Painting a newly acquired Croft FG trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-20-2013, 12:58 PM   #1
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Painting a newly acquired Croft FG trailer

I know it isn't a camper or RV trailer, but last weekend I purchased a fiberglass 1963 Croft trailer. The original orange color was painted over with a hideous and THICK light blue paint at some point. I want to paint the trailer and I am wondering what the best method and paint material is to use.

At this point I am planning on sanding the blue paint off and inspecting the gel coat for and cracks or other damage, repairing as needed and then painting it with automotive paint. I want to do it a light silver color to match my brother's PT Cruiser.

Does that sound reasonable? Any tips or recommendations anyone wants to share?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:53 PM   #2
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we have some paint remover and it says on the label, do not use on fiberglass. Be wary if you think about it. there could be some available though.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:55 PM   #3
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Paint will be removed by sanding. No way would I use a chemical paint stripper on fiberglass.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reed View Post
Paint will be removed by sanding. No way would I use a chemical paint stripper on fiberglass.
Well, I would if it was formulated for fiberglass. Here's a link to a Marine Paint Stripper. I have no personal experience with this product however. I have used paint stripper extensively, removing all the paint on all the woodwork in a home built in the 1920s. No way would I have sanded it. Paint stripper makes heavy work, much lighter!
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:10 PM   #5
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I'll check it out, but I am still leery of chemical stripper on fiberglass. Thanks for the link.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:30 PM   #6
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Painting, automotive related....

...This is related to...automotive/transport truck industries painting, BOTH of manual and robotic spraying in ...general -not particularly with some specific types of paints as...water based or one-shot urethane coat- There are 2 coats of paints will be applied on subject. First, base/colour coat then clear coat. One cab which is in need of new paint due to wrong colour or paint/body repair doesn't need to be..sanded down totally. Only when the base could be easily peeled off due to bad paint/bad body material then it must be sanded down. Before a new spraying paint, only scuffing is needed or better a lightly sanding with..240 grit, sometimes 320 or 400grit(with light colour metallic base). If body work is done to the ..raw material, primer is in need of cover, then...Jut my own observation. Hopefully it helps.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:33 PM   #7
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Thanks. I need to really go over the shell carefully and see what condition it is in. It IS 50 years old, after all. THe shell looks good, but I have only seen the trailer at night when I towed it to my brother's house. I will get a closer look at it this weekend.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:19 AM   #8
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Reed... we want to see too! Please post pictures when you can. I'm not familiar at all with the Croft.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:45 PM   #9
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So far, I only have the pictures from the Craigslist ad, a picture I took the night I picked it up, and a picture of a similar model trailer I found online. I will attach them here. It is a little dirty since it has ben sitting in a field for about a year and was last tagged in 08, but I think it will clean up nice.







This trailer was intended to be an enclosed cargo trailer. You can clearly see the reinforcement used on the walls in this photo:



Here is a picture of a larger similar model fiberglass Croft trailer of the same vintage as mine, working as a Nationwide rental trailer:



Here is the photo I took when I got the trailer. The previous owner replaced the rims and tires because the old tires were rotted and not safe for towing. The new rims actually look OK. You can see what I believe to be the original orange color in the fender well.



It isn't the most beautiful of fiberglass trailers, but it only weighs 630 pounds (according to the title). Tat is pretty light for a roughly 4x6 enclosed and lockable cargo trailer.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #10
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If the paint is well adhered, I'd prep and paint right over it.

But if it's flaking/peeling it should of course be removed. In my opinion chemical stripping is a lot less likely to damage the underlying surface than sanding, especially if mechanical sanders are used. As Donna pointed out, there are strippers specific to fiberglass. That having been said, I've used basic ratbag cheapo stripper on painted fiberglass with success. The trick is to leave it on ONLY long enough to soften the paint one's trying to remove.

Just don't give it time to get to/through the original gelcoat!

Francesca
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:28 PM   #11
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Thanks. I guess I won't know what is in store until I inspect it in more detail in good light. I will be doing that tomorrow.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:32 PM   #12
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If anyone is interested, I took some more pictures. The blue paint was rolled and brushed on directly over the gelcoat of the trailer. It doesn't even look like they sanded the gel coat. The blue paint is rather tough, though, so it might take some effort to get it off. However, I would like to get the trailer back down to the original orange gel coat before refinishing it.

Roof:


Worts damage, lower passenger nose area. If you look closely at the interior shots, you can see that this has been patched on the inside"



Peely blue paint, original orange gel coat:






Interior shots showing the construction method and reinforcement of the shell. Pretty rough since this is a cargo trailer. TH raised areas are bits of metal rod that have been incorporated into the was for added strength and rigidity. The body was molded in two sections which are bolted together at a seam all around the middle of the wall. The floor is wood, not fiberglass.:





Not too shabby. A few hours of clean up work, a quick repaint, rewiring, and this 50 year old trailer will be good as new.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:05 PM   #13
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:11 PM   #14
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