Interior covering -- Surfside - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-05-2005, 10:29 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1979 14 ft Surfside
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Hello! A few weeks ago I posted on the forum that my husband and I had just bought a 14’ 1979 Surfside. Well, after a long cross country trip we finally have it! (It was quite an adventure—apparently the door doesn’t stay closed, and as my husband drove, screws began rattling out—of the roof vent, of the doors, etc.) We are so excited, although it turns out it will definitely be a big project. We knew there would be some fixing up, but it looks like we are going to have to rip everything out and start over. I’m sure we will be asking for lots of advice. Here goes the first – the inside of the trailer has this rubbery cottage cheesy looking stuff that I’m assuming is insulation. I'll see if I can get a picture of it to post. It’s horribly stained and I’m wondering if it’s possible to take it out—has anyone had a trailer with stuff like this, and have you had any success removing it? I’m not really sure what I’ll find underneath—does anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:32 AM   #2
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Other's are going to jump in, but have you considered painting it? Color, any color, lots of colors From what I understand, this material takes paint very well.

By the way, congratulations on getting the trailer...you're probably feeling a little overwhelmed right now, but it's going to be easier than you think...and all the mods and fixes are going to make the trailer uniquely your own.
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Old 12-05-2005, 06:36 PM   #3
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I know you are probably more concerned with the condition of the interior of your future little mansion, however if it were my future little mansion, I would be concerned about why things fell apart on the way home.

My guess is the wheels/tires need attention before another jaunt. The tires are either significantly out-of-balance, or they may have each developed a flat spot from the weight of the trailer setting on the tires on one position for a length of time. The effect is very similar as far as screw loosening vibration is concerned.

If they are older, non-radial tires (especially of the old nylon cord type construction) I would replace. Otherwise they can be balanced, just the same as a car tire is balanced. If they just have a flat spot, they can be trued if there is enough tread left. A full service tire store would be able to help you with that decision.

Good luck on your new possession, and may you have many happy hours reconditioning and many happy miles in your future travels.
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:18 PM   #4
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You'd be surprised what some elbow grease can accomplish, I used Butchers speedball cleaner on my trailer interior, and it came out like new. It took me about three separate washings, wiping down with soapy water in between, and then clear water rinsing with a sponge at the end, but it was definitely worth it.
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Old 12-06-2005, 09:18 AM   #5
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Loren -- Thanks. We put new tires on it before it made the trip cross county. I think the reason things kept falling off is rusty screws, wrong sized screws, damaged wood that the screws fit into, or lack of fasteners (on the cabinets). This trailer really just needs a lot of TLC!

The following picture shows some of the damage around the roof vent. Notice the weird insulation--it's very different from a smooth kind of material. This is spongy and incredibly textured.
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Old 12-06-2005, 05:19 PM   #6
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It looks like the Ensolite in my Scamp. A wehite covering over a black foam base about a quarter inch thick. Check inside a cabinet or bench to get a better look. It is cleanable and I have heard paintable too.

Does the roof sag at the vent as it appears to? You may want to make some custom wood braces to stiffen and raise the roof and maybe stop some of the water pooling or leaking in there.
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:44 PM   #7
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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Quote:
... Notice the weird insulation--it's very different from a smooth kind of material. This is spongy and incredibly textured.
Typically the foam lining material used in these trailers is assumed to be Ensolite, which is typically a dense black closed-cell foam (rubber, I think), with a firm plastic surface. This is typical of Boler 1300's, but B1700's (like mine and Benny K's) have a quite different material, with a low density open-cell yellowish foam and that "popcorn" textured film surface, not nearly as firm or strong as the rubber foam. The description and photo certainly look to me like the low-density stuff.

Both types are routinely painted, but I can't see some of the scrubbing techniques advocated for Ensolite working on this soft stuff.
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Old 12-07-2005, 06:13 AM   #8
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the soft stuff is what Trilliums used, and like I said, it takes elbow grease, but it does clean up if you're patient.
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:15 AM   #9
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Brian--I think that's what we have--there is a yellow spongy backing to the insulation. Have you tried to clean it before?

Joe--what products have you used to clean the stuff? We are going to try cleaning it, but think all the bubbly stuff may come off (which might not be a bad idea--we don't relish the idea of living in a cottage cheese trailer universe) and then we might try to paint it.
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:57 AM   #10
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That stuff looks different than what's in our Scamp. Our's looks more like wrinkled chicken skin. Your's seems to look like economy curd cottage cheeze. Ummmmm! Yummy!

To clean it, I don't like to use a spray bottle. The reason is anything that cleans well also tends to clean out my lungs when atomized into the air by a spray bottle.

I usually start with a solution of TSP (tri-sodium-phosphate) and Clorox. Both are cheap, effective and can be mixed. It can also be obtained already mixed under several trade names for big bucks. For any greasy areas my favorite is Castrol Super Clean. Don't wear any cotton for this stuff because it is sodium hydroxide in it that does the real work.

Instead of a spray bottle get a small paint roller to apply it. A regular fuzzy paint roller works fine. After that it is pretty much use the armstrong method. Good luck.

For ideas on the interior cabinet rebuilding I am always referring to my two favorite boat-building books: "Boat Joinery & Cabinetmaking" by Fred P. Bingham and "The Finely Fitted Yacht" by Ferenc Mate'. Check out how to install what yachters call ceiling for retaining and covering the insulation. If you did it like that, no one could call it shabby.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:18 PM   #11
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Hi everyone, this is Sandy's husband, Doug. Brian hit the nail on the head, this stuff is open cell foam, not closed cell. Its very spongy, very soft, and will rip to shreds with much "elbow grease" applied. I'm familiar with Ensolite in the form of sleeping pads for backpaking and would love to replace the existing soft open celled stuff with some Ensolite lining, but I can't seem to find the stuff at Home Depot or any other local suppliers. Ideally, it would be great to get some kind of vinyl faced, firm, closed cell material, but I'm not sure where this can be had. Any ideas? We will try to clean and paint the existing stuff if necessary, but I'm not optimistic.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:25 PM   #12
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Hi Brian....to continue the paint topic. I'm a cheap skate and would prefer to try the less expensive route first. Here's a link to a discussion on the web about Melamine paint which other's have used successfuly on ensolite, etc.
Melamine Paint

I'd certainly give this a try (after a good cleaning) before I purchased something to replace what's already there. Save the money for fuel for the tug and go camping instead.
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:42 PM   #13
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Just for information, I found a resource for the ensolite material. It is a company called IR Specialty Foam at http://www.irfoam.com. I contacted them about materials but they do not sell direct but will sell through licenced businesses. They are located in Fife Tacoma Washington and Portland Oregon.

If you send a sample they will match it up.

Darrel
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Old 12-07-2005, 11:51 PM   #14
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I have not tried any serious cleaning of our foam lining (so I don't know what cleans without damage), and everything I know about painting this stuff is just heard from others (in this forum and another). There are damaged areas in our Boler (not from cleaning) so even if I could get all of the intact area clean and nicely painted, I would be looking for replacement ideas.
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