Fiberglass rock shield is deteriorating - what to do? - Fiberglass RV



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Old 05-15-2019, 10:16 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1977 Trillium 4500
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Fiberglass rock shield is deteriorating - what to do?

The three panels on our 1974 Trillium's rock shield are shedding fiberglass. I hosed the camper off and tiny fibers went everywhere. Is there a paint on or spray on sealant to both strengthen them and keep the fiberglass panels from further deteriorating? I'm not a high tech sort, so something easy peasy is the best solution for me.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:38 AM   #2
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you could just use spray on rubberguard, might not look real nice, I think I saw elsewere on the forum that gel coat is available as a paint
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:14 PM   #3
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Removal of the individual panels is the easiest option. Learning fiberglass repair would be the cheapest but the most work. Any opaque panel could be cut to fit.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:25 PM   #4
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You could try Plastidip. Color match might be iffy, but if you don't like it you can peel it off and try something else.

https://plastidip.com/our-products/plasti-dip/
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:18 AM   #5
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Why don't you take the shield off, sand it down well, wash with acetate, and lay a few layers of fresh epoxy fiberglass over it? Sand it, fair it, wash it, prime it, repaint with marine or other paint (enamel, always!) and there you go. You can criss-cross mesh, layer with mat, any combo...for strength, etc.


Easier than making a whole new shield. You can reinforce/renew both sides, too. We had a big piece of Lexan, and cut a window hole in the rock shield and bolted the Lexan in front of the new window hole. More light inside the trailer and more of a "look through" out the back of Peanut when driving (at least oncoming lights show).

Lexan is stronger than fiberglass, so we let it lead the way.


Dark brown showing rock shield--original. White trailer showing Lexan rock shield window. We really like it! (We did reinforce original shield after cutting hole).


Happy Camping!


BEST

"K"

PS: we did seal under the Lexan edge with butyl tape to keep leaves and junk from packing into the crack. Has worked fine so far...doesn't matter if it leaks; the window under the rock shield is waterproof.
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Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 054.JPG  
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:20 PM   #6
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deteriorating gravel shield

If the shield is still structurally sound, I would prime it with a couple coats of epoxy primer and paint it with a 2 part urethane like interlux perfection. You would probably have $120 -$150 dollars in materials and would use about 1/2 of a quart or less. Plenty left for other projects like painting interior walls or cabinets.
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:34 AM   #7
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If your panel is structurally sound you could remove and repair it. After you remove it, clean it well to remove things like grease/oil/silicone etc. from wheel spray. If you don't do this any of these materials present will be ground into the panel during sanding and impair the integrity of the repair. After removal of loose material and sanding with course paper, you can apply several coats of fiberglass resin, sand and paint. This is likely your cheapest option but the most work.
Replacement is faster, much less work but can be expensive if you replace the panel.
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Old Yesterday, 05:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post
Why don't you take the shield off, sand it down well, wash with acetate, and lay a few layers of fresh epoxy fiberglass over it? Sand it, fair it, wash it, prime it, repaint with marine or other paint (enamel, always!) and there you go. You can criss-cross mesh, layer with mat, any combo...for strength, etc.


Easier than making a whole new shield. You can reinforce/renew both sides, too. We had a big piece of Lexan, and cut a window hole in the rock shield and bolted the Lexan in front of the new window hole. More light inside the trailer and more of a "look through" out the back of Peanut when driving (at least oncoming lights show).

Lexan is stronger than fiberglass, so we let it lead the way.


Dark brown showing rock shield--original. White trailer showing Lexan rock shield window. We really like it! (We did reinforce original shield after cutting hole).


Happy Camping!


BEST

"K"

PS: we did seal under the Lexan edge with butyl tape to keep leaves and junk from packing into the crack. Has worked fine so far...doesn't matter if it leaks; the window under the rock shield is waterproof.
Great response, as a retired Body Shop Mgr. you know what to do, but I think most repairs like you described are beyond most capabilities of the average persons expertise's. Many just want a quick fix, which we all know is not the proper way to do things.

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Old Yesterday, 06:01 AM   #9
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Yes, that front rock guard on the Trillium is highly desirable. It was an option, so many Trilliums did not come with one. It is designed to attach to the same window framing (interior wood) as the front window. If it is damaged, well, it did its job protecting the front window.

Many people without that rock guard would love to have one.

Careful rebuild and restoration is the path I would take.

It has several useful purposes. First, a large vertical front window on a trailer is in the line of fire, and asking for a rock to be tossed up by the TV and break the window. So a rock guard is very useful. Then it is a front window awning. That front window (two windows actually) is the biggest on the trailer if they are both jalousie. And its the only window in the front of the trailer. And it gives shade to the front of the trailer. Desirable, useful, its something I am glad I have on mine.
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Old Yesterday, 07:09 AM   #10
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A while back it was suggested looking for someone doing a bathroom remodel. An old fiberglass tub surround is a good source of gelcoated fiberglass and most likely free for the taking.
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