Exterior Maintenance Questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-15-2016, 09:41 AM   #1
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Exterior Maintenance Questions

Getting ready to do some exterior cosmetic maintenance on the Scamp.

Decals are cracked and fading, so I have new decals from Scamp- check. Gravel guard hardware is rusting and sagging, so I have a new set from Scamp- check. A few rivets need to be reset with new retaining washers- check. Have lots of snap caps, but no small ones- still looking there.

Putting together an Amazon order today.

Questions:

1. Is there anything I can do to the gravel guard hardware to prolong its life? Paint? Some kind of clear finish?

2. I'm ordering the 3M Stripe-Off Wheel. Do I go to work on the decals as-is, or should I do any chemical or mechanical prep before attacking with the wheel?

3. I am going to try a marine wax this time. I'd say my Scamp has moderate oxidation on top with light oxidation on the sides. I plan to use Bar Keepers Friend to do a thorough cleaning before applying the wax. I am looking for UV protection and durability more than a super-high gloss- not interested in the Zep or Poly-Glow approach. I've identified several products mentioned in old posts: Meguiar's M6332 Flagship Premium Marine Wax, 3M 09030 Marine Ultra Performance Paste Wax, or 3M 09062 Marine Liquid Wax. Any feedback on any of these products regarding ease of application or durability?

4. This will be my first riveting experience. I plan to start with the gravel guard hardware on the removable part as my training round. I have been reading all the recent threads related to riveting carefully. Any last-minute advice or cautions?

5. Seems like most people put a dab of sealant or butyl under the retaining ring when setting the rivet. What kind should I use?

6. I have read that the decals are best applied using soapy water so they can be adjusted. I'd love to have a bit more detail, as in step-by-step, on that.

Thanks, all!
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:24 PM   #2
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You should be very happy with the initial shine and long term UV durability of Meguiar's Marine Flagship. Have always used it on my fiberglass boat and metal vehicles with great success. The more soapy water the better with decals, once you're happy with positioning, squeegee all the liquid and air bubbles to the edges.
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:27 PM   #3
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I can help with No. 6!

I used Dawn dish soap in a bucket of soapy water (the soapier the better, no exact amount).

Peel the decal from the paper (you can do it in sections by peeling part of it off if it's a long stripe) dunk into the soapy water.

I also took my other hand and put soapy water on the camper, where the decal was going.

Remove from soapy water, place into position on camper. Position and reposition until you have it where you want it. Then using a squeegee or credit card, smooth out the wrinkles.

If it's taking a bit to get it positioned correctly, add more soapy water to the decal and camper, using your hand to 'scoop' out the water onto the work surface. As long as you keep it wet and soapy, you can reposition forever.

I ordered a sort of felt covered squeegee from Amazon that was very gentle on the decals.

Once the water and soap dries, the decals will be glued on. I was nervous about doing ours, but my dad has done tons of body work and striping over the years and promised me this would work, and it did! I started small, with the little scamp trees decals
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:33 PM   #4
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Here is the squeegee:
https://smile.amazon.com/Vinyl-Plast...decal+squeegee

And we have used and really liked, this three step process for waxing. It removed all of the oxidation and really polished up our Scamp.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:16 PM   #5
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Thanks, Ralph! Emily, I appreciate the details and links. I re-read your original post this morning when you did the same on your then-new Scamp. Looks like several votes for Meguiar's. Did you do any scraping before you used the eraser wheel on the old decals?
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:23 PM   #6
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I'm no expert but this past summer I compounded, polished and waxed my Bigfoot using Meguiar's Dual Action Drill attachment. It worked great for applying the products. No comparison between hand application and the drill attachment application - much much better using the drill attachment.

Here's link to it on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G350...drill+polisher

The car detailer's all say to use the least abrasive product that does the job. I wonder if the Bar Keeper's Friend might be more than is needed. Compounding with the drill attachment might be perfect. I was pleased with the outcome on the Bigfoot.

Let us know how your project goes!
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:54 AM   #7
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I simply sanded my gravel shield hardware as best I could then painted with a small brush and silver or chrome rustoleum. I did but stainless steel little carabiners from home depot to replace the dog tie out clips! Every year I go around my trailer and do little sanding jobs like this and paint with a tip or small brush. I buy a rattle can and spray into a medicine cup

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Old 10-16-2016, 06:55 AM   #8
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Oops. Q Tip

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Old 10-16-2016, 07:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 40bpm View Post
...car detailer's all say to use the least abrasive product that does the job. I wonder if the Bar Keeper's Friend might be more than is needed...
I have wondered that, too. I am leaning toward giving the 3-step Meguiar's a try and not using the BKF this time. I do have a power buffer.

Wendy, thanks for the tips. The current hardware is too far gone to be saved. The clips on the top of the guard wore grooves in the hooks on the trailer. As a result the whole thing sagged just enough that the clips on the bottom no longer latch. I have to wire it closed for travel. I'll paint the new before installation, then try to keep it up.

Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:35 AM   #10
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Removing old decals: two methods helped me get the 28 year old decals off our Bigfoot last week. I used a painter's heat gun on low setting with a plastic scraper and citrus-based paint remover gel. The heat method worked well if the decal still had some good vinyl left. Severely cracked areas came off easily with the stripper (2 coats) and scraper. Then it was all wiped up with acetone and finished with Barkeepers Friend.
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Old 10-16-2016, 08:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Thanks, Ralph! Emily, I appreciate the details and links. I re-read your original post this morning when you did the same on your then-new Scamp. Looks like several votes for Meguiar's. Did you do any scraping before you used the eraser wheel on the old decals?
I second what Kevin A did. We just used the Orange Goo remover and a plastic scraper. It was tedious and time consuming, but it got the job done. Then we wiped it all down with acetone and let that dry. We didn't have a stripper wheel or I may have tried that! On a few really stuck places, I used a straight razor blade, which worked incredibly well, but I was afraid of gouging the fiberglass, so only used it as a last resort.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:03 AM   #12
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I've done decals that way- removed graphics from a Nissan truck a while back. Very tedious and time consuming.

I learned about the 3M tool in your old thread, Emily (see post #10): 3M Stripe-Off Wheel. Several others have mentioned it since, and it seemed promising.

At $30, it's not cheap, so I was hoping someone that had actually used it could give some feedback on whether it works as claimed, and whether any prep work is needed. I was hoping to avoid chemicals, except a little for the final clean-up.
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Old 10-16-2016, 05:14 PM   #13
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Welcome Jon,
The last time I was riveting, I used Sikaflex 291 under the rivets. I also bought and used some neoprene washers to use with the rivets.
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Old 10-16-2016, 08:38 PM   #14
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Hi Jon,

Interesting thread. As you may remember, this is our first year with our new to us Casita. The top half of the Casita has taken a beating from the sun this summer. The "shine" on the top half is disappearing. It is splotchy (spots of shiny and spots of dull). I just attended a rally and another Casita owner indicated that our Casita had been treated with Polyglow. I am fine with the shine, but it is wearing off, particularly on the top half driver's side (faces the sun). I assume I will need to treat the entire top half by removing the remaining Polyglow and then polishing and waxing once stripped. I, too, was wondering about Meguiar's 3 step system even thought I don't really have any oxidation issues.

I will monitor your thread to see I can learn a bit.

Thx,

Dean
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