Polishes & Storage Cabinet - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-09-2009, 09:47 AM   #1
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Hi there, I'm new to the trillium family, I have a 1971 Trillium & want to make the exterior & interior look a lot better. What polishes/cleaners would be the best?? Would it be best to go & talk to a boat repair place to see what products they have & suggest. I don't have any experience working with fiberglass so I have NO idea where to start . The interior looks alright, but the exterior looks neglected by the previous owners.

Also what has various people done with the storage cabinet beside the door. I want to add more shelves & was wanting to get additional ideas. So any ideas about both topics would be great.

Thanks in advance,

Paul
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:59 AM   #2
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Try this http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...amp;hl=poliglow
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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To add to the list of ways to restore a faded fiberglass exterior this is what I tried

First a good cleaning with soap and water using a soft scrub brush then lightly wetsand with 1000 grit sand paper using lots of water.
When clean and dry I polished back the shine with Novus 2 Plastic Polish.
I started with a small section to not get overwhelmed and before long I was hooked.
I found out it was going to take three applications by hand to get the shine I wanted so I went out and bought a cheap electric car polisher - much easier.

I used Novus 2 fine scratch polish because I had a small bottle on hand.
I found this product at Apple Auto Glass here in Canada. When I went back to get a larger bottle to finish the job the salesperson asked if I had a fiberglass boat - so I guess I didn't discover anything new.

To restore the oxidized aluminum window frames I polished them with a med/fine Scotchbrite pad lubricated with Penetrol - oil based paint conditioner, both available from a paint supply store.

Our Trillium looked pretty tired when I started but after a couple of weekends it looks as good as new.

Chris

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Old 03-09-2009, 08:42 PM   #4
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To restore the oxidized aluminum window frames I polished them with a med/fine Scotchbrite pad lubricated with Penetrol - oil based paint conditioner, both available from a paint supply store.
Chris,
Did you coat the window frames with anything after you used the Penetrol? Any kind of wax or sealer? Just curious how this worked. Thanks.
Pamela
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:54 PM   #5
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Chris,
Did you coat the window frames with anything after you used the Penetrol? Any kind of wax or sealer? Just curious how this worked. Thanks.
Pamela

I do feel that the Penetrol leaves a protective coating on the aluminum and made cutting through the corrosion much easier.
To see how shiney I could go some windows were polished afterwards with the Novus 2 which leaves more of a wax coating.

After the first season both methods still provided a chrome like finish. This year we should see if the wax buffing maded any difference.

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Old 03-09-2009, 11:22 PM   #6
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Corrosion on aluminum is generally different than corrosion on ferrous metals because the oxides expand and seal the surface, so removing the corrosion is essentially removing its natural protection.

If you polish it enough, you won't have any gelcoat left, so take it easy, esp with power tools!
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:38 PM   #7
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3M and Meguiars are two brands that make various types of fiberglass polishes and rubbing compounds.

The big picture is that the outside of the trailer has a layer of gelcoat on it (it's sprayed into the mold before they start putting in fiberglass). It's common for it to oxidize (gets lighter and chalky). You can wet sand or "compound" it to bring the shine back, although eventually you would remove all of it at which point it's time to paint (not the death sentence you might think as linear two-part LPUs are now considered in many circles to be superior to gelcoat, although expensive to apply). That said, it's definitely worth it to compound while you still can, and follow that with a protective layer of wax to keep the UV out as much as possible.

So, the idea is to do the gentlest treatment that will work. But generally with oxidation like it looks like you have (I'm guessing your trailer might have been "green-grape" green) you will need to use a fairly heavy duty rubbing compound. You can experiment to see what you need to do to bring back the shine. Wet-sanding can work too, as was mentioned above. I'm not sure I would use plastic polish unless I had it on hand; I think it's pretty fine since I believe it's meant for things like convertible windows.

When I did my first boat, I just could not get a shine, even with Meguiar's Heavy Duty Oxidation Remover. I was using a "Home Depot" consumer car buffer. A boatbuilder friend came in with a large, metal, Milwaukee commercial buffer and put the compound on that and Voila! Instant shine! I used that buffer for the rest of the job, and rented one just like it when a friend and I did his 32' sailboat a few years later. I supplied my own 3M Superbuff pad. We also used 1000 grit wet-sanding paper in places. Then a good-quality paste wax like 3M Marine or Collinite 885.

I would just start by hand with these products, but know you might need to move up to a more heavy duty buffer. It is possible to "burn" through the gelcoat, so go carefully until you have a feel for it.

Car rubbing compounds would probably work too; I just haven't used them so can't recommend specifics.

Raya
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:01 AM   #8
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3M and Meguiars are two brands that make various types of fiberglass polishes and rubbing compounds.

The big picture is that the outside of the trailer has a layer of gelcoat on it (it's sprayed into the mold before they start putting in fiberglass).
Our Trillium 4500 was sadly in need of cleaning and polishing when we got it nearly 2 years ago. It is the same cream color as yours. We cleaned and bought a Wally electric polisher, then gave it a good coat of Meguiars. It lasted about a month and then it looked as though it had never been done. We then 'bit the bullet' and sent for PolyGlo kit. The cleaner came with it. After a thorough cleaning, we applied multiple coats. It shone beautifully! We then pulled it clear across the United States for the Bullards Bar Meet in Bandon, Oregon. When we returned home, we never quite got around to covering it for winter.

Today, it still shines like brand new! The directions say to give it another single coat once a year, so that will come shortly. We have never had a moment's regret. The PolyGlo just wipes on. It takes very little per coat, and we have enough for another 10 years, I would guestimate. There are other posts regarding this product. Enjoy your Egg!
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:12 PM   #9
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Vi,

Just curious - when you say you gave it a "coat" of Meguiars, which product of theirs are you referring to? I was referring to their oxidation removers, which are rubbing compounds, essentially. They don't really go on in a coat, but instead require some heavy duty buffing (depending on amount of oxidation). Boats that I've compounded with either Meguiars or 3M products have stayed shiny for years (and counting), but the coating (wax) came after the compounding process.

That's not to knock Poliglow - it's not my thing but I know a number of people who have used it and like it very much. I just want to clarify what you did prior to that that didn't work.

Raya
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:58 AM   #10
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Is "poliglow only available online or is it available in the stores?? Would it also be available in Canada??

Paul
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:46 PM   #11
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Vi,

Just curious - when you say you gave it a "coat" of Meguiars, which product of theirs are you referring to? I was referring to their oxidation removers, which are rubbing compounds, essentially. They don't really go on in a coat, but instead require some heavy duty buffing (depending on amount of oxidation). Boats that I've compounded with either Meguiars or 3M products have stayed shiny for years (and counting), but the coating (wax) came after the compounding process.

That's not to knock Poliglow - it's not my thing but I know a number of people who have used it and like it very much. I just want to clarify what you did prior to that that didn't work.
Raya, Now that info I will Have to get from John. Let you know when I find out. Vi
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:45 AM   #12
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Here's a link to one of many earlier discussions about closet shelves. Adding storage is a popular topic!

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...=closet+shelves
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