How clean is clean? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-02-2009, 12:39 PM   #1
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So I just finished handwashing (RV soap & water) our egg, and I'm disappointed that the tiny little black marks didn't come off. Is this normal or do I need to use something different?

I've never washed fibreglass before, so I don't know what is reasonable to expect. (Maybe I should come out to Bolerama just to inspect all your shiny shells).
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:16 PM   #2
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I noticed your Trillium is a '75 model. Let's see if I get my math correct, but I would take an educated guess that it is about 34 years old. That means the somewhat porous gel-coat has seen 34 years of damaging sunlight and it still looks pretty good! What other finish would give better service?

Our Scamp which is almost ten years junior to your Trillium suffered yearly washing with a bleach solution. This took most of the mildew black, but the black from the diesel soot of our diesel Blazer and the orange-brown from the rusty screws installed by a previous owner wouldn't clean up. Also when I removed some insulation on the ceiling to install a vent and could see light through the thin gel-coat I decided something needed to be done. Two summers ago it got a nice automotive paint and clear coat skin.

Sometimes you can polish or sand/polish out the marks. On mine, the gel-coat was already too thin. I had a choice of living with it or refinishing. I eventually chose to refinish.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:00 PM   #3
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Up until this month when I applied Poly-glow to my trailer, when I'd get black streaks or marks that normal soap and water wouldn't remove I would wash it with "Barkeeper's Friend". A powder clenser that I've found at Dollar General or Walmart..

It's like talcum powder (fine wise) and would remove even the most stubborn stains on my trailer..plus it's about $1.75 a can! *US

Now that I've put the poly-glow on, the trailer seems to wash up just wonderful. Nothing sticks even now that it's parked at a campground for the summer.

I highly recommend a light washing with Barkeeper's Friend..
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:23 PM   #4
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So I just finished handwashing (RV soap & water) our egg, and I'm disappointed that the tiny little black marks didn't come off. Is this normal or do I need to use something different?

I've never washed fibreglass before, so I don't know what is reasonable to expect. (Maybe I should come out to Bolerama just to inspect all your shiny shells).
Hi: Liz&Kev...Come on out to Bolerama ANYHOO!!! It's a great gathering!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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Hi: Liz&Kev...Come on out to Bolerama ANYHOO!!! It's a great gathering!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
We're still thinking about it.
July's a busy month for us.

Thanks for the suggestions. I know that with a trailer as old as I am, is not likely to clean up perfect, but I wasn't sure if what I had was pretty normal. Although just from the washing alone, it looks a lot better.


~ Liz
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:56 PM   #6
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A prior coat of wax on the trailer helps, but a quick rub with some Nu Finish removes black streaks instantly on ours.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:28 PM   #7
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I had the same problem. The 'poli wash' cleaner that comes with the pol glow kit cleaned it off very well. However, I have read that borax does a great job of removing it so I am going to try that next.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:37 PM   #8
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When I washed the Scamp this AM, of course I had black speckles all over on the top. (maybe this is because the last wash job was last year about this time..... After scrubbing it with normal (cheap) car wash soap and getting about half, I went into the house grabbed the sponge out of the sink. You know, those with the green scratchy pad on the back. This one is about half worn out, fairly soft, but still slightly abrasive. Took'em right off, no scratches to the gelcoat. Then gave it a quick rubdown with Gel Gloss. Nice and shiny. Hitting the road in the morning. Larry
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:11 PM   #9
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A lot depends on where you park your rig. In our yard, with all the Douglas fir, we get little tiny specks all over our cars and trailer. They seem to wash off just fine with car wash. Don't use dish detergent. I find that most waxes have polish in them to remove things that washing doesn't.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:25 PM   #10
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I took a power washer to mine and had some pretty nice results.
~Sarah
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:57 PM   #11
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I took a power washer to mine and had some pretty nice results.
~Sarah
Sarah, just be careful around the windows and vents... which I'm sure you are. Power washers can drive water with a lot of force and into places you'd rather it didn't go. It's capable of loosening caulk too.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:20 PM   #12
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Funny that this topic turned up, I just washed my Scamp this last weekend. I was suprized how filthy mine was after sitting under a maple tree for a year, and especially how I never really noticed the dirt before I started pressure washing it.

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The High Pressure wand does quick work of cleaning off tree sap and grime.

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Putting the pressure washer in a wheelbarrow got it up out of the dirt, made it a bit easier to lug the thing around, and kept the unit cool & dry.(I burned one up because it was not able to cool due to grass blocking it's air vents.) BTW in that photo you can see a bit of "before n' after" as I was halfway done and took a break to shoot these shots.

A pressure washer is a great investment, besides the Scamp, the pickup, and the back porch steps recieved a spring cleaning wether they need it or not.(They DID)

Of course, use caution as it does remove cauking as well as grime, but hey, I feel that what comes off needs replacement anyway.

Now I need shades to look at my Scamp!
ConwayBob
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:17 AM   #13
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One thing that we have found to clean our little egg is a Dollar Tree product call "Awesome". We use the Awesome Orange, and it seems to work well on cleaning dirt, road grease, and spotting from trees. But maybe someone could help me! What is a good wax or finish coat to put on the fiberglass?
Chris
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:41 AM   #14
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This stuff works GREAT on a trailer or your car.

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http://www.meguiarsdirect.com/detail/MEG+G17616
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