Fiberglassing Floor - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-06-2014, 07:23 PM   #1
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Name: Danny
Trailer: Scamp
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Fiberglassing Floor

Well, my Scamp has turned into quir=te a PROJECT! I am replacing the front part of the trailer frame and re-doing the floors. I have removed the front of the floor, under the couch that I am going to change into a dinette with a Real Flush Toilet under the seat nearest the door. Tomorrow I will weld the new tongue section to the frame then on to the fiberglassing. I will get my material at a local fiberglass supply and they will help me get the proper product. My question is do I use the mat on the underside of the floor to attach that also to the shell, or just on top of the floor? It looks like I need to block the shell up to align the door to it's frame before I start glassing. Ant helpful comments will be appreciated! Thanks, Danny
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:31 PM   #2
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Danny, your profile only says "Scamp." Help us help you. Tell us the YEAR of your Scamp and also the length and build.

Glad we can be here for you... but still..
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:44 PM   #3
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Sorry....it's a 1983 13 footer!
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:05 AM   #4
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Name: Darwin
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To prevent rot from the bottom, I suggest that you seal the bottom to prevent the wood from getting wet. Sealing it on the top will also prevent water from the top. You might be able to use a garage floor epoxy that you can get at Lowes to do one or both and not have to use the glass mat.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:51 PM   #5
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
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Danny
You have to get the door and the shell aligned to the frame walkway ears first and glass that in first. (See botton note on blocking up the shell). Don't cut your wood floor until you do this. If you put the floor in first you will not be able to align the door later.
I always leave the bottom tabbing on the shell when cutting the old floor out. I cut the top tabbing off flush with the shell. I make a rough template and use cardboard tabs and hot glue to make a final template for your floor. After cutting the wood I coat the bottom of the floor with resin and let it dry.
Just prior installing the floor put resin on the lower tab upper surface, then put adhesive sealant on the top metal edges surrounding the drop floor area. Then coat the wood edge that mates with the tabbing with resin then drop the floor in place. I then go under the trailer and screw the tabbing tight to the wood with #6 or #8 X 1/2" long self tapping PK screws (duct screws) anywhere there are gaps between the wood and tabbing. On top then brush resin in around the edge of the wood. Once it sets up you can tab the top to the shell. The first trailers I used 2" or 3" seam glass cloth for tabbing. I later switched to cutting strips of matting to form the tabbing it conforms better to the curves.
Other notes:
If you cut off the lower tabbing they make gel resin for upside down work. (good luck with that).
You do not want the shell to touch the frame if you can prevent it. I cut 2x4's slightly longer than the distance from the frame to the bottom of the belly band and force them in place to slightly lift the shell.
I paint the top of the wood floor after it is installed. I have used epoxy garage floor paint or poarch paint.
When glassing the floor & bottom tab make sure the garage floor under the trailer is covered with thick plastic.


Good Luck Eddie
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:49 PM   #6
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
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Went through this process this summer (with lots of helpful advice from members).

You will want some construction adhesive such as PL or liquid nails to glue the wood to the metal frame, it seals the water out as well as providing some adhesive.

On my 77 Scamp 13 there is a small piece of plywood that extends from the frame cross member to the shell at the bottom hinge side of the door. Tabbed in to the shell this piece is important to holding the door frame square.

As Eddie points out you have to get the shell and door frame in position before you make your floor template.


First picture:
  • You can see the plywood replacement for that door brace in the top frame of this picture. Mine was rotted and broken free of the tabbing. I left much of the original tabbing in place as a guide to alignment.
  • Middle picture note that a small amount of the original floor tabbing is still in place to give something to align the new floor with.
  • Third frame shows wood floor propped up so I could apply construction adhesive with caulk gun and drop floor into place.






Second picture shows how I rigged up a tourniquet "winch" to pull the door frame back into square. Essentially a loop of rope that has a stick of wood through it, the more times you twist the rope the shorter it gets. Pulling the bottom side of the door frame in. I could see the original tabbing and there was a screw through the wall into this piece of plywood showing original location before it all came loose. I also used a carpenters square off of the floor as a guide to how much I needed to move things to get the hinge side square again.
  • C clamp on the wood around the wall that supports the top of the couch.
  • Rope runs over upright block cut to same height (or slightly higher) as couch support lip. Block turns the downward pull of rope anchored at floor into horizontal pull on wall to bring bottom of door back into place. Held in place by clamping to frame.
  • C clamp at floor to anchor the other end of the rope loop.
  • Small rusty C clamp holding the replacement plywood piece running out to the shell at bottom of door.
Once everything was positioned so that door frame was square I then tabbed in the wood piece at the bottom, once a couple or three coats of FG resin and mat had cured I could remove all the clamps and braces and make a template for the floor.

Also has a better view of the old tab left in place, I put thickened resin into that gap when I inserted the new floor wood, others have suggested adhesives, or leave it as an air gap.



Last but not least a YouTube video on how to make "Peanut Butter" which is thickened FG resin, lot easier to work with overhead when doing the bottom of the floor. Your FG supplier should have these items available.



