Fiberglass campers for dummies? Fiberglass 101? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-18-2011, 05:52 PM   #15
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Cool

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Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
I have done enough reading to know that I'm supposed to "gel coat" the trailer or it has gel coat on it (?), but I don't really know what that is. Is it like paint? Like caulk? Do I just get a tub of "gel coat" and slap it on those cracks/"holes"?
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Cool! Hard to remember all the things that have confused me. But here are a few I can remember having to be sure of

Tongue
Coupler
Frame
Belly band
Rat fur
OK, that's a good start. There is so much there that I'll have to work offline and post blocks of information as I complete the write-up. This will take some time. In the mean time, I'm sure many members will add advice to this thread. I hope to monitor this to incorporate the information into a "Fiberglass Campers for Dummies" course.

I retired from the US Navy 17 years ago. One of my assignments was a 4 year stint as an Instructor at a Service School. I had to learn how to be an Instructor, and that experience serves me well to this day. My training was for writing lesson plans assuming the student knows nothing about the subject; exactly what you are looking for.

Here is a link to a project I completed some time ago:
Setting Up a Trailer in a Campsite
Checklist 8.0


"8.0" means that I re-wrote it 8 times. It is written specifically for my Fiber Stream trailer, but can be modified to be appropriate for any trailer.
It's 6 color-coded pages are designed to be printed out, and assembled as 3 "Recipe Cards"
  1. Boondocking
    • Arriving on the Front
    • Departing on the Back
  2. Full Hook-Ups
    • Arriving on the Front
    • Departing on the Back
  3. Storage
    • Arriving on the Front
    • Departing on the Back
These are all the tasks associated with the 3 types of places you will put your trailer. "Arriving" starts with you all hitched-up and pulling into a campsite (or a storage yard), and ends with with you unhitched and the trailer ready to camp in (or be stored). "Departing" starts with you set-up in a Campsite (or storage yard) and ends with you hitched-up ready to hit the road. Just select the card in which circumstance you find yourself in, and follow the 1 page step-by-step instructions that apply to that circumstance. I have personally tested them by arriving at a campsite with an inexperienced newbie friend of mine, handing him the appropriate card, and sitting back with a cold drink while HE set up camp.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:33 PM   #16
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Fixed link to checklist 8.0:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/d...checklist8.pdf
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:46 PM   #17
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There was reference to a good book here:
Body sag

If you like to watch video's, I found these in my local library:
SmartFlix, the Web's Biggest How-To DVD Rental Store
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:12 AM   #18
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Dan,

The one thing I tell people who are new to these little trailers is that they are a magnet. They attract attention. Often it is impossible to back into a space before a curious person comes along.

When either doing my setup or take down with the trailer I politely tell people I'd be happy to discuss my trailer but after I've done my tasks. I mention this because one time I was setting up and got distracted. I forgot to put a chock by the tire and when I went to jack the trailer off the ball it started moving more than I wanted it to. I was lucky that I had a chock nearby and quickly put it behind the tire. Another thing that I often forget when distracted is to switch or turn the refrigerator on.

So after learning and knowing the procedures for setup and take down the #1 item for Fiberglass Dummies is "don't let yourself get distracted by curious people".
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:36 PM   #19
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Dan Fiberglass trailer repair shops are truly sometimes difficult to find but boat shops ( obviously they do lots of fiberglass repairs ) are fairly common. I have also found it helpful to subscribe to sailboat magazines as they often have articles pertaining to fiberglass repair and other ideas that are useful as to camping in small spaces. Also most book stores will have books relating to repairs of fiberglass boats. Hope this helps Lee P.S. when backing your trailer place one hand on the bottom center of the steering wheel. Your trailer will move in the same direction as you move this hand.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:49 PM   #20
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Talking It's a downloadable .pdf

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Your link was broken too. My mistake was putting the Trailer before the Tow Vehicle. As a downloadable .pdf apparently you cannot directly view it, you've got to download it first, then you can open and view it.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:21 PM   #21
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Post Definition: Gel Coat

