Longevity of fiberglass - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-14-2013, 03:16 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
peterh's Avatar
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Oregon
Posts: 1,519
Registry
Gelcoat cracks occur because fiberglass and gelcoat have different characteristics when it comes to hardness and flexibility. Fiberglass resin is always softer and more flexible than gelcoat.

In many ways you can think of gelcoat like you can the glass fibers in fiberglass. Thick glass, like you'd see in a window pane, can flex some, but not a lot. An example of this is when you're sitting in your home at night during a wind storm and see reflections from things inside your home bend and change as the wind forces your window to flex a bit. Make the layer of glass very thin, like a strand of fiberglass thin, and the glass can bend a lot more. A layer of fiberglass cloth is as flexible as the denim in a pair of blue jeans because the stransd of glass are so thin.

The ideal fiberglass-gelcoat combination is to make the fiberglass thick enough that it is less prone to flexing and the gelcoat thin enough (one or two layers of paper thick) that can bend with the small amount of flex the thick fiberglass still has.

Cracks arise when the underlying fiberglass is thin, making it more prone to flexing, and/or the gelcoat is thick, two or more layers of paper thick, and the gelcoat can't bend as much as the underlying fiberglass does.

In trailer construction, the gelcoat gets sprayed into the mold first, and its thickness can vary quite a but. You want the gelcoat layer to be complete and uninterrupted, and it's easy to spend just a moment longer spraying it into an area than you need to. Then the fiberglass gets blown in on top of the gelcoat, and it's equally easy to get complete fiberglass coverage on top of the gelcoat, but still have some areas be just barely thick enough to cover while other areas are good, thick, and solid. When thick gelcoat meets thin fiberglass and you apply force, the thin fiberglass will flex while the thick gelcoat will resist that flex. The result is a broken-window effect with shards of gelcoat still stuck to their underlying fiberglass.
__________________

__________________
peterh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 07:56 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Myron Leski's Avatar
 
Name: Myron
Trailer: 19' Escape
NM
Posts: 664
Registry
For hardness and non-flexibility I personally prefer the all iron trailer excavated in New Jersey not too long after the Flavius was discovered.
Attached Images
 
__________________

__________________
Myron Leski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 08:15 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
The NJ rig looks all the world like a rolling Hoosgow. Nice looking tires though.

But you had better call out about a dozen Clydesdales if you want to more it very far.
__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 09:22 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Myron Leski's Avatar
 
Name: Myron
Trailer: 19' Escape
NM
Posts: 664
Registry
You could be right about the Hoosgow utility. Could get real hot inside...I thought those doors were an early form of air conditioning. Somebody moved it out here to the Land of Enchantment during the iron age. I am certain that took mammoth power. Tires are clearly pre-firestone-age.
__________________
Myron Leski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2013, 03:59 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
David Tilston's Avatar
 
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,314
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by starsea View Post
When looking for a used camper is there a limit to age or years to avoid?
I have six Trillium trailers that range in year from 1972 to 1978. The fibreglass is the least concern. The windows and their associated seals need work. I have been shopping for fibreglass trailers approaching three years now. I have only found three that were beyond repair. I bought what I thought was a trailer that was beyond repair. I am now repairing it. Fibreglass is a very forgiving media.
I was sure I was done buying Trilliums for Now

Three examples of Trilliums I would consider salvage only.
Someone Please Stop Me!
Two in this one.

On (Canada) - 1973 Trillium 1300 Wreck - $250
The frame had been removed from this one.
__________________
David Tilston is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2013, 05:45 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Jane SC's Avatar
 
Name: Jane and Greg
Trailer: 1985 Uhaul CT
South Carolina
Posts: 213
Best post I have read, Bob. Go Romans!
__________________
Jane SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2013, 06:54 AM   #21
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
For those that might be faced with the unfortunate situation that Gina had to deal with, a professionally applied coating of Rhino bed liner on ones roof might be considered. After 10 years of total neglect and abuse the Rhino liner in my truck shows almost no signs of ageing or damage. It's tough stuff and it can be tinted to almost any color you want.

Disclaimer: This suggestion does not extend to any other products, esp anything that comes out of a spray can.....
__________________

__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fiberglass campers for dummies? Fiberglass 101? LurkerDan Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 46 04-18-2015 11:30 PM
Longevity of the Ancient Eggs Gary Lynch General Chat 12 12-03-2005 03:19 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.