Patching holes in exterior - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-10-2016, 06:57 PM   #1
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Name: Steve Robison
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Patching holes in exterior

How do you patch fiberglass? I am rebuilding a Scamp and I would like to remove certain items that are screwed into the body from the outside as well as possibly removing the side and top marker lights and other items.

Would it be OK to use something like marinetex putty to seal the holes? The only thing I wonder about is if I try to seal bigger holes, how to prevent the putty from just going through the hole?
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:40 PM   #2
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Rob,
Don't use putty. the previous owner of my trailer did that and it only resulted in a leaky mess that was ridiculously hard to clean out before I reglassed it. If you want to know about repairing fibreglass then check out Dave White's "you can repair fiberglass" thread on here. It is very helpful.
There are also lots of great how to's on the net.
The only thing I never figured out in my reno was how to repair or redo a gelcoat, but there are gelcoat repair kits available.
I hope some of this helps.
Jay
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:51 PM   #3
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So you are basically saying it's much better to cover those screw holes with a fiberglass cloth and then brush on resin? I did watch several videos but it all appeared to be major repairs where putty/bondo wouldn't work.

As for the gel coat, I was planning on painting the camper anyway so I might just paint over the repair work white paint as a temporary procedure. Although I did also see some brush on gel coat online too.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:02 PM   #4
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If the holes are merely 1/4" type holes, I'd not use fibercloth. Just use filler and gelcoat. These supplies are available from Scamp or a marina/boat store near you.

There's a recent thread where BillE removed the stinky slinky tube from the front of his brand new Scamp and filled and polished the holes and they're now invisible. See if I can find you a link

Here it is: Removed the stinky slinky tube
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:26 PM   #5
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I also watched a video where a guy uses something like cabosil? It's a fiberglass dust which he mixes with resin to create a thick paste. He then spreads that resin over the hole and it's basically done.

That seemed like a very easy method but the only question I'd have is do I have to sand the area around the hole down to the fiberglass for proper adhesion?
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:58 PM   #6
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I just repaired two small exterior cracks. I enlarged them with a Dremel bit, sanded around them, then filled them with Bondo fiberglass resin jelly. This product has milled fiberglass mixed in with resin. It works very well, the product has to be worked into the gap or hole. Best tool for doing this is a throw-away flexible plastic "blade", credit card, etc. After getting the patches flat, flush and sanded smooth (220 grit), use spot putty to fill minor imperfections.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:08 PM   #7
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Here's the thread Jay H was talking about its really good. You Can Repair Fiberglass.

For smaller holes you can just hit them with a counter sink, put some tape on the backside and use Bondo glass (short strand reinforced fiberglass filler). Can be bought at any automotive store. Don't use auto body filler. It soaks up water. Once the hole is plugged and needs a little more filling you can use the auto body filler then. Its easier to sand. for larger threads see the above thread.
Bob
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:11 PM   #8
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To answer your question, generally holes have to be drilled to a beveled edge. Then a small area around the hole is sanded so that the resin adheres. You will find tutorials/videos on this topic. The product instructions identify the surface preparation details as well.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
To answer your question, generally holes have to be drilled to a beveled edge. Then a small area around the hole is sanded so that the resin adheres. You will find tutorials/videos on this topic. The product instructions identify the surface preparation details as well.
So I can use a dremel tool with sanding bit to sand away the gel coat around the hole. Then I use a drill bit slightly larger than the hole and touch the drill to this hole to bevel the edge, correct?

In response to the other poster, I can't put any tape behind these hole because there is ensolite covering the interior and the holes aren't drilled through the ensolite.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:29 AM   #10
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One thing to check on before turfing the marker lights is whether they are required by MOT in your state or province. Yes it may look cleaner but don't need a ticket for not having them.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:39 AM   #11
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Name: Philippe
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In response to the other poster, I can't put any tape behind these hole because there is ensolite covering the interior and the holes aren't drilled through the ensolite.
Then you don't need to do anything as the back of the hole is already covered. Covering the hole is just to make sure the resin does not drip on the other side of the hole.
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Old 04-11-2016, 01:07 PM   #12
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Another thread here is Fear of Fiberglassing -- my husband went from not knowing a thing about it to being able to fix everything from a 2 x 3 foot hole to long cracks above the door, to missing sections where it had broken away...

waxed paper over cardboard can be used to "back" a hole; you can thread a cord through it, fold the cardboard and shove it through the hole, then let it flatten back there, pull the cord ends out onto the front side and tape them securely with blue masking tape, and later trim the cord off before finish work.

We use epoxy resin; many prefer polyester. Epoxy is stronger and sticks to almost everything (not waxed paper) but costs more. Polyester doesn't stick to epoxy BUT to polyester and is more flexible and less expensive.

OUR rig had so many different materials and strange things that we started with epoxy and never found a reason to change.

There are strong opinions out there about it...if you do enough research you'll find what you'd like to try.

Good luck to you...once you start working with fiberglass, you'll be glad you did! And Bondo Hair (the fiberglass version of Bondo) and similar products are just great for smaller holes, narrow cracks, etc.

Remember, don't skip steps. Do plenty of careful prep and follow-up and you should be fine. Any paint should be rated for use on fiberglass -- we like Rustoleum Marine for wood and fiberglass, ourselves. They make a nice primer (we use the white colored primer) as well as good paint in a few colors such as white, blue, etc.. But what you choose depends on what's available for you, locally or online.

And the fiberglass products aren't really cheap...but they won't ruin you, either. Probably. 8) =)

BEST!
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Old 04-11-2016, 01:40 PM   #13
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interlux watertite epoxy filler or kitty hair

Our 99 burro had a lot of pits in the gel coat on the roof, and the fiberglass underneath was being affected. local fiberglass guy recommended we use Kitty Hair, easy to find on the Internet. It's reinforced with glass strands, he recommended it if we were doing any patches on areas that would be deeper than 3/8 of an inch. before we heard about that however, we bought interlux watertite epoxy, and so far it's awesome, easy to use, spreads like peanut butter, and turns very hard, but sands nicely. we even spread it over a hole about 1/2 inch across, and it didn't sag. We like the sound of using awlgrip shiny paint, next step... we never want to have to do all this work ever again ! might even do a Rhino Liner or something similar over the top of the burro... fun stuff
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bluetang99 View Post
So I can use a dremel tool with sanding bit to sand away the gel coat around the hole. Then I use a drill bit slightly larger than the hole and touch the drill to this hole to bevel the edge, correct?
Yes, that will work. I have used the tip of a large drill bit to bevel holes. Another method I have used is a small stone dremel bit (1/8" diameter) to clean up and rough up the edges of a hole or crack.
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