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Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
I have done enough reading to know that I'm supposed to "gel coat" the trailer or it has gel coat on it (?), but I don't really know what that is. Is it like paint? Like caulk? Do I just get a tub of "gel coat" and slap it on those cracks/"holes"?
I got this definition from Paint; a Legacy Post. I think it's a good explanation for a total

gel coat: Gel coat is an opaque, colored top coat applied to fiberglass. It is intended to give a smooth, uniform surface to the blotchy, ugly fiberglass. It is relatively soft, and scratches pretty easily, so use cleaners with care. Trailers are built outside first -- The gelcoat is applied to the mold (which should be slicker'n goose grease to get a shiny finish) and then the fiberglass is hand-laid or gunned (reportedly there's a difference between Scamp and Casita on this, but I dunno for sure) to the gelcoat. After the shells are removed from the molds, the rest of the stuf, like floors, wiring, insulation, carpet, cabinets, etc. are added. Gelcoat and clearcoat are two completely different animals except that they are usually (Corvettes not withstanding) the outside layer.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:58 AM   #22
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when backing your trailer place one hand on the bottom center of the steering wheel. Your trailer will move in the same direction as you move this hand.
Lee this was without a doudt the **best** advise I as a newbee was ever given! Until someone told me this I hated having to back up - now its easy.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Lee this was without a doudt the **best** advise I as a newbee was ever given! Until someone told me this I hated having to back up - now its easy.
Carol Until I discovered this little trick in a trailering magazine watching me park our trailer was the primary source of entertainment in any campground that I visited. Lee
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:05 AM   #24
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Dan, I see you already have some answers for your issues depicted in your pic's. (I so don't know how to do most of this stuff, so I can't give you an opinion on which way is best. But there are many helpful people here that you will get guidance for most any project.) As far as fiberglass repair, any boat shop can do it as well............


I just saw your in Boulder, I am in Greeley so I thought I would pass along 2 Rally's happening here in Colorado this summer/fall.


http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...1-a-45152.html


http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...1-a-45083.html



Try and join us. Even if you don't have your trailer done. It will be fun.




As for Gel Coat, you might want to check out this topic. Members using a different product and having success doing so.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ell-43004.html
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:03 AM   #25
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Thanks Robin! I had seen the Camp Hale one, and was interested, but it is midweek which is tough for us weekend warriors. But the Cherry Creek one in September is very possible. We'd love to meet some locals or semi-locals!
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:46 AM   #26
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Dan, There are locals but even our first Rally we had egg'ers from outta state. You guys should join us, it will be fun. And you will get lot's of ideas how to make your trailer the perfect trailer for you. Plus it really is fun!
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:31 AM   #27
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Propane: the camper has a stove and heater (no fridge), I have not checked those yet (was told they worked by the seller -- who seemed like an honest guy -- but we didn't have a tank to hook up to check). Guess I should check them. I'm assuming that the RV place can check out the system for leaks too, right?
Well, hooked up my propane tank and they seem to work! Took a while for them to fire up, I'm guessing it took a while for the propane to fill the line? And the furnace was kinda noisy/squealy, but they both work!

The furnace turned on as a fan first, then eventually heat kicked in. And when I turned it to "off", it kept running for a little bit. Is that normal? To make sure that the propane is burned off and the heat dissipated?

Also, should I get a battery operated CO2 detector? Something else?
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:01 PM   #28
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Took a while for them to fire up, I'm guessing it took a while for the propane to fill the line?

And when I turned it to "off", it kept running for a little bit. Is that normal? To make sure that the propane is burned off and the heat dissipated?
It does take a completely empty gas line a couple of minutes to "charge" kind of like a fire hose or other water hose takes a while to push all the air out as it fills.

That's exactly how my heater works. The fan continues to run after the gas is turned off to cool the heater. It prevents contact burns that way.
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