomb inner foam pattern underneath. You can also see where the window has been cut out of the upper wall showing a cutaway of the glass resin, inner foam core, & inner & outer gel coats. You can see the cloth in the resin if you look closely. This is the upper shell section measuring around 3/8" thick. The foam core structure is suppose to make the overall unit lighter in weight without compromising strength, while also adding some insulating properties.

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Old 09-23-2014, 07:15 PM   #32
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Thanks for posting that great photo.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:22 AM   #33
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New to the site but not to dealing with fiberglass repairs. I've found epoxy resins to be much more user friendly than fiberglass resin. One post suggested using silica as a thickener for the FG resin. This product, also known as colloidal silica and cabosil, is used for structural situations and is very difficult to sand. Instead, you might consider using one of the Geougeon Brothers (West Systems Epoxy) thickening products such as Micro-light Fairing thickener as the top coat of the repair. Adding the silica or some chopped glass as a thickener on the base coat(s) is suggested. While I have found Geougeon Brothers (West Systems Epoxy) to have excellent technical support I prefer to use the epoxy sold by Express Composites up in Minn.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:52 AM   #34
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Vinny, What advantage do you see using expoy, (expensive) over polyester resin. I have heard that the only thing that sticks to epoxy is epoxy. While the West system is popular in boating situations, many don't see a need for it in fibreglass trailers.

I really can't say, since I have only worked with polyester resin. I have found the results very satisfying.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:26 AM   #35
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If one were in a production mode then price would be a consideration, for me at least.
The working time for mixed epoxy is easily adjusted by choosing which resin is used (fast, slow and slower).
BTW West Systems G-5 (their 5 minute epoxy) is NOT waterproof.
I've long heard that only epoxy sticks to epoxy but have never had that experience. There are 3 simple things to do in order to assure proper adhesion on epoxy. 1) If fully cured wipe with a damp cloth the aniline by-product which results from the curing process. 2) If fully cured rough up the surface with 80 grit paper after first having wiped with a damp cloth. 3) Best practice is to apply a second coat of epoxy before the first coat cures but after it is firm and still a bit sticky. This creates a chemical bond as opposed to a less desirable physical bond.
Epoxy resins w/o any FG cloth is much stronger than the brittle FG resin w/o FG cloth.
Mixing ratios of hardener to resin is much easier that drop-by-drop FG resin.
Epoxy resins are much stronger and more wear resistant than FG resins.
FG resins require the absence of oxygen to fully cure. This is why one must use curing wax with FG resins.
West systems makes an epoxy, G-Flex, that is design to be used on plastic. It works great for this purpose.

Once you get the hang of using epoxy resin you'll never look back. After using West Systems epoxy for a few years I switched to Adtech resins which is approximately 2/3rds the price of West systems, they flow-out more smoothly and are a bit more flexible than West Systems. I order mine from a family business who are great folks to deal with, Expresscomposites.com.
These reasons are why I use epoxy as opposed to FG resins when making custom canoe paddles or for repairing canoes.
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