Fiberglass Help Please - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-03-2012, 05:13 PM   #1
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Fiberglass Help Please

I took the t-door holder off because it was rusty. Getting the silicone off has been a challenge. Now that most of it is off there are small cracks in the fiberglass running out from each screw hole.

I don't want to put the door stop back on if it is going to break the shell even more, and what do I patch it with? or do I leave it alone?
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
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Door stop

Kathy
I went to a RV store last week and they had the T door stops in stainless and they were under twenty bucks not too bad a deal. From what I can tell from the picture it looks like stress cracks in the gelcoat. The gelcoat is more brittle than the fiberglass and is prone to crack when the glass flexes. I would bevel the edges of the holes to try to prevent more cracking and provide a place for the sealant and use butyl tape on this side. On the backside I would make an aluminum plate which covers all four holes to spread the stress. Check out the attachment on beveling the holes which somone else posted a while back. Since it just holds the door when open it is not critical.
Eddie
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:57 PM   #3
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Kathy
I went to a RV store last week and they had the T door stops in stainless and they were under twenty bucks not too bad a deal. From what I can tell from the picture it looks like stress cracks in the gelcoat. The gelcoat is more brittle than the fiberglass and is prone to crack when the glass flexes. I would bevel the edges of the holes to try to prevent more cracking and provide a place for the sealant and use butyl tape on this side. On the backside I would make an aluminum plate which covers all four holes to spread the stress. Check out the attachment on beveling the holes which somone else posted a while back. Since it just holds the door when open it is not critical.
Eddie
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Thank you for that link. I read the whole thing and now understand alot more. I've been eyeing those stainless stops. I didn't like the rusty look which is why I took it off. There is no backing plate currently on the inside of the trailer, so I will have to figure out how to remove enough of the rug to attach something and then glue the rug back down. The PO didn't put it on far enough over for the front cupboard to hide the hardware on the inside.

Will the holes leak until I put something back up there? I'm not sure if they go all the way through. They are pan head phillips less than an inch long
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:06 PM   #4
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If it rains or you wash the trailer, any hole like that will leak. I'd cover them with tape until fixed properly. Tape goo can be removed if necessary. As long as you don't use a cheap version of Duct tape and it gets hot. That glue will turn to concrete! (don't ask me how I know )
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:12 PM   #5
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Temp fix

For now plug the holes with butyl or tape over with duct tape or just reinstall the SM screws. Instead of SM screws on the fix use stainless pan head machine screws with a flat washer and nylock nuts on the backer plate. More than likely it will take a #10 screw.
Eddie
Donna is right about the duct tape.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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If it rains or you wash the trailer, any hole like that will leak. I'd cover them with tape until fixed properly. Tape goo can be removed if necessary. As long as you don't use a cheap version of Duct tape and it gets hot. That glue will turn to concrete! (don't ask me how I know )
Thanks for the tip about the cheap Duct Tape, I already feel like the silicone is concrete. I'm trying to use McKanica Silicone Caulk Remover because that was all I could find locally on a Sunday. I'm going to order some of the good stuff from the other thread before I start anymore projects. This stuff is not very good. It's too safe to use and doesn't do much.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:30 PM   #7
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For now plug the holes with butyl or tape over with duct tape or just reinstall the SM screws. Instead of SM screws on the fix use stainless pan head machine screws with a flat washer and nylock nuts on the backer plate. More than likely it will take a #10 screw.
Eddie
Donna is right about the duct tape.
Eddie, Thanks for all the help, now I have the information. I just have to do the work.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:47 PM   #8
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It looks just like mine did when I removed it to polish it up.
I figured if it hadn't spread anymore in 24 years it was about done cracking.
On attachments like that I just use silicone which is self leveling and won't degrade because it's not exposed to the sun.
Let the silicone cure before you clean the excess off and it will remove very easily.
Just don't over tighten the screws when you relpace it.

John
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:46 AM   #9
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It looks just like mine did when I removed it to polish it up.
I figured if it hadn't spread anymore in 24 years it was about done cracking.
On attachments like that I just use silicone which is self leveling and won't degrade because it's not exposed to the sun.
Let the silicone cure before you clean the excess off and it will remove very easily.
Just don't over tighten the screws when you relpace it.

John
Since it didn't look original to the trailer I wasn't sure whether the trailer should be stressed in that part. How thick are our shells? There is absolutely nothing to anchor to on the inside of mine. I also live in a very windy area so it gets tugged on a lot if I use it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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It's original.
It's located very near the upper right hand corner of the door.
I removed every window in mine as well as all of the interior.
As I remember the shell is approximately 3/16 of an inch thick.
The town I live in is at the head of a 20 mile long canyon coming straight up from the the Southern San Joaquin Valley. High winds are a common, daily occurence here.

The surface cracking is a perfect example of why most Fiberglass trailers are riveted.
Screws put pressure on the sides of the holes they are inserted in causing stress cracks over time.
Rivets place most of the pressure on the backside of the shell reducing stress cracks in the gel coat.
John
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:55 PM   #11
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John,
Thanks for the information. I just don't want to have to do it over even worse. I am going to get the stainless steel one so no more rust.

Kathy
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:47 PM   #12
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I am going to get the stainless steel one so no more rust.

Kathy
Well, no.. if you use mild steel screws to mount it back on the trailer it will rust. Remember, stainless doesn't mean rustless. Just ask those that have stainless steel sinks or stainless cooktops. It just takes longer sometimes
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:11 PM   #13
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Well, no.. if you use mild steel screws to mount it back on the trailer it will rust. Remember, stainless doesn't mean rustless. Just ask those that have stainless steel sinks or stainless cooktops. It just takes longer sometimes
Party pooper, what does mild steel mean. I was planning on stainless screws also. I want it to not rust for a very very long time. I have a stainless sink in my kitchen and there is one in the trailer too. It does oxidize but not rust rust as in red streaks down the side of a trailer.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:26 PM   #14
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Party pooper, what does mild steel mean. I was planning on stainless screws also. I want it to not rust for a very very long time. I have a stainless sink in my kitchen and there is one in the trailer too. It does oxidize but not rust rust as in red streaks down the side of a trailer.
Mild steel is what the cheap bolts are made of that are sold at the hardware store. Stainless steel comes in different grades with different rust resistance, but even the cheap ones are a lot more rust resistant than mild steel.
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