Used an oscillating tool with a saw blade to cut the old fiberglass out. Needed two curved 180 degree blades and two straight 1 1/2 inch blades. Bought the better quality ones because the cheap ones that come with the saw are not very sharp and don't hold an edge.

Two types of FG resin one has wax additive to "seal" the resin by rising to the top, one does not and tends to remain slightly tacky on the surface. Ask your FG shop about which you should use but essentially a second coat of FG resin won't stick well to the wax surface of the first coat so you have to clean (really well) between coats or use an additive type only on the final coat.

Epoxy vs. Poly resin is something that hopefully some others with more knowledge of the pro and con of these will post on. I used poly because it matched original but epoxy is an option.

It takes a lot of resin, I bought quarts and should have just purchased a gallon up front. Would have saved hassle and money.

Used mostly mat but did use cloth at a few points for my original connections and on some straight places.
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:14 PM   #7
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Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
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PS. Purchase a box of nitrile disposable gloves, you will need those, and some cheap paint brushes, I used "chip" brushes from big box store. I also probably used way more FG resin than someone with experience would have. I tend to work slower than the stuff sets up. And made wider tabs than the original.

One other suggestion that was given me saved me much work. After cutting the FG tabbing to free the floor from the wall pry the floor up from the bottom. Pulls the wood free and leaves the screws. Grind screws off flat with a grinder, leaving the screw shaft in the hole. Those screws are not going to come out, or at least most of them won't so don't bother trying.

Make sure you have all leaks addressed. I found the rare but possible belly seam leak from a bubble in the FG resin at the seam. Had to lift the liner a bit along the bottom but once I did the water track was pretty obvious.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:14 AM   #8
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Name: Danny
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Thank you all for your help!
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:16 AM   #9
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Name: Danny
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OK, so I have my door lined up and the threshold glassed into place. I have removed the door to clean up the hinges and use some new hardware. Here is my dilemma. I never saw this thing when it was right so I am confused about the 2 cutouts in the front of the body for the frame to come through. The floor is sitting on the frame and it looks good by matching the mark where the old floor was against the body. The old tabbing marks are right at the top and bottom edge of my new floor. The question are the cutout openings supposed to sit right on the frame or is there supposed to be a space? if there is a space you will be looking at the outer edge of the floor through the cutout. Actually it kind seems like the floor should be Above the cutout so there will be room for the black rubber edge trim. It looks like the floor was tabbed to where the bottom of the floor was at the top of the cutout, which puts the cutout sitting on the frame? What am I not seeing? Thanks, Danny
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Old 12-28-2014, 07:10 PM   #10
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Danny
If possible I try to leave just a little gap between the shell and the frame and yes you might see a little bit of the wood. If the shell contacts the frame usually after loss of support from a rotted floor you can get shell cracking. I use 2x4 between the belly band and frame slightly raise the shell if possible while glassing in the floor. Sometimes you may just have to deal with what you have (no/very little gap). I had thought leaving a gap was needed for room to replace the black trim strip if needed. Usually once you glass things in right side up it would be very difficult to replace the trim strip. At the factory the floor/frame is attached to the bottom half of the shell with the shell and frame/floor upside down. Which make it easier to line things up.
Eddie
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:32 PM   #11
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Thanks Eddie....as always I appreciate your guidance! Danny
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:08 PM   #12
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This is all very instructive. At this point I have separated the shell from the frame in order to replace the axle, paint and reinforce frame under the dance floor. All of the plywood is either rotten or headed that way, as it should be for a 1976 13' Scamp. When I separated the frame from the shell I was surprised that there were so few screws attaching the shell to the floor. I think of the 12-15 original screws only 6 or so we're not rusted off.

I do plan to replace all of the plywood with marine or pressure treated and coat both sides with resin before installing. I also plan to have angle iron tabs welded along the frame so that the floor can be bolted to the frame.

I am also thinking about cross bracing the large open area at the back of the frame to reduce twisting.

The first photo shows the angle iron supports for the dance floor and the second is the frame, upside down getting the rust scale removed.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Old 03-12-2015, 10:13 PM   #13
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Some years back I fiberglassed a new floor into our boat. The same principal would possibly work for you. I glassed the floor both sides outside on saw horses. Later when attaching in the boat all that was needed were several 10 inch strips around the edge to seal into place. That eliminated much of the messy (smelly) business of trying to do the whole thing in an enclosed place.


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Old 03-12-2015, 10:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james kent View Post
Some years back I fiberglassed a new floor into our boat. The same principal would possibly work for you. I glassed the floor both sides outside on saw horses. Later when attaching in the boat all that was needed were several 10 inch strips around the edge to seal into place. That eliminated much of the messy (smelly) business of trying to do the whole thing in an enclosed place.


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James,

That is exactly what I plan to do with the floor. I believe that this will effectively seal the bottom of the trailer, add strength and with the added 3/4" thickness of plywood below the old floor make the ceiling height in the dance floor area 3/4" higher.


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