Clear coat - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-11-2019, 03:53 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Dennis
Trailer: In the Market
South Dakota
Posts: 1
Clear coat

The fiberglass on my 2004 Born Free is "splotchy"....and the roof areas finish is completely dull. So, two questions.....if left as is will the fiberglass deteriorate and would paying for a complete new clear coat finish be the only suitable sution?

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Old 05-11-2019, 04:35 PM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 7,649
Clear coat

Unless the fiberglass has been painted it does not have clear coat. The finish layer is gelcoat, which is a thin, sometimes tinted, layer of resin sprayed into the mold before the chop gun adds the structural layer of fiberglass. Unprotected it degrades in UV, forming a dull, chalky oxidized layer.

It can be restored. There are gelcoat restoration kits for small spots. Larger areas can also be restored, usually by a fiberglass specialty shop. It's expensive.

There are several alternatives to gelcoat restoration.

(1) Use a marine fiberglass restoration kit from 3M or Meguiar's. It runs about $40 on Amazon for a 3-step process, including oxidation remover, conditioner, and wax. I had pretty good results with Meguiar's on my Scamp. As long as you keep up the wax every 6 months or so (depending on climate and UV exposure), you shouldn't have to repeat the full process. It produces a moderate satin sheen and protects the gelcoat from further UV damage.

(2) Clean the fiberglass thoroughly, remove oxidation, and wipe on 4-6 thin coats of Zep high gloss floor wax (our local Home Depot carries it). No buffing is required; it dries in place. It gives a higher gloss than regular fiberglass wax and lasts longer- typically a year, sometimes two. When it starts to peel, you will need to use the Zep stripper to remove the old and reapply.

(3) Paint, either a professional automotive job, preferably by a shop that does fiberglass, or DIY using a marine product like Interlux Brightside. It's a big step, because once painted, always painted.

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Old 05-11-2019, 08:16 PM   #3
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Name: David
Trailer: 1998 Casita 17 SD
Posts: 693
#2 is under way on my 21 year young Casita. Stripped the old zep today and will be doing the final clean and reapply tomorrow. The Zep really brings this old Casita back to life!
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:18 AM   #4
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Casita 17 SD
Posts: 19
We applied 5 coats of Zep to our '03 Casita this spring and the results are very good. We cleaned it first with Barkeeper's Friend. It shines like new.
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