repairing cracks - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-14-2003, 09:49 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Renee

You may get away with doing just gel coat repair on most of it.

I hate rust and the first thing I would do is drill out those pop-rivets and try to clean that rust. And yes you need to do something to prevent it from happening again. I don't know of any thing that will remove all of the rust stain. Some rust removers will take some of it off. Ace hardware has a product called rust out that will help.
If you can't get it off then sand the area with fine sand paper, remove any loose chips and refinish the gel coat.

Let us know how you do.
__________________

__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 07:59 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
THANK YOU FOR EVERYONE'S REPLIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(expecially Ron's and Bernice's!)

After I posted the pictures and read Ron's previous reply, I got to thinking that I was incorrect in talking about "fiberglass cracks" when I should have been talking about "gelcoat cracks". A few more questions to clarify:

1) When you said clean with acetone, did you mean only the area to be repaired, or my whole entire grimy trailer? Are there suggestions as to anything to clean the dirt off the trailer before the acetone?

2) As you can see, some of the damage appears "flaky" - so I assume any damage that has loose chips, those chips should be removed and then proceed to repair with gel coat. If you remember the 1" diameter damage from the pictures - would that be best approached NOT to "flick" it off, or just repair it in place?

And then I understand that the gel coat repair will stand out - I will try to have to match the existing color? Will this difference be less noticeable after everything is cleaned and waxed?

3)To quote Ron, "When the gel coat cures sand and rub out with compound" What do you mean by "compound?"

4) The rivets around the window are similar to what's on the rest of the trailer. In another thread someone talked about not having "buttons" on their trailer - the earlier ones don't seem to have them - this is something I could opt to replace - and at the same time reseal somehow? I know it is leaking in two spots.

There is a boat shop about 30 miles from my home. I live about 45 miles west of the Mississippi, so I will check with them before I start this project.

Thanks for your patience!!
__________________

__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 08:39 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
:thumb , Renee.
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 09:03 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Renee ... these are only my opinions ... ok ...

1. Tow your rig over to your local boating store. Ask them what they recommend to clean up your fiberglass surface. There are all kinds of cleaning products and waxes, depending on whether you're dealing with mold or chalking, etc. Also look on line ... do a search for West Marine.

2. Renee .. gel coat is bonded to the inner layer of fiberglass. If it's loose, I'd remove it ... water probably got behind the gel coat, froze and broke the bond. If the chip is solid, I'd just little chisle out the crack a bit (to increase the bonding surface, and try to fill with gel coat (mixed to match)(sold at boat stores.

3. Compound. Any auto store or boat store will sell rubbing compounds ... which is basically paste with grit .... comes in various grits. It helps put a little shine on your finished surface

4. Most home improvement stores sell "snap caps" which are plastic bases and caps. Purchase a rivet gun and a supply of aluminum rivets (from Scamp), drill out your old rivets, caulk the hole before inserting the new rivet, place the rivet through the snap cap base, insert in hole, pop with rivet gun, snap on cap. Trick is to caulk the hole BEFORE inserting the rivet for a leak-free fix.
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 09:11 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Looking at your pictures .... I only see two things that concern me a little bit.

Door hinge pix (top left), looks deep ... and instead of a cosmetic spider web crack, looks like it could be structural ... from someone overtightening the door hinge bolts. Is the hinge loose? You probably should remove the door and the hinges, and really inspect the damage. It will also be easier to fix with the hinge off, obviously. (Even if it is structural, you should be able to strength the area with some fiberglass screening and patch.)

Window cover hinge pix -- the little stress cracks are undoubtedly from 20 years of vibration ... but the cracks don't look deep and structural. To solve the rust problem, however, you are going to have to remove the hing by drilling out the rivets, then scrape and sand BOTH sides of the hinge, paint with a Rust converter, that chemically bonds to rusty metal, actually converting the rusting metal to a primed paintable surface, spray with paint, and then reinstall. If you try to do an "on the trailer" repair, the bottom side of the hinge, up against the trailer, will remain rusty and cause a rusty streak every time it rains.

Renee ... I am not an expert at this, but have faith. There are a lot of folks here who have a lot of experience.

Out fearless webmaster Michael used to actually build and repair fiberglass canoes. He's out camping for a few days, but I imagine he'll add his two cents ... and Ron will continue to help you too. And there are many others doing frame-off restorations.

But go make friends with the folks at that boating store! Pull your trailer over their, and have them look. It's their quiet time. Don't try to get them to help you during the height of the summer boating season.
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 09:19 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Small sampling

Here's a link to West Marine's Boat Care section. Lots and lots of good stuff.
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 12:09 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Rust

I'm sure that it has been mentioned and I just overlooked it, but want to mention something here. If some of the rust is coming from some of the rivets, then they are not aluminum. Be sure to replace all of those with aluminun rivets. Two reasons: they won't rust and they are designed to break before damaging the fiberglass.

I removed rust from my trailer (vent on side and where the screw in the closet rod is). It took a while, but it can be done. However, I think I would start out at the boat place just to see what they say.
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 12:18 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Good link Charles

The fiberglas cleaning section gives a lot of cleaning formulas and rubbing compound information.

Renee, You should have some pretty good ideals on how to get started. Good Luck
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2003, 05:53 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Scamp Fiberglass Repairs

Our Scamp had a similar problem as yours around the door hinges. I repaired it by removing the door with hinges, removing the insulation inside the door in the area of the hinge holes. I cut two pieces of hardwood to back up the thin fiberglass behind the hinges, cleaned the fiberglass well with acetone and glued the hardwood back-up plates with polyurethane (Grizzly) glue.

When the glue was set up, I positioned the door -- mine had sagged somewhat -- and redrilled the holes through the door hinge holes through the fiberglass and hardwood. Then I rehung the door with new stainless steel fasteners.

At the same time I also added a dead-bolt lock using the same technique with a hardwood backing piece to house the lock barrel. I'm not worried about a thief, but the original lock was badly worn and a new one of the same type was not available locally. Also, now I can use the same key for the Scamp as for our house:r :r
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2003, 06:46 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Repairing cracks.

An excellent book on all aspects of Fiberglass can be obtained free of charge at www.systemthree.com .
The book is directed at boat building and repair but there is lots of interest to trailer owners. I think that it is relevant to only one brand of fiberlass and resin but it makes good reading and the price is right.
It is a 50 page download and I printed it up and had it spring- bound at the local print shop for $2.00 (Can.)

( I am sorry that I do not know how to make the website address as a live hyperlink ). Colin
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2003, 11:33 AM   #25
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Cleaning section?

Ron, you had referred to Charles link to West Marine above:

"The fiberglas cleaning section gives a lot of cleaning formulas and rubbing compound information"

Sorry, but I was in the fiberlass section at West Marine, and they didn't make a reference to a "cleaning section" I even typed "fiberglass cleaning" into the search feature and came up with nothing - could you point me in the right direction? Thanks - Renee
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2003, 02:09 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
I dunno about the construction details of the Bolers or Casitas in this regard (but I will look closely next time I get a chance). My '91 S13 has an actual crack in the fiberglass in the upper forward corner of the door frame, which wasn't there before I dragged it down the roads of Alaska, Yukon Terr and NorthWest Terr (roads which tore my closet and icebox doors off their hinges, just to give you a feel for it.

While messing about installing a frame for a door screen, I discovered that Scamp reinforces the forward edge of the door frame with a piece of square steel tubing in the fiberglass (magnet, how else?). Apparently , the reinforcement works because the crack is just above the top end of it! I am keeping an eye on the crack, and if it gets worse, I will drill holes at the ends to stop it from spreading and will install a curved piece of metal to continue around the corner. But so far, it hasn't gotten worse and the existing crack hasn't been leaking (it's under the rain shield over the doorway), so I am leaving well enuf alone.

With fiberglass boats, one can remove rust stains be sparing application of mild swimming pool acid. Be sure to take acid precautiions for personal safety and also be darned sure not to get the acid on metal parts (best way is to rinse down lower areas beforehand so they are already wet , apply acid and then rinse everything thoroughly, trying not to get acid on the actual metal that caused the rust, just the rust stains themselves).

Pete and Rats
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2003, 03:28 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Fiberglas cleaners

Click on Charles's link and then fiberglas cleaners. They show oxidation removers and rubbing compounds to restore luster.

Just try a rag with acetone on it to a area and see how it does. A lot of the time it will take a lot off. The compound is needed to restore luster and several was shown in the link. If the surface is real rough then use a coarse one first, then follow up with a fine one.

The acid that Pete suggest will remove calcium and rust deposits but it is very dangerous to use. And it will eat the zinc coating off of any hardware and cause it to rust later.

Ron
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2003, 03:34 PM   #28
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Thanks, Ron for your valuable input! I am excited to start the restoration, but it will be a few months (weather in the teens here today in Iowa). In the meantime, I am getting all the "legwork" done
so I will be ready for the "elbow grease" time. Will post my progress as it develops.

Sincerest Thanks,
Renee from Iowa
__________________

__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Show my cracks Perry Mac Donald General Chat 9 01-09-2010 08:07 PM
How do you fix Fiberglass cracks SharonNDean Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 12 02-12-2008 09:46 PM
Hairline Cracks Thom T. Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 3 09-19-2006 09:50 PM
Cracks BAMA & Pachyderm Posse Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 7 12-13-2005 04:57 PM
Repairing the gelcoat Legacy Posts Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 16 08-07-2003 03:56 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.