fiberglass care questions from newbie - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-13-2006, 10:32 AM   #1
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I'm a first time RV owner and we just aquired a 92 Gulfstream Conquest. I have some questions on how to clean the outside(fiberglass body). First off, I do not think it was ever Gelcoted...not that I even know what that is In fact, I do not think the outside was taken care of well at all. I can see fibers which look to be housing dirt. The surface is very rough. If I get water and a rag, I can rub off these fibers and what I get is a nice, clean, smooth surface. Am I just rubbing off the outside layer? What do I do next? Paint it will some sort of clear coat? Gelcoat? Also, on the side of the sleeper(over the cab), I can see some unusually light colored spots in the normally yellowed fiberglass. Repair spots perhaps?

Also, I purchased a cover that is breathable. I live in Texas and the sun can be a killer, but I have recently read that covering an RV isn't the best thing to do. But if no garage is available, can I make the cover work?

Hmm...probably a million more questions to come

Chris
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:39 AM   #2
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Welcome, Chris.

I'm not familiar with that trailer. It doesn't sound like it's molded fiberglass. Is it fiberglass sided? Some pictures might help.
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:41 AM   #3
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Oh, it's a GULFSTREAM. My guess is that it isn't molded so I'm not sure we can help you that much, but we can try. Give us a picture and we'll see.
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
...over the cab..
It's also not a trailer, but - and here's the usual confusion - it apparently is a fiberglass-clad RV. The Gulfstream Conquest is a Class C motorhome.

The fiberglass panels used to sheath RVs are available with or without gelcoat (a layer with no glass fibers that forms a smooth outer surface), and in many grades, so understanding the state of the surface would take more information. If the fibers are glass, then I would be concerned that the surface is very worn, but moulded fiberglass travel trailers normally have a protective gelcoat, so the glass fiber is not seen at the outside surface even in very tired examples of our "egg" trailers.
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:19 PM   #5
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Two photos. One before and one after I scrubbed a layer of fibers off.


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Old 03-13-2006, 06:22 PM   #6
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I would believe that the sun has deteriorated the original surface to the point that glass strands are showing. Further deterioration will absolutely cause weakening of the structure.

All that's really needed is to keep the sunlight off. If this were mine, here's what I would do:

1) Paint the surface with a good quality silver paint. This is the best color to completely block sunlight.

2) Once it is dry, then sand sparingly with 400 grit and recoat it with a good urethane enamel system in the color you like. White is probably the best color for the Texas sun since it reflects all colors, and the pigment is very stable. Urethanes are considered the best for sunlight durability.

3) Good luck.


Tip: If you want to make a radical color change, a light coat of silver will eliminate color bleed-through. This works even when going from bright red to white.
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:41 PM   #7
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It looks like someone ripped off the striping, leaving the glue behind. How do I remove the glue safely from the fiberglass body?

Thank you!

Chris
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Old 03-15-2006, 12:12 AM   #8
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Ordinary gasoline or WD40, Lacquer thinners and Acetone runs almost $20 a gallon and gas is only $4.50 a gallon here so guess what I use.

Don't use WD40 if you plan to do any painting though as it contains silicone and will cause "Fish Eye" effects in your paint job unless you use Fish Eye remover additive in the paint.

Aslo aviod using Armourall if you are going to paint as it contains silicone!
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Old 03-15-2006, 12:53 AM   #9
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Hi Chris,

It absolutely looks like glass to me!

Let me see if I understand all of this correctly?
You're are talking about a fiberglass shell exterior, that has glass showing thru on a motorhome.

1. Someone took off the stripe, that was originally on it.
2. Are you willing to repaint it?
3. Regardless of the cost per gallon. . . you're not going to use a gallon of WD40, or anything else to take off the residue from a stripe. You're best bet would probably be to remove it with WD40, or something similar, then go over the area with acetone afterward, to "make sure," all of the oiliness is gone. Then "lightly" sand it, and wipe it down with something like cheese cloth.

What Loren said is definately good advise. Silver undercoating, then you can paint it with any good light colored, quality urethane enamel paint, like for boats, cars etc. Make sure it has something in it to cut UV light, otherwise you'll be doing this again.

Wishing you luck!
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:29 PM   #10
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Thank you all so much!

Yes, I do plan on painting it eventually. I will probably take the advice and paint it silver, then put on some sort of UV blocking urethane enamel.

Again, thanks!
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Old 03-15-2006, 08:06 PM   #11
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Ordinary gasoline or WD40, Lacquer thinners and Acetone runs almost $20 a gallon and gas is only $4.50 a gallon here so guess what I use.

Don't use WD40 if you plan to do any painting though as it contains silicone and will cause "Fish Eye" effects in your paint job unless you use Fish Eye remover additive in the paint.

Aslo aviod using Armourall if you are going to paint as it contains silicone!
To safely remove the tape residue do not use gasoline, but use a cleaning product like Oops, or Goofoff.
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:54 AM   #12
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To safely remove the tape residue do not use gasoline, but use a cleaning product like Oops, or Goofoff.
"[b]Oops" I already used gasoline on a small test section

Actually, I found that gasoline just cleaned the dirt out of the glue. After it dried, the surface was stickey again. When I tried a bit of WD-40, the glue came off fairly easy. But at that rate, it would take over 4 hours to get all of the glue off. I shall try your suggestion.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:05 AM   #13
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"[b]Oops" I already used gasoline on a small test section

Actually, I found that gasoline just cleaned the dirt out of the glue. After it dried, the surface was stickey again. When I tried a bit of WD-40, the glue came off fairly easy. But at that rate, it would take over 4 hours to get all of the glue off. I shall try your suggestion.
Try white vinegar. The vinegar works on bumper stickers etc. Some suggest warm/hot vinegar. But I do not bother with heating unless it is really cold outside. It takes duck tape sticky off my fingers. I think that idea came from Heloise.

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Old 03-23-2006, 12:25 PM   #14
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Its called "Goo Gone" and its available almost everywhere. It is the only thing I have found that will remove the state required window stickers without a lot of work.
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