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


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Old 09-08-2014, 03:46 PM   #1
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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bad day, my trailer got an "owie"

My Lil Hauley (Snoozy shell) contacted my old SUV while I was backing into the driveway. The SUV suffered a small hole in the side of the taillight.

This was a 2 or 3 mph impact. I thought, surely the Hauley will just have some rub marks at most.

Wrong!

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This trailer is a lot more fragile than I thought. the outer skin and sandwiched cured resin both crumbled into tiny pieces. I thought fiberglass contained glass fibers? I don't see them.

Now I have to come up with a DIY fix of some sort. Not sure what to do. Thinking about Bondo.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:01 PM   #2
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My wife found one chunk of decent size, and I took some pictures.

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This is what the outer gelcoat and the inside of the Hauley shell look like.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:09 PM   #3
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Don't use Bondo as a patch, get a fiberglass repair kit and sand or grind out the edges, then lay in some fiberglass mat or cloth in multiple layers to build up the area. Wait for it to totally cure then sand to shape. Then use the bondo to fix any imperfections.

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Old 09-08-2014, 04:20 PM   #4
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These trailers are closer to boats than they are to regular trailers and the info on boat repairs shows how close cousins they are!

From you second pictures I think it may have had a patch job done in the past or a bad glass layup in the mold where they did not imbed the fiberglass mat into the resin properly.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:20 PM   #5
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Look into a product called Duraglass. It is perfect for this type of repair. If it was structural issue then I would chase a traditional full resin and glass fiber repair which would make it a repair about 2 foot around. But this small job don't make it worse than it already is.

U.S. Chemical & Plastics

DURAGLASS*NEW WIDER MOUTH
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:39 PM   #6
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Might want to read through this thread which covers all sorts of FG repairs. You Can Repair Fiberglass

I'm with David on Bondo is really just good to fill minor surface imperfections, not so great for actual patch.

I am really not, repeat not an expert on FG but had someone suggest using silica powder available from West Marine (and probably other places) to thicken the FG resin so it was easier to work with on a vertical surface.

Wonder if resin and chopped strand mix would work as well as mat for a spot repair? I hate working with mat or cloth, every time I touch that stuff I am reminded why I would rather work with wood or metal. I muddle through using the mat/cloth but only thanks to a rich vocabulary of impolite words.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:41 PM   #7
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Have you called the folks at Snoozy? As I recall the Snoozy construction is different than the other manufacturers. Raz
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:53 PM   #8
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I would fill the hole with dirt and tape over it with duct tape before I will ever call the people at Snoozy for anything.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I would fill the hole with dirt and tape over it with duct tape before I will ever call the people at Snoozy for anything.
I sense some history there.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
Might want to read through this thread which covers all sorts of FG repairs. You Can Repair Fiberglass

I'm with David on Bondo is really just good to fill minor surface imperfections, not so great for actual patch.

I am really not, repeat not an expert on FG but had someone suggest using silica powder available from West Marine (and probably other places) to thicken the FG resin so it was easier to work with on a vertical surface.

Wonder if resin and chopped strand mix would work as well as mat for a spot repair? I hate working with mat or cloth, every time I touch that stuff I am reminded why I would rather work with wood or metal. I muddle through using the mat/cloth but only thanks to a rich vocabulary of impolite words.
I have seen that thread before (in fact I reviewed it just a few months ago), and it looks like a whole lot of work. Layer after layer, with long hours of curing in between. I want to just fill the hole with something and have it cure up and be done. For one thing, I use this trailer 5 days a week for work so I only have a weekend at most to get it fixed up.

If that Duraglas will do the job at one swipe, I'm interested. I found instructions on the tech data sheet for the product, and I just wish they defined what they consider a 'small' hole versus a 'large' hole so I'd know if this hole will be ok without any mat. Here's what it says:
For broken fiberglass: Cut out all damaged fiberglass and “V” groove the sides to be repaired.
For large holes: Cut enough fiberglass cloth or screen to cover hole and extend well back into the side.
For small holes, cracks and dents: Fiberglass backing is not needed.
http://www.uschem.com/products/docs/TDS_Duraglas1.pdf

This hole is about 1.5" across and perhaps 1/8" deep, but there are a couple of cracks, each nearly 2" long, on either side of the hole.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:01 PM   #11
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Mike - If you consulted with Snoozy folks, you would be dealing with Richard Mickle now, not Alan. Richard is very approachable and helpful.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Melanie B in NC View Post
Mike - If you consulted with Snoozy folks, you would be dealing with Richard Mickle now, not Alan. Richard is very approachable and helpful.
Alan is out of there? I didn't know that. For some reason I thought he and Richard were both in the place and working together. That would make a difference in my perspective.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:34 PM   #13
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Alan is not completely out the picture, but it is my understanding that Richard is running things now and making policy. You could deal only with him if you choose.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:15 PM   #14
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I am giving them a try... I wrote to Mr. Mickle and will see what he says.

I asked if he thought Duraglas or Dyna-Glass, or something else, would work. While I was at it I inquired about pigment to mix in, to match the color.
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