Paint - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-19-2003, 03:25 PM   #1
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Paint

Is the Gelcoat on our little fiber bodies the same as the Clear Coat on cars? I am asking because of the labels on cleaners, waxes etc. that state where they can be used. They never mentions Gelcoat but do mention Clear Coat.

Does a Corvette have Gelcoat?

Thanks...:reyes
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Old 03-19-2003, 04:48 PM   #2
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I think it's different. but I would do a search for Gel coat (upper right corner) and check to make sure. or maybe someone who knows will help you out with an answer. Couse a Corvette, being fiberglass MIGHT have the same finish.
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Old 03-19-2003, 08:47 PM   #3
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It's different. Clear coat is applied to painted surfaces (ie, cars), to increase the gloss and add UV stability. It is, as the name implies, clear. Gel coat, on the other hand, is an opaque, colored top coat applied to fiberglass. It is intended to give a smooth, uniform surface to the blotchy, ugly fiberglass. It is relatively soft, and scratches pretty easily, so use cleaners with care. GelGloss is an excellent fiberglass cleaner/polish, specifically designed for gel coat.

Some waxes with polish additives can cause clear coat to turn foggy, so also read the label before waxing your car.

Corvettes come from the factory with both, I believe. The fiberglass is gel-coated to give a smooth, uniform surface. Then it is painted to give a hard, colored surface. Then it is clear-coated to give that wonderful shine. Campers and boats are just given a colored (or white) gel-coat and that's it.
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Old 03-19-2003, 11:30 PM   #4
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Gel Coat

Now I understand; the gel coat includes the color. I thought our
trailers were painted then gel coat added like a car. When I look
inside the closet I see all the fibers. That is what fiberglass
looks like without gel coat.

Thanks...
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Old 03-20-2003, 02:57 PM   #5
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Actually, it's kinda the other way around because the trailers are built outside first -- The gelcoat is applied to the mold (which should be slicker'n goose grease to get a shiny finish) and then the fiberglass is hand-laid or gunned (reportedly there's a difference between Scamp and Casita on this, but I dunno for sure) to the gelcoat. After the shells are removed from the molds, the rest of the stuf, like floors, wiring, insulation, carpet, cabinets, etc. are added.

Gelcoat and clearcoat are two completely different animals except that they are usually (Corvettes not withstanding) the outside layer.

Pete and Rats
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Old 03-20-2003, 03:14 PM   #6
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Gelcoat

Another trivia bit. Gelcoat doesn't cure in air. After its sprayed in a mold like Pete describes, the layers of resin and fiberglass filler keep air away while the whole mess cures. Aftermarket repair kits with real gelcoat usually come with a piece of plastic which needs to be laid over the repair. Not only does this keep the air off the gelcoat, it aids in providing a smooth surface.

There are pretty hard paints developed by the boat industry that try, after a fashion, to mimic gelcoat. Awlgrip is arguably considered the best.
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Old 03-20-2003, 07:17 PM   #7
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Pete -- you are, of course, correct that the gel-coat is the first coat -- a fact that I am aware of, but was trying not to corn-fuse the comparison. It is possible to gel-coat over the fiberglass -- something I've seen done on some custom car bodywork, but it must be awfully difficult to make it look good. Paul
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Old 03-21-2003, 02:14 PM   #8
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gel coat

You can get gel-coat repair kits, they work fairly well - redid the front of a 77 Trillium that was heavily stone chipped on the bottom corners. it set without covering up and was real hard- I needed a file to smooth it to reasonable curves , then about 6 different grades of sandpaper. But When I finished, other than colour it was as smooth as original and just as hard
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