Oxidation and pitting - Should we purchase? - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-03-2019, 09:36 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Shangie
Trailer: Roadtrek
Washington
Posts: 15
Oxidation and pitting - Should we purchase?

Hello- We have found a twenty year old two piece molded fiberglass Bigfoot we are considering. The owner disclosed they have never waxed it in the five years they have owned it- too much work. He says it has some pitting with dirt in it and was advised not to try to remove the dirt for fear of increased pit size.- HUH?? He is the second owner and said it was oxidized when he purchased it. Should we be concerned? Would rather buy a more disposable trailer knowing it will last me ten years with annual caulking and other maintenance than pay the same amount for a twenty year old trailer and then have to dump tons of effort and time and money into upkeep. Not retired and have very limited time for do it yourself restoration. Have enough time though to do annual maintenance. Should we pass and wait for a shinier model?.
__________________

Shangie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 06:22 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 8,258
Registry
If they’re too lazy to do exterior cosmetic maintenance, they might have also neglected more important things. Beware of excessive caulk on the exterior- it’s the lazy man’s way of trying to stop a leak without pulling and resealing windows and vents. Silicone-based caulk is a nightmare to remove from fiberglass, too.

Check inside very carefully for any signs of water infiltration. Pay special attention to any softness in the floor. Look inside cabinets under windows for stains or mold, as water can run inside the walls and come out at the floor level. Repairing water damage can turn into a BIG project and would be a reason to pass.

If it checks out dry and the price is right, I wouldn’t be afraid to tackle the exterior finish.

Many have had very good results using Zep high gloss floor wax on older, heavily oxidized units. It gives a nice glossy finish on weathered fiberglass and fills in the pitting to keep dirt out. Buy online or at big box home stores like Home Depot.

Clean really well, using a pressure wand (with care, avoiding windows and vents) to get dirt out of the pores, Dawn soap to remove any old grease and wax residue, and Barkeeper’s Friend (again with care- it’s a mild abrasive) on black spots and streaks. If there is silicone, a combination of mechanical and chemical clean-up may be required to get good adhesion of the wax. Once it’s clean and dry, wipe on 5-6 thin coats of Zep with a white cloth and let dry. It typically lasts 1-2 years depending on climate and storage. When it starts to yellow and peel, remove using the Zep stripper and reapply.

Once you get it looking nice, inside storage is the best thing you can do to keep it that way. UV is the enemy of fiberglass and waxes. The top will forever be a little rough, but as long as it's clean and protected, it'll be fine, and you don't really see it in ordinary use.

Shiny gelcoat commands top dollar on resale. It’s typically the first thing to go. Mine was four years old, stored outside, and had never seen a coat of wax. I got it for a really good price, so my labor to restore the exterior finish was well compensated.
__________________

Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 09:16 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,482
Registry
For what it is worth, my Trillium sat without any maintenance for over 20 years, and I bet it wasn't washed much before that either. But it did sit inside a garage. Oh yeah, and the tires were over 30 years old!!


Did the Zep polish and it turned out fine. A lazy seller can mean many things:

1. Lower price!!

2. Hidden maintenance issues!!

Inspect carefully and get a discount that covers the risk. Now if a lazy seller wants top dollar, forget it! And assume some maintenance WILL be required. Do you have a plan on who will do the work?

I collect, buy and sell vintage bicycles. One thing I love is FLAT TIRES. Do I like them flat? Not really. But I LOVE the discount I receive!! Flat tires that can cost me $30 to take care of can give me a $200 discount, and it scares away the competition (other buyers)!

And to be fair, some people keep their trailers meticulously CLEAN, but a lot of them do not maintain them. So clean does not mean maintained! I do prefer a used unit that has been stored under cover, that eliminates some of the damage from leaks, being in the sun, etc.



After Zep, but before belly band and door repairs

1977 Trillium Outside Clean and Polish by wrk101, on Flickr
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 12:07 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Jack
Trailer: Scamp 13
Massachusetts
Posts: 161
Looks great Bill, what Zep product did you use on the exterior?



Also I have a small 1/4" chip out of the gel coat that I discovered on my 2018 Scamp13 at the door handle area. Not from a key. Its in the outside top left corner. Any idea on how to correct. I may have to wait until I go south in a couple of months to fix too cold here in Northeast.


Jack
Lockman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 12:16 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 8,258
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockman View Post
LAlso I have a small 1/4" chip out of the gel coat that I discovered on my 2018 Scamp13 at the door handle area. Not from a key. Its in the outside top left corner. Any idea on how to correct.
Google "gel coat repair kit." There are a number of products to make exactly that kind of repair.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 12:27 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Kenny Strong's Avatar
 
Name: kenny
Trailer: Bigfoot 13'
Utah
Posts: 300
Have someone look at the tires for toe in toe out problems, and is the axle worn out. If it is a 13 foot Bigfoot it has a unique axle that is particular to this model. It can't be replaced with a standard axle by Dexter it has to be rebuilt. I have added a 2 inch riser to compensate for the axle sag in my 13' " Lil " Bigfoot. I have removed the axle looked at many posts and put it back in place. How long will it last ? When it has to be replaced it will be a lot of work with a new axle and frame modifications
Kenny Strong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 12:28 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 722
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shangie View Post
Hello- We have found a twenty year old two piece molded fiberglass Bigfoot we are considering. The owner disclosed they have never waxed it in the five years they have owned it- too much work. He says it has some pitting with dirt in it and was advised not to try to remove the dirt for fear of increased pit size.- HUH?? He is the second owner and said it was oxidized when he purchased it. Should we be concerned? Would rather buy a more disposable trailer knowing it will last me ten years with annual caulking and other maintenance than pay the same amount for a twenty year old trailer and then have to dump tons of effort and time and money into upkeep. Not retired and have very limited time for do it yourself restoration. Have enough time though to do annual maintenance. Should we pass and wait for a shinier model?.
Clean it per Jon in AZ suggests but instead of using floor wax with 5-6 coats and recleaning when it peels use a product called The Solution. It is a waterless RV/carwash & protectant. It leaves a nice shine. We always clean our Casita and RV first then apply. You spray on and wipe off. Both of our units look new still. It does not yellow or peel and doing it once a year takes care of it. On an old unit like you want to buy you may have to do it twice to make sure all areas are covered. The phone number for the company is 1-888-299-2136 or 760-343-2229. The company is Super Seal Specialty Company. When we bought ours at an RV Rally several years ago it was around $80 for a gallon but we still have a quart left and we've done our RV 3 times, Casita 3-4 times and another vehicle 2 times. It is so easy to do and shines up the vehicles. I'd never wax a vehicle again. We used to until we found this stuff that works and makes it so easy to do.
Jann Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 03:04 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,482
Registry
There is a 70+ page on Not Poliglow which is the Zep thread. I would rather not repeat that discussion,
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2019, 11:47 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
Posts: 2,605
If the price was right and you think the as-is price is a good deal then buy it. You can always put a paint job on it if the oxidation and pitting does not clean up to your liking. But the price you purchase it for needs to reflect that it needs a paint job done by someone other than yourself which means paying for the paint job to fix the issue of a damaged gel coat.
k corbin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2019, 06:19 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 8,258
Registry
Oxidation and pitting - Should we purchase?

Good general advice for someone else, but the OP decided to pass. Apparently the inside was also a mess, and the seller wouldn’t budge on the price.
WOW- What a disappointment!
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2019, 07:37 AM   #11
Junior Member
 
Name: Shangie
Trailer: Roadtrek
Washington
Posts: 15
Thanks for all the feedback

Hello everyone who responded- Thanks for all the great feedback. The oxidation doesn't sound like it would be too difficult a thing to handle. When we looked at the unit, it was very dirty and had linoleum pulled back from the front floor in several places around the front door and I could put a nail into the wood there and there were other issues so we passed as the RV was still crammed full of things and I didn't think we could do a thorough inspect anyway. We are not expecting perfect at that age but we do expect maintenance and cleanliness for near top dollar. Have been out with a cold caught from my dear grand babies so please forgive if I appeared to have dropped off. Better to have caught a cold from them than to not know them at all is the motto at this grandmas home. Again, thank you for taking time to answer the question.
Shangie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 01:23 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Name: Murray
Trailer: Trillium
Saskatchewan
Posts: 19
Registry
Pittin on 1974 Trillium

Hi,

Don't know if your pitting is on the roof or top of the trailer but would like to share with you my pitting experience on my 1974 Trillium.

I redid all the windows a couple years ago. Redid the vent - removed, caulked and riveted. Imagine my surprise this spring when I discovered water in the cupboard above the stove. There is no way for the water to get there from the roof vent. A couple buddies looked at it and guessed it was condensation on the metal electrical box in the cupboard. I took the box out as I am converting to 12v for everything.

Figured all would be well....couple weeks later after a good rain I checked and the cupboard had water in it. I investigated furthering realized the water was coming in through pits in the roof fibreglass.

I filled all the pits with epoxy fairing compound from System Three and then decided to put a layer of fibreglass over the entire roof. There were lots of areas of pitting and although fibreglass was likely overkill I went ahead with it anyway.

Fiberglass, three coats of epoxy to attach and fill the weave of the glass, three coats of System Three Yacht Primer, five coats of System Three Orcas White WR-LPU two part polyurethane and this morning I put the second coat of Clear Gloss WR-LPU on top of the white.

Overkill for sure but that should last until after I am dead and gone.
Kommander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 01:36 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Name: Shangie
Trailer: Roadtrek
Washington
Posts: 15
That is a lot of work you did on your trailer. I am not up for that much work. Have learned a lot about the issue though thanks to all the replies and other information available on this site. Thanks for sharing.
__________________

Shangie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 members and 2 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
Buffing old oxidation question LyleB Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 3 05-21-2016 01:44 PM
Removing Heavy Oxidation on White Areas of RV RV8 Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 7 05-21-2016 08:54 AM
Oxidation on 1991 Bounder Dale Lightfoot Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 22 02-23-2013 04:28 AM
Removing Oxidation and Rust marks on fiberglass DavidS Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 8 09-04-2009 03:21 PM
Pitting in front of Scamp Raunie Aasland Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 1 06-26-2006 06:25 PM

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

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×