Weather does me in - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-31-2016, 11:14 AM   #1
Senior Member
Name: Lyle
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 300
Weather does me in

Well, of course, this morning I got up and checked the weather. 0% chance of rain today, less than 10% the rest of the week. Supposed to be overcast to partly sunny. Perfect since I have no shade trees on my driveway and I can't fit the Scamp into the garage.

I want to wash, rub out the oxidation, and wax the trailer - today looks like as good of time as any. Get busy doing a through washing, then wait to let it dry. Gather all my stuff, micro towels, Royobi orbital buffer, new pads, 3M One Step, Maquires Marine wax, and ladder. Need to start on the roof to learn how to do it, plus it's the biggest pain to reach - do it while I'm fresh.

Start working away, get about 90% done with the roof and the sky opens up! So much for 0% chance. Finished the roof in the early stage of the rain. Waiting now to see if it stops and can dry off again.

Best laid plans...

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Old 08-31-2016, 01:34 PM   #2
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Name: Lyle
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 300
The weather is cooperating again. I have managed to get the roof, front and driver side completed with the One-Step. Has already made a drastic improvement. I worried that it would be difficult to keep it from looking "blotchy" from possibly rubbing one area more than the next, since you must do it in small sections. This does not seem to be much of an issue as long as you overlap a bit and pay attention to how much rubbing you do in each section. Actually, since the pads move much easier over the sections once the oxidation is removed, it is fairly easy to judge when a section is finished just by feel. After that a very brief and light polishing with a clean , dry micro fiber cloth brings out a substantial shine. I imagine this will be quite a bit better still once I apply the Meguiars Wax.

Driver side and the roof took quite some time since somehow they had gotten sprayed by some type of very sticky substance. I assume tree sap, but not sure where it's from since there are no trees covering my driveway and it was there prior to me taking it camping this summer. I ended up removing most of it with denatured alcohol. Was worried how the alcohol would affect the finish, but it appears it only removed the sap and any waxes that were still on the trailer. Immediately after use the area was much more dull than the surrounding sections, but as soon as the One Step was applied and polished, the shine came back and was indistinguishable from the surrounding sections. This was time consuming, but easier than trying to rub the sap off with the One Step. Time will tell if it remains as shiny.

Will finish up the One Step today after a brief break, will probably wait until tomorrow to do the Mequiars. I'm not normally a wax and polish kind of guy for my vehicles, but this trailer needed some tlc.

Once this is completed, I will have to replace a number of the snap caps that didn't survive the Royobi. A lot of the fasteners used on this trailer appear to be screws/bolts instead of all rivets. None are leaking though, so I will just be using some type of adhesive caulk to affix new ones. I know, no Silicone, any suggestions as to brand and type of caulk?

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Old 08-31-2016, 01:43 PM   #3
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Posts: 766
I use Dolphin bedding compound for setting in fasteners. It is oil based and stays soft. Standard bedding compound used for boats, proven to be reliable over the years. No issues with removing it when there is a need to do so. It keeps for many years in the can so it will be a one time purchase to have on hand in your supplies.
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:31 PM   #4
Senior Member
Name: Lyle
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 300
Snap Caps replaced

Since we are supposed to have rain for the next few days, I decided I better get the snap caps replaced. Had lost many during the power buffing, plus others were cracked/discolored/chalky. I removed all the bad looking ones, then cleaned out the prior silicone that had sealed the rivet holes, cleaned the rivet heads with acetone, then replaced the snap caps using a dollop of 3M Marine caulk. Couldn't find the Dolphin product locally, I'm sure I could have found some at one of the marinas, but the 3M was available at Lowes.

The job was actually quite easy. Probably replaced 30+ of the snap caps. Some had the plastic ring intact, others did not. I didn't tackle replacing rivets to put new plastic rings on, since I was working alone, and none of mine seem to be leaking. Some folks say that riveting is a two person job. Hopefully the 3M caulk will hold them. I did follow one suggestion I saw on here somewhere of drilling a small hole in the snap cap to give the caulk some "purchase". I tried not to make an actual hole, just a divot on the interior surface. We'll see how it works out.
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Old Yesterday, 03:08 PM   #5
Senior Member
Name: Lyle
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 300
Round Two

OK, had a nice day today so decided to do round two of the 3M One Step Restorer and another coat of Meguiars marine wax. The Royobi only took off two of the snap caps, so they held on pretty well.

It was only the very end of August when I did the first round, but the trailer was fairly oxidized. In fact, the roof felt like sand paper and was starting to grow the black mold/lichens that you see on the real old trailer. The first application of the 3M took care of that quite well, but took some time. Went much quicker this time, and the final shine is even better than the last round.

My understanding is that the 3rd round brings out an even better shine, so next spring I will see. I wanted to get at least two coats on before winter hits, plus so I can easily clean it up to take to Florida in Feb - looking forward to that trip.

Happy with today's results.
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Old Yesterday, 03:21 PM   #6
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Name: Mary
Trailer: Escape 21; (formerly Casita LD 17 & 16)
Posts: 9,083
Sounds good. Do report back after the next round in spring. I'm interested in your results...

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