Check this out NOT Poliglow...Time will tell.. - Page 34 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-30-2012, 08:35 PM   #463
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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... The necessity of deep cleaning and light abrasion of the surface prior to application (Barkeeper's Friend. Simple Green, Tri-sodium phosphate) has been emphasized by many who have gone this route and can't be over-emphasized.
.... Clean, clean and clean again.

The possible present and future negatives contingent on this treatment have been made clear by other posters to the thread. The view that this is a "last resort" for an inexpensive surface restoration of older trailers has been mentioned many times by the original poster and subsequently by many to whom the treatment appears to look good, reduce maintenance, and evidence the promise of at least medium term durability exposed to the elements. Nothing is forever as those with expensive repaints will also discover in the fullness of time. Whatever paths your restoration efforts take you down, may you have immediate success and enduring satisfaction.

jack
Well phrased Jack.

I've been reading, looking and testing for years. This summer I have been able to start trial testing various modes of prepping a trailer. I have yet to decide on a final finish, yet I concur with you, the preparation is the key.

This weekend I had an opportunity to further a test patch. I'm testing the lower half of my boler American, that is the original 40 year old green gelcoat which visibly shows the results much better than the white top. I've tried taking photo's but they really do not show what the eye can see or what the hand can feel. I'll try to break my test and results into phases...

At the coin op car wash ...
Bring two people, a bucket, a short ladder and a long handled brush.
Power rinse first --- squeeze the trigger it works much better.
If "prewash" is available, use it after rinsing.
The difference between two trailers with and without prewash was remarkable.

Yeah, I tried the foamy brush that Helen had troubles with, my suggestion is to have a second cleaner with you. Fill the bucket with the foam so they can follow you around with the clean brush you bring. If you are dropping $20 or so, (and it will take that to do a good job) the operator usually won't mind.
Power wash with detergent, (pull the trigger - the sprayer works much better) ... I've just saved you another $10.
Power rinse.

Even after all of that, a trailer that has been neglected for a quarter of a century will look much better, but - just not quite up to snuff.

Once you are back home:
Awsome cleaner helps with a lot of the remaining dirt and some oxidation.
As does Barkeepers Friend.
In sequence following rinses they are even better, along with using a white pot scrubber.
I have yet to try the coke for the tar, or the rum for the operator.

I added a new test to the mix of what has been posted here so far. I tried flour of pumice. Pumice is the stuff used in facial scrub and mechanic hand cleansers. Flour of pumice is much finer, similar to what is used in toothpaste. You take the pumice and mix it with soap and water. The soap keeps the pumice in suspension with water while lubricating the polishing of the gel coat. Similar to oil being used to cut metal. I use pumice as an intermediating step in polishing acrylic.
<for the techno geeks, we are talking 0000 fine>.

BKF pre and/or post pumice polishing works better, combined yields the best results.

I think, that I am ready almost to try something like this:
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:35 AM   #464
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Very good info!! I'm learning im learning--I'm planning on starting the cleaning process this weekend. We live in central Illinois-it appears that Home Depot has Zep-I'l test a spot down below before I dig into the entire egg. Keep the helpful info and tips coming please!
Gene & Sue
Illinois
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:46 PM   #465
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Cleaning Up the 1989 16ft Scamp Deluxe

Greetings all!

After reading here about cleaning the outside of our Scamp, we have begun the process and are very pleased! The Bar Keepers worked great, as did the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers No more black streaks on the white finish! Here are the finished product photos...we will be waxing in the next couple of days! Very excited and its great to see the true colors of our Scamper!
Thankful for the info here!

Gene and Sue
Canton, IL
Attached Thumbnails
Clean Camper.jpg   Clean Camper2.jpg  

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Old 08-01-2012, 08:23 PM   #466
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The 3M buffing kit does satisfy the criterion of a product specifically made for uh--boats uh trailer-boats uh trailers. Think the warnings about surface evaluation to eliminate coarser grades of abrasive pretty much tells the story. Those sea-green patches wouldn't look so great. I take it you've got a good thickness of gelcoat on the Boler. I sprayed gelcoat in molds and laid up a number of cruising yacht rudders and shower pans in the 70s and believe I was somewhat liberal about thickness. The samples I have from our Burro are all from the interior hull and indicate a scant 1/64" of thickness. I wouldn't be comfortable with repeated attacks on that thin white skin on ours, thus the floor wax.

jack
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:59 PM   #467
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I take it you've got a good thickness of gelcoat on the Boler. I sprayed gelcoat in molds and laid up a number of cruising yacht rudders and shower pans in the 70s and believe I was somewhat liberal about thickness. The samples I have from our Burro are all from the interior hull and indicate a scant 1/64" of thickness. I wouldn't be comfortable with repeated attacks on that thin white skin on ours, thus the floor wax.
To be honest with you, I don't think it has ever been buffed. I doubt that anything I do other than power wash will be a repeat attack.

I imagine that the thickness of gelcoat varies as much as the thickness of fiberglass. Considering the short period of production for the boler American, I doubt those doing the job had very much experience.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:59 AM   #468
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I love the comment "its floor wax, not holy water"

best quote of the day
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:41 AM   #469
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The 3M buffing kit does satisfy the criterion of a product specifically made for uh--boats uh trailer-boats uh trailers. Think the warnings about surface evaluation to eliminate coarser grades of abrasive pretty much tells the story. <cut> I wouldn't be comfortable with repeated attacks on that thin white skin on ours, thus the floor wax.
jack
If gelcoat thickness is of concern in regards to using a 3M professional compound then they also have a non pro product called Restore & Wax that I used and it worked *very* well at buffing off 16 years of damage done to the trailer of sitting out in the Idaho sun with no wax or anything else on it to protect it. I only had to use it once so no repeated attacks required since using it 5 years ago - nothing more than and a good wax needed yearly to bring the shine back.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:51 AM   #470
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Greetings all!

After reading here about cleaning the outside of our Scamp, we have begun the process and are very pleased! The Bar Keepers worked great, as did the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers No more black streaks on the white finish! Here are the finished product photos...we will be waxing in the next couple of days! Very excited and its great to see the true colors of our Scamper!
Thankful for the info here!

Gene and Sue
Canton, IL
Make sure that before waxing you get all the dust or dirt that may have settled on your camper since you did the main cleaning (which looks very nice I might add).

Otherwise any dust,pollution or debris that has settled on your camper will get trapped under the wax. Worth doing a good rinse right before doing the wax job. Just giving it enough time to dry before waxing.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:48 AM   #471
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Definately will give her a good rinse before sealing that surface! Thank you for the tip!
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:41 PM   #472
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I'd be tempted to give a good rinse, let dry completely then go over the area I was ready to seal or wax with a cloth dampened with whatever I was using. Sort of like using a tack cloth in woodwork before finishing.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:21 PM   #473
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Roy mentioning tack cloth reminded me, you want to have a rag handy for wiping off any runs or drips. Red Maxx (and I would guess Zep) dry fast and hard but if you catch them before they dry you can wipe them right off with a damp rag.

If you applicator rag is not sopping it will work fine on the fiberglass to wipe up runs but I sort of wobbled on the ladder and squeezed my applicator rag right on the vent.... had to do a little scambling to find my wash rag from pre-cleaning to wipe it up.

Disposable plastic/rubber gloves are a big plus too. By the time your done any polish that gets on your hands will be well dried.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:15 AM   #474
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Wax on Wax off

Finally got our Scamp finished up--looks great! Here are some pics of the finished product.
Gene & Sue
Illinois
Attached Thumbnails
SidebkShiney.jpg   Door Side Shine.jpg  

ShineySide.jpg  
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:36 AM   #475
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Looks very good ... nice job.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:52 AM   #476
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Gene & Sue, I think you'll be happy with the water-beading and dirt-shedding properties for some time to come. Gee, that sounds exactly like what you'd expect from a wax. But time will tell, nothing is forever, it ain't holy water.

jack
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