Chasing the elusive shine - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-29-2009, 06:12 PM   #1
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Almost 20 years ago, by wife and I bought a 19’ Bigfoot travel trailer. According to the salesman, the previous owner’s had domestic difficulties soon after they had bought the trailer new. They took one trip and the trailer then went into outdoor storage for nearly four years . The inside of the trailer was like new but the exterior was heavily oxidized and very faded and chalky. Over the years I have tried just about every polish, cleaner, restorer and wax on the market. Some did nothing, some restored a faint shine but the gloss always faded after a few weeks. I have kept the trailer clean, but dead bugs, bird droppings and other stains seemed to “soak” into the fibreglass and need a great deal of effort to remove them.

Probably because of the fact that I am now getting near eighty years old, the annual clean up and polish of the trailer, gets harder every year. After a lot of on- line research, I decided to try Poli-Glow re-finishing system. I was a bit skeptical about the manufacturers claims, but as I seem to have tried every other restorer, without lasting success, I decided to give it a trial.

Being a procrastinator, I used the excuse that Poli-Glow must not be applied in cold weather, to wait for the hottest June on Record in British Columbia, before I started.
I decided to do an extra step in the application that was not required in the instructions and I first gave the trailer a “super clean” I used a garden sprayer loaded with one part Simple Green and two parts water. I sprayed this on a small area and then scrubbed the wet area with 3.M. White Scotchbrite pads. (purchased by the yard). If any stains or discolouration remained , I repeated the process. I rinsed the cleaned area with a pressure washer on its lowest pressure setting This step took me two days, starting work very early in the morning and stopping before the hottest time of the day.
I was quite worried by the fact that the Bigfoot was now bone white and not the pale tan that was the factory colour in the late 80’s . Another worrying fact was that my driveway was running with white creamy water that was the oxide from the fibreglass . I feared I may have removed all of the remaining gel coat.

The next step was to clean the trailer again using the provided spray bottle of Poli-Prep and again scrubbing with Scotchbrite white pads This step was easier and took me only a day.
The final step was the application of the Poli-Glow itself. An applicator is provided and this step was quick and easy. At least five coats are required. In the temperature I was working in, the coat dried in a couple of minutes.

The first coat of Poli glow looked terrible, it left the trailer streaky and multi-shades of cream and white and I seriously considered removing it and reverting to Wax and elbow grease. I did however persevere with the Poli glow and the second coat at least did away with some of the streaking and the colour was more uniform. The third coat was spectacular in it completely restored the trailer to its original colour. Coat four gave the trailer a good shine and the final coat number 5 made it gleam like new.

I quite frankly did not think this degree of restoration was possible and I was doubtful if it would last. It is now about three months since I completed the job and the trailer has been on two trips and has traveled on gravel roads and has passed through clouds of bugs and the only cleaning it has received, has been spraying with a garden hose with no soap or brushing and I am delighted with the result.

The manufacturers of Poli-Glow recommend and annual single coat maintenance. There was enough product in the kit to do my trailer twice, so I have lots left. I am not in any way connected with Poli-Glow and other than making an on-line purchase of their product I have had no other contact with them.

This is my experience of the product. The results obtained by others my vary. I am convinced that my success with the product is due to the extra “mega” cleaning I gave my trailer.
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:53 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler, 1987 & 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
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Good info Colin. We will be restoring the finish this fall on out 5th wheel and have been trying to decide how to tackle it.
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:57 PM   #3
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I put 4 coats of PoliGlow on my 1983 13' Scamp and people think my trailer is only 1 or 2 years old.
This stuff is GREAT in my book.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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I have been putting off doing my trailer with the PoliGlow I bought because I don't have a covered area to store it out of the sun/rain. That will change when my shop is finished this month. I will post some pics of before / after.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:17 AM   #5
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lets see some pics of your bigfoot Colin
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:03 PM   #6
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Colin you can email the pics here and ill post them for you

punderwood86[at]gmail.com

just replace [at] with the correct symbol
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:58 PM   #7
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here are the pics of Colins Bigfoot
Attached Thumbnails
Alaska__Cassiar_Highway_2007_010.jpg   Alaska__Cassiar_Highway_2007_087.jpg  

Grandy_Creek_08_003.jpg  
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:42 PM   #8
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These are "pre Poli Glow" pictures. Later pictures to follow soon
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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Helpful info Colin.
My 'new' 07 Escape looks good on the sides, but roof is very chalky, due to outside storage I'm sure.
I'm just trying to muster the gumshun to get going.
Deb
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:28 PM   #10
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Hi: Deb H... I had a bottle of Meguires Cleaner Wax so I used it on the roof of "Our Escape Hatch". Just applied with an old sock, and buffed it with an old Tee shirt. Wow what a diff.
Down side now I only have my uniform and pajamas left!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:28 PM   #11
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Colin did you order it on line or did you find someone in BC that sells it?
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:35 PM   #12
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Hi: Deb H... I had a bottle of Meguires Cleaner Wax so I used it on the roof of "Our Escape Hatch". Just applied with an old sock, and buffed it with an old Tee shirt. Wow what a diff.
Down side now I only have my uniform and pajamas left!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
Hi Alf,
I'll have to get some Meguires. I just finished washing Greyt Escape, and ...surprise!....not so chalky afterall. But a little extra protection is necessary. Certainly there's a sock and tee around here somewhere up to the task.
Deb H
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:33 PM   #13
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I let mine go too far to use something such as polyglo. The gel coat was so thin that in some places you could begin to see the glass fibers below.

The only solution was an epoxy primer, then two wet coats of two part polyurethane auto paint and another three coats of clear coat.

It was a lot of work and I did end up with quite a bit of orange peel as well as several runs to sand out, then polish -- but now it really is an improvement, both visually as well as maintenance wise.
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:13 AM   #14
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Name: Deb & Chuck
Trailer: Bigfoot, Boler, Trillium, ECO, U-Haul, Burro, Escape, Trailswest, Compact Jr., Casita, Scamp
Washington
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I let mine go too far to use something such as polyglo. The gel coat was so thin that in some places you could begin to see the glass fibers below.

The only solution was an epoxy primer, then two wet coats of two part polyurethane auto paint and another three coats of clear coat.

It was a lot of work and I did end up with quite a bit of orange peel as well as several runs to sand out, then polish -- but now it really is an improvement, both visually as well as maintenance wise.
We Poli-glowed our 1995 Bigfoot 17 ft trailer. When we were close to Canada a Canadian Gentleman asked if our trailer was new, and I said it was a 1995. He had never seen one. All other shine products are a waste of time and do not last for me Poli-Glow is the way to go. You can order it from www.myboatstore.com.
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