Rust stains - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-02-2011, 07:28 PM   #1
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Name: Ian
Trailer: '74 Trillium 1300
British Columbia
Posts: 18
Rust stains

Trilliums often have rust stains coming from the belly bead because the pop rivets holding it have carbon steel mandrels and they rust!

These stains can be removed with hydrochloric acid (muratic acid same thing) or a cut lemon which cannot harm anything.


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Old 07-03-2011, 05:39 AM   #2
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Name: Bob Ruggles
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 2012 Chevy Silverado
Posts: 1,260
Muriatic acid is dilute hydrochloric acid if my memory of high school chemistry from over 50 years ago isn't failing me. Wouldn't be a good idea to use undiluted HCl.

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Old 07-03-2011, 08:23 AM   #3
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Name: B
Trailer: 1973 13 ft Compact II
Posts: 403
...this ACID is Oh, so DANGEROUS, if... are not EXTREMELY careful and wear protective EVERYTHING while doing this, OUT in the OPEN AIR.

Much easier, by FAR for me, is that wonderful trailer companion of mine, BARKEEPER's FRIEND. It's a cleanser that sells for under a dollar and is UNREAL in it's cleaning fiberglass capabilities...of course, I cleaned old oxdized trailers and not pristine ones with perfect gel-coat finishes!!!!
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:26 AM   #4
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Name: Tasha
Trailer: Boler 1975 AND 1980
British Columbia
Posts: 10
Try using boat cleaner that deoxidizes. Worked on mine.
Got it from Home Hardware.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:34 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 53

Barkeepers Friend does work well, but if you are concerned about using acid you should be aware that it contains oxalic acid, the same stuff used in many chrome cleaners. I searched all over to find it after reading about it on this forum. I ended up picking it up at a Lowes in the US. Shortly thereafter my local Home Hardware store started stocking it (three blocks from my home). Go figure! It works very well as a prep for the Redmax and also to clean the glass cooktop on my stove.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:18 AM   #6
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Name: Vivian
Trailer: 1999 Scamp 16 ft ('The Pod')
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Is the Barkeepers Friend you use in powder form or liquid?
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:37 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 53
I have tried the powder only. I imagine the liquid works just as well but it is more expensive.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:41 AM   #8
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 310
Thanks for the tip on Lemon juice Ian!

For sterilizing, use vinegar instead of bleach. Vinegar is just as effective as bleach but completely safe.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:35 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1978 Boler 13 ft
Posts: 178
you are oh so correct
dumb A$$ at work spilled some DH walked through it --ate through his work boots ,sock & into his skin took months for it to heal!!
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:21 PM   #10
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,916
The very best way to deal with rust... is to PREVENT it. Pay attention to the needs of the trailer and take care of rust as a maintenance issue. When items start to rust, either seal it up or replace. It's far easier than dealing with rust on the gelcoat.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:46 AM   #11
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,711
3M's boat Restore & Wax will also take the stains off.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:17 PM   #12
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Name: George
Trailer: Waiting for the Sprinter van and designing the converion modules.
Posts: 629
For rust stain removal on fiberglass I use oxalic acid which not as aggressive as hydrochloric acid; it doesn’t generate nasty fumes as HCl does. I would never use full strength (36% by weight) HCl. For tough rust stain I mix it with mildly aggressive aqueous polishing fluid and rub the stained area using gloves.

WEST MARINE Cleaner at West Marine

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