Painting Prep - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-21-2019, 02:47 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Kerry
Trailer: Scamp
California
Posts: 3
Painting Prep

Hi yall! My husband and I bought a 1978 13 foot Scamp this winter we just love it. We have re-painted and fixed up the interior to our liking and camp most weekends.
Now it is time to paint the exterior. The gel coat is actively disintegrating, there are a few spider crack areas from bonks to the head, and pitting clear down to the glass where road rocks pelted her nose.
And we love this trailer and would like her to look nice with some fresh and colorful paint.
I have spent some hours reading about painting these trailers and understand that most of the time is in prep. But I am struggling with just how far to extend my prep for a camper that is meant for adventure and possible mishap. We are not glamping and arent trying to make it cherry. But I also want to do a job right. Within reason. So if anyone out there has painted their trailer and has advise for the following questions, it would help our project and also settle a potential domestic dispute.
Rivet caps: are these meant to be painted over?
Black trim riveted at the base of the body: how much of a pain is that to replace?
Window gaskets: tape or remove and replace?
Gratitude in advance for any experienced advice!
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:46 PM   #2
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Name: Kerry
Trailer: Scamp
California
Posts: 3
My husband was right. That post was too long.

And now I know that paragraphs are key to easier reading here. I will break up my text from here on out!

Or paint prep is boring.

Despite the crickets, here is an update and request for input.

I have spent two full weekends removing 40+ years of caulk and silicone. Decals and stickers. And Im sure I missed a spot.

Another weekend of hemming and hawing over what to remove and what to tape, but I did complete the first of several fiberglass repairs that need to happen. This is where I am now!

And here is where, if anyone is reading, Im asking for input.

Not sure if covering the rivets is a good idea. Id love to eliminate those white caps where the rivets are missing the cups. The ones in the photo fasten curtain rods. But Im afraid that the rivets may flex or move and the fiberglass could fail.
Ive only covered a few (patched, not sanded yet). It is not easy to sand around them to remove the gel coat without jostling the back of the rivet and popping it clear off ( um... I did this).

What do YOU think?

Well, this weekend I hope to complete the fiberglass repairs and maybe get a coat of primer on her.

I ordered Blue Water marine paint in white and lime green.

Thanks yall,
Flora Ann
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:23 AM   #3
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,258
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I would not remove the rivets. Your patches will need some sanding and bondo to smooth them out. I am afraid you might not have sanded the surrounding fiberglass enough to feather out the patches, and give the new material a way to hold onto the old fiberglass.

I would look into attaching curtain rods to upper cabinets if you have them in the area. Escape does a nice job with using metal pieces that attach to the window frames themselves.

If you ever have to replace those rivets (they do break), its going to be challenging with them under the fiberglass patch. I would have removed rivets in the patch area, complete the patch, paint the exterior, and reinstall rivets as the last step. Rivets with caps are proven technology, they have been used for many decades. Personally, I prefer no rivets, but that takes a different interior construction method, which would be a big job on the Scamp. So if I owned a Scamp, I'd be using rivets.

If the rivets really get to you, I'd finish your project, sell the Scamp, and buy a trailer that doesn't rely on rivets. Its one thing that attracted me to my Trillium.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:01 PM   #4
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Name: Shaun
Trailer: 92 casita freedom 16
Utah
Posts: 18
@thrifty_bill covered one of my concerns with seeing the rivets under the patch. If/when they need replaced that is is going to make it pretty tough. I have a 92 casita that I have been removing caulk covered rivets and replacing with new cap bases, rivets, then new caps. It is pretty easy just time consuming and also helps to have someone inside that can give you an extra hand. I think I'm down to around 30 left.

I am not going to paint but am going to apply poliglow and plan to go right over the caps. I think if I was going to paint that I would not want to go over the caps.

Good luck and sounds like those colors you picked will make for a nice looking trailer.
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