Sun/heat damage to fiberglass? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-10-2011, 09:31 PM   #15
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Ken, we get the same rain except it's fall/winter/spring rain. Turns the outside of a fiberglass trailer different colors... red/black and green. I didn't realize mold came in so many colors! Best of luck to you!
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by pindraak View Post
A carport is exactly what I did, Donna, except that I am renting space under someone else's. My situation here is too temporary to get my own. I think it is also a good idea in terms of leaks. Direct exposure to the kind of violent rain we get down here almost every day in summer certainly isn't doing any seals a favor.
Well, gelcoat is polyester resin containing pigment; the resin component of fiberglass is polyester resin without the opacity contributed by the pigment. Both are catalyzed (pushed to a heat-producing molecular change) by methylethylketoneperoxide so I'd say they are pretty much the same critter. Cloth or mat "wet out" by resin is the "rebar in the concrete".

A rationalization of expense and justification of personal choice is something we all have in common. I am 100% certain that my choice of RedMaxPro as a cosmetic fix for the chalky gelcoat which I cannot abide is the best choice (for me). Will a garage or barn with oversize door or carport protect a trailer from the elements and UV deterioration? You bet! Go for it on your dime.

jack

Come to think of it, and I'm sure all you train drivers out there will arrive at this conclusion, the pigment in marine gelcoat is generally white because of the relatively low heat-absorbing qualities of white objects. Probably also a UV barrier but I won't say I know for certain.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:33 PM   #17
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Fiberglass WILL deteriorate in sunlight. But your is covered with gelcoat so you have no worries except that you should polish and wax it every 6 months or at least once a year.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:35 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by pindraak View Post
I looked at some fiberglass boat sites, and they recommend repairing the oxidation by polishing it with grit, then using a fiberglass cleaner and then adding wax or polish. I'm a bit skeptical though. Grit polishing is actually going to grind/sand off part of the surface, and I don't see how thinning the surface is going to be beneficial to any purpose other than making it look shiny, which I don't care about.
Having had or been around boats most of my life and having purchased a fiberglass trailer that sat in the Idaho sun for the first 16 years of its life without a lot of proctection I am a firm believer in 3M marine products.

Yes once the boat or trailer has heavy oxidation the only way to get it off is by using a compound product. 3m makes one called Restore and Wax - you put it on with a wool compound pad - helps if you have a power polisher but doing it by hand is possible using micro cloths - I have done it by hand using micro cloths and its not really all that much more work than using a power polisher but you do get a higher shine with the power polisher. If its a light oxidation they have another product thats called Clean and Wax. Yes using a compond to get the oxidation off will thin the gelcoat a little but if done correctly and not at a high speed and too much presure it should not take much gelcoat if any off at all and you should only have to do that once -the main purpose is to take off the oxidation not the gelcoat.

Once you have done the above you need to put on a ultra permormance paste wax a couple of times a year - to protect the fiberglass.

If you like the flat oxidation look then just the 3m Clean and Wax and then use a good paste wax over the trailer and that should stop it from getting worse.

And yes storing it under cover helps *a lot* at protecting everything - tires, water and electrical connection covers, rivit covers etc.
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:26 AM   #19
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Gelcoat is pretty thick. I often sand badly stains parts with 100-150 grit sandpaper, and in some cases let it stay dull--like cockpit seats. But the hull, and in your case the exterior, if polished, looks better, prevents staining, allows the application of wax, and is not all that much work to maintain once you get it looking nice.

So feel free to leave it dull. It most likely can be brought back, even years later. And don't worry about thinning if you decide to polish it.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:42 PM   #20
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To put "gelcoat loss" in perspective, my experience limiting abrasion to Barkeeper's Friend and green ScotchBrite by hand is that no cutting thru to green glass occured altho the driveway was stained white by the rinse water. It wouldn't be the end of the world if it did. More than a few older trailers have some nice pink or blue body filler lurking here and there under a rattlecan touchup successfully mimicking the color cast of the gelcoat. I wouldn't be inclined to remove a bit of loose oxidation product starting with even 120-150 grit sandpaper when it isn't necessary. Randy the Shine Bringer introduced us to the cheapest (jury isn't is on the durability but time is passing and I haven't heard much negative) shinola restorer you'll ever see--RedMaxPro floor wax.

jack